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February 15, 2007, 4:31 AM CT

African-american Breast Cancer Survivors And Perceived Risk

African-american Breast Cancer Survivors And Perceived Risk
A unique survey of African American breast cancer survivors at heightened risk for hereditary breast cancer has found the majority do not believe they have an increased chance of developing the cancer again.

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, reporting in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, say these findings suggest it is important to ensure that African American women understand their risk of developing cancer, and genetic counseling to address cultural beliefs and values may be one way of doing so.

"Having a personal and family history of breast cancer are known risk factors for breast cancer, and it is surprising and worrisome that most of these women with such a history don't recognize that risk," said the study's lead author, Chanita Hughes Halbert, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and Director of the Community and Minority Cancer Control Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center.

Halbert's research focuses on understanding the socio-cultural underpinnings of cancer prevention and control behaviors among ethnically diverse populations so that interventions can be designed that reduce cancer morbidity and mortality.

One such intervention is genetic counseling that often includes testing whether a woman has a mutation in one of two genes (BRCA1/BRCA2); women with these genes are at greater risk for developing breast cancer than women without alterations in those genes.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 6, 2007, 9:59 PM CT

Identifying Breast Cancer in Overweight Women

Identifying Breast Cancer in Overweight Women
Increasing the ability to identify sentinel nodes-the very first lymph nodes that trap cancer cells draining away from a breast lesion site-has a major impact in the therapy and outcome of patients with breast cancer, possibly eliminating the need for unnecessary and painful surgery. Scientists observed that using SPECT/CT imaging aids in sentinel node identification-particularly for overweight or obese women, as per a report in the recent issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Lymphoscintigraphy (a usually performed nuclear medicine procedure that makes the lymphatic system visible to specialized cameras)-used with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) imaging-boosted sentinel node identification not only for the general population but also for those who were overweight. "The addition of SPECT/CT with lymphoscintigraphy enhanced sentinel node identification in overweight breast cancer patients," noted Hedva Lerman, vice chair of the nuclear medicine department at Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. Failure to identify sentinel nodes is more frequent in overweight or obese patients, and improved techniques are needed to guide surgeons to their location, said the co-author of "Improved Sentinel Node Identification by SPECT/CT in Overweight Patients With Breast Cancer." She explained, "While the identification of the sentinel node is an important part of surgical management approaches in breast cancer, obesity is a significant factor in why it fails and inevitably leads to occasional-and unnecessary-full axillary lymph node dissection (a more complex surgery that removes all lymph nodes in the armpit region)."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 29, 2007, 9:34 PM CT

Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?

Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?
Breast cancer incidence in the United States has dropped sharply and this decline might be due to the fact that millions of older women have stopped using hormone replacement treatment, as per research presented here at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

The scientists reported that there was an overall 7% relative decline in breast cancer incidence between 2002 and 2003 and that the steepest decline (12%) occurred in women aged between 50 and 69 diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. ER-positive breast cancer depends on hormones for tumor growth, as per the report.

From their data, the scientists concluded that as a number of as 14,000 fewer women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 than in 2002, a year in which the American Cancer Society estimated 203,500 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed.

"It is the largest single drop in breast cancer incidence within a single year I am aware of," said Peter Ravdin, MD, PhD, a research professor in the department of biostatistics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in a press release.

"Something went right in 2003, and it seems that it was the decrease in the use of hormone treatment, but from the data we used we can only indirectly infer that is the case," he said. "But if it is true, the tumor growth effect of stopping use of HRT is very dramatic during a short period of time, making the difference between whether a tumor is detected on a mammogram or not in 2003," Ravdin said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 15, 2007, 4:54 AM CT

Marker For Aggressive Form Of Breast Cancer

Marker For Aggressive Form Of Breast Cancer
Researchers have linked a structural protein called nestin to a particularly deadly form of breast cancer, identifying a new biomarker that could lead to earlier detection and better treatment.

In the January 15 issue of Cancer Research, researchers from Dartmouth Medical School demonstrate that nestin could represent a selective biological marker for basal epithelial breast tumors, a highly aggressive cancer with similarities to mammary stem cells, the regenerative cells believed to be the site of breast cancer initiation.

"Patients with this type of breast cancer are at high risk for recurrence," said James DiRenzo, Ph.D., assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School. "Ideally, a marker like nestin would enable clinicians to monitor these patients through frequent tests of a biomarker and, in doing so, detect the cancer before it has a chance to come back".

