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Breast cancer genetic testing gets covered by health care reform

Breast cancer genetic testing gets covered by health care reform | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Today (March 6), Myriad Genetics, the company that makes the test for the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, said that the U.S. government considers these tests to be preventive services. This means that private insurance plans are required to cover the cost of the tests, including co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance, provided that the plans do not have a "grandfathered" status."

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Long-Awaited ALTTO Results Prove Disappointing: Two Anti-HER... : Oncology Times

Long-Awaited ALTTO Results Prove Disappointing: Two Anti-HER... : Oncology Times | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"CHICAGO—Drs. Edith A. Perez and Martine Piccart-Gebhart shared the unenviable task of reporting final, negative results from the randomized, Phase III ALTTO trial, in presentations here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (Abstract LBA4).

The long-awaited results showed that adding lapatinib to adjuvant trastuzumab, either concurrently or sequentially, does not increase disease-free survival compared with use of trastuzumab alone in women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

At 4.5 years, the disease-free survival rate was 86 percent for the group receiving trastuzumab alone, 88 percent for those receiving concurrent treatment of the two drugs, and 87 percent for patients in the sequential-treatment arm.

Beyond the study's impact on the development of lapatinib, the report will have profound long-term implications on drug development and approval in this country, experts said. If the results had been positive, they would have validated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Accelerated Approval process, which is based on the assumption that pathological complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant treatment would translate into an improvement in long-term disease-free survival.

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Welcoming the summer solstice

Welcoming the summer solstice | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"The summer solstice is finally here, which means to most of you that summer has arrived.  But, to me, it means my son is 21-and-a-half.  He, of course, was born on the winter solstice.  It's kind of fun to have these little extra things to celebrate in life.

Even though he is 21, he still reminded me about his birthday.  It shows that tradition has value. He remembers the cupcakes and little celebrations we used to do.  Oh, those good old, cancer-free days.

I have been appointed to the CDMRP in Washington, D.C., which is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

I will be required to attend three-day meetings with scientists, four times a year, to review proposals submitted by other scientists who are applying for funding for their breast cancer research studies."

Susan Zager's insight:

Noreen Frasier is doing so many exciting things and helping so many people. What a lovely article. She is such an inspiration and so accomplished. She will be a great addition to  the CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program). For more information about Noreen and the Noreen Fraser Foundation got to: http://www.noreenfraserfoundation.org/.


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Joan Lunden Completes Second Chemotherapy Treatment

Joan Lunden Completes Second Chemotherapy Treatment | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"When Joan Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, or TNBC – a rare and aggressive form of the disease – the former Good Morning America co-host was initially "shell-shocked." But Lunden turned a corner quickly and is focusing on finding strength through the love and support of her family, fans and colleagues.

After finishing her second chemotherapy treatment on June 26, "she was expected to start losing her hair in the coming week," a close family friend tells PEOPLE. "So she took matters into her own hands and shaved her head. She wanted to do it on her own terms, and she looks stunning."

Lunden, 63, first revealed that she was battling breast cancer on June 24 during a sit-down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, where she spent 17 years as an anchor. "

Susan Zager's insight:

I think it's really great that Joan Lunden is being so open about her treatment and the details of her breast cancer being that she is triple negative. 

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Blood test for breast cancer comes step closer

Blood test for breast cancer comes step closer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
A simple blood test which could help predict a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer is in development, after new research uncovered a genetic “early marker” of risk, scientists have said.
Susan Zager's insight:

This is an interesting idea and it would be great if there was a blood test to determine breast cancer risk. It will be interesting to watch as this new research moves forward.

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New test predicts if breast cancer will spread

New test predicts if breast cancer will spread | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"A test of tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM) predicted risk of distant metastasis in estrogen receptor–positive and HER2-negative breast cancer, according to a new study. The test may help in guiding treatment decisions and in preventing overtreatment.

"Tests assessing metastatic risk can help doctors identify which patients should receive aggressive therapy and which patients should be spared," said lead and corresponding author Thomas Rohan, MD, PhD, professor and chair of Epidemiology & Population Health at Einstein and Montefiore. The study was led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)─designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, in Bronx, New York. It was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2014; doi:10.1093/jnci/dju136).

