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Breast Cancer

An ongoing clinical trial of a novel strategy to evaluate new chemotherapy regimens for patients with early-stage breast cancer has identified another neoadjuvant combination therapy worthy of a phase 3 clinical trial involving patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
Immunotherapy is a hot topic in cancer right now, with approved checkpoint inhibitors for melanoma and non–small-cell lung cancer. Checkpoint inhibitors are also making inroads in other solid tumors.
The most recent update of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline on breast cancer has undergone a number of “tweaks” with few major changes. The revisions include new recommendations for preoperative endocrine therapy, optimization of adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, an update on HER2-directed therapy for patients with operable breast cancer, and guidance on new agents for endocrine therapy in metastatic disease.
Younger patients with luminal A subtype breast cancer may not need chemotherapy, according to a Danish trial presented by lead investigator Torsten O. Nielsen, MD, PhD, Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Patients with luminal A biological subtype breast cancer have an excellent prognosis, even high-risk patients, the study suggests.
It is not clear how to treat residual disease after neoadjuvant therapy in patients with early HER2-negative breast cancer. Additional chemotherapy with capecitabine improved survival in this group of patients, according to a large Japanese study presented by lead investigator Masakazu Toi, MD, PhD, Professor, Breast Surgery, Kyoto Hospital, Japan, at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
The antibody-drug conjugate trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) improved overall survival (OS) compared with physician’s choice of therapy in patients with pretreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, according to the final results of the phase 3 TH3RESA trial, which were presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Anastrozole and tamoxifen are similarly effective in preventing breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The choice should depend on patient preferences, side-effect profiles, age, and other patient factors, according to 2 studies presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Patients with early breast cancer and a low Oncotype DX recurrence score can safely receive treatment with hormone therapy alone and avoid chemotherapy, according to results of the TAILORx trial, which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
Boston, MA—Fertility preservation by controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with concurrent letrozole (Femara) is safe in women with breast cancer, according to a single-center, prospective study on the long-term safety of fertility preservation by the use of ovarian stimulation and concurrent aromatase inhibitors in women with breast cancer, presented at the 2015 Best of ASCO meeting in Boston. Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation had no impact on relapse-free survival and enabled live births in a substantial proportion of women who later chose to retrieve their frozen embryos or oocytes.
San Antonio, TX—Results of a new nutrition study show that women who reduced their intake of dietary fat for 5 years after being diagnosed with early breast cancer had significantly lower rates of death from all causes compared with controls, at 15 years of follow-up; this reduction was seen specifically in women with hormone receptor (HR)-­negative breast cancer. No long-term effect of dietary fat reduction on mortality was observed in women with HR-positive breast cancer. The results of the study, called Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS), were presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
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