Nav: Home

Anthracyclines improve survival in HER2-positive breast cancer patients

December 25, 2007

Treatment with the class of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines improves survival in women with HER2-positive breast cancer who have previously had surgery, but it may not offer any benefit for women with HER2-negative tumors, according to a study published online December 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that treating early breast cancer with anthracycline-based chemotherapy improves disease-free and overall survival rates more than non-anthracycline-based regimens. However, the studies have demonstrated that anthracyclines may slightly increase the risk of heart damage and leukemia. Given these side effects, the greatest benefit of these regimens may be in women with breast tumors that overexpress HER2--a gene that is often amplified in tumors that respond to anthracyclines.

Alessandra Gennari, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Cancer Research Institute in Genoa, Italy, and colleagues compiled data from eight randomized controlled trials that compared anthracyclines and non-anthracyclines, and also reported HER2 status. Almost 30 percent of the patients' tumors overexpressed HER2.

Overall and among patients with HER2-positive tumors, anthracycline-based chemotherapy produced a greater reduction in the risk of relapse or death than non-anthracycline-based regimens. However, among patients with HER2-negative tumors, there was no difference in survival between the chemotherapy regimens.

"The absence...of any effect of anthracyclines observed in patients with HER2-negative disease suggests that this group of patients could be spared unnecessary toxic effects related to the use of this class of agents and raises questions as to the appropriateness of control arms in randomized clinical trials in which anthracycline-based regimens are used in unselected patient populations," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Soonmyung Paik, M.D., of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project in Pittsburgh and colleagues point out that HER2 status alone may not be enough to determine who should receive anthracyclines, given the molecular differences among different subtypes of breast cancer.

"Optimization of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients diagnosed with breast cancer will depend on defining the baseline prognosis and chemosensitivity of each subclass of breast cancer beyond those crudely defined by HER2 status alone," the editorialists write.
-end-
Contact:

  • Article: Media Office at the National Cancer Research Institute, gemma.dagnino@istge.it, +39 010 5600605 or Alessandra Gennari, alessandra.gennari@istge.it, +39 010 5737369

  • Editorial: Holly McCalmon, director of communications, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, holly.mccalmon@nsabp.org, (412) 330-4616

    Citation:

  • Article: Gennari A, Sormani MP, Pronzato P, Puntoni M, Colozza M, Pfeffer U, Bruzzi P. HER2 Status and Efficacy of Adjuvant Anthracyclines in Early Breast Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trials. J Natl Cancer Inst 2008; 100:14-20

  • Editorial: Paik S, Taniyama Y, Geyer CE Jr. Anthracyclines in the Treatment of HER2 -Negative Breast Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2008; 100:2-4

    Note to Reporters:

    We have started up an e-mail list to alert reporters when papers are available on the EurekAlert site. If you would be interested on being on this list, please let us know at jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org. The content will continue to be available through EurekAlert's e-mail system and our EurekAlert page.

    The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage. Visit the Journal online at http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/.

    Journal of the National Cancer Institute

    Related Breast Cancer Articles:

    Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?
    A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
    Blood test offers improved breast cancer detection tool to reduce use of breast biopsy
    A Clinical Breast Cancer study demonstrates Videssa Breast can inform better next steps after abnormal mammogram results and potentially reduce biopsies up to 67 percent.
    Surgery to remove unaffected breast in early breast cancer increases
    The proportion of women in the United States undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer who have preventive mastectomy to remove the unaffected breast increased significantly in recent years, particularly among younger women, and varied substantially across states.
    Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue more likely to develop contralateral disease
    Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue have almost a two-fold increased risk of developing disease in the contralateral breast, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.
    Some early breast cancer patients benefit more from breast conservation than from mastectomy
    Breast conserving therapy (BCT) is better than mastectomy for patients with some types of early breast cancer, according to results from the largest study to date, presented at ECC2017.
    One-third of breast cancer patients not getting appropriate breast imaging follow-up exam
    An annual mammogram is recommended after treatment for breast cancer, but nearly one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer aren't receiving this follow-up exam, according to new findings presented at the 2016 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.
    Low breast density worsens prognosis in breast cancer
    Even though dense breast tissue is a risk factor for breast cancer, very low mammographic breast density is associated with a worse prognosis in breast cancer patients.
    Is breast conserving therapy or mastectomy better for early breast cancer?
    Young women with early breast cancer face a difficult choice about whether to opt for a mastectomy or breast conserving therapy (BCT).
    Breast density and outcomes of supplemental breast cancer screening
    In a study appearing in the April 26 issue of JAMA, Elizabeth A.
    Full dose radiotherapy to whole breast may not be needed in early breast cancer
    Five years after breast-conserving surgery, radiotherapy focused around the tumor bed is as good at preventing recurrence as irradiating the whole breast, with fewer side effects, researchers from the UK have found in the large IMPORT LOW trial.

    Related Breast Cancer Reading:

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey: Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment
    by Dr. Julie Silver (Author)

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey will encourage comfort and encourage breast cancer patients and survivors with its inspiring stories and helpful medical information.

