The goal of any cancer patient and their health care providers is to cure whatever kind of cancer is present and restore good health. A new shift in how doctors look at some of the more difficult to treat cancers is becoming more common. A study at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Florida is looking at "adaptive therapy" as a way to keep certain breast cancers in check so that patients can live with the disease when a complete eradication isn't possible.
Math is involved in figuring out exact dosages of chemotherapy and coordinating that with the growth or shrinkage of tumors. Once doctors know when the treatment is at peak effectiveness, the amount of chemo drugs is reduced, which is the opposite of what most would think is the best strategy. By keeping tumors in a static state, the risk of them becoming drug resistant is less and patients suffer less debilitating side effect. Researchers acknowledge that this model of treatment might be difficult for patient as well as doctors to accept, but early results show that it has promise.