Chemo Benefit Unclear in Breast Cancer Patients With Higher Recurrence Scores

Excerpt:

“In patients with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, lymph node–negative breast cancer with a recurrence score (RS) based on a 21-gene expression assay of 11 to 25, outcomes were similar whether chemotherapy was used or not used, according to a retrospective analysis. However, the study’s limited follow-up means a benefit from chemotherapy in these patients cannot be ruled out.

“The Oncotype DX 21-gene expression assay is the most commonly used test of this kind in breast cancer in the United States. It offers an RS, and previous research has shown that patients with an RS below 11 fare very well when treated with endocrine therapy alone. ‘To our knowledge, it is unknown whether chemotherapy provides any additional benefit in outcomes in patients with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, lymph node–negative, early-stage breast cancer with an RS of 11 to 25 who are treated with endocrine therapy,’ wrote study authors led by Carlos H. Barcenas, MD, MSc, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.”

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Four New Studies of Oncotype DX® Genomic Prostate Score™ (GPS) Reconfirm Value of Test in Guiding Early-stage Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment and Treatment Selection

Excerpt:

“Genomic Health, Inc. (GHDX) announced today the presentation of results from four studies evaluating the clinical value and utility of its Oncotype DX® Genomic Prostate Score (GPS) in the management of early-stage prostate cancer. Collectively, these new data highlight the test’s ability to predict disease aggressiveness and refine risk stratification across National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) clinical risk groups.

” ‘We now have 22 clinical studies, involving more than 4,200 prostate cancer patients, that distinguish Oncotype DX as the only test developed specifically for men who are deciding between active surveillance or definitive treatment. The test is validated to provide individualized information about both the current state and future risk of patients’ prostate cancer,’ said Phil Febbo, M.D., chief medical officer, Genomic Health. ‘Together with the recently published economic analysis demonstrating substantial cost savings of more than $2,200 per patient tested, the data presented will support increased adoption and reimbursement of Oncotype DX as physicians aim to bring precision medicine to their prostate cancer patients.’ “

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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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Super Patient: Peter Fortenbaugh Faces the Uncertainty of Pioneering Melanoma Treatment


In spring of 2014, Peter Fortenbaugh noticed what appeared to be a tick that had bitten his lower calf. “It turned out not to be a tick, but it didn’t really go away,” he says.

The spot began to grow and bulge, and in October, Peter showed it to his primary care doctor, who referred him to a dermatologist to remove it. At the time, Peter recalls, it did not occur to him that the growth could be serious.

“I was actually very concerned about skin cancer because I spent a lot of time out in the sun sailing,” Peter says. “I put on a tremendous amount of sunscreen and protection, but never on my legs…I never connected the dots.”

However, a biopsy of the growth came back positive for melanoma. Peter, who lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife and three children, immediately reached out to several doctors in the San Francisco Bay Area, and all had the same advice: “Take it out, take a biopsy.” Continue reading…


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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New Marker May Identify Men Who Require More Aggressive Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadir (the lowest level a PSA drops following treatment) greater than 0.5 ng/mL following radiation and androgen deprivation therapy seems to identify men prior to PSA failure who are at high-risk for death, and would thus require more aggressive treatment for their prostate cancer, according to the results of a recent study in JAMA Oncology.

“The study looked at data from a randomized trial of 206 men treated with either radiation or radiation plus 6 months of hormonal therapy and compared early markers of prostate cancer death to identify men at risk of dying early.”

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Lack of Patient Knowledge May Contribute to Overuse of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

Excerpt:

“Many women decide to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy despite having limited knowledge about the procedure and before completing discussions and evaluations with surgeons, according to results of a population-based study.

“However, the use of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy among women without clinical indications appeared lower if a surgeon recommended against it.”

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A New Prognostic Classification May Help Clinical Decision-Making in Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“New research shows that taking molecular variables into account will improve the prognostic classification of the lethal brain cancer called glioblastoma (GBM).

“The study was led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

“Published in the journal JAMA Oncology, the study found that adding significant molecular biomarkers to the existing GBM classification system improves the prognostic classification of GBM patients who have been treated with radiation and the drug temozolomide.”

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Researchers Investigate New Targeted Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Men with localized prostate cancer face good odds: Their relative five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. However, men with metastatic disease — prostate cancer that has spread to another organ like the lungs — have a relative five-year survival rate of only 29 percent.

“Currently, the mainstay treatment for metastatic prostate cancer is hormone therapy, which uses drugs to lower the levels of male sex hormones like testosterone in the body to slow the growth of prostate cancer. Two of the latest hormonal agents, abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, have shown some improvements in overall survival. Unfortunately, hormone therapy isn’t a cure and most patients become resistant to the drugs.”

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