Friday, May 27, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: May 27

It's the Friday breast cancer research wrap-up. Today, we'll highlight some of the links to research publications we added to the database this week.

Breast cancer prevention: prophylactic mastectomies are safe and effective

A Swedish study published in the Annals of Surgery found that bilateral prophylactic mastectomies for asymptomatic women at high-risk of breast cancer were safe and "efficacious in reducing future breast cancer." However, "unanticipated reoperations are common."

Breast cancer prognosis: very small tumors may be highly aggressive

According to a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, very small tumors with four or more positive lymph nodes conferred a worse prognosis than larger tumors with the same number of positive lymph nodes. Dr. Rinna Punglia told Reuters Health that women with very small tumors and significant lymph node involvement "should be treated very aggressively."

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy: Taxotere dose schedule affects quality of life

A study published in BMC Cancer found patients who received twelve cycles of weekly Taxotere (docetaxel) before surgery had a better quality of life than those who received four cycles of "three weekly" docetaxel. All patients also received Adriamycin/Cytoxan. Therapeutic response, breast conserving surgery rates and survival outcomes were similar for both groups.

Metastatic treatment: studies on Ixempra and Herceptin response

A study published in Cancer found a positive risk/benefit ratio of adding Ixempra (ixabepilone) to Xeloda (capecitabine) for advanced/metastatic patients who were refractory to anthracyclines and taxanes, despite added toxicities. Quality-adjusted survival was higher for those who took the Ixempra/Xeloda combination than for those who took Xeloda alone.

Also in Cancer this week, an Italian study found that high estrogen receptor expression predicted a reduced probability of tumor response to Herceptin (trastuzumab) plus chemotherapy. For hormone receptor positive patients, the addition of hormone therapy to Herceptin upon the completion of chemotherapy was associated with significant progression-free survival.

On Monday, we'll highlight the weekend breast cancer news. Please stay tuned.

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