To measure the effectiveness of the test, the researchers used it on about 500 breast tumor specimens that had been collected over a 20-year period. The test proved more accurate in predicting the risk of distant tumor spread than a test closely resembling the leading breast cancer prognostic indicator on the market."

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/106/8/dju136


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Heating up breast cancer

Heating up breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --

Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure.

"There are not a lot of drugs that work, or work for a long period of time," Ridgeway told ABC30.

The mom of two was facing a typical life expectancy of just three years.

"That's a mom's horror story, knowing that you aren't going to be here," she said.

Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she's trying something new.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are offering patients hyperthermia treatment.

"Hyperthermia is heat therapy. It's actually been around since the time of the Egyptians," Jennifer Yu, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic, told ABC30.

A hot bag is placed on top of the skin. A microwave unit heats the bag and the tissue under it to about 110 degrees. The heat increases blood flow and makes tumors more sensitive to radiation.

"And it improves cell kill," Dr. Yu said.

In one study, 66 percent of cancer patients who had hyperthermia and radiation had their tumors shrink completely compared to just 42 percent who had only radiation.

Lisa hopes the treatment will give her more time.

"My choice is I want to live," she said."

Susan Zager's insight:

According to the article, there are about 10 centers around the country using hyperthermia for breast cancer. 


If you would like more information, please contact:

Tora Vinci
Media Relations Manager
Cleveland Clinic
vinciv@ccf.org

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Miiko Mentz's curator insight, June 19, 8:19 AM

Hyperthermia, a heat therapy, combined with radiation therapy has been shown to improve the effectiveness of radiation. "In one study, 66 percent of cancer patients who had hyperthermia and radiation had their tumors shrink completely compared to just 42 percent who had only radiation."

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Breast Cancer: 7 Triple-Negative Subtypes and Chemotherapy Response

Breast Cancer: 7 Triple-Negative Subtypes and Chemotherapy Response | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) could be classified into 7 subtypes:
basal-like 1 (BL1), basal-like 2 (BL2), immunomodulatory (IM), mesenchymal (M),mesenchymal stem-like (MSL), luminal androgen receptor (LAR), and unstable (UNS).

Using cluster analysis, Lehmann and Bauer et al. identified these TNBC subtypes in 21 public mRNA gene expression profiles of breast cancer. However, the clinical relevancy of these novel molecular subtypes has not been established. To establish the clinical relevancy, we determined if the subtypes of TNBC have different rates of pathological complete response (pCR) to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens. In this study, we confirmed that TNBC is heterogeneous and that pCR differs by TNBC subtype using the algorithm proposed by Lehmann and Bauer et al. The BL1 subtype had the highest pCR rate (52%), and BL2 and LAR had the lowest pCR rates (0% and 10%, respectively). TNBC subtype was an independent predictor of pCR status (P=0.022) via a likelihood ratio test. To our knowledge, this was the first study to show that the TNBC subtype can serve as an independent predictor of pCR status in patients who received standard chemotherapy regimens.

This confirms the possible clinical relevance of the 7 molecular subtypes, and these subtypes may lead to innovative clinical trials of personalized medicine for patients with TNBC."


Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/19/19/5533.abstract

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50 Years in Breast Cancer: Dramatic Progress in Treatment Based On an Improved Understanding of Biology

50 Years in Breast Cancer: Dramatic Progress in Treatment Based On an Improved Understanding of Biology | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Dr. Monica Morrow describes the dramatic changes that have transformed breast cancer care in the last 50 years, a period in which, “the landscape of breast cancer management across the spectrum  . . . has changed so dramatically as to be virtually unrecognizable.” Her expert editorial is an overview of the major advances in risk assessment and prevention, surgery, radiation, and adjuvant systemic therapy that have resulted in decreased mortality and morbidity among patients with breast cancer.
Susan Zager's insight:

For more information about progress in breast cancer treatment read the article and/or go to: http://am.asco.org/progress-breast-cancer-research


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Metastasis risk much higher in young breast cancer patients

Metastasis risk much higher in young breast cancer patients | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"One in four young Australian women diagnosed with non-metastatic cancer will see their cancer spread within five years, researchers say.
Their retrospective study of nearly all NSW women diagnosed with localised or regional breast cancer between 2001 and 2007 showed those under 40 had an almost threefold greater five-year risk of progressing to metastatic disease.
However once metastatic breast cancer had been diagnosed, overall survival for younger and older women was similar (18 vs 14 months), the authors from the University of Sydney found."

