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"A drug now used to treat a type of lymphoma has shown surprising benefit in preclinical studies of inflammatory breast cancer, according to a researcher at Thomas Jefferson University's Kimmel Cancer Center.
The finding, published online this month in the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology, has led to development of a phase 1/2 clinical trial at Kimmel Cancer Center to test the agent, Romidepsin (Istodax), in combination with nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) chemotherapy for advanced inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).
"Because this kind of breast cancer is very difficult to treat, we hope this new combination of anticancer agents will change the outcome of this aggressive disease," says the study's senior investigator, Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor of Medical Oncology and Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the lead author, Fredika Robertson, Ph.D., at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and was supported by a Promise Grant from the Susan G Komen Foundation awarded to Drs. Cristofanilli and Robertson in 2008."
Motivating Women to Forget the Message: When Do Breast Cancer Ads Backfire? Science Daily (press release) Dec. 10, 2013 — After a traumatic experience, the details we remember surrounding the event are sometimes foggy.
High cholesterol fuels growth and spread of breast Cancer News-Medical.net Researchers at Duke Medicine conclude that high cholesterol may make breast cancer worse when they found that a byproduct of cholesterol functions like the hormone estrogen,...
"Are you seeing pink? October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means pink ribbons and pink everything are showing up everywhere - NFL players sport pink accessories, there are pink cereal boxes on store shelves and pink newspapers in the mailbox. But is that pink can of soup really making a difference to eliminate breast cancer? Critics call it "pinkwashing" and say it's time to move past the superficial awareness campaigns for what is a complicated and devastating disease. They say that visibility and fundraising alone isn't the answer to ending breast cancer and that this sort of marketing oversimplifies the disease with detrimental effects. We'll explore the nexus of disease, marketing, awareness and research in what some call our "feel good war on breast cancer" and learn about some of the politics and controversies over prevention and treatments."
The stress of a breast cancer diagnosis and its treatment can produce a variety of psychosocial sequelae including impaired immune responses. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a structured complementary program that incorporates meditation, yoga and mind-body exercises. Despite promising empirical evidence for the efficacy of MBSR, there is a need for randomized controlled trials (RCT). There is also a need for RCTs investigating the efficacy of psychosocial interventions on mood disorder and immune response in women with breast cancer. Therefore, the overall aim is to determine the efficacy of a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention on well-being and immune response in women with breast cancer.
Methods and design
In this RCT, patients diagnosed with breast cancer, will consecutively be recruited to participate. Participants will be randomized into one of three groups: MBSR Intervention I (weekly group sessions + self-instructing program), MBSR Intervention II (self-instructing program), and Controls (non-MBSR). Data will be collected before start of intervention, and 3, 6, and 12 months and thereafter yearly up to 5 years. This study may contribute to evidence-based knowledge concerning the efficacy of MBSR to support patient empowerment to regain health in breast cancer disease.
"The contemporary approach to metastatic breast cancer (MBC) management consists of individualized treatment to best suit the patient's breast cancer characteristics and clinical history. The wealth of treatments available has heightened the complexity of tailored patient care and can result in better quality of life (QoL). Although there is no internationally accepted definition of health-related QoL, it is clearly multidimensional and should include physical, emotional, social and cognitive functioning in addition to disease symptoms.1
Much attention has been given to QoL recently, and its measure has been incorporated as an endpoint into many clinical trials. However, a recent meta-analysis of 122 trials noted that still only one-third of phase III clinical trials in MBC assess QoL.2 The authors call for greater emphasis on the evaluation of QoL with standard, validated tools in MBC clinical trials."
"T-DM1 (ado-trastuzumab emtansine; Kadcyla) extended progression-free survival (PFS) compared with “physician’s choice of treatment” in women with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, according to primary results from the TH3RESA trial reported at the 2013 European Cancer Congress. All the women in the trial had progressed on two or more previous HER2-directed treatments, including trastuzumab (Herceptin) and lapatinib (Tykerb). An interim analysis of overall survival (OS) suggests that T-DM1 may have a survival benefit in this setting, but longer follow-up is needed. Previously, the EMILIA trial showed improved median PFS and OS with T-DM1 versus capecitabine (Xeloda) and lapatinib in women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer previously treated with a taxane and trastuzumab. TH3RESA is the first phase III trial to evaluate T-DM1 in patients previously treated with at least two HER2-specific therapies, explained the first author of the late-breaking presentation, Hans Wildiers, MD, PhD, University Hospital Leuven, Gasthuisberg, Belgium. “T-DM1 demonstrated improved safety and efficacy compared with the physician’s choice of [therapy]. T-DM1 achieved a significant improvement in PFS, and the effect was clear and consistent across subgroups. These data affirm the results of EMILIA, demonstrating a consistent PFS benefit of T-DM1 in patients with previously treated HER2-positive advanced breast cancer. T-DM1 should become the new standard of care [in this setting],” Wildiers said."
