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Using the drop-down menu below, read about highlighted scientific news from ASCO's Annual Meetings since 2002. You can select a specific year and/or a specific topic, such as a type of cancer. Selecting "All" will take you to a complete list of articles that appear under all categories.
The 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting is set for May 31-June 4, with research news beginning to be released on May 15 at 6pm Eastern. Additional research will be released each day of the meeting.
To read these summaries categorized into a yearly newsletter, you can also review Cancer Advances: News for Patients from the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Don’t forget to check out audio podcasts and videos about this news, as well. And, in addition to the highlighted studies below, thousands of scientific abstracts are released each year at the ASCO Annual Meeting. To search the entire collection of meeting abstracts, visit ASCO's website.
Researchers looked at adding the targeted therapy bevacizumab (Avastin) to chemotherapy with docetaxel (Taxotere) for women newly diagnosed with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread outside of the breast and nearby lymph nodes). Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets faulty genes or proteins that contribute to cancer growth and development. Bevacizumab blocks angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), which is needed for tumor growth and spread. Paclitaxel (Taxol), a drug similar to docetaxel, is already approved in combination with bevacizumab by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer.
Researchers looked at whether zoledronic acid (Zometa) lowers the risk of breast cancer recurrence (cancer that comes back after treatment) for premenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer. Zoledronic acid is a drug called a bisphosphonate that is used to reduce bone loss caused by cancer treatment. The women were treated with surgery, ovarian suppression (drugs that stop the production of hormones by the ovaries), and hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is the used to treat breast cancer that is hormone-receptor positive (uses estrogen or progesterone to grow) and includes tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and anastrozole (Arimidex).
Researchers looked at the connection between vitamin D levels at the time of breast cancer diagnosis and the occurrence of metastases (areas where the cancer has spread) and survival in 512 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1989 and 1995. These women were followed for more than 11 years after diagnosis. Vitamin D is found in food and supplements and is made by the body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is necessary for bone health, and some studies have suggested that it may have a protective effect against breast cancer development.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota looked at how the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before surgery affected the number of women with early-stage breast cancer who had a mastectomy (removal of the breast as a treatment for breast cancer) instead of a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor and a small, cancer-free area around the tumor) between 1997 and 2006. Lumpectomy plus radiation therapy is a common treatment for women with early-stage (stage I and II) breast cancer and has been shown to be as effective as mastectomy. When MRI is used before surgery, it may find cancer in more than one part of the breast, leading women and their doctors to choose mastectomy more often than lumpectomy. However, about half of the possible tumors that show up on MRI are noncancerous and only need to be monitored.
An analysis of women with advanced breast cancer over the past two decades has found that disparities in breast cancer survival between black and white women have increased. Although breast cancer-specific survival rates continuously increased for white women, they did not change for black women.
After five years, the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF) associated with adding trastuzumab (Herceptin) to combination chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer did not increase, according to a phase III clinical trial from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP). CHF can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and a reduction in the heart's pumping ability, as measured by the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Findings from the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) trial, one of the largest breast cancer prevention clinical trials ever conducted, show that tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and raloxifene (Evista) both reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer (cancer that has spread into the surrounding breast tissue) by about 50% in women at high risk for the disease.
Women who participated in a yoga program while receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer improved their ability to be physically active and socially involved, lowered their levels of fatigue and frequency of sleep disorders, and improved their own perception of their overall health, according to a new study.
Adding lapatinib (Tykerb) to capecitabine (Xeloda) controls cancer growth more effectively than capecitabine alone in women with advanced breast cancer that continues to get worse despite treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin), according to a new study. Capecitabine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat advanced breast cancer that has continued to grow despite prior therapy.
A phase III clinical trial from the Women's Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS) found for the first time that eating a lower-fat diet lowers the risk of recurrence (return of the cancer) in postmenopausal women with early stage breast cancer.