Posts tagged ‘breast cancer research’


Radiation linked to lower lymphedema risk in breast cancer patients

April 30, 2014 | by

For some breast cancer patients whose cancer has also spread to their axillary lymph nodes, radiation might be a better option than surgically removing the nodes, a new study suggests.

A new study finds radiation poses a lower risk of lymphedema for women treated for breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes than removing the nodes.

A new study finds radiation poses a lower risk of lymphedema for women treated for breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes than removing the nodes.

Previous studies have shown that, when looking strictly at survival, both approaches are about equal. The new study finds that radiation therapy, which is emerging as a treatment protocol for breast cancer affecting the lymph nodes, is associated with significantly fewer complications than removal of the nodes.

The results from the international multicenter trial are being presented in Las Vegas at Breast Cancer Update 2014, the 15th annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. The study included nearly 5,000 randomized patients. It found those patients with positive sentinel nodes treated with radiation suffered less lymphedema – swelling, usually in the arms or legs associated with blockage in the lymphatic system – as well as less arm parasthesia and other postsurgery complications.

But breast cancer specialists aren’t advising women to automatically choose radiation over lymph node removal. » Continue Reading


Veliparib shows promise for BRCA-related breast cancer patients

January 10, 2014 | by

Of the estimated 230,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed annually in the U.S., approximately 12,000 patients carry harmful mutations on either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

breast cancer

Researchers are investigating the effectiveness of various drugs against breast cancer, including the PARP inhibitor veliparib.

Cancer cells carrying these mutations are unable to properly repair double-strand DNA. Because specific enzymes – poly ADP-ribose polymerase 1 and 2 (known as PARP1 and PARP2) – are needed for DNA repair in malignant (as well as normal) cells, drugs known as PARP inhibitors often are used to help kill the cells.

As George Somlo, M.D.,  professor in City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, puts it: In BRCA1- or BRCA2-related  breast cancer, exposing the cancer cells to PARP inhibitors greatly enhances the potential for  irreversible single- or double-strand DNA damage.

In the fight against cancer, that kind of DNA damage is ideal.

Now Somlo and his colleagues are learning even more about how a specific PARP inhibitor, called veliparib (or ABT-888), could improve cancer treatment. » Continue Reading