Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

Federal Law Allows Patient Access to Lab Test Results

Posted By on April 15th, 2014 at 8:32 am | 29 comments.

lab-results-pic-for-PLA new federal rule announced by the Department of Health and Human Services requires clinical laboratories to allow patients access to their own lab-test results upon request.  Officials say this type of information can empower patients to track their health progress and make decisions with health-care providers.  What does it mean for you?

Some physician groups including the American Medical Association expressed concern regarding how patients would react to test results without a doctor’s explanation.  The law gives labs 30 days to comply with a patient request so there is time for physicians to contact patients first.
Studies show that nearly a quarter of all abnormal lab results are not communicated to patients in a timely manner.  This may be an oversight from doctor’s offices, but patients may assume that their results are normal if they do not hear from their provider.  This new ruling is a way to decrease this occurrence and allow patients another means of accessing their test results.  The ruling does not mean that providers are no longer responsible for sharing test results with patients, it is a key that they share the results and communicate exactly what those results mean to patients and their health.

To read the complete Wall Street Journal article published on the law, click here.

Breast Cancer Researchers Need Your Help. Take Action Today!

Posted By on April 15th, 2014 at 8:32 am | 0 comments.

clinical-trials-pic-for-PLFederal funding cuts could soon shutter access to clinical trials for thousands of cancer patients across the country.  The National Cancer Institute has decided to end funding for federal-funded clinical trials in the community setting.  How can YOU help?

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, researchers will either be forced to shut down existing clinical trials or cancel planned new trials.  Unless the National Cancer Institute continues to fund current clinical trials and future trials, potential breakthroughs in cancer treatment may be halted.  Here’s where YOU come in.  We urge anyone passionate about finding a cure for breast cancer to contact their U.S. Senators and representatives in U.S. Congress to alert them of this important and urgent issue.  Tell them to demand continued funding for cancer clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute. Thank you for taking action with us!

To find your U.S. Representative, click here.

To contact U.S. Senator Bob Casey, click here.
To contact U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, click here.

Time to Quit? Young Smokers Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 25 comments.

Woman-Smoking-photoA study recently published in the journal Cancer conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that younger women who have smoked a pack a day for the last 10 years have a 60% higher risk of developing estrogen-positive breast cancer.

In contrast, the study did not find a link between smoking and triple-negative breast cancer, which is a type of breast cancer that does not have estrogen and progesterone receptors.  The study included nearly 1,000 cancer-free women, as well as 778 people with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and 182 people with triple-negative breast cancer between ages 20 and 44 who were diagnosed between 2004 and 2010.

Read an article on the complete study here.

Breast Cancer Mortality Rate Shows Troubling Racial Divide

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:22 am | 36 comments.

African-American-Woman-StudyNew research shows that African-American women are, on average, 40 times more likely to lose their battle with breast cancer than white women.  The startling study examined findings compiled by experts at the Sinai Urban Health Institute in Chicago and the Avon Foundation for Women.  The reason?

Researchers analyzed data from black women in 41 cities across the country with breast cancer. Researchers say the difference can be explained by lower access to health screening, lower-quality screening, less access to treatment and low-quality treatment for African-American women in urban environments.

The study also found that death rates for both black and white women with breast cancer have declined over the past 20 years, but death rates among white women saw a much more dramatic decrease over that same time period.

Read the complete article here.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Calling for Participants

Posted By on February 28th, 2014 at 9:25 am | 133 comments.
Clinical-Trial-Photo-1

Drs. Edith Mitchell, Hallgeir Rui and their team of multidisciplinary researchers

An ongoing research program, led by Edith Mitchell, M.D., FACP, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Clinical Oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Biology, has initiated a new clinical trial at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University that offers a more customized and personalized approach to the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. The trial, with lead investigators Drs. Tiffany Avery in the Department of Medical Oncology and Adam Berger in the Department of Surgery, offers treatment in the form of chemotherapy paired with a supplemental medication called a “Parp Inhibitor” and is designed to target the breast cancer cells to increase response to treatment and decrease the risk of recurrence. Researchers will conduct a randomized two-arm trial in 12-week cycles by administering different types of medicines in addition to chemotherapy.

Triple-negative breast cancer cells lack estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, and do not have an excess of the HER2 protein on their surfaces. This type of breast cancer diagnosis is more prevalent in younger women and in African-American women. Triple-negative breast cancers tend to grow faster and more aggressively and spread to other parts of the body more quicker than most other types of breast cancer. Drs. Mitchell and Rui and their team of researchers are hoping to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment for triple-negative breast cancer through this clinical trial.

DSC04675

Dr. Edith Mitchell speaks with a patient at the Kimmel Cancer Center.

