To Revert Breast Cancer Cells, Squeeze

While the traditional view of cancer development focuses on the genetic mutations within the cell, Mina Bissell, Distinguished Scientist at the Berkeley Lab, conducted pioneering experiments that showed that a malignant cell is not doomed to become a tumor, but that its fate is dependent on its interaction with the surrounding microenvironment. Her experiments showed that manipulation of this environment, through the introduction of biochemical inhibitors, could tame mutated mammary cells into behaving normally.

via To revert breast cancer cells, give them the squeeze.

Breast Implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

Safety Alerts for Human Medical Products > Breast Implants: FDA Review Indicates Possible Association With A Rare Cancer

FDA announced a possible association between saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a very rare type of cancer. Data reviewed by the FDA suggest that patients with breast implants may have a very small but significant risk of ALCL in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant. 

Watch That Paxil in Breast Cancer Applicants

Medical News: SSRI and Tamoxifen Increase Mortality Risk – in Hematology/Oncology, Breast Cancer from MedPage Today

Overlapping use of tamoxifen and the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) significantly increases the risk of breast cancer mortality, data from a large cohort of breast cancer patients showed.

The excess breast-cancer mortality risk ranged as high as 91%, depending on the duration of simultaneous use, researchers reported online in BMJ.


Soy Foods Associated with Decreased Risk of Death in Women with Breast Cancer

JAMA — Abstract: Soy Food Intake and Breast Cancer Survival, December 9, 2009, Shu et al. 302 (22): 2437

Design, Setting, and Participants The Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, a large, population-based cohort study of 5042 female breast cancer survivors in China. Women aged 20 to 75 years with diagnoses between March 2002 and April 2006 were recruited and followed up through June 2009. Information on cancer diagnosis and treatment, lifestyle exposures after cancer diagnosis, and disease progression was collected at approximately 6 months after cancer diagnosis and was reassessed at 3 follow-up interviews conducted at 18, 36, and 60 months after diagnosis. Annual record linkage with the Shanghai Vital Statistics Registry database was carried out to obtain survival information for participants who were lost to follow-up. Medical charts were reviewed to verify disease and treatment information.

Conclusion Among women with breast cancer, soy food consumption was significantly associated with decreased risk of death and recurrence.

Tofu anyone?

Breast Cancer – Research Update

A very good interview with Dr. Stefan Gluck, medical oncologist at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Breast cancer: The latest in research – Living –

We look at the size of the cancer, the number of lymph nodes involved and the surgery. Those issues drive whether a woman will need radiation. Then the pathologist measures estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth receptor, the HER-2. The first two are good prognostic markers, whereas the HER-2 is a bad prognostic marker. If both good ones are positive, then it tends to be a less aggressive cancer and patients tend to do better over the years with fewer recurrences. The patient who has ER, PR negative breast cancer has many more recurrences, particularly in the first three to five years. The HER-2 doubles the recurrence rate if it is positive. The good news is we can counterbalance it with treatment. If a patient has an HER-2 positive breast cancer, we treat her with Herceptin. Herceptin is an immunotherapy because it’s an antibody and you infuse it every three weeks for one year. It decreases the recurrences by half. Then you have the cancer that is negative for ER, PR and HER-2. We call it triple negative breast cancer. The only thing we can use is chemotherapy.


Watchful Waiting for Breast Cancer?

Study Suggests Some Cancers May Go Away –

This is an interesting article on spontaneous remission.  While I do not doubt the existence of spontaneous remission in human cancers, I just can’t wait for the brokerage community to advance the idea that since the cancer is just being watched (and not specifically treated) then how bad can it be?  Standard.


I think not.