Adjuvant therapy

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Adjuvant therapy, also known as adjunct therapy, add-on therapy, and adjuvant care, is therapy that is given in addition to the primary or initial therapy to maximize its effectiveness. The surgeries and complex treatment regimens used in cancer therapy have led the term to be used mainly to describe adjuvant cancer treatments. An example of such adjuvant therapy is the additional treatment [1] usually given after surgery where all detectable disease has been removed, but where there remains a statistical risk of relapse due to the presence of undetected disease. If known disease is left behind following surgery, then further treatment is not technically adjuvant.

Therapy medical treatment

Therapy is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In the medical field, it is usually synonymous with treatment. Among psychologists and other mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, counselors, and clinical social workers, the term may refer specifically to psychotherapy. The English word therapy comes via Latin therapīa from Greek: θεραπεία and literally means "curing" or "healing".


An adjuvant agent modifies the effect of another agent, so adjuvant therapy modifies other therapy.

An adjuvant is a pharmacological or immunological agent that modifies the effect of other agents. Adjuvants may be added to a vaccine to boost the immune response to produce more antibodies and longer-lasting immunity, thus minimizing the dose of antigen needed. Adjuvants may also be used to enhance the efficacy of a vaccine by helping to modify the immune response to particular types of immune system cells: for example, by activating T cells instead of antibody-secreting B cells depending on the purpose of the vaccine. Adjuvants are also used in the production of antibodies from immunized animals. There are different classes of adjuvants that can push immune response in different directions, but the most commonly used adjuvants include aluminum hydroxide and paraffin oil.


The term "adjuvant therapy," derived from the Latin term adjuvāre, meaning "to help," was first coined by Paul Carbone and his team at the National Cancer Institute in 1963. In 1968, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) published its B-01 trial results for the first randomized trial that evaluated the effect of an adjuvant alkylating agent in breast cancer. The results indicated that the adjuvant therapy given after the initial radical mastectomy "significantly decreased recurrence rate in pre-menopausal women with four or more positive axillary lymph nodes." [2]

The budding theory of using additional therapies to supplement primary surgery was put into practice by Gianni Bonadonna and his colleagues from the Instituto Tumori in Italy in 1973, where they conducted a randomized trial that demonstrated more favorable survival outcomes that accompanied use of Cyclophosphamide Methotrexate Fluorouracil (CMF) after the initial mastectomy. [2]

In 1976, shortly after Bonadonna's landmark trial, Bernard Fisher at the University of Pittsburgh initiated a similar randomized trial that compared the survival of breast cancer patients treated with radiation after the initial mastectomy to those who only received the surgery. His results, published in 1985, indicated increased disease-free survival for the former group. [3] [2]

Bernard Fisher (scientist) biologist

Bernard Fisher, MD, FACS, is an American surgeon and a pioneer in the biology and treatment of breast cancer. He is a native of Pittsburgh. He was Chairman of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His work established definitively that early-stage breast cancer could be more effectively treated by lumpectomy, in combination with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormonal therapy, than by radical mastectomy.

University of Pittsburgh American state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on the edge of the American frontier. It developed and was renamed as Western University of Pennsylvania by a change to its charter in 1819. After surviving two devastating fires and various relocations within the area, the school moved to its current location in the Oakland neighborhood of the city; it was renamed as the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. Pitt was a private institution until 1966 when it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

Despite the initial pushback from the breast cancer surgeons who believed that their radical mastectomies were sufficient in removing all traces of cancer, the success of Bonadonna's and Fisher's trials brought adjuvant therapy to the mainstream in oncology. [2] Since then, the field of adjuvant therapy has greatly expanded to include a wide range of adjuvant therapies to include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation.

Chemotherapy treatment of cancer with one or more cytotoxic anti-neoplastic drugs

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent, or it may aim to prolong life or to reduce symptoms. Chemotherapy is one of the major categories of the medical discipline specifically devoted to pharmacotherapy for cancer, which is called medical oncology.

Immunotherapy is the treatment of disease by activating or suppressing the immune system. Immunotherapies designed to elicit or amplify an immune response are classified as activation immunotherapies, while immunotherapies that reduce or suppress are classified as suppression immunotherapies.

Hormone therapy or hormonal therapy is the use of hormones in medical treatment. Treatment with hormone antagonists may also be referred to as hormonal therapy or antihormone therapy. The most general classes of hormone therapy are oncologic hormone therapy, hormone replacement therapy, androgen replacement therapy (ART), and transgender hormone therapy.

