Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hot Flashes May Be Welcome Sign In Women with Breast Cancer

Women on tamoxifen therapy who reported having hot flashes were less likely to develop recurrent breast cancer than those who did not report hot flashes, according to a study from the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Moreover, hot flashes were a stronger predictor of outcome than age, hormone receptor status or even how advanced the breast cancer was at diagnosis.... "This study provides the first evidence that hot flashes may be an indicator of a better prognosis in women with early stage breast cancer," said the study's senior author, John P. Pierce, PhD, director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. "Our data support the possibility of a significant association between hot flashes and disease outcome."--Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Breast Cancer Surgery May Do Harm

Primum non nocere, or “first do no harm,” is an oft-repeated maxim of western medicine. But a paper by a Harvard Medical School (HMS) researcher presents new support for the possibility that breast cancer surgeons may be unintentionally doing just that. The paper, published in the International Journal of Surgery, hypothesizes that African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer because they are more likely to undergo surgery at a young age to remove cancerous tumors. That surgery may in fact exacerbate the cancer by unleashing agents into the body, inflaming previously dormant tumors elsewhere. “Sometimes surgery to remove a primary tumor can kick-start a dormant disease,” said Lecturer on Surgery Michael W. Retsky, the paper’s chief author. Doctors have long observed an increased likelihood of relapse among breast cancer patients in the two years after a tumor is surgically removed. In a 2005 paper, Retsky and his fellow researchers first proposed that surgery itself might be a cause of the relapse. In that paper, Retsky found that age was the decisive factor: pre-menopausal women were significantly more likely to experience relapses after surgery than post-menopausal women were. His new paper applies this theory to another apparent trend—the high mortality rates among African-American women afflicted with breast cancer. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Epirubicin-Based Regimen Treats Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Epirubicin-based induction and maintenance chemotherapy leads to relatively high long-term survival rates in women with unilateral inflammatory breast cancer, French researchers report in the December 1st issue of Cancer. Dr. Corinne Veyret of Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen and colleagues evaluated the long-term efficacy and side effects of this treatment in 120 patients with nonmetastatic disease. The patients were randomized to high-dose fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (FEC) with or without lenograstim or placebo. They also underwent surgery, radiation therapy or both. Maintenance therapy was with FEC at lower doses and no hormone therapy was employed. No differences in outcome were seen between the lenograstim and placebo groups and overall; 76 patients (63.3%) developed recurrent disease. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Treatment-Induced Amenorrhea May Prevent Breast Cancer Relapse: Presented at SABCS

Treatment-induced amenorrhea during chemotherapy for breast cancer is associated with a significant 44% reduction in relapse risk in women under 40 years of age, a prospective, randomized study shows.Michael Gnant, MD, professor of surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, presented the results on behalf of the Austrian Breast & Colorectal Cancer Study Group here on December 15th at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).The study involved 1,099 premenopausal women with estrogen- or progestin-receptor-positive, Stage I or II breast cancer. Following surgery, the women were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment regimens: 1) ovarian suppression with 3.6 mg of goserelin (Zoladex) every 28 days for 3 years and 20 mg/day of tamoxifen for 5 years; 2) 6 cycles of chemotherapy consisting of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) 600 mg/m2 combined with methotrexate 40 mg/m2, and fluorouracil (Adrucil) 600 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1 and 8. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Monday, December 18, 2006

New Study Shows Efficacy Of AROMASIN On Early Breast Cancer

New data from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B-33 study, presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, showed that postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer who received Aromasin after five years of tamoxifen were 56% less likely to have a relapse of breast cancer than those who received placebo (P=0.004).“Aromasin provided patients with improved relapse-free survival despite early study closure, unblinding and crossover in the placebo arm,” said Dr. Terry Mamounas, NSABP breast committee chairman and lead investigator for the B-33 study. Median follow-up of 30 months also showed that disease-free survival was improved by 32% (P=0.07). Toxicity experienced with Aromasin in the B-33 trial was acceptable for the adjuvant setting. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Genomic Health Announces Multiple New Findings On Oncotype DX(TM) Based On Evaluation Of More Than 20,000 Tumor Samples

Genomic Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: GHDX) today announced the results of several studies looking at the roles and relationships of genes measured by the company's Oncotype DX breast cancer assay, including an analysis of more than 10,000 node-negative tumors indicating that all 21 genes impact the assessment of an individual woman's tumor. This research was presented at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.Oncotype DX measures the expression of 16 cancer-related genes plus 5 reference genes of an individual tumor to generate a "Recurrence Score" to quantify risk of recurrence and likelihood of response to chemotherapy. To assess the degree to which components of this multi-gene assay influence the Recurrence Score, researchers measured expression of the 16 individual cancer genes relative to reference genes in 10,618 tumor specimens on a scale of 0 to 15, where a one-unit increment is associated with a twofold change in expression. Results suggest that every cancer gene used in the Oncotype DX 21-gene panel impacts the Recurrence Score due to the potentially large variation in quantitative expression for each gene in different patients. The study found this result even though expression of certain genes and gene families; including ER, HER2 and a group of five genes linked to proliferation, have the largest coefficients used in calculating the Recurrence Score. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Young breast cancer patients test super-hormone treatment

Young women are getting a shot of a male hormone testosterone often used to treat prostate cancer as part of a super-hormone treatment that new research suggests may improve their survival odds for breast cancer. This chemical equivalent of ovary removal has one big advantage over surgery: it's not permanent, so it may preserve a woman's ability to have children. In premenopausal women, the drugs suppress the pituitary gland, which produces hormones that control the ovaries and cause a woman to have a period every month. Side effects of this induced early menopause are similar to those of natural menopause _ hot flashes, night sweats, etc., according to new research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which ended Sunday. The drugs are most often used in two situations:
  • As an alternative to chemotherapy for women who have had surgery for small, hormone-fueled tumors and are considered at relatively low risk for recurrence.
  • As a way to keep the ovaries suppressed in women whose periods return after temporarily stopping during chemotherapy.

--Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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