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Health

Discovery Could Lead to Better Treatment for Cancer Patients

UCLA researchers have found a way to determine whether cancer drugs are working for sarcoma patients after a single dose of chemotherapy. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Researchers monitored 50 patients undergoing treatment to shrink their cancerous tumors. Doctors checked on their progress using a device that performs both PET and CAT scans.

Doctors found out within a week of the initial treatment that therapy wasn't effective for more than half of the patients.

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UCLA cancer surgeon Fritz Eilber says it's an important finding.

"What it means," says Dr. Eilber, "Is we can stop giving somebody treatment that's not working and making them sick, or switch them to a different treatment or take them directly to surgery."

Eilber says the discovery should help improve care for cancer patients. He believes it will lead to more personalized treatment.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.