"An innovative approach to streamlining the testing of novel agents in breast cancer has yielded some of its first results, which were reported at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1
Adaptive Trial Design
The veliparib/carboplatin plus standard neoadjuvant therapy regimen is currently one of seven experimental treatments evaluated to date in the multidrug I-SPY 2 trial, which uses an adaptive design based on biomarker subtypes to evaluate novel agents in the neoadjuvant setting. The objective of the novel approach is to speed up and therefore revolutionalize the way that oncology drugs are tested and approved, said Hope S. Rugo, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco.
The strategy involves the evaluation of drugs in small study populations, using advanced statistical techniques that promptly cull potential winners from losers. Experimental regimens can “graduate” in at least one of 10 possible signatures defined by hormone receptor status, HER2 status, and MammaPrint. This propels the drugs into phase III trials. Veliparib is the first drug to complete testing in the innovative study."
"As our supporters are aware, on Friday February 21st METAvivor contacted Kohl’s concerning it’s co-optation of METAvivor’s Elephant in the Pink Room Campaign. At that time we were told the President of Kohl’s would call by the end of the day. That did not happen. With tremendous help from many supporters, a social media campaign was launched forcing Kohl into action. On Thursday, February 27th, Kohl’s Senior Vice President of Marketing called METAvivor President Kelly Lange to talk.
In the end, Kohl’s was only willing to add some information on metastatic breast cancer to their website. We gave them a deadline of 5 pm CST today to respond to our insistence that they also remove the images of and references to an elephant along with the words “Don’t Ignore It”, which in conjunction with their elephant co-opted METAvivor’s “Don’t Ignore Stage IV”. That deadline has now passed with no word from Kohl’s.
METAvivor has also received a letter from Susan G. Komen’s President, Dr. Judith Solerno, but she too has shown no inclination to change the campaign. It is quite ironic that Susan G. Komen, with its well-earned reputation for vigorously defending its own brand through litigation, appears to have no compunction with regard to infringing upon the brands of others.
As we look into legal action, we encourage our supporters to re-launch their media campaigns. For those looking for inspiration we invite you to read Gayle Sulik’s blog -- The Pink White Elephant. Gayle A. Sulik, PhD is a medical sociologist and author of the book, Pink Ribbon Blues -- a very revealing history of breast cancer advocacy. She is also co-founder and executive director of the newly founded Breast Cancer Consortium, a collection of international professionals committed to research and social change."
Susan Zager's insight:
This is totally unacceptable from Kohl's. They need to do the right thing. We have to keep the pressure up on them in any way we can.
"Possible genetic origins of breast cancer that spreads to the brain have been uncovered, according to a first-of-its-kind study.
The compendium of genetic targets uncovered by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, now can be used to identify potential new methods of diagnosis and new drug therapies for the estimated 45,000 patients in the U.nited States. each year whose cancer spreads from the breast to the brain.
The 3year study is significant since these patients currently have few treatments options—only surgery and radiation—and they usually are ineligible for clinical drug trials. Their prognosis is poor, with fewer than 2% surviving more than 2years.
"This is really a significant problem and a huge unmet need. We now want to dig deeper and uncover more specific genomic links and study new ways to treat these patients so we can improve outcomes," said the study's lead author Bodour Salhia, PhD, of TGen.
After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second most common cancer that spreads to the brain. Chemotherapy generally has not been used to treat brain cancer, because of the blood-brain barrier that exists between the bloodstream and the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain. However, some small molecule drugs can cross this barrier and form the basis of targeted therapies.
The overall goal of the TGen study was to look at genomic and epigenomic events to understand the causes of breast cancer brain metastatic lesions, and to identify potential new therapeutic targets."
"Low oxygen conditions often persist inside tumors, but they are sufficient to initiate a molecular chain of events that transform breast cancer cells from being rigid and stationery to mobile and invasive.
A recent study highlighted the importance of hypoxia-inducible factors in promoting breast cancer metastasis.
"High levels of RhoA and ROCK1 were known to worsen outcomes for breast cancer patients by endowing cancer cells with the ability to move, but the trigger for their production was a mystery," says senior author Gregg Semenza, M.D., Ph.D., the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We now know that the production of these proteins increases dramatically when breast cancer cells are exposed to low oxygen conditions."
