How Clinical Trials Help Breast Cancer Patients

How Do Clinical Trials Help Breast Cancer Patients?

Clinical Trials Help Breast Cancer PatientsBreast cancer research has made a lot of advancements in the last few years. By understanding more about our breasts, we have found that each person’s breast cancer case is different from the next. According to Scottsdale Healthcare’s Dr. Jasgit Sachdev, breast cancer research and clinical trials help breast cancer patients.

The Medical Oncologist and Clinical Trial investigator shares the exciting thing is, there are so many drugs, clinical trials and research going on in breast cancer that this is the time to be hopeful and optimistic about improved outcomes for patients in the near future.

Find out how breast cancer research and clinical trials help breast cancer patients in the video below.


Jasgit Sachdev:  Breast cancer research is made a lot of headway in the last few years.  There is so much more we understand about the biology of breast then ever before, but what’s overwhelming is that it’s seems like breast cancer is not one disease like we used to think it was.  About 10 years ago, we found out that breast cancer could be one of five different subsets.  In the last 10 years, we now know that within those subsets are other subsets, so that breast cancer is probably a collection of the rare diseases now.  Each person’s cancer is going to be different from the person next to them and that makes treatment very complex, but it also brings home the message of personalized cancer treatment where we are moving away from the fact or the thought that cancer or treatment for cancer has to be organ specific. 

We are thinking more about biologic subsets within cancers that can originate from different organs and breast cancer is not any different.  We are looking at targets.  We are looking at genes, proteins, what’s up, what’s down, what’s driving this cancer, what’s making it resistant to chemotherapy, what other things can be do to stop the growth of this cancer, what can we do that will minimize side effects, what are the treatments can we bring in that will already improve the great benefits we have seen from chemotherapies and other treatments for breast cancer so far.  Some of the very exciting areas or looking at ways to reduce proliferation or how quickly the cancer cells divide and spread. 

We are also looking at ways that can modify the DNA of the cancer cell itself.  One of the exciting areas in breast cancer is immunotherapy and we are all anticipating results from some of the immunotherapy trial soon.  In the general message again is if you were happy with what we have already achieved, clinical research would come to a standstill, we are not because we know we still loose a lot of women to breast cancer every year, so I encourage all the patients to talk to their doctors, to talk their patient navigators, find out what new treatments options are available, and get access to those clinical trials early. 

They don’t have to be the last treatment you get on.  You are probably going to get much more benefit when your cancer is still at an earlier stage when it hasn’t become as complex and evolved into a very resistant tumor, if you can get access to these new drugs and get benefit from those.  Survival for breast cancer is improving, but we still have a lot of work to do.  There is a long way to go still.  The exciting thing is that there are so many drugs and trials and that so much research going on in breast cancer that this is a reason and a time to be hopeful and optimistic about improved outcomes for patients with breast cancer in the near future.