New treatments for Stage IV?


Question from Cynthia: Are there any new treatments or any new drugs being researched for Stage IV?
Answers - Eric Winer, M.D. There are many new drugs and treatments that are being looked at for women who have Stage IV breast cancer. There are new hormonal therapies, new chemotherapeutic agents, new vaccines, new small molecules. In general, the approach has been to try to find treatments that affect the cancer and prevent it from growing without having such severe side effects as some of our older treatments. I think we all wish that we were far further ahead than we are now, but there are dozens of new treatments being looked at in cancer centers, at other hospitals across the country, and around the world. Clearly, the collaborations and partnerships that exist around the world are incredibly important these days.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. In fact, many of these new therapies are first introduced in clinical trials for women with Stage IV disease.
Musa Mayer I would strongly encourage women who have metastatic breast cancer to ask about entering a clinical trial for one of these promising new drugs. There are resources online that can help you find out more. One good place to start is at www.clinicaltrials.gov, a U.S. government listing site, or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
Eric Winer, M.D. Clinical trials are not for everyone, but for many people, they represent a very important option, a way of receiving treatments that are otherwise not available. Sometimes those treatments are effective, and sometimes they're not, but participation in a clinical trial almost always means that a woman is getting state-of-the-art care and at the same time, she is helping to identify new and better approaches for women with breast cancer in the future.

On Wednesday, September 17, 2003, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Metastatic Breast Cancer. Musa Mayer, Eric P. Winer, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about treatment and quality of life issues related to advanced (metastatic) breast cancer.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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