To move, cancer cells must make many changes to their internal structures, Semenza says. Thin, parallel filaments form throughout the cells, allowing them to contract and cellular "hands" arise, allowing cells to "grab" external surfaces to pull themselves along. The proteins RhoA and ROCK1 are known to be central to the formation of these structures."
"On Thursday morning the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Kohl’s contacted METAvivor President Kelly Lange to open a dialog about our conflicting awareness campaigns. We are grateful to all our supporters for bringing our concerns to Kohl’s attention. And we are grateful to Kohl’s for hearing our voices and entering into dialogue with us. We hope a mutually agreeable arrangement can be decided upon very quickly. We will keep everyone informed. In the meantime we ask everyone to use your social media outlets to express why metastatic disease is the real elephant in the pink room of breast cancer."
Susan Zager's insight:
On Thursday Kohl's finally contacted METAvivor. We must keep up the pressure on them through social media. On Twitter use the hashtags: #TALKPINK @Kohls @KatieHolmes212 @SusanGKomen @Judy_KomenCEO. We will keep you posted about what comes of it. To see the letter that METAvivor wrote to Kohls on Feb 24th and get more information about this go to: http://www.metavivor.org/blog/metavivor-letter-to-kohls/
When the campaign, which features real-life pancreatic cancer patients saying they would rather have a different type of cancer, first aired at the beginning of February it attracted criticism from breast cancer charities and national media outlets.
An ASA spokesman said: “Having assessed the complaints we consider that an investigation is warranted and are liaising with the charity.”
In response to the investigation, Ali Stunt, chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer Action, said: “It was genuinely never our intention to upset people with these adverts but we wanted to highlight a little-known, poorly understood and chronically underfunded disease.
"All cancer is dreadful and these adverts were never suggesting that anyone's suffering resulting from cancer is worse than another's. It simply expresses the real thoughts and feelings of many pancreatic cancer patients faced with a 3 per cent chance of survival who just want more hope.”
Susan Zager's insight:
The ASA is investigating the Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts with the picture of a women saying, "I wish I had breast cancer." While the intention of the ad was to raise awareness that pancreatic cancer patients have a 3% chance of survival, it showed a lack of awareness for the fact that metastatic breast cancer is killing about 430,000 each year worldwide. It also lacks the understanding of the incredible difficulties all breast cancer patients have related to survival from treatment.The ad offended so many affected by breast cancer. There is no such thing as a good cancer. It's also troubling to have to pit one cancer up against another cancer. All cancers are terrible and probably the cruelest is lung cancer.
"Researchers from the Oregon State University (OSU) found that Raloxifene, used in the treatment of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, may also be effective against some types of liver and breast cancers. Raloxifene is currently marketed under the brand name Evista by Eli Lilly and Co. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the drug for bone loss prevention in post-menopausal women in 1997. Two years later, the drug was approved for treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. In 2007, raloxifene was approved for reducing risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis as well as in post-menopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer. Raloxifene is known to block estrogen from binding to its receptors and therefore inhibits breast cancer cell multiplication.
OSU researchers found that the drug targeted and killed human “triple-negative” breast cancer cells and liver cancer cells. Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 15-20% of all breast cancer cases in the U.S. and occurs more frequently in younger and African-American women. Triple-negative breast cancer does not respond to typical treatments such as tamoxifen or trastuzumab due to lack of estrogen receptors.
The drug was observed to bind with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) protein and kill cancer cells which lack receptors for estrogen. Ed O’Donnell, a postdoctoral scholar at OSU who conducted the research, found an increased survival rate in women with breast cancer who had higher levels of the AhR protein.
Siva Kolluri, OSU cancer researcher who led the research, said, “Our findings are exciting for two reasons. No. 1, our research revealed that we can target a specific protein, the AhR, to potentially develop new drugs for liver cancer and a subset of stubborn breast cancers. That's a major goal of our lab. No. 2, we discovered that raloxifene, a known drug, could potentially be repurposed to treat two distinct types of cancers.”
