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breast cancer
survivorship

ASCO 2017: Pregnancy After Breast Cancer Does Not Increase Chance of Recurrence

Findings from a retrospective study of 1,200 women provide reassurance to breast cancer survivors who are contemplating pregnancy. In the study, women who became pregnant after an early breast cancer diagnosis, including those with estrogen receptor–positive tumors, did not have a higher...

breast cancer
supportive care

ASCO 2017: Conquer Fear Intervention Lowers Young Breast Cancer Survivors’ Fear of Cancer Recurrence

About 50% of all cancer survivors and 70% of young breast cancer survivors report a moderate to high fear of recurrence. The fear can be so distressing that it negatively affects medical follow-up behavior, mood, relationships, work, goal setting, and quality of life. Yet interventions to alleviate ...

breast cancer

Image-Guided Biopsies Accurately Identify Patients With Breast Cancer Who Achieve Pathologic Complete Response Following Neoadjuvant Therapy

In a clinical feasibility trial conducted at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, image-guided biopsies identified select breast cancer patients who achieved pathologic complete response after neoadjuvant systemic therapy consisting of chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy. Should the...

breast cancer

Study Finds Hypofractionated Whole-Breast Irradiation Leads Breast Cancer Radiation Therapies in Cost-Effectiveness, Quality of Life

In a study of three radiation therapies for early-stage breast cancer, one treatment option stands out as offering the most value based on factors including health outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life. The treatment—hypofractionated whole-breast irradiation—also requires...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Risk and Histologic Findings in Serial Benign Biopsies

As reported by Visscher et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, changes in the histologic category between initial and subsequent biopsies had a significant effect on the risk for breast cancer among women with serial benign biopsy findings. Study Details The study involved 1,414...

Breast Cancer

For Eric P. Winer, MD, Empathy and a Sense of Purpose Lead to a Career in Oncology

Eric Paul Winer, MD, was born in Boston in 1956, a year when gasoline was 22 cents a gallon and IBM released the world’s first computer with a hard drive. His grandfather on his mother’s side had hemophilia and died 5 years before Dr. Winer was born. Although there was a 50% chance that Dr. Winer...

breast cancer

Final Overall Survival Results of TH3RESA Trial in Breast Cancer

The final overall survival results of the phase III TH3RESA trial indicate a 32% reduction in risk of death with ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) vs treatment of physician’s choice in patients with previously treated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. The findings were reported in The ...

Breast Cancer
Lymphoma

Clinical Researcher George P. Canellos, MD, Closely Involved With Two of the Most Influential Treatments in Cancer Care

George P. Canellos, MD, President of ASCO from 1993 to 1994, was born in Boston on November 1, 1934. “I came from a business family and never wanted to do business at all. As long back as I can remember, I always found medicine attractive—not only because you could help people, but you could also...

breast cancer

ASCO and CAP Invite Comment on Focused Update to HER2 Testing Guideline in Breast Cancer

Draft recommendations as part of a focused update to the ASCO/College of American Pathologists (CAP) evidence-based guideline for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) testing in breast cancer are now open for public comment through June 12, 2017. For patients with invasive breast...

breast cancer

Tai Chi Chih vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Irwin et al, Tai Chi Chih, a form of movement meditation, was noninferior to insomnia-specific cognitive behavioral therapy in improving insomnia in breast cancer survivors. Study Details In the study, 90 patients with insomnia from the...

Breast Cancer
Symptom Management

OPTIMIZE-2 Trial Offers Reassuring Data on Deescalation of Bisphosphonate Therapy for Breast Cancer–Related Bone Metastases

Bisphosphonates were first synthesized more than a century ago, with their initial usage restricted to a range of industrial processes until their potential clinical relevance was appreciated in the late 1960s.1 Then, following development for the treatment of osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of...

Breast Cancer
Symptom Management

Zoledronic Acid Every 12 Weeks Noninferior to Every 4 Weeks in Skeletal-Related Event Rate for Breast Cancer With Bone Metastases

In the phase III OPTIMIZE-2 trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues found that an every-12-week schedule of zoledronic acid was noninferior to an every-4-week schedule with regard to skeletal-related event...

Breast Cancer

New Immunotherapy Trial in Breast Cancer at Fox Chase Cancer Center

Patients with some types of breast cancer will have a new clinical trial option at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Medical oncologists Lori Goldstein, MD, and Elias Obeid, MD, MPH, are opening a phase II immunotherapy clinical trial for newly diagnosed, locally recurrent, or metastatic HER2-overexpressing ...

Breast Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Unique Challenges Facing Young Women With Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, over 252,700 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, and about 40,610 women will die of their disease. Between 7% and 10% of those new cases will be diagnosed in women younger than age 40, accounting for more than 40% of all cancer...

