Closer look at TAILORx confirms lack of chemo benefit regardless of race or ethnicity

December 7, 2018, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group

An analysis of race and ethnicity data from the TAILORx clinical trial was presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The new study confirms that women of all races and ethnicities can safely follow the TAILORx findings. However, the study also found that after nine years of follow-up, 83.1 percent of white women were alive and cancer-free, compared to 78.9 percent of black women. It found that the type and duration of chemotherapy and hormone therapy treatments were similar among black and white women and other races as well as between Hispanic and non-Hispanic women. Pathologic characteristics of the tumors were no different as well.

"The study adds to an emerging body of evidence suggesting there are contributing to racial disparities in breast outcomes," said lead author Kathy S. Albain, MD, Huizenga Family Endowed Chair in Oncology Research and professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and director of the Breast and Thoracic Oncology Programs at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center of Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois.

The most common type of early breast cancer is hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has not spread to lymph nodes. The 'recurrence score' is a measure of how likely cancer will recur in distant organs. For with this type of cancer, the test is now recommended to determine the best course of treatment following surgery and to spare them from unnecessary treatment.

"The racial disparities observed in this trial were not explained by differences in recurrence score or reported duration of antihormonal endocrine therapy," Dr. Albain said. "Nor were the differences explained by the type of chemotherapy (if used) or characteristics such as age, tumor size or grade. As such, our results suggest that biological differences may contribute to the significantly different outcomes of compared to others with breast cancer."

Dr. Albain continued: "Our findings are consistent with prior studies indicating that black women with hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer have worse prognoses than women of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, even when they have access to the same contemporary cancer care. This suggests that additional research is required to determine the basis for these and also highlights the need to enhance accrual of minority populations in cancer ."

TAILORx was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and designed and led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. It also was supported by the Canadian Society Cancer Research Institute, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the U.S. Postal Service Breast Cancer Research Stamp.

Limitations of the study include the retrospective nature of the analysis, lack of adequate power to address specific questions in the race/ethnicity subsets, and a reliance on self-reported adherence to hormone therapy.

The genomic test used in the trial was the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test from Genomic Health Inc., Redwood City, California.

Explore further: Black women have worse breast cancer outcomes despite receiving similar treatment as white women

Related Stories

Black women have worse breast cancer outcomes despite receiving similar treatment as white women

December 7, 2018
Even with equivalent treatments in women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, black women had significantly higher breast cancer recurrence and increased overall mortality compared to white women in ...

Black breast cancer patients have worse outcomes than whites, despite similar treatments

December 6, 2018
Black women with the most common form of early breast cancer had worse outcomes than white women even after receiving equivalent care, according to a major new study led by Loyola Medicine medical oncologist Kathy Albain, ...

Black women more likely to skip crucial breast cancer treatments

September 21, 2018
A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that black women are more likely to skip hormone therapy treatments, also known as endocrine therapy, for breast cancer.

TAILORx trial finds most women with early breast cancer do not benefit from chemotherapy

June 4, 2018
New findings from the groundbreaking Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), or TAILORx trial, show no benefit from chemotherapy for 70 percent of women with the most common type of breast cancer. The study ...

Landmark study finds more breast cancer patients can safely forgo chemotherapy

June 3, 2018
A 21-gene test performed on tumors could enable most patients with the most common type of early breast cancer to safely forgo chemotherapy, according to a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Biological factors don't fully explain racial disparities for breast cancer type

December 7, 2017
Higher risk of recurrence for black women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer compared with white women cannot be completely explained by underlying biological factors, University of North Carolina ...

Recommended for you

Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia

December 8, 2018
Advances in rapid screening of leukemia cells for drug susceptibility and resistance are bringing scientists closer to patient-tailored treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Study may offer doctors a more effective way to treat neuroblastoma

December 7, 2018
A very large team of researchers, mostly from multiple institutions across Germany, has found what might be a better way to treat patients with neuroblastoma, a type of cancer. In their paper published in the journal Science, ...

Inflammatory bowel disease linked to prostate cancer

December 7, 2018
Men with inflammatory bowel disease have four to five times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, reports a 20-year study from Northwestern Medicine.

'Chemo brain' caused by malfunction in three types of brain cells, study finds

December 6, 2018
More than half of cancer survivors suffer from cognitive impairment from chemotherapy that lingers for months or years after the cancer is gone. In a new study explaining the cellular mechanisms behind this condition, scientists ...

Scientists develop new technology for profiling unique genetic makeup of myeloma tumor cells

December 6, 2018
Cancer arises when cells lose control. Deciphering the "blueprint" of cancer cells—outlining how cancer cells hijack specific pathways for uncontrolled proliferation—will lead to more efficient ways to fight it. Joint ...

Putting the brakes on tumor stealth

December 6, 2018
New research undertaken at Monash University has shed new light on how some cancers are able to escape our immune system.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.