Experimental Medicine Plus Standard Chemotherapy Helps Treat HER2-Positive, Hormone-Receptor-Negative Disease

http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/new-medicine-helps-some-breast-cancers

A study has found that the experimental targeted therapy neratinib plus a standard chemotherapy regimen before surgery for HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative disease offers more benefits than the standard chemotherapy regimen alone before surgery.

The study was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2014 Annual Meeting in April. Read the abstract of “Neratinib plus standard neoadjuvant therapy for high-risk breast cancer: Efficacy results from the I-SPY 2 Trial.”

Treatment given to weaken and destroy breast cancer cells before surgery is called neoadjuvant treatment.

Hormone-receptor-negative breast cancers don’t have receptors for the hormones estrogen or progesterone. Hormone-receptor-negative breast cancers are usually more aggressive, harder to treat, and more likely to come back (recur) than cancers that are hormone-receptor-positive.

HER2-positive breast cancers have too many copies of the HER2/neu gene, which make too much of the HER2 protein. HER2-positive breast cancers also tend to be aggressive, so doctors may recommend neoadjuvant treatment for them.

Neratinib is a type of targeted therapy medicine called an irreversible pan-HER inhibitor. Neratinib fights HER2-positive breast cancer by blocking the cancer cells’ ability to receive growth signals. Neratinib is a pill taken by mouth.

In this study, called I-SPY 2, researchers looked at 194 women diagnosed with HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. The women were randomly assigned to get one of two treatments before surgery:

  • 116 women got neratinib plus Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel) followed by a combination of Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin) and Cy…

    Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

    Read More

glowgene's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/genetic-testing/glowgene

Ah

“I thought I would share my experiences here, just in case it is helpful for someone in the future:”

What led you to doing the testing?

“I was diagnosed at 27 with one great aunt on my mother’s side with breast cancer and a maternal grandmother who passed away from brain cancer (at 80 years old). Not much of a family history, but my age was enough to warrant testing, regardless of history. De novo mutations are always a possibility, meaning those that were not present in your mother and father as adults, but were present in the sperm or egg cell that eventually became you.”

What were your results, and what choices have you made based on the findings?

“I had the Comprehensive Cancer Panel from GeneDx, largely because I’m a genetics PhD student and I pushed for ‘All the genetic testing you can get me. Please.’ This tested the following genes: APC, ATM, AXIN2, BARD1, BMPR1A, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, CDH1, CDK4, CDKN2A, CHEK2, EPCAM, FANCC, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, NBN, PALB2, PMS2, POLD1, POLE, PTEN, RAD51C, RAD51D, SCG5/GREM1, SMAD4, STK11, TP53, VHL, XRCC2. I was negative for all of them.”

Was payment an issue?

“Payment was not an issue partly due to my age and partly due to my rather amazing student health insurance. I don’t make minimum wage as a grad student, but boy, have they made up for it with that health insurance in the last few years.”

How have you discussed these decisions with your family?

“I think this question is less relevant for me than most, but my family hasn’t been very involved in this process as far as decision-making goes.”

What suggestions would you have for others?

“I am always in favour of genetic testing when …

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

recky1's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/metastatic/recky1

Ah

“I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, [in the] left breast, sternum, [and] lymph in 2013, at age 50. I received surgery, chemo, [and] radiation. [I’ve had] PET scans and the usual diagnostics, since my initial diagnosis. A few months ago, I began having increased sternal pain. My oncologist stated nothing showed up on [the] PET scan. Repeat PET scan showed [a] large mass to [the] sternum. MRI revealed further mets to spine [and] brain. We are now treating the symptoms of this dreaded disease. However, I am very fortunate. I have faith in God, a wonderful husband, and excellent physicians. So many people do not have the support that I have received. This can really make a difference.”

— recky1, diagnosed metastatic in 2013

Want to share your
story? Email
community@breastcancer.org
or join our Discussion Boards.

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

Nerlynx

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/targeted_therapies/nerlynx

Nerlynx (chemical name: neratinib) was approved by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) on July 17, 2017 to treat early-stage,
HER2-positive breast cancer for an extended period of time after surgery
(doctors calls this extended adjuvant therapy). You take Nerlynx within 2 years after you’ve had surgery and completed a chemotherapy regimen that
included Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab). Nerlynx is a pill taken
by mouth. The recommended dose of Nerlynx is 240 mg (6 tablets) once
per day with food for 1 year.

