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Potential new treatment for advanced cancers

A potential treatment for therapy-resistant breast cancer patients has been uncovered by researchers at Cardiff University.

The European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, based with Cardiff University, has repurposed a current cancer therapy, TRAIL, to find a new treatment for advanced cancers that are resistant to anti-hormone therapy.

Up to 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will have a cancer driven by oestrogen signalling and almost all of these women will receive anti-hormone therapy, like Tamoxifen or Aromatase inhibitors, to treat their cancer. Unfortunately, up to 40% of patients receiving these hormone therapies will develop a resistance to them, leading to relapse with aggressive cancer.

Dr Luke Piggott, European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University, said: “Part of our research focus is to develop new therapies, with low levels of side effects, for breast cancers that are resistant to anti-hormone treatments.

“TRAIL has already been tested in multiple types of cancer, but hasn’t yet proved beneficial to patients. But we believe we have demonstrated that patients who develop resistance to treatment will benefit from TRAIL therapy, as we have identified specific changes in the cancer cells from these patients, which mean that their tumours become sensitive to TRAIL treatment.

“Additionally, we have shown in this patient group that TRAIL treatment targets a specific type of cell in a tumour called a cancer stem cell. Cancer stem cells differ to the other cancer cells, as they are the cells responsible for initiating tumour growth and spread, and have also been shown to be resistant to therapy.”

Dr Richard Clarkson’s team of researchers at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute tested TRAIL on tumour samples collected from cancer patients who had developed resistance to anti-hormone therapy.

Their findings showed that TRAIL selectively killed cancer stem cells from these patients but that tumours that had not developed resistance to tamoxifen were unaffected by TRAIL.

Dr Richard Clarkson said: “Cancer stem cells are the cells responsible for relapse and for the spread of cancer, so by targeting these cells, along with the bulk of the tumour, we could transform the way we treat cancer, especially for those that are resistant to anti-hormone treatments.”

82 percent of the anti-hormone resistant tumour samples showed a significant response to TRAIL, whereas only 8 percent of tumour samples that had not previously seen anti-hormone therapy responded.

The experimental models showed tumour shrinkage after being treated with TRAIL and there was also a reduction in the number and size of tumours that have spread to other organs, a process known as metastasis.

Dr Clarkson added: “Although we have more research to do before this new drug gets into clinic, TRAIL represents a very promising therapy for a population of patients where there is currently very few options.”

Link to original article

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The Royal Marsden Hospital

We are very grateful to Breast Cancer Research Aid for your support of The Royal Marsden’s C-TRAK trial, an innovative research project that has the potential to change the lives of women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in the UK and world-wide.

The Royal Marsden was founded thanks to contemporary philanthropists and your generosity is continuing this important tradition. Thank you for helping us to drive forward advances in breast cancer research and provide patients with the best quality of life.

C-TRAK: Developing a novel way to detect and treat breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,000 women diagnosed every year. Of those women, 15 per cent will be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

Standard treatment for this type of cancer includes surgery and chemotherapy. However, TNBC is difficult to treat because it does not respond to common therapies, such as tamoxifen or Herceptin.

Furthermore, TNBC is more likely to recur than other breast cancers. Sadly, by the time TNBC returns and has grown large enough to be seen on a CT or MRI scan, the disease is often untreatable.

To meet this challenge, The Royal Marsden is leading C-TRAK: a two-part clinical trial that will assess if a blood test can detect TNBC as soon as it recurs and investigate a new therapy option to successfully treat the disease before it becomes life-threatening.

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PROFESSOR MATT SMALLEY REPORT ON TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

Our laboratory is studying a form of breast cancer called ‘Triple Negative Breast Cancer’ or TNBC. About 15 out of every 100 breast cancers (15%) are triple negative making it one of the less common forms but it is one of the most aggressive. It tends to spread rapidly (metastasise) in the body and it does not respond to hormone treatment with tamoxifen or the targeted cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin).  We have found a gene that seems to be specific to TNBC and when we block its activity in the laboratory it results in TNBC cells growing and moving less. We have also found that this gene comes in two forms, a so-called long and short form. We have found that both forms are important for the growth of TNBC cells but it is the long form which causes the cells to move more, which is what makes them more likely to spread in the body and cause metastasis.

