Breast Cancer

How Will ctDNA Assays Aid in Managing Breast Cancer?

CIRCULATING TUMOR DNA (ctDNA) assays are now commercially available for use in lung cancer and melanoma, where they can identify the presence of specific mutations that drive treatment selection. In breast cancer, ctDNA remains more of a research tool, but this is poised to change.  At the 2018...

Breast Cancer

Potent Anti-HER2 Agents on the Horizon

THANKS TO the efficacy of five approved anti-HER2 agents, patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have overall survival numbers that are as good as, or better than, their HER2-negative counterparts. With the next generation of anti-HER2 therapies in clinical trials, these outcomes may become even ...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Extended Duration of Aromatase Inhibitors Need Not Be Very Long

At the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), Michael Gnant, MD, FACS, of the Medical University of Vienna presented the 9-year median follow-up of a trial looking at the length of extended aromatase inhibitor therapy. At least four other recently presented or published trials have...

Symptom Management
Supportive Care
Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Acupuncture for Joint Pain Associated With Aromatase Inhibition

Although aromatase inhibitors are highly effective as adjuvant therapy in metastatic breast cancer and for prevention of breast cancer, the side effects can be difficult to tolerate and often lead to discontinuation of therapy. A phase III randomized trial has found that acupuncture may relieve...

breast cancer

Anthony D. Elias, MD, on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Treatment Update

Anthony D. Elias, MD, of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, reviews promising experimental treatments, as well as PARP inhibitor therapy in TNBC, including the implications of newly approved olaparib for gBRCA-mutant breast cancer.

breast cancer

William J. Gradishar, MD, on Hormone-Sensitive Breast Cancer: Treatment Update

William J. Gradishar, MD, of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, discusses recent evidence on the efficacy, safety, and utility of HER2-targeted treatments in the adjuvant setting for early-stage and advanced breast cancers.

Breast Cancer

When Is Active Surveillance Appropriate in the Treatment of DCIS?

In 2017, more than 63,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with in situ breast cancer. The overwhelming majority of those women, about 83%, were diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a condition characterized by the presence of abnormal cells confined to the breast milk ducts;...

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Care in U.S. Territories Seems to Lag Behind Care in Continental United States

OLDER WOMEN residing in U.S. territories are less likely to receive recommended or timely care for breast cancer compared with similar women residing in the continental United States, according to Yale researchers, whose findings were published in Health Affairs.1  “Inferior breast cancer care in...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

FDA Approves Abemaciclib as Initial Therapy for Hormone Receptor–Positive, HER2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

On February 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved abemaciclib (Verzenio) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer. MONARCH 3 Approval...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Mentorship From a Past ASCO President and Others Steers a Career to Academic Research

  Breast cancer specialist Stacy L. Moulder, MD, was born and reared in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a small town southwest of the state capital of Jackson. “I was always interested in math and science, and I had a wonderful biology teacher in high school. It was when the advanced placement courses...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines May Lead to Delayed Diagnosis in Nonwhite Women

The current guidelines for mammographic breast cancer screening, which are based on data from primarily white populations, may lead to delayed diagnosis in nonwhite women, according to a report published by Stapleton et al in JAMA Surgery. A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)...

Breast Cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Aditya Bardia, MD

ADITYA BARDIA, MD, Director of Precision Medicine at the Center for Breast Cancer, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, said: “This large, well-powered trial that included 181 centers and more than 2,600 patients unfortunately failed to show that celecoxib improved...

Breast Cancer

No Evidence of Celecoxib Benefit Reported in Patients With Early Breast Cancer

TWO YEARS of treatment with celecoxib had no observed effect on 5-year outcomes of patients with early breast cancer in the large REACT trial presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “There was no overall benefit observed in disease-free survival or overall survival for...

Breast Cancer

Selected Abstracts From the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

EACH YEAR, The ASCO Post asks Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute and Co-Director of the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program, to give his picks for the most important research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer...

breast cancer
survivorship
symptom management

Internet-Delivered Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors

In a Danish study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Zachariae et al found that an Internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention improved insomnia among breast cancer survivors. Study Details In the study, 255 patients from a national sample of Danish breast...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Conqueror in Action: Katherine Reeder-Hayes, MD, Takes on Breast Cancer

When a cutting-edge cancer tool becomes available, marginalized populations such as African Americans and older patients often have less access to it than other populations. This is problematic, especially when those with limited access are those who could benefit the most. As a result, public...

breast cancer
survivorship

Electra D. Paskett, PhD, on Breast Cancer and Arm Mobility: Clinical Trial Results

Electra D. Paskett, PhD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses study findings on whether exercise helps women with breast cancer regain arm mobility after lymph node surgery (Abstract 123).

