Monday, February 16, 2009

Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Research Review 2

More take-outs from researchers Carey Anders, M.D., and Lisa A. Carey, M.D., in their research review of triple negative in the journal Oncology October 1, 2008. The entire article is available online.

Most, but not all, triple-negative breast cancers are basal-like.

Triple-negative breast tumors have been correlated with onset at a younger age, higher mean tumor size, higher-grade tumors, and, in some cases, a higher rate of node positivity.
Basal-like breast tumors were more likely among women who were younger at the onset of menstruation; have borne several children; were at a younger age at full-term pregnancy; had a shorter duration of breast-feeding; and higher body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), especially among premenopausal patients.

Women with triple-negative breast cancer were much more likely to develop a recurrence during the first 3 years following therapy with rapid declines thereafter. Translation: We can relax a bit after three years.

Patients with a “pathologic complete response”—meaning all traces of the cancer were eliminated— had excellent outcomes regardless of whether they were hormone positive or negative.

Source: C. Anders and L. A. Carey, “Understanding and Treating Triple-Negative Breast Cancer,” Oncology, Vol. 22, No. 11, October 1, 2008.

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