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 One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>