Oncology NEWS International Vol 13 No 4

Isolated Tumor Cells in Bone Marrow Predict Poor Outcome in Many Breast Ca Patients

April 01, 2004

SAN ANTONIO-The question of how much weight to give isolated bone marrow micrometastases in making breast cancer treatment decisions was the focus of three presentations at the 26th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Two of these studies confirmed that occult micrometastases are a warning sign of poor prognosis in many breast cancer patients. The third found that isolated tumor cells in the sentinel lymph node are not a major problem in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Anastrozole Advantage Greatest in ER+/PR- Pts: ATAC

April 01, 2004

SAN ANTONIO-A new analysis of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial shows that the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole (Arimidex) was more effective in preventing relapses than tamoxifen in receptor-positive breast cancer patients (estrogen and/or progesterone positive [ER+ and/or PR+]), with the greatest effect seen in ER-positive/PR-negative (ER+/PR-) women, said Mitch Dowsett, PhD, professor of biochemical endocrinology, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK, on behalf of the ATAC Trialists’ Group.

Tam Not Linked to High-Risk Endometrial Ca

April 01, 2004

SAN DIEGO-In a cohort of endometrial cancer patients at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, those who had previously developed breast cancer and used tamoxifen did not have a higher incidence of high-risk histologic subtypes, compared with breast cancer patients not receiving tamoxifen, reported Brian M. Slomovitz, MD, at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 35th Annual Meeting (SGO abstract 24).

No Detriments From Lumpectomy/RT in BRCA 1/2 Carriers

April 01, 2004

AN ANTONIO-Breast cancer patients with BRCA 1 or 2 mutations undergoing breast-conserving surgery plus radiotherapy do not have more in-breast recurrences or radiotherapy complications than their counterparts without the germ-line mutation, and they derive particular benefits from prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy, according to 10-year results from a large collaborative database reported at the 26th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (abstract 5).

Second-Line Imatinib Produces CCRs in CML Patients

April 01, 2004

SAN DIEGO-In the IRIS study, newly diagnosed chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients who crossed over from interferon (IFN)-alfa plus cytarabine (ara-C) to imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) and achieved a complete cytogenetic response (CCR = elimination of Ph+ cells), had reductions in bcr-abl similar to those on first-line imatinib, according to a presentation at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH abstract 635). Their probability of achieving a CCR, is somewhat diminished, however, compared with those treated with first-line imatinib, said Jerald P. Radich, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle.