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Breast Cancer Treatment More Effective Now Than In The Past: Study

Update Date: Nov 28, 2014 12:20 PM EST

Current treatments for breast cancer are more effective than previous therapies, according to a new research involving comparison of recurrence and outcome patterns. 

The research analyzed patterns of relapse for women with biopsy-proven stage I to stage III breast cancer who were diagnosed between 1986 and 1992, or between mid-2004 and 2008. 

The researchers found the following distribution of breast cancer subtypes:

  • Estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, 70.8 percent; 
  • ER-negative/HER2-negative, 15.8 percent; 
  • ER-positive/HER2-positive, 6.9 percent and;
  • ER-negative/HER2-positive, 6.6 percent.

In the initial five intervals, differences in hazard rate of relapse (HRR) between the cohorts were greater for HER2-positive and ER-negative/HER2-negative breast cancer. For all disease stages and grades, the HRR decreased in C2 compared with C1. The hazard rate of death also decreased for C2 versus C1 but to a lesser extent, the press release said. 

"Although current treatments are more effective, we still see late relapses in patients with ER-positive tumors and an early peak of recurrence in patients with ER-negative cancers," the authors wrote. 

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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