For tumors with zero to three affected lymph nodes, regardless of hormone receptor status, four cycles of chemotherapy are as effective as six, according to results from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B 40101 trial of 3,173 patients. Relapse-free survival at 4.6 years for those with four rounds was 91.8 percent. For those with six rounds, it was 91.6 percent. For just two-tenths of a percentage point improvement, women might endure four more weeks of chemo and all its side effects. Those studied were either treated with Adriamycin and Cytoxan or paclitaxel. Results so far cover only the duration of treatment, not the effectiveness of specific regimens. Researchers say six rounds might eventually pay off in the longer run. Internal Medicine News has the story.

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