Gene Signatures Enhance Breast Cancer Risk Estimates
Combining gene signatures for breast cancer with clinical factors such as patient age and tumor size can improve predictions about the risk of recurrence in women with early-stage disease, new research suggests.
This strategy may also help physicians select the most appropriate chemotherapy regimens for women who undergo additional (adjuvant) therapy to prevent recurrences, the researchers report in the April 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Gene signatures are characteristic patterns of gene activity in cells that may reflect the underlying disease biology. A number of breast cancer signatures have been developed to predict clinical outcomes and several are being tested in trials such as TAILORx and MINDACT. Read more
Trial Suggests HRT Increases Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk
Long-term follow-up data from a randomized clinical trial indicate that, in women previously treated for breast cancer, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) significantly increases the risk of recurrence or contralateral breast cancer - a new cancer in the opposite breast. Published online March 25 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), the analysis shows a 2.4-fold increased risk of recurrence or contralateral breast cancer in women randomized to receive HRT to treat menopausal symptoms compared with women given the best, nonhormonal treatments for such symptoms.
The trial, called HABITS, conducted in Scandinavia, was halted in 2003 after an interim analysis showed a 3.5-fold increased risk of cancer in women in the HRT arm. This longer-term analysis followed 442 women for a median of 4 years. Of the 221 women in the HRT arm, 39 had a "breast cancer event," compared with 17 of 221 in the control arm. Read more