The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis

By Devra Davis

From the nationwide publication Award finalist, writer of When Smoke Ran Like Water, a searing, haunting and deeply own account of the battle on melanoma

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Cooper reported that his stage II patients with greater than three positive nodes received no benefit from adjuvant CMFVP if it was delayed more than 4 weeks postmastectomy. Those patients who started adjuvant therapy immediately following surgery enjoyed significantly prolonged relapse-free survival. 5 LESSONS FROM BASIC SCIENCE Drs. Howard E. Skipper and Frank M. Shabel, Jr. did pioneering basic science work at the University of Alabama in which they used a mouse model of solid metastatic tumors to study adjuvant chemotherapy.

Buzdar at an international meeting on the subject of the adjuvant treatment of operable breast cancer, Dr. Blumenschein was taken to task for MDA’s clinical trials utilizing Adriamycin. The meeting was being held in London and had a large European audience. Blumenschein thought he was going to present a 10-year update that Dr. Buzdar had recently completed on his 1973, 222-patient FAC trial. The control population consisted of 186 patients treated at MDA who were node-positive and were selected retrospectively from those treated prior to 1973.

Most patients died within 2 years. Surgeons refused to do mastectomies because skin metastases would begin to appear on the chest wall even before wound healing was complete. The remaining therapeutic option was radiation therapy, which did a superb job in containing tumor growth in the breast but was ineffective against systemic disease. Fortunately, the occurrence of IBC was rare, showing up in only about 3À6% of newly diagnosed patients. 32 Quest for the Cure The majority of IBC cells are ER2 , are very homogenous in their behavior, and usually express their uniformity early.

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