Clinical Trial Details:

An adaptive randomized Phase II Trial to determine pathologic complete response with the addition of carboplatin with and without veliparib to standard chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant treatment of triple-negative breast cancer
Study Design:  This is a randomized two-arm trial for the neoadjuvant treatment of triple breast cancer patients. The two arms for the trial are as follows:

1.    Paclitaxel and carboplatin (12 weekly cycles) with growth factor support followed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (4 cycles every 3 weeks) with growth factor support.

2.    Veliparib + paclitaxel + carboplatin (12 weekly cycles) with growth factor support fol

lowed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (4 cycles every 3 weeks) with growth factor support.

DSC04687

Drs. Edith Mitchell, Adam Berger & Hallgeir Rui

The primary objective of the study is to compare the pathologic complete response in patients with triple negative breast cancer treated with paclitaxel and carboplatin or paclitaxel, carboplatin, and veliparib in addition to standard

Dr. Avery

Dr. Tiffany Avery, a lead investigator in this clinical trial

chemotherapy  (adriamycin and cyclophosphamide).
Key Eligibility Criteria:
1. Histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the breast with the following markers: Estrogen receptor negative (<1%), progesterone receptor negative (<1%), and Her-2/neu negative (0, 1+ on IHC te

sting or 2+ and FISH ratio < 1.8) or adenocarcinoma identified as basal-like subtype on molecular profiling.
2.    Clinical stage IIA, IIB or stage IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC breast cancer with no prior treatment for this tumor.
3.   ECOG Performance Status of 0 or 1.

If you think you may be a potential candidate for this clinical study, please contact the study coordinator, Melisa Mordenti, at 215-955-8979.

Click on the video below for more details on this clinical trial.

Researchers-thumbnail-with-play-button

 

Focus Group Participants Needed!

Posted By on February 21st, 2014 at 12:17 pm | 44 comments.

PBCC-LOGO-for-webYOU can influence how information is presented to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

The PBCC has been invited to participate in a focus group.  We are looking for 10 volunteers to give their impressions of and opinions about a communication plan for a new cancer diagnostic test that can improve how chemotherapy drugs are dosed.  We would like input from breast cancer survivors; women who are newly diagnosed and undergoing breast cancer treatment; caregivers and advocates. The focus group will be held via webinar from the comfort of your home, on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 7 pm.  We expect it to last approximately one hour.  If you are interested in participating please click here to fill out a quick survey.

We need your feedback so that materials are created that are understandable to breast cancer patients and their families.  Please sign up today! If you have any questions please contact Jen Pensinger at jennifer@pabreastcancer.org.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Pat Halpin-Murphy
President & Founder

Breast Cancer and Cholesterol: What’s the Connection?

Posted By on February 17th, 2014 at 8:55 am | 43 comments.

cholesterol-screening-pic-for-webMany researchers thought there was no link between breast cancer and cholesterol but a new study published in the Breast Cancer Research Journal shows they may be connected.  Scientists at Johns Hopkins University looked at patients with high levels of HDL (“good’ cholesterol”).  Here’s what they found…

They found that those high levels can increase a patient’s chance of developing breast cancer cells.  The researchers also discovered that women who have high levels of HDL may have a greater risk of developing more aggressive types of breast cancer.

Researchers are now working on ways to block HDL receptors within the breast cancer cells in order to prevent the elevated risk.  Doctors recommend checking in with your primary care physician to ensure both “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels are in the normal range.

To read more on this study, click here: http://health.yahoo.net/experts/breastcancer/what-do-cholesterol-and-breast-cancer-have-do-one-another

Researchers: Breast Cancer Drug Cuts Risk in Half

Posted By on January 15th, 2014 at 8:38 am | 31 comments.

pill-bottles-for-webA clinical trial performed by Queen Mary University of London has found that taking the drug Anastrozole decreases the risk of breast cancer by 53% in high-risk, postmenopausal women.  Around 4,000 women from 18 countries were involved in the study and these women took the drug for five years.  So, what does “high-risk” mean?

Women were considered high-risk if they had certain types of benign breast disease, two or more blood relatives with the disease, a sister/mother who developed breast cancer before age 50, or had a sister/mother with breast cancer in both breasts.

Anastrozole works by stopping the body from making estrogen, a hormone that fuels the growth of many breast cancers.  This study revealed that anastrozole is more effective than tamoxifen, one of two drugs FDA-approved for breast cancer prevention, and has fewer side effects.  Researchers working on the study recommend that anastrozole be added to the recommended drugs for women who are predisposed to developing breast cancer.
To read the complete study, click here.