Research Summaries

Using the drop-down menu below, read about highlighted scientific news for patients from ASCO's Annual Meetings, Symposia, and medical journals for the past three years. You can select a specific year, meeting or publication, 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.

This includes ASCO’s Journal of Clinical Oncology and its scientific meetings, including the ASCO Annual Meeting, a five-day meeting held each May/June. To read the Annual Meeting summaries compiled into a yearly newsletter, you can also review Research Round Up: News for Patients from the ASCO Annual Meeting. Don’t forget to check out audio podcasts and videos about this news, as well. And a list of upcoming Symposia can be found here. And, in addition to the highlighted studies below, thousands of scientific abstracts are released each year at different ASCO meetings. To search the entire collection of meeting abstracts, visit ASCO's website.

May 30, 2015

A large clinical trial suggests that anastrazole (Arimidex) may be a new option for preventing breast cancer after treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS is a non-invasive type of breast cancer. DCIS can usually be eliminated with a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy. However, women with DCIS are at increased risk for developing invasive breast cancer in the same or opposite breast.

May 30, 2015

A large phase III study has found that a new targeted therapy, called palbociclib (Ibrance), delayed the growth and spread of advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer by roughly five months when combined with the standard hormonal therapy fulvestrant (Faslodex). This combination could become a new treatment option for women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

June 1, 2014

Results from a large study show that the combination of lapatinib (Tykerb) and trastuzumab (Herceptin) plus chemotherapy after surgery is not more effective than only trastuzumab plus chemotherapy for women with early-stage, human epidermal receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. 

June 1, 2014

In an analysis of two ongoing studies, researchers found that exemestane (Aromasin) was more effective at preventing hormone-sensitive breast cancer from returning for premenopausal women than tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox) when each drug was paired with ovarian function suppression.

May 30, 2014

Results from a recent phase III clinical trial show that women who took goserelin (Zoladex) with chemotherapy for early-stage, hormone receptor-negative breast cancer were 64% less likely to develop premature ovarian failure, also called early menopause, compared with women who received chemotherapy alone. 

May 30, 2014

According to new findings from a phase III clinical trial, women taking zoledronic acid (Zometa) for breast cancer that has spread to the bone, called metastases, can safely scale back to a once-every-three-months schedule after finishing a year of monthly treatments.

May 14, 2014

A recent data analysis showed that obesity increases the risk of death from estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer for women who have not been through menopause. 

June 3, 2013

In a recent genetic study, researchers found that one in five African American women with breast cancer have an inherited (passed down in the family) mutation (change) in at least one of the 18 genes that are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer. Compared to the general population, African American women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age, die from the disease, and have triple-negative breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is a fast-growing and difficult-to-treat cancer that does not have hormone receptors (for the hormones estrogen and/or progesterone) or HER2 receptors (a protein found on some breast tumors). Researchers have suspected that these differences are due to inherited genes linked to breast cancer, but this is the first study to look at all known breast cancer gene mutations, not just BRCA genes.

June 3, 2013

Women with higher-risk, early-stage breast cancer who received weekly chemotherapy with paclitaxel (Taxol) after surgery as part of a clinical trial lived for the same amount of time without the cancer returning as those who received higher doses of the same drug every two weeks (known as dose-dense therapy). However, the researchers found that the women who received chemotherapy every week experienced fewer and less serious treatment-related side effects.

June 3, 2013

Results from a recent study show that directing radiation therapy to the underarm lymph nodes works as well as removing the lymph nodes with surgery and is less likely to cause lymphedema for women with early-stage breast cancer. Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of fluid (lymph) in the arm, causing swelling that can be painful and limit a person’s movement. It is a common side effect from both surgery and radiation therapy to the underarm lymph nodes.

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