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Drug Duo May Rapidly Shrink Breast Tumors in Some Patients

Posted 10 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 – A two-drug combo quickly shrinks certain breast cancer tumors before surgery or chemotherapy in some women, British researchers report. The specific breast cancer is called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive. The drug combination – lapatinib (Tykerb) and trastuzumab (Herceptin) – shrank HER2-positive tumors significantly in less than two weeks after diagnosis, the study authors said. In some cases, evidence of the cancers disappeared, the researchers added. "A combination of two anti-HER2 therapies – Tykerb and Herceptin – induce tumor regression or disappearance in 25 percent of HER2-positive cancers in 11 days," said lead researcher Dr. Nigel Bundred. He is a professor of surgical oncology at the University of Manchester in England. Potentially, women who respond to this treatment combination might be able to avoid chemotherapy, he ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Herceptin, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tykerb, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Trastuzumab, Lapatinib

Early Chemo Less Likely to Help Black Breast Cancer Patients: Study

Posted 12 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – Early chemotherapy is less likely to benefit black women with breast cancer than those in other racial and ethnic groups, a new study finds. Advanced breast cancer is more common among black, Hispanic and Asian women than it is in white women. As a result, black women often receive chemotherapy before surgery in an effort to improve their outcomes, the Yale University Cancer Center researchers said. But their study of 27,300 women with stage 1 to 3 breast cancer showed that early (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy was less effective in black patients than in other women. "Even when we controlled for the fact that minority women often present with more advanced-stage, higher-grade tumors, and more aggressive types of breast cancer overall, our team was surprised to find that black women did not respond as well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared to other racial groups," ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Zoladex, Evista, Megestrol, Megace, Letrozole, Aromasin, Herceptin, Casodex, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant

Two Drugs Equal in Preventing Early Breast Cancer's Return: Study

Posted 11 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – Postmenopausal women who have an early, noninvasive form of breast cancer had similar recurrence rates of disease whether they took the drug tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole after surgery, new research shows. However, the side effects of the two medications differed greatly, said study author Jack Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, England. His team looked at nearly 3,000 women, all past menopause, who had hormone-receptor positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer and underwent surgery to excise it. With DCIS, the cells that line the milk ducts have changed but not spread into the surrounding breast tissue. Half the women were randomly assigned to take 1 milligram (mg) a day of anastrozole (Arimidex), while the other half took 20 mg a day of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Each ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Zoladex, Evista, Megestrol, Megace, Letrozole, Aromasin, Herceptin, Casodex, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant

Timing May Be Key to Success of Surgery, Chemo for Early Breast Cancer

Posted 10 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 – The sooner early stage breast cancer patients have surgery following their diagnosis, and chemotherapy after their surgery, the better their chances of survival, two new studies find. In one study, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia analyzed data from more than 94,500 American women aged 66 and older. All were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1992 and 2009. The team, led by Dr. Richard Bleicher, found a 9 percent increased risk of death from all causes for each 30-day delay in the time from diagnosis to surgery. The link between time to surgery and risk of death from all causes was only statistically significant for patients with earlier stages of cancer, the researchers noted. In the study, delays seemed to affect prognosis for patients with stage 1 and stage 2 cancers, but not for those with stage 3 cancers. The findings were similar ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Zoladex, Evista, Megestrol, Megace, Letrozole, Aromasin, Herceptin, Casodex

Cooling Cap to Reduce Chemo-Linked Hair Loss OK'd

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – The Dignitana Cooling System cap has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent hair loss in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. A computer-controlled system circulates cooled liquid to the cap during chemotherapy. This is designed to constrict blood vessels in the scalp, limiting the amount of chemotherapy drugs that reach the hair follicles, the agency said in a news release. In clinical testing, more than two-thirds of women who wore the cap reported losing less than half of their hair. And the likelihood of chemotherapy drugs missing an isolated cluster of breast cancer cells in the scalp because of the cap was "extremely rare," the FDA said. But since the cap doesn't work with all chemotherapy drugs, any woman interested in using the product should speak with her doctor, the FDA advised. The most common side ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Alopecia, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Anastrozole, Zoladex, Evista, Megestrol, Megace, Letrozole, Aromasin, Herceptin, Casodex, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant

Drugs May Protect the Heart During Chemotherapy

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Two kinds of medications can prevent heart damage in breast cancer patients as they undergo chemotherapy, a new study suggests. Chemotherapy improves survival among women with early-stage breast cancer, but can dramatically increase their risk of heart failure, the researchers explained. This five-year study of 100 early-stage breast cancer patients in Canada found that two kinds of heart medicines – beta blockers and ACE inhibitors – seem to protect the heart during chemotherapy. "We think this is practice-changing. This will improve the safety of the cancer treatment that we provide," study co-investigator Edith Pituskin, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a university news release. The heart medications not only protect the heart, but may also improve ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Provera, Metoprolol, Depo-Provera, Atenolol, Breast Cancer, Propranolol, Lupron, Heart Failure, Bystolic, Congestive Heart Failure, Carvedilol, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Ramipril, Arimidex, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Femara, Enalapril

