Many Young Patients Still Not Receiving Fertility Information
October 04, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
To Sleep Perchance to Remain Healthy
September 26, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Book Excerpt: The Cost of Hope
September 21, 2012
Less May Be More in Some Pediatric Lymphomas
September 23, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Improving Communication
September 17, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Palliative Care: A Cloak of Comfort
September 17, 2012 – Katy Human
Preparing to Exercise
September 17, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
Lives Interrupted
September 17, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Support Services for the AYA Population
September 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Drugs First, Surgery Later?
September 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Beneficial Beam
September 15, 2012
Multidisciplinary Approaches to Care
September 11, 2012 – Esther M. Bauer
Telling Kids About Cancer
September 17, 2012 – Jon Garinn
The Cost of Hope: The Story of a Marriage, a Family, and the Quest for Life
September 16, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
The Joining FORCES Against Hereditary Cancer Conference
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Creating Hope for Childhood Cancer
September 11, 2012 – Lena Huang
Q&A: Obesityís Link to Cancer
September 16, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Cancer Survivor Wins Gold at Olympic Games
September 17, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
PSA Screening Decision is a Balancing Act
September 16, 2012 – Otis W. Brawley, MD
The Waiting Room
September 17, 2012 – Nicole Scobie
The Latest on Lignans for Cancer
September 15, 2012 – Michael Darling
Common Drugs Can Hinder Targeted Chemotherapy Agents
September 17, 2012 – Jeanne Erdmann
Anticipatory Nausea and Vomiting
September 16, 2012 – Maureen Salamon
Message From the Editor
September 15, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Study Links Sun Exposure and Pancreatic Cancer Risk
September 17, 2012 – Sahar Mehdi
Pipeline
September 15, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Comments from Our Readers
September 14, 2012
Cancer Patientís Mental Illness May Be an Added Challenge for Caregiver
September 17, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Managing Chronic Pain After Cancer
September 15, 2012 – Katy Human
Exercise During Cancer Treatment Gives Some Patients a Boost
September 15, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
Do You Need a Tumor Board Assessment?
September 15, 2012 – Esther M. Bauer
Questions Linger for Best Use of Proton Beam Therapy
September 14, 2012 – Laura Beil
Young Adult Cancer Survivors May Face a Challenging Future
September 10, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
The Estrogen Effect: New Ways to Treat Hormone-Positive Breast Cancer
September 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Many Young Patients Still Not Receiving Fertility Information
October 04, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
To Sleep Perchance to Remain Healthy
September 26, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Book Excerpt: The Cost of Hope
September 21, 2012
Less May Be More in Some Pediatric Lymphomas
September 23, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Improving Communication
September 17, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Palliative Care: A Cloak of Comfort
September 17, 2012 – Katy Human
Preparing to Exercise
September 17, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
Lives Interrupted
September 17, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Support Services for the AYA Population
September 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Drugs First, Surgery Later?
September 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Beneficial Beam
September 15, 2012
Multidisciplinary Approaches to Care
September 11, 2012 – Esther M. Bauer
Telling Kids About Cancer
September 17, 2012 – Jon Garinn
The Cost of Hope: The Story of a Marriage, a Family, and the Quest for Life
September 16, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
The Joining FORCES Against Hereditary Cancer Conference
September 16, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Creating Hope for Childhood Cancer
September 11, 2012 – Lena Huang
Q&A: Obesityís Link to Cancer
September 16, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Cancer Survivor Wins Gold at Olympic Games
September 17, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
PSA Screening Decision is a Balancing Act
September 16, 2012 – Otis W. Brawley, MD
The Waiting Room
September 17, 2012 – Nicole Scobie
The Latest on Lignans for Cancer
September 15, 2012 – Michael Darling
Common Drugs Can Hinder Targeted Chemotherapy Agents
September 17, 2012 – Jeanne Erdmann
Anticipatory Nausea and Vomiting
September 16, 2012 – Maureen Salamon
Currently Viewing
Message From the Editor
September 15, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Pipeline
September 15, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Comments from Our Readers
September 14, 2012
Cancer Patientís Mental Illness May Be an Added Challenge for Caregiver
September 17, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Managing Chronic Pain After Cancer
September 15, 2012 – Katy Human
Exercise During Cancer Treatment Gives Some Patients a Boost
September 15, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
Do You Need a Tumor Board Assessment?
September 15, 2012 – Esther M. Bauer
Questions Linger for Best Use of Proton Beam Therapy
September 14, 2012 – Laura Beil
Young Adult Cancer Survivors May Face a Challenging Future
September 10, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
The Estrogen Effect: New Ways to Treat Hormone-Positive Breast Cancer
September 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD

Message From the Editor

Hormone therapy for breast cancer: built on success.

BY Debu Tripathy, MD
PUBLISHED September 15, 2012

Most breast cancer cases can respond to hormone therapy, and this has been appreciated for more than a century, as illustrated by the timeline we put together for you in our feature article, "The Estrogen Effect."

This issue gives you a historic perspective and future snapshot of hormone therapy and how estrogen receptor pathways have been co-opted by cancer cells to sustain growth.

Just this year, we have seen a new drug approved for metastatic, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patients. Afinitor (everolimus), an inhibitor of a growth signaling pathway regulator known as mTOR, has already been approved for other cancer types.

Afinitor reverses resistance to hormone therapy, enhancing the effect when the two are combined. This drug represents a big step, with a doubling of progression-free survival—one of the biggest improvements we have ever seen with the addition of one drug. The trial results are not mature enough yet to know whether overall survival is improved, but data are already trending in that direction. The treatment is not without side effects, and we will need to learn how to minimize these as our clinical experience grows.

This development continues to raise hopes that we can turn this form of breast cancer into a chronic disease, maybe to the point that most people will have a normal lifespan even with metastases. That idea may have been far-fetched not too long ago, but we now know more about hormonal pathways and how they vary from case to case. 

Other drugs that target proteins such as PI3 kinase, Akt, insulin-like growth factor receptor, GRP78 endoplasmic stress response protein and myriad others are in various stages of development, specifically to prolong responses to hormone therapy. Those that work in the advanced setting will be tested in early-stage breast cancer along with hormone therapies to prevent metastases in the first place. Plans are already under way to test Afinitor in patients with early-stage, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

This issue gives you a historic perspective and future snapshot of hormone therapy and how estrogen receptor pathways have been co-opted by cancer cells to sustain growth. Currently, we can reverse some of these mechanisms, but by no means all of them, and not sufficiently enough to cure advanced breast cancer. But it is clear that we are on a pathway to increase longevity for patients with this type of cancer. 

You can find more breast cancer updates from Dr. Tripathy in "Are New Therapies in ER-Positive Breast Cancer Just the Tip of the Iceberg?"

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