New Approaches to Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
From tweaking the size and timing of chemotherapy, to adjusting how it's administered, small improvements are making a big difference in women's lives.
Separating Hype from Hope
While some of these new approaches are cause for hope, it's important to
keep them in perspective.
"I think that we as oncologists, investigators, and journalists have to be
very careful about separating hope from hype," says Seidman. "A lot of
possibly exciting treatments are still years away from being used." Seidman
cites as an example the great media excitement about anti-angiogenesis
medications that was followed by disappointing results that dashed the hopes of
Seidman stresses that while you should talk to your doctor about any new
treatments you've heard of, you should also be aware that they may not be
available to you. In some cases, you may be able to enroll in clinical trials
of new types of chemotherapy.
But while a drug that can cure or prevent cancer may be far off, some
approaches to chemotherapy, such as dose density, may be on the verge of
becoming standard practice, says Seidman. While they may not provoke the
excitement of a miracle drug, for now, these new ways of using old medications
may offer the most hope.