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breast cancer

Role of Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine in Metastatic Breast Cancer Solidified

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine (formerly T-DM1; Kadcyla) improved overall survival compared with treatment of physician’s choice of therapy for patients with pretreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, according to the phase III TH3RESA trial.1 Patients enrolled in the trial had previously been...

breast cancer

Tamoxifen or Anastrozole for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ?

Ductal carcinoma in situ is a relatively benign form of breast cancer (stage 0), yet up to 10% of women with ductal carcinoma in situ will have a recurrence within 10 years. At present, there is no way to identify which women will recur, so standard treatment is lumpectomy plus radiation therapy....

breast cancer

Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer: Early Lackluster Study Results yet Promise Remains

Immunotherapy is at the forefront of exciting new approaches to cancer, with excellent and long-lasting responses in metastatic melanoma and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and several immunotherapy agents now approved for those malignancies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The...

breast cancer

Prophylactic Beta-Blocker Preserves Left-Ventricular Function in Patients Receiving Trastuzumab

The beta-blocker bisoprolol was able to prevent trastuzumab (Herceptin)-associated declines in left-ventricular ejection fraction, whereas the effect of the angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitor perindopril was less robust. Use of bisoprolol reduced dose interruptions for trastuzumab due to ...

breast cancer

Surgical Margin Width Not Related to Breast Cancer Recurrence

The width of the surgical margin doesn’t matter, as long as the margin is negative, according to a large study of breast-conserving surgery in patients with invasive breast cancer. The risk of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence was similar for wide negative margins (2–4 mm) or narrow negative...

breast cancer

Study Suggests Luminal A Breast Cancer Patients May Not Need Chemotherapy

The ability to classify breast cancer according to biologic subtype has enabled researchers to dig deeper and determine which therapies benefit specific subgroups. Encouraging evidence from an analysis of a Danish trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests that...

breast cancer

Plenary Session Included Findings on Partial- vs Whole-breast Techniques and Patient Beliefs about Radiotherapy

When the dates were picked for the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), no one could have anticipated that the meeting would coincide with Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of parts of the northeast. As the storm approached on Monday and Boston shut down its...

breast cancer

Radiation Therapy Extends Survival in Elderly Women with Early Breast Cancer 

Chronologic age alone should not preclude use of radiation in elderly women with early breast cancer, suggest two studies presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Both studies showed a survival improvement in elderly women with early breast cancer ...

breast cancer

Radiation Therapy for Patients with Invasive Breast Cancer: 3 Weeks Proves as Effective as 5 Weeks

Ten-year follow-up of the two-part UK Standardisation of Breast Radiotherapy Trials (START) supported the 5-year findings, demonstrating that a 3-week course of adjuvant radiation therapy is equivalent to a 5-week course of radiation for women with invasive breast cancer. The update was presented...

breast cancer

Adjuvant Tamoxifen for Women with ER-positive Breast Cancer: 10 Years Superior to 5 Years

Five years of tamoxifen has long been considered the standard of care as adjuvant therapy for women with estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer. However, extending tamoxifen treatment for 10 years reduced the risk of dying by 29% during the second decade after diagnosis compared with standard...

breast cancer

Somatic HER2 Mutations That Drive Cancer Found in HER2-negative Breast Cancer 

A proportion of patients with breast cancer whose tumors test HER2-negative for gene amplification on fluorescence in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry harbor HER2 mutations that are amenable to treatment with anti-HER2–targeted therapy, according to a gene-sequencing study presented at...

breast cancer

Research Roundup from San Antonio: New Data on Triple-negative, HER2-positive, Local, and Advanced Breast Cancer 

The 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium featured more than 2,500 abstracts and lectures, including timely research in the field and discussions for scientists and clinicians alike. In addition to nearly two dozen in-depth reports from the meeting, The ASCO Post brings readers the following...

breast cancer

Novel Oral Agent plus Letrozole Improves Progression-free Survival in ER-positive Advanced Breast Cancer 

The combination of letrozole plus a novel oral inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 called PD 0332991 achieved an unprecedented improvement in progression-free survival among women with advanced estrogen receptor–positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. Median progression-free survival was 26.1...

