Thursday, February 19, 2009

ASCO Update

I promised to give a brief summary of the ASCO meeting from December but was so busy being a single again it sort of got pushed down the list, sorry.

I’m only going to talk about the news for premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, sorry a little self centered but if you want to know about postmenopausal or receptor negative let me know.

Still the only hormone treatment for premenopausal women is Tamoxifen, there is a lot of exciting research into aromatase inhibitors (AIs) but these are only for postmenopausal women. These are superior to Tamoxifen but I’m still premenopausal so no luck.

The only exciting news for women in my category is the addition of Zometa ® which is used for the treatment of cancer-related hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and of bone metastases in patients with advanced cancers. Zometa has been found to have anticancer effects and also prevents bone loss which is a side effect of using anti- estrogen therapies. The current clinical trial is in its fourth year and so far women that were treated with tamoxifen and Zometa had a 94% disease-free survival rate compared with 90% disease free survival for women who received hormonal therapy alone. The trial is still ongoing but an increase of 4% can mean a lot. The results are even more promising for women with later stage disease.

There wasn’t much discussion about tamoxifen resistance except that they are developing tests to detect it in women taking the drug. They do know that tamoxifen loses its effect over time which means that more research needs to be done to find other treatments for premenopausal women.

So, not a lot of exciting news for women in my category but, we have such a high survival rate I think the research and the money is going to the patients who aren’t as lucky, as it should be.

If anyone wants to hear about other news from the meeting let me know….

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update/summary of the ASCO meeting. Its good to stay current, never know when you might come across someone who could use this infomation. What a thrill it would be if you did encouter someone that needed this info (unfortunately) and you could help them by saving or extending their life. How rewarding would that be? Keep us posted, keep us smart.