Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Calling for Participants

Posted By on February 28th, 2014 at 9:25 am | 0 comments.
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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Focus Group Participants Needed!

Posted By on February 21st, 2014 at 12:17 pm | 0 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 | 0 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 | 0 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.

Study: Many Southeastern PA Women Skipping Mammograms

Posted By on December 16th, 2013 at 8:29 am | 0 comments.

woman-getting-mammogram-imageThe Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) conducted an annual survey of women in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, asking how long it had been since their last clinical breast exam/mammogram.  The findings were startling…

A clinical exam is a physical examination performed by a qualified doctor or nurse that looks for lumps or changes in the breast.  A mammogram is an x-ray that will produce an image of the breast that can detect lumps.  The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and clinical breast exams every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.

The survey revealed that one-third of women in Southeastern Pennsylvania did not receive an annual preventative breast health screening (mammogram) in the past year.  One-third of women 18 years or older did not have a clinical breast exam in the past year.  Four in ten women ages 40 years or older did not have a mammogram in the past year.  Women 75 and older were the most likely to have missed a mammogram in the past year (44%), followed by women 60-74 (30%).
Asian women 40 years and older were more likely to have forgone a mammogram in the past year (52%), compared to White and Latina women (38%), versus Black women (30%), and women of another race/ethnicity (45%).  These statistics based on race were similar for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Poverty level and access to care were also evaluated in this study.  Women 40 years and older who were below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level were more likely not to have had a mammogram in the past year (41%) compared to women who lived above the poverty level. (36%).   Women 18 years and older who did not have a regular source of care were twice as likely as women with a regular source of care to have forgone a breast exam in the past year.  Uninsured women 40+ were three times more likely to not have had a mammogram in the past year than those who were insured.

PHMC released this data as an annual campaign to increase awareness of breast cancer and to encourage early detection.  The results have clearly found that many women in Southeastern Pennsylvania have forgone an annual preventative breast health screening in the past year.

Click here to read the complete article on this study.

Pittsburgh Researchers Develop First 3-D Guided Breast Biopsy in U.S.

Posted By on September 16th, 2013 at 8:56 am | 0 comments.

3-D Biopsy PicThis Summer,  the first 3-D guided breast biopsy was performed at the Magee-Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.   In conjunction with the 3-D biopsy, Magee radiologists also helped to develop  3-D guided mammography, which creates a complete reconstruction of the breast.  Radiologists can then use the reconstruction to identify abnormalities, which can be difficult to detect with traditional screening methods.  Why is this so important?

3-D guided breast biopsies are revolutionary because they allow for faster lesion targeting, reduced patient procedure time and reduced radiation exposure.  The 3-D biopsies are particularly important for women with breast lesions that are difficult to reach and for women with arthritis or other physical limitations, all of which make traditional biopsies more challenging.

Dr. Sumkin, D.O., chief of radiology at Magee, said, “The ability for us to provide 3-D guided biopsy to our patients represents an exciting new example of our leadership in this area. Magee radiologists continue to play a pivotal role in the development and advancement of this technology.”

Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC researchers expect to see more women getting routine screening for breast cancer due to their latest technological advancements.

Read the complete article here.

Finding a Clinical Trial Near You

Posted By on September 16th, 2013 at 8:55 am | 0 comments.

Breast Cancer Patient Clinical TrialCancer clinical trials provide patients at all stages of cancer with the most cutting-edge medical treatment and the highest level of care. The nonprofit organization Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups offers services and education about clinical trials for healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers and advocates.  Interested in finding a clinical trial near you?
The Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups Web site has a screening questionnaire to complete and find relevant clinical trials near you, or you can call toll-free 1-877-227-8451 to talk with a cancer clinical trial specialist.

Working Night Shift Shows Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:24 am | 0 comments.

Woman working night shift for PLA recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that women who worked night shift for 30 years or more were twice as likely to develop breast cancer than other women.  The study found no increased risk for those who worked 14-29 years on night shift, but those with more years of night work had a significantly increased risk.

The study suggested that the increased risk of breast cancer was due to exposure to artificial light.  Long-term exposure to artificial light may decrease the production of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that rises during the night and causes a person to feel tired, but when exposed to artificial light, night shift workers do not produce melatonin.  A lack of melatonin can lead to an increase in estrogen levels in the body, which can trigger breast cancer in some women.

Further work is needed to better understand the link between long-term night shift work and breast cancer.  The study authors say that, “As shift work is necessary for many occupations, understanding which specific shift patterns increase breast cancer risk, and how night shift work influences the pathway to breast cancer is needed for the development of healthy workplace policy.”

For the complete article on night shift work and breast cancer, click here