No clinical trials have yet been conducted to evaluate raloxifene’s safety and efficacy in treatment of breast and/or liver cancer.
Susan Zager's insight:
As the article states, "no clinical trials have evaluated raloxifene's safety in the treatment of breast and/or liver cancer." The study found that "raloxifene directly bound the AhR and induced apoptosis in ER-negative mouse and human hepatoma cells in an AhR-dependent manner, indicating that the AhR is a molecular target of raloxifene and mediates raloxifene-induced apoptosis in the absence of ER." According to Siva Koluri i they might be angle to develop new drugs to target triple negative breast cancers that if they are AhR-dependent. Because this was in mouse and human hepatoma cells there's still a long way to go for human trials.
"Right now, a doctor from our area is creating a vaccine to stop breast cancer from coming back. Karen Hepp spoke with women who are getting it right now and who think it will save their lives.
Cancer Fighter Jackie Peterson explains just what if feels like to go through a life threatening battle: "Cancer is frightening, you're terrified. Cancer means it can be other places. Cancer means you are going to die."
Peterson couldn't believe it when she got her diagnosis of stage-three breast cancer. She's an operating nurse who helps cancer patients, but that didn't make it one bit easier.
"You don't think it's going to happen to you. Breast cancer is something I take care of, not that I get," said Peterson.
But, she did. Six months of chemo and a mastectomy later, she wants to make sure it never comes back. Now she's patient number one in a new trial of a cancer vaccine to prevent recurrence.
"I'm number one, Am I afraid of being number one? No. It's an amazing treatment; they're using my white blood cells to make a serum," said Peterson.
Dr. Brian Czerniecki is developing the cancer vaccine. He says it works by priming the immune system to attack cancer like it's an infection. In the first two trials, the results were dramatic.
"We can actually see tumors dying. We can actually see the ducts look like ghosts from where the tumor cells were and the ducts are becoming scars. You can actually see in about twenty percent of patients there's actually no disease that we can even see, as a result of vaccination," said Czerniecki."
Susan Zager's insight:
Dr. Brian Czerniecki talks more about this vaccine which attacks the Her2 protein by making a serum of the person's own white blood cells to attack the breast cancer. To hear Dr. Brian Czerniecki speak more about this vaccine and other videos about it go to: http://penniesinaction.org/videos.html#penniesinaction2012
Hematology Oncology | High intratumoral and stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were linked to improved outcomes among patients with triple-negative breast cancer who had residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, according to results of a retrospective, multicenter study. Researchers evaluated hematoxylin- and eosin-stained slides from surgical post-chemotherapy specimens of 278 patients for intratumoral and stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs).
Metastasis-free survival was significantly associated with continuous intratumoral (HR=0.85; 95% CI, 0.75-0.98) and stromal (HR=0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.96) TILs. OS also was associated with continuous intratumoral (HR=0.86; 95% CI, 0.75-0.99) and stromal (HR=0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.97) TILs.
Researchers reported a higher rate of 5-year OS among the 27 patients with high TIL levels — defined as ˃60% intratumoral and stromal TILs — than among those with low levels (91% vs. 55%; HR=0.19; 95% CI, 0.06-0.61).
All but one patient with high TIL levels demonstrated lower intratumoral and stromal TIL values before chemotherapy.
The prognostic effect of TIL was higher among patients with a residual tumor ˃2 cm and/or node metastasis."
"A majority of young breast cancer patients expressed concern about the effects of treatment on fertility, but few altered treatment or took advantage of fertility preservation options, investigators reported.
Overall, 51% of 620 patients said they were concerned about infertility after treatment, but fewer than one in five changed their treatment because of fertility concerns. Though most of the women had discussed fertility issues with their physicians, only 10% opted to avail themselves of fertility preservation techniques, according to Kathryn J. Ruddy, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and co-authors.
The results pointed to shortcomings related to physician-patient communication and understanding about factors that influence cancer patients' decision-making about fertility preservation, they reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"Nearly one third of the patients in our study did not recall discussing the impact of oncologic therapies on fertility before initiating treatment, suggesting that it is crucial that we continue to improve communication about fertility risks and options for fertility preservation, as well as to provide emotional support as young women come to terms with the impact of cancer on their hopes for a normal future," the authors concluded."