Breast Cancer

Palbociclib Combined With Aromatase Inhibitor in Hormone Receptor–Positive, HER2-Negative Advanced Breast Cancer

On March 31, 2017, palbociclib (Ibrance) was granted regular approval for treatment of hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy in postmenopausal women.1,2 Palbociclib received...

breast cancer

Effect of Fixed Second Appointments on Breast Cancer Screening Attendance

In a UK study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Allgood et al found that provision of a second timed appointment for breast cancer screening improved screening rates among women who did not attend a first offered appointment. Study Details In the study, women who were invited for breast screening...

breast cancer

Final Overall Survival Results of EMILIA Trial in Breast Cancer

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Diéras et al, the final overall survival results of the phase III EMILIA trial show improved outcome with ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) vs capecitabine plus lapatinib (Tykerb) in previously treated HER2-positive advanced breast cancer. Approval of...

Breast Cancer

Expert Point of View: Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH

Commenting on the phase I study of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) presented at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH, Attending Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, said: “It is very encouraging to...

Breast Cancer

Atezolizumab Improves Overall Survival in Small Subset of Patients With Triple‑Negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive disease with no approved targeted therapy, and it remains challenging to treat. Early data from a phase I study suggest that the PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) can extend the lives of a subset of women who respond to this checkpoint...

Breast Cancer

Neratinib in Combination With Ado‑trastuzumab Emtansine in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

Puma Biotechnology presented interim results from the phase Ib/II FB-10 clinical trial of the oral pan-HER family irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib given in combination with the antibody-drug conjugate ado-trastuzumab emtansine (also known as T-DM1, Kadcyla) at the 2017 American...

Breast Cancer

Expert Point of View: Filipa Lynce, MD

Formal discussant of the MONARCH 1 trial and the MONALEESA-2 biomarker analysis, Filipa Lynce, MD, of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC, noted that this is the first study to evaluate a cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor in patients with progressive...

Breast Cancer

Abemaciclib Active in Metastatic Breast Cancer

In the single-arm phase II MONARCH 1 trial, the investigational cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor abemaciclib achieved an objective response in about 20% of heavily pretreated patients with metastatic hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and a disease control rate of...

Supportive Care
Breast Cancer

Anticipate Sexual Dysfunction in Patients on Aromatase Inhibitors

For patients with breast cancer starting on aromatase inhibitors, sexual dysfunction is commonly reported. Early intervention may lessen its impact—but it’s not an easy fix, says a specialist in this area, Leslie R. Schover, PhD. Dr. Schover is Founder of Will2Love, an online sexual health program ...

Breast Cancer

Expert Point of View: Julie Margenthaler, MD

“This study of 2,759 patients with ductal carcinoma in situ provides data for women who are considering their surgical options,” said Julie Margenthaler, MD, a breast surgeon at Washington University of Medicine, St. Louis, and Communications Chair of the American Society of Breast Surgeons...

Breast Cancer

Study Establishes Low Risk for Contralateral Breast Cancer After Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

An increasing number of women with ductal carcinoma in situ are undergoing contralateral mastectomy, but the 5-year risk of cancer in the opposite breast is only about 3%, a study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recently found.1 Investigators hope these numbers will dissuade women from ...

Breast Cancer

Expert Point of View: Judy C. Boughey, MD

“Inflammatory breast cancer represents the aggressive end of the spectrum of breast cancer at presentation. It is encouraging It to see the high 5-year breast cancer–specific survival rates reported in this cohort of 114 women,” said Judy C. Boughey, MD, a breast surgeon at the Mayo Clinic,...

Breast Cancer

Triple‑Modality Therapy Achieves Good Control in Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Contemporary triple-modality therapy achieves excellent locoregional tumor control of inflammatory breast cancer, with only 4 locoregional recurrences out of 114 patients treated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. The investigators described their approach at the...

Breast Cancer
Geriatric Oncology

Accrual of Older Patients to Breast Cancer Trials: A Critical Need

As the U.S. population ages,1 the number of older women with breast cancer will increase,2 as well as the number of patients with frailty and other comorbid medical conditions. These patients are at increased risk for toxicity and functional decline during their breast cancer treatment course....

Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Germline Genetic Testing and Treatment Decisions in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Allison W. Kurian, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues, surveys in a population-based sample of patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer indicate that many undergo genetic risk testing without seeing a genetics...

Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Provision of Genetic Services to Women With Breast Cancer: We Must Do Much Better

Genetic testing for inherited cancer susceptibility is increasingly part of the care of cancer patients and their relatives. Early clinical guidelines recommended BRCA1/2 testing for women diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer if they also have a significant family cancer history or Ashkenazi...

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Genomics/Genetics

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®): 2017 Guidelines

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®): 2017 Guidelines In 1996, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) published its first set of Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology®, covering 8 tumor types. Guidelines are now published for more than 60 tumor types and...

Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Suboptimal Genetic Testing and Counseling Among Women With Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer

In a population-based study reported in a research letter in JAMA, Allison W. Kurian, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues found that genetic testing and genetic counseling are suboptimal among women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.1 Study Details The study involved...

