Younger women with breast cancer differ from their older counterparts in ways that should be appreciated by their clinicians, according to Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, Vice Chair of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. At PER’s Miami Breast Cancer Conference, held virtually this year, Dr. Partridge discussed differences that ranged from predominant subtypes to treatment outcomes and treatment adherence.1
With the widespread use of multigene panels for germline genetic testing, understanding the cancer risks associated with pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants (ie, mutations) has become increasingly necessary. To identify which genes are breast cancer susceptibility genes, population studies that compare the frequency of mutations in women with unselected breast cancer (cases) with that in women without cancer (controls) are optimal.
In an updated analysis of the European phase III MINDACT trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Martine Piccart, MD, and colleagues found confirmatory evidence of the initial finding of a high rate of distant metastasis–free survival among patients with high–clinical-risk but low–genomic-risk breast cancer who did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy. An exploratory analysis in such patients with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative disease suggested a chemotherapy benefit among patients aged 50 years and younger.
In a single-institution study reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Hawrot et al found that there was no increase in time to treatment initiation after histologic diagnosis in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, they did find that patient volume decreased and that more patients received preoperative hormonal treatment as initial therapy.
As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO, and colleagues, the phase III KEYNOTE-119 trial showed no significant improvement in overall survival with pembrolizumab vs investigator’s choice of chemotherapy in the second- or third-line treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. Evidence of potential pembrolizumab benefit was observed in patients with a higher tumor PD-L1 combined positive score.