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Breast Cancer Drug Research on Fast Track

from the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Registration Required)

Breast cancer researchers say they could cut years off the time required to test new drugs for treating certain kinds of tumors under a study about to begin at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic.

The study, being launched at 17 centers nationwide, is among the first of its kind, researchers from a national consortium said Wednesday. Known as I-SPY2, the study is designed to compare several experimental drugs at once and tailor them to the breast cancer patients who are most likely to benefit.

Thanks to technological advances, researchers say, they will quickly identify which drugs are effective for different groups of patients, based on the genetic or molecular makeup of their tumors. At the same time, drugs that show no benefit can be quickly dropped, without wasting years and millions of dollars on further study.

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