San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec.13-16, 2007
The 30th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium took place Dec. 13-16 in San Antonio, Texas, and drew 8,654 attendees from 83 countries. The meeting presented new research on the experimental biology, etiology, prevention, diagnosis and therapy of breast cancer and pre-malignant breast disease.
"One of the meeting's highlights was a presentation about the use of Oncotype DX, a genomic test, which helps identify patients who are and are not likely to benefit from chemotherapy," said Peter Ravdin, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who also presented a talk entitled "Understanding Changes in Breast Cancer Incidence: Interactions Between Epidemiological and Clinical Trial Evidence."
Researchers presented the results of eight studies validating Oncotype DX, the first commercially available multi-gene expression test to predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence, the likelihood of breast cancer survival and the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit. "The presentation showed that patients who had high recurrence scores clearly benefited in a major way from chemotherapy while patients with low recurrence scores didn't seem to benefit much," Ravdin said. "But it left open the question as to whether or not some simpler, less-expensive tests might do the same thing."
In one study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute conducted a chart review of 260 patients with primary, estrogen receptor-positive, lymph node-negative invasive breast cancer who were treated with tamoxifen. The researchers found that the Oncotype DX assay significantly decreased recommendations for adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with low recurrence scores.
Another meeting highlight, Ravdin said, was the presentation the Adjuvant Tamoxifen, Longer Against Shorter (ATLAS) trial. Between 1996 and 2005, researchers from the University of Oxford, U.K., randomly assigned 11,500 women who had completed five years of tamoxifen treatment to receive either an additional five years of tamoxifen or no further treatment. The researchers found that extended treatment was associated with a significant reduction in cancer recurrence and non-significant reductions in breast cancer mortality and overall mortality.
"That's interesting because patients with estrogen receptor-positive cancer have a long period of hormone sensitivity," Ravdin said. "There are a lot of late relapses in that population. It raises the question of how long should we be giving hormonal therapy."
The meeting also included an announcement that future symposia will be presented as a collaboration between the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and the American Association for Cancer Research, and will be renamed as the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
"The AACR is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with CTRC and Baylor College of Medicine in presenting this meeting to the breast cancer community," Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., chief executive officer at AACR, said in a statement. "The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is already an outstanding meeting. Clearly, the expert input of the AACR will enhance interactions between basic and clinical researchers, and expedite the delivery of the latest scientific advances into the clinic."
SABCS: Herceptin Beneficial in Chromosome 17 Polysomy
TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Women with HER2-positive breast cancer benefit from treatment with Herceptin regardless of whether or not they have extra copies of chromosome 17, and women with very small HER2-positive or triple negative tumors may also be candidates for such aggressive therapy, according to two studies presented this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
SABCS: Free Diagnostic Program Benefits Underserved
TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A free, comprehensive diagnostic program can help overcome barriers that prevent underserved women from receiving timely care after an abnormal mammogram, according to research presented this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
SABCS: Combination Therapy Shrinks Brain Tumors
MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who have previously received trastuzumab, a combination of lapatinib (Tykerb) and capecitabine (Xeloda) may help shrink metastatic brain tumors, according to research presented this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
SABCS: Breast Cancer Receptors Affect Survival
MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In women whose primary breast cancer has spread to the brain, survival times are considerably shorter in those who have triple negative tumors with no HER2 growth factors or estrogen or progesterone receptors, and also in those with HER2-positive cancers that are also estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor-negative, according to two studies presented this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
SABCS: Anastrozole's Efficacy and Safety Confirmed
MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to those treated with tamoxifen, breast cancer patients treated with anastrozole have no long-term excess fracture risk and superior long-term outcomes, according to research presented this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
SABCS: BRCA Mutation Risk Not Getting Through to Men
FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Men who learn that their mothers, sisters or daughters carry cancer-causing mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are often unaware that they, too, may be at increased risk for cancer and have a low level of interest in genetic testing, according to research presented this week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.