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Breast Cancer News

In this section, access cutting-edge breast cancer news on treatment updates, emerging therapies, study results and other medical and quality-of-life issues important to you.

Trastuzumab Extends Survival Years Down the Line

Analysis of two studies that were important in getting trastuzumab approved for early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer found that years after treatment, there are significant survival benefits for those who took trastuzumab.

FDA Approves New Way to Receive Pegfilgrastim

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, recently approved a new delivery system for pegfilgrastim (Neulasta). The system is called the Neulasta Delivery Kit. It includes the On-body Injector for Neulasta, a small device that can be placed on the skin at the same appointment that chemotherapy is received. The next day, the device releases a dose of pegfilgrastim, a medicine that increases white blood cell count to counteract the risk of infection that can be a side effect of chemotherapy.

Trastuzumab-Paclitaxel Combo Very Effective for Small HER2-Positive Breast Cancers

A study looked at people with stage I and small stage II HER2-positive breast cancer that hadn't spread to the lymph nodes. It found that treatment with trastuzumab and the chemotherapy medicine paclitaxel kept the vast majority of participants alive and free from breast cancer recurrence 3 years after taking it. This treatment also caused few serious side effects.

PIK3CA Gene Mutation Linked to Poor Response to Anti-HER2 Treatment

Researchers say early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer is more resistant to treatment when the tumor has a PIK3CA gene mutation, even when two targeted therapies are given with chemotherapy before surgery.

Predicting Ovarian Function After Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

When measured before chemotherapy, along with age, the level of a hormone released in young women’s ovaries may predict whether the ovaries will work again after chemotherapy.

For Rural Women Who Have Had Breast Cancer, Believing in Themselves Is Key to Exercising

Researchers found that among women with breast cancer living in rural areas, those who believe in their ability to exercise, believe there are few roadblocks preventing them from exercising, and have low levels of fatigue are most likely to get the recommended amount of exercise.

Study Suggests Biweekly Treatment May Be Better For TNBC

Researchers with the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) S0221 clinical trial gave similar chemotherapy treatments to people with high-risk, early-stage breast cancer. But they assigned some people to daily and weekly treatment, and others to treatment once every 2 weeks, or biweekly. They found that, overall, no treatment schedule stopped cancer from returning better than the other. However, a sub-analysis suggested people with triple-negative breast cancer did better with a biweekly schedule than with a daily and weekly schedule.

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval of Palbociclib

Pfizer, a company that makes and sells medicine, announced Feb. 3 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval of its anticancer medicine, palbociclib (Ibrance) – in combination with letrozole (Femara) – for postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.

Study Shows Many Women Need Repeat Surgery After Lumpectomy

A recent study examined the average number of repeat surgeries needed for women undergoing lumpectomy, also calledbreast conservation surgery. The study found that approximately one-fourth of women who have breast conservation surgery go on to have some type of repeat breast surgery – whether an additional lumpectomy or complete mastectomy.

Women Taking Generic Aromatase Inhibitors Are More Likely to Continue Treatment

A study found that women taking low-cost, generic aromatase inhibitors were more likely to stick to their treatment plans than women who took more expensive, brand-name medicines. More than half of the women in this study stopped buying their aromatase inhibitors early or took them less often than recommended.

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