Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: May 19

The beauty of the website is that subscribers are able to filter information to see only the treatment options, news and research relevant to them. Our news blog is different. Here, we summarize the day's news all in one place. Not everything is relevant to everyone. So, we're going to start adding headings to help our readers scan for the information that interests them most.

Yoga benefits those receiving radiation

For patients undergoing radiation therapy, a new study from MD Anderson confirmed the benefits of yoga. According to a story in Medical News Today, patients who were exposed to yoga rather than simple stretching experienced better physical functioning, better general health, lower stress hormone levels and were "better able to find meaning in their cancer experience."

Some HER2 positive patients may be able to avoid chemotherapy

According to a study from Baylor College of Medicine, some patients with HER2 positive breast cancer may be able to avoid neoadjuvant chemotherapy if treated with a combination of Tykerb (lapatinib) and Herceptin (trastuzumab). Women in the study were given the Tykerb/Herceptin combination once a week. After 12 weeks, 38% of the estrogen-receptor (ER) negative tumors and 21% of the ER positive tumors were completely eradicated. Another 34% of the ER positive tumors were reduced to "only small amounts of tumor left after treatment." A future study will compare 12 to 24 weeks of treatment to determine the optimal duration.

News for metastatic patients: Nexavar and Circulating Tumor Cell testing

For metastatic patients and locally advanced breast cancer patients who have been previously treated with Avastin, results from a mid-stage trial show that Nexavar (sorafenib) delayed tumor progression longer than chemotherapy alone.

Also for metastatic patients, a Georgetown study found that circulating tumor cell (CTC) counts were a "powerful predictor" of patient response to treatment. Favorable CTC blood test results may reduce the number of more expensive and more invasive imaging procedures. Last week a French study found CTC levels to have strong prognostic value. Today, the French study can be found under the news tab of our circulating tumor cell analysis page. Tomorrow, after our website is synchronized tonight, both studies will be there.

Smoking increases breast cancer risk; Alcohol not associated with risk

US News & World Report and Internal Medicine News covered a new study which found that smoking increases breast cancer risk for women already at high-risk for breast cancer. The more years one smoked, the greater the risk. In the same study, alcohol use was not associated with a higher risk.

We hope that the new headings have enhanced our daily update. We welcome any and all feedback.

1 comment:

  1. Great to stumble on your blog! Have you heard about FAMEDS fight for Avastin to stay on label? The drug is currently working for 17,500+ women with metastatic breast cancer. Sign & share the petition: