Friday, June 17, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: June 17

Today in breast cancer news, we'll look at the disappointing results from the phase III iniparib trial for metastatic triple-negative patients, whether mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation is better for early-stage triple-negative patients and a test of the cardiac side-effects of Omnitarg.

Disappointing results from the phase III iniparib trial for triple-negative cancer

In January 2011, a phase II trial of iniparib for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that adding iniparib to chemotherapy improved clinical benefit and survival without added toxicity. (All related news and research may be found on the iniparib (BSI-201) page of our website.)

Yesterday, an Internal Medicine News story covered the disappointing results of the current phase III trial. In phase III, adding iniparib to the same chemo combination, "provided an insignificant survival advantage." For first-line patients, there was no difference in progression-free or overall survival. For second and third-line patients, progression-free survival increased from 2.9 months to 4.2 months with the addition of iniparib, and overall survival increased from 8.1 to 10.8 months.

The researchers are analyzing the results. Factors being considered include the variety of molecular subtypes that can be classified as triple-negative breast cancer, the number of BRCA mutation patients, the length of disease-free survival between surgery for the primary and the detection of metastasis and the role and function of iniparib.

Increased risk of recurrence for early triple-negative cancer treated with mastectomy

A June 13 Canadian study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology discovered that early-stage patients with triple-negative breast cancer had a "significant increased risk" of local recurrence if they were treated with modified radical mastectomy compared with those treated with breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) plus radiation.

Low risk of cardiac side-effects with Omnitarg (pertuzumab)

Finally, a June 10 study in the Annals of Oncology examined the cardiac safety of Omnitarg (pertuzumab). Patients treated with Omnitarg alone "experienced relatively low levels" of asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction or symptomatic heart failure. There was "no notable increase in cardiac side-effects" when Omnitarg was given in combination with other anticancer drugs.

As always, all of this news and research can be found and filtered on our website. Please check back Monday for the weekend research wrap-up.

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