Your Health: Jun. 17, 2002

THE AWFUL WAIT One of the worst things about breast cancer treatment is the awful wait after a patient starts chemotherapy and before she finds out if it's working. That may change. Italian researchers have tracked the rate at which a radioactive tracer "washes out" of patients' tumors and found that those with low wash-out rates respond better to chemo. With the data, doctors can switch treatments early or use drugs to boost the body's ability to respond.

ALSO WAITING... Similarly, it can take weeks before patients suffering from depression respond to medication--and even then, first drugs fail up to 40%...

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