Breast Cancer Symposium

San Antonio, TX—The role of ovarian function suppression (OFS) in premenopausal breast cancer is controversial, with studies to date showing equivocal results. Results of the large International Breast Cancer Study Group SOFT trial shed light on this issue, providing important findings that should be used in treatment discussions with patients.
San Antonio, TX—Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in itself is not dangerous, but some patients will eventually develop invasive breast cancer. Until recently, there was no way to predict which patients with DCIS were at high risk and required more aggressive treatment. Thus, many patients have been overtreated or undertreated.
San Antonio, TX—Doubling the duration of neoadjuvant treatment with dual anti-HER2 therapy more than doubled the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate in patients with early HER2-positive breast cancer, which nonetheless fell short of the improvement goal, results of a randomized trial showed.
San Antonio, TX—First-line treatment with the synthetic estrogen receptor antagonist fulvestrant led to significant improvement in overall survival (OS) versus anastrozole in patients with advanced, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer, despite failing to meet the primary end point, analysis of a randomized trial showed.
San Antonio, TX—Approximately 50% of all women who undergo mammography have dense breasts, and density by itself is a well-recognized risk factor for cancer. Women with dense breasts whose mammograms are negative should be offered ultrasound to improve detection of mammographically occult cancers, according to a study presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

San Francisco, CA—At the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium, Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, told oncologists that in the current era of healthcare reform, they will need to think beyond treatment outcomes, toxicities, and personal preferences.

Dr Shulman told oncologists they will need to “factor in” cost considerations and payment reform. “Ideally, our treatment decisions would be the same, but several factors cause us to rethink our approaches to cancer care,” he said.

San Francisco, CA—Management of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was the focus of 2 studies highlighted at a press conference before the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium. These studies showed that:

San Francisco, CA—In a population of patients with metastatic breast cancer and Medicare Part D claims, the mean lifetime cost of treatment was approximately $102,000, according to a study presented at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium by Hope S. Rugo, MD, Director, Breast Oncology Clinical Trials Program, University of California, San Francisco.

San Francisco, CA—Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is an important construct for identifying and summarizing the evidence on the effectiveness, safety, and overall value of alternative strategies in oncology care, said Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Duke University and the Duke Cancer Research Institute, Durham, NC, during the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium.

“The big challenge is deciding what treatment works in whom, under what circumstances, and whether we can afford it,” Dr Lyman said.

San Francisco, CA—The Oncotype DX Recurrence Score (the 21-gene) test can help identify patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer with any number of positive lymph nodes who will have residual disease after adjuvant chemotherapy, and who may benefit from additional treatment, reported Eleftherios P. Mamounas, MD, Medical Director, Aultman Hospital Cancer Center, Canton, OH, at the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium.

This new retrospective analysis was conducted by investigators from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).

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