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Mayo Clinic - Even Tiny Breast Tumors Can Be Aggressive and May Require Maximum Therapy
By Dross at 2007-12-17 22:07

SAN ANTONIO — Breast tumors that are 1 centimeter in size or smaller — no more than 0.4 inch in length — can still be very aggressive and may require more intensive therapy than is routinely offered today, say researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

The study, which is being presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, is one of the few that has looked at outcomes of women who have tiny tumors that have not spread to the lymph nodes. The findings suggest that outcome of two types of breast cancer — those classified as HER2 positive (HER2+) and triple negative — may not depend on size alone.

read more | 2889 reads

New Adjuvant Treatments for Breast Cancer Prove Cost-
By Dross at 2007-06-21 01:35

New Adjuvant Treatments for Breast Cancer Prove Cost-
New adjuvant treatments for breast cancer are cost-
effective at improving survival, according to two new
studies. Published in the August 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a
peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the
two studies looked at the cost-effectiveness of different
drugs for the management of adjuvant therapies for early

read more | 1457 reads

Jefferson researchers boost immune 'killer cells,' increase antibody effectiveness against cancer
By Dross at 2007-04-18 22:11

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia have devised a novel method to expand the number of immune system "natural killer (NK)" cells from blood cells outside the body. They have found that adding such cells to anti-cancer therapies involving monoclonal antibodyterm drugs is more effective in killing cancer cells, and perhaps someday may improve treatments.


Reporting April 18, 2007 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles, scientists led by Takami Sato, M.D., K. Hasumi Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University showed in laboratory studies that adding such NK cells to a monoclonal antibody, Herceptin, which targets the HER2/neu protein on breast cancer cells, was more efficient at killing the cancer cells. The HER2/neu protein is expressed in approximately one-quarter of all breast cancers.

read more | 1789 reads

Mechanisms Involved with Tumor Relapse Identified
By Dross at 2007-03-13 21:46

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University's Massey Cancer Center studying the interaction between the immune system and cancer cells have identified interferon gamma as one of the signaling proteins involved with tumor relapse.

The findings may help researchers develop tailored vaccines and other immunotherapeutic strategies to fight a number of cancers. Immunotherapy involves the manipulation of the immune system – by introducing an antibodyterm or lymphocytes, or immunization with a tumor vaccine – to recognize and eradicate tumor cells.

Using a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer, researchers found that interferon gamma, a cytokine or chemical messenger that is produced by cells of the immune system upon activation, plays a role in tumor relapse. In humans, interferon gamma is also produced by white blood cells of the immune system in response to invasion by pathogens or tumors in order to protect the host against infection or cancers. Production of interferon gamma by lymphocytes against tumors is considered a sign of good prognosis; however, recent study findings indicate that this may not be the case. The findings were reported in the March 2007 issue of the European Journal of Immunology, the official journal of the European Federation of Immunological Societies.

read more | 1172 reads

Creating New Life Forms That May Help Eradicate Cancer Affecting Women
By Dross at 2007-02-27 01:43

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J., -- Instead of using the usual cancer-fighting modalities, surgery, chemotherapyterm, or radiation, researchers from a drug development company called Advaxis, have embarked on a novel approach to fighting cancer: Engaging the immune system to attack cancer in the same the way it would a flu vaccine, by creating new life forms. Dr. Vafa Shahabi, Advaxis' Director of Research and Development, reports that because the human immune system is not designed to fight cancer on its own, she and her colleagues are trying to harness its power through a new kind of life form: specifically a family of vaccines, which they call Lovaxin. The vaccines are comprised of new strains of bacteria created in Advaxis' laboratory that are programmed to kill off specific cancers.

read more | 1462 reads

Why Her-2 has not been a magic bullet in Breast Cancer
By Dross at 2007-02-05 21:00

The success of the ABL-kinase inhibitor Gleevec in the treatment of BCR–ABL-driven leukaemiaterm (CML) raised hopes that drugs that target key kinases underlying other cancers, such as members of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family, might be similarly efficacious. However, several small-molecule inhibitors of HER family kinases have shown limited efficacy in HER2-driven breast cancers, despite effective inhibition of kinase activity. Writing in Nature, Sergina and colleagues now provide an explanation for this phenomenon: failure to completely inhibit the kinase activity of HER2 allows oncogenic signalling through the kinase-inactive family member HER3 to continue.

read more | 4 comments | 2098 reads

Phase II trial of peptide vaccine in breast cancer patients through the US Military Cancer Institute's Clinical Trials Group
By HCat at 2007-02-02 10:41

    The immunotherapeutic vaccine, AE37, is being developed by Generex' Antigen Express division in the US. The phase II study will enroll patients who have completed standard therapy for node-positive or high-risk node-negative breast cancer expressing at least low levels of the HER-2/neu oncogene. These patients are at an increased risk for recurrence; therefore, the endpoint for this study will be a 50% reduction in the rate of relapse of disease at two years.