"With up to 20% of breast cancers classified as triple negative, Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day, 3.3.14 will raise the level of conversation and actively push for advances in medical treatment and research, as promoted by the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation for the second year.
Breast cancer treatments and public awareness have advanced in recent years; however, Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) lags behind with no targeted treatments for patients and minimal recognition of its existence. With up to 20% of breast cancers classified as triple negative, the disease is widespread, yet few people have ever heard of it. Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day, 3.3.14 http://tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcday2014, will raise the level of conversation and actively push for advances in medical treatment and research, as promoted by the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundationhttp://tnbcfoundation.org/ for the second year. The expanding national event is made up of grassroots awareness and fundraising events organized by supporters coast-to-coast who hope the year ahead brings advances.
Event hosts are passionate about educating family, friends and associates that TNBC is considered particularly aggressive and, while TNBC can strike anyone, it disproportionately impacts younger women in the prime of life — particularly those with the hereditary BRCA1 gene mutation and those of African and Latin descent. In addition to promoting critically needed education and awareness, the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation directs money raised from events to fund research initiatives and support programs for those undergoing treatment and their family members."
Susan Zager's insight:
For more information about The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and the Second Annual Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day 3.3.14 (Monday, March 3, 2014), please visit http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcday2014.
"Practicing yoga for at least three hours a week for three months reduced the fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors, compared with survivors who did no yoga, researchers reported.
And the more yoga, the greater the change.
At six months — three months after the formal yoga had ended — fatigue was 57 percent lower in the women who had done yoga, compared with those who had not. Inflammation, measured by blood tests, was reduced by up to 20 percent, said researchers from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“We also think the results could easily generalize to other groups of people who have issues with fatigue and inflammation,” Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the lead researcher and a psychiatry and psychology professor at Ohio State, said in a statement.
Breast cancer treatment can be exhausting, and that can lead to less activity, which in turn can lead to a decreased capacity for activity in what Kiecolt-Glaser called “a downward spiral.”
Susan Zager's insight:
According to the article, "The researchers noted that yoga can be tailored to various abilities — the women in the studywere ages 27-76 — and has been shown to help with mood and sleep among cancer survivors.
"Androgen and vitamin D receptors can be targeted in breast cancer, according to new research. Although estrogen receptors are commonly targeted in breast cancer that is hormone-dependent, this research offers the possibility of expanding the ways that patients with breast cancer are treated with hormone therapy.
"These findings may change how we treat breast cancer," said Sandro Santagata, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. "Since at least 50% of patients with breast cancer express all three receptors—estrogen, androgen, and vitamin D in their tumor cells, this may allow clinicians to consider triple hormone treatments, which is a new concept, as opposed to treating patients by targeting only estrogen receptors.
When clinicians categorize human breast cancer tumors, they do so by grouping them into one of three categories based on the type of receptor present or absent on the tumor: estrogen receptor (ER)- positive/negative, progesterone receptor (PR)-positive/negative), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive/negative.
In this study, the researchers explored the landscape of cells that make up the surfaces of breast tissue to provide a better definition of the subtypes of cells present on these surfaces. They studied more than 15,000 normal breast cells and discovered 11 previously undefined cell subtypes. Interestingly, these 11 normal breast cell types were categorized into four new hormonal differentiation groups (HR 0, 1, 2, 3), which were characterized by vitamin D, androgen, and estrogen hormone receptor expression."
"A troubling racial divide in breast cancer mortality continues to widen in most major cities around the country, suggesting that advances in diagnosis and treatment continue to bypass African-American women, according to new research.
An analysis of breast cancer mortality trends in 41 of the largest cities in the United States shows that the chance of surviving breast cancer correlates strongly with the color of a woman’s skin. Black women with breast cancer — whether they hail from Phoenix or Denver, Boston or Wichita, Kan. — are on average about 40 percent more likely to die of the disease than white women with breast cancer.
In some cities, the risk is even greater. In Los Angeles, a black woman with breast cancer is about 70 percent more likely to die from the disease than a white woman is. In Memphis, black women face more than double the risk, according to the research, published on Tuesday in Cancer Epidemiology.
