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June 10, 2009, 8:44 PM CT

Tamoxifen resistance

Tamoxifen resistance
Tamoxifen is a widely used and highly successful drug in the treatment of breast cancer, though resistance to tamoxifen is still a concern in recurrent disease (affecting 25-35% of patients), since therapy resistant metastatic tumor cells are a major cause of death. In a study in this month's Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, researchers have uncovered a protein profile that may accurately predict whether a cancer will be tamoxifen resistant.

Arzu Umar and colleagues in the Netherlands and Washington examined thousands of tumor cells taken from 51 tamoxifen therapy-sensitive and therapy-resistant tumors using a combination of proteomic and mass-spectrometry approaches. Their analysis revealed a set of 100 proteins that were expressed at different abundance levels in the two tumor groups, highlighting a potential profile for tamoxifen resistance.

In addition, they analyzed the most significantly altered protein, called extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer, or EMMPRIN, in a separate set 156 breast tumor tissue samples. EMMPRIN levels were higher in tamoxifen-resistant tumors and significantly associated with an earlier tumor progression following first line tamoxifen treatment and poor clinical outcome, suggesting EMMPRIN may be a reliable marker for highly aggressive breast cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

May 22, 2009, 5:03 AM CT

African-American women with advanced breast cancer

African-American women with advanced breast cancer
A newly released study finds that nearly one in four African American women with late stage breast cancer refused chemotherapy and radiation treatment, potentially life saving therapies. Reported in the July 1, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that more efforts are needed to ensure that all women with breast cancer receive appropriate care.

In the United States, African American women have almost twice the rate of advanced (stage III) breast cancer than white women. To get a better sense of the tumor characteristics and medical care of these patients, scientists led by Monica Rizzo, M.D., of the Emory University School of Medicine and Emory University's Avon Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at Grady evaluated stage III breast cancer data from 2000 to 2006 from an inner city hospital in Atlanta that serves a large African American population.

The researchers identified 107 cases of stage III breast cancers diagnosed and/or treated at this hospital over the six years of study. Approximately 87 percent of these cases were in African American women. Triple negative tumors accounted for 29 percent of the cases. These cancers do not express the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor or the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and therefore do not respond well to therapies that target these proteins (such as trastuzumab, or Herceptin, which blocks HER2).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

May 20, 2009, 5:22 AM CT

Post menopausal hormone replacement and breast cancer

Post menopausal hormone replacement and breast cancer
The risk of developing breast cancer due to taking hormone replacement treatment may be the same for women with a family history of the disease and without a family history, a University of Rochester Medical Center study concluded.

The study, published online this week in the journal Epidemiology, adds to the evolving picture of what factors, either alone or in combination, boost breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. It also refutes the notion, held by a number of in the medical community, that a familial predisposition to breast cancer enhances the carcinogenic effects of estrogen.

"Eventhough we know that family history is a risk factor, we don't know yet what it is about family history that conveys the risk," said Robert E. Gramling, M.D., D.Sc., assistant professor of Family Medicine and of Community and Preventive Medicine at URMC. "Some have proposed that it might be an increased sensitivity to estrogen, but our data did not support that notion. In fact, this study suggests the causal pathway based on family history is probably not estrogen sensitivity".

Scientists analyzed data from the Women's Health Initiative randomized trial, which followed 16,608 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79, who took hormone replacement treatment (HRT) or a placebo pill between 1993 and 2002. Among the participants, 349 cases of invasive breast cancer occurred during a mean follow-up period of 5.6 years.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

May 20, 2009, 5:11 AM CT

Predicting breast cancer outcome

Predicting breast cancer outcome
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a gene signature that may help predict clinical outcomes in certain types of breast cancer.

In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Harold (Hal) Moses, M.D., and his colleagues report that this gene signature which is linked to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway correlates with reduced relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients, particularly in those with estrogen receptor (ER) positive tumors.

The results suggest that assessing TGF-β signaling appears to be a useful aid in determining breast cancer prognosis and in guiding therapy. The work also sheds light on how TGF-β affects tumor growth and progression.

TGF-β is a well-known regulator of tumor growth and metastasis. In the early stages of cancer, TGF-β signaling inhibits tumor growth. But for unclear reasons, most tumors eventually lose their sensitivity to TGF-β, and the once-beneficial protein begins promoting tumor growth and metastasis during later cancer stages. Loss of TGF-β signaling has been associated with tumor progression in human breast cancer.

To identify mechanisms by which TGF-β regulates tumor progression and metastasis, Brian Bierie, Ph.D., a former graduate student in the Moses lab, developed mammary cancer cell lines from mice lacking the TGF-β type II receptor (TβRII), an important component of the TGF-β signaling pathway.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

May 13, 2009, 5:19 AM CT

Gene In Breast Cancer Pathway

Gene In Breast Cancer Pathway
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered how a gene crucial in triggering the spread of breast cancer is turned on and off. The findings could help predict whether breast tumors will metastasize and also reveal potential drug targets for preventing metastasis. The study will appear in the May 20th online edition of the Journal of Cell Science.

A few years ago, Einstein researchers discovered a gene called ZBP1 (zipcode binding protein 1), which helps cells to move, grow and organize spatially. "ZBP1 is very active in the developing embryo but largely silent in adult tissues," says Robert H. Singer, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. He is one of ZBP1's discoverers and leader of the current study.

