Monday, September 12, 2011

More Media Headlines from Breast Cancer Symposium 2011

This weekend, there were a few more headlines from the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco. Topics include accelerated partial breast irradiation, neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy and NKTR-102, a drug in development for metastatic breast cancer.

HemOnc Today: "Control rates similar after partial irradiation across various subtypes in early-stage breast cancer"

On September 9, shared a study which found excellent 5-year local control rates among women with a variety of breast cancer molecular subtypes treated with accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). APBI reduces treatment time from over 6 weeks to just five days.

Until now, most trials of APBI included only women with more favorable cancer subtypes. Dr. Robert R. Kuske was quoted to say, "I'm very glad to see this study being published, which shows that even younger women with aggressive breast cancer may have a 5-day alternative to the 6.5 weeks." He hoped that "hesitant physicians will now open the floodgates and will put these patients onto clinical trials in these subtypes."

MD Anderson: "Chemotherapy is as Effective Before Breast Cancer Surgery as After"

A study from MD Anderson compared local-regional recurrence (LRR) rates of women treated with chemotherapy before and after breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy).

5 and 10-year LRR rates were "excellent" for both groups. When age and tumor characteristics were factored in, "survival rates were essentially the same for both groups of women."

Dr. Elizabeth Ann Mittendorf, lead study author concluded,
“This study shows that women appropriately selected for BCT, even some women with Stage 3 breast cancer, can have excellent rates of local-regional control,” Mittendorf said. “The most important thing is putting all the factors together to determine who can most benefit from this approach.”

Medical News Today: "Positive Results From Phase 2 Clinical Study Of NKTR-102 In Metastatic Breast Cancer Presented In Oral Session At The ASCO 2011 Symposium"

Nektar Therapeutics announced positive phase 2 study results of NKTR-102 for metastatic breast cancer. The study showed promising progression-free survival and overall survival, even for women with a poor prognosis or who have been "heavily pretreated" with anthracylines/taxanes and/or Xeloda (capecitabine).

NKTR-102 was also "very well-tolerated," with minimal alopecia (hair loss), neuropathy (nerve damage) and neutropenia (low white blood cell count). The most common grade-3 toxicity was diarrhea, which typically occured after 3 months of therapy.

A phase 3 trial known as BEACON (BrEAst Cancer Outcomes with NKTR-102) is expected to begin in December 2011.

Tomorrow we'll share the latest research radiation therapy for breast cancer. Please stay tuned.

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