Web Exclusives

ORLANDO—Low doses of alemtuzumab were effective in preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in leukemia patients receiving sibling and matched unrelated hematopoietic cell transplants. 

SAN ANTONIO—For women with human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-overexpressing breast cancer, preoperative treatment with agents that block HER2 leads to high rates of pathological complete response (pCR), according to the results of three studies presented at the 33rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 

The studies used various combinations of trastuzumab, lapatinib, and pertuzumab (a novel monoclonal antibody) in the neoadjuvant setting. 

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—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. However, older, postmenopausal women did see a benefit when ZA was added, according to results from the Adjuvant Zoledronic Acid to Reduce Recurrence (AZURE) trial reported at the 33rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 

ORLANDO—Patients often do not understand the terms clinicians use to describe their hematologic malignancies, such as myelodysplastic syndrome, which may lead to misunderstandings about their disease. 

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