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December 15, 2010, 7:02 AM CT

Breast inflammation is key to cancer growth

Breast inflammation is key to cancer growth
PHILADELPHIA It took 12 years and a creation of a highly sophisticated transgenic mouse, but scientists at Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have finally proven a long suspected theory: Inflammation in the breast is key to the development and progression of breast cancer.

In the December 15 issue of Cancer Research, the researchers say they can now definitively show that an inflammatory process within the breast itself promotes growth of breast cancer stem cells responsible for tumor development.

They also demonstrate that inactivating this inflammation selectively within the breast reduced activity of these stem cells, and stopped breast cancer from forming.

"These studies show for the first time that inactivating the NFKB inflammatory pathway in the breast epithelium blocks the onset and progression of breast cancer in living animals," says Richard G. Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Kimmel Cancer Center and Chairman of Cancer Biology.

"This finding has clinical implications," says co-author Michael Lisanti, Leader of the Program in Molecular Biology and Genetics of Cancer at Jefferson. "Suppressing the whole body's inflammatory process has side effects. These studies provide the rationale for more selective anti-inflammatory treatment directed just to the breast." .........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 13, 2010, 7:44 AM CT

HOXB7 gene promotes tamoxifen resistance

HOXB7 gene promotes tamoxifen resistance
A gene target for drug resistance, a triple-drug cocktail for triple negative breast cancer, and patients' risk for carpal tunnel syndrome are among study highlights scheduled to be presented by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers during the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12. The information is embargoed for the time of presentation at the symposium.

A number of postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancers who initially respond well to tamoxifen become resistant to the drug over time and develop recurrent tumors. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have observed that a gene called HOXB7 appears to be the culprit in tamoxifen resistance.

Taken by mouth, tamoxifen is used at every stage of breast cancer to treat existing tumors and prevent new ones from developing. The drug works only in women whose tumor cells have a protein, called the estrogen receptor, which binds to the estrogen hormone. Tamoxifen binds to this estrogen receptor and blocks estrogen's effect on fueling cancer cells.

In experiments on cancer cells, the researchers observed that when the HOXB7 gene is overexpressed, as occurs in a number of breast cancers, tumors cells became resistant to tamoxifen. Overexpression of HOXB7 results in proteins that interact with a series of other estrogen-activated genes and proteins, including the HER2 gene, known to make breast cancers aggressive. When the researchers knocked out the HOXB7 gene in one group of breast cancer cells, HER2 activation decreased and the cells became more responsive to tamoxifen. The researchers then showed how the HOXB7-HER2 interaction works.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 13, 2010, 7:26 AM CT

Breast cancer in pregnant women

Breast cancer in pregnant women
Do not delay therapy of breast cancer just because a woman is pregnant, said lead researcher Sibylle Loibl, Dr. med, of the German Breast Group.

This suggestion is based on study results detailing the effects of different therapy options on the infant. Loibl presented this data at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12, 2010.

"At the time we started the study in 2003, there was hardly any information on breast cancer treatment during pregnancy, but we felt there was a medical need for it," she said.

Eventhough the occurence rate of pregnancy among patients with breast cancer is small (about 2 to 3 percent), women are delaying childbirth until later in age, which may increase the instances of cancer cases among pregnant women, as per Loibl.

The scientists collected data from women diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant to see how the infants fared.

From April 2003 until June 2010, they collected data from 313 women, aged 23 to 47 years old. The women had various subtypes of breast cancer, and the cancer was in various stages when diagnosed. All of the women were pregnant when they were diagnosed with cancer: 23 percent were in the first trimester, 42 percent were in the second and 36 percent were in the third trimester. Some women received various therapy regimens while the rest received chemotherapy.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 7, 2010, 7:47 AM CT

Mammogram sensitivity and menstrual cycle

Mammogram sensitivity and menstrual cycle
Try to schedule your screening mammogram during the first week of your menstrual cycle. It might make breast cancer screening more accurate for pre-menopausal women who choose to have regular mammograms. This recommendation comes from an article published online December 3 in Radiology by Diana Miglioretti, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute.