The findings were compiled and analyzed by the Sinai Urban Health Institute in Chicago and the Avon Foundation for Women, which also funded the research. The analysis builds on a series of studies that have identified a startling racial gap in breast cancer mortality.
In 2012, a widely publicized study of the 24 largest cities examined the racial gap in breast cancer from 2005 through 2007. The new study takes a longer view and includes breast cancer deaths from 1990 through 2009 in 41 cities.
The more comprehensive analysis shows that in most cities 20 years ago, black and white women faced about the same mortality risk from breast cancer. But starting in 1990, the death rate among white women began to drop rapidly in many cities while death rates among black women fell only a little.
“It’s absolutely startling and very dismal, because there is hardly any health measure in the United States that hasn’t improved in the last 20 years,” said Steve Whitman, director of Sinai Urban Health Institute and the study’s senior author.
Susan Zager's insight:
The findings in this article published Tuesday in Cancer Epidemiology are very upsetting. There are much higher death rates of black than white women with metastatic breast cancer in 41 cities in the US.
"InLos Angeles, a black woman with breast cancer is about 70 percent more likely to die from the disease than a white woman is. In Memphis, black women face more than double the risk."
"The more comprehensive analysis shows that in most cities 20 years ago, black and white women faced about the same mortality risk from breast cancer. But starting in 1990, the death rate among white women began to drop rapidly in many cities while death rates among black women fell only a little."
"The research also dispels the notion that black women face a higher risk of breast cancer because of genetic differences. While they are at greater risk for some types of breast cancers, that doesn’t explain the widening mortality gap developing in a relatively short period of just two decades.
“Mathematically, it can’t be anything genetic,” Dr. Whitman said. “How could genes change in 20 years?”
The study also found the racial gap in New York City, being the largest city had "nominal disparity." While no disparity is acceptable, the people involved in the studies noted that New York City is doing something right.
"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued U.S. Patent No. 8,642,270, which is entitled "Prognostic biomarkers to predict overall survival and metastatic disease in patients with triple negative breast cancer." The '270 patent, which is assigned to the VM Institute of Research (Montreal, Canada), contains claims to a method of treating breast cancer in a subject having triple negative breast cancer.
For some time doctors and scientists hypothesized that the diversity observed among breast tumors might be accompanied by diversity in gene expression patterns. Over ten years ago, Perou and colleagues published their work on the "Molecular portraits of human breast tumours" (Perou et al., 2000 Nature 406: 747-52) classifying human breast tumors based their gene expression profiles. This work was soon followed up with studies that linked the gene expression profiles of each breast cancer subtype with patient overall survival and disease free survival. One of the subtypes identified was the basal-like subtype. The basal-like subtype is also described as triple-negative breast cancer because it generally does not express estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and expresses only normal, but not amplified, levels of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Given the nature of the triple-negative breast tumors, this subtype does not respond to cancer drugs that target ER, PR or HER2 (i.e., Taxol® or Herceptin®), and has poorer overall survival and disease-free survival than other breast cancer subtypes. The triple negative paradox (Carey et al., 2007 Clin Cancer Res. 13(8): 2329-34) is that these tumors often respond well to the initial chemotherapy treatments, and yet patients have significantly poorer overall survival. The work by the inventors of the `270 patent helps to develop effective methods to determine whether a triple negative breast cancer patient is likely to have a recurrence or progress to the aggressive, metastatic disease in order to aid clinicians in deciding the appropriate course of treatment."
"When something is wrong, I can feel it in my gut. Whether it be the way a radiology technician looks at me, the way a doctor walks in my exam room, feeling a lump on my body, waking up with a headache every morning or getting lost in a familiar place. When something is wrong, I always know before the test results need to be read out loud to me.
I was diagnosed with stage IIB triple negative breast cancer two years ago when I was just 30 years old. I learned I had the disease after feeling a lump, going to the doctor, having a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsies. I was devastated because I had no family history of breast cancer; only after my diagnosis did I find out I have the BRCA1 genetic mutation, which is closely linked to triple negative breast cancer. I endured a double mastectomy and reconstruction, 16 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy and 25 zaps of radiation. But that was not enough treatment to keep this particularly rare and nasty subtype of breast cancer out my body.