Neoadjuvant therapy

Neoadjuvant therapy, in contrast to adjuvant therapy, is given before the main treatment. For example, systemic therapy for breast cancer that is given before removal of a breast is considered neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The most common reason for neoadjuvant therapy for cancer is to reduce the size of the tumor so as to facilitate more effective surgery.

In the context of breast cancer, neoadjuvant chemotherapy administered before surgery can improve survival in patients. If no active cancer cells are present in a tissue extracted from the tumor site after neoadjuvant therapy, physicians classify a case as “pathologic complete response” or "pCR." While response to therapy has been demonstrated to be a strong predictor of outcome, the medical community has still not reached a consensus in regard to the definition of pCR across various breast cancer subtypes. It remains unclear whether pCR can be used as a surrogate end point in breast cancer cases. [4] [5]

Adjuvant cancer therapy

For example, radiotherapy or systemic therapy is commonly given as adjuvant treatment after surgery for breast cancer. Systemic therapy consists of chemotherapy, immunotherapy or biological response modifiers or hormone therapy. [6] Oncologists use statistical evidence to assess the risk of disease relapse before deciding on the specific adjuvant therapy. The aim of adjuvant treatment is to improve disease-specific symptoms and overall survival. Because the treatment is essentially for a risk, rather than for provable disease, it is accepted that a proportion of patients who receive adjuvant therapy will already have been cured by their primary surgery.

Adjuvant systemic therapy and radiotherapy are often given following surgery for many types of cancer, including colon cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and some gynaecological cancers. Some forms of cancer fail to benefit from adjuvant therapy, however. Such cancers include renal cell carcinoma, and certain forms of brain cancer.

Hyperthermia therapy or heat therapy is also a kind of adjuvant therapy that is given along with radiation or chemotherapy to boost the effects of these conventional treatments. Heating the tumor by Radio Frequency (RF) or Microwave energy increases oxygen content in the tumor site, which results in increased response during radiation or chemotherapy. For example, Hyperthermia is added twice a week to radiation therapy for the full course of the treatment in many cancer centers, and the challenge is to increase its use around the world.


A motif found throughout the history of cancer therapy is the tendency for overtreatment. From the time of its inception, the use of adjuvant therapy has received scrutiny for its adverse effects on the quality of life of cancer patients. For example, because side effects of adjuvant chemotherapy can range from nausea to loss of fertility, physicians regularly practice caution when prescribing chemotherapy. [7]

In the context of melanoma, certain treatments, such as Ipilimumab, result in high grade adverse events, or immune-related adverse events, in 10-15% of patients that parallel the effects of metastatic melanoma itself. [8] [9] Similarly, several common adjuvant therapies are noted for having the potential of causing cardiovascular disease. [10] In such cases, physicians must weigh the cost of future recurrence against more immediate consequences and consider factors, like age and relative cardiovascular health of a patient, before prescribing certain types of adjuvant therapy.

One of the most notable side effects of adjuvant therapy is the loss of fertility. For pre-pubescent males, testicular tissue cryopreservation is an option for preserving future fertility. For post-pubescent males, this side effect can be assuaged through semen cryopreservation. For pre-menopausal females, options to preserve fertility are oftentimes much more complex. [11] For example, breast cancer patients of fertile age oftentimes have to weigh the risks and benefits associated with starting an adjuvant therapy regimen after primary treatment. In the some low-risk, low-benefit situations, forgoing adjuvant treatment altogether can be a reasonable decision, but in cases where the risk of metastasis is high, patients may be forced to make a difficult decision. Though options for fertility preservation exist (e.g., embryo preservation, oocyte cryopreservation, ovarian suppression, etc.), they are more often than not time-consuming and costly. [12]

As a result of complications that can stem from liberal use of adjuvant therapy, the philosophy surrounding the use of adjuvant therapy in the clinical setting has shifted towards the goal of doing as little harm as possible to patients. The standards for dose intensity of adjuvant treatments and treatment duration are regularly updated to optimize regimen efficiency while minimizing toxic side effects that patients must shoulder.

Concomitant or concurrent systemic cancer therapy

Concomitant or concurrent systemic cancer therapy refers to administering medical treatments at the same time as other therapies, such as radiation. Adjuvant hormonal therapy is given after prostate removal in prostate cancer, but there are concerns that the side effects, in particular the cardiovascular ones, may outweigh the risk of recurrence.