    The immunotherapeutic agent being developed by Antigen Express is a peptide derived from a tumor-associated protein that has been modified to enhance stimulation of CD4+ T helper cells. The target protein is encoded by the HER-2/neu oncogene, which has been found to be over-expressed in a variety of tumors, including breast, ovarian, prostate, lung, colon, stomach and pancreas.

read more | 3167 reads

Peptide vaccine fights off breast tumors with aid of bacteria-mimicking agents
By Dross at 2007-02-01 22:29

The following discusses a mechanism to reawaken the patient's immune system towards cancerous cells, which is the normal case in our individuals. While this study is in mice, it is important to pay attention to the researcher Esteban Celis, M.D., Ph.D, at Moffit in Tampa, and to look out for future clinical trials of the idea. You will note that he is an MD/PhD so you can bet its at the top of his agenda.


With the help of immune system-stimulating molecules that mimic bacterial components, researchers have used a type of cancer vaccine to both delay and prevent breast tumors in mice.

read more | 2 comments | 1594 reads

Landmark Tykerb(R) (Lapatinib) Data Published in the New England Journal of Medicine
By admin at 2006-12-30 04:03

[via Landmark Tykerb(R) (Lapatinib) Data Published in the New England Journal of Medicine]:

Landmark Tykerbterm(R) (Lapatinib) Data Published in the New England Journal of Medicine Study Authors Also Conclude that Further Investigation Into Earlier Use in the Treatment of HER2 Positive Breast Cancer is Warranted


Data from a Phase III study reporting that Tykerb(R) (lapatinib) plus Xelodaterm(R) (capecitabinetermterm) is superior to capecitabine alone in women with HER2 (ErbB2) positive advanced breast cancer who had progressed following prior therapy, including Herceptin(R) (trastuzumab), was published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).(1) Based on the findings, the study authors concluded that given its distinct mechanism of action and activity, as a small molecule dual receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, lapatinib should be investigated for use in the earlier treatment of HER2 (ErbB2) positive breast cancer.(1) Lapatinib is an investigational medicinal product and has not been approved for marketing by any regulatory body. "Patients with advanced or metastaticterm HER2 (ErbB2) positive breast cancer have limited options once their cancer has progressed on trastuzumab and standard initial chemotherapyterm regimens. There has been a clear need for alternative treatments to help women with metastatic breast cancer in this advanced setting. Lapatinib combined with capecitabine has demonstrated superior efficacy over capecitabine alone in this group of patients and we look forward to it being made available to women suffering from this devastating disease," said lead investigator Charles Geyer, M.D., Director of Breast Medical Oncology at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Study results demonstrate combination treatment with lapatinib was not associated with an increase in either serious toxicity or rates of discontinuation related to adverse events (AEs), compared to capecitabine treatment alone. The most common AEs were diarrhea, hand-foot syndrome and rash distinct from hand-foot syndrome.(1) Metastatic breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women globally, resulting in more than 400,000 deaths each year.(2) Women with HER2 positive breast cancer are at a greater risk of disease progression and death compared to those women with tumors that do not over-express HER2.(3) Metastatic breast cancer eventually develops resistance to trastuzumab.(4,5) "We are extremely enthusiastic that NEJM has chosen to publish this important data which we believe will truly change the treatment paradigm for thousands of women suffering from late stage breast cancer," said Paolo Paoletti, M.D., Senior Vice President of the Oncology Medicine Development Centre at GSK. "It is also exciting news that these results suggest there may be a role for Tykerb in the earlier treatment of breast cancer," he added. To access the full manuscript, beginning December 28th, please visit: and click on "Current Issue."

read more | 5 comments | 1255 reads

FDA Approves Herceptin(R) for the Adjuvant Treatment of HER2-Positive Node-Positive Breast Cancer
By admin at 2006-11-18 05:44
Only Targeted Biologic Therapy Approved for Use in Adjuvant and Metastatic HER2-positive Breast Cancer -

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genentech, Inc. (NYSE-DNA) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Herceptin(R) (Trastuzumab), as part of a treatment regimen containing doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and paclitaxel, for the adjuvant treatment of HER2-positive node-positive breast cancer. Adjuvant therapy is given to women with early-stage (localized) breast cancer who have had initial treatment - surgery with or without radiation therapy - with the goal of reducing the risk of cancer recurrence and/or the occurrence of metastatic disease.
read more | 2930 reads

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