Studies from the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium Highlight Challenges of Breast Cancer Treatment

September 13, 2012

Susie Tappouni

Kelly Baldwin

Press Room Phone:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Co-sponsors of the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium identified six additional noteworthy studies that shed light on some of the challenges physicians face when treating patients with breast cancer, as well as the impact treatment has on patients’ quality of life. The findings will be presented during this year’s Symposium, which takes place September 13-15 in San Francisco.

Note to Media: Statements from experts cited throughout can be used in part or in their entirety.

Abstract #30
Mutation analysis of PALB2 in high-risk and lower-risk patients negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations

Shelly Cummings, MS
Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc.
Salt Lake City, UT

General Poster Session A
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM PDT
Yerba Buena Ballroom, Salon 8 

“This study confirmed in a U.S. population that abnormalities in the PALB2 gene can be detected in patients with early onset breast cancer and a strong family history but who tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. While the likelihood of carrying the PALB2 mutation was just 1% in this group with familial breast cancer, this test may be useful for certain patients who test negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and should be discussed with your doctor.”

– Sylvia Adams, MD
Member, 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
New York University Cancer Institute

Abstract #147
Long-term outcome from RTOG 9517: A phase I/II study of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) with mulitcatheter brachytherapy (MCT) following lumpectomy for early-stage breast cancer

Julia R White, MD
The Ohio State University 
Columbus, OH

Poster Discussion Session A 
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM PDT

Yerba Buena Ballroom, Salon 8

“Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), which delivers radiation following breast conserving surgery to the tumor bed only as opposed to the whole breast, has gained popularity and continues to be evaluated in multiple trials throughout the world. It is important that patients and clinicians have confidence that in appropriately selected patients, the long-term results of the concept of APBI are safe and effective. This phase II trial demonstrates the long-term effectiveness, with acceptable local control, disease-free and survival rates, of the concept of APBI pending the results of the ongoing phase III trials comparing the one week course of APBI to the standard five to six week course of daily whole breast irradiation.”

– Bruce G. Haffty, MD
Member, 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Abstract #145
Evaluation of current consensus panel guidelines for APBI: A pooled analysis of William Beaumont Hospital and American Society of Breast Surgeons MammoSite registry trial data

John Ben Wilkinson, MD
Beaumont Cancer Institute
Royal Oak, MI

Poster Discussion Session A
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 4:30 PM - 05:30 PM PDT 
Yerba Buena Ballroom, Salon 8 

“Given that accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is increasingly offered outside of a clinical trial as an alternative to whole breast irradiation, it is encouraging to note that excellent outcomes were seen after breast conserving surgery and APBI in this large pooled analysis of patients treated with APBI. Although the study had some limitations, the current ASTRO consensus panel guidelines did not appear to significantly differentiate which patients were at increased risk of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence or tumor bed failure. These findings support the use of APBI in select individuals with early-stage breast cancer and may be useful in refining the consensus panel guidelines pending long-term follow-up from phase III trials.”

– Kristie A. Bobolis, MD
Member, 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
Sutter Health

Abstract #67
Perceived sexual dysfunction in breast cancer survivors

Elizabeth Anne Block, MS
Michigan State University
Grand Rapids, MI

Poster Discussion Session B
Friday, September 14, 2012, 4:45 PM - 05:45 PM PDT 
Yerba Buena Ballroom, Salon 8 

“This survey of breast cancer patients found that 64% of responders felt treatment had a negative impact on their sexual function. Most intriguing was that the presence of scars and having had a mastectomy was significantly associated with perceived negative impact on intimate relationships, yet only 23% discussed the issue of sexual function with their care provider. Although the small sample size was a major limitation of this study, it demonstrated that women treated for breast cancer want to discuss sexual dysfunction concerns with their physicians and should be advised about appropriate interventions during their follow-up care."

– Sandhya Pruthi, MD
Member, 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
Mayo Clinic

Abstract #102
Effects of everolimus (EVE) on disease progression in bone and bone markers (BMs) in patients (pts) with bone metastases (mets)

Lowell L. Hart, MD
Florida Cancer Specialists
Fort Meyers, FL

Poster Discussion Session B 
Friday, September 14, 2012, 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM PDT 
Yerba Buena Ballroom, Salon 8 

"The BOLERO-2 trial provided exciting results for the treatment of postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer resistant to non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors (AIs), demonstrating improvement in progression-free survival with the addition of exemestane. The authors from this trial show that the addition of the steroidal AI, exemestane, slowed breast cancer progression in bone and improved markers for bone turnover. For breast cancer patients with bone metastases who have not responded to non-steroidal AIs, this study may provide another option for the management of their disease.”

– Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MA, MPH, FACS, FRCS(C)
Member, 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven

Abstract #63
Socioeconomic and geographic disparities in immediate reconstruction after mastectomy in the United State

Barbara A. Wexelman, MD
St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital
New York, NY

Poster Discussion Session B 
Friday, September 14, 2012, 4:45 PM - 05:45 PM PDT 
Yerba Buena Ballroom, Salon 8 

“This large database review of patients undergoing mastectomy highlights a growing recognition of the issue of disparities in breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment based socioeconomic and geographic factors. According to the study, 63% of patients who underwent mastectomy did not have reconstruction. It is not known whether these women presented with more advanced cancers, which may account for the lack of reconstruction. It is also not known if patients who underwent mastectomy without reconstruction were given the option of reconstruction and declined. However, it is clear that more research is needed to determine the root cause of disparities in access to care and to determine how to best educate women about their options.”

– Deanna J. Attai, MD, FACS
Member, 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
Center for Breast Care, Inc.

More information for media: 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium Press Kit

Relevant Links on ASCO’s Patient Website, Cancer.Net:

2012 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team
Sandhya Pruthi, MD, American Society of Breast Disease; Deanna J. Attai, MD, FACS, American Society of Breast Surgeons; Sylvia Adams, MD, and Andrew D. Seidman, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology; Bruce G. Haffty, MD, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO); Kristie A. Bobolis, MD, National Consortium of Breast Centers; Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MA, MPH, FACS, FRCS(C), MD, Society of Surgical Oncology.