Susan Zager's insight:

To see this study about young Australian women go to: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imj.12481/abstract


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Israelis develop first blood test for breast cancer

Israelis develop first blood test for breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"After eight years of painstaking research, Israeli life-sciences company Eventus Diagnostics (EventusDx) has produced a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.

The Octava Pink test is now available in Israel and Italy, and is undergoing clinical trials to receive US Food and Drug Administration approval.

This is the first blood test ever that can reveal cancer, not merely markers that might indicate cancer or something else. Its innovation also lies in its examination of antibodies in the blood to pinpoint this specific cancer.

Molecular biologist Galit Yahalom — who heads the research team at the EventusDx offices and lab, located in Moshav Ora outside of Jerusalem – explains the breakthrough to ISRAEL21c.

“For the last decade, we have known that there is a connection between cancer and the immune system,” says Yahalom, a 43-year-old mother of two from Modi’in who has been working on this project since its inception.

“We know that it recognizes cancer as an external enemy that must be destroyed. It is possible that each of us has had instances of cancer we were unaware of, because our immune systems killed it when it was still very small. For whatever reason, the immune system of people with cancer is not functioning properly.”

Susan Zager's insight:

For more information go to: http://www.eventusdx.com/


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Would a diabetes drug also protect against breast cancer?

Would a diabetes drug also protect against breast cancer? | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"

One of the most commonly used medications to control diabetes may also have positive effects against cancer cell proliferation, as show in research done at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico.

The study led by José Eduardo Pérez Salazar examines the protective effects of metformin in the role of growth and migration of cancer cells in the body (metastasis), especially those related to breast cancer.

Research in the Department of Cell Biology also analyzes the effects of oleic and linoleic acids (found in edible oils) as a kind of catalyst for the cancer cells to spread in the body.

According to Perez Salazar, it was found that cancer cells get "addicted to insulin," so in the case of overweight women with diabetes who have no control over the disease, the risk of developing breast cancer and metastasis increases."

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ASCO: Tamoxifen may be used up to 10 years for non-metastatic, HR-positive breast cancer

ASCO: Tamoxifen may be used up to 10 years for non-metastatic, HR-positive breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"ASCO today issued updated recommendations on the use of tamoxifen for women with non-metastatic, ER-/PR-positive breast cancer.

The guideline — last updated in 2010 — suggests women who are diagnosed with hormone-receptor–positive disease when premenopausal may continue treatment with tamoxifen for 10 years. If women are postmenopausal after 5 years, they may continue tamoxifen, or receive treatment with an aromatase inhibitor, for a total endocrine therapy treatment duration of 10 years.

Women who are postmenopausal at the time of diagnosis should be offered one of four options: 10 years of tamoxifen; 5 years of an aromatase inhibitor; 5 years of tamoxifen followed by up to 5 years of an aromatase inhibitor; or 2 to 3 years of tamoxifen followed by an aromatase inhibitor for up to 5 years.

“Tamoxifen taken for 5 years has been the standard adjuvant endocrine treatment for decades, but we now have evidence to recommend up to 10 years of tamoxifen for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer,” Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD, co-chair of ASCO’s Expert Panel that wrote the guideline update, said in a press release. "Postmenopausal women also have the option of taking an aromatase inhibitor as an alternative to tamoxifen or in sequence after tamoxifen. Aromatase inhibitors are not recommended for premenopausal women.”

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://meeting.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/short/31/18_suppl/5?rss=1 


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Scientists ID New Drug Targets for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Scientists ID New Drug Targets for Triple Negative Breast Cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"The suppression of two genes reduce breast cancer tumor formation and metastasis by interfering with blood vessel formation and recruitment, report scientists from Houston Methodist and five other institutions in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (now online). The findings may help medical researchers identify effective drug targets for triple negative breast cancer, or TNBC.

