Breast Cancer: February 2007 Archives

Breast cancer therapies' side effects vary by age

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breast cancerEven among relatively young women with early-stage breast cancer, the side effects of therapy can vary by age, according to a new study.

Past research has found that for some premenopausal women, breast cancer treatment with standard chemotherapy or a hormonal therapy with goserelin is equally effective. This includes women with early-stage cancers that are positive for estrogen receptors; in these cancers tumor growth is fueled by estrogen.

Goserelin treats breast cancer by blocking the action of estrogen on tumor cells, while chemotherapy directly kills cancer cells, as well as some healthy cells in process.

Researchers in Spain conducted a Phase III clinical trial called GEICAM. They wanted to compare different chemotherapy regimes in women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. The trial included 252 women who had already been treated with anthracyclines and taxanes and experienced a recurrence.

One group of women was treated with Gemzar (gemcitabine) and Navelbine (vinorelbine), the other group was treated with Navelbine alone. The results were published in Lancet Oncology that states the combination of the two drugs improves progression free survival. It was also mentioned that this combination however did not improve overall survival.

Emerging research heralds new era of breast cancer management

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breast cancerAggressive research currently underway brings hope of dramatic advances in breast cancer management, according to a new review. Published in the March 15, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the review reveals that new approaches in breast cancer imaging, investigations into the timing of chemotherapy, and research on breast cancer vaccines may lead to exciting new nonsurgical tools for the physician treating breast cancer patients. These new tools may significantly alter current screening and treatment paradigms used by surgical oncologists, as well improving the care of patients.

Study finds newer breast cancer drugs save lives

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cancer research WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women who switch from the breast cancer pill tamoxifen to a newer class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors live longer, Italian researchers reported on Monday.

Their study, published in the journal Cancer, adds to a growing body of evidence that the new drugs are far safer, preventing cancer with fewer side effects than tamoxifen.

Dr. Lauren Cassell of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York said the research is changing how doctors treat breast cancer patients after their tumors are surgically removed.

"If they have been on tamoxifen we are switching them to an aromatase inhibitor. If they are newly diagnosed we are using an aromatase inhibitor instead of tamoxifen," she said in a statement.

FDA approves new breast cancer test

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FDAWomen with early stage breast cancer may soon get another gene test to help predict whether they'll relapse in five or 10 years, information that could influence how aggressively they fight the initial tumor.

The MammaPrint test isn't the nation's first such predictor for breast cancer — a competitor has sold here since 2004 — but on Tuesday it became the first to win formal approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The test is far from perfect, warned FDA's Dr. Steven Gutman.

Indeed, the MammaPrint is much better at predicting who isn't likely to relapse than who is, Gutman said. He cited studies suggesting that when the MammaPrint predicts a woman is at high risk of cancer returning in five years, it will be right just a quarter of the time. That compares with 95 percent accuracy if the woman is told she's at low risk of a relapse.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Breast Cancer category from February 2007.

Breast Cancer: January 2007 is the previous archive.

Breast Cancer: March 2007 is the next archive.

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