    A support group from breast cancer diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation and recovery, this book combines inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories written just for this book and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. Patients and survivors will find comfort, strength and hope. View Details


    Battling Breast Cancer for Idiots
    by Billa Woollam (Author)

    When Billa Woollam was first diagnosed with breast cancer, her friends gave her a self-help book, to help with her recovery. After her surgery, she could not concentrate on reading anything. She was not prepared for how strange this journey to recovery would be. Woollam found herself saying and doing some bizarre, out-of-character things, which surprised her loved ones and friends. So she thought a little coffee table book that you could pick up or put down when you felt like it, would be easier to read. Now, Woollam is writing the book she wishes she’d had at the beginning. She takes... View Details


    Heal Breast Cancer Naturally: 7 Essential Steps to Beating Breast Cancer
    by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (Author)

    One out of eight women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. One out of 3 women will experience some form of cancer in their life time.

    I was one of those statistics even though I was living a healthy lifestyle that consisted of organic foods, regular exercise, massage, Chiropractic care and colonics. How could somebody like me develop Breast Cancer?

    That very question led to thousands of hours of research, study, soul-searching and prayer. It all came together as The 7 Essentials – 7 basic steps that are necessary for preventing and healing cancer, or any dis-ease for... View Details


    Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond
    by Marc Silver (Author)

    A unique guide, like none other on the market-packed with medical information, practical tips, psychological insight, and coping strategies-to help men help the women they love through this trying time.

    When Marc Silver became a breast cancer husband three years ago, he learned firsthand how frightened and helpless the breast cancer husband feels. He searched in vain for a book that would give him the information and advice he so desperately sought. Now this award-winning journalist has compiled just the kind of emotionally supportive and useful resource that he wished he had been... View Details


    Breast Cancer Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Research-Based Recipes for Prevention and Recovery
    by Daniella Chace (Author)

    The statistics are staggering. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women--About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Second only to heart disease by a mere one percent, every ounce of prevention and every window of opportunity for healing is critical. In order to reduce the risk of developing this common disease, you need a targeted plan to protect yourself from common breast toxins and to strengthen your immune defenses.

    In her delightful new book, Daniella breaks down the complex topic of... View Details


    Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)
    by Susan M. Love (Author), Karen Lindsey (Contributor), Elizabeth Love (Contributor)

    For a woman faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer, the information available today is vast, uneven, and confusing. For more than two decades, readers have relied on Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book to guide them through this frightening thicket of research and opinion to find the best possible options for their particular situations. This sixth edition explains exciting advances in targeted treatments, hormonal therapies, safer chemotherapy, and immunologic approaches as well as new forms of surgery and radiation. There is extensive guidance for the increasing number of women living for... View Details


    Just Get Me Through This! - Revised and Updated: A Practical Guide to Coping with Breast Cancer
    by Deborah A. Cohen (Author), Robert M. Gelfand M.D. (Author)

    You Can Get Through This

    Your doctor told you it was breast cancer. So now what?! You'll need plenty of essential advice--the kind that only comes from someone who's been there.

    In Just Get Me Through This! Deborah A. Cohen and Robert M. Gelfand, M.D. help you deal with all the ups and downs of the breast cancer experience. From the shock of diagnosis to getting through treatment to getting on with your life, they pack it with plenty of straight talk and practical tips. This newly updated edition also includes advice from two prominent breast cancer... View Details


    The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)
    by Edward Bauman MEd PhD (Author), Helayne Waldman MS EdD (Author), Donald I. Abrams MD (Foreword)

    If you’re a breast cancer survivor, chances are you have renewed your commitment to maintaining your good health and taking care of your body. As one of the best preventative measures known to doctors and nutritionists today, a robust, cancer-fighting diet is vital to your personal plan for breast cancer prevention.

    The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors is an essential guide for every woman seeking to understand the effect of nutritional deficiencies and environmental factors on her overall health and wellness. Based on Edward Bauman’s groundbreaking Eating for... View Details


    Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul: Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
    by Jack Canfield (Author), Mark Victor Hansen (Author), Mary Olsen Kelly (Author)

    You'll find your own strength as you read these revealing stories in which women and their loved ones talk openly about their own fights with breast cancer and how they made it through the dark times to become survivors, with a new understanding of themselves and their capabilities.   View Details


    The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book
    by the breast-health experts at Mayo Clinic Cancer Ce (Author)

    From the breast health experts at Mayo Clinic comes a guide to the many aspects of breast cancer—from prevention, to care and coping, to survival, to living with hope.

    The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book is the trusted resource for anyone wanting reliable information about this dreaded disease. Mayo Clinic set out to provide comprehensive and up-to-date facts in easy-to-understand language. They've succeeded in this handbook for those who've been diagnosed, or for those who want to give sensitive and helpful support to someone with breast cancer. The Mayo Clinic Breast... View Details

  • Best Science Podcasts 2017

    We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
    Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

    Manipulation
    We think we're the ones who control what we see, read, think and remember. But is that true? Who decides? And who should decide? This hour, TED speakers reveal just how easily we can be manipulated. Guests include design ethicist Tristan Harris, MSNBC host Ali Velshi, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, and neuroscientist Steve Ramirez.
    Now Playing: Science for the People

    #444 The V-Word (Rebroadcast)
    This week, we're looking at the social and biological science of female sex organs. We'll talk to Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Institute for Regenerative Medicine, about the creation and use of lab-grown vaginas. Biology professor Marie Herberstein exposes the bias against female genitalia in scientific studies. And science writer Emily Anthes tells us about the history and promising future of female condoms.