An otherwise healthy 53-year-old woman is seen for routine care after completing treatment several months earlier for stage II estrogen-receptor- positive, HER2-positive breast cancer. The treatment consisted of lumpectomy, irradiation, adjuvant chemotherapy (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel), and trastuzumab. Her only current medication is an aromatase inhibitor. She is amenorrheic. She reports fatigue, hot flashes, arthralgias, and sexual difficulties and is concerned about the risk of a recurrence. How would you follow this patient, and what would you recommend for her symptoms?
"It is important to mention that distant metastasis after 5 years is also significantly less accurately predicted by the signature in older patient cohorts . This is important to know when interpreting the data, as 25% of all metastases occur more than 5 years after initial diagnosis, and the percentage might be higher in the subset of patients with ER-positive breast cancer, the subtype mostly found in older patient . To facilitate the use of the 70-gene prognosis profiler as diagnostic test, the 70-gene profile was translated into a customized microarray with only 1,600 instead of 25,000 probes, merchandised as MammaPrint® (Agendia, Huntington Beach, CA), which has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a complex disease, whose heterogeneity is increasingly recognized. Despite considerable improvement in breast cancer treatment and survival, a significant proportion of patients seems to be over- or undertreated. To date, single clinicopathological parameters show limited success in predicting the likelihood of survival or response to endocrine therapy and chemotherapy. Consequently, new gene expression based prognostic and predictive tests are emerging that promise an improvement in predicting survival and therapy response. Initial evidence has emerged that this leads to allocation of fewer patients into high-risk groups allowing a reduction of chemotherapy treatment. Moreover, pattern-based approaches have also been developed to predict response to endocrine therapy or particular chemotherapy regimens. Irrespective of current pitfalls such as lack of validation and standardization, these pattern-based biomarkers will prove useful for clinical decision making in the near future, especially if more patients get access to this form of personalized medicine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The follow-up of patients treated for invasive breast carcinoma remains a major challenge because of breast cancer prevalence and the frequent patient's preferences for a regular follow-up. Concerning this last point, there is a lack of studies about the consequences of a systematic follow-up. Few decades ago, regular and systematic follow-up was considered as a dogma. In 1994, it was seriously questioned by two randomised Italian trials: they did not find any benefit in terms of survival and quality of life in patients who had a regular search of asymptomatic metastasis. Follow-up strategy after early breast cancer is still an unexplored field, despite higher performance of investigation tests and development of new treatments strategies that allowed a significant decrease of recurrences and increase of cancer care. Currently, the international guidelines deeply recommend a regular physical examination and mammography. But a systematic search for non-symptomatic metastases is unnecessary. We now need a coordination between practitioners to avoid useless tests, and to respond to patients’ will.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer survivors account for 23% of the more than 10 million cancer survivors in the United States today. The treatments for breast cancer are complex and extend over a long period of time. The post-treatment period is characterized by gradual recovery from many adverse effects from treatment; however, many symptoms and problems persist as late effects (eg, infertility, menopausal symptoms, fatigue), and there may be less frequent long-term effects (eg, second cancers, lymphedema, osteoporosis). There is increasing recognition of the need to summarize the patient's course of treatment into a formal document, called the cancer treatment summary, that also includes recommendations for subsequent cancer surveillance, management of late effects, and strategies for health promotion. This article provides guidance on how oncologists can implement a cancer treatment summary and survivorship care plan for breast cancer survivors, with examples and linkage to useful resources. Providing the breast cancer treatment summary and survivorship care plan is being recognized as a key component of coordination of care that will foster the delivery of high-quality cancer care.
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