New studies presented at Vienna’s ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) Congress demonstrate improved breast cancer treatment that allows more and more women to conserve their breasts through and after therapy. However, these studies also question whether enough women undergoing treatment are actually being offered these procedures.
Dr. Carmen Criscitiello and colleagues reported an analysis of the different variables that affected the surgery options offered to patients participating in the NeoALTTO trial, which demonstrated the combination of paclitaxel, lapatinib, and trastuzumab’s increased tumor eradication rate compared to any other combination of said medications.
Despite the promising rate of success published earlier in January this year, only around 40% of the women participating in the study received breast-conserving surgery.
Dr. Criscitiello stated that "This study highlights a negative attitude that may deny a large fraction of women the chance of preserving their breast, with no clinical reasons that justify this decision. One of the goals of the therapy concerns increasing the rate of breast conservation, but this goal is clearly not achieved if the type of surgery is chosen according to baseline characteristics."