We want to work out the difference between the long and short forms, as we think this will help us identify new approaches for treatment. Thanks to support from Breast Cancer Research Aid, we have now begun to do this. We have isolated the long and short forms from breast cancer cells in such a way that other contents of the cell which were stuck to them were extracted at the same time. The next step was to compare the extracts to find out what was stuck to the long form, but not to the short form (which will hopefully tell us what is controlling cell movement), and what can be found stuck to both forms (which will hopefully tell us what is controlling the growth of the cells). To do this, we worked with colleagues at Bristol University who are expert in a technique called ‘mass spectrometry’. You’ll have seen this if you watch CSI – except on CSI it takes about 2 minutes whereas in reality it took over two weeks! Supported by BCRA, we were able to carry out a mass spectrometry analysis of our extracts.

Although it is still very early days, we think we have successfully identified a strong candidate for the target with which the long form of our gene is interacting to promote cell movement and so make them likely to spread in the body. We still need to prove this with follow-up experiments, but if it turns out to be true, blocking this interaction has the potential to be a new therapeutic approach in TNBC. This study has opened up a whole new area of research for us and it would not have been possible without the support from BCRA. We are extremely grateful

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4 Foods That Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

As if you needed another reason to chow down on roasted edamame.

breast cancer treatment, healthy food

First, the not-so-good news: No food is proven to prevent or cure any type of cancer, including breast cancer. Now the good news: There are many foods that can boost your overall health and in turn reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

Being overweight is one of the main risk factors for breast cancer, so eating well and losing weight are excellent first steps toward lowering your breast cancer risk, says Alexandra Rothwell, RD, CDN, a specialist in oncology nutrition.

Inflammation is also linked with both breast cancer and being overweight, which is why Rothwell suggests eating foods that can help keep your blood sugar levels and inflammation in check. The following foods are pros at doing just that.

Olive Oil

breast cancer prevention, breast cancer risk

On top of all the other health benefits already linked to olive oil, the healthy fat may also be useful in reducing breast cancer risk. A September 2015 study found that adding 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to a diet rich in fruits and veggies could lower breast cancer risk by 68%.

And that’s not all: Olive oil may come with an additional benefit relating to breast density, which is another risk factor for breast cancer. A 2014 study of more than 3,500 women found that consuming an extra 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil each day was associated with lower breast density.

Fish

Breast cancer food, breast cancer healthy food

Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are all fish that Rothwell suggests adding to your diet because they are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. “We know that omega-3s help decrease inflammation in the body,” she says. You can also eat walnuts and seeds if you want a non-animal source.

And just like olive oil, eating more omega-3s may also be linked to a reduction in breast density, according to a 2014 study in Cancer Causes & Control.

Fruits and Vegetables

fruits for breast cancer treatment

All hail the power of the plant! Time and time again, studies have found that plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. And there are a few possible reasons: The more antioxidants in a diet, the lower the breast cancer risk may be, according to a 2015 study. Also, the fiber found in fruits and vegetables may fuel their ability to diminish risk, as reported in a 2011 European Journal of Nutrition paper.

Rothwell recommends eating cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower), allin vegetables (onions, leeks, and garlic), and Asian mushrooms (Shiitake, Chinese black, and oyster) in particular.

As for fruit, she says, Stick to low-sugar varieties, like berries, and limit high-sugar fruit, such as bananas, pineapples, and mangoes, so that you can keep your blood sugar levels normal.

Soy

breast cancer survivors

You’re probably thinking: But I thought soy was connected with increased breast cancer risk! Before you call us crazy, let’s clear the air: Yes, soy has estrogen-like compounds, and estrogen has been linked to some cancers. But no, soy foods do not cause breast cancer. Soy supplements may be less safe, but why would you consume your soy that way when you can chow down on roasted edamame?