Basal epithelial tumors lack important molecular targets such as the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and Her2. This not only makes positive diagnosis difficult, say researchers, but also eliminates several important lines of therapy, such as tamoxifen or Herceptin, that work well for other breast cancer subtypes.

"Currently, there is no direct means of determining if a breast cancer is a basal epithelial tumor - doctors only know for certain once the other forms of breast cancer are ruled out," DiRenzo said. "This type of breast cancer is generally difficult to manage, but several important studies have shown that it is more likely than other breast cancer subtypes to respond to certain types of therapy, which highlights the need for a definitive diagnostic marker".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 18, 2006, 7:52 PM CT

Breast Cancer Metastases Early detection

Breast Cancer Metastases Early detection
GeneSearch- Breast Lymph Node (BLN) Assay, a gene-based diagnostic test has greater sensitivity than traditional intra-operative methods of detecting the spread of breast cancer to the lymph nodes. In the recent study that was presented at 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium GeneSearch- Breast Lymph Node (BLN) Assay was shown to do give superior results. GeneSearch- BLN Assay demonstrated overall sensitivity at least 10 percentage points higher than traditional intra-operative tests.

"These results indicate the potential advantage of the GeneSearch- BLN Assay as an objective, standardized test that can assess breast cancer metastasis in the lymph nodes rapidly and with greater overall sensitivity than the current standard of care," said study investigator Peter W. Blumencranz, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Comprehensive Breast Health and Cancer Services, Morton Plant Mease Healthcare, and Medical Director of Moffitt Morton Plant Cancer Care, Clearwater, Florida. "This intra-operative test may provide surgeons with critical information that can help them optimize treatment decisions by allowing them to determine the scope of the surgery required".

In the study that was presented involves 416 patients across 11 clinical trial sites, sentinel lymph nodes were tested using the GeneSearch- BLN Assay and current methods for assessing nodal tissue during surgery (frozen section (FS) or touch preparations (TP)). All nodes were sampled for permanent section hematoxylin/eosin (H&E), and most were also sampled for immunohistochemistry (IHC). The GeneSearch- BLN Assay, FS and TP results were each compared to permanent section histology results to determine the performance of each method. The test was evaluated in terms of sensitivity and specificity, which measure how well the method correctly identifies nodes with and without clinically relevant metastases. Tests with lower sensitivity have a higher chance of false negatives, and tests with lower specificity have a higher chance of false positives.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


December 17, 2006, 9:50 PM CT

Advances In Breast Imaging

Advances In Breast Imaging
A diagnostic device that resembles a mammography unit can detect breast tumors as tiny as one-fifth of an inch in diameter, which may make it a valuable complementary imaging technique to mammography, say researchers at Mayo Clinic, who helped develop the technology along with industry collaborators Gamma Medica and GE Healthcare.

This new technique, Molecular Breast Imaging, uses a new dual-head gamma camera system and is sensitive enough to detect tumors less than 10 millimeters (about two-fifths of an inch) in diameter in 88 percent of cases where it is used. Early findings from an ongoing comparison of the device with mammography show that it can detect small cancers that were not found with mammography, say the investigators. Mayo Clinic physicist Michael O'Connor, Ph.D., will present these results Saturday, Dec. 16, at the 2006 meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

"Our ultimate goal is to detect small cancers that may be inconspicuous or invisible on a mammogram for high-risk women with dense breasts," says Dr. O'Connor.

The scientists also say their device will likely be only slightly more expensive to use than mammography, and will be much more comfortable for women because much less pressure is needed to image a breast.

"We hope that our studies will eventually show our device to be almost as sensitive as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is probably the best diagnostic test available to date, but is not widely used because of its expense," says Stephen Phillips, M.D., a Mayo radiologist and a study co-author. An MRI scan costs as much as ten times more than a traditional mammogram and involves injection of a contrast agent.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


December 16, 2006, 12:04 AM CT

Reduced Fat Intake Decreases Breast Cancer Recurrence

Reduced Fat Intake Decreases Breast Cancer Recurrence
Reducing dietary fat intake may decrease the chance of a breast cancer recurrence in women who have been treated for early-stage breast cancer, as per a randomized, phase III trial in the December 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The relationship between dietary fat intake and breast cancer is unclear, both for primary breast cancer development and breast cancer recurrence. Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., and colleagues set out to determine whether a low-fat diet could prolong relapse-free survival in women with early-stage breast cancer.