Researchers Focus on Risk Factors for Leukemia After Breast Cancer Treatment

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Researchers say they're zeroing in on factors that may increase the risk of leukemia after breast cancer treatment. The findings are a step forward in determining ways to prevent this complication in breast cancer survivors. While the breast cancer treatments target malignant cells, they can also affect healthy cells and could increase the risk of leukemia later, the researchers said. The scientists looked at 88 breast cancer survivors with treatment-related leukemia and found that many had a personal and family history of cancer, suggesting a genetic susceptibility to cancer. Also, 20 percent of the women had an inherited gene mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer, according to the study published Dec. 7 in the journal Cancer. "The findings justify a long-term, follow-up study of women with and without inherited breast cancer gene mutations who are ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Leukemia, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Zoladex, Evista, Megestrol, Megace, Letrozole, Aromasin, Herceptin, Casodex

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma

Herceptin May Benefit Some Women With Early Breast Cancer

Posted 8 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 – For some women with early breast tumors, lower-dose chemotherapy and the drug Herceptin may help ward off a cancer recurrence, a new study suggests. Experts said the findings, published in the Jan. 8 New England Journal of Medicine, could offer the first standard treatment approach for women in the early stages of HER2-positive breast cancer. HER2 is a protein that helps breast cancer cells grow and spread, and about 15 to 20 percent of breast cancers are HER2-positive, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Herceptin (trastuzumab) – one of the newer, so-called "targeted" cancer drugs – inhibits HER2. But while Herceptin is a standard treatment for later-stage cancer, it wasn't clear whether it helps women with small, stage 1 breast tumors that have not spread to the lymph nodes. Women with those cancers have a relatively low risk of recurrence ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

Herceptin Boosts Survival for Breast Cancer, Study Reports

Posted 20 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 20, 2014 – Adding the drug Herceptin to chemotherapy for certain breast cancer patients increases overall survival and reduces the risk of recurrence compared to chemotherapy alone, new research shows. The study found that adding a year of Herceptin (trastuzumab) to standard chemotherapy improved overall survival by 37 percent. The addition of Herceptin also boosted 10-year overall survival rates from 75 percent to 84 percent. And the 10-year disease-free survival rate went from 62 percent to 74 percent for those also taking Herceptin, the study found. The women who were given Herceptin were patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER2-positive, said study author Dr. Edith Perez at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Up to 20 percent of invasive breast cancers are HER2-positive, according to background information in the study. Too much human epidermal growth ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Amoxicillin, Depo-Provera, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

Herceptin Best for Certain Breast Cancer Patients, Study Says

Posted 30 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014 – Herceptin is the best drug treatment for a type of breast cancer called HER2-positive and should remain the standard of care for that type of tumor, according to new findings from a long-term clinical trial. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. For the study, more than 8,300 patients in 44 countries received either Herceptin (trastuzumab) or Tykerb (lapatinib) in addition to standard chemotherapy. After 4.5 years of follow-up, 14 percent of patients who took Herceptin and 18 percent of those who took Tykerb had at least one disease "event" – breast cancer recurrence anywhere in the body, a new cancer, or death from any cause. Heart safety was rated good for both groups of patients. And there was no difference in the rate of cancer spreading from the breast to the brain, study ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

Drug Gives Big Survival Boost Against Type of Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 29 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 29, 2014 – Adding the drug Perjeta to a standard medication, Herceptin, may give women with a form of advanced breast cancer a significant boost in survival, a new study finds. The finding is limited to patients with tumors called HER2-positive that have spread (metastasized). And experts say that this type of treatment-linked boost in survival – an average of nearly 16 extra months of life – is very rare in cancer research. Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, described the new findings as "extremely exciting." "Great strides have been made in treating breast cancer, and it is particularly encouraging that we now have additional treatment to offer patients with HER2-positive metastatic disease that extends survival," she said. "Treatment regimens continue to become more tailored to a patient's individual cancer, ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Herceptin, Perjeta

Breast Cancer Drug Herceptin Linked to Risk of Heart Problems: Study

Posted 10 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 – As many as one in 10 women taking the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) will experience some type of heart problem, according to new research. The good news from this study is that these problems typically reverse once treatment is finished. "The overall message here is one of tremendous reassurance," said study researcher Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones, vice president of molecular and experimental medicine at Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D. The study was published June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology online. Roche, the maker of Herceptin, provided research funding. Some of the study's co-authors work for Roche or are advisers or consultants. Herceptin is used in breast cancers that test positive for HER 2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. Herceptin kills the cells, and is known to boost ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

Some Breast Cancer Patients May Get Drug-Linked Heart Failure: Study

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 – More than one in 10 older breast cancer patients treated with certain chemotherapy drugs develop heart failure, but many don't get proper treatment for their heart condition, a new study suggests. "The majority of older women who develop heart problems after their breast cancer therapy aren't treated by a cardiologist, and they had lower quality of care," study lead author Dr. Jersey Chen, a research scientist and cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Rockville, Md., said in an American Heart Association news release. The study was to be presented Tuesday at an American Heart Association meeting in Baltimore. Chen's team analyzed Medicare data on 8,400 breast cancer patients older than 65 who were treated either with chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines, or a targeted therapy called trastuzumab. Prior research has linked both of these treatments to heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Herceptin, Adriamycin, Doxorubicin, Epirubicin, Doxil, Trastuzumab, Lipodox, Daunorubicin, Novantrone, Idamycin, Adriamycin RDF, Pharmorubicin RDF, DaunoXome, Idarubicin, Ellence, Daunorubicin Liposomal, Idamycin PFS

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