Inspiring New Strategies To Fight Other Cancers
Dr. Pathak stressed that although vaccine studies have been underway for many years, the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic has been their application to cancer, which is extremely exciting.
I think were in the golden era of immune-mediated therapy, and in almost every area of oncology, were using or finding novel uses for immunotherapy and also therapies like vaccines that activate the immune system to both prevent and treat disease. Thats the beauty of translational research where its like bench to bedside, she said.
Weve done this with other types of cancers more preventively with cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus vaccine, and with hepatocellular carcinoma and the hepatitis B vaccine. Those are truly remarkable.
Dr. Bhavana Pathak
Dr. Pathak expressed her hope that in the near future, researchers can find other tissue-specific targets in other diseases, such as prostate, lung, or ovarian cancers which are common and potentially deadly cancers to transform the field of oncology.
And it seems that Dr. Tuohy and his team are already working on a vaccine to prevent epithelial ovarian carcinoma , the most common form of ovarian cancer.
EOC is the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies, killing
Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there isnt a way to prevent breast cancer completely. However, lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight and lowering alcohol consumption can help to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
If you are at high risk of developing breast cancer, your doctor may suggest hormone treatments , or a pre-emptive mastectomy.
How Much Do Anastrozole And Exemestane Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Studies have shown that both anastrozole and exemestane can lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of the disease.
In one large study, taking anastrozole for five years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 53 percent. In another study, taking exemestane for three years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 65 percent.
The most common side effects seen with anastrazole and exemestane are joint pains, decreased bone density, and symptoms of menopause .
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2018.
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The Challenges Of Being A First
Dr. Tuohy pointed out that these are early phase 1 safety and dosage trials and that researchers will only be able to determine efficacy in phases 2 and 3.
Speaking with MNT, Dr. Charles Shapiro, professor of medicine, hematology, and medical oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, underscored that there is still a long way to go.
This phase 1 study is a dose-finding study with an end point of assessing whether there is an immune response to the vaccine. Phase 1 trials are necessary as they often represent first-in-human experience after some treatment is promising in the preclinical setting. By definition, phase 1 is too small to draw any conclusions about the anti-cancer effects, he said.
However, he underlined that every treatment that scientists now deem effective was once in a phase 1 trial setting and that mounting such a trial was an impressive feat.
Apart from being quite a small trial, the obvious challenge will be the adverse events, said Dr. Pathak.
Hence, the patient population will be a key component of the trial, noted Dr. Shapiro.
If entry criteria include heavily pre-treated stage 4 patients, there is some uncertainty whether the immune responses to the vaccine will be robust, he said.
Dr. Tuohy acknowledged that challenges lie ahead:
Applying such preventive strategies to cancers are also trickier because the researchers have to choose the target appropriately, said Dr. Pathak.
External Radiation Therapy Side Effects
One of the main side effects of external radiation therapy is skin changes in the treated area.
The reaction is much like a sunburn, with redness and possible itching, burning, soreness, peeling, blisters, or darkening of the skin. These skin changes happen gradually over the course of treatment and may happen only in certain areas.
Places where skin touches skin, such as the armpit and the area under the breasts, and places where you may have had a lot of sun exposure, such as the upper chest, are more likely to be affected. Some people have a change in skin color that lasts for years after treatment.
Some people may have telangiectasias develop months to years after radiation to the breast. A telangiectasia is a small patch of tiny blood vessels on the skin of the treated area that looks like a tangle of thin red lines. Telangiectasias are not a sign of cancer recurrence, but they can sometimes cause bothersome symptoms such as itching or pain. If you develop telangiectasia after radiation therapy and wish to treat it, you can talk to a dermatologist about laser therapy or other treatments.
You may be more likely to have significant skin side effects if you have fair skin, larger breasts, certain health conditions that affect skin healing , or had mastectomy or chemotherapy before radiation.
Other common side effects of external radiation therapy are:
- swelling in the breast
Other, less common side effects that external radiation may cause are:
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Does A Benign Breast Condition Mean That I Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer
Benign breast conditions rarely increase your risk of breast cancer. Some women have biopsies that show a condition called hyperplasia . This condition increases your risk only slightly.
When the biopsy shows hyperplasia and abnormal cells, which is a condition called atypical hyperplasia, your risk of breast cancer increases somewhat more. Atypical hyperplasia occurs in about 5% of benign breast biopsies.