In fact, multiple studies have associated soy with a reduced risk of breast cancer. However, there is an exception: If you are a carrier of the BRCA2 mutation gene, soy may increase your risk, according to 2013 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that soy products lowered risk in breast cancer carriers except those carrying the BRCA2 mutation.

Rothwell agrees that, in general, you can enjoy soy as part of a healthy diet without the fear that it will cause breast cancer. Just make sure that you are eating whole, organic soy products like the beans, tofu, and tempeh, because you don’t know what processing can do, she says.

Also Read: 5 METHODS TO CUT BREAST CANCER RISK

Article Source: goodhousekeeping GH

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7 Key Cancer Trends For 2018

Issues that will affect the lives of cancer patients in 2018

1. Less chemotherapy

A recent report finds that among patients with the most common form of early-stage breast cancer, chemotherapy prescriptions slid, overall, from around 34.5% to 21.3%, in a recent 2-year interval (2013-2015). That’s a huge drop, from over a third of women with stage 1 or 2 disease getting chemo, to just over a fifth taking chemo. This trend is impressive and credible in context of growing discussion and awareness of overtreatment and (although authors of this particular study found no link) wider use and acceptance, among oncologists, of recurrence predictors like OncotypeDx and MammaPrint.

The shift for breast cancer is clear. Whether this pattern will emerge and extend to other and less-tracked malignancies, I’m not sure. Probably it will happen variably, by tumor type, and more in the future.

2. More prescription of novel anti-cancer agents

Doctors increasingly prescribe targeted drugs for tumors with specific molecular aberrations. Examples (among many) include a growing array of hormone-blocking agents for breast and prostate cancers, inhibitors of changed or amplified proteins such as EGFR or ALK in lung cancer, and PARP drugs that have been approved so far in ovarian cancer and are likely to be approved soon for some forms of breast cancer. Many of these targeted agents are pills.

Meanwhile, immune-oncology drugs mainly antibodies that interfere with the PD-1 and PDL-1 receptor and ligand families are used against a variety of tumors. Other monoclonal antibodies, like Rituxan or Herceptin, have become well-established in standard care, as newer ones, like Darzalex (anti-CD38, for myeloma) and antibody conjugates like Kadcyla or inotuzumab (recently approved, Besponsa), enter the anti-cancer armamentarium.* Consider, also, the recent paper on replacing bleomycin, a lung-damaging old chemotherapy staple for treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma (the “B” in ABVD), with the anti-CD30 antibody conjugate brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris). That report reflects a trend, of increasing antibody use and less chemotherapy that is revolutionizing treatment of lung cancer, melanoma, and other types of malignancy.

3. Concern over cancer drug costs

This problem is not going away. Rather, the issue of cancer’s financial toxicity, to individuals and to society, will grow as more drugs become available and might be prescribed. Some argue that anti-cancer medications should not necessarily be covered by private insurers, or by public insurers (Medicare or Medicaid), unless the cancer treatments demonstrate a certain level of benefit to patients. But how oncologists or patients or economists or insurance managers define “benefit” or “value” is a contentious issue, as is how that benefit needs be demonstrated.

This is a societal issue. The discussion reflects values and notions of personal responsibility for cancer care, and whether all people with malignant illness are deserving of equal opportunity to try the anti-cancer treatments they and their doctors think are most appropriate.

4. Focus on diagnostics, quality and payment for genetic cancer tests

This is a crucial matter for patients with malignancy who wish to try novel cancer drugs and need to know if their tumors harbor molecular features that match those new drugs. CMS is currently weighing if Medicare and Medicaid should pay for next-generation sequencing (NGS) of advanced cancer cases. So far, the FDA has approved only one such pan-genetic cancer test, FoundationOne CDx, which costs around $5800.

In general, the debate concerns the quality of diagnostic tests, and costs. You may have heard that liquid biopsies of a patient’s cancer yield disparate findings, depending on the company. Doctors and patients need reliable and reproducible results. And so accreditation of labs that perform molecular testing becomes increasingly necessary as these tests becomes more relevant to everyday prescription of oncology drugs and clinical decisions.

As things stand, payment for molecular testing of cancer has limited uptake of some very useful tests. I will write more on this topic separately.

