Breast Cancer

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Inform Dual ISH (Ventana Medical Systems), a genetic test that allows for measurement of the number of copies of the HER2 gene in tumor tissue. This method of identification of women with breast cancer who are HER2-positive pinpoints who is, and who is not, a candidate for Herceptin (trastuzumab).

 

Blocking miR-21 overexpression was found to retrieve trastuzumab sensitivity in trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cells, in a study of cell lines derived from HER2-postive breast carcinomas. This theory was derived from identification of overexpression of miR-21 in HER-positive, trastuzumab-resistant cells. The researchers also found that miR-21 upregulation in trastuzumab-resistant cells led to PTEN reduction.

 

The evidence backing the use of myeloid growth factors in patients at high risk for febrile neutropenia is solid, according to Jeffrey Crawford, MD, of Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina.

Myeloid growth factors are the primary means of preventing chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. This often leads to febrile neutropenia, which can be fatal in 10% of patients, according to a database of more than 40,000 individuals. Concerns recently have been raised, however, that their use is associated with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Trastuzumab (Herceptin) has greatly improved survival odds for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, but treatment resistance remains a problem for at least 50% of patients. A new study by a team of researchers with University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center indicates that the novel agent saracatinib might offer a solution. Saracatinib inhibits SRC, a proto-oncogene.
 
SAN ANTONIO—A re-analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)—which found an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease in women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)—suggests that estrogen alone, without progesterone, may actually be protective against breast cancer. 
SAN ANTONIO—A rapidly growing, nationwide clinical trial matching service that is user-friendly for patients is enabling more patients to learn about and enroll in clinical trials, said Ellie Cohen, PhD, the program’s director. Cohen described the success of her program at the 33rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 
SAN ANTONIO—In a trial involving women with stage II/III breast cancer (N = 3360), adding zoledronic acid (ZA) to standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not prolong overall survival (OS) or disease-free survival (DFS) after a median follow-up of 59 months, contrary to some previous reports.

CEP17 Breast Cancer Tumors Are More Likely to Respond to Anthracyclines

BARCELONA—Breast cancer patients with the chromosome enumeration probe 17 (CEP17) alpha satellite abnormality are more likely to have good outcomes from chemotherapy involving anthracycline antibiotics than women without the abnormality, according to new data released at the Seventh European Breast Cancer Conference.

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