In breast cancer, adjuvant therapy may consist of chemotherapy (doxorubicin, herceptin, paclitaxel, docetaxel, cyclophosphamide, fluorouracil, and methotrexate) and radiotherapy, especially after lumpectomy, and hormonal therapy (tamoxifen, femara). Adjuvant therapy in breast cancer is used in stage one and two breast cancer following lumpectomy, and in stage three breast cancer due to lymph node involvement.

In glioblastoma multiforme, adjuvant chemoradiotherapy is critical in the case of a completely removed tumor, as with no other therapy, recurrence occurs in 1–3 months[ citation needed ].

In early stage one small cell lung carcinoma, adjuvant chemotherapy with gemzar, cisplatin, paclitaxel, docetaxel, and other chemotherapeutic agents, and adjuvant radiotherapy is administered to either the lung, to prevent a local recurrence, or the brain to prevent metastases.

In testicular cancer, adjuvant either radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be used following orchidectomy. Previously, mainly radiotherapy was used, as a full course of cytotoxic chemotherapy produced far more side effects then a course of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT).[ citation needed ] However, it has been found a single dose of carboplatin is as effective as EBRT in stage II testicular cancer, with only mild side effects (transient myelosuppressive action vs severe and prolonged myelosuppressive neutropenic illness in normal chemotherapy, and much less vomiting, diarrhea, mucositis, and no alopecia in 90% of cases.[ citation needed ]

Adjuvant therapy is particularly effective in certain types of cancer, including colorectal carcinoma, lung cancer, and medulloblastoma. In completely resected medulloblastoma, 5-year survival rate is 85% if adjuvant chemotherapy and/or craniospinal irradiation is performed, and just 10% if no adjuvant chemotherapy or craniospinal irradiation is used. Prophylactic cranial irradiation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is technically adjuvant, and most experts agree that cranial irradiation decreases risk of central nervous system (CNS) relapse in ALL and possibly acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but it can cause severe side effects, and adjuvant intrathecal methotrexate and hydrocortisone may be just as effective as cranial irradiation, without severe late effects, such as developmental disability, dementia, and increased risk for second malignancy.

Dose-Dense Chemotherapy

Dose-dense chemotherapy (DDC) has recently emerged as an effective method of adjuvant chemotherapy administration. DDC uses the Gompertz curve to explain tumor cell growth after initial surgery removes most of the tumor mass. Cancer cells that are left over after a surgery are typically rapidly dividing cells, leaving them the most vulnerable to chemotherapy. Standard chemotherapy regimens are usually administered every 3 weeks to allow normal cells time to recover. This practice has led scientists to the hypothesis that the recurrence of cancer after surgery and chemo may be due to the rapidly diving cells outpacing the rate of chemotherapy administration. DDC tries to circumvent this issue by giving chemotherapy every 2 weeks. To lessen the side effects of chemotherapy that can be exacerbated with more closely administered chemotherapy treatments, growth factors are typically given in conjunction with DDC to restore white blood cell counts. [13] A recent 2018 meta-analysis of DDC clinical trials in early stage breast cancer patients indicated promising results in premenopausal women, but DDC has yet to become the standard of treatment in clinics. [14]

Specific cancers

Malignant melanoma

The role of adjuvant therapy in malignant melanoma is and has been hotly debated by oncologists. In 1995 a multicenter study reported improved long-term and disease-free survival in melanoma patients using interferon alpha 2b as an adjuvant therapy. Thus, later that year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved interferon alpha 2b for melanoma patients who are currently free of disease, to reduce the risk of recurrence. Since then, however, some doctors[ who? ] have argued that interferon treatment does not prolong survival or decrease the rate of relapse, but only causes harmful side effects. Those claims have not been validated by scientific research.

Adjuvant chemotherapy has been used in malignant melanoma, but there is little hard evidence to use chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting. However, melanoma is not a chemotherapy-resistant malignancy. Dacarbazine, temozolomide, and cisplatin all have a reproducible 10–20% response rate in metastatic melanoma.[ citation needed ]; however, these responses are often short-lived and almost never complete. Multiple studies have shown that adjuvant radiotherapy improves local recurrence rates in high-risk melanoma patients. The studies include at least two M.D. Anderson cancer center studies. However, none of the studies showed that adjuvant radiotherapy had a statistically significant survival benefit.