5. Tumor-agnostic prescription of cancer medications

This modern way of prescribing cancer drugs-based on molecular changes in malignant cells, and not necessarily in which body part the tumor occurs, like “breast” or “colon” makes sense. In general, I see this as the future of oncology.

Last May, for the first time, the FDA approved use of an immune oncology drug, Keytruda, for all patients with cancer in which the malignant cells have certain features, what’s called microsatellite instability. The next month, doctors at the annual big U.S. cancer meeting reported on an experimental drug, larotrectinib, which in initial studies helped most patients with a wide range of cancer types, including previously hard-to-treat cases, in which the cancer cells harbor TRK gene fusions. That medication is under review by the FDA; more will follow.

Not all oncologists see merit, or feasibility, of this sort of approach to treating cancer. Based on preliminary studies, it appears that responsiveness to some drugs may depend on the cancer’s location. At last spring’s AACR meeting, for instance, Dr. David Hyman and colleagues reported on the SUMMIT basket trials of patients with HER2 and HER3 mutations. Evidently, neratinib demonstrated some (and limited) activity in patients with HER2 abnormalities with advanced breast, salivary, bile duct and a few other tumors, but not with colon cancer. This was a limited trial, involving a relatively small number of patients with varied HER2 and HER3 mutations. Yet it points to the need for caution, and for collecting data including post-marketing data regarding tumor locations, and details of pertinent mutations—when anti-cancer drugs are prescribed based on their molecular features.

6. Patient-reported outcomes

How cancer patients feel matters. This has always been so, but doctors (and policy-makers) didn’t pay so much attention to their subjective descriptions of pain, nausea, tiredness and other symptoms. As more anti-cancer drugs become available, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) will enable doctors to identify subtle differences among what some deem “me-too” drugs and, also, weigh on risks and benefits of treatments that may, or more not, do more good than harm.

Some insist that extending overall survival is the main purpose of anti-cancer treatment. But as patients and doctors increasingly weigh treatments that might improve quality-of-life, without necessarily extending survival, these PROs become more relevant. How exactly these outcomes will be measured, especially as more data will be collected post-marketing of drugs, off of clinical trials in a non-blinded fashion, by patients who know what they’re on and may be vulnerable to something like placebo effect, or an anti-placebo effect and the willingness of doctors and policy-makers to trust their patients’ reports, is a Pandora’s box from which I look forward to reading, hearing, and learning more.

7. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Few doctors, even oncologists who subspecialize, can keep up with developments in the field. Whether its IBM’s Watson, about which I remain optimistic, or another brand of artificial intelligence delivering suggestions, data-driven algorithms will be needed to guide physicians’ recommendations. The emerging field of computational biology, which can take big data and apply it to individual patients’ cases, with recommendations based on real-time knowledge of cancer science and approved treatments, is the way forward.

Oncology needs be AI-driven, at least at the level of suggesting treatments to consider, because there is too much molecular information for most doctors or patients to grasp and with some 15 million new cancer cases expected around the globe in 2018 too much potential, otherwise missed, to improve outcomes for those affected.

What’s missing? I haven’t mentioned CAR-T cells, which in some ways dominated this year’s cancer news. While it’s clear these biological therapies, involving gene-edited white blood cells taken from each patient and re-infused, can effect remissions and cures as most cancer drugs have not, I remain skeptical about the possibility of manufacturing these agents safely and efficiently on a large scale so that tens or thousands of patients might be helped, by contrast to simpler cancer drugs.

Prevention is unfortunately absent from my list. Cancer prevention remains a personal priority: the best way to avoid cancer deaths, toxicity and costs of treatment, is to prevent the disease from happening. However, apart from discouraging smoking and its cessation, which is old news and in some parts of the world not trending, and giving vaccines to prevent HPV and hepatitis B infection, which is generally happening more, and continually reminding affluent humans to eat and drink less, there is too little progress on this front.

