More information from the TAILORx  study (chemo or no chemo) based on the Oncotype DX gene assay of your tumor (which results in a score that supposedly tells you whether chemo will be effective in your case).

So this study is for lymph node negative folks. I.e. they had breast cancer but to invasive spread beyond the breast and got a “midrange” score of 11-24 on the Oncotype DX. It turns out folks who did just endocrine (no chemo) therapy had “non-inferior” results to folks who did chemo + endocrine therapy. The authors note “some benefit” for women under 50 in midrange.

Huh. This is interesting to me despite the fact that I had one micrometastasis in a lymph node which put me in RxPonder trial instead of this one. I have to wait until 2022 for the results of my trial, but I can make inferences from TAILORx that there will probably only be “some benefit ” for people like me for doing chemo: under 50, 1-3 positive lymph nodes, Oncotype DX score of 16.

I would like to quote some of the results from TAILORx to put “benefit” into perspective:

“At 9 years, the two treatment groups had similar rates of invasive disease–free survival (83.3% in the endocrine-therapy group and 84.3% in the chemoendocrine-therapy group), freedom from disease recurrence at a distant site (94.5% and 95.0%) or at a distant or local–regional site (92.2% and 92.9%), and overall survival (93.9% and 93.8%)”

So we’re talking about….1%. That’s the difference. I’m hoping “some benefit” is more than like 1-2% because I REALLY wish someone had sat down and talked to me about the reality of being at 1% risk for disease recurrence vs the issues that chemotherapy bring long-term.

Like chemo-brain, osteoporosis, cardiac issues, joint issues, premature menopause, secondary cancer, etc.

For a 1-2% benefit. So…..I would highly recommend early stage breast cancer folks to get some kind of tumor gene assay/test. And I would urge those folks to prod and ask and basically make your oncologist really explain the percentage of benefit vs the actual percentage of risk for all those long-term side effects based on your age.

I’m pretty sure I would have made a different decision if I could do it all again armed with the information I know now.