A number of studies are currently underway to determine whether immunomodulatory agents which have proven effective in the metastatic setting are of benefit as adjuvant therapy for patients with resected stage 3 or 4 disease.

Colorectal cancer

Adjuvant chemotherapy is effective in preventing the outgrowth of micrometastatic disease from colorectal cancer that has been removed surgically. Studies have shown that fluorouracil is an effective adjuvant chemotherapy among patients with microsatellite stability or low-frequency microsatellite instability, but not in patients with high-frequency microsatellite instability. [15] [16]

Pancreatic cancer


Exocrine pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates out of all cancers. [17] Because of the poor outcomes associated with surgery alone, the role of adjuvant therapy has been extensively evaluated. A series of studies has established that 6 months of chemotherapy with either gemcitabine or fluorouracil, as compared with observation, improves overall survival. Newer trials incorporating immune checkpoint inhibitors such as the inhibitors to programmed death 1 (PD-1) and the PD-1 ligand PD-L1 are under way. [18]

Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

In 2015, a comprehensive meta-analysis of 47 trials and 11,107 patients revealed that NSCLC patients benefit from adjuvant therapy in the form of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. The results found that patients given chemotherapy after the initial surgery lived 4% longer than those who did not receive chemotherapy. The toxicity resulting from adjuvant chemotherapy was believed to be manageable. [19]

Bladder cancer

Neoadjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy has been demonstrated to improve overall survival in advanced bladder cancer, but there exists some controversy in the administration. [20] Unpredictable patient response remains the drawback of neoadjuvant therapy. While it may shrink tumors in some patients, others may not respond to the treatment at all. It has been demonstrated that a delay in surgery of greater than 12 weeks from the time of diagnosis can decrease overall survival. Thus, the timing for neoadjuvants becomes critical, as a course of neoadjuvant therapy could delay a cystectomy and allow the tumor to grow and further metastasize. [21]

Breast cancer

It has been known for at least 30 years that adjuvant chemotherapy increases the relapse-free survival rate for patients with breast cancer [22] In 2001 after a national consensus conference, a US National Institute of Health panel concluded: “Because adjuvant polychemotherapy improves survival, it should be recommended to the majority of women with localized breast cancer regardless of lymph node, menopausal, or hormone receptor status.” [2]

Agents used include:

However, ethical concerns have been raised about the magnitude of benefit of this therapy since it involves further treatment of patients without knowing the possibility of relapse. Dr. Bernard Fisher, among the first to conduct a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of adjuvant therapy on patients with breast cancer, described it as an "value judgement" in which the potential benefits must be evaluated against the toxicity and cost of treatment and other potential side effects. [23]

Combination adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer

Giving two or more chemotheraputic agents at once may decrease the chances of recurrence of the cancer, and increase overall survival in patients with breast cancer. Commonly used combination chemotherapy regimines used include:

  • Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide
  • Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel
  • Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil
  • Cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil.
  • Docetaxel and cyclophosphamide.
  • Docetaxel,[doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide
  • Cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and fluorouracil. [24]

Ovarian Cancer

Roughly 15% of ovarian cancers are detected at the early stage, at which the 5-year survival rate is 92%. [25] A Norwegian meta-analysis of 22 randomized studies involving early-stage ovarian cancer revealed the likelihood that 8 out of 10 women treated with cisplatin after the initial surgery were overtreated. [26] Patients diagnosed at an early stage who were treated with cisplatin immediately after surgery fared worse than patients who were left untreated. An additional surgical focus for young women with early-stage cancers is on the conservation of the contralateral ovary for the preservation of fertility.

Most cases of ovarian cancers are detected at the advanced stages, when the survival is greatly reduced. [25]

Cervical cancer

In early stage cervical cancers, research suggests that adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy after chemo-radiation may improve survival. For advanced cervical cancers, further research is needed to determine the efficacy, toxicity and effect on the quality of life of adjuvant chemotherapy. [27]

Endometrial cancer

Since most early-stage endometrial cancer cases are diagnosed early and are typically very curable with surgery, adjuvant therapy is only given after surveillance and histological factors determine that a patient is at high risk for recurrence. Adjuvant pelvic radiation therapy has received scrutiny for its use in women under 60, as studies have indicated decreased survival and increased risk of second malignancies following treatment. [28]