"A major Department of Defense grant to researchers Jennifer Richer, PhD, and Anthony Elias, MD, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center aids development of drugs that target androgen receptors as a driver of breast cancer.
In August 2013, patient Linda Griffin failed her second aromatase inhibitor. Three and a half years ago, she had been diagnosed with estrogen-positive (ER+) metastatic breast cancer and with August's news she was running out of hormonal therapies.
"My oncologist had been a resident at the University of Colorado and so when my treatment failed, he said it was time to call Dr. Elias," Griffin says.
Anthony Elias, MD, is breast cancer program director at CU Cancer Center and the clinician side of a clinician-researcher team with Jennifer Richer, PhD, associate professor of pathology and co-director of the CU Cancer Center Tissue Processing and Procurement Core. Together, Richer and Elias have spent a decade laying the groundwork for targeting androgen receptors in breast cancer. Now the team expects this major Department of Defense grant will allow them to place androgen receptors alongside those for estrogen and progesterone as hormonal drivers of breast cancer, and a target for drugs that treat the disease.
"Breast cancers have addictions," says Elias. "Some are addicted to estrogen, some to progesterone, some depend on the growth factor HER2. You use drugs to take away these things the cancer needs and the cancer can't grow."
"Oct. 1, 2013 — A conservative approach to removing lymph nodes is associated with less harm for breast cancer patients and often yields the same results as more radical procedures, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.A conservative approach to removing lymph nodes is associated with less harm for breast cancer patients and often yields the same results as more radical procedures, researchers have found.
In the Oct. 2 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, lead author Dr. Roshni Rao, associate professor of surgery at UT Southwestern, and other investigators from the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center reviewed studies on patient outcomes of women who had received various forms of surgical treatment, ranging from removal of one lymph node to prevent the spread of breast cancer to removing the entire network of lymph nodes spanning the armpits.
Until recently, clinical practice guidelines advised complete axillary node dissection -- removal of all 20-30 axillary nodes -- if a woman's sentinel node biopsy was positive. "
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"Here in San Antonio, a crowd of more than 7,000 people from around the world will gather for one of the world's largest scientific meetings devoted solely to breast cancer.
Starting today through Saturday, the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) will spotlight the newest discoveries in the science of breast cancer and the best ways to prevent and treat the disease, which affects about one in eight American women. The conference is a collaboration of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Baylor College of Medicine. Now in its 36th year, SABCS attracts physicians, nurses, researchers and patient advocates. Breast cancer specialist Carlos Arteaga calls it “the breast cancer family.” Arteaga is conference co-director and president-elect of the AACR. “We get together every year to learn the latest in breast cancer and to get a thermometer on the rate of progress,” said Arteaga, associate director for translational/clinical research and director of the Breast Cancer Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center in Nashville. Beth Emery is a five-year survivor and president of the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF), a San Antonio-based nonprofit that offers financial assistance to patient advocates who want to attend the symposium. Since the scholarship program started in 1998, the foundation has brought 505 advocates to SABCS from every state and 22 foreign countries. ABCF holds nightly “Hot Topics Mentor Sessions,” where doctors and scientists spend two hours putting the day’s research highlights into perspective. Last year, a few hundred survivors, patient advocates, nurses and other health professionals filled the room each night. “The advocates that come out of the symposium create this national and international network of people who help connect patients with the resources and information they need to know what’s going on,” Emery said."
Via Susan Zager
Natalie Palmer's insight:
Looking forward to hearing all the updates from SABCS 2013.
Waterbury Republican American Young women with breast cancer have more late-stage illness, lower survival rates Waterbury Republican American During her 40th year of life, a woman has a 1 in 173 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, Johnson...
"It's October and the NFL is once again covered head-to-toe in pink accessories and equipment as part of the league's Breast Cancer Awareness initiative.
While fans can also purchase pink clothing and accessories to support the cause, a shockingly small amount of the fans' money is actually going towards cancer research.
According to data obtained from the NFL by Darren Rovell of ESPN, the NFL "takes a 25% royalty from the wholesale price (1/2 retail), donates 90% of royalty to American Cancer Society."
In other words, for every $100 in pink merchandise sold, $12.50 goes to the NFL. Of that, $11.25 goes to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the NFL keeps the rest. The remaining money is then divided up by the company that makes the merchandise (37.5%) and the company that sells the merchandise (50.0%), which is often the NFL and the individual teams.
Then consider that only 71.2% of money the ACS receives goes towards research and cancer programs."
A Houston woman writes a screenplay while getting breast cancer treatment; a Phoenix woman writes and stages a play, using humor to deal with her experience.
Treatment for breast cancer can take a lot of courage, but it can also inspire creativity. Two women turned to their pens — and their laptops — to cope with the emotional and physical tests they endured through breast cancer treatment.
When Wendy Hunsaker, 48, of Houston was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago, it came completely "out of the blue." She had no family history of the disease and was otherwise healthy.
