Friday, June 10, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: June 10

It's time for the Friday breast cancer news weekly research wrap-up. Today we'll highlight some of the abstracts from medical journals we added to the database this week.

Another study on radiation therapy for DCIS

Recently, several studies have shown that radiation therapy after surgery for DCIS reduces the risk of recurrence. (See the March 15 study in Cancer, March 16 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the May 2 report on a study presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons meeting. All may be found on the External Whole Beam Irradiation (WBI) journal abstract and news pages of our website.)

This week, an Australian study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology looked at 5 and 8 year recurrence and survival rates in a group of older women. Most did not receive radiation. Of 422 DCIS patients, 373 were treated with surgery alone and 27 were treated with surgery plus radiation. The study did not distinguish between those who received radiation and those who did not. For the group, at 8 years, the breast cancer survival rate was 99.3% and the local recurrence rate was 17.1%. The authors concluded that "breast cancer mortality was very low in this cohort of older patients." The "moderate rate" of recurrence "could usually be salvaged with breast conservation." They recommended that decisions about radiotherapy for DCIS "take these findings into account."

Zoladex (goserelin) or tamoxifen, but not both for adjuvant therapy

A Swedish study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that both Zoladex (goserelin) and tamoxifen reduced the risk of recurrence in hormone receptor positive premenopausal breast cancer. Women with "strongly ER-positive tumors may benefit more from goserelin treatment." The combination of the two together "was not superior" to either alone.

Fareston (toremifene) better than Arimidex (anastrozole) in terms of serum lipids and bone markers

A Japanese study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment compared serum lipid numbers and serum bone turnover or metabolism markers of postmenopausal women with early breast cancer treated with Fareston (toremifene) or Arimidex (anastrozole). Women on Fareston experienced decreased serum lipid numbers, such as triglycerides and cholesterol, and decreased serum markers of bone metabolism. By contrast, lipid numbers were stable for women on Arimidex and bone metabolism marker numbers increased.

In May, another Breast Cancer Research and Treatment study found Fareston to be a safe and effective alternative to tamoxifen for adjuvant hormonal therapy for peri- or postmenopausal women.

Please check back Monday for the weekend breast cancer news.

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