With a diminished EPA under the current U.S. administration, and few doctors willing to invest careers in the slow-paced field of environmental oncology, to designate carcinogens by proving cause-and-effect, it’ll be a long time before we see meaningful advances in understanding the toxic causes many cancers, and how to avoid those (carcinogens). There’s too little incentive. Maybe, in next year’s list, for 2019, that will change.

Also Read: Breast cancer study uncovers new genetic variants for increased risk

News Source: Forbes

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5 Methods to Cut Breast Cancer Risk

About one in every eight women will have breast cancer at some point in her life, but there are ways to lower chances.

More than 3.1 million women in the U.S. are living with breast cancer right now. Here are five ways to lower your risk.

First, watch your weight. One study found women who gained 21 to 30 pounds after age 18 were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t gain more than five.

Another tip, spend less time sitting. In a study, women who sat for six hours a day or longer when not working had a ten percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who sat less than three hours.

Next, limit alcohol. Women who have two to three drinks a day have about a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who don’t drink. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than one alcoholic drink a day for women.

Lastly, if you do develop breast cancer, early detection is crucial for a good outcome.

The mammogram is basically the gold standard and that’s the one that’s been studied the most and has shown to actually decrease deaths from breast cancer, said Dr. Cynthia Litwer, of Cedars-Sinai Imaging.

The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that’s found early is 99 percent. See your doctor right away if you feel a lump and make sure you have all recommended screening tests.

Some experts also recommend avoiding hormone replacement therapy. This treatment can up your risk of breast cancer. But if you stop taking it, your risk returns to normal within five years.

Also read: TOP 10 HALE AND HEARTY TIPS FOR BREAST CANCER PREVENTION

News Source: abc7chicago

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Top 10 Hale and hearty Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

It is every woman’s duty to take care of their health. Here are some tips to protect your breasts from cancer.

Exercise Regularly: “Keep moving every day”. Exercise is your best friend when it comes to any health-related problem. The more you sweat, the more calories you burn and this helps you stay healthy.

Go for regular checkups: Visit your doctor every now and then, especially if you have any doubts. This is not a condition where you can think and postpone your doctor visit to the next month or even later. The earlier you get diagnosed, the earlier you will save yourself!

Know your family history: It is important to know your family history, because most cancers are hereditary. If anyone in your family suffers or has suffered from cancer, then you are prone to a high risk.

Encourage breast feeding: If you are a new mom, do not stop breast feeding for any reason. Breast feeding makes you and your baby stay healthy and energized. Besides giving good nutrition to the baby, it also helps to keep your breasts in good physical shape.

Choose the right food: Food plays a vital role for any problems we might have. Avoid charred meat, unfermented soy products, genetically engineered foods and sugar. Try to consume a good amount of iodine, foods rich in Vitamin A and D and naturally fermented food.

Reduce Stress: Stress is a waste of time – just try to relax! Engage yourselves in stuff that makes you feel busy. Stress is your health’s biggest enemy and the very best friend of all diseases.

Quit smoking: As everyone knows, drinking and smoking support and help cancer survive in our body. Quit smoking and alcohol today and protect yourself from this disease.

Focus on your weight: Studies show that women who have gained too much weight since the age of 18 are more likely to develop breast cancer. When you reach high obese levels then you are at a high risk. It is always considered safe to check on your weight scale and BMI rate.

Get a mammogram done: This is the best way to detect breast cancer. Some may say it has potential risks, but in the end, it gives an accurate result like no other method out there. It is recommended to do this type of screening every year.

Enough Sleep: Getting a good night sleep helps you stay healthy. Continuous 8 hours of sleep make the human mind and body feel fresh and relaxed. Some people don’t give it much credit but they should. Consult your doctor today and discuss this to get the right solution and stay on a safer side.

Also Read: Cancer doctors cite risks of drinking alcohol

Article Source: Ezine

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Cancer doctors cite risks of drinking alcohol

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, which represents many of the nation’s top cancer doctors, is calling attention to the ties between alcohol and cancer. In a statement published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the group cites evidence that even light drinking can slightly raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increase a common type of esophageal cancer.

Heavy drinkers face much higher risks of mouth and throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer and, to a lesser extent, colorectal cancers, and the group cautions.