In advanced-stage endometrial cancer, adjuvant therapy is typically radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two. While advanced-stage cancer makes up only about 15% of diagnoses, it accounts for 50% of deaths from endometrial cancer. Patients who undergo radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment will sometimes experience modest benefits before relapse. [28] [29]

Testicular cancer

Stage I

For seminoma, the three standard options are: active surveillance, adjuvant radiotherapy, or adjuvant chemotherapy. For non-seminoma, the options include: active surveillance, adjuvant chemotherapy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. [30]

As is the case for all reproductive cancers, a degree of caution is taken when deciding to use adjuvant therapy to treat early stage testicular cancer. Though the 5-year survival rates for stage I testicular cancers is approximately 99%, there still exists controversy over whether to overtreat stage I patients to prevent relapse or to wait until patients experience relapse. [31] Patients treated with standard chemotherapy regimens can experience "second malignant neoplasms, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, pulmonary toxicity, hypogonadism, decreased fertility, and psychosocial problems." [32] As such to minimize overtreatment and avoid potential long-term toxicity caused by adjuvant therapy, most patients today are treated with active surveillance. [33] [30]

Side effects of adjuvant cancer therapy

Depending on what form of treatment is used, adjuvant therapy can have side effects, like all therapy for neoplasms. Chemotherapy frequently causes vomiting, nausea, alopecia, mucositis, myelosuppression particularly neutropenia, sometimes resulting in septicaemia. Some chemotheraputic agents can cause acute myeloid leukaemia, in particular the alkylating agents. Rarely, this risk may outweigh the risk of recurrence of the primary tumor. Depending on the agents used, side effects such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, leukoencephalopathy, bladder damage, constipation or diarrhea, hemorrhage, or post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment.[ citation needed ] Radiotherapy causes radiation dermatitis and fatigue, and, depending on the area being irradiated, may have other side effects. For instance, radiotherapy to the brain can cause memory loss, headache, alopecia, and radiation necrosis of the brain. If the abdomen or spine is irradiated, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dysphagia can occur. If the pelvis is irradiated, prostatitis, proctitis, dysuria, metritis, diarrhea, and abdominal pain can occur. Adjuvant hormonal therapy for prostate cancer may cause cardiovascular disease, and other, possibly severe, side effects.

See also

Related Research Articles

Lung cancer cancer in the lung

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

Radiation therapy therapy using ionizing radiation

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy, often abbreviated RT, RTx, or XRT, is therapy using ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells and normally delivered by a linear accelerator. Radiation therapy may be curative in a number of types of cancer if they are localized to one area of the body. It may also be used as part of adjuvant therapy, to prevent tumor recurrence after surgery to remove a primary malignant tumor. Radiation therapy is synergistic with chemotherapy, and has been used before, during, and after chemotherapy in susceptible cancers. The subspecialty of oncology concerned with radiotherapy is called radiation oncology.

Sarcoma cell type cancer that has material basis in abnormally proliferating cells derived from embryonic mesoderm

A sarcoma is a cancer that arises from transformed cells of mesenchymal origin. Thus, malignant tumors made of cancellous bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, vascular, or hematopoietic tissues are, by definition, considered sarcomas. This is in contrast to a malignant tumor originating from epithelial cells, which are termed carcinoma. Human sarcomas are quite rare. Common malignancies, such as breast, colon, and lung cancer, are almost always carcinoma. The term is from the Greek σάρξ sarx meaning "flesh".

Testicular cancer male reproductive system cancer that is located in the testicles

Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system. Symptoms may include a lump in the testicle, or swelling or pain in the scrotum. Treatment may result in infertility.

Squamous cell skin cancer skin carcinoma that has material basis in squamous cells

Squamous-cell skin cancer, also known as cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma (cSCC), is one of the main types of skin cancer along with basal cell cancer, and melanoma. It usually presents as a hard lump with a scaly top but can also form an ulcer. Onset is often over months. Squamous-cell skin cancer is more likely to spread to distant areas than basal cell cancer.

Pagets disease of the breast type of cancer that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema, with skin changes involving the nipple of the breast.

Paget's disease of the breast is a type of cancer that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema, with skin changes involving the nipple of the breast. The condition is an uncommon disease accounting for 1 to 4.3% of all breast cancers and was first described by Sir James Paget in 1874. The condition in itself often appears innocuous, limited to a surface appearance and it is sometimes dismissed, although actually indicative of underlying breast cancer.