breast cancer

Black Women Less Likely to Get Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy and More Likely to Have Lymphedema on Axillary Lymph Node Dissection 

Although sentinel lymph node biopsy is the recommended method for axillary staging of node-negative breast cancer, racial disparities in access to care were found in a study presented at the 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Black women were 12% less likely than white women with breast...

breast cancer

Higher HER2 Expression Linked to Best Results with T-DM1 in Patients with HER2-positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

A biomarker analysis of the pivotal EMILIA trial suggests that women with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer with tumors that have high expression of HER2 derive the most robust benefit from treatment with the antibody-drug conjugate T-DM1 (also now known as ado-trastuzumab emtansine...

breast cancer

Axillary Radiotherapy: New Standard of Care in Node-positive Breast Cancer? 

Radiotherapy to the axilla may replace axillary lymph node dissection for local tumor control in selected patients with sentinel node–positive breast cancer, sparing many patients lymphedema, according to the final results of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)...

breast cancer

Radiation Therapy Is Safe in the Management of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: No Increase in Risk of Cardiovascular Disease 

Radiation therapy as part of the management of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease 10 years after treatment, according to a large retrospective study presented at a press conference held just prior to the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium.1 Longer...

breast cancer

Single-Institution Study Evaluates Routine Use of Perioperative MRI in Patients With Ductal Carcinoma In Situ 

Perioperative MRI for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was not associated with a reduction in locoregional recurrence or contralateral breast cancer development in a large single-center study reported at the 2013 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium. The study also was presented at a...

breast cancer

Women Undergoing Mammography Fail to Understand Breast Cancer Risk 

More than 90% of women undergoing mammography screening could not give an accurate estimate of their personal risk of developing breast cancer, according to results of a large survey reported at the 2013 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium and featured in a premeeting presscast. The survey showed that a...

breast cancer
head and neck cancer
kidney cancer
lung cancer

Important News Briefs: New Data Reported in Breast, Renal Cell, Head and Neck, and Lung Cancer

The 2013 European Cancer Congress (ECC), held September 27 to October 1 in Amsterdam, was jointly sponsored by the European Society of Medical Oncology, the European Cancer Organization, and the European Society of Radiation Oncology. With the Congress theme being “Reinforcing Multidisciplinarity,” ...

breast cancer

Strong Showing for Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine in Advanced HER2-Positive Heavily Pretreated Breast Cancer

Results of the phase III TH3RESA trial show that the antibody-conjugate ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), formerly known as T-DM1, extends progression-free survival in women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer that progressed on two or more previous HER2-directed therapies including...

breast cancer

Can Postoperative Radiotherapy Be Avoided in Older Women With Early Breast Cancer and High Estrogen Receptor Expression?

A more conservative approach that avoids radiation therapy seems to be a reasonable option for a subgroup of older women with hormone receptor–positive breast cancer at low risk of recurrence. Overall outcomes were similar with or without radiation in older women with hormone receptor–positive...

breast cancer

Adjuvant Bisphosphonates in Early Breast Cancer: Practice-Changing Findings?

Adjuvant use of bisphosphonates reduced the risk of bone recurrence by 34% and the risk of breast cancer death by 17% in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer in a large meta-analysis conducted by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG). The potentially...

breast cancer

Switching Chemotherapy Based on Elevated Circulating Tumor Cells Does Not Change Outcome in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Elevated circulating tumor cells were prognostic for survival but did not pan out as a marker for switching after one cycle of chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The phase III Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) S0500 clinical trial, presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer...

breast cancer

Addition of Novel Antiangiogenic Agent of No Benefit in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Ramucirumab added to first-line docetaxel failed to improve progression-free survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer in the large, randomized, placebo-controlled ROSE/TRIO-12 trial.1 An interim analysis of overall survival showed no advantage for the addition of ramucirumab. This study,...

breast cancer

SABCS Highlights Include Findings in Triple-Negative Disease, Protective Effects of Exercise, and the Adherence-Copay Link

