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Update on Novel Drug Targets in Metastatic Breast Cancer

May 16, 2014

By Onc Live: Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is a fatal disease involving the expansion of cancerous cells from the breast to other areas of the body. Treatments for MBC are often limited to palliative care; as a result of MBC is usually fatal.

As research continues, factors such as age at diagnosis, hormone receptor (HR) status, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression/amplification, and site of metastases are currently used to stratify patients into groups with different prognoses and to predict response to systemic treatments.

The STAR treatment: South Jordan woman fighting cancer in unique ways

May 15, 2014

By Wendy Leonard, Utah Deseret News

SOUTH JORDAN — Michelle Thompson is knee-deep into stage 4 cancer, but you wouldn't know it from looking at her.

Her silver-blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes are just as bright as they were prior to the presumably devastating diagnosis in early 2013.

"I have this cancer that is supposed to mean a long, slow decline, but, all of a sudden, I'm feeling better," Thompson said. "I am reversing a no-reversible trend, and that sort of thing makes you happy."

It helps, too, that she's pushing herself to be better every day, including employing a newly FDA-approved procedure that eliminates her most hearty source of pain — tumors that dot her radiation-plagued broken spine.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year, and two-thirds will develop bone metastasis, with the spine being the most common site, according to the International Journal of Surgical Oncology. The painful spine tumors are particularly prevalent in breast cancer patients, like Thompson.