Breast Cancer

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. 
SAN ANTONIO—In a trial involving women with stage II/III breast cancer (N = 3360), adding zoledronic acid (ZA) to standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not prolong overall survival (OS) or disease-free survival (DFS) after a median follow-up of 59 months, contrary to some previous reports.

MILAN—The investigative poly (ADPribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor iniparib (BSI-021) im proved not only progression-free survival (PFS) but also overall survival (OS) in the final analysis of a randomized phase 2 study, presented at the 35th European Society for Medical Oncology Congress by Joyce O’Shaughnessy, MD, of US Oncology and Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, Houston.

CHICAGO—Targeted intraoperative radiotherapy (TIR) for breast cancer, in which radiotherapy is confined to the area of the breast where the tumor has been removed, has been found to be as good as whole breast radiotherapy at reducing breast cancer recurrence. Most important, the new data presented at the 46th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology showed TIR can be carried out in just one hospital visit.

As early as 3000 BC, descriptions can be found on Egyptian papyruses documenting reconstructive techniques used by priest doctors to restore altered appearances to normality. The upper echelons of Egyptian society placed great importance on appearance, and this seems to have been the stimulus for development of modern-day plastic surgery.

Cytotoxic chemotherapy is one of the cornerstones for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

CHICAGO—Several new agents elicited excitement for the treatment of women with advanced breast cancer, including a novel cytotoxic agent that is the first to improve survival as mono therapy in this challenging patient population.

In an international study, patients with metastatic breast cancer refractory to numerous treatments lived 2.5 months longer when treated with eribulin mesylate, a synthetic analog of the novel halichondrin B family, versus single agents alone.

Lymphedema, an excess of fluid and protein caused by impaired lymph flow from the tissue, is a common and debilitating complication of cancer surgery and radiation treatment.1 Depending on which area and lymph nodes are affected, the areas of edema or swelling can be the arms, legs, head and neck, trunk, abdomen, or groin. Lymphedema is not a life-threatening condition but is one that has no cure.

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