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Changing chemo not beneficial for metastatic B.C. patients with elevated circulating tumor cells
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - For women with metastatic breast cancer who had elevated amounts of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in their blood after a first line of chemotherapy, switching immediately to a different chemotherapy did not improve overall survival or time to progression, according to the results of a phase III clinical trial presented by researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10-14.

New presurgery combination therapy may improve outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - The I-SPY 2 trial, an innovative, multidrug, phase II breast cancer trial, has yielded positive results with the first drug to complete testing in the trial. Adding the chemotherapy carboplatin and the molecularly targeted drug veliparib to standard presurgery chemotherapy improved outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer, according to results from the I-SPY 2 trial (led by researchers from the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center) presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10-14.

Ibrutinib and rituximab trigger 95 percent response rate among CLL patients
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - Nearly all of the high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients in a phase II clinical trial responded to treatment with the targeted therapy ibrutinib and the antibody rituximab, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

New models of drug-resistant breast cancer point to better treatments
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - Human breast tumors transplanted into mice are excellent models of metastatic cancer and are providing insights into how to attack breast cancers that no longer respond to the drugs used to treat them, according to research from Washington University School of Medicine (home of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center) in St. Louis, presented Dec. 12 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Multi-gene test could help spot breast cancer patients most at risk
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/12/2013) - A new test has the potential to help physicians identify patients with the most lethal forms of triple-negative breast cancer, a disease which requires aggressive and innovative treatment. The test, whose development was led by researchers from the University of Chicago (home of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center) and described in the Dec. 11 issue of PLOS ONE, was able to distinguish between patients with a good or poor prognosis, even within groups of patients already stratified by existing tests such as MammaPrint and Oncotype, as well as to extend its predictions to patients with more advanced or difficult-to-treat cancers.

Combined therapy linked to lower chance of recurrence in women with small, HER2-positive breast cancers
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/12/2013) - In a new study, women with relatively small, HER2-positive breast tumors who received a combination of lower-intensity chemotherapy and a targeted therapy following surgery or radiation therapy were very unlikely to have the cancer recur within a few years of treatment, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other research centers report at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Study identifies highly effective treatment option for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/12/2013) - Combining the chemotherapy drugs docetaxel and carboplatin with the HER2-targeted therapy trastuzumab was identified to be an ideal postsurgery treatment option for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, regardless of tumor size and whether or not disease has spread to the lymph nodes, according to results from the BETH study (led by researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center) presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10-14.

Drug-antibody pair has promising activity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - A toxin linked to a targeted monoclonal antibody has shown "compelling" antitumor activity in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas who were no longer responding to treatment, according to a report from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The ongoing open-label phase 2 study presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting was designed to test the activity of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) in relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) including B-cell cancers such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of pediatric cancer, can safely receive intravenous infusions of a reformulated mainstay of chemotherapy that has been delivered via painful intramuscular injection for more than 40 years, research from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium suggests.

Screening decisions must balance potential benefits with potential patient harms
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - Screening to detect medical conditions has become standard practice for many diseases, but insufficient attention has been paid to the potential for harm, according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina, including members of its UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In an article published by the Journal of American Medical Association - Internal Medicine, the authors outline a framework that physicians, patients, policy makers and researchers can use to think systematically about the harms of screening programs. This rationale – a “taxonomy of harms” – makes it easier for decision makers to fully consider all harms to balance against anticipated benefits.

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