In this section you can learn more about:

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

Mimi2kleh's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/metastatic/mimi2kleh

Ah

“I know this is long, but it includes my whole cancer story, with all the trials and tribulations and problems that can unexpectedly occur along the way.

“[In] September, 2011 I went in for normal mammogram. A few days later they called me and said they wanted me to come back for more. I wasn’t worried, many of my friends had had this happen, and it was always nothing. When I went back, they did more images, and the nurse told me to wait while the radiologist reviewed them. She came back and said he wanted some more images. This happened twice. Now I was getting nervous. She then said the radiologist wanted to talk to me. He told me there were some calcifications, but not to worry, because the majority are always nothing. So I wasn’t too worried. I was then sent for a stereotactic biopsy. This is a brutal procedure. After being poked and prodded, squished and stretched, cut and inserted with a metal clip, I went home to wait for the results. Again, I was told most likely it’s nothing, it’s just calcifications. Well, I was against the odds, it was cancer.

“Met with an oncology surgeon and I was scheduled for a lumpectomy, followed by radiation. I took off time from work, and with my family around me, was in the hospital, all gowned up and the IV going. I was waiting for the last step before surgery, to be wheeled down to Radiology, so they can insert the guide wire to the metal marker clip. Waiting and waiting and waiting, while nurses and doctors kept going to the phone. I’m way behind my surgery time now. Finally, someone comes and wheels me downstairs on the gurney, and parks me in the hallway of the Radiology Dept, and I’m told they will bring me in shortly. Again, a long wait. I am finally brought in, and the radiologist tells me a mistake has been made. He said at the time of my…

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

5 Things You Need To Know About Being High Risk

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/5-things-to-know-about-being-high-risk/

Definition: HIGH RISK

We know that being a woman and aging are risk factors in developing breast cancer. However, there are certain factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing the disease – more so than just the average woman.

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, if a person has one (or a combination) of these 4 characteristics they are considered “high risk:”

Is a confirmed carrier (has been genetically tested) of BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations
Is a first degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) of a confirmed BRCA1 or BRCA2 carrier
Has a family history of breast cancer (usually multiple family members)
Has a personal history of high levels of radiation exposure to the chest (ie/ radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma)

What’s the deal with BRCA1 and BRCA2?

Everyone has these genes. In fact, they are actually designed to protect us from developing breast and ovarian cancers. However, when there is a mutation in the gene, DNA repair doesn’t happen as it should – leading to the overproduction of cells (or cancer). This kind of mutation can be inherited from maternal and paternal sides of the family.

Click HERE for more information.

You aren’t doomed

Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations have a 40-85% chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. However, only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are the result of hereditary/genetic factors. What does this mean? It means that being high risk does not give you a 100% guarantee of developing breast cancer. Rather, the term “high risk” is a classification that medical professionals (and the women and men in question) can use to increase their understanding of the situation and to take preventative measures, if necessary.

If you are high risk or you know someone who is, don’t freak out. This knowledge takes you one step closer to being in charge of the decisions surrou… Read More

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

Illimae's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/metastatic/illimae

Ah

“Saturday, October 29, 2016, I noticed a large egg sized lump while undressing for bed. I had a bad feeling about this since my mother and her sister were both diagnosed with breast cancer in the last couple of years in their 60’s. I spent Sunday Googling and while the odds were low, my lump was hard, immovable and painless — not good. Monday I saw my PCP, he confirmed and ordered a mammogram, which was done that Friday. I was worried, at 41, this was only my second mammogram, first was all clear 18 months ago but my husband (who had been out of town for work) was back and a pillar of strength. Mammogram [was] followed immediately by ultrasound. They wanted me back on Tuesday for a biopsy; I’m really freaked now. Tuesday’s biopsy done and my PCP tells me it’s cancer on Thursday. I lose it that weekend and tell my husband he can get remarried; of course he’s not hearing any of it. The next week I go to MDA and after more scans and biopises, I am [diagnosed] stage IV. I spent the first few weeks in shock: I just felt the lump, I was young, active and overweight but otherwise healthy with no known genetic mutations how could this happen?

“Then I joined BCO, found education and support. That and a treatment plan helped enormously. I am currently considered oligometastic with a single bone met and my team is treating me with local control. I completed neoadjuvant chemo a month ago, tough but doable [and] am recovering from a lumpectomy, ALND, reduction/lift this week. Next step is SBRT to the bone location, Herceptin and Perjeta forever and with some luck continued good health.

