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Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Lucy Price on October 26, 2018 at 1:08 am
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, we have asked Professor Pranela Rameshwar, Editor-in-Chief of Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy, to reflect on the progress of the journal so far.
“Since its founding year, Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy has acquired a major role in the treatment of breast cancer at a personalized level. It should also be noted that the information on breast cancer can be extrapolated to other cancers, and this is particularly true for the basic and translational scientific papers. The journal aims to disseminate the latest research within the field to an international audience. We are proud to have a global authorship and readership, partly through the effort to select outcome studies from all countries. This strategy allows for effective treatment of ethnic groups that may not be represented in the clinical trials conducted in Western countries. Without such representation, when minority populations migrate to Western countries, such as the USA, they could be at a disadvantage with regards to effective treatment. The journal is focused on filling this gap with the publication of international papers and is therefore a source to assist oncologists around the globe. The journal is at the cutting edge of new research, reporting on original studies that show how specific genes are involved in cancer initiation and progression and on cancer stem cells, dormancy, reverse dormancy and the implication for breast cancer outcome in the aging population.”
We have also selected some notable recent articles listed below, highlighting new approaches to breast cancer monitoring, treatment and associated side effects.
Acute radiation dermatitis in breast cancer patients: challenges and solutions, examines the challenges of treating radiation associated dermatitis. As highlighted within the article, many breast cancer patients undergo radiotherapy at some stage during their treatment, and most who receive radiotherapy experience some degree of radiation dermatitis as a result. The paper discusses the presentation, timing, assessment and scaling of radiation dermatitis, and examines the different patient risk factors for acute skin toxicity, such as breast size. Additional factors putting patients at risk for radiation dermatitis include the degree of friction resulting from normal arm movement, the type of clothing worn and levels of perspiration. Kole et al. also write that race and menopausal status have previously been linked with the development of radiation dermatitis.
Preventative measures include topical steroids, nonsteroidal agents such as sucralfate or aqueous cream. For breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, actions previously discouraged such as skin washing and the application of deodorant are now “recommended for practice” by the Oncology Nursing Society’s Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP)”
In the article Clinical use of the Oncotype DX genomic test to guide treatment decisions for patients with invasive breast cancer, McVeigh et al. write that the “Implementation of the Oncotype DX assay has led to a change in the manner in which chemotherapy is utilized in patients with early stage, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, node-negative breast cancer; ensuring that patients at highest risk of recurrence are prescribed systemic treatment, while at the same time sparing low-risk patients potential adverse events from therapy unlikely to influence their survival”.
Finally, in the study The ABC7 regimen: a new approach to metastatic breast cancer using seven common drugs to inhibit epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and augment capecitabine efficacy, Kast et al. present the ABC7 adjuvant treatment regimen, which, by using seven repurposed drugs, “aims to defeat aspects of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that lead to dissemination of breast cancer to bone. As add-on to current standard treatment with capecitabine, ABC7 uses ancillary attributes of seven already-marketed noncancer treatment drugs to stop both the natural EMT process inherent to breast cancer and the added EMT occurring as a response to current treatment modalities”. According to the authors, the attributes of these ancillary drugs have the potential to inhibit EMT and enhance capecitabine’s efficacy. However, they warn that although “the predicted safety and tolerability of the ABC7 regimen is good (…) a clinical trial is warranted given the fatal outcome of metastatic breast cancer as things now stand.”