Saturday, December 12, 2009

San Antonio

Every year around this time, there is a conference in SA on advances in breast cancer research. It is still on-going and I haven't read the abstracts but so far I haven't seen any news specific to TNBC.

Interesting news for BC in general:
1) Oral bisphosphonates seem to reduce the incidence of breast cancer by some unknown mechanism. In general, women with HIGH bone density are at increased risk for breast cancer presumably due to their higher levels of estrogen, which is associated with higher risk of BC. These women are not likely to be taking bisphosphonates. But presumably the study took this into account and had women with similar bone densities divided into drug taking and non-drug taking groups and the drug taking ladies had 33% less BC. These bisphosphonates are not without risks: osteonecrosis of the jaw is just one side effect along with bone pain. I'm not sure how they convinced ladies with normal bone densities to be on this study (all were cancer free in the beginning of the study).

2) For Stage 4 her2+ ladies: Tykerb added to Herceptin extended their lifespans by 2 years. Herceptin latch onto the protein on the surface of the cancer cell whereas Tykerb attacks it within the call.
All cancer cells have human epidermal growth factors (HER) but HER2+ have extra copies(about 25% of BC). What I am wondering is what Herceptin would do to Her2 neg BC. I'm sure there are studies: I just haven't seen the results.

3) Also for Stage 4 her2+ BC. Generally Herceptin is given until the tumors start growing again as it is assumed that the drug stopped working. But in this study they kept on giving Herceptin resulting in extended lifetimes.

4)Zometa vs a monoclonal antibody for bone mets: just as effective with less side effects. Allegedly a double blind study but as one drug is given iv and the other sc, I'm wondering how 'blind' the study was. As expensive as Zometa is, I wonder how much more this monoclonal antibody product is.

5)and 6)Alcohol consumption and recurrence. Even as 25g of alcohol (1 oz or so)daily significantly increases recurrence significantly. Also increasing death in recurrences is having a BMI over 25. These authors surmise that the recurrence is discovered later in the big ladies leading to increased death rates.

It was sunny, calm but cold this morning for my run. I wore gloves for the first time (I only do if the temp 20 deg but I took them off after 2 miles). I have to stay off the dirt roads now as the ice doesn't melt on them as soon as the paved ones.

Tomorrow is Steve's and my anniversary so we are taking a minivacation. I see that there is freezing rain forecasted for the morning. Yuck.

1 comment:

Sara Williams said...

Have a good mini break and congratulations on your anniversary. I wear a hat when I run now and a buff around my neck because that gets chilled on a run.


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