Yale cancer researchers propose new ways to select patients for clinical trials
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IMAGE: Dr. Lajoz Pusztai demonstrated in a new study that more sophisticated models to assess patient risk for cancer can result in better clinical trials with more definitive results. view more 

Credit: Yale Cancer Center

New Haven, Conn. — Many clinical trials for breast cancer fail to give clear answers on the efficacy of new therapies, despite enrolling thousands of patients and painstakingly tracking their outcomes for years. Now Yale Cancer Center (YCC) investigators have demonstrated in a new study that more sophisticated models to assess patient risk for cancer can result in better clinical trials with more definitive results.

Often the problems with clinical trials begin in patient selection methods that underestimate how many of these patients can be treated successfully with standard-of-care therapies, and won’t benefit from a more effective drug under study.

Many factors contribute to a breast cancer patient’s risks of recurrence or death from the disease, including tumor size, presence of cancer in lymph nodes, patient age, and their overall health. “Historically, clinical trials select patients using mostly tumor size and lymph node status,” said Lajos Pusztai, M.D., DPhil, senior corresponding author of a study published in JAMA Oncology and chief of Breast Medical

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