New diagnostics, targeted meds let some skip chemo

05/16/2013 | Reuters

Genetic tests, precision medicine and the results from long-term clinical studies are changing the way cancer is treated and allowing more patients to forgo chemotherapy. Doctors are becoming more comfortable with a watchful waiting approach for some patients after long-term studies showed some types of cancer are not not likely to recur, and genetic testing helps doctors determine which patients will benefit from targeted treatments with fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy drugs. "We are right-sizing treatment," said Dr. James Mohler, urology department chairman at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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