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New study shows biopsy of recurrent breast cancer can alter treatment
Date:11/28/2011

hose treatment was changed post-biopsy. "It's been known for over 30 years that recurring cancer can differ from the primary cancer, but nobody knew if this was important," says Dr. Amir.

"More recently we have learned that patients with a change in receptor status may have worse outcomes from breast cancer, possibly due to basing treatment on incorrect predictive markers. However, our study shows that if treatment is modified according to biopsy results from a metastatic site, the survival rates of patients with recurrent disease which is different from the original tumor were similar to those where disease was the same."

Dr. Amir's research results build on the findings of the initial, smaller PMH study of 29 biopsies that first shed light on the importance of a second biopsy in breast cancer recurrence. The earlier findings were reported in the Annals of Oncology, Oxford University Press.

"This knowledge provides more insight into why some patients whose disease progresses respond to treatment and others do not." Why receptors change during the course of disease is not yet known, says Dr. Amir, but a priority area for further research.

This study was funded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Ontario Region. Dr. Amir's research is also supported by The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

Sandra Palmaro, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region says: "Dr. Amir's new findings provide more proof that conducting a second biopsy on patients suspected of having recurrent breast cancer can lead to changes in treatment for a significant number of patients. This can help ensure women get the treatment best suited to their individual situations, and avoid unnecessary or ineffective treatments. By finding and funding important research, the Foundation's donors are helping to create a future without breast cancer."


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Contact: Jane Finlayson
jane.finlayson@uhn.ca
416-946-2846
University Health Network
Source:Eurekalert

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