Julie R. Gralow, MD | Authors

Breast Cancer Outlook for 2017: Keeping the Accelerator to the Floor

December 01, 2016

Expansion of precision medicine approaches will play a key role in optimizing care and improving outcomes for breast cancer patients in 2017. Here we highlight some of the studies and FDA approvals we are most anxious to see in the coming year.

Can Bone-Targeted Therapy Reduce Recurrence and Improve Survival in Early-Stage Breast Cancer?

October 23, 2012

At present, caution is urged in use of osteoclast-targeted therapy in early-stage breast cancer patients. Not all are at risk for therapy-induced bone loss, and the majority are not at risk for recurrence following adjuvant therapy. Toxicities exist, and there is financial cost to consider.

Are Bisphosphonates Ready for the Adjuvant Setting?

May 15, 2010

A majority of the more than 190,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the US[1] will receive some form of adjuvant therapy. Many breast cancer treatments cause decreases in circulating estrogen levels, which in turn can have a significant effect on bone mineral density; this condition is known as cancer treatment-induced bone loss (CTIBL). In this issue of ONCOLOGY, Reeder and Brufsky review the role of bisphosphonates in the setting of adjuvant breast cancer treatment. Both oral and intravenous bisphosphonates are effective in the prevention and treatment of CTIBL, and emerging data suggest that adjuvant bisphosphonate therapy may also affect breast cancer recurrence and survival. In considering the role of these medicines in early stage breast cancer, however, a number of important questions remain.

Myalgias and Arthralgias Associated With Paclitaxel

February 01, 2003

Paclitaxel-induced myalgias and arthralgias occur in a significantfraction of patients receiving therapy with this taxane, potentiallyimpairing physical function and quality of life. Paclitaxel-inducedmyalgias and arthralgias are related to individual doses; associationswith the cumulative dose and infusion duration are less clear. Identificationof risk factors for myalgias and arthralgias could distinguisha group of patients at greater risk, leading to minimization of myalgiasand arthralgias through the use of preventive therapies. Optimalpharmacologic treatment and possibilities for the prevention of myalgiasand arthralgias associated with paclitaxel are unclear, partially dueto the small number of patients treated with any one medication. Theeffectiveness of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is themost frequently documented pharmacologic intervention, although noclear choice exists for patients who fail to respond to NSAIDs. However,the increasing use of weekly paclitaxel could necessitate daily administrationof NSAIDs for myalgias and arthralgias and leave patients at riskfor adverse effects. This concern may also limit the use of corticosteroidsfor the prevention and treatment of paclitaxel-induced myalgias andarthralgias. Data from case reports suggest that gabapentin (Neurontin),glutamine, and, potentially, antihistamines (eg, fexofenadine [Allegra])could be used to treat and/or prevent myalgias and arthralgias. Giventhe safety profile of these medications, considerable enthusiasm existsfor evaluating their effectiveness in the prevention and treatment ofpaclitaxel myalgias and arthralgias, particularly in the setting ofweekly paclitaxel administration.