The message is not, don’t drink. It’s, if you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less. And if you don’t drink, don’t start, said Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the ASCO statement. It’s different than tobacco where we say, Never smoke. Don’t start. This is a little more subtle.

Other medical groups have cited the risks of alcohol as a possible cause of cancer. But this is the first time that ASCO has taken a stand.

Drinking overall, as well as heavy drinking and problem drinking, are on the rise in the U.S. and affect all segments of society, including women, older adults, racial and ethnic minorities and the poor, several surveys have shown.

Yet few adults, when asked, identify alcohol consumption as a risk factor for cancer, even though the vast majority were familiar with other cancer risk factors, like smoking and sun exposure, a recent ASCO survey of 4,016 adults found. Fewer than 1 in 3 adults identified alcohol as a risk factor for cancer. (Most also failed to mention obesity as a risk factor.)

For women, just one alcoholic drink a day can increase breast cancer risk, according to a report released in May from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund that was cited by ASCO. That report analyzed 119 studies, including data on 12 million women and over a quarter of a million breast cancer cases, and concluded there was strong evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of both pre- and postmenopausal cancer, and that drinking a small glass of wine or beer every day about 10 grams of alcohol increases premenopausal breast cancer risk by 5 percent and postmenopausal risk by 9 percent.
The more you drink, the higher the risk, said Dr. Clifford A. Hudis, the chief executive of ASCO. It’s a pretty linear dose-response.

Even those who drink moderately, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as one daily drink for women and two for men, face nearly a doubling of the risk for mouth and throat cancer and more than double the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, compared to nondrinkers. Moderate drinkers also face elevated risks for cancers of the voice box, female breast cancer and colorectal cancers.

The risk for heavy drinkers defined as eight or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more a week for men, including binge drinkers are multiples higher. Heavy drinkers face roughly five times the risk of mouth and throat cancers and squamous cell esophageal cancers than nondrinkers, nearly three times the risk of cancers of the voice box or larynx, double the risk of liver cancer, as well as increased risks for female breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

If you look at these figures, you see alcohol is a contributing factor; certainly it has a causal role, Dr. Hudis said.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, first classified the consumption of alcoholic beverages as carcinogenic to humans in 1987, tying consumption to cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus and liver, said Susan Gapstur, vice president for epidemiology at the American Cancer Society.

Since then, she said, more and more evidence has accumulated tying alcohol to a broader group of cancers, including colorectal cancer and, in women, breast cancer. A more recent IARC report concluded that alcohol is a cause of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colorectum, liver and female breast. (The esophageal cancer is largely specific to squamous cell carcinoma.)

One way alcohol may lead to cancer is because the body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, which causes changes and mutations in DNA, Gapstur said. The formation of acetaldehyde starts when alcohol comes in contact with bacteria in the mouth, which may explain the link between alcohol and cancers of the throat, voice box and esophagus, she suggested.

Dr. Anne McTiernan, a scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who was an author of one of the earlier reports on alcohol and breast cancer, said she was pleased that oncologists were focusing on alcohol.

That puts some weight behind this, she said. It shows they’re serious about it and willing to put their name on the line for changes in policy, and willing to say that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risks of some cancers to a small degree.

Also Read: RISK OF BREAST CANCER RECURRENCE LASTS FOR DECADES

News Source: The Post and Courier

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Risk of breast cancer recurrence lasts for decades

By Lisa Rapaport

Many women who follow initial breast cancer treatment with five years of hormone therapy to keep tumors at bay may still experience new malignancies up to two decades after their diagnosis, a study suggests.

Researchers examined data from 88 clinical trials involving 62,923 women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors. After treating ER-positive tumors with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, women typically get five years of follow-up therapy with daily hormone-based pills – either tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors. The goal of the adjuvant therapy is to destroy any lingering cancer cells not killed by initial treatment.

All of the women were cancer-free when they completed five years of adjuvant hormone-based therapy.

During the next 15 years, however, cancer returned for 41% of the highest-risk women in the study who originally had the largest tumors that had spread the most beyond the breast, the study found.