In November 2013, about a year after I finished treatment, I went to the doctor for a routine ultrasound of my ovaries. The BRCA1 mutation put me at an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer, and it also put me at a 44 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer. After the test, the technician left the room but told me not to get dressed. I knew something was off. When she came back into the room, she told me to get dressed and I would get the results from my gynecologist.
Almost the minute I walked into work my phone rang. My doctor’s staff said I needed to come in immediately. It normally takes three months to get an appointment with this specialist. I knew she wasn’t calling me in to report good news. My right ovary was 11 centimeters with a complex mass in it.
Ovaries are typically 3 centimeters large. Based on further imaging and tests, I decided to have a complete hysterectomy. Totally surrendering my fertility at 32 years old was not an easy decision, nor one I regret. At this time, my doctors were under the impression I had developed ovarian cancer, and I wanted to be most aggressive to treat this new cancer as it was attacking me. What we found out later after the pathology report was that triple negative breast cancer had returned to my ovary. I now had stage IV breast cancer, also known as metastatic disease.
Susan Zager's insight:
Today is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day. Here Annie Goodman shares her story with this very aggressive and difficult disease that spreads very quickly. Annie was diagnosed at 30 years old and now at 32 she has Stage IV triple negative breast cancer. For more information about Triple Negative Breast Cancer go to: http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/
"GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Celldex Therapeutics Inc. today announced that it has launched a randomized study (METRIC) of Glembatumumab vedotin (CDX-011) in patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancers that over-express glycoprotein NMB (gpNMB). Glembatumumab vedotin is an antibody-drug conjugate that targets and binds to gpNMB, a specific protein that is expressed in breast cancer which promotes the migration, invasion and metastasis of the disease.
It is also highly expressed in triple negative breast cancers where it is associated with increased risk of recurrence. Initial sites are now open to screen patients in the United States. Additional sites in the United States and in Canada and Australia will open in early 2014. The study is expected to include up to 100 sites and will enroll approximately 300 patients.
“In the Phase 2 EMERGE study, Glembatumumab vedotin elicited impressive response rates that correlated with a survival benefit for patients with metastatic breast cancer that also had high levels of gpNMB on the surface of their tumor cells,” said Thomas Davis, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer of Celldex. “Currently, patients with triple negative breast cancer have very limited treatment options and no targeted interventions. We believe gpNMB could be an important marker in breast cancer and that Glembatumumab vedotin holds significant potential as a possible targeted therapy for women facing this disease.”
“Given the lack of treatment options available for women with triple negative breast cancer, we are gratified that we are able to conduct the METRIC study on an accelerated approval path and are committed to enrolling the study expeditiously,” said Anthony Marucci, president and CEO of Celldex. “We also plan to further expand the clinical development program for Glembatumumab vedotin in 2014 by initiating additional studies in other cancers known to express gpNMB including melanoma and squamous cell lung cancer.”
"Some women with more advanced stages of breast cancer may experience worse outcomes when chemotherapy is delayed after surgery, according a retrospective review of 6,827 patients with stage I to III disease at a single center.
However, overall, there were no differences in outcomes among the cohorts of women (all stages of disease) who started chemotherapy either 0 to 30 days, 31 to 60 days, or more than 60 days after surgery.
The outcomes included overall survival (OS), relapse-free survival (RFS), and distant-relapse-free survival (DRFS).
But there were differences seen in subgroups of women—namely those with stage II and III disease and poorer prognosis subtypes, report the authors, led by Debora de Melo Gagliato, MD of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston
Specifically, among patients with stage II disease, the authors found a detrimental effect in RFS and DRFS when chemotherapy started more than 60 days after surgery.
Also, among patients with stage III disease, they also found a detrimental effect in RFS, DRFS, and OS associated with a start time after 60 days.
Furthermore, the authors discovered that patients with triple negative disease and patients with HER2-positive disease treated with trastuzumab ( Herceptin; Genentech/Roche) had a worse OS if chemotherapy was started 60 days or more after surgery."
