Capecitabine Improved Outcomes for Breast Cancer Patients with Disease after Presurgery Chemo

“Treatment with the chemotherapy agent capecitabine increased disease-free survival for women with HER2-negative breast cancer that was not eliminated by presurgery chemotherapy, according to results from the phase III CREATE-X clinical trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12.

“Treatment given to shrink or eliminate a tumor before surgery is called neoadjuvant therapy. In some patients with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, residual invasive cancer can be detected in breast tissue samples and lymph nodes removed during surgery. These patients tend to have worse long-term outcomes compared with women who respond completely to neoadjuvant therapy.

” ‘It has been suggested that patients with residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy have chemoresistant breast cancer, but there have been no large-scale clinical trials to test whether adjuvant systemic chemotherapy is beneficial for these patients,’ said Masakazu Toi, MD, PhD, a professor at Kyoto University Hospital in Japan, and founder and senior director of the Japan Breast Cancer Research Group (JBCRG). ‘CREATE-X was designed to evaluate this clinical question by testing whether capecitabine could improve disease-free survival for patients with residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.’ “

Drugs Prevent Heart Damage during Breast Cancer Treatment, Study Shows

“Heart medication taken in combination with chemotherapy reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular damage in patients with early-stage breast cancer, according to results from a new landmark clinical trial.

“Existing research has shown some cancer therapies such as Herceptin greatly improve survival rates for , but come with a fivefold risk of heart failure—a devastating condition as life-threatening as the cancer itself.

“A new five-year study, led by researchers at the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services and funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Cancer Foundation, shows that two kinds of heart medications, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, effectively prevent a drop in heart function from cancer treatment.”

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Diminishes Chemo Brain

“Participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program yields robust and sustained improvement in cancer-related cognitive impairment, a prevalent and potentially debilitating condition that affects attention, memory and executive function in survivors, according to a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Although cancer-related cognitive impairment, sometimes referred to as chemo brain or post-cancer cognitive fuzziness, is common among survivors—disrupting social relationships, work ability, self-confidence, and quality of life—clinicians have few treatment options to offer. Cognitive deficits have been seen to persist for more than a decade following cancer treatment for many survivors.

” ‘Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction for Breast and Colorectal Cancer Survivors: Effects on Cancer-related Cognitive Impairment,’ published online in advance of print in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, is the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction, known as MBSR, on fatigued breast and colorectal cancer survivors, the majority of whom had been treated with chemotherapy.”

Anthracyclines Negatively Impact Brain Function

“Cancer survivors treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapies exhibited poorer performance of certain cognitive skills compared with survivors who received no chemotherapy or other classes of chemotherapies, according to the results of a study published in JAMA Oncology.

“While the study of 62 primary breast cancer survivors is retrospective and small, the results suggest that further studies are needed to understand how the neurologic effects of anthracycline-based chemotherapy agents may be minimized.

“Shelli R. Kesler, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and Douglas W. Blayney, MD, of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, analyzed both cognitive function and resting state functional magnetic resonance brain imaging data from breast cancer survivors who were treated, on average, 2.1 years prior to undergoing the assessments. The patients were all assessed at Stanford University.”

Big Changes Coming in Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

“The treatment paradigm for patients with triple-negative breast cancer is set to undergo a dramatic transformation, as standard chemotherapeutic approaches are perfected and novel antibody-drug conjugates are developed.

“The treatment paradigm for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is set to undergo a dramatic transformation, as standard chemotherapeutic approaches are perfected and novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are developed. Kimberly Blackwell addressed this topic at the 2015 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, a meeting of over 1,000 oncologists and oncology professionals in New York City in November.

“ ‘I think we will see significant improvements in triple-negative breast cancer within the next few years,’ said Blackwell, an oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute. ‘There are two ADCs that I am fairly excited about that are in late stage development.’ “

Super Patient: Lyndsay Sung Catches Her Breast Cancer Just In Time

In 2013, Lyndsay Sung noticed something new on the edge of her right breast. “I felt something weird—an odd thickening along the rib,” she recalls. At the time, her son was only a year old, so she thought it might have been related to breastfeeding. But then she felt it again in September 2014. Lyndsay knew she was at risk for breast cancer because her grandmother had had it, and she also knew her breasts from years of self-exams. So she went to see her family doctor. Continue reading…

ADT Plus Chemo Ideal for Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer

“Oligometastatic prostate cancer is optimally treated with the combination of docetaxel and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to a presentation at the 7th European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers (EMUC).

“ ‘Oligometastatic disease is a transit state of prostate cancer and is an imaging technique-dependent definition,’ Bertrand Tombal MD, PhD, Chairman of the Division of Urology, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium, explained at the conference. ‘Nevertheless, it is unlikely that metastases targeted treatment will be enough to control the disease.’ “

Checkpoint Inhibitors Show Promise in SCLC, Mesothelioma

“Immune checkpoint inhibitors have demonstrated encouraging results for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and mesothelioma, two aggressive thoracic malignancies with few options, according to a presentation by M. Catherine Pietanza, MD, at the 10th Annual New York Lung Cancer Symposium.

“ ‘The antibodies to CTLA-4, PD-1, and PD-L1 can be safely given to these patients. Responses are seen and are durable. There is a benefit in both platinum-sensitive and platinum-refractory SCLC,’ said Pietanza, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“Chemotherapy has traditionally been the treatment of choice for most patients with SCLC and mesothelioma beyond the frontline setting. However, outcomes are poor with these therapies, specifically for SCLC, where the median survival following second-line therapy ranges from 6 to 9 months.”

Higher Insulin Is an Independent Prognostic Factor in Advanced Breast Cancer

“Patients with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastasised) and who have higher insulin levels than normal, but are not diabetic, have a significantly worse prognosis compared with those with normal insulin levels, a researcher will tell the Advanced Breast Cancer Third International Consensus Conference tomorrow.

“Although the effect of higher insulin levels is already known in early breast cancer patients, it is the first time that insulin resistance, where the body’s inefficient use of insulin leads to the production of an excess, has been shown to lead to a worse outcome for metastatic breast cancer patients.

“Dr Nicoletta Provinciali, MD, an oncologist from the E.O. Ospedali Galliera, Genoa, Italy, will describe to the conference her team’s study, which involved 125 metastatic breast cancer patients. In addition to not being diabetic, all those involved had HER2 negative tumours and were receiving chemotherapy on its own (first line chemotherapy) as part of a clinical trial. The researchers assessed the relationship between insulin resistance and the length of time the patient lived without the disease getting worse (progression-free survival, or PFS) and overall survival (OS), the length of time that the patient remained alive.”