Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

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

 

Supreme Court Rules Against Human Gene Ownership

Posted By on July 15th, 2013 at 8:22 am | 0 comments.

Supreme Court with ribbonThe Supreme Court recently ruled that the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 cannot be patented. What does this ruling mean for breast cancer research?

It means a lot.  BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes in which mutations can occur, increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.  Myriad Genetics had those genes isolated and patented to control their genetic testing.  With this ruling, other companies can expand their genetic testing to include both BRCA1and BRCA2.

The Supreme Court’s decision weighed on whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 were invented or if they are simply a product of nature.  Justice Clarence Thomas says he considers the discovery of the genes by Myriad Genetics a “medical breakthrough,” but not an invention. The historic ruling means no human gene isolated from the body can be patented.

 

New Study Could Lead to Better Detection, Cut Costs

Posted By on July 15th, 2013 at 8:20 am | 0 comments.

Researcher for PLNew data published in Cancer Research shows that a new technique of testing breast lumps may enable high precision diagnosis of breast cancer.  So, how does it work?

This new technique is called single-step Raman spectroscopy algorithm, which involves shining light onto breast samples and measuring the scattered light to determine the presence of cancer in the tissue.  Single-step Raman spectroscopy algorithm could “shorten procedure time; reduce patient anxiety, distress, and discomfort; and prevent complications such as bleeding into the biopsy site after multiple biopsy passes,” said Ishan Barman, Ph. D., postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and study’s lead author.

Single-step Raman spectroscopy algorithm could save the U.S. health care system $1 billion a year by conservatively preventing 200,000 repeat biopsies each year.  Currently, x-ray mammography is the only accepted screening method, but this technique cannot determine if microcalcifications (microscopic areas of accumulated calcium) are associated with benign or malignant breast lumps.  So, most patients undergo a biopsy to determine if these microcalcifications are cancerous.  But, in about 15-25% of biopsies this technique fails to retrieve any microcalcifications.  Then, this requires the patient to undergo repeat and often surgical biopsies.  In the United States, 1.6 million breast biopsies are performed each year and about 250,000 of those biopsies result in new breast cancer diagnoses.  Yet, if single-step Raman spectroscopy algorithm was used this could improve the precision of diagnosis and could better detect the disease at early stages without the use of multiple biopsies.

For the complete article on this study, Click here.

 

Medical Article: Extending Tamoxifen Reduces Recurrence Risk, Saves Lives

Posted By on December 17th, 2012 at 8:03 am | 0 comments.

The results of the ATLAS (Adjuvant Tamoxifen: Longer Against Shorter) study indicates that 10 years of Tamoxifen is even better than the standard 5 years of treatment in reducing the chance of recurrence and saving lives. The study showed that mortality and recurrence risk was reduced among the segment of 7,000 women participating in the study who continued taking Tamoxifen for an additional 5 years. As always, women should discuss individualized treatment options with their doctors.

Medical Article: Quitting Tobacco After a Cancer Diagnosis

Posted By on November 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 0 comments.

New resources are available for those with cancer and their caregivers on quitting tobacco use. These resources are available free of charge from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Graham Warren provides a podcast and a Q & A article on the benefits of quitting after a cancer diagnosis. A booklet for healthcare providers is also available, offering tips on how to incorporate tobacco cessation into their practice.

PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy responds to breakthrough breast cancer study

Posted By on September 24th, 2012 at 2:38 pm | 0 comments.

Researchers have unveiled what they believe is a hallmark study for breast cancer patients and the doctors who treat them. Their findings, published Sunday in the journal Nature and the New York Times, are expected to pave the way for new treatment options in the coming years.

The project, funded by a larger federal grant, focused on a genetic analysis of breast cancer, which kills more than 12,000 women in Pennsylvania each year.  The scientists monitored the tumors of 825 breast cancer patients in the US. As a result, they found four distinctive types of breast cancer. Within those types, researchers say they identified at least 40 genetic alterations that might be attacked by drugs. Many of those drugs are already being developed for other types of cancers with the same mutations.

Researchers and patient advocates stress that it could still take years of research and clinical trials to incorporate the insights into new treatments. They say a wide variety of drugs will most likely need to be created and tailored to individual tumor types.

“This is a tremendous new development that will alter the way women with breast cancer are treated,” said PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy. “Of course, this is the first step, but I believe it’s the first step toward a cure for many types of breast cancer.”

The four types identified in the study are basal-like cancers, luminal A and B cancers, and HER2-enriched cancers. From here, doctors and researchers are hoping clinical trials and dozens of separate drug studies will help to develop new breakthroughs in treatment from the findings. Dr. Elizabeth Stark, a breast cancer patient and biochemist at Pfizer, says she knows it will take time, but she’s hopeful the research will lead to a cure. “In 10 years, it will be different,” she said. “I know I will be here in 10 years.”

To read the complete New York Times Article, visit this link: NY Times Article

To read the complete journal Nature study, visit this link: journal Nature study

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters won’t have to. For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit www.PABreastCancer.org.

New Treatment Better Controls Growth in Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Posted By on July 18th, 2012 at 9:57 am | 0 comments.

A recent study showed that trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), a new treatment for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, worked better to control the cancer growth than the current standard treatment of chemotherapy with capecitabine (Xeloda) and lapatinib (Tykerb). HER2-positive means that the breast cancer has too much of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).

T-DM1, the new drug found to be more effective in controlling the cancer growth, is a combination of a drug that targets HER2 and one that is similar to chemotherapy. The study of nearly 1,000 patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer showed that cancer worsened three months later in patients receiving T-DM1 than in patients receiving the standard therapy. In addition, T-DM1 has few side effects, namely low levels of platelets and signs of liver function problems. These side effects went away with a break in treatment.

More information on the study can be found here.