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium brings together specialists from all over the world who focus on management of breast cancer. We have covered many of the important presentations in the pages of The ASCO Post and in our online Evening News. Below are summaries of additional noteworthy...

breast cancer
pain management

Exercise Program Reduces Aromatase Inhibitor–Associated Joint Pain

Amid studies of novel targeted therapies, genetic analyses of tumors, and new ways to approach the treatment of breast cancer, a low-tech study presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium found that a yearlong exercise program reduced joint pain associated with aromatase inhibitors in ...

breast cancer
health-care policy

Affordable Care Act to Cover Chemoprevention for Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer

On January 9, 2014, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced that under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, women at increased risk of breast cancer will be entitled to preventive medications without incurring out-of-pocket costs (with the...

breast cancer

Zoledronic Acid Fails to Benefit Women With Chemoresistant Breast Cancer

Zoledronic acid does not improve outcomes in patients with early breast cancer who do not have a full response to neoadjuvant anthracycline/taxane–based chemotherapy, according to results of the Neo-Adjuvant Trial Add-On (NATAN) study presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 A...

breast cancer

Adding Bevacizumab to Adjuvant Chemotherapy/Trastuzumab Fails to Improve Survival in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

The addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to adjuvant chemotherapy did not improve invasive disease-free survival or overall survival in patients with high-risk HER2-positive breast cancer in the large randomized phase III BETH trial. Although not specifically designed to answer this question, BETH...

breast cancer

LY2835219 Shows Strong Single-Agent Activity in Preliminary Study in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 are getting attention as a novel approach for the treatment of breast cancer. At the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, two presentations focused on these new agents. One was a phase II study of Pfizer’s compound...

breast cancer

I-SPY 2 Trial ‘Graduates’ Neratinib to Phase III Study in HER2-Positive, Hormone Receptor–Negative Breast Cancer

In the targeted-therapy era, it is important to identify subsets of patients who can benefit from novel agents and combinations as quickly as possible. The I-SPY 2 trial is designed to expedite this goal and to change the way that targeted agents are studied and approved. This innovative adaptive...

breast cancer

Obesity Increases Breast Cancer Mortality in Premenopausal Women With Estrogen Receptor–Positive Disease

According to results of a large study of women with early breast cancer, the presence of obesity increased the risk of breast cancer–related mortality by 34% in premenopausal women with estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer. Obesity had little effect on breast cancer–related mortality in...

breast cancer

Goserelin With Chemotherapy Prevents Early Menopause, Helps Preserve Fertility in Younger Women With Hormone Receptor–Negative Breast Cancer

The good news for younger women with hormone receptor–negative early breast cancer is that adding goserelin (Zoladex), a luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist, to chemotherapy can prevent sudden menopause, better preserve ovarian function and fertility, and lead to successful...

breast cancer

Exemestane/Ovarian Suppression Reduces Recurrence vs Tamoxifen/Ovarian Suppression in Premenopausal Breast Cancer

A joint analysis of two important phase III clinical trials—TEXT (Tamoxifen and Exemestane Trial) and SOFT (Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial)—showed that exemestane plus ovarian function suppression was superior to tamoxifen plus ovarian suppression in preventing recurrence in premenopausal...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer–Related Benefits of Weight Loss

Obesity and physical inactivity are associated with an increased risk of developing and dying of breast cancer via several proposed mechanisms. Two studies presented at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting explored the relationships among exercise, weight loss, and breast cancer risk. One study was...

breast cancer

Hypofractionated Radiation Much Less Toxic Than Conventionally Fractionated Radiation in Early Breast Cancer

Hypofractionated whole-breast irradiation was associated with much less acute toxicity during radiation therapy compared with conventionally fractionated whole-breast irradiation and also led to improved physical well-being and less physician-reported and patient-reported fatigue 6 months later,...

breast cancer

Hormonal Therapy for Early Breast Cancer: Do We Learn From Past Mistakes?

