Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: July 13

Today in breast cancer news, we'll highlight recent studies on molecular breast imaging and a study of molecular changes in tamoxifen resistant breast cancer recurrences.

Two Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) studies

This week we added two studies on molecular breast imaging (MBI) to the website and database. MBI is also knowsn as breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI).

Molecular breast imaging of invasive cancer

A June 28 study from George Washington University published in The British Journal of Radiology evaluated the sensitivity of BSGI in 139 women with invasive breast cancer. BSGI was found to have "a high sensitivity for the detection of invasive breast cancer." The authors concluded that BSGI "can reliably detect invasive breast cancers and is a useful adjunct imaging modality for the diagnosis of breast cancer."

Molecular breast imaging of DCIS

A July 8 study in the Annals of Surgical Oncology compared BSGI to MRI for the detection of DCIS. 18 patients recently diagnosed with DCIS were enrolled in the study. One tumor was not seen on either MRI or BSGI. One was seen on MRI only. In all, the sensitivity was 94% for MRI and 89% for BSGI. The authors concluded that "BSGI is equally as sensitive as MRI at detecting newly diagnosed DCIS." Future studies are needed due to the "limited number of patients enrolled" in this study.

Biomarker changes in tamoxifen resistant recurrent breast cancer

Sometimes even though a primary breast tumor was responsive to tamoxifen therapy, a recurrent tumor will be resistant to tamoxifen. A July 6 British study published in Endocrine-Related Cancer examined the molecular changes in tamoxifen resistant recurrent tumors to try to determine why. The study confirmed that some tamoxifen resistant tumors lose estrogen or progesterone receptor status and gain HER2 positive status. IGF1R gain, PTEN loss and PI3KCA mutations did not appear to contribute to tamoxifen resistance. This study confirms the importance of hormone receptor and HER2 status testing of recurrent breast cancer to determine the best course of treatment.

Please check back tomorrow for more breast cancer news and research highlights from

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