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Huntsman Cancer Institute to Use National Cancer Institute Grant for Breast Cancer Trial Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has been awarded a $2.4 million 2-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to help continue its research in breast cancer. Alana Welm, PhD, and Bryan Welm, PhD, investigators at Huntsman Cancer Institute, along with Michael Lewis, PhD, a...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Ovarian Function Suppression During and After Chemotherapy Valid for Some Patients With Early Breast Cancer

Temporary ovarian suppression during chemotherapy as a means of preserving ovarian function and fertility in young women with early breast cancer is controversial. An eagerly awaited meta-analysis including individual patient data from five randomized controlled trials found that the use of...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Perioperative Aromatase Inhibitors: No Effect on Recurrence, but Ki67 Level Important

Updated analysis from the United Kingdom’s POETIC trial found no evidence that perioperative aromatase inhibitor therapy slows or prevents time to recurrence of breast cancer. However, the study did show that tumor Ki67 levels after 2 weeks of perioperative aromatase inhibitor therapy are...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

SABCS Highlights Focus on Predicting Residual Tumor Burden, Therapy-Related Arm Morbidity, Lifestyle and Cancer Risk

We have covered many of the important presentations from the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in the pages of The ASCO Post and in our online Evening News. Here are summaries of additional noteworthy studies presented at the meeting. We hope you will find them of interest. Predicting...

breast cancer
survivorship

2018 SURVIVORSHIP: Exercise Speeds Improvement in Arm Mobility After Surgery for Breast Cancer

New findings from a clinical trial of women with breast cancer suggest that guided exercise with a physical therapist after lymph node dissection helps women regain their range of arm motion more quickly. These findings will be presented by Paskett et al at the upcoming 2018 Cancer Survivorship...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
survivorship

2018 SURVIVORSHIP: Exercising During Chemotherapy for Breast or Colon Cancer Has Long-Term Benefits

A follow-up study to a randomized clinical trial reveals that exercising during adjuvant chemotherapy helps people engage in more physical activity years later. Four years later, people with breast or colon cancer who had participated in an 18-week exercise program while receiving chemotherapy...

Breast Cancer

ASCO/CCO Focused Guideline Update on Role of Bone-Modifying Agents in Metastatic Breast Cancer

AS REPORTED BY Catherine Van Poznak, MD, FASCO, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, ASCO and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) have collaborated in providing a focused update for the ASCO clinical practice guideline on the role of bone-modifying...

Breast Cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO; Heikki Joensuu, MD; and Julie Gralow, MD, FASCO

IN INTERVIEWS with The ASCO Post and in discussions held during the meeting, several breast cancer experts weighed in on the findings of GeparSepto and CALGB 40502.  Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO, Chief of the Division of Women’s Cancers and the Thompson Senior Investigator in Breast Cancer Research at ...

Breast Cancer

Updates of Key Studies Differ on Relative Benefit of Nab-Paclitaxel in Breast Cancer

TWO IMPORTANT STUDIES, both updates of earlier findings and presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, provided different findings as to the relative benefit of nanoparticle albumin-bound (nab)-paclitaxel (Abraxane), vs solvent-based paclitaxel in breast cancer.  “The two studies...

Breast Cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Julie Gralow, MD, FASCO

JULIE GRALOW, MD, FASCO, Director of Breast Medical Oncology for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, commented on the findings of the SUCCESS A trial in an interview with The ASCO Post.  The Oxford meta-analysis...

Breast Cancer

Adjuvant Zoledronic Acid in Early Breast Cancer: Is 5 Years Better?

THE PHASE III SUCCESS A trial, presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, found no benefit for extending the use of intravenous zoledronic acid from 2 years to 5 years.1  “At this time point, our study showed no difference in disease-free survival or overall survival between 5 years ...

Breast Cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: C. Kent Osborne, MD, and Joseph Sparano, MD

“ONCOLOGISTS WANT to find drugs that will delay the use of chemotherapy, and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitors provide that. These agents work better than chemotherapy and with less toxicity,” said press conference moderator C. Kent Osborne, MD, Director of the Duncan Cancer Center at...

Breast Cancer

CDK 4/6 Inhibitors May Be Effective but More Toxic in Older Women

OLDER WOMEN with breast cancer derive benefit from treatment with cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitors as part of initial endocrine-based therapy for hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, metastatic breast cancer, according to a retrospective pooled subgroup analysis of women aged 70 or ...

Breast Cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: William Sikov, MD, and Carlos L. Arteaga, MD

BREAST CANCER EXPERTS found the small differences in benefit for 1 year vs 9 weeks of adjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin) in the SOLD trial to be provocative. William Sikov, MD, of Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island’s Breast Health Center and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown...

Breast Cancer

Trastuzumab for 9 Weeks Fails to Show Noninferiority in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

ANOTHER TRIAL has validated that 1 year of adjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin) remains the standard in HER2-positive breast cancer, but the margin of difference, compared with just 9 weeks of the drug, was slim, based on the findings of the phase III SOLD trial reported at the 2017 San Antonio Breast...

Breast Cancer

Precision Medicine: Hope or Hype?

