Breast Cancer

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) are a group of enzymes that are essential for base excision repair.1 There are several members of the PARP family, of which PARP1 is the most extensively studied.1,2 PARP1 only detects single-stranded DNA breaks and initiates repair; without PARP1, a single-stranded break is converted into a double-stranded break and repaired by homologous repair.1 PARP inhibition shows promise in BRCA1/2- deficient tumors, which lack homologous repair capability, causing synthetic lethality (decrease in repair of both single- and double-st

The evidence backing the use of myeloid growth factors in patients at high risk for febrile neutropenia is solid, according to Jeffrey Crawford, MD, of Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina.

Myeloid growth factors are the primary means of preventing chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. This often leads to febrile neutropenia, which can be fatal in 10% of patients, according to a database of more than 40,000 individuals. Concerns recently have been raised, however, that their use is associated with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Data published in the Lancet in March support the effectiveness of eribulin mesylate (Halaven)—a microtubule inhibitor— in women with advanced breast cancer that has progressed after several treatments.

Investigators of a phase 2 study comparing 2 dosing schedules of sunitinib (Sutent) as first-line therapy for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) concluded that clinicians should stay with the currently approved dosing regimen of 50 mg daily for 4 weeks followed by a 2-week break. Robert Motzer, MD, attending physician, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, who presented the findings, said the data add to a growing body of evidence favoring the dosing regimen that the US Food and Drug Administration approved for sunitinib.

Data published in the Journal of the American Medical As sociation in March indicate that for 20% of women with early-stage breast cancer, removing malignant lymph nodes from the armpit does not improve survival or prevent recurrence. Women in the phase 3 trial who underwent complete axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) had higher rates of lymphedema than those who had sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) alone (P <.001). They also had higher rates of wound infection, axillary seromas, and paresthesias (70% vs 25%, respectively; P <.001).

Anew study shows that tamoxifen protects high-risk women against breast cancer for as long as a decade after treatment ends. Joyce Noah-Vanhoucke, PhD, Archimedes Inc, San Francisco, Cali fornia, and colleagues conducted the metaanalysis and found that using tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women aged <55 years was cost-effective and saved lives.

Trastuzumab (Herceptin) has greatly improved survival odds for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, but treatment resistance remains a problem for at least 50% of patients. A new study by a team of researchers with University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center indicates that the novel agent saracatinib might offer a solution. Saracatinib inhibits SRC, a proto-oncogene.
 
SAN ANTONIO—A re-analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)—which found an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease in women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)—suggests that estrogen alone, without progesterone, may actually be protective against breast cancer. 
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