Monday, June 27, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: June 28

Most of the press attention yesterday was given to a study out of MD Anderson showing that many physicians are not following medical guidelines related to delivery of radiation after mastectomy. In another story with big treatment implications a Yale study that found a very high rate of ER-positive women misclassified as ER-negative. Finally, the Avastin battle continues at a Genentech-requested FDA hearing this week.

Who needs radiation after mastectomy?
Researchers at MD Anderson found that many physicians are wrongly omitting radiation therapy after mastectomy to older breast cancer patients. Multiple guidelines call for radiation treatment after mastectomy in cases of high risk, advanced disease patients. Stories appear on both the Mastectomy and Radiation therapy pages.

ER (falsely) negative
Accurately determining hormone receptor status is absolutely critical for planning breast cancer treatment. Yet a Yale study found that between 10-20% of women who were told their tumors are ER negative (and thus not candidates for hormonal therapies like tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors) were in fact ER positive and so should have received those drugs. Click on the first (most recent) news story listed on or ER (Estrogen Receptor) testing page.

Avastin battle rages on
The FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) is holding a hearing this week at the request of the drug's maker, Roche/Genentech, to reconsider its decision to rescind the drug's breast cancer indication. Several articles can be found under the News tab on our Avastin page.

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