ALTHOUGH PRECISION medicine may be a recent discovery in some fields, it is an old story in the field of breast cancer, and one that has been exceptionally important in terms of managing the disease, according to George Sledge, MD, FASCO, Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncologist at the...

Breast Cancer

Bone-Modifying Agents in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Time to De-escalate Dosing Intervals

AS REVIEWED in this issue of The ASCO Post, ASCO and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) have issued an updated guideline on the role of bone-modifying agents in metastatic breast cancer.1 The updated guideline supports a change in clinical practice for our patients with breast cancer and bone metastasis....

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Steep Decline in Chemotherapy Use for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

The use of chemotherapy to treat women with early-stage breast cancer “declined markedly over time,” according to analysis of data from 2,926 women between the ages of 20 and 79. The trends documented “are remarkable for their steepness of decline, independent of clinical factors and despite no...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

I’m Not a Victim of Cancer

What I thought after feeling a large, hard lump—similar to the feel of a granola bar—in my left breast was that I probably pulled a muscle while playing with my two young children, ages 7 and 5. Cancer never entered my mind until I asked my husband to feel the lump, and he immediately said, with...

breast cancer
survivorship

Effects of Group Psychosocial Intervention on Body Image and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Esplen et al found that a group psychosocial intervention was effective in improving body image concerns and breast cancer–related quality of life among breast cancer survivors. Study Details In the study, 194 breast cancer survivors...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer

Two Genetic Mutations Implicated in Breast Cancer Emerge From Study of Lynch Syndrome

Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and GeneDx, a genetic testing company, have identified two new genetic mutations associated with breast cancer: MSH6 and PMS2. The researchers’ study—published by Roberts et al in Genetics in Medicine—suggests that...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
gynecologic cancer
hepatobiliary cancer
lung cancer
pancreatic cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

Detecting and Localizing Eight Cancer Types With One Multianalyte Blood Test

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and also helps identify the location of the cancer. The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer...

Breast Cancer
Kidney Cancer

Reports From the Journal of Clinical Oncology

BREAST CANCER  Survival in Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Explored in Retrospective Study  In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Stover et al found that cell-free (cf) DNA tumor fraction ≥ 10% was associated with worse survival in metastatic triple-negative breast...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

FDA Approves Olaparib for Germline BRCA-Mutated Metastatic Breast Cancer

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to olaparib (Lynparza), a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer who...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancer
cost of care

Population-Based Screening for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetic Mutations Appears Cost-Effective

The cost-effectiveness of population-based panel testing for the known high- and moderate-penetrance ovarian and breast cancer mutations, including BRCA1, BRCA2, RAD51C, RAD51D, BRIP1, and PALB2, was not known. Now, a study evaluating the cost-effectiveness of screening the general population for...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Circulating Tumor Cells May Predict Late Recurrence in Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer

In patients with early breast cancer, the presence in the blood of circulating tumor cells 5 years after diagnosis increases the risk for recurrence nearly 20-fold, researchers reported at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “We found that a single positive circulating tumor cell assay...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Power of Pathologic Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy Demonstrated in I-SPY 2 Trial

  More evidence of the power of pathologic complete response (pCR) now comes from an update of the multicenter, adaptively randomized I-SPY 2 trial. In a study reported at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, pCR predicted for event-free and distant disease–free survival in high-risk...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Proof-of-Principle Study of Combination Checkpoint Inhibitor Plus Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Advanced Breast Cancer

  The combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) may turn out to be a good treatment option for patients with trastuzumab-resistant advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, according to the results of an early study presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

NSABP B-47: No Benefit for Adjuvant Trastuzumab in HER2-Low Breast Cancer

  For more than a decade, breast cancer experts have wondered whether women with low levels of HER2 might derive some benefit from trastuzumab (Herceptin), based on signals seen in earlier trastuzumab trials. Most notably, in the landmark National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) ...

Solid Tumors
Breast Cancer

Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate Active in Refractory Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In relapsed or refractory triple-negative breast cancer, the antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan (IMMU-132) demonstrated significant clinical activity in an open-label study presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “Metastatic triple-negative breast cancer is an...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Growing Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Management of Brain Metastases

Increasing use of a potentially life-saving treatment for metastatic cancer is leaving too many vulnerable patients behind, according to a new study from Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital published by Kann et al in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The...

breast cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology
gastrointestinal cancer

Study Finds Increased Risk in Common Cancers in Female Night Shift Workers

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified shift work with circadian disruption or chronodisruption as a probable human carcinogen. Now, a meta-analysis investigating whether long-term shift work increases the risks of common cancers in women has found that, overall, night...

breast cancer

Dual HER2 Inhibition Plus Aromatase Inhibitor in Metastatic Breast Cancer

The phase III ALTERNATIVE trial has shown progression-free survival benefit with the addition of lapatinib (Tykerb) to trastuzumab (Herceptin) and an aromatase inhibitor among postmenopausal women with HER2-positive, hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer. These findings were...

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