Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging measures were associated with prognostic tumor markers, demonstrating the potential of magnetic resonance imaging for prediction of disease prognosis and stratification of patients to appropriate therapies, according to preliminary data presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011. "Breast cancers are heterogeneous, and different subtypes of breast cancer will respond differently to therapy, " said Sana Parsian, M.D., a research assistant in the department of radiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Every patient with breast cancer must undergo biopsy to be evaluated for the type of breast cancer they have. Based on that, adjuvant medical therapies are prescribed for them." Parsian and her colleagues hypothesized that some quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures, such as diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE), would correlate with histopathological markers by enabling the researchers to measure the tumor's cellularity and vascularity.
Addition Of Trastuzumab May Potentially Equalize Disease-Free Survival Outcomes Among Obese And Normal-Weight Patients
A large, multicenter, randomized study has shown that obese patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have larger tumors, increased lymph node involvement and, when not treated with trastuzumab, poorer long-term outcomes than normal-weight patients. This is the first time the relationship between obesity and HER2-positive breast cancer has been studied, according to Jennifer A. Crozier, M.D., a medical resident at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, who presented the results at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011. "We knew that obesity was a risk factor for breast cancer, " said Crozier. "However, we had not explored the relationship between body mass and how patients respond to treatment and disease-free survival (DFS)." The study, known as N9831, included 3, 017 patients who were initially classified into two categories based on World Health Organization body mass index (BMI) guidelines: normal-weight patients (BMI less than 30) and obese patients (BMI greater than 30).
Despite the benefits, only a small minority of women, regardless of age, are opting for immediate reconstructive breast surgery after undergoing mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer, according to data presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011. Research has shown that immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy improves psychological well-being and quality of life and provides women with improved body image and self-esteem compared with delaying the procedure. However, data from this study, presented by Dawn Hershman, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, indicate that only about one third of women undergo the procedure. Hershman and colleagues identified 106, 988 women with breast cancer who underwent mastectomy between 2000 and 2010.
Combination Of Everolimus And Exemestane Improves Progression-Free Survival For Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer
In an international Phase III randomized study, everolimus, when combined with the hormonal therapy exemestane, has been shown to dramatically improve progression-free survival, according to research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The study, known as Breast Cancer Trials of Oral Everolimus (BOLERO-2), was presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium by Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson's Department of Breast Medical Oncology. Earlier findings were simultaneously reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Everolimus, an immunosuppressant agent first used to prevent rejection of organ transplants, also has anti-angiogenic properties. It inhibits the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein, a central regulator of tumor cell division and blood vessel growth in cancer cells;
Addition Of Bevacizumab To Conventional Therapy Improved Progression-Free Survival In HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Data evaluated by an independent review committee revealed that the addition of bevacizumab to trastuzumab and docetaxel significantly improved progression-free survival in HER2-positive breast cancer, despite findings from an investigator assessment that the improvement was present but statistically non-significant. Luca Gianni, M.D., director of medical oncology at the San Raffaele Cancer Center in Milano, Italy, presented results from AVEREL, a randomized, phase 3 trial, at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011. The trial is designed to evaluate bevacizumab combined with trastuzumab and docetaxel as first-line therapy for HER2-positive, locally recurrent/metastatic breast cancer. The study is the first randomized trial of bevacizumab in this type of breast cancer, according to the researchers.