Studies Reveal Trends In Survival, Targeted Breast Cancer Care

New studies on breast cancer screening, treatment, genetics and survival were released in advance of the 2010 Breast Cancer Symposium. The symposium is being held October 1-3, 2010, at the Gaylord National Hotel in Suburban Washington, DC (National Harbor, Md.).

Four major studies were highlighted in today’s presscast:

– Review of data over six decades shows steady improvement in breast cancer survival: A review of patient records from a large single institution shows that breast cancer survival at 10 years after diagnosis has steadily improved over the past six decades; this improvement has been attributed to advances in early detection and more effective treatments that lower relapse risks.

– Mammography screening is shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality in women ages 40 to 49: A large-scale Swedish study found that women who received breast mammography screening between ages 40 and 49 had a 26 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer than those who did not have mammography.

– Postmenopausal patients with strongly estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers who receive preoperative treatment with an aromatase inhibitors (AIs) often respond to treatment and are more likely to be candidates for breast-conserving surgery (BCS): A multicenter randomized trial found that postmenopausal breast cancer patients with tumors that strongly expressed estrogen receptors who received 4 months of neoadjuvant AI therapy had high rates of response and often made patients who would have required a mastectomy eligible for BCS.

– Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients with BRCA mutations show improved survival, lower risk of relapse: A study finds that nearly 20 percent of women with highly aggressive, difficult-to-treat TNBC carry a mutation in one of the BRCA genes, most often BRCA1, yet have a significantly lower risk of relapse and better survival than TNBC patients without mutations.

“Women diagnosed with breast cancer today have a much better prognosis than they did fifty years ago,” said Jennifer Obel, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Communications Committee member. “We owe these advances to early detection, greater use of improved therapies, and a deeper understanding of the molecular basis of their disease. Our approach to breast cancer continues to evolve at a rapid pace.”

In 2010, more than 260,000 patients are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States, which includes women and men with invasive and in situ breast cancer. This year’s Breast Cancer Symposium will include more than 300 abstracts and focus on a range of breast cancer issues, including advances in screening, targeted therapies, translational science and major trends in care and survival.

The fourth annual Breast Cancer Symposium is co-sponsored by the American Society of Breast Disease, The American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the National Consortium of Breast Centers and the Society of Surgical Oncology. Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and advocates, is the primary supporter of the symposium.

Source: American Society of Clinical Oncology

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