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Guarded optimism on new breast cancer drug (CDK 4/6 Inhibitors and ER+ disease)

April 6, 2014

By Andrew Pollack, NY Times

SAN DIEGO — Researchers say that a new type of drug can help prevent advanced breast cancer from worsening, potentially providing an important new treatment option for women and a blockbuster product for Pfizer.

In a clinical trial, the drug cut in half the risk that cancer would worsen, or progress, researchers said here on Sunday. The median time before the disease progressed or the women died was 20.2 months for those who received the drug, compared with 10.2 months for the control group.

Ludwig researchers to give plenary talks on immunotherapy (CD47) at 2014 AACR Annual Meeting

April 6, 2014

By Ludwig Cancer Research press release

April 6, 2014, San Diego, Calif. - Ludwig researchers Irving Weissman and Jedd Wolchok will each give a talk during tomorrow’s plenary session of the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, starting at 8:45 am PT. The session, dedicated to one of the most promising and rapidly advancing areas of cancer research and therapy, is titled Targeted Immunotherapy: Mobilizing the Immune System against Cancer.

Weissman, who directs the Ludwig Center at Stanford, will speak about his team’s characterization of a cell-surface protein that is found on almost every major kind of cancer cell and their work describing its role in protecting malignant tissue. They have shown that cancer cells use this protein, CD47, to transmit a “don’t eat me” signal to patrolling immune cells known as macrophages, which would otherwise kill and ingest them to initiate a devastating immune attack on tumors.

ASCO Special Article in JCO Encourages Researchers, Industry to Achieve More Meaningful Results

March 20, 2014

By ASCO.org

ASCO is urging cancer researchers, clinical trial sponsors, and drug developers to employ clinical trial designs that aim to significantly extend the lives of people with cancer. 

In a Special Article published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, ASCO outlines overall survival goals for cancer clinical trials in several diseases that researchers should aim for—and patients should expect. The recommendations, developed by the ASCO Cancer Research Committee working with other experts and cancer patient advocates, provide examples of "clinically meaningful outcomes" in four types of cancer: advanced pancreatic, lung, breast, and colon cancers.

Emerging Trends in Treating Her2+ Metastatic Breast Cancer

March 8, 2014

By Onc Live: Dr. Kimberly Blackwell

Since its approval in 1998 to treat metastatic breast cancer, the anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab has dramatically expanded life expectancy and improved quality of life for women diagnosed with HER2-positive disease. It remains the standard-of-care, first-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer. In less than a decade, the FDA has added three new drugs to the arsenal to treat advanced HER2-positive disease, while a growing number of clinical studies are evaluating dual-agent approaches to therapy through a variety of drug combinations. - See more at: http://www.onclive.com/conference-coverage/mbcc-2014/Blackwell-Explores-Emerging-Trends-in-Treating-HER2-Metastatic-BC#sthash.bEsUvLip.dpuf

Genes, Drugs & Breast Cancer : Dr. Matthew Ellis at TEDxStLouis

January 17, 2014

By TED talk: Dr. Matthew Ellis

Dr. Matthew Ellis of the Siteman Cancer Center shares recent advances in the on-going fight against breast cancer including PDX modeling in this TED talk.

Twitter Responds: Reactions to Patients Tweeting about Their Cancer

January 14, 2014

By ASCO ConnectionL Dr. Don Dizon

On one afternoon last week, I sat at my desk working on a paper when my iPhone buzzed, telling me I had a new message. This message, forwarded from my Twitter account, alerted me to an editorial published in the Guardian (which has since been removed because it was “inconsistent with the Guardian editorial code). Entitled “Forget funeral selfies. What are the ethics of tweeting a terminal illness?,” it was written by Emma Keller and used the tweets of Lisa Bonchek Adams (@AdamsLisa), a woman living with metastatic breast cancer, who has been actively engaged on social media (even before her diagnosis of metastatic disease), including writing her own blog and tweeting actively. She has been hospitalized and has blogged and tweeted about her experience as an inpatient.

MBCN responds: Bill Keller's Misguided NYTimes Op-Ed piece

January 13, 2014

By MBCNbuzz blog

Bill Keller’s op-ed piece on “Heroic Measures”  (January 12, 2014)  contains egregious factual errors. It also misrepresents what metastatic breast cancer is and how it is treated.

Whatever it takes

January 9, 2014

By Cure Today Guest Blogger

Do whatever it takes to keep going.

And that includes ignoring guilt about not being the perfect parent and nasty looks from people who think such a creature exists. As a wife and mom living with cancer, I have started applying the whatever it takes theory to other areas of my life as well. While a "normal person" might say he/she has a lot on their plate, some of us have plates the size of a turkey platter. My day to day can be pretty heavy, so I give myself a pass on the little things like laundry to fold or dishes to wash.

Tackling a Racial Gap in Breast Cancer Survival

December 20, 2013

By Tara Pope-Parker, New York Times

MEMPHIS — After her doctor told her two months ago that she had breast cancer, Debrah Reid, a 58-year-old dance teacher, drove straight to a funeral home. She began planning a burial with the funeral director and his wife, even requesting a pink coffin.

Sensing something was amiss, the funeral director, Edmund Ford, paused. “Who is this for?” he asked. Ms. Reid replied quietly, “It’s for me.”

Dasatinib Added to Aromatase Inhibitor Extends PFS in HER2-Negative MBC - See more at: http://www.onclive.com/conference-coverag

December 18, 2013

By Onc Live

Adding the tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib to standard aromatase inhibitor therapy with letrozole doubled progression-free survival (PFS) compared with letrozole alone in women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. The PFS endpoint was an exploratory secondary endpoint of a phase II noncomparative clinical trial presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
- See more at: http://www.onclive.com/conference-coverage/sabcs-2013/Dasatinib-Added-to-Aromatase-Inhibitor-Extends-PFS-in-HER2-Negative-MBC?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=OncLive&utm_campaign=SABCS%20(Faslodex)%2012-13-13#sthash.wZLyUTRF.dpuf
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