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Breast Cancer Patients

December 14, 2007 | Judy Peres, Chicago Tribune
A genetic test can help doctors determine which breast cancer patients are likely to benefit from chemotherapy, even for those whose tumors are more advanced, researchers reported Thursday. The finding needs to be confirmed in clinical trials, but experts said the test could already be used to spare some women from the debilitating side effects of cancer drugs.
December 6, 2007 | Daniel Costello, Times Staff Writer
A Food and Drug Administration panel dealt a sharp blow to biotech giant Genentech Inc. on Wednesday by refusing to recommend approval for the company's high-profile drug Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer. The news signaled to industry experts that federal regulators appear to be adopting stricter standards for drug approvals. It also sent the company's shares into free fall -- down more than 8% before trading was stopped in the afternoon.
November 25, 2007 | Daniela Perdomo, Times Staff Writer
The science fair poster on the floor in Sarah Waliany's living room in Arcadia has an arts-and-crafts element to it. Glittery pipe cleaners, green and red, are bent to resemble gene strands, while blobs of gold and red glue represent cells. "I couldn't get the breast tumor cells to stop clumping together," Sarah, 16, said, referring to the red cotton balls attached elsewhere to the poster board.
October 22, 2007 | Marc Siegel, Special to The Times
"Rails & Ties," Warner Bros. Pictures, release date Oct. 26. The Premise: Megan Stark (Marcia Gay Harden) is suffering from stage 4 (metastatic) breast cancer that, though being "cured twice," has spread to her bones. She has not responded to the latest chemotherapy and she asks her oncologist, Dr. Peter Offenberger (John Nielsen), exactly how long she has to live. The answer, based on his negative look and her dismayed response, seems to be: "Not very long."
July 23, 2007 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
Contradicting an old belief, new research released Sunday found that group therapy didn't prolong the lives of women with advanced cases of breast cancer. The report in the journal Cancer found that support groups improved patients' quality of life and had beneficial effects on mood and pain, but it undercut what had been seen as the greatest potential benefit. In 1989, a landmark study found that group therapy doubled the survival time of women with metastatic breast cancer.
March 28, 2007 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
In women newly diagnosed with cancer in one breast, an MRI can find the disease in the opposite breast more effectively than standard mammography or clinical examination, scientists said Tuesday. MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging, detected cancers that had been missed by the other methods in 3.1% of patients in a large clinical study, researchers said.
March 23, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
The recurrence of Elizabeth Edwards' breast cancer years after treatment is a serious setback, but probably one she can live with for five to 10 years, perhaps even longer, experts said Thursday. Still, she will have to take medications for the cancer for the rest of her life. Such recurrences are not unusual. About a third of breast cancer patients have a disease that has metastasized, or spread from the original location, typically to bones.
February 7, 2007 | Judy Peres, Chicago Tribune
Older breast cancer patients who get drugs to boost their immune systems during chemotherapy double their risk of developing leukemia later on, a new study has found. The study, which appears in today's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, reported that women over 65 who took growth factors had a 2% chance of being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia or pre-leukemia (myelodysplastic syndrome). By comparison, patients who did not take growth factors had about a 1% chance.
January 29, 2007 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
New drugs developed in the last decade can dramatically cut the chances that breast cancer will return. But as many as one-third of women stop taking the drugs before the end of the recommended five-year course of therapy, often because of the side effects. The poor compliance worries doctors, who say women could be reducing their chance of survival. "These are lifesaving drugs for these women," says Dr.
October 30, 2006 | From Times wire reports
Breast cancer may be different in many black American women than those of other races -- more aggressive and of a type that's harder to treat, researchers have found. The study of more than 2,000 women seems to contradict theories that black women are more likely to die of breast cancer because they get poorer care or show up for treatment later. Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston compared the records of black, Hispanic and white breast cancer patients.
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