Breast Cancer Breakthrough Means Less Chemo

Print icon

Women with early stage breast cancer can avoid chemotherapy treatment in many cases, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Peter Yu, MD, Physician-in-Chief of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, said the findings of the clinical trial, which included Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute patients because of the organization’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, were long-awaited. Dr. Yu confirmed that fewer women will need chemotherapy after surgery and radiation.

“It is a big deal for patients,” Hartford HealthCare Central Region Breast Program Surgical Director Camelia Lawrence said in an interview with WFSB Channel 3 news. “We often get patients who come in and who would prefer to not get chemotherapy.”

The clinical trial of 6,700 patients provided half of them with hormone therapy and half of them with hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Approximately 83 percent of patients with just hormone therapy did not have a recurrence of cancer, compared to 84 percent in the other group, which is statistically insignificant.

Dr. Lawrence said these statistics give oncologists confidence in offering patients options that don’t include chemotherapy.

To learn more about your cancer options, connect with our nurse navigators at


What's New

Applying Precision Medicine to Treat Your Cancer

As many as 38 out of every 100 women will get cancer in her lifetime – yet there is tremendous hope in the world of cancer research and treatment. Dr. Michael Kane is an expert on treating women’s cancers with the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute.  Q: As the charter member...

HPV Vaccine

New HPV Vaccine Offers Some Protection Against Several Cancers

Like many things in science and medicine, the vaccine for the human papilloma virus has evolved. First it was recommended for females age 12 to 26 who had not been sexually active, later for males in the same age group who had not had sex. Recently, however, research prompted the...

This Simple Saliva Test Assesses Breast Cancer Risk

By Meghan Burgess Breast cancer has a particularly high prevalence in Connecticut, but a new program is helping women and men identify their risk of developing the disease – and other cancers – through a simple questionnaire and saliva test. The Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program, offered through Hartford HealthCare...

Upcoming Classes and Events in October and November

For a complete list of upcoming classes and events, please visit our Hartford HealthCare Classes and Events page. Upcoming Events Conditions Affecting the Hand Oct. 17 at 6:30pm in Simsbury To register, call 1.855.HHC.HERE or register online Lunch & Learn: Adjusting to Change as a Senior Oct. 18 at 12 noon in Southington To...

Dr. Camelia Lawrence

A ‘Bit of Anxiety’ Over This Physician’s First Mammogram, at 40

Dr. Camelia Lawrence took the proverb “physician, heal thyself” quite seriously when she donned a johnny recently and stepped up to a machine in The Hospital of Central Connecticut radiology suite in Plainville recently for her first screening mammogram. She just turned 40 and, as director of breast surgery for...

“Hidden Scar” Surgery: Making a Difference for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast surgeons at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital are performing a revolutionary procedure that allows them to do specific types of breast cancer surgery without leaving visible marks. Dr. Heather King is a breast surgeon with the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute to describe how this technique is...