Myriad study shows breast cancer recurrence test can predict therapy responses

Data show the rate of uterine cancer is on the rise among U.S. women particularly black women. File

Data show the rate of uterine cancer is on the rise among U.S. women particularly black women. File

He says several factors contribute to the increased severity of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors including exposure to chemotherapy, which may bring on early menopause; the use of antiestrogen drugs, such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors; and the use of medications or procedures to suppress the function of the ovaries. It found that treatment to prevent the cancer from returning with chemotherapy and hormone therapy, following surgery, is not more beneficial than hormone therapy alone in patients with a low or intermediate recurrence score.

The study was presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. "Normal BMI categorization may be an inadequate proxy for the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women". Its suite of proprietary molecular diagnostic tests provides important information to physicians to tailor treatment to individual patients.

"These findings suggest that surgical choices may have long-term impact on quality of life", Dominici said. It is most commonly used to treat urinary incontinence.

In this study, researchers sought to determine whether oxybutynin was more effective than placebo in treating hot flashes and in improving patients' quality of life.

"Women are becoming increasingly involved in the decision-making process, so we must make sure that they have as much information as possible about long-term outcomes, including quality of life", Dominici added. Sixty-two percent of the women were on tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor for the duration of the study. They experienced an average of 4.8 fewer hot flashes per day, compared with 2.6 fewer hot flashes for the women in the placebo arm. The women in both oxybutynin arms also reported decreased interference of hot flashes in their work, social activities, leisure activities, sleep, and improvement in their overall quality of life.

"This study, in addition to previously published work in this area, establishes that oxybutynin is an effective drug for treatment of hot flashes in patients who have relative or absolute contraindications to hormone-based therapy", Leon-Ferre said.

Because oxybutynin is already available for other conditions, Leon-Ferre said doctors could prescribe it off-label. This breakthrough test helps oncologists and patients navigate the hard trade-off between taking steps to prevent recurrence of their disease and facing significant side effects and safety challenges related to unnecessary treatment.

Even as more young women with breast cancer opt to have mastectomies, many experience a persistent decline in their sexual and psychosocial well-being following the procedure, as detailed in new research by Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center.

The research, an ad hoc secondary analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial and observational study cohorts, was restricted to postmenopausal participants with a BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9. For information on cancer clinical trials, call the Clinical Trials Referral Office at 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

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