Dr. Miglioretti and her co-authors are working on an issue at the heart of recent controversies about breast cancer screening mammograms. In November 2009, new recommendations-including that women should discuss with their doctors whether to begin having regular screening mammograms at age 40 or wait till age 50-were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of health care providers who generate medical guidelines based on clinical research.

Some facts correlation to the new recommendations prompted the study by Dr. Miglioretti and his colleagues:
  • Mammography can detect cancer in women in their 40s.
  • But these women are at higher risk than are older women for a false-negative result (missing a cancer that is present) or a false-positive result (recalling a woman for further workup when cancer is not present).
  • False positives lead to unnecessary tests, including biopsies.
  • ........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 16, 2010, 7:00 AM CT

Radiation fears should not deter women from mammography

Radiation fears should not deter women from mammography
The risk of radiation-induced breast cancer from mammography screening is slight compared to the benefit of expected lives saved, as per a newly released study appearing online and in the recent issue of the journal Radiology

"Recently, there have been reports in the press focusing on the potential radiation risk from mammography, especially as used for periodic screening," said the study's main author, Martin J. Yaffe, Ph.D., senior scientist in imaging research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and professor in the departments of medical biophysics and medical imaging at the University of Toronto. "Our study shows that the risk of cancer linked to routine screening in women age 40 and over is very low, particularly when in comparison to the benefits linked to early detection".

Dr. Yaffe and his colleague, James G. Mainprize, Ph.D., developed a model for estimating the risk of radiation-induced breast cancer following exposure of the breast to ionizing radiation from various screening mammography scenarios and estimated the potential number of breast cancers, fatal breast cancers, and years of life lost attributable to mammography screening.

Using a radiation dose estimate of 3.7 milligrays (mGy), which is typical for digital mammography, and a cohort of 100,000 women, the scientists applied the risk model to predict the number of radiation-induced breast cancers attributable to a single examination and then extended the model to various screening scenarios beginning and ending at different ages.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 8, 2010, 7:52 AM CT

Joint pain linked to breast cancer drug

Joint pain linked to breast cancer drug
A newly released study suggests joint complaints attributed to aromatase inhibitors (AI), popular breast cancer drugs, are not linked to inflammatory arthritis or autoimmune disease. Because of that, scientists say women who were primarily concerned about the threat of arthritis should be encouraged to continue taking the medication. The findings of the study will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the 74th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Atlanta, Georgia.

For a number of post-menopausal women with breast cancer promoted by the hormone estrogen, AIs can dramatically reduce the risk of their cancer coming back. Doctors say the AIs must be taken for five years to gain the full benefit, however the development of joint complaints in up to 35 percent of women forces a number of of them to stop early.

"It's not clear why these joint symptoms occur, but we wondered if they could be correlation to inflammation or an autoimmune disease," says Victoria K Shanmugam, MBBS, MRCP, assistant professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Georgetown University Medical Center, who led the study. "Our research ruled out both".

The case-controlled study included 25 postmenopausal patients with breast cancer with hand pain and no known autoimmune disease who were treated for their cancer at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Another 23 participants who were not receiving the drugs enrolled as a control group.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 22, 2010, 8:04 AM CT

Patient navigations improve mammography rates

Patient navigations improve mammography rates
A new research study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) shows that patient navigation services significantly improve biennial mammography screening rates among inner city women. The results, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, indicate the importance of patient navigation in reducing health disparities in vulnerable patient populations.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, with 40,170 deaths in the United States in 2009. Lower mammography screening rates among minority and low income women contributes to the increased morbidity and mortality from breast cancer. As per the American Cancer Society, an estimated 5,320 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and an estimated 780 women will die from breast cancer in Massachusetts during 2010.

The study was conducted over a nine-month period and involved 3,895 Boston Medical Center (BMC) general internal medicine primary care practice female patients between the ages of 51-70. Patient navigation services consisted of phone calls and reminder letters to identify the barriers to care and aid in directly scheduling mammograms. At the end of the nine-months, mammography adherence rates increased to 87 percent in those that received patient navigation with no change from the baseline adherence rates of the non navigated group (76 percent). Patient navigation also increased adherence rates across all languages, races, insurance and education groups.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 11, 2010, 7:33 AM CT

Racial disparities in breast cancer care

Racial disparities in breast cancer care
Racial disparities in the receipt of breast cancer care persist despite accounting for patients' insurance and social and economic status. That is the conclusion of a study published early online in Cancer, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society. The findings suggest that greater efforts are needed to better understand disparities in breast cancer care and to ensure that all affected women receive equal and effective therapys.

