Findings from a Phase 3 study showed that women with locally advanced or metastatic hormone receptor-positive breast cancer might benefit from treatment with the estrogen receptor degrader Faslodex (fulvestrant). The study showed that Faslodex improved progression-free survival compared with Arimidex (anastrozole), particularly in patients with less aggressive disease.
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in collaboration with Novartis, found that mutations in the estrogen receptor (ESR1) are associated with worse outcomes in breast cancer patients who are treated with estrogen deprivation therapy in the form of the aromatase inhibitor Aromasin (exemestane). The findings suggest that early detection of ESR1 mutations may help predict treatment response to Aromasin and guide patients to more effective therapies.
A study from the Mayo Clinic reported that changes made in 2013 to the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists (ASCO/CAP) guidelines have doubled the number of patients being diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer. The guidelines determine which breast cancers are considered HER2-positive. These cancers tend to be more aggressive and spread faster than other breast cancer subtypes, but they can be treated with inhibitors of the HER2 pathway such as Herceptin (trastuzumab), Tykerb (iapatinib), or Perjeta (pertuzumab).
This article is a 2015 report that continued to attract considerable reader interest in 2016. It reports on BioZorb, an implantable tissue marker by Focal Therapeutics that specifically delimits the surgical site of tissue removal (lumpectomy) in 3-D in patients with breast cancer. Dr. Steven Schonholz was the first physician in Massachusetts to use BioZorb and reported his experience at the 32nd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference in Miami Beach, Fla.
Researchers in Ireland found a potentially promising treatment for patients with triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive form of breast cancer. Their study showed that a drug targeting the p53 mutated protein could largely inhibit triple-negative breast cancer cell proliferation and migration, and promote programmed cell death. Breast cancer treatments typically target one of three classes of hormone receptors – estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and HER2 receptors. But one in every six breast cancer patients does not express any of the receptors in their tumors, which is why their cancer is called triple-negative and their treatment is largely limited to chemotherapy. Eighty percent of triple-negative breast cancers carry mutations in the p53 protein.
A study found that low-calorie, fasting-like diets starve breast cancer cells, rendering them more sensitive to chemotherapy and strengthening the immune system’s ability to fight the tumor. Current radiotherapies and chemotherapies normally hamper immune cells’ efforts to kill a cancer cell. Short-term fasting has been shown to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapeutics and protect normal cells from the drugs’ side effects.
Wistar Institute breast cancer researchers found that a gene previously thought to be present only in brain tissue actually promotes metastasis in vivo and correlates with poor survival in breast cancer patients. The research team also found that an edited version of the gene suppresses breast cancer cell invasion and metastasis, highlighting the importance of RNA editing in the disease.
Cynvenio Biosystems launched a pilot clinical trial in women with triple-negative breast cancer to evaluate the company’s product, LiquidBiopsy, a noninvasive liquid biopsy technology that is designed to monitor patients and identify early metastasis. The technology is intended allow the molecular characterization of tumor cells from a standard blood draw, so that women with triple-negative breast cancer who have a high risk of recurrence and metastasis can be identified.
Plastic surgeons at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reported developing an innovative approach to breast reconstitution after mastectomy. Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery-Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery, or SADIE Flap, combines the advantages of two commonly used microsurgical procedures: the deep inferior epigastric perforator artery, or DIEP Flap, and superficial inferior epigastric artery, or SIEA Flap. During the surgery, abdominal tissue is used to rebuild the breast.
Laura Ross-Paul of Oregon, a breast cancer patient and advocate for the community, discusses in this article the potential of cryoablation (or cryotherapy), a minimally invasive procedure in which extreme cold (cryo) is used to destroy diseased tissue (ablation), including cancer cells. The benefits of the therapy include minimal pain and scarring, lower cost, and faster recovery times.
Breast Cancer News hopes that these developments, and new reports coming your way throughout 2017, will ultimately contribute to educate, inform, and improve the lives of patients living with breast cancer.
We wish all our readers a happy and inspiring 2017.