effectiveness against breast cancer in question
Jacob Schor, ND
October 11, 2007
My first thought was that the Rocky Mountain News had made a typo.
This morning's Top Story headline read:
"Cancer drug comes under question: Research indicates
that the drug Taxol does not work on the most common form of breast
cancer, potentially sparing patients from side effects without a significant
increase in risk"
Having just prepared yesterday's newsletter on the anthracycline doxorubicin
and its ineffectiveness against most breast cancers, my first thought
is that somehow they had confused the drugs down at the Rocky. They
mean doxorubicin, not Taxol.
But, no, today's story by Marilynn Marchione, another Associated Press
writer, is about Taxol.
The bottom line is almost the same as yesterday's story. Taxol
only appears to be of benefit to women who are Her-2 positive. For the
majority of women with breast cancer who are Her-2 negative and especially
those who are estrogen receptor positive, Taxol does not provide benefit.
Link to AP story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071010/ap_on_he_me/breast_cancer_chemo
At this point, you should be confused.
In the course of a week the two primary chemotherapy agents that have
been standard of care for treating breast cancer have been reported
to be useless for cancers other than the small percentage that are Her-2
Are we missing something here? Not to be paranoid, but I can't help
but be reminded of the stories that John Abramson relates in his book
Overdosed America. I wrote about Dr. Abramson who trains family
practice doctors at Harvard in a newsletter last summer. Abramson
has called the bluff on the government's lipid guidelines that encourage
the wide spread prescription of statin drugs. He tells a story
of drug companies unduly influencing research to sell more drugs.
Let's not go there though in regard to cancer drugs yet. It's
a beautiful day and I don't want to sully it thinking that a hundred
thousand women have endured a chemo treatment that did them no good
because of unbalanced research. At this point, let's assume that
there is new data. This new data will help oncologists tailor
chemotherapy so that it will more likely benefit the women who undergo
Expect to hear more details about both these stories in the near future.
We still have copies of John Abramson's book for sale at the office.
Link to newsletter about the book: http://denvernaturopathic.com/OverdosedAmerica.htm