Find Out Your Family History
Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so its important for women to know their family history. You may be at high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer or if you have multiplefamily members who developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. A doctor or genetic counselor can help you understand your family history of the disease.
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/8using Some Forms Of Birth Control
Hormonal changes and disruptions are an often-linked cause of some forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Using birth control, particularly the kinds which may include higher hormonal use can increase the risk or likelihood of diagnosing breast cancer. Studies have also mentioned that women who may choose to go for hormonal therapy after menopause are also at a higher than general risk.
What Will The Trial Look Like
Following clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for the testing of the experimental new drug, the Cleveland Clinic and partner Anixa Biosciences, Inc. launched the study in early October to determine the correct dosage for the vaccine.
Initially, the trial will include 1824 participants, all of whom have received treatment for early stage TNBC in the past 3 years. Although doctors have declared each person tumor-free, they are at high risk for recurrence.
The scientists running the trial will administer the vaccine as three shots with 2 weeks between each dose. They will closely monitor the participants for side effects and immune response.
The trial will include a larger number of participants, who will be in good health, if the dosage proves to be safe and effective.
The study has funding from the Department of Defense, and the team expects to complete it in September 2022.
overexpressed in emerging tumors.
Vincent Tuohy, Ph.D., the primary inventor of the vaccine and staff immunologist at Cleveland Clinics Lerner Research Institute, led the team of researchers, who vaccinated female mice against the -lactalbumin protein and found that it caused no autoimmune inflammation.
This indicated to us that we could vaccinate against -lactalbumin without inducing any tissue damage. When we found that -lactalbumin vaccination inhibited the appearance of breast tumors in mice, we were thrilled, Dr. Tuohy told Medical News Today.
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A Family History Of Breast Cancer
Having someone in your family with breast cancer doesnt automatically mean your own risk is increased. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk.
However, a small number of women and men have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history.
How Breast Cancer Spreads
Breast cancer can spread to other regions of the body in a few primary ways:
When breast cancer spreads to another organ it is still breast cancer. For example, if breast cancer were to spread to the lungs it would not be called lung cancer. Instead, we’d refer to it as breast cancer spread to the lungs or breast cancer with lung metastases. If you were to look at the cancer cells in the lungs under the microscope they would be cancerous breast cells, not cancerous lung cells.
Cancers that have spread to other tissues may be different than the original tumor, and this is another area of confusion. Cancers aren’t just a clone of abnormal cells that propagate mindlessly. Rather, they are continually changing and developing new mutations. For this reason, a tumor that was estrogen receptor positive when found in the breast may now be estrogen receptor negative. HER2 status may change as well. This also explains why metastatic tumors are sometimes more aggressive than the original tumor.
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Does Health Insurance Cover The Cost Of Genetic Testing For Brca1 And Brca2 Variants
People considering BRCA1 and BRCA2 variant testing may want to confirm their insurance coverage for genetic counseling and testing. Genetic counselors can often help answer questions about insurance coverage for genetic testing.
Some genetic testing companies may offer testing for inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants at no charge to patients who lack insurance and meet specific financial and medical criteria.
/8early Menstruation And Late Menopause
Similar to reproductive history, experts also say that women who may get their periods early , or reach menopause much later also have a higher exposure factor to estrogen, which can affect breast tissues. Women facing such risks are asked to go for more frequent screenings, and be informed about their breast cancer risks.
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Abnormal Genes In Black Women
A study published in the journal Cancer found that young Black women have a higher rate of abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes than previously believed. This may help to explain why Black women have a worse prognosis than White women after diagnosis.
Everyone has BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that help to repair cell damage and keep breast cells growing normally. When these cells do not function properly, they allow mutated DNA to create abnormal proteins in cells. These mutations may be passed on from generation to generation, and breast cells remain damaged, increasing breast cancer risk.
The breast cancer risk for Black women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation is as follows:
- 69% to 72% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer
- Increased lifetime risk of developing other cancers such as ovarian cancer
- Higher-than-average risk of recurrent breast cancer or developing a new, second breast cancer after an initial diagnosis
Research shows that about 5% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States have an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, but this is likely a gross underestimation as the data captures mostly non-Hispanic White women.
Identifying genes that cause breast cancer has led to a rise in personalized medicine, a new age method of personalizing a treatment plan by targeting problem genes.
