MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Standard chemo works better against BRCA2 related breast cancer

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Standard chemo works better against BRCA2 related breast cancer




The first study to investigate the effects of chemotherapy on metastatic breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation has shown that standard chemotherapy works better in these patients than in women without the BRCA1/2 mutation.

The authors of a study presented today (Thursday) at the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6) in Berlin observed that women with BRCA2-associated breast cancer had a significantly higher response rate, a longer time without the disease progressing, and a longer overall survival when treated with anthracycline-based regimens than did women with sporadic breast cancers that were not linked to BRCA1/2.

Women with BRCA1-associated breast cancer also did better than women with sporadic breast cancer, but the rates were not statistically significant.



Standard chemo works better against BRCA2 related breast cancer

Scientists at the Daniel den Hoed Cancer Centre/Erasmus Medical Centre (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) conducted the study. They matched 112 women with BRCA1-associated metastatic cancer and 29 women with BRCA2-associated metastatic cancer with 141 women with sporadic breast cancers. The women had been treated with anthracycline-based or taxane-based regimens, CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil 5FU) or other chemotherapy regimens.

BRCA2 women had a higher response rate to chemotherapy (89% versus 50%), a longer progression-free survival (nearly a third better) and a longer overall survival (47% better) than did women with sporadic cancers. When the scientists looked more closely at the type of chemotherapy the women had received, they observed that the improved progression-free survival mainly occurred in patients on anthracyclines and disappeared for those treated with CMF.

The lead author of the study, Dr Mieke Kriege, an epidemiologist and project researcher at the Rotterdam Family Cancer Clinic, said: It is difficult to make firm conclusions about response to different therapys from our results so far, but it does seem that the higher sensitivity to therapy by BRCA2-associated patients is particularly caused by the anthracycline regimen.

The project leader, Professor Jan Klijn, medical oncologist and chairman of the Rotterdam Family Cancer Clinic, said: Our findings show that various standard chemotherapy regimens are clinically effective in the therapy of metastatic BRCA1/2-associated breast cancer. The observation of the high efficacy of anthracycline-based regimens is particularly reassuring. However, we would like to emphasise that larger, additional studies are urgently needed to investigate further newer regimens containing taxanes and platinum compounds.

Dr Kriege said: Currently, there are very few studies on the efficacy of chemotherapy in BRCA1/2-associated breast cancer mainly a few, very small studies with less than 44 patients in the neo-adjuvant setting. Our study is the only one in metastatic disease and, with 141 BRCA1/2 gene mutation carriers included, it is by far the largest study in the world.

The authors think that an explanation of why chemotherapy seems to work better in BRCA1/2 breast cancers than in sporadic cancers is due to the lack of a working BRCA1/2 protein. Functional BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins are involved in DNA repair, said Dr Kriege. Most chemotherapeutic agents are active by damaging DNA (particularly anthracycline-based regimens). In BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, who have no functional BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins respectively, DNA repair after chemotherapy might be worse than in sporadic patients resulting in better therapy responses. Pre-clinical studies showed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutated cells are particularly sensitive to chemotherapeutic agents that cause double-strand DNA breaks (such as anthracyclines and platinum).

The scientists now plan to investigate the effects of adjuvant and neo-adjuvant therapys in women with BRCA1/2-associated breast cancers, and to evaluate taxane and platinum therapies further.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
The first study to investigate the effects of chemotherapy on metastatic breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation has shown that standard chemotherapy works better in these patients than in women without the BRCA1/2 mutation. The authors of a study presented today (Thursday) at the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6) in Berlin observed that women with BRCA2-associated breast cancer had a significantly higher response rate, a longer time without the disease progressing, and a longer overall survival when treated with anthracycline-based regimens than did women with sporadic breast cancers that were not linked to BRCA1/2.

Medicineworld.org: Standard chemo works better against BRCA2 related breast cancer

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.