 
The genes, MLF2 (myeloid leukemia factor 2) and RPL39 (a ribosomal protein), were found to most profoundly impact the production of nitric oxide synthase, which helps regulate blood vessel behavior and could be crucial to the recruitment of new blood vessels to growing tumors. These genes impact the spread of TNBC throughout the body, and have not so far been linked with breast cancer. 
 
"We have found two unique genes that may affect the most lethal type of breast cancer" said principal investigator and Houston Methodist Cancer Center Director Jenny Chang, "Most importantly, by knowing how these genes function, we have drugs that can block nitric oxide signaling and will begin a clinical trial in the Cancer Center in the near future"
 
Susan Zager's insight:

To see the abstract about the study go to: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/01/1406655111.abstract


For more information about XPB1 go to: http://bms.ucsf.edu/sites/ucsf-bms.ixm.ca/files/20140501.adams_.christina.pdf


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PJ's curator insight, May 28, 6:40 AM
Susan Zager's insight (Breast Cancer News):
Maria Fowler's curator insight, June 1, 12:08 PM

As always this may apply to some of us and not others.

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Demand Insurance Coverage for Breast Cancer Genetic Marker Testing

Demand Insurance Coverage for Breast Cancer Genetic Marker Testing | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

Tell Secretary Sebelius to adopt a legislation requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for BRCA gene mutation testing. 

Mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been linked to the development of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 12% of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives, compared with about 60% of women who have inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Genetic testing can reveal an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Although insurance companies often cover genetic testing, coverage is not guaranteed. Take action today - urge Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to adopt legislation requiring insurance companies to cover genetic counseling and testing for the BRAC1 and BRAC2 mutations upon medical recommendation."

Susan Zager's insight:

All women who have a risk of carrying a BRCA gene mutation have a right to testing covered by insurance. SIGN today-IT's easy and pre-written. 

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Single-dose breast cancer treatment offers new hope for early-stage breast cancer patients

Single-dose breast cancer treatment offers new hope for early-stage breast cancer patients | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Women with early-stage breast cancer may now receive a one-dose radiation treatment at the same time as lumpectomy surgery, eliminating the need to return to the hospital daily for up to six weeks for post surgical radiation treatments. The relatively new treatment option, intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), delivers one precise, concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor site immediately following surgical removal of the cancer.
Susan Zager's insight:

It will be interesting to see if this is done more in the US. Cutting down radiation time (up to 6 weeks) and doing the treatment at the same time (IORT) as the lumpectomy surgery will be welcomed if the treatment is just as effective as standard radiation. 

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Breast Cancer: A Blood Test

Breast Cancer:  A Blood Test | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Among the seven billion people on planet Earth, one-half million die prematurely every year because of breast cancer. It is one of the most common cancers to affect women and in 2008 almost 1.4 million women were diagnosed. At the current rate of growth, one prediction has this number climbing another 50 percent – to 2.1 million by 2030.

Global breast cancer survival rates vary greatly, from below 40 percent in low-income countries to more than 80 percent in Sweden, Japan and North America. However no matter where people are, experts say survival rates could exceed 90 percent with the introduction of widespread, better and earlier detection. Indeed, the lower rates of survival in lesser-developed countries are attributed almost entirely to a lack of early detection programs. With women presenting jn later-stages of the disease and a general lack of adequate diagnostic centers, experts contend that survival rates are much lower than they need to be.

A new test from EventusDx, an Israeli life sciences company, aims to assist. With the recent completion of an eight-year project, the company now produces and distributes a relatively simple blood test that detects cancer. Although the company insists that its Octava Pink analysis should be used only as an adjunct to traditional mammographies, it nevertheless holds the potential to circumvent expensive and not-always-accessible mammograms. The lower cost and portability of the Octava Pink test could make breast cancer assessments available to untold numbers of people currently without access. Octava Pink is now available in Israel and Italy and currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Susan Zager's insight:

This looks very promising and will be interesting to follow and see if this gets approval in other countries besides Israel and Italy.  The FDA is currently reviewing Octava Pink.