No one knows the cause of breast cancer, but there are known risk factors such as:
Other Important Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
Unfortunately, there are also a number of important breast cancer risk factors that women have no control over. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and do what you can to lower it. If you feel youre at high risk, talk to a doctor or other health professional. These can increase a womans breast cancer risk:
- Older age, especially 60 years or over
- Family history of breast cancer
- First menstrual period before age 12
- Menopause at age 55 or over
- First childbirth after age 35
- No children
- Tall height
- Dense breasts
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Safe Handling In Health Care Settings
As of 2018, there were no set for antineoplastic drugs, i.e., OSHA or the have not set workplace safety guidelines.
NIOSH recommends using a that is designed to decrease worker exposure. Additionally, it recommends training of all staff, the use of cabinets, implementing an initial evaluation of the technique of the safety program, and wearing protective gloves and gowns when opening drug packaging, handling vials, or labeling. When wearing , one should inspect gloves for physical defects before use and always wear double gloves and protective gowns. Health care workers are also required to wash their hands with water and soap before and after working with antineoplastic drugs, change gloves every 30 minutes or whenever punctured, and discard them immediately in a chemotherapy waste container.
The gowns used should be disposable gowns made of polyethylene-coated polypropylene. When wearing gowns, individuals should make sure that the gowns are closed and have long sleeves. When preparation is done, the final product should be completely sealed in a plastic bag.
The health care worker should also wipe all waste containers inside the ventilated cabinet before removing them from the cabinet. Finally, workers should remove all protective wear and put them in a bag for their disposal inside the ventilated cabinet.
Housekeeping and waste disposal
Most Breast Cancers Are Not Genetic
Only five percent of breast cancers are related to genetics and even then, that doesnt mean that all women with the BRAC genes that make them more vulnerable, will go on to develop breast cancer.
Though you cant alter risk factors like your age or parents, simple lifestyle changes can do a great deal to protect you from developing breast cancer.
One of the least discussed but most important steps is to reduce risks caused by too much estrogen.
In my experience working with women, estrogen dominance is very common, but often women dont know the signs or even realize that ED is a concern or that it kick starts substantial health risks.
You can learn how to rebalance your hormones with food in my book, Cooking for Hormone Balance.
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Do Antiperspirants Or Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer
Research has shown that parabens can build up in breast tissues. However, this study did not show that parabens cause breast cancer or find a link between parabens and deodorant use.
A 2002 study did not show any increased risk for breast cancer in women using an underarm deodorant or antiperspirant. A 2003 study showed an earlier age for breast cancer diagnosis in women who shaved their underarms more frequently and used underarm deodorants.
We need more research to give us the answer about a relationship between breast cancer and underarm deodorants and blade shaving.
What Are Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage What Is The Prognosis Of Breast Cancer
Survival rates are a way for health care professionals to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis with their patients. The number most frequently discussed is 5-year survival. It is the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after they are diagnosed with cancer. Many of these patients live much longer, and some patients die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change in therapies, these numbers also change. The current 5-year survival statistic is based on patients who were diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today. As with all statistics, although the numbers define outcomes for the group, any individual’s outcome has the potential for a wide range of variation.
All of this needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting these numbers for oneself.
Below are the statistics from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database.
These statistics are for all patients diagnosed and reported. Several recent studies have looked at different racial survival statistics and have found a higher mortality in African-American women compared to white women in the same geographic area.
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Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Part of the current knowledge on breast carcinomas is based on in vivo and in vitro studies performed with cell lines derived from breast cancers. These provide an unlimited source of homogenous self-replicating material, free of contaminating stromal cells, and often easily cultured in simple standard media. The first breast cancer cell line described, BT-20, was established in 1958. Since then, and despite sustained work in this area, the number of permanent lines obtained has been strikingly low . Indeed, attempts to culture breast cancer cell lines from primary tumors have been largely unsuccessful. This poor efficiency was often due to technical difficulties associated with the extraction of viable tumor cells from their surrounding stroma. Most of the available breast cancer cell lines issued from metastatic tumors, mainly from pleural effusions. Effusions provided generally large numbers of dissociated, viable tumor cells with little or no contamination by fibroblasts and other tumor stroma cells.Many of the currently used BCC lines were established in the late 1970s. A very few of them, namely MCF-7, T-47D, MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3, account for more than two-thirds of all abstracts reporting studies on mentioned breast cancer cell lines, as concluded from a Medline-based survey.