Studies have demonstrated that black and Hispanic women are less likely to receive recommended breast cancer therapys than white women, but few studies have examined whether these differences in the receipt of breast cancer care are affected by patients' socioeconomic status and health insurance. Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston led a team that examined recommended breast cancer care (including localized treatment, hormone receptor testing, hormonal treatment, and chemotherapy) received by a large national sample of women with breast cancer. The scientists assessed whether insurance and socioeconomic factors were linked to any observed racial/ethnic differences in care.

The study included information from 662,117 white, black, and Hispanic women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 1998 to 2005 at National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) hospitals. (The NCDB is a registry that collects patient demographics, tumor characteristics, first course of therapy, and outcomes for cancer patients treated at U.S. hospitals.) Most women were white (86 percent), 10 percent were black, and 4 percent were Hispanic. Most had private insurance (51 percent) or Medicare (41 percent).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 3, 2010, 9:19 PM CT

Computer-aided detection mammography

Computer-aided detection mammography
The use of computer-aided detection (CAD) is increasing, in both screening and diagnostic mammography, as per a research studyin the recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (www.jacr.org). CAD software systems highlight and alert the radiologist of abnormal areas of density, mass or calcification on a digitized mammographic image (of the breast) that may indicate the presence of cancer.

Screening mammography is an X-ray exam of the breast that is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms. Diagnostic mammography is an X-ray exam of the breast that is performed in order to evaluate a breast complaint of abnormality detected by physical exam or routine screening mammography.

Scientists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, evaluated codes for screening and diagnostic mammography (both screen-film and digital) as well as codes for screening and diagnostic CAD from the Medicare Part B Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files for 2004 2008.

In 2004, a total of 5,728,419 screening mammograms were performed, and CAD was used in 2,257,434 (39 percent) of them. In 2008, a total of 5,827,326 screening mammograms were performed, and CAD was used in 4,305,595 (74 percent) of them. In 2004, a total of 1,835,700 diagnostic mammograms were performed, and CAD was used in 360,483 (20 percent) of them. In 2008, a total of 1,682,026 diagnostic mammograms were performed, and CAD was used in 845,461 (50 percent) of them. "By 2008, CAD was used in about three quarters of all screening exams and half of all diagnostic exams," said Vijay M. Rao, MD, main author of the study.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 29, 2010, 10:58 PM CT

Women with triple negative breast cancer and BRCA mutations

Women with triple negative breast cancer and BRCA mutations
Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D., is an associate professor in MD Anderson's Departments of Breast Medical Oncology and Systems Biology.

Credit: MD Anderson

Patients with triple negative breast cancer that also have mutations in the BRCA gene appear to have a lower risk of recurrence, in comparison to those with the same disease without the deleterious genetic mutation, as per scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings may offer a direction for study of personalized treatment in this select group of triple negative patients with breast cancer, as well as highlight the unique need for genetic testing in a patient population. Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Departments of Breast Medical Oncology and Systems Biology presented the findings in advance of the 2010 Breast Cancer Symposium.

"There is data on the number of patients with breast cancer with BRCA mutations, as well as those that have triple negative disease. However, there is no understanding of the occurence rate of BRCA1 and 2 mutations in unselected patients with triple negative breast cancer," said Gonzalez-Angulo, the study's first and corresponding author. "Now, there are new drugs that appear to be more effective in treating triple negative breast cancer and BRCA status appears to be an important way of selecting patients that may respond to these therapies."

Triple negative disease - breast cancer that is estrogen, progesterone and HER2-neu receptor negative - accounts for about 15 percent of all breast cancers. Currently, it's an area of much research focus in the breast cancer community because: it lacks effective targets effective for anti-cancer therapies; chemotherapy is only effective in about 40 percent of patients; and in those that do relapse, the disease is highly resistant and patients die quickly.........

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.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of breast-cancer-blog

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