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Harmless Virus is Able to Kill Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Harmless Virus is Able to Kill Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine have discovered that a virus that is harmless to humans will kill triple-negative breast cancer cells and tumour cells in mice when applied to cancers.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women in the world, and triple-negative breast cancer is the hardest type of breast cancer to treat.

Some types of tumours contain protein receptors that are activated by one of three proteins – namely the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), the hormone oestrogen or the hormone progesterone.

Chemotherapies usually target one of these three receptors, but since triple-negative cancers do not express these genes, doctors have to treat them with a combination of therapies.

"Treatment of breast cancer remains difficult because there are multiple signalling pathways that promote tumour growth and develop resistance to treatment," said Craig Meyers, a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Penn State.

"There is an urgent and ongoing need for the development of novel therapies which efficiently target triple-negative breast cancers."

Susan Zager's insight:

Even though this is an early study in mice, any study that helps triple negative breast cancer is worthy of attention. To see the study got to: https://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/cbt/article/29172/


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A change of plans

A change of plans | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"For my sweet wife.  Noreen is extremely tired this week and had to cancel her trip to Washington, D.C.  She is depressed and sad.

We are trying to figure out why this sudden loss of positive attitude.

I think it's the fact that she is so tired, she canceled the trip, and it is a personal defeat.

Noreen's determination to live a quality life with her cancer is central in keeping ahead of the game, since she contracted breast cancer almost 14 years ago.

Cancelling her D.C. trip, a total of 11 hours in the air, plus the wear and tear of two full days of meetings, is a personal defeat for Noreen.  

My job?  Go home and stay close to this whirlwind woman.  Get her laughing.  I love you, Nor."

Susan Zager's insight:

We are hoping that Noreen is doing better. She is an incredible inspiration to so many women. 

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, June 25, 10:22 AM

Sometimes it feels to survivors like cancer has the upper hand...especially when it impacts their ability to engage in life and doing things they love.  Going through cancer for more than a decade can, understandably, take a toll.  Noreen will be getting support and encouragement from her clearly dedicated and loving husband - which is amazing.  However this is a perfect example of the difference coaching for survivors can make.

 

Cancer survivorship coaches work with their clients to be able to make this kind of decision in a way that they feel empowered vs. feeling like cancer took something away from them...they learn the power of choice in decisions vs. have tos or shoulds.  While the outcome may not be different - the trip may need to be postponed or cancelled, often the coach can help the survivor identify the qualities of the experience the survivor was looking forward to and brainstorm a different way to experience those qualities without, for example, getting on a plane if that isn't something they can do right now.

 

When survivors learn that while they may not be able to change certain circumstances but they can change how they respond to them so that their response supports, not detracts from their quality of life they feel more empowered.

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Two new possible drug targets for triple negative breast cancer

Two new possible drug targets for triple negative breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"The suppression of two genes reduces breast cancer tumor formation and spread by interfering with blood vessel formation and recruitment, according to new research from Houston Methodist, Weill Cornell Medical College and other institutions. The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may help medical researchers identify effective drug targets for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

The genes, MLF2 (myeloid leukemia factor 2) and RPL39 (a ribosomal protein), were found to most profoundly affect the production of nitric oxide synthase, which helps regulate blood vessel behavior and could be crucial to the recruitment of new blood vessels to growing tumors. These genes influence the spread of TNBC throughout the body, and have not so far been linked with breast cancer.

"We have found two unique genes that may affect the most lethal type of breast cancer," said principal investigator and Houston Methodist Cancer Center Director Dr. Jenny Chang, who is also a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Most importantly, by knowing how these genes function, we have drugs that can block nitric oxide signaling."

About 42,000 new cases of triple negative breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, about 20 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Patients typically relapse within one to three years of being treated. TNBC is distinguished from other breast cancers in that it does not express the genes for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and Her2/neu and is frequently harder to treat than other forms of the disease.