"Obi's research group set out to identify risk factors that could trigger the development of heart disease, osteoporosis and hypertension in breast cancer survivors. They therefore assessed the health status of 2,542 breast cancer patients between 50 and 74 years old who were part of the Mamma carcinoma Risk factor Investigation (MARIEplus) study in the city and state of Hamburg and the Rhine-Neckar Karlsruhe region in Germany. Patients were asked about their health conditions before and after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Demographic information, lifestyle factors, the type of treatment they received and their levels of education were also noted.
It was found that known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as being overweight, also play a role in the health of breast cancer survivors. Older women with a higher body mass index (BMI) and patients who received trastuzumab to reduce the risk of cancer relapse had an increased risk for hypertension. (A BMI of >30 kg/m2 almost doubled the risk ratio.) In addition, women with higher education levels had less hypertension.
Women with a lower body weight were more likely to develop osteoporosis, having a two-fold higher risk when they had a BMI of <22.5 kg/m2. The findings support those of previous research that showed that treatment with aromatase inhibitors could trigger the development of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases in breast cancer survivors. These inhibitors are generally used to prevent the reoccurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Obi's research team advised that the follow-up health care that breast cancer survivors receive should include screening for any treatment-related health problems."
"What: A cute, limited-edition pink elephant necklace at Kohl’s that benefits breast cancer research.
Why: Anything that supports the fight against breast cancer is something we want to support—according to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer will kill some 40,000 women this year alone. Add that to the adorable aesthetic of a tiny pink elephant, and we’re fully on board. And here’s the real kicker: 100% of the profits from the necklace go to Kohl’s Cares, the philanthropic arm of the brand that’s right now focusing on educating women on health issues.
It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Katie Holmes is officially a fan of the piece, and that she’s been spotted out and about wearing it.
How: While this particular accessory is sure to be a conversation-starter in the best possible way, we like envisioning it atop an all-black look.
Pink Elephant Necklace, $5 and $8 in two lengths; available at Kohl’s locations nationwide
Susan Zager's insight:
Here's a pink necklace that Kohl's is selling having stolen the Pink Elephant in the room campaign from METAvivor. The pink elephant in the room is Metastatic Breast Cancer. According to the article 100% of the profits focus on "educating women on health issues." If they really want to educate women about breast cancer they need understand what the real pink elephant in the room is. It's frustrating to see a campaign that is supposed to educate about metastatic breast cancer stolen from METAvivor giving the wrong message about breast cancer.
"PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - February 25, 2014) - In recognition of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) has partnered with Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and Triple Step Toward the Cure to host a free, interactive Twitter chat Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. ET. According to LBBC's Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, Catherine L. Ormerod, MSS, MLSP, the one-hour event will "feature experts, advocates and women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is a form of the disease that is estrogen-receptor negative, progesterone receptor-negative and HER2 negative."
During the first 40 minutes of the chat, panelists will tweet responses to commonly asked questions about TNBC with a focus on research, treatment options and lifestyle and eating habits that have the potential to reduce risk of recurrence. Participants will then have the opportunity to ask panelists questions. A transcript of the chat will be posted at lbbc.org on March 4. To participate, individuals must have or gain access to a Twitter account or a Tweet chat application and enter #TNBCchat into the search bar on the account. Additional directions on how to participate may be found on lbbc.org/events."
Susan Zager's insight:
To learn more about the Twitter Chat Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7:30 EST, or to register, visit www.lbbc.org/events or call toll-free at (855) 807-6386. The focus will be triple negative breast cancer and is in recognition of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
"With greater optimism in the fight against breast cancer, 2013 ended with discoveries that lend to a deeper understanding on the pathogenesis and progression of breast cancer. Highlighted here are a few examples of these studies that are likely to shape breast cancer research and ultimately patient care in the future.