Guidelines can be incorrect if they are not based on incontrovertible evidence. Such was the case with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) 1995 guidelines recommending 5 years of tamoxifen adjuvant therapy for stage I to III hormone receptor–positive breast cancer. With more definitive evidence,...

breast cancer

Optimizing HER2 Therapy in Early and Advanced Breast Cancers

Trastuzumab (Herceptin) has been the cornerstone of therapy for HER2-positive tumors, which comprise about 20% of all breast tumors. Additional therapies targeted to other HER2 pathways or other targets to be used in combination with trastuzumab are being explored in both the adjuvant and...

breast cancer
global cancer care

Breast Health Global Initiative Tackles Third-World Health Care

Benjamin O. Anderson, MD, is the Director of the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) and surgical oncologist and Director of the Breast Health Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle. The ASCO Post recently spoke with Dr. Anderson about the conceptual framework of the...

breast cancer

Nab-Paclitaxel Boosts Pathologic Complete Response in High-Risk Breast Cancer

Nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) achieved superior results compared with conventional solvent-based paclitaxel in patients with early-stage high-risk breast cancer in the large phase III GeparSepto trial from the German Breast Group (GBG).1 The study, presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer...

breast cancer

Oncotype DX Ductal Carcinoma in Situ Score Reliably Predicts Tumor Recurrence

Ductal carcinoma in situ, which accounts for 30% of all newly diagnosed breast cancers, does not always evolve into a lesion with metastatic potential. Only a proportion of these cases will progress to invasive breast cancer, but up until recently, it has not been possible to identify reliably...

breast cancer

No Benefit for Adjuvant Capecitabine Monotherapy in Elderly Patients With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Adjuvant therapy with capecitabine plus ibandronate failed to improve outcomes vs ibandronate alone in elderly patients with moderate-to-high-risk early-stage breast cancer in the ICE study—the largest study to date conducted in elderly women with breast cancer.1 “Capecitabine is frequently used...

breast cancer

Fulvestrant Surpasses Anastrozole in First-Line Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Fulvestrant (Faslodex) at a 500-mg dose was superior to anastrozole as first-line therapy for advanced hormone receptor–positive breast cancer in the phase II FIRST study.1 Overall survival and time to disease progression were significantly better with fulvestrant than with the current standard of...

breast cancer

Tamoxifen Prevention of Breast Cancer Extends More Than 16 Years

The benefits of tamoxifen as primary prevention of breast cancer are well established. The good news is that the benefits live on, with a protective effect that extends up to 22 years. At a median follow-up of 16 years, women treated with 5 years of tamoxifen enjoyed a 29% reduction in the risk of...

breast cancer

Ovarian Suppression Plus Hormonal Therapy May Be Practice-Changing in Premenopausal Hormone Receptor–Positive Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Results of the large International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG)-coordinated SOFT trial present a convincing argument for the addition of ovarian function suppression to adjuvant hormonal therapy to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence in younger women with hormone receptor–positive early-stage...

breast cancer

Shedding Light on the Mystery of Male Breast Cancer

Male breast cancer represents less than 1% of  all breast cancers, which partially explains why so little is known about the disease. Two presentations at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium focused on the characteristics of male breast cancer drawn from a large international registry and...

breast cancer

PI3K Inhibition in Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer ‘Not Ready for Prime Time’

Interest is high in studying the PI3K pathway in hormone receptor–positive breast cancer, but it is not clear which of the PI3K inhibitors under development—if any—will be a “home run.” The phase II FERGI study, reported at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, failed to meet its primary...

breast cancer

SABCS 2014: Oncotype DX DCIS Score Reliably Predicts Breast Cancer Recurrence in Patients With DCIS

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which accounts for 30% of all newly diagnosed breast cancer, is actually a precancerous lesion. A proportion of patients will have progression to invasive breast cancer, but up until recently, it has not been possible to identify which patients require further...

breast cancer

SABCS 2014: Ovarian Suppression Added to Hormonal Therapy Reduces Risk of Recurrence in Some Premenopausal Women

Results of the large international SOFT trial present a convincing argument for the addition of ovarian function suppression to adjuvant hormonal therapy to reduce the risk of recurrence in premenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive breast cancer at high enough risk to be treated with ...

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