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Breast Cancer Blog: Targeting The New Blood Vessels

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Dec 8, 2005

Targeting The New Blood Vessels

Targeting The New Blood Vessels
Few days ago a wrote about high dose chemotherapy for patients with advanced breast cancer, and today I am making a U-turn and writing about low-dose chemotherapy for the same patient population.

This is actually a new approach to chemotherapy called the metronomic delivery of chemotherapy. In fact I was not familiar with this term and had to do a little research to find out what exactly is metronomic delivery.

In an article published a recent issue of the Journal of National Cancer Institute the authors call this approach as "Less is more" and go on to say that the harsh side effects and the ultimate failures of most chemotherapies have fueled broad investigation of alternatives. Dictionary meaning for the term metronomic is: "mechanically or unvaryingly regular in rhythm".

This is what I learned about metronomic delivery: when some of the chemotherapy drugs are given in frequent low doses they can exert significant lethal effects on the tumor cells by inhibiting new blood vessel formation, known as angiogenesis. Needless to say that this is an experimental approach to chemotherapy.

I had a reason to research on this new term. I was reading about a new study from Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston in which a combination of metronomic doses of chemotherapy and avastin (a new drug that blocks the formation of new blood vessels) showed some promising results in patients with advanced breast cancer. This combination looks very rational because both are targeting the tumor angiogenesis.

This was a small pilot study in which 55 women participated. In this new strategy, avastin plus metronomic delivery of chemotherapy delayed breast cancer progression by an average of 5.5 months, compared to two months in those who received only the metronomic chemotherapy.

I am not suggesting this is a ground breaking study, but it illuminates the point that researchers are working hard to bring innovations to the treatment approach to breast cancer.


Do You Read All Of Our Cancer Blogs?

Do You Read All Of Blogs?
Do you read all of the blogs published by Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.

Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.

Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.

Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer. publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.


Breast cancer
Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer ranks second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Until recently breast cancer topped the list of leading causes of cancer deaths in women, but lately lung cancer has claimed the top position. If skin cancer is excluded, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among American women.

Breast Cancer Blog: Targeting The New Blood Vessels

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