Breast Cancer

According to an analysis of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group trial ECOG-E1199 by Schneider and colleagues, the development of grade 2 to 4 peripheral neuropathy in patients with operable breast cancer who received taxanes does not appear to affect clinical outcome.1

The biggest newsmaker at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was a compound whose name and actions sound practically missilelike: T-DM1. Because of its highly targeted and potent effect that spares surrounding healthy tissue, T-DM1 not only has potent antitumor effects but is also very well tolerated.

Updated results of the phase 3 BOLERO-2 trial demonstrated that adding everolimus to hormonal therapy extends progression-free survival (PFS) in hormone receptor–positive (HR+) metastatic breast cancer that progressed on hormonal therapy with anastrozole or letrozole. The positive outcomes observed in this study suggest that everolimus plus exemestane will be a new option for postmenopausal metastatic HR+ breast cancer.

In a randomized phase 2 study of metastatic breast cancer patients, peripheral neuropathy (PN) was less likely to occur in patients receiving eribulin mesylate than with ixabepilone.

“Peripheral neuropathy is a big problem in the treatment of breast cancer. Across the spectrum, patients have it, and we don’t know how to treat it,” said Linda T. Vahdat, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who presented the study at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (Poster P5-19-02).

Promising data on several new breast cancer agents, including one new cytotoxic, were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium 2011 held September 8-10 in San Francisco, California.

The addition of the novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor entinostat to exemestane significantly delayed recurrences and showed a trend for a survival benefit in the phase 2 ENCORE 301 (ENtinostat Combinations Overcoming REsistance) study reported by Denise Yardley, MD, of Sarah Cannon Research Institute and Tennessee Oncology in Nashville.

Bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech) for metastatic breast cancer may be one of the most widely debated, media-reported, and editorialized agents in oncology.

For breast cancer patients aged 66 years and older, nurses should consider comorbidities when discussing prognosis, according to an analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results–Medicare data.

Breast cancer patients with no response to tamoxifen may overcome resistance to the widely-used drug when taken in combination with the leukemia chemotherapy dasatinib, new research from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson suggests.

About 70% of breast cancer diagnoses are estrogen receptor (ER)–positive disease, which indicates that the tumor may respond to tamoxifen. However, up to 35% of these ER-positive tumors have little to no response to the drug or ultimately develop resistance to it.

In young women with early-stage breast cancer, coupling the GnRH analogue triptorelin with chemotherapy led to a 17% reduction in the occurrence of early menopause, according to a report in the July 20 issue of JAMA.

The phase III study results showed:

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for all patients. But, this is especially true for women with a breast cancer diagnosis, as an analysis of the California Teachers Study has shown a correlation between breast cancer deaths and body mass index (BMI).

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