Between February 1994 and January 2001, 2,437 women who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer were recruited from the Women's Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS). They were randomly assigned to a dietary intervention group (40%), or a control group (60%). The new study reports an analysis of all information collected as of October 31, 2003 with an average of 5 years of follow-up, when funding for the intervention ceased.

The goal of the dietary intervention was to reduce dietary fat to 15% of total calories. Women in the intervention group attended eight biweekly, 1-hour counseling sessions to learn about a low-fat eating plan, and they kept written records of their daily fat gram intake. Dieticians contacted or met with the women every 3 months, and participants could attend optional monthly dietary group sessions. Women in the control group met with a dietician when they started the trial and were contacted by dieticians every 3 months.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


December 15, 2006, 4:21 AM CT

How To Predict Potential For Breast Cancer Spread

How To Predict Potential For Breast Cancer Spread
Expression of two different proteins taken from primary tumor biopsies is highly linked to spread of breast cancer to nearby lymph nodes, as per scientists who say this protein profile could help identify at an early stage those patients whose disease is likely to metastasize.

In the December 15 issue of Cancer Research, the scientists say over-expression of one unidentified protein and under-expression of another is 88 percent accurate in identifying breast cancer that has spread in a group of 65 patients, in comparison to an analysis of lymph nodes and outcomes.

If the predictive and diagnostic power of these proteins is validated, they could be analyzed in primary tumor biopsies that are routinely collected at the time of diagnosis, saving some women from extensive and possibly unnecessary therapy as well as from undergoing a second surgery to collect lymph nodes for analysis, the scientists say.

"We want to be able to predict, at the earliest stages, if a tumor has spread and how dangerous it will be," said the study's lead author, Dave S. B. Hoon, Ph.D., director of Molecular Oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Saint Johns Health Center, in Santa Monica, California. "These two proteins may allow us to target aggressive tumors with more extensive treatment management to some women, while sparing others from needless therapy".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 6:32 PM CT

International Trial Of Novel Breast Cancer Drug

International Trial Of Novel Breast Cancer Drug
A clinical trial of a new targeted breast cancer drug, led by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, has begun enrolling patients. The TEACH (Tykerb Evaluation After CHemotherapy) trial will investigate the experimental drug Tykerb (lapatinib) in patients with early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer who have not been treated with Herceptin, another targeted drug used for the same type of tumor. The MGH is the lead institution for the international trial, which is being sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Tykerb.

"This trial represents another step toward understanding the role of targeted therapies in extending disease-free survival," said Paul Goss, MD, PhD, director of Breast Cancer Research at the MGH Cancer Center, who proposed the TEACH study and chairs the International Steering Committee.

About one quarter of patients with breast cancer have tumors that overexpress or produce too a number of copies of a receptor molecule called HER2. Because cellular growth is stimulated by the overactivity of this molecule, which also is called ErbB2, these tumors are more likely to recur and are less responsive to hormone-based therapys. Herceptin, a monoclonal antibody that blocks the HER2 receptor, is approved by the FDA as an adjuvant therapy - given along with chemotherapy after surgical removal and/or radiation treatment - for early-stage, node-positive and HER2-positive tumors as well as for metastatic tumors.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


December 11, 2006, 9:25 PM CT

Antibody Extends Life of Mice with Breast Cancer

Antibody Extends Life of Mice with Breast Cancer
A monoclonal antibody developed by scientists at the University at Buffalo has been shown to extend significantly the survival of mice with human breast-cancer tumors and to inhibit the cancer's spread to the lungs in the animals by more than 50 percent.

The antibody, named JAA-F11, targets a particular disaccharide, an antigen known as TF-Ag, which aids the adhesion and spread of certain cancer cells. While the antibody did not kill the cancer cells, it blocked stages of cancer-cell growth that allow the cells to adhere to organ tissue, the research showed.

Results of the research appeared in the November 2006 issue of the journal Neoplasia.

Mice with breast-cancer tumors that received the antibody had a median survival time of 72 days, in comparison to 57 days for the animals that did not receive JAA-F11, the study found. In addition, exposing cultures of tumor cells to the antibody inhibited cell growth by a statistically significant 16 percent.

Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical and laboratory sciences in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is senior author on the study.

"This antibody binds with a carbohydrate on the tumor cell surface that is involved in adhesion of the cell during the metastatic process," said Rittenhouse-Olson. "Not only would drugs attached to the antibody JAA-F11 bind to the tumor cell surface to direct their cytotoxic effect, but the binding of the antibody itself would block the cell from metastasizing".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of breast-cancer-blog

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