Audrey Andrews

Authored Items

Targetable Pathways Revealed for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

March 2013, Highlights - Breast Cancer

The molecular make-up of triple- negative breast cancer is becoming better understood, and new evidence suggests that the main biologic pathways can be targeted with drugs, according to Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Researcher, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville. In his study on genetic alterations, 90% of the patients had mutations in 5 well-recognized pathways, and drugs developed to target these markers.

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Dose-Dense Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer

March 2013, Highlights - Chemotherapy

Two studies presented in San Antonio reached conflicting conclusions regarding the value of dose-dense chemotherapy in patients with early breast cancer.

The phase 3 UK TACT2 trial compared standard chemotherapy with epirubicin plus CMF (cyclophosphamide/methotrexate/fluorouracil) with accelerated (dose-dense) epirubicin in node-positive or in high-risk, node-negative early breast cancer. The current report focused on the impact of accelerating epirubicin chemotherapy; the capecitabine/CMF comparison is premature.

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Risk of Leukemia after Chemotherapy Small, but Real

March 2013, Highlights - Chemotherapy

Fewer than 0.5% of patients with breast cancer develop leukemia associated with chemotherapy, but this is 60% higher than the proportion documented in a previous analysis, according to a report based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) database.

“Adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with a cumulative 10-year incidence of leukemia of about 0.5%, which appears to be higher than previously reported,” said Antonio Wolff, MD, Professor of Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Can­cer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

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Sentinel Node Surgery Correctly Stages Lymph Nodes Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

March 2013, Highlights - Sentinel Node Management

Axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) may not be necessary after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in most patients, according to investigators who found that sentinel lymph node (SLN) dissection correctly staged more than 90% of patients.

A study of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, ACOSOG Z1071, evaluated whether SLN surgery may sufficiently substitute for ALND as a less invasive procedure.

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Letrozole Superior to Tamoxifen for a Subtype of Breast Cancer

March 2013, Highlights - Hormone Therapy

A comparison of letrozole (Fem­ara) with tamoxifen (Nolva­dex) demonstrated that the former may be superior for the treatment of postmenopausal estrogen receptor (ER)-positive patients who have lobular carcinoma, according to a subanalysis of patients in the phase 3 BIG 1-98 trial. This subanalysis further showed that for the 2 histologic subtypes of breast cancer, luminal B tumors were more responsive to treatment than luminal A tumors.

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New Meta-Analysis: Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy in Breast Cancer Predictor of Long-Term Benefit

March 2013, Highlights - Clinical Research

A new meta-analysis confirmed that patients with breast cancer who achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant therapy have a more favorable outcome than those who do not.

Patients who achieved a pCR had a 52% reduction in the probability of an event and a 64% reduction in the probability of death (P <.001 for both), as was shown in the meta-analysis of the Collaborative Trials in Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer (CTNeoBC).

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Health Disparities in Oncology: Western Europe Spends More, Achieves Better Patient Survival Outcomes than Eastern Europe

November 2013, Vol 4, No 9 - Economics of Cancer Care

Amsterdam, The Netherlands—The more a European Union (EU) country spends on health, the fewer the cancer-related deaths occur in that country, and there is a great disparity between Western and Eastern EU countries, according to research presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress.

Greater wealth and higher health expenditures were strongly associated with decreased cancer mortality, as well as with increased cancer incidence, according to Felipe Ades, MD, a member of the Breast European Adjuvant Studies Team (BrEAST), a clinical trials unit and data center in Belgium.

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