Automated breast ultrasound takes an average three minutes of physician time, allowing for quick and more complete breast cancer screening of asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue, a new study shows. Mammography misses more than one-third of cancers in women with dense breasts, said Rachel Brem, MD, lead author of the study. "Ultrasound can and does detect additional, clinically significant, invasive, node negative breast cancers, that are not seen on mammography, but a hand-held ultrasound screening exam requires 20-30 minutes of physician time. Having a technique that takes just three minutes is a "game-changer" in appropriately screening these women, said Dr. Brem. The study, conducted at George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC, quantitatively assessed the time it took for radiologists to interpret automated breast ultrasound examinations.
Breast cancer in young women is a biologically unique disease that requires customized management strategies, researchers reported at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference, in Brussels, Belgium, 3-5 May 2012. The reported findings have potentially important implications for treatment, because breast cancer in young women is often aggressive and diagnosed at an advanced stage, meaning the prognosis for these patients is often poor. Dr. Hatem A. Azim Jr., a medical oncologist from Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels, and colleagues showed that breast cancer in women forty-years or younger is enriched with the aggressive basal-like tumors. Moreover, these patients have a significantly higher risk of relapse independent of stage, histological grade, breast cancer molecular subtypes and treatment received.
Seeking Molecular Markers To Identify Breast Cancer Patients Who Would Benefit Most From Immune Suppressant
A new analysis may help doctors identify breast cancer patients who will benefit from treatment with the immune suppressant drug everolimus, say French researchers at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Everolimus is currently used as an immunosuppressant to prevent patients rejecting transplanted organs and in the treatment of renal cell cancer. Research is also being conducted into the drug's use in other cancers, including breast cancer. Dr Thomas Bachelot, from Centre Leon Berard in Lyon and colleagues analyzed data from the TAMRAD study, published two years ago. This was the first study to show that in patients whose cancer progressed after treatment with the aromatase inhibitor drug tamoxifen, the time-to-progression could be delayed by the addition of everolimus.
Improving Hormone-Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Management Through Progesterone Receptor Expression Measurement
American and Spanish researchers have found potential ways for doctors to improve the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer even if they lack access to costly multi-gene tests, as they reported at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference. Because breast cancer is a biologically and clinically varied disease, doctors aim to choose appropriate treatments based on the characteristics of each patient's individual tumor. In the past, this has been done using pathology-based biomarkers; however these do not capture the full diversity of cancers. "In this context, tests based on multi-gene expression have been shown to provide valuable information beyond the pathology-based biomarkers, " says Dr Aleix Prat from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "However, multi-gene tests are not readily available in most of the world due to cost, assay turnaround times and other logistic issues.
Contrary to current guidelines, women with benign breast biopsies do not need follow-up at six months; they may not need close surveillance at all, a new study shows. The study, conducted at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, followed 388 patients for six, 12 and 24 months. No cancer was found in these patients at six and 12 months, said Shannon Reed, MD, one of the authors of the study. "Of the 197 follow-up examinations performed at 24 months, two women were positive for cancer in a different area than had been previously biopsied, " said Dr. Reed. An annual mammogram, as part of regular preventive care, could replace the need for benign breast disease follow-up of these patients, said Dr. Reed "The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend that patients with benign breast biopsies undergo follow-up (which can include imaging and a physical exam) every six to 12 months for one to two years, " said Dr.