By suppressing close to 500 TNBC-related genes, Chang's group found interference was strongest with MLF2 and RPL39 in triple negative breast cancer model tissue. The scientists also learned that mutations in these genes in human patients were associated with worse survival in triple negative breast cancer patients."


Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/29/1320769111.abstract?sid=df0c7ea3-29ab-460d-925e-ab966e096aae


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ALTTO Trial Findings Raise Questions on Approach to Drug Development in Early Breast Cancer

ALTTO Trial Findings Raise Questions on Approach to Drug Development in Early Breast Cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Among patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer, disease-free survival (DFS) at 4 years was no better with the combination of HER2-targeted agents, lapatinib and trastuzumab than with trastuzumab alone (Abstract LBA4). The long-awaited results from the phase III ALTTO trial were presented by Dr. Edith A. Perez at Sunday’s Plenary Session.
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Treatment helps young women preserve fertility during breast cancer chemo

Treatment helps young women preserve fertility during breast cancer chemo | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Researchers have found that young women with breast cancer were able to better preserve their fertility during cancer treatments by using hormone-blocking drug injections that put them into temporary menopause. The results announced today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago are from the Prevention of Early Menopause Study (POEMS), a clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (ASCO late breaking abstract #505). Women receiving the injections were only about one-third as likely to experience ovarian failure, a common long-term toxicity of chemotherapy treatments, and were more than twice as likely to have a normal pregnancy after their cancer treatment compared to women in the trial who did not receive the injections.

In POEMS, premenopausal women with hormone-receptor negative breast cancer ages 18 to 49 were randomly assigned to receive standard chemotherapy with or without goserelin every four weeks. Goserelin is a drug that disrupts the body’s hormonal feedback systems, resulting in reduced estrogen production, which puts the women into a chemical menopause. Under usual use, that chemical menopause is reversible; POEMS was carried out to see if the treatment allowed the women to recover fertility after cancer treatment while not interfering with the cancer treatment itself.

The researchers compared the ovarian failure rate of the women two years after entering the study and found that 22 percent of patients on the standard therapy had ovarian failure (15 of 69 patients) compared to 8 percent of those who also had goserelin treatment (5 of  66 patients). Of the 218 patients enrolled in the trial, 12 patients on the standard arm (11 percent) became pregnant vs 22 patients on the goserelin treatment arm (21 percent). "

Susan Zager's insight:

For more information: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00068601


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Practice-Changing Data Revealed for Premenopausal HR+ Breast Cancer

Practice-Changing Data Revealed for Premenopausal HR+ Breast Cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"A joint analysis of two phase III trials involving a total of 4690 premenopausal women with hormone-receptor–positive (HR+) breast cancer demonstrated that adjuvant use of the aromatase inhibitor (AI), exemestane, reduced relative risk of developing subsequent invasive cancer by 28% compared with tamoxifen when both agents were combined with ovarian function suppression (OFS). The exemestane + OFS treatment arm also showed a relative reduction in risk of breast cancer recurrence of 34%. “The trials demonstrate that an aromatase inhibitor, previously recommended only for postmenopausal women is also effective for premenopausal women when combined with ovarian function suppression,” said Olivia Pagani, MD, of the Institute of Oncology of Southern Switzerland, who presented the combined results on behalf of the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), June 1, 2014 at the 50th Annual Meeting of ASCO. “As a physician who routinely recommends ovarian function suppression as adjuvant therapy for some young patients, these results will change my practice. I will combine ovarian function suppression with an aromatase inhibitor rather than with tamoxifen.” “Tamoxifen, for at least 5 years, with the option of adding OFS has been the standard treatment,” Pagani said regarding premenopausal woman with HR+ breast cancer. Using adjuvant AIs for 5 years is a more effective treatment strategy than 5 years of tamoxifen in many postmenopausal women, according to Pagani; however, this AI treatment was not available to premenopausal women, because AIs require the low estrogen levels that occur after menopause, and these levels can only be achieved in young women with OFS. "

Susan Zager's insight:

For more information from ASCO 14 (May 30- June 2) go to: http://www.onclive.com/conference-coverage/asco-2014


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Women with metastatic breast cancer can safely receive bisphosphonates less frequently, without comp

Women with metastatic breast cancer can safely receive bisphosphonates less frequently, without comp | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Women with metastatic breast cancer to the bone may be able to receive bisphosphonates, the bone-targeting class of drugs like zoledronic acid, less often after the first year of monthly administration. With that practice change, women may also reduce their risk of serious side effects, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The research was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2014 Annual Meeting by MD Anderson's Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, professor, Breast Medical Oncology. The study found that receiving zoledronic acid every 12 weeks after one year of monthly administration was as efficacious as continuing to receive it monthly.

