San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
Today is the beginning of the annual breast cancer meeting in San Antonio. Every year, this is the biggest forum for the announcement of new studies, sharing of new information, and general discussion about breast cancer research and treatment.Tens of thousands of doctors, scientists, advocates, pharma people, etc spend five days together, and there is always news generated. Beware of what you read as headlines in the daily newspaper. There are always statements that turn out to be wildly optimistic or misconstrued. There likely will be genuine statements of progress, but progress comes in baby steps. Sadly.
There is lots of information and you can follow along at: http://www.sabcs.org/
Here is what to expect and look for:
What's Hot at 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
A variety of important studies - but no stunning headliner - will be presented at the 35th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), being held December 4 to 8 in Texas, according to one of its codirectors.
"It's a little less obvious this year," said Peter Ravdin, MD, PhD, about which studies will garner the most attention from clinicians.
However, Dr. Ravdin, who is director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Clinic at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, reviewed a number of this year's contenders in an interview with Medscape Medical News.
The international ATLAS (Adjuvant Tamoxifen, Longer Against Shorter) study asks a "classic question" in medical research, said Dr. Ravdin: "Is longer [use of a therapy] better?"
The study (presentation S1-2) of women with estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive early breast cancer compares 5 years of tamoxifen with 10 years of the antiestrogen for 2 primary outcomes: recurrence and disease-specific survival. Five years of tamoxifen use has been proven to reduce recurrence and breast cancer mortality for a period of a decade or so, said Dr. Ravdin. "Should we consider using tamoxifen for longer than 5 years?" he asked. "If so, is toxicity a concern?"