“Cancer may take my life someday but not my sense of humor :)”

— Illimae, diagnosed metastatic in November 2016

Want to share your
story? <a href="mailto:community@breastcancer.org…

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

Schooni's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/metastatic/schooni

Ah

“I was diagnosed with stage IV [breast cancer] in March 2017 and on quite a journey. They insisted I have a PET/CT scan which, it turns out, proper protocol was not followed before and during scan. […] Anyway, the PET scan comes back saying I have over 9 hotspots — they say cancer: metastatic TNBC [triple-negative breast cancer]. I am stunned but not surprised. I didn’t know at the time that they did the PET scan wrong. Only three and a half months later I get in to Mayo Clinic — up until then I refused aggressive chemo which could not cure but only shrink cancer — but I did not want to poison my entire body. I was diagnosed at this time stage IV terminal. Three months later, Mayo redid the PET/CT with the proper protocol — no carbohydrates 24 hours before, no caffeine 12 hours before, no chewing or talking excessively — remain quiet one full hour before scan – it was done right this time. Now, I know the good Lord may have healed me too — but I am convinced the non-protocol PET scan earlier showed it in places it wasn’t. So over half were gone — three spots in chest area but may not even be cancer — they don’t know for sure — and the spots in my colon turned out to be noncancerous polyps. When they looked at second scan, they thought I had had treatment but I did not take any chemo or radiation, just natural stuff and prayers! Question everything.”

— Schooni, diagnosed metastatic in March 2017

Want to share your
story? Email
community@breastcancer.org
or join our Discussion Boards.

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

5 Things You Need To Know About Being High Risk

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/5-things-to-know-about-being-high-risk/

Definition: HIGH RISK

We know that being a woman and aging are risk factors in developing breast cancer. However, there are certain factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing the disease – more so than just the average woman.

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, if a person has one (or a combination) of these 4 characteristics they are considered “high risk:”

  • Is a confirmed carrier (has been genetically tested) of BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations
  • Is a first degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) of a confirmed BRCA1 or BRCA2 carrier
  • Has a family history of breast cancer (usually multiple family members)
  • Has a personal history of high levels of radiation exposure to the chest (ie/ radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
What’s the deal with BRCA1 and BRCA2?

Everyone has these genes. In fact, they are actually designed to protect us from developing breast and ovarian cancers. However, when there is a mutation in the gene, DNA repair doesn’t happen as it should – leading to the overproduction of cells (or cancer). This kind of mutation can be inherited from maternal and paternal sides of the family.

Click HERE for more information.

You aren’t doomed

Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations have a 40-85% chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. However, only <a href="http://www.cbcf.org/ontario/AboutBreas…

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More

Will Nerlynx Work for You?

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/targeted_therapies/nerlynx/will-it-work

Nerlynx is used to treat people diagnosed with early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer for an extended period of time after surgery and a chemotherapy regimen that included Herceptin. Doctors call this extended adjuvant therapy.

Nerlynx was the first medicine to be approved specially for extended adjuvant therapy for early-stage, HER2-positive disease.

Four different tests can be used to figure out if the cancer is HER2-positive and if it will likely respond to Nerlynx:

  • IHC (ImmunoHistoChemistry)

    IHC is the most commonly used test to see if a tumor has too much of the HER2 receptor protein on the surface of the cancer cells.

    The IHC test gives a score of 0 to 3+ that indicates the amount of HER2 receptor protein in tumors. If the tumor scores 0 to 1+, it’s called “HER2 negative.” If it scores 2+ or 3+, it’s called “HER2 positive.”

    Women with IHC positive scores tend to respond favorably to Nerlynx. The drug is not considered effective for tumors with IHC scores of 0 or 1+.

    It’s important to note that results on the IHC test may vary from lab to lab, and that some labs are more proficient at HER2 testing than others. Discuss with your doctor whether you might want to get a FISH test, especially if you have a 1+ or 2+ result from IHC. That way you can get another measure of whether the tumor might respond well to Nerlynx

  • .

    The IHC test results are most reliable for fresh or frozen tissue samples. IHC tends to be an unreliable way to test tissue that’s preserved in wax or other chemicals. FISH testing is the preferred way to assess preserved tissue samples.

  • FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization)

    The FISH test looks for the HER2 gene abnormality. This test is the most accurate, but less available, way to find out if a breast tumor is likely to respond to Nerlynx
  • . The FISH test shows how many copies of the HER2 gene are in tumor cells. The more…

    Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

    Read More