Breast Cancer

Cholesterol-Lowering Medication Use and Breast Cancer Outcome

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Signe Borgquist, MD, PhD, of Lund University, Sweden, and colleagues found that use of cholesterol-lowering medication during adjuvant endocrine therapy was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence in hormone...

breast cancer

Alcohol Consumption May Be Associated With Higher Risk of Breast Cancer in African American Women

Alcohol intake was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in a large study of African American women, indicating that they, like white women, may benefit from limiting their alcohol consumption, according to results of a study published by Williams et al in Cancer Epidemiology,...

breast cancer

Study on Women Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

A study by Mariotto et al investigating the prevalence of women living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States estimates that there are 154,794 women living with the disease. In addition, the median and 5-year relative survival for women initially diagnosed with metastatic breast...

breast cancer

Long-Term Follow-up of Intergroup Exemestane Study

A final efficacy analysis of the Intergroup Exemestane Study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Morden et al, shows continued benefit of switching to adjuvant exemestane after 2 to 3 years of tamoxifen in patients with early breast cancer. Study Details In the trial, patients who...

breast cancer

Hypofractionated Postmastectomy Radiation in Breast Cancer

In a phase II trial, Khan et al found that hypofractionated postmastectomy radiotherapy, completed in 15 treatment days, was safe and effective in women with stage II to IIIa breast cancer. The study was reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Study Details In the study, 67 women from 2...

breast cancer

Changes in HER2 Breast Cancer Testing According to 2007 and 2013 ASCO/CAP Guidelines

Hanna et al have reported that the 2013 update to the 2007 ASCO/College of American Pathologists (CAP) recommendations for HER2 testing in breast cancer did not result in changes in the overall HER2-positivity rate but was associated with a higher rate of equivocal results. Their findings were...

breast cancer

Adding Pertuzumab to Trastuzumab/Capecitabine in Pretreated HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

The phase III PHEREXA trial has shown no significant improvement in progression-free survival with the addition of pertuzumab (Perjeta) to trastuzumab (Herceptin)/capecitabine in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer with disease progression during or after trastuzumab-based...

breast cancer

FDA Approves Ribociclib/Letrozole Co‑Pack for Postmenopausal Patients With Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer

On May 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the copackaging of ribociclib (Kisqali) and letrozole (Femara) tablets for the treatment of hormone receptor–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal ...

Breast Cancer
Symptom Management

Saving My Hair Changed My Perception of Having Cancer

Getting a callback after a routine screening mammogram in 2013 did not set off any alarm bells. Having dense breasts has almost guaranteed receiving the dreaded callback ever since I started getting annual screenings. But when I got a second callback after additional images of a suspicious lesion...

breast cancer

Final, 10-Year Follow-up of Phase III Trial on Adding Gemcitabine to Adjuvant Therapy in Breast Cancer

The final, 10-year follow-up of the ‘all comers’ tAnGo trial, reported by Earl et al in The Lancet Oncology, continued to show no overall benefit of adding gemcitabine to adjuvant therapy in women with early-stage breast cancer. The trial, initiated in 2001, included patients...

Breast Cancer

Expert Point of View: Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD

“More and more, we are finding that traditional anatomic TNM staging has significant limitations in predicting prognosis, especially in such cases where response to therapy is an important consideration,” commented session moderator Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD, a surgical oncologist at the...

Breast Cancer

Neo-Bioscore Improves Staging of Breast Cancer Treated With Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

A new score that incorporates tumor biology and response outperforms conventional histopathologic criteria for the staging of breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, finds a retrospective validation cohort study.1 Investigators led by John R. Bergquist, MD, MS, MA, a general surgery...

breast cancer

IMPAKT 2017: Few Variations in Somatic Mutations Observed Between Pregnant and Nonpregnant Patients With Breast Cancer

Findings comparing the mutational landscape in pregnant and nonpregnant patients with breast cancer that sought to define whether the disease may have a different biology in pregnant women were reported by Loibl et al at the 2017 IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference, held in Brussels (Abstract...

breast cancer

IMPAKT 2017: Luminal Androgen Receptor Subtype of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Demonstrates Sensitivity to CDK4/6 Inhibition

Researchers have identified a subtype of triple-negative breast cancer that may be responsive to inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6), according to findings presented by Asghar et al at the 2017 IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference, held in Brussels (Abstract 44P). This study also...

breast cancer

IMPAKT 2017: High Baseline Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte Levels Signal Superior Responses in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Baseline levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in pretreatment biopsies from patients with HER2-positive breast cancer are significantly associated with pathologic complete response rates following neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus anti-HER2 agents (trastuzumab [Herceptin], lapatinib...

breast cancer

Germline Genetic Testing and Treatment Decisions in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Kurian et al, surveys in a population-based sample of patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer indicate that many undergo genetic risk testing without seeing a genetics counselor and that many with BRCA1/2 variants of uncertain significance...

breast cancer

Benefit of Survivorship Care Plans Among Low-Income, Predominantly Latina Breast Cancer Survivors

A randomized trial, reported by Maly et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, has shown that having an individualized survivorship care plan in place was associated with increased physician implementation of recommended breast cancer survivorship care among low-income, predominantly Latina breast ...

breast cancer

New 'Bone-in Culture Array' Tests Therapies for Breast Cancer Metastasis

A new laboratory technique developed by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions can rapidly test the effectiveness of treatments for life-threatening breast cancer metastases in bone. Findings of this research were published by Wang et al in Nature Communications....

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