Even the lowest-risk women who originally had small tumors that hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body still had 10% odds of cancer coming back during the study, breast cancer research report online November 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

We know that adjuvant (hormone-based) therapy for 5 years substantially reduces the risk of recurrence and mortality,” said senior study author Dr. Daniel Hayes of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

We now have good evidence that extending adjuvant (hormone-based) therapy beyond five years continues to suppress and reduce recurrence and mortality,” Hayes said by email.

Doctors have long known that five years of tamoxifen reduces recurrence by approximately half during treatment, and by nearly a third over the next five years. Aromatase inhibitors, which work only in post-menopausal women, are even more effective than tamoxifen at reducing recurrence and death from breast cancer.

Some recent research suggests an additional five years of hormone-based therapy is even more effective, but the side effects make some women reluctant to continue. Life-threatening side effects are rare, but women taking these hormones can have menopause symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

The data suggest that women with ER-positive breast cancer should at least consider continuing adjuvant therapy beyond five years, the authors conclude.

Breast cancer cells can travel from the primary tumor to the lymph nodes and can circulate throughout the body undetectable with current screening (methods) and over time, these circulating cancer cells can attach to other organs in the body and this is generally when there is a detectable cancer recurrence,” said Albert Farias, a cancer researcher at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who wasn’t involved in the study.

One way that adjuvant breast cancer treatment works is to kill and/or stop the undetectable cancer cells from growing and dividing, Farias said by email.

Even though the study suggests some women may have more risk of recurrence based on their original tumor characteristics, it can still be hard to predict and women need to remain vigilant, said Dr. Sharon Giordano of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Breast cancer can be dormant for many years, so that women can have no apparent disease, but can still recur years later if the tumor becomes active again, Giordano said by email. We do not know why some cancers become active again after years of dormancy.

Women need regular checkups and breast screenings, as well as annual mammograms, said Dr. Alana Biggers, a researcher at the University of Illinois-Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study.

If a woman is high risk for breast cancer, such as a lady with a gene mutation, she may need both mammograms and breast MRIs, Biggers added by email. Additionally, women should maintain a healthy weight, exercise, stop smoking, and limit alcohol consumption to reduce their risk of recurrence.

Also Read: Researchers Discover Link between Bacterial Levels and Breast Cancer

New’s Source: Business Insider

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Researchers Discover Link between Bacterial Levels and Breast Cancer

Differences in the bacterial composition of breast tissue have been revealed by researchers at Cleveland Clinic while studying the tissue of healthy women vs. those with breast cancer. What they’ve discovered is that the breast tissue of healthy women contains higher levels of the bacterial species Methylobacterium. This finding could help in the development of new, more effective breast cancer treatments moving forward.

Microbiomes are bacteria that live within the body that are responsible for influencing various diseases. Although we’ve known for a long time that microbiomes exist in the gut, we’ve never really explored them in the breast until more recently. This research is the first step toward understanding how this bacterium develops in the breast by looking at distinct microbial differences between the cancerous and healthy tissue samples.

To my knowledge this is the first study to examine both breast tissue and distant sites of the body for bacterial differences in breast cancer, said co-senior author of the study, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute, and director of the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare, Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D. we hope to find a biomarker that would help us diagnose breast cancer quickly and easily.

The study involved examining the tissue of 78 patients who had been in the hospital for a mastectomy for elective cosmetic breast surgery or for invasive carcinoma. They also took both urine and oral rinse samples to determine the bacterial composition of these distant sites. In addition to the Methylobacterium find the researchers discovered that cancer patient’s urine samples had high levels of gram-positive bacteria which may be a key to understanding and developing better treatments for breast cancer.

If we can target specific pro-cancer bacteria, we may be able to make the environment less hospitable to cancer and enhance existing treatments. Larger studies are needed, but this work is a solid first step in better understanding the role significant role of bacterial imbalances in breast cancer, said co-senior author Stephen Grobymer, M.D.

Also Read: 15 PROCEDURES YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR RISK OF BREAST CANCER

New’s Source: TrendinTech

 

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