Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Recurring cancers in women with a history of breast cancer differ from the original tumors

19.05.2011
Data suggests that more time should be focused on tailoring treatment to the specific qualities of the second tumor, rather than trying to distinguish whether it's old or new

When women with a history of breast cancer learn they have breast cancer again, one of the first questions they and their doctors ask is: Has my cancer come back, or is this a new case? Now, new data from Fox Chase Cancer Center suggest that both new and recurring cancers will differ significantly from the original tumors, regardless of how many months or years women spent cancer-free, and doctors should tailor treatment to the specific qualities of the second tumor, regardless of whether it's old or new.

Anita Patt, MD, surgical oncology fellow at Fox Chase and lead author on the study, will be presenting the findings at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Monday, June 6.

"There tends to be a stigma and a lot of anxiety about the word 'recurrence,'" says Richard J. Bleicher, MD, FACS, attending surgeon at Fox Chase and senior author on the study. "Sometimes women will worry more if they believe their original cancer is back, meaning they didn't 'beat it' the first time around. These findings suggest they should not get hung up on that idea, because any subsequent diagnosis – whether it's a recurrence or a new tumor – will look significantly different from their first cancer."

In women with a history of breast cancer, doctors often approach new tumors differently depending on whether they believe it's a recurrence of the first tumor, or a totally new one, Bleicher explains. But there are no official ways to distinguish between the two types, so doctors typically rely on a few criteria, then form their own opinion based on an "overall gestalt," he says.

One of the criteria doctors have used to distinguish between new and recurring cancers is the amount of time women spent cancer-free, reasoning that the longer the time between the two tumors, the more likely the second one is to be an entirely new case.

To investigate if this and other criteria indeed distinguish new and recurring tumors, Bleicher, Patt, and their colleagues looked at data collected from 4,420 women with a history of breast cancer. Two-hundred and thirty five women were eventually diagnosed with another tumor in the same breast, suggesting it could be a recurrence.

However, when the researchers compared the first and second tumors, they saw that 89% differed in at least one key characteristic that could potentially affect treatment or prognosis, regardless of whether the second tumors were new cases or a recurrence of the original cancer. Sixty percent of the second tumors differed from the first by at least 2 or more criteria, including whether or not it would respond to hormones, how it was diagnosed, and whether at least 25 percent of the tumor was confined to the ducts, and therefore less able to spread throughout the body.

Half of the women experienced a second tumor within 60.5 months of their first. And, importantly, the amount of time they spent cancer-free appeared to have no bearing on whether the two tumors differed in any key characteristics.

The findings suggest that patients and doctors shouldn't spend much time determining if the second tumor is a recurrence of the first, or a totally new entity, says Bleicher, and should instead tailor treatment to the specific qualities of the second tumor, regardless of whether it's old or new.

"When a patient comes back with a relapse, whether it's a new tumor or a recurrence, it really doesn't make a difference," he says. "We treat them both as potentially curable."

Co-authors on the study include Tianyu Li, Massimo Cristofanilli, and Elin Sigurdson, from Fox Chase and Gary Freedman from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation's first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center's nursing program has received the Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, visit Fox Chase's Web site at www.fccc.org or call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

Diana Quattrone | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fccc.edu

Further reports about: Bleicher Cancer original tumors second tumor tailoring treatment

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>