FORCE’s eXamining the Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors (XRAYS) program is a reliable resource for breast cancer research-related news and information. XRAYS reviews new breast cancer research, provides plain-language summaries, and rates how the media covered the topic. XRAYS is funded by the CDC.
Metastatic breast cancer is often difficult to treat. In a new approach, called adoptive cell therapy (ACT), a patient’s own T-cells (a type of cancer-fighting immune cells) are collected, multiplied in a lab, and then returned to the patient. The goal is to enhance the patient’s immune system with many more T-cells that recognize and attack metastasized tumor cells. This study reports on a single patient whose
metastatic breast cancer is still in remission (no evidence of disease) after more than 22 months following ACT. (8/16/18)
Current breast cancer treatments can negatively affect cardiovascular health. Recently, the American Heart Association released its first scientific statement on cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. This statement includes a comprehensive overview of the prevalence of both diseases, shared risk factors, cardiotoxic effects of therapy and the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in breast cancer patients. (5/2/18)
Immunotherapy is treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer. Still in its infancy, it is a promising therapy that is changing how certain cancers are treated. A new study reports that tumors in lab mice were eliminated when they were injected with two immune system-enhancing agents. This new approach is called in situ (at the original site) vaccination because the injections are given directly into the tumors. It worked on several different types of mouse tumors, including lymphomas and breast tumors. This approach may be safer than conventional
immunotherapy because it uses very low doses of the agents and it does not require tumors to have particular markers. (02/23/18)
Some breast cancer patients are given
neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy. However, some recent studies have raised concerns that neoadjuvant treatment might actually trigger cancer spread in certain situations. In the current study, researchers used mouse models and human breast cancers to explore this possibility. (10/10/17)
Barbara Jacoby's Huffington Post piece, "How do breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer differ?" emphasizes the need for more treatment options for patients with advanced breast cancer.