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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer


Our Voices Blog

5 interesting breast cancer research highlights

We’re sharing some interesting research results that we've seen in the news recently. 

  1. Receiving chemo continuously instead of intermittently showed benefit in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
    This phase III trial looked at patients who received intermittent chemo (4 cycles + a break + 4 cycles) with patients who received chemo without any breaks (8 cycles, back to back) in both first-line and second-line settings. Receiving continuous chemo showed to improve both overall survival and progression free survival as well as maintaining a better quality of life.
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  2. Omitting chemo from HER2+ breast cancer treatments shows similar overall survival data and may spare some patients additional toxic therapies
    This phase II trial looked at the survival benefits of trastuzumab + pertuzumab versus trastuzumab + pertuzumab combined with chemo. Overall survival for patients who did not receive the chemo was similar to those who did, but progression-free survival did decline. The overall survival data showed that omitting chemo may be an option for some patients. Further study is needed in a phase III trial.
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  3. Taking a lower dose of tamoxifen can continue to prevent recurrences in in situ breast cancers
    In new study results from a randomized controlled trial, researchers found that by prescribing only ¼ of the standard dosage of tamoxifen for in situ breast cancers, patients can still effectively prevent recurrence. In situ breast cancer include: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and atypical ductal hyperplasia.
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  4. Complications from nipple-sparing mastectomies and the failure rates for implants continue to decrease over time
    In this retrospective study, researchers looked at the rates of complications for women undergoing nipple-sparing mastectomies and the amount of failures for women receiving implant reconstruction from a Mayo Clinic database. They found that between 2009 and 2017 the complication rate for nipple-sparing surgeries declined from 14.8% to 6.3%. Between the same time frame the success rate of reconstruction within the first year rose from 87% to 100%.
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  5. Evidence suggests that some patients with HER2+ breast cancer who respond very well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy may not need surgical treatment
    This study looked at patients with HER2+ breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemo followed by surgery to determine which candidates may benefit from being spared surgical treatment in the future. Their findings showed that patients who are HR+, have the presence of DCIS at the time of diagnosis, and those who show unclear results on follow up imaging tests after neoadjuvant chemo would not make good candidates for non-operative treatment. This study will help to determine who should be included in future clinical trials looking at omitting surgery from HER2+ treatment.
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