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Cisplatin Might Be An Effective Chemotherapy for Some Breast Cancer Patients

Posted Feb 03 2010 12:00am
Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of a variety of cancers including cancers of the bladder, ovary, testes, and cervix.  However, cisplatin is not commonly used for breast cancer chemotherapy.

New breast cancer research explored the potential benefit of cisplatin as a chemotherapy agent for triple negative breast cancers.  For this study, 28 women with stage 2 or stage 3 triple negative breast cancer were treated with four cycles of cisplatin.  Response to treatment was assessed and tissue samples were examined for markers that might indicate the potential for a good response to treatment.  The results of this study showed:
  • 22% of the patients achieved complete pathological response (that is no residual cancer was detected)
  • 50% showed good, though not complete, pathological response
  • 64% of the triple negative breast cancer patients with complete or partial clinical response
  • 14% of these patients showed breast cancer progression
  • Patients that were young and had a low level of BRCA1 expression had a good response to cisplatin
With the move to personalized medicine where treatment options are based on each person's individual disease characteristics, finding additional treatment options is an important part of developing an effective breast cancer therapy.  This new study reports that a common chemotherapy agent used to treat other cancers might also have some therapeutic benefits for some triple negative breast cancer patients.  Triple negative breast cancer are often more aggressive and show poorer outcomes, so discovering new ways to effectively treat this type of breast cancer is good news.

While the scientific and medical communities contine to make strides in the treatment of breast cancer, the fight to reduce the incidence of breast cancer is also a critical part of our fight against breast cancer.  Read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer ( to learn about easy diet and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce breast cancer risk. 
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