NewsLocal News


Billings oncologist says new breast cancer study ‘offering promise’

Posted at 5:58 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:21-04

BILLINGS- There is a new glimmer of hope for some women battling an aggressive form of breast cancer.

A newly published study found there is a new way to combined chemotherapy and medication from a patient’s own body to help fight off an aggressive form of breast cancer.

A Billings oncologist with the Billings Clinic joined Q2 News’ Victoria Hill on Montana This Morning on Monday to talk about the new research.

“There have been a lot of developments over the years, and one of the most important has been immune-therapy,” said Dr. Cesar Ochoa.

The new study is offering promise, and Ochoa said they’ve seen promise with it.

Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive and hard-to-treat form of breast cancer that targets women under 50 and those who are African American or Hispanic.

According to CNN, the new study was published Saturday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found a combination of chemotherapy and antibody medications introduced through the patient’s own system can help to attack cancer cells, in some cases extend the life of a patient by almost a year.

When breast cancer cells test negative for estrogen, progesterone, or human epidermal growth factor- 2 it’s called a triple-negative breast cancer.

Ochoa said the new treatment combines immunotherapy and traditional chemotherapy.

“It’s a concept that differs from chemotherapy in the sense that we use drugs that stimulate your own immune system to attack cancer,” he said.

The study, which came to light over the weekend, used a combination of immunotherapy with standard chemotherapy in women with triple negative breast cancer.

“Those people had a better response to treatment, had a slowing down of the profession of the tumor and had a lower risk from dying from the disease,” said Ochoa. “So this together is a great opportunity and a great option for women.”

The timing of the news is coupled with Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is October.

All this week on Montana This Morning, Q2News will be airing stories about the latest advancements in breast cancer research along the things patients need to know to protect themselves.

This is all leading up to the Q2 annual Pink Breakfast celebrating cancer survivors and caretakers – which is Friday, Oct. 26 from 6-7 a.m. on Montana this Morning.