Findings from the OPTIMIZE-2 study could have an impact not just in the setting of metastatic breast cancer, but other solid tumors, as well as multiple myeloma, where monthly intravenous bisphosphonates are used to prevent skeletal related events and the loss of bone mass.

According to the American Cancer Society, 232,670 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and 40,000 will die from the disease. The overwhelming majority of metastatic breast cancer patients will develop a bone metastasis at some point during their care, says Hortobagyi."

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the trial go to: http://abstracts.asco.org/144/AbstView_144_129791.html


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Early Palliative Care for Caregivers Improves Their Wellbeing, Too

Early Palliative Care for Caregivers Improves Their Wellbeing, Too | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Phone-based support that offer practical tools to help family caregivers support their loved one with advanced cancer—as well as emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle themselves—resulted in less caregiver depression and better quality of life, according to the findings of a new study presented May 30 at the 50th Annual ASCO Meeting in Chicago.


And, the research showed, the earlier the support is delivered, the better.

Today, there is greater awareness of the benefits which can be realized for both the cancer patient and the caregiver when support is provided to both care partners. A broader understanding of palliative care also has emerged, whereby palliative care is no longer equated with end-of-life care, but rather, seen as a crucial component of treatment throughout the care continuum.  

“Family caregivers are a crucial part of the patient care team,” noted lead author Marie Bakitas, DNSc, the Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Chair and professor at the University of Alabama School Nursing in Birmingham. Because the wellbeing of one affects the wellbeing of the other in a reciprocal way, both parties benefit when caregivers receive palliative care.”


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To see the abstract go to: http://abstracts.asco.org/144/AbstView_144_131678.html


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Common chemicals linked to breast cancer | - Environmental Defence

Common chemicals linked to breast cancer | - Environmental Defence | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Breast cancer is a leading killer of women ages 30-55, and the rates of this disease are on the rise. Why?

new study from the Silent Spring Institute lists 102 chemicals that may contribute to risk of developing the disease. Many of these chemicals are extremely common.

According to the researchers, many of the chemicals are linked to gasoline, vehicle and lawn equipment use, tobacco smoke, and burned or charred food. Some flame retardants and common cleaning chemicals, nonstick coatings, styrene, and chemicals in stain-resistant textiles can also be linked to cancer. In addition to the Silent Sprint study, another common chemical was recently linked to the growth of breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting.Triclosan was declared toxic to the environment by Environment Canada in 2012, and Environmental Defence has been calling for a ban on the substance for more than four years. Yet triclosan is a registered ingredient in over 1,600 products in Canada.

But there are ways to reduce exposure to these chemicals. Both through steps we can take as individuals, and by raising our voices to demand that companies stop putting these chemicals in products and that decision makers enact bans or restrictions on the worst offenders.

The study results suggest some ways to reduce breast cancer risk, including simple steps such as:

  • Avoiding exposure to gasoline fumes, including from  idling cars
  • Ventilating your kitchen while cooking
  • Buying furniture that does not contain polyurethane foam or flame retardants
  • Avoiding stain-resistant materials that may contain harmful chemicals
  • Relying on dry cleaners that use less-toxic chemicals
  • Cutting down on household dust by removing shoes, vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air filter and cleaning with wet rags or mops.
Susan Zager's insight:

For more information on how the cosmetics industry ranks on toxic chemicals go to: http://environmentaldefence.ca/reports/taking-stock-how-cosmetics-industry-ranks-toxic-chemicals


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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, May 29, 8:27 AM

Environmental causes can be reduced or eliminated = prevention.  That is a win for everyone.  It is time for change.