More isn’t always more, research into the treatment of different types of cancer suggests.

While it may sound counterintuitive, medical practitioners have been considering the notion that doing less might benefit cancer patients more, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This shift in thinking was evident at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference held in Chicago from June 2 to June 6.

Papers presented over the course of the weekend ranged from the benefits of less radiation in treating rectal cancer or Hodgkin lymphoma to performing fewer invasive surgeries on those with cervical or pancreatic cancer.

Making the argument for less radiation, one paper laid out the results of following two different protocols in a trial of 1,200 patients with rectal cancer.

One group received a protocol with standard chemotherapy and radiation prior to surgery, while the other got more aggressive chemotherapy but no radiation.

Patients from the group receiving no radiation were given radiation if their tumors did not respond to chemotherapy by shrinking at least 20%.

Only 10% of this group required radiation, suggesting that some rectal cancer patients could safely skip radiation and the undesirable consequences of infertility, pelvic fractures, and more.

A report from the American Cancer Society in April showed that colorectal cancer rates are actually increasing among younger Americans, as The Dallas Express reported.

Being overweight and consuming processed meats could be contributing to this surge in numbers, which has become the third most common form of cancer in the U.S. behind breast and lung cancer. Obesity — the rates of which in Dallas-Fort Worth are some of the worst in the country — increases the risk of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death nationwide.

Another paper at the Chicago conference asserted that the results seen in early-stage pancreatic cancer patients who had their tumors removed through a robot-assisted surgery with few incisions and those who had them removed through open surgery were the same.

This suggests noninvasive surgeries could be as effective as invasive ones.

“It’s time to look at less toxic approaches,” said Dr. Julie Gralow, executive vice president and chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, according to the WSJ.

Being able to offer cancer patients a treatment more tailored to their needs goes hand-in-hand with more research and trials being done to develop new therapies.

This includes developing personalized cancer vaccines, as covered by The Dallas Express, which recently yielded promising results among pancreatic cancer patients in a Phase 1 trial run by Dr. Vinod Balachandran of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“Companies need to show the best balance between efficacy and safety,” said Dr. Tara Frenkl, according to the WSJ. “That’s a relatively new concept for oncology.” Frenkl heads the oncology department and is the senior vice president at Bayer, a pharmaceutical giant.

The National Cancer Institute reported that the annual rate of new cancer cases is 442.4 per 100,000 people in the U.S.

As The Dallas Express reported, cancer has steadily remained the second leading cause of death in Dallas County, with a mortality rate of 143 deaths per 100,000 people.