ESMO 2017 Press Release: Study in Early Stage Breast Cancer Shows That Even Small Tumours Can Be Aggressive

Excerpt:

“Even small tumours can be aggressive, according to a study in patients with early stage breast cancer that will be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid. Researchers found that nearly one in four small tumours were aggressive and patients benefited from chemotherapy. Aggressive tumours could be identified by a 70-gene signature.

” ‘Our results challenge the assumption that all small tumours are less serious and do not need adjuvant chemotherapy,’ said lead author Dr Konstantinos Tryfonidis, a researcher at the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Brussels, Belgium.”

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How Decision-Making Habits Influence the Breast Cancer Treatments Women Consider

Excerpt:

“A new study finds that more than half of women with early stage breast cancer considered an aggressive type of surgery to remove both breasts. The way women generally approach big decisions, combined with their values, impacts what breast cancer treatment they consider, the study also found.

“Contralateral prophylactic  – a procedure to remove both breasts when  occurs in only one breast – has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more than 20 percent of  opting for it. For most women, removing the unaffected breast does not improve survival.”

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Targeted Radiotherapy Limits Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Breast cancer patients who have radiotherapy targeted at the original tumour site experience fewer side effects five years after treatment than those who have whole breast radiotherapy, and their cancer is just as unlikely to return, according to trial results published* in The Lancet (link is external) today (Wednesday).

“The Cancer Research UK-funded IMPORT LOW trial** revealed that five years after treatment, almost all patients were disease free.***

“The researchers at 30 radiotherapy centres across the UK, led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London(link is external), and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre(link is external), studied more than 2,000 women aged 50 or over who had early stage breast cancer that was at a low risk of coming back.”

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Radiation Prior to Surgery Reduces Risk of Secondary Tumors in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Moffitt Cancer Center researchers launched a first of its kind study comparing the long-term benefits of radiation therapy in women with breast cancer either before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant). Their study, published in the June 30 issue of Breast Cancer Research, found that patients who have neoadjuvant radiation therapy have a significantly lower risk of developing a second primary tumor at any site.

“The majority of patients who have early stage breast cancer have surgery to remove their tumor or a complete mastectomy. Surgery is commonly followed by radiation therapy, which has been shown to increase relapse-free survival. However, in some cases, patients may require neoadjuvant radiation therapy to decrease the size of the tumor before surgery. Currently, there are no studies that have analyzed the long-term effects of neoadjuvant radiation therapy on breast cancer patients.”

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The Case for Bone-Directed Adjuvant Therapy in Postmenopausal Early Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“A duration of endocrine therapy beyond 5 years has gained traction in the treatment of endocrine receptor (ER)-positive early-stage breast cancer. Long-term use of aromatase inhibitors (AIs), however, may increase the risk of bone loss and bone fracture. Data suggest that the use of bone-targeted agents can substantially reduce the risk of osteoporotic complications associated with AI use, and even reduce the risk of bone recurrence in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer.”

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Chemotherapy May Not Be Necessary for Intermediate-Risk, Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Women with early-stage breast cancer and an intermediate risk recurrence score from a 21-gene expression assay may be able to avoid chemotherapy, according to a retrospective study published in Cancer.

” ‘Through years of research discoveries, it became clear that we were overtreating many women with breast cancer, especially those with early-stage breast cancer,’ Carlos H. Barcenas, MD, assistant professor of breast medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in a press release. ‘In addition to chemotherapy’s obvious side effects, there were also long-term complications for these women as survivors.’ ”

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More Patients with Early-Stage Breast Cancer May Be Able to Avoid Chemotherapy in the Future

Excerpt:

“Women with early-stage breast cancer who had an intermediate risk recurrence score (RS) from a 21-gene expression assay had similar outcomes, regardless of whether they received chemotherapy, a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer finds.

“The encouraging research, published in the journal CANCER, still needs to be validated in an ongoing international trial. If verified, women with intermediate scores may one day be able to avoid chemotherapy as standard of care.”

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Trial Explores Eliminating Breast Cancer Surgery in Exceptional Responders to Neoadjuvant Therapy

Excerpt:

“A prospective study is investigating whether breast cancer surgery can be eliminated in patients who respond well to neoadjuvant systemic therapy.

“The phase II single-center trial, conducted out of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (NCT02945579), aims to determine how often breast cancer recurs in patients who previously received chemotherapy and follow-up radiation therapy, but not surgery, and have no evidence of disease. Forty patients with early-stage, triple-negative or HER2-positive breast cancer care underwent image-guided biopsy after completing chemotherapy and before beginning radiation therapy to see if surgery is necessary.”

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Some Early Breast Cancer Patients Benefit More from Breast Conservation Than from Mastectomy

Excerpt:

“Breast conserving therapy (BCT, breast conserving surgery combined with radiation therapy) is superior to mastectomy in certain types of breast cancer patients, according to results from the largest study to date, to be presented to the European Cancer Congress 2017 today (Monday).

“Professor Sabine Siesling, from the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL) and University of Twente and Mirelle Lagendijk, MD, from the Department of Surgical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues from other hospitals, studied survival nationwide in nearly 130,000 , divided into two groups: those diagnosed between 1999-2005 and those diagnosed between 2006-2012. The patients selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry had no metastases (spread of the cancer to organs other than the lymph nodes close to the tumour). To obtain information on cause of death, data were linked to the cause of death register.”

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