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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.

Black Women Are Least Likely Group to Be Diagnosed With Stage I Breast Cancer

A study looked at hundreds of thousands of women with a history of breast cancer. It found that how likely a woman was to be diagnosed with stage I breast cancer varied depending on her race or ethnicity. Women of Japanese descent were most likely to be diagnosed at stage I. The risk levels of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women and of women of other Asian descent fell in the middle. Black women were the least likely to be diagnosed with stage I disease.

Obesity, Extensive Surgery and Removal of Many Lymph Nodes Put Women With Breast Cancer at Higher Risk for Lymphedema

A study that followed women diagnosed with breast cancer in the ’90s for about a decade found several factors influenced their risk of developing lymphedema. These included age, race, weight, stage of cancer and types of treatment given.

Study Finds Two Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment Combinations Work Similarly Well

Researchers looked at two past studies on how well the chemotherapy medicines gemcitabine (Gemzar) and capecitabine (Xeloda) work when each one is paired with another chemotherapy medicine called docetaxel (Taxotere). They found that the two combinations worked similarly well, but people who took the capecitabine-docetaxel combo were more likely to stop their therapy because of side effects.

African-American Women Less Likely to Begin Hormonal Therapy Than White Women

Researchers found that a high number of African-American women don’t start taking hormonal therapy within the first year after a hormone-positive breast cancer diagnosis. These results may partly explain why African-American women have worse breast cancer outcomes than white women.

Side Effects Greater for Some Given Tamoxifen With Ovarian Suppression

A study looking at differences between tamoxifen-only treatment and tamoxifen plus ovarian function suppression, or OFS, in certain premenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer, found the OFS group experienced more difficulty with menopausal symptoms and other side effects. 

Neratinib Plus Capecitabine Shows Promise in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer Study

A small, stage I/II study found that giving the anti-cancer medicines neratinib and capecitabine at the same time may help people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer that is no longer responding to standard treatment.

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.