We are covering the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the largest breast cancer conference in the world.
Thousands of scientists, physicians and patient advocates attend the conference each year to discuss the latest findings in breast cancer research.
Edd, our Research Communications Officer, was in attendance. He shares highlights from Days 1-4.
Day 1 – Improving support for patients with secondary breast cancer
One of the first meetings focused on improving the way people with secondary breast cancer are supported.
Nurse Practitioner/Navigator Abbey Kaler from Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center talks about an advanced breast cancer program. This project is investigating how to improve the treatment and care of patients with secondary breast cancer.
She explained that they found the patient voice to be a key aspect of the program.
They found that communication between patients and their healthcare providers was very important. And group support or peer-to-peer support.
The researchers hope to adapt the program to different cultures for use around the world.
Day 2 – Investigating targeted drugs for HER2-positive breast cancer
The highlight for us on the second day was the second plenary session of the Congress. This meeting will focus on a targeted therapy called trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu). This drug may be given to people whose HER2-positive breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
There are several talks focusing on different aspects of the medication. Include how it works compared to other treatments.
In two clinical trials, researchers found that trastuzumab deruxtecan significantly improved survival in patients with secondary HER2 breast cancer compared with the drug transtuzumab emtansine (Kadcycla).
In another study, researchers found that trastuzumab deruxtecan may benefit more breast cancer patients. They found that the drug was more effective than anastrozole in women with hormone-positive primary breast cancer and low levels of HER2. However, they need more research to confirm these results.
Day 3 – New Therapies for ER-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer
On day 3, Dr. Nick Turner from our research center presented findings suggesting capicasertib as a potential new treatment for patients with ER positive, HER2 negative breast cancer. The drug works by blocking a protein called AKT, which promotes the growth of breast cancer.
When capivasertib was used in combination with hormone therapy in clinical trials, it doubled the time to cancer progression in patients with secondary ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.
The treatment shrank tumors in 23 percent of patients, compared with 12 percent in those who received hormone therapy alone. The trial included 708 women and men with ER-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer that had spread throughout the body.
Dr Kotryna Temcinaite, Senior Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“Understanding how we manage incurable breast cancer when it stops responding to existing therapies is critical to helping more people with this disease live longer. We hope that people will start benefiting from this treatment combination as soon as possible .”
Day 4 – low dose tamoxifen
The final day featured a series of engaging presentations. Dr. Andrea De Censi, Genua Galliera Hospital, presented the results of a clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of low-dose tamoxifen in the treatment of non-invasive breast cancer.
500 participants with non-invasive breast cancer from all over Italy participated in the trial. Researchers gave them 5 mg of tamoxifen daily, or a placebo for 3 years. The usual minimum dose of tamoxifen is 20 mg.
The researchers found that taking low-dose tamoxifen for 3 years reduced the chance of breast cancer returning 10 years later. And the side effects are minimal.
These are just some of the many studies presented at this year’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Excited to see the amazing progress made in 2022.
These findings are an important step towards the best possible treatment and support for those affected by this disease.
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