Small-cell carcinoma type of carcinoma that commonly arises within lung and sometime other body sites

Small-cell carcinoma is a type of highly malignant cancer that most commonly arises within the lung, although it can occasionally arise in other body sites, such as the cervix, prostate, and gastrointestinal tract. Compared to non-small cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma has a shorter doubling time, higher growth fraction, and earlier development of metastases.

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor Human disease

A malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) is a form of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding nerves. Given its origin and behavior it is classified as a sarcoma. About half the cases are diagnosed in people with neurofibromatosis; the lifetime risk for an MPNST in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 is 8–13%. MPNST with rhabdomyoblastomatous component are called malignant triton tumors.

MammaPrint is a prognostic and predictive diagnostic test for early stage breast cancer patients that assess the risk that a tumor will metastasize to other parts of the body. It gives a binary result, high-risk or low-risk classification, and helps physicians determine whether or not a patient will benefit from chemotherapy. Women with a low risk result can safely forego chemotherapy without decreasing likelihood of disease free survival. MammaPrint is part of the personalized medicine portfolio marketed by Agendia.

Cyclophosphamide Methotrexate Fluorouracil (CMF) is a commonly used regimen of breast cancer chemotherapy that combines three anti-cancer agents: cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU).

Breast cancer chemotherapy

Breast cancer chemotherapy refers to the use of cytotoxic drugs (chemotherapy) in the treatment of breast cancer.

Neoadjuvant therapy is the administration of therapeutic agents before a main treatment. One example is neoadjuvant hormone therapy prior to radical radiotherapy for adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Neoadjuvant therapy aims to reduce the size or extent of the cancer before using radical treatment intervention, thus both making procedures easier and more likely to succeed and reducing the consequences of a more extensive treatment technique, which would be required if the tumor were not reduced in size or extent.

A micrometastasis is a small collection of cancer cells that has been shed from the original tumor and spread to another part of the body through the lymphovascular system. Micrometastases are too few, in size and quantity, to be picked up in a screening or diagnostic test, and therefore cannot be seen with imaging tests such as a mammogram, MRI, ultrasound, PET, or CT scans. These migrant cancer cells may group together to form a second tumor, which is so small that it can only be seen under a microscope. Approximately ninety percent of people who die from cancer die from metastatic disease, since these cells are so challenging to detect. It is important for these cancer cells to be treated immediately after discovery, in order to prevent the relapse and the likely death of the patient.

Breast cancer management takes different approaches depending on physical and biological characteristics of the disease, as well as the age, over-all health and personal preferences of the patient. Treatment types can be classified into local therapy and systemic treatment. Local therapy is most efficacious in early stage breast cancer, while systemic therapy is generally justified in advanced and metastatic disease, or in diseases with specific phenotypes.

Esthesioneuroblastoma rare cancer of the nasal cavity

Esthesioneuroblastoma, also called "olfactory neuroblastoma", is a rare cancer of the nasal cavity. Arising from the upper nasal tract, esthesioneuroblastoma is believed to originate from sensory neuroepithelial cells, also known as neuroectodermal olfactory cells.

Uterine serous carcinoma

Uterine serous carcinoma (USC), also known as uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC) and uterine serous adenocarcinoma, is an uncommon form of endometrial cancer that typically arises in postmenopausal women.

Carmofur chemical compound

Carmofur (INN) or HCFU (1-hexylcarbamoyl-5-fluorouracil) is a pyrimidine analogue used as an antineoplastic agent. It is a derivative of fluorouracil, being a lypophilic-masked analog of 5-FU that can be administered orally.

Metastatic breast cancer

Metastatic breast cancer, also referred to as metastases, advanced breast cancer, secondary tumours, secondaries or stage 4 breast cancer, is a stage of breast cancer where the disease has spread to distant sites beyond the axillary lymph nodes. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer. There is no stage after IV.

Cancer can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and synthetic lethality. The choice of therapy depends upon the location and grade of the tumor and the stage of the disease, as well as the general state of the patient. A number of experimental cancer treatments are also under development. Under current estimates, two in five people will have cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Treatment of lung cancer refers to the use of medical therapies, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, percutaneous ablation, and palliative care, alone or in combination, in an attempt to cure or lessen the adverse impact of malignant neoplasms originating in lung tissue.


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