The Comparison of Operative Monitoring and Endocrine Therapy for low-risk DCIS (COMET) study is a clinical trial that looks at different treatment choices for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. DCIS is a non-invasive, pre-cancerous breast condition where cells that do not appear to be normal are found in the milk ducts. The risk of DCIS developing into breast cancer can range from ten to thirty percent, and this trial was designed to learn more about the best treatment methods for low-risk patients.
For many years, all DCIS cases were treated the same – with surgery and in some cases radiation and hormonal therapy. Recently, researchers have questioned whether women with low-risk DCIS would do just as well being actively monitored by a physician, reducing the need for surgery. The study will compare the outcomes of DCIS patients that receive immediate surgery and those that are actively monitored by a physician without surgery. Each participant will receive a mammogram every six months, and if any changes are found, their case will be re-evaluated and treated based on the new evaluation. Participating patients can talk to their physician about changing their treatment at any time.
The treatment methods each participant receives will be randomly selected, although patients can change the treatment that was chosen for them and still be monitored for the study.
The COMET trial has the potential to change the way low-risk DCIS patients are treated, reducing the fear and anxiety related to surgery and treatment. If you have been diagnosed with DCIS, you can discuss your eligibility for this clinical trial with your Cone Health physician. Cone Health is committed to making patients wholly better and has a multidisciplinary team at the Cone Health Cancer Center dedicated to helping patients through treatment.
Dr. Vinay Gudena is a medical oncologist at the Cone Health Cancer Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. His residency training was in Canton Ohio where he also served as the chief resident of the program. He completed training in medical oncology at Medical University of South Carolina. Prior to that, he trained at the University of Texas, Houston where he received a degree of Masters in Public Health.
He primarily treats breast cancers and is also the director of cancer research for the entire Cone health system. He is a member of many committees including pharmacy and therapeutics committee, pain management committee etc. Recently he was awarded the special distinction of being selected to the American Society of clinical oncology leadership development Academy. This is a national recognition for young leaders in oncology to help guide the future of oncology here in America and the world.
He is also on the board of North Carolina Oncology Association, a group that advocates for cancer patients and cancer providers in North Carolina.