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What’s important for patients to know from the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium?

Every year clinicians, researchers, patient advocates and industry members head to Texas to share the latest breakthroughs in breast cancer research. It’s a key conference to learn about new treatments or new standards of care for breast cancer patients. Here’s some of the highlights that have the most impact on patient care today:

  1. Shorter intervals between chemo treatments reduce the risk of recurrence

    A study has demonstrated that shortening the time between chemo treatments, from three weeks to two weeks, or by giving an anthracycline and taxane one after the other instead of together, lowers the risk of breast cancer recurrence and death from breast cancer. Read More
     
  2. Ribociclib showed a better quality of life and longer progression free survival for younger patients with HR+ HER-negative metastatic breast cancer

    New study results showed that younger women, pre- and perimenopausal, also benefit from the CDK4/6 inhibitor, ribociclib, when added to standard endocrine therapy with temporary ovarian suppression. The average progression free survival was 23.8 months for patients who added ribociclib to their treatment compared with an average of 13 months for those who weren’t taking ribociclib. Read More
     
  3. Acupuncture proves to be beneficial in treating joint pain caused by Aromatase Inhibitors

    New research has shown that breast cancer patients receiving acupuncture twice a week for 6 weeks experienced less joint pain and stiffness, which is a common side effect if taking aromatase inhibitors. Read More
     
  4. Talazoparib proves to be more beneficial than chemo for BRCA-positive metastatic breast cancer

    For patients with BRCA-positive metastatic breast cancer, talazoparib increased the average progression free survival of 5.6 months with the physicians’ choice of chemo to 8.6 months. Read More
     
  5. 5 years of bisphosphonates for HR+ breast cancer shows no benefit over 2 years of bisphosphonates

    Women who received 5 years of zoledranate after chemotherapy didn’t show any improved outcomes compared with women who received 2 years of zoledranate. There was no increased disease-free survival or overall survival with the longer treatment. There were also more fractures in the group that received bisphosphonates for 5 years. Read More
     
  6. Sacituzumab govitecan may be an option for heavily treated triple negative metastatic breast cancer

    Patients with triple negative metastatic breast cancer, who had received an average of two prior therapies in the metastatic setting, had an average progressions free survival of 5.5 months with an average overall survival of 12.7 months when taking sacituzumab govitecan. A larger phase III clinical trial, ASCENT, is now recruiting to further examine the impact of this treatment. Read More
     
  7. CDK4/6 inhibitors are well tolerated by older patients, 70+

    Women who are older than 70 with HR+ HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer have shown a similar benefit as younger women when taking CDK4/6 inhibitors such as palbociclib, ribociclib and abemaciclib. While women who were 70 or older were slightly more likely to discontinue the treatment due to side effects, 20% of older patients compared with 17% of patients under the age of 65, they still tolerated the treatment fairly well. Read More
     
  8. Advances in immunotherapy for metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer

    An immunotherapy drug, pembrolizumab, plus trastuzumab appeared to be beneficial for women with HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer with PD-L1-positive tumours. The combination of these two drugs was also well tolerated by patients on the clinical trial. Read More