Understanding When Eating Soy Might Help or Harm in Breast Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have used animal models to reveal new information about the impact – positive and negative – that soy consumption could have on a common breast cancer treatment.

“The scientists have uncovered the biological pathways in rats by which longtime soy consumption improves effectiveness of tamoxifen and reduces recurrence. But they also show why eating or drinking soy-based foods for the first time while being treated with tamoxifen can, conversely, reduce effectiveness of the drug, and promote recurrence.

“The study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, uncovers the molecular biology behind how soy consumption, especially its most active isoflavone, genistein, affects tamoxifen—both positively and negatively.”

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Naturally Occurring Symptoms May Be Mistaken for Tamoxifen Side-Effects

Excerpt:

“Women taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer were less likely to continue taking the drug if they suffered nausea and vomiting, according to new data presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium today (Friday).

“The researchers found that women who experienced these symptoms after starting tamoxifen as part of the Cancer Research UK funded International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS-1), were more likely to stop taking the medication.

“But this new analysis also reveals that women given a placebo who experienced the same symptoms were equally as likely to stop. This suggests that some symptoms due to other causes, were being mistaken for side effects of tamoxifen.”

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Tamoxifen Linked to Reduced Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk

Excerpt:

“Use of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors during and after breast cancer treatment were found to reduce the risk of contralateral breast cancer in a community healthcare setting, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.

“The authors of the real-world retrospective study found that among estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer patients who survived at least 5 years, tamoxifen use for 4 years or more prevented an estimated three contralateral breast cancer cases for every 100 women by year 10. This absolute risk reduction is consistent with prior results from tamoxifen clinical trials, according to study authors led by Gretchen L. Gierach, PhD, MPH, of the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the National Cancer Institute.”

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No Increased Risk of Fatal CV Events for Breast Cancer Patients on Newer Hormone Therapy

Excerpt:

“In a new study from Kaiser Permanente, researchers found the use of aromatase inhibitors, hormone-therapy drugs used to treat patients with breast cancer, was not associated with an increased risk of fatal cardiovascular events, including heart attacks or stroke, compared with tamoxifen, another commonly prescribed anti-cancer drug that works on hormones and which has been associated with a serious risk of stroke.

“While women taking aromatose inhibitors did not have an increased risk of death from heart attacks or stroke, the study, published today in JAMA Oncology, found that those who only used aromatase inhibitors or used the drugs after tamoxifen treatment had a 26 to 29 percent higher risk of less serious cardiovascular events, such as abnormal heart beat and pericarditis (a swelling and irritation of the thin membrane surrounding the heart), compared with those who only used tamoxifen.”

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Aromasin Plus OFS May Reduce Risk of Recurrent Breast Ca (CME/CE)

Excerpt:

“Premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer may benefit from exemestane (Aromasin) plus ovarian function suppression (OFS) versus tamoxifen with or without OFS, analysis of recurrence-risk data from the TEXT and SOFT trials has indicated.

“Those with a high recurrence risk may experience a 10% to 15% improvement in the 5-year breast cancer-free interval (BCFI) with aromatase inhibitor (AI) exemestane plus OFS, while those at intermediate risk may experience an improvement of at least 5% with the same regimen, according to Meredith M. Regan, ScD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, and colleagues.

“Patients at lowest risk of recurrence had minimal benefit with exemestane plus OFS, the study showed, which is online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

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ESMO Asia 2015 News: Endocrine Therapy in Premenopausal Women: Selecting Patients, Treatments and Durations

“Prudence Francis, from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, discussed which endocrine therapy is best for young, premenopausal patients.

“She noted that the key differentiating factor in order to decide on a treatment option in this patient population is the risk of recurrence, and cited the findings of the Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial (SOFT) as well as those of a joint analysis of SOFT and the Tamoxifen and Exemestane Trial (TEXT).

“In the SOFT trial, patients were randomly assigned to receive one of three regimens for 5 years: tamoxifen alone; tamoxifen plus ovarian function suppression (OFS; via treatment with the gonadotropin-releasing-hormone agonist triptorelin, oophorectomy or irradiation); or tamoxifen with OFS and the aromatase inhibitor exemestane.”


Two Drugs Equal For Early Breast Cancer

“Postmenopausal women who have an early, noninvasive form of breast cancer had similar recurrence rates of disease whether they took the drug tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole after surgery, new research shows.

“However, the side effects of the two medications differed greatly, said study author Jack Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, England.

“His team looked at nearly 3,000 women, all past menopause, who had hormone-receptor positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer and underwent surgery to excise it. With DCIS, the cells that line the milk ducts have changed but not spread into the surrounding breast tissue.”


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…


Aromatase Inhibitors Improve Recurrence Rates, Survival in Early Breast Cancer

“The use of an aromatase inhibitor reduced breast cancer recurrence rates approximately 30% compared with tamoxifen, according to the results of a meta-analysis.

“Further, use of an aromatase inhibitor for 5 years reduced 10-year breast cancer mortality rates approximately 15% compared with 5 years of tamoxifen, equating to an approximate 40% reduction compared with no treatment.

“ ‘Aromatase inhibitors, given either for 5 years or for 2-3 years after 2-3 years of tamoxifen, produce greater reductions in recurrence than 5 years of tamoxifen alone, but the effect on breast cancer mortality, and the optimal way to schedule aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen in the treatment of early breast cancer, remain uncertain,’ Mitch Dowsett, PhD, head of biochemistry and professor of biochemical endocrinology at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute for Cancer Research in London, and colleagues of the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group wrote.”