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Published On: Tue, Mar 25th, 2014

New Advances In Breast Cancer Treatment

A public release from the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Annual Scientific Meeting highlights a new, groundbreaking treatment modality for metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the liver.

Image/Susan G. Komen Foundation

Image/Susan G. Komen Foundation

The outpatient procedure, called yttrium-90 (Y-90) radioembolization, involves gliding a catheter through a small incision in the groin area into the artery that supplies blood to the liver. Once in place, the catheter releases small microbeads that target the cancer. The beads embed themselves into the tumor and release concentrated radiation, killing the tumor but sparing the surrounding tissue.

The treatment was analyzed after use on 75 women with metastatic breast cancer whose liver tumors did not respond to normal treatments such as chemotherapy and tumor resection. Of the 69 patients who came in for a follow up, 98.5% showed a stabilization of their tumor, and 24 had at least a 30% reduction in their tumor size.

“While patient selection is important, the therapy is not limited by tumor size, shape, location or number, and it can ease the severity of disease in patients who cannot be treated effectively with other approaches,” said Robert J. Lewandowski, M.D., FSIR, associate professor of radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

This presentation comes on the heels of a study published last week (March 17th) in Clinical Genetics, in which researchers sought to personalize the genetic makeup of breast cancers in the same way that lung and colon cancers can be genetically tested to determine the appropriate treatment. “Molecular profiling exposes a tumor’s Achilles heel. We can see what messages the tumor cells are receiving and sending. It is a biological intelligence gathering mission in an attempt to interrupt the disease,” says Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, director of Molecular Pathology at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

There are three major subtypes of breast cancer, each with its own genetic variants. Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors are the least aggressive and are treated with hormone blockers; Human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)2-positive cancers comprise a third of all breast cancers and are treated with protein inhibitors; and triple negative tumors are the most aggressive type with the poorest clinical outcome, and there is no approved personalized therapy. With over 235,000 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed each year and half of those becoming metastatic, the combination of correct diagnoses and treatment, as demonstrated by these studies, is becoming all the more important.

Edward Marks is a PhD student at the University of Delaware.  His research involves the healing of myocardial tissue after major cardiac events using nanomedicine techniques, with the goal of pushing any advancement directly into the clinic.  Edward received his BS from Rutgers University and Masters from the University of Delaware.

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  1. New Advances In Breast Cancer Treatment | Healt... says:

    […] "A public release from the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Annual Scientific Meeting highlights a new, groundbreaking treatment modality for metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the liver.The outpatient procedure, called yttrium-90 (Y-90) radioembolization, involves gliding a catheter through a small incision in the groin area into the artery that supplies blood to the liver. Once in place, the catheter releases small microbeads that target the cancer. The beads embed themselves into the tumor and release concentrated radiation, killing the tumor but sparing the surrounding tissue.The treatment was analyzed after use on 75 women with metastatic breast cancer whose liver tumors did not respond to normal treatments such as chemotherapy and tumor resection. Of the 69 patients who came in for a follow up, 98.5% showed a stabilization of their tumor, and 24 had at least a 30% reduction in their tumor size.“While patient selection is important, the therapy is not limited by tumor size, shape, location or number, and it can ease the severity of disease in patients who cannot be treated effectively with other approaches,” said Robert J. Lewandowski, M.D., FSIR, associate professor of radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.This presentation comes on the heels of a study published last week (March 17th) in Clinical Genetics, in which researchers sought to personalize the genetic makeup of breast cancers in the same way that lung and colon cancers can be genetically tested to determine the appropriate treatment. “Molecular profiling exposes a tumor’s Achilles heel. We can see what messages the tumor cells are receiving and sending. It is a biological intelligence gathering mission in an attempt to interrupt the disease,” says Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, director of Molecular Pathology at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.  […]

  2. New Advances In Breast Cancer Treatment | Breas... says:

    […] "A public release from the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Annual Scientific Meeting highlights a new, groundbreaking treatment modality for metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the liver.The outpatient procedure, called yttrium-90 (Y-90) radioembolization, involves gliding a catheter through a small incision in the groin area into the artery that supplies blood to the liver. Once in place, the catheter releases small microbeads that target the cancer. The beads embed themselves into the tumor and release concentrated radiation, killing the tumor but sparing the surrounding tissue.The treatment was analyzed after use on 75 women with metastatic breast cancer whose liver tumors did not respond to normal treatments such as chemotherapy and tumor resection. Of the 69 patients who came in for a follow up, 98.5% showed a stabilization of their tumor, and 24 had at least a 30% reduction in their tumor size.“While patient selection is important, the therapy is not limited by tumor size, shape, location or number, and it can ease the severity of disease in patients who cannot be treated effectively with other approaches,” said Robert J. Lewandowski, M.D., FSIR, associate professor of radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.This presentation comes on the heels of a study published last week (March 17th) in Clinical Genetics, in which researchers sought to personalize the genetic makeup of breast cancers in the same way that lung and colon cancers can be genetically tested to determine the appropriate treatment. “Molecular profiling exposes a tumor’s Achilles heel. We can see what messages the tumor cells are receiving and sending. It is a biological intelligence gathering mission in an attempt to interrupt the disease,” says Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, director of Molecular Pathology at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.  […]

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