Scientists have subsequently observed that ZBP1 is reactivated in several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and non-small cell lung cancers; but the gene is silenced in metastasizing cancer cells, as was shown by Dr. Singer and another Einstein scientist, John Condeelis, Ph.D., who also is co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. The purpose of the current study was to find how the ZBP1 gene is activated and silenced and how it influences the spread of breast cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

April 24, 2009, 5:19 AM CT

New breast radiation device for breast cancer patients

New breast radiation device for breast cancer patients
This is the SAVI applicator.
A newly released study shows that the SAVI applicator, a small, expandable device inserted inside the breast to deliver partial breast irradiation, carries a low infection risk, a potential complication of such devices. The research, led by radiation oncologists and surgeons at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center and Fort Myers, Florida-based 21st Century Oncology, also indicates that other complications such as seromas, pockets of fluid that build with the use of internal radiation devices are unlikely to occur.

That's good news for those women with early-stage breast cancer who opt to have such devices inserted for their radiation treatment after breast-sparing lumpectomy surgery, said Cate Yashar, MD, associate professor of radiation oncology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and chief of breast and gynecological radiation services at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Their use is increasing, she added, noting that the Moores UCSD Cancer Center was one of the first medical facilities in the country to offer SAVI.

SAVI, which consists of flexible catheters through which radiation is given, provides customized radiation treatment and minimizes exposure to healthy tissue after a woman has undergone a lumpectomy to remove a malignant tumor. Radiation specialists sometimes decide to give women internal radiation a process called brachytherapy with the goal of giving concentrated doses of radiation to areas of concern while avoiding healthy tissue.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

April 22, 2009, 5:21 AM CT

Breast cancer patients, emotional quality and exercise

Breast cancer patients, emotional quality and exercise
Charles Emery
The first study to monitor physical activity in patients with breast cancer for five years suggests that patients with greater depressive symptoms and a lower emotional quality of life are less likely to exercise as part of their recovery than are patients reporting less distress.

While the findings may seem intuitive, they also add weight to a growing pool of data supporting the need to concentrate on patients with breast cancer' emotional health soon after they are diagnosed, scientists say.

Overall, the women as a group increased their physical activity during the first 18 months after diagnosis and therapy, but then their physical activity gradually declined over the remaining 3 1/2 years.

Poor physical health also was linked to less physical activity over all five years. Conversely, family support appeared to slow the decline in physical activity over the last 42 months of the study.

Depressive symptoms can include low mood, low energy, sleep difficulty and a lack of interest in, or withdrawal from, normal activities. Emotional quality of health is a broad composite measure of social and psychological factors, including mood, tension and the presence or lack of social support.

"This suggests that stress in the form of depressive symptoms is correlation to actual health behavior over a sustained period of time," said Charles Emery, professor of psychology at Ohio State University and main author of the study.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

March 19, 2009, 5:22 AM CT

Biopsy of recurrent breast cancer may alter treatment

Biopsy of recurrent breast cancer may alter treatment
For women with recurrent breast cancer, the therapy the doctor chooses is commonly based on the properties of their original breast cancer. A group from Toronto has recently completed the world's first study that compared original breast cancer tumors with a biopsy of suspected tumors that recurred elsewhere in the body.

Scientists observed that the biopsy resulted in 20% of the women having a significant change in their therapy. In some cases, this was a change in drug therapy and in others, the biopsy showed the woman did not actually have an advanced cancer, but a non-malignant condition.

"The results show that cancers may change over time and not respond to therapy that was appropriate for the original cancer," says principal investigator Dr. Mark Clemons, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer in the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Program, University Health Network (UHN).

"These early findings are leading us in a new direction as we understand more about why some women don't respond to therapy. This knowledge will help us in our quest to always deliver the right therapy, to the right patient, at the right time".

The findings are published online today in the Annals of Oncology, Oxford University Press (Doi:10.1093/annonc/mdp028).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

March 16, 2009, 8:08 PM CT

Obese woman and breast cancer risk

Obese woman and breast cancer risk
greater risk of breast cancer by not undergoing regular screening. As per new research by Dr. Nisa Maruthur and her team from The John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA, seriously obese women are significantly less likely to say they have undergone a recent mammography than normal weight women, particularly if they are white. Maruthur's findings are published online this week in Springer's Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the US. Mammography screening has been proven to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer; current guidelines recommend that women over the age of 40 undergo a mammography every couple of years. Obesity is also an important risk factor for both the development of, and death from, postmenopausal breast cancer.

Maruthur and his colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 studies comprising over 276,000 participants, to look at whether overweight and obese women are less likely to have had a recent mammography than normal weight women. They also looked at the differences in mammography take-up between white and black obese women in three of the studies. They observed that severely obese women were 20 percent less likely to have had a recent mammography than normal weight women. However, this was not the case among black women.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

February 25, 2009, 6:25 AM CT

Goserelin improves survival in breast cancer

Goserelin improves survival in breast cancer
Goserelin, a lutenizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist, reduces the long-term risk of disease recurrence and deaths in premenopausal women with early breast cancer who did not take tamoxifen, as per trial data published in the February 24 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Systematic reviews have shown that lutenizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists, including goserelin, reduce the risk of disease recurrence and death due to breast cancer in premenopausal women. However the long-term impact of goserelin was not known, especially compared to women who did or did not take tamoxifen.

Women with breast cancer were randomly assigned to take goserelin (Zoladex), tamoxifen, both agents, or neither drug for two years in the Zoladex in Premenopausal Patients study. In this analysis, which included 2,706 women, Allan Hackshaw, of the Cancer Research UK Trials Centre at University College London, and his colleagues examined the long-term impact of the agents on various outcomes, including the risk of the cancer returning and the risk of dying from breast cancer or any cause.

The effect of two years of goserelin therapy was comparable to that conferred by two years of tamoxifen. Among patients who took goserelin alone, there were 13.9 fewer events per 100 women 15 years after starting therapy, compared with those who did not take either drug. Among women who took both drugs, the benefit of adding goserelin to tamoxifen was smaller (2.8 fewer events per 100 patients) and did not reach statistical significance.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

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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. Archives of breast-cancer-blog

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