Studies show that less intensive treatment is helpful for ovarian and esophageal cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma.

Reducing treatment for three types of cancer can make patients’ lives easier without compromise, doctors reported at the world’s largest cancer conference.

It’s part of a long-term trend toward studying even less— Less surgery, Less chemotherapy or Low radiation – May help patients live longer and feel better. More recent studies included ovarian and esophageal cancers and Hodgkin lymphoma.

Thirty years ago, cancer research was about doing more, not less. In one serious example, women with advanced breast cancer were pushed to the brink of death with massive doses of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants. gave The approach didn’t work Patients experienced better and better chemotherapy.

Now, in the quest to improve cancer care, researchers are asking: “Do we need all the treatments we’ve used in the past?”

It’s a question that “should be asked again and again,” said Dr. Tatjana Kolewska, medical director of the Kaiser Permanente National Cancer Excellence Program, who was not involved in the new study.

Often, better medications lead to less work.

Dr. William G. Nelson of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine said, “The good news is that cancer treatments are not only becoming more effective, but they are becoming easier to tolerate and have fewer short-term and longer-term complications. of complications.” Not even included in the new research.

Studies showing the trend were discussed over the weekend at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago. Here are the highlights:

Ovarian cancer

French researchers found that it is safe to avoid removing lymph nodes that appear healthy during surgery for advanced ovarian cancer. The study compared the results of 379 patients – half who had their lymph nodes removed and half who did not. After nine years, there was no difference in how long patients lived and those who had less surgery had fewer complications, such as the need for blood transfusions. This research was funded by the National Institute of Cancer in France.

Esophageal cancer

The German study looked at 438 people with a type of esophageal cancer that can be treated with surgery. Half received a combined treatment plan that included chemotherapy and surgery on the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. Half received another approach, including radiation. Both techniques are considered standard. Which one a patient receives depends on where they receive treatment.

After three years, 57% of those who received chemo and surgery were alive, compared with 51% of those who received chemo, surgery, and radiation. The research was funded by the German Research Foundation.

Hodgkin lymphoma

A comparison of two chemotherapy regimens for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma found that the less intensive treatment was more effective for the blood cancer and had fewer side effects.

After four years, less aggressive chemo kept the disease under control in 94% of people, compared with 91% of people who received more aggressive treatment. The trial involved 1,482 people from nine countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand – and was funded by Takeda Oncology, which makes drugs used in mild chemotherapy. One of me was a builder. studied.

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