Breast cancer patients needed for MINT

5:22 PM, Mar 10, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, FL-- Researchers at the University of South Florida are asking breast cancer patients to take part in a new study that may cut down on time for determining a course of treatment.

The Multi-Institutional Neo Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial, or MINT, aims to determine which patients are mostly likely to have success with chemotherapy before the tumor is removed. Only about 23 percent will actually see their tumor shrink significantly with that kind of chemo.

Breast cancer patients who are at least 18 years old and have a local advanced invasive breast cancer tumor larger than three and a half centimeters can take part.

USF Research Intern Jordan Glancey says this could cut down on the time for a course of treatment:

"We're not changing, for example, the actual treatment which is chemotherapy. This neo-adjuvant chemotherapy which means chemo therapy before surgical treatment. So a patient comes in. They have a larger tumor over 3.5 cm tumor. The standard might be that they go in for this neo-adjuvant chemotherapy before the doctor even recommends surgery. They have that chemotherapy.

"73 percent, on average, are not responsive at all to that chemotherapy, only about 27 percent are responsive. That's going to stay pretty much the way it is. There are other kinds of regimens of chemotherapy that we can give them, but essentially that's 73% of those patients who come in with these larger tumors who would have this neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, getting chemo and having all the negative effects of chemo, when it's essentially doing not much for them.

"So the idea of this study is we find out this gene signature, sort of, that's in common with the patients that are responsive. So if you were to have a tumor and you came in, rather than the physician saying we're going to put you in chemo, they would say 'let's do this exam first, let's see if you have this gene, and see if you're likely to even respond.' If you're not likely to respond, they don't have to give you chemo. That's unnecessary. They can go on, not waste their time with that treatment, and go on to other treatments."

"It's no harm to them. It can only benefit, maybe not them, but for future patients. It doesn't take anything extra on their part. We already take that tumor sample and sends it to the company that runs the gene," USF Clinical Research Coordinator Nicole Howard said.

If you or someone you know maybe interested in taking part in the study, click this link to USF's research page.

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