Every year in December oncologists, and other cancer professionals meet in San Antonio Texas for a breast cancer symposium. There the latest news on clinical trials is presented. Every one wonders if Santa brings an early Christmas gift to the world of breast cancer. This year Santa delivered.
The drug Tamoxifin has been the workhorse for ER+ Breast Cancer for over 20 years. Tamoxifin binds to estrogen receptors and stops proliferation of cancer cells. New research was presented that showed continued benefits of the drug with 10-year use. Also noted was a beneficial ‘carry-over’ effect after drug use was terminated!
Tamoxifin started out as a morning after pill. It was not very effective. By 1998 Tamoxifin, already used for in breast cancer treatments for over 10 years, showed to be a life saving drug in treatment of early breast cancer.
Studies have confirmed that although there still is not a cure for breast cancer, mortality rates of breast cancer have significantly dropped due to treatments rather than early detection. This is a huge perception change in the world of breast cancer and disease free survivorship!
Another big newsmaker was in Metastatic breast cancer. New data shows that receptors can cross talk. Acting like a complex freeway system, blocking one receptor is not enough or effective. New drugs with existing drugs bind together to do more. The end result is improved disease management, better tolerance and longer survival. These studies were so conclusive they are considered ‘Practice Changing Treatments’. This means the standard protocol for metastatic breast cancer will change!
Of course there was other studies and news, but the 2 listed above were really positive and exciting to me. It is never a good time to get breast cancer but disease free survivorship and breast cancer as a chronic condition is becoming more and more possible!