She was shocked by the news, and going through treatment felt "surreal," she says. She figured she could sit in the waiting room and stew while all this was going on, or she could distract herself by doing something creative."
"BOSTON — An investigational new PARP inhibitor, BMN 673, is showing early responses in patients with heavily pretreated, advanced, BRCA-related cancers of the breast and ovary, according to phase I clinical trial results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct. 19–23.
When there is damage to DNA in human cells, two proteins, PARP 1 and 2, recruit proteins that can repair the damage associated with loss of BRCA proteins. Mutations in BRCA genes often result in inefficient repair of damaged DNA, which increases the risk for developing certain cancers, including cancers of the breast and ovary. Inhibiting PARP, therefore, prevents the repair of damaged DNA, leading to cell death. While some PARP inhibitors have been tested in various settings, none are approved to date."
"In 1985, the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries — manufacturer of tamoxifen and precursor of AstraZeneca — declared October to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the goal of promoting mammography. Since that time, October has become a month of “pinkwashing,” with groups from the NFL to major newspapers to fast food purveyor KFC painting themselves pink to “raise awareness” of breast cancer and promote screening. Local newspapers, of course, are far from immune to the pinkwashing epidemic.
The lead article in the lifestyle section of the Easton Express-Times on October 6 (which actually looked like the front page to home delivery customers, because the lifestyle section is wrapped around the news section) shouted, “Once and (hopefully) done.
The happy patient is shown with her smiling doctor in a photo accompanying the article, which is a model of how not to do medical journalism. The gist of the story is that Sharlene Schoenen had early-stage breast cancer, which was treated (apparently successfully) with intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). Coating that kernel of truth is a sticky layer of emotion on the part of the patient, which changes the article from a feature about a new therapy for a select group of breast cancer patients to a promotion for IORT, and by extension, for St. Luke’s Hospital, which offers it.
“The day after her lumpectomy, Sharlene Schoenen went out for dinner,” the article opens, and the quality of journalism goes downhill from there. “Her cancer treatment was over as quickly as it had begun,” the reporter states, ignoring published research indicating that for some women, whole-breast irradiation and even additional surgery are necessary subsequent to the IORT procedure. The reporter continues to quote the patient, noting that “She highly recommends the treatment to those who are candidates for it,” again ignoring a published scientific review whose authors assert that “there is still little information about the effectiveness of PBI [partial breast irradiation] via EBRT [external beam radiotherapy] or novel strategies like IORT, which therefore should preferably be investigated within trials.”
The longest, most comprehensive follow-up yet of women given hormone pills during landmark government research found many health risks faded and some unexpected benefits emerged, but advice remains unchanged: Use hormones only short term if needed to relieve hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
In the follow-up involving more than 27,000 women, researchers analyzed 13 years of data, including up to eight years of information on what happened after women stopped taking replacement hormones _ estrogen alone or with progestin. The researchers present the most detailed information yet on hormones' health effects by age, and include new information on risks based on time since menopause.
Estrogen pills, used by women who've had a hysterectomy, appeared to be safer, especially for younger women _ those who started taking hormones in their 50s, the study found. That's mainly because of a persistent breast cancer risk among women who'd taken the combined estrogen-progestin pills. Also, heart attacks risks were strongest among women given combined pills when they were in their 70s and decades past menopause_ although in the real world, most hormone users start taking them at younger ages, when risks are lower.
"Time and time again, individuals living with stage IV/metastatic breast cancer tell me they don't like October, all the pink hoopla and the countless pink ribbons that appear everywhere. They feel they do not fit the image so often portrayed. You know the one: the strong, brave and positive-minded warrior in pink. The image which suggests if you just fight hard enough you'll be fine. The unspoken message also seems to be, unintended or not, that metastatic patients have somehow failed in their pink fight.
During the month which is supposed to be all about support, instead many of these women feel alone. They feel isolated. They feel left out; yes, even invisible.
The fact that individuals living with metastatic breast cancer so often feel alone and isolated is heartbreaking; it's also unacceptable.
The IOM examined the quality of cancer care in the United States and concluded that the cancer care delivery system is in crisis due to a growing demand for cancer care, increasing complexity of treatment, a shrinking workforce, and rising costs.
A committee convened by the Institute of Medicine has completed a review of Cancer Care in the US and produced a report “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis”.
The committee concluded that the cancer care delivery system is in crisis due to a growing demand for cancer care, increasing complexity of treatment, a shrinking workforce, and rising costs. This conclusion comes as the number of those most susceptible to cancer - adults 65 and older - is expected to double by 2030, contributing to a 45 percent increase in the number of people developing cancer.
The report recommends ways to respond to these challenges and improve cancer care delivery, including by strengthening clinicians’ core competencies in caring for patients with cancer, shifting to team-based models of care, and communicating more effectively with patients.
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