Personalized medicine helps reduce cancer overtreatment

Chemotherapy use for early stage breast cancer declined from 2013 to 2015, possibly due to a preference for less toxic treatments, according to researchers at Stanford and the University of Michigan. The findings reflect a growing acknowledgement by oncologists and patients that for some women, the harms of chemotherapy may outweigh its potential benefits. The study also revealed that physicians are more likely to turn to tumor genomic testing when a patient expresses a treatment preference that doesn’t match her physician’s recommendations. “For patients with early stage breast cancer, we’ve seen a significant decline in chemotherapy use over the last few years without a real change in evidence,” said Allison Kurian, MD, associate professor of medicine and of health research and policy at Stanford. “This likely reflects a change in the culture of how physicians are practicing, and a move toward using tumor biology to guide treatment choices rather than solely relying on clinical measures.”

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/12/use-of-chemotherapy-for-early-stage-breast-cancer-declines.html