Susan Zager's insight:
Here are the studies in the article:
HER2 Mutation as a Therapeutic Target in HER2 Non-amplified Breast CancerESR1 Mutation as a Resistant Mechanism to Endocrine Therapy in ER+ Breast CancerEstrogen-independent ER Activation by the Major Cholesterol Metabolite 27-HydroxycholesterolAPOBEC3B Mutagenesis in Cancer
That is the message of a provocative new photography series featuring the faces, and scars, of men with breast cancer. The photos, by the New York-based fashion photographer David Jay, are part of his continuing Scar Project, a series of mostly black-and-white portraits that capture the devastation of breast cancer.
The vast majority of the photos in that project are of young women, shown topless with scars where their breasts used to be. The pictures, which are both shocking and beautiful, are featured in a traveling exhibition that will be on display next month in Toronto.
But most visitors to the Scar Project find the photos on the Internet, where they have been viewed by millions of people. One of those people is Oliver Bogler, a cancer biologist in Houston who found out that he had breast cancer 18 months ago after noticing a lump in his chest.
As in a woman’s breast, the duct cells in a man’s breast can undergo cancerous changes fueled by hormones that influence the growth of cells. It is not clear why some men get breast cancer while most do not, but risk factors include a family history of breast cancer, inherited gene mutations, radiation exposure, extended occupational exposure to certain chemicals or intense heat, obesity, liver disease, alcoholism, and other cancer treatments.
Susan Zager's insight:
It is wonderful that Dr. Bogler worked with Mr. Jay and men are now included in the Scar Project. Dr. Bogler believes that more research into male breast cancer will help bring understanding for both men and women about the disease.
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Baptist Cancer Institute is looking for women who have stage 4 breast cancer and treatment appears not to be working. These women could qualify for a breast cancer vaccine clinical trial.
Dr. Troy Guthrie, medical director of research at Baptist Cancer Institute, said the vaccine is one of dozens of breast cancer vaccines being tested now.
Dr. Guthrie said the hope is in 15 to 20 years is that when a women is diagnosed with breast cancer, she can receive a vaccine to fight the cancer.
"This is a unique opportunity for women to enter a clinical trial that attacks their breast cancer in a different way than in the past," Dr. Guthrie said referring to past treatments of radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. "This is a way of treating their breast cancer with an immunotherapy."
According to a press release from Baptist:
The treatment is an adenovirus that replicates inside the tumor tissue and kills the tumor cells, but does not replicate in normal tissue.
"The body is triggered to recognize the cancer as being bad and starts attacking it," Dr. Guthrie said.
Susan Zager's insight:
Baptist Cancer Institute is looking for metastatic breast cancer patients whose treatments have failed to give a vaccine for a clinical trial. "According to a press release from Baptist:
The treatment is an adenovirus that replicates inside the tumor tissue and kills the tumor cells, but does not replicate in normal tissue."
They also have another vaccine to help metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients. "Both studies do not allow patients to stay on any other cancer treatment while taking these research drugs. For more information regarding being screened for either trial, contact (904) 202-7051 or (904) 202-7070."
"As worries linger over tap water tainted by a chemical spill in West Virginia, and by oil and gas drilling from Pennsylvania to Texas, the health consequences of another water contamination -- one that many say was the worst in U.S. history -- are becoming increasingly clear.
U.S. Marines stationed at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune during decades when toxic chemicals leached into on-base water wells have since suffered elevated risks of death from several types of cancer as well as Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a government report released Wednesday.
"This study is vindication for what we've been arguing and fighting for over the past 10 years," said Mike Partain, who was born and raised at Camp Lejeune and developed breast cancer at the age of 39.
"We'd been told year after year that there was no science to back up a link between exposure and disease. Now, we have two studies," he said, referring also to a paper published in December by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which found a link between exposure to Camp Lejeune tap water and increased risks of birth defects and childhood cancers."
Susan Zager's insight:
Marie Trone of Tampa, Fla., stationed at Camp Lejeune for about 10 months in 1987 and being treated for breast cancer after finding a lump said, ""I understand what is happening. I showered in these chemicals. They were absorbed through my skin. I inhaled them, drank them, washed clothes in them. I'm not looking for handouts. It angers me that they tried to cover it up. And it angers me that water is getting contaminated all over the country right now with hydraulic fracturing. This is one case and one base, but I predict similar things are going to be happening across the entire U.S. in another 20 to 25 years."