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Local news

Car wash supports Relay for Life
car wash

The Bloomington Car Wash Center contributed more than $500 to the Step Ahead/Wise Guys Relay for Life team June 6. The business donated 20 percent of the day's proceeds to the team. The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Monroe County is set for Sept. 17. Stay tuned for details.

New cookbook supports cancer research
peachey cover

Support the IU Simon Cancer center and try out some great recipes with your purchase of Just Peachey: Bearing Fruit, the newest project of the Catherine Peachey Fund.

The fund is a volunteer-powered nonprofit that has granted approximately $2.5 million to the center's breast cancer research programs and to the Komen Tissue Bank, administered by the center, which collects healthy breast tissue for use in research efforts all over the world. All of the proceeds of sales of the $24.99 book, available through Amazon, will be donated to the Simon center.

Among the more than 500 recipes in the book are these from area cooks:

IU trial to better target therapies for triple negative

iu logo A team at the IU Simon Cancer Center is investigating the role of genomics in improving the survival of women with triple negative breast. Byan Schneider, associate professor of medicine, and colleagues will enroll 130 women who have had chemotherapy and surgery but remain at high risk for relapse.

Half will receive the standard of care while the other half will undergo genomic sequencing. This method targets cancer cells that have remained after standard therapy and identifies mutations or changes in expression that may drive those cells. Doctors then can identify therapies to eliminate the cancer. Read more online.

Vera Bradley pledges $15 million to research
vera logo

Here's another reason to buy a colorful quilted bag: The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer has pledged $15 million to support breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. This new pledge from the Fort Wayne-based foundation adds to $20 million the company pledged previously.

The completion of this pledge will bring the total giving to the IU Simon Cancer Center to $35 million. As a result of support from the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, the number of IU researchers focused on breast cancer has grown to 38, up from six in 1999.

book cover
New book advises friends of cancer patient

When Cancer Strikes a Friend now is available to answer the questions and offer guidance for those who want to help their friends with cancer. A work 10 years in the making, it covers emotional and practical aspects of supporting friends.

The book is by former resident Bonnie Draeger and is a project of Friends & Cancer, a nonprofit dedicated to creating materials and learning opportunities to prepare and encourage friends to help and support people with cancer.

The book features local contibutors Gena Asher of BreastCancerFYI.org, Janice Ross of the Olcott Center for Cancer Education and Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin, IU health sciences professor who has taught a popular course on cancer. Nationally known health care professionals offer their expertise on topics from learning to communicate to finding your way as a friend. Read more about the project at the Friends & Cancer website.

From the news pages:

Frozen cap may protect hair

A frozen cap may protect hair from falling out as a result of chemo drugs, according to a report in The New York Times. The hair-saving technique, used in Europe, requires a special frozen cap used during and immediately after chemotherapy. The FDA is considering approving one of two products on the market. Read the full report.

Diagnosis of 'dense' breast tissue confusing

Indiana and 21 other states have laws in place requiring doctors to alert patients whose mammograms show dense tissue, a condition regarded as a risk factor for breast cancer. Now, some groups say the testing such a notification prompts may be uncalled for, because not all women with dense tissue may have higher risk. Read more online.

Older women may skip radiation

Some women over 60 with certain types of breast cancer, such as DCIS, ER-PR positive and negative for HER-2 or other higher risk factors, may be candidates to skip radiation after lumpectomy. These women typically would take hormonal therapy, however. See the study online.

Researchers target HER-2 changes

A team of researchers have identified genes that trigger HER-2 positive cells to spread, a finding which may point to ways to prevent HER-2 drug resistance. When first treated, drugs target and eradicate HER-2 positive cells, but patients often develop resistance to those drugs, and the cells are able to proliferate later. Read about the new findings at Artemis.

Diagnosis of DCIS: To treat or to wait?

Is ductal carcinoma in situ a pre-cancer or does it lead to invasive breast cancer? That question has gained more importance recently as researchers debate the treatments -- if any -- for DCIS. What causes some DCIS to evolve into invasive cancer? In a report in Cure magazine, Ann Partridge, a medical oncologist at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, says "The problem is that it's difficult to pick out the bad actors in terms of cancer." Read the report in Cure.

SIO offers complementary therapies guidelines

The Society for Integrative Oncology has issued guidelines for the more than 80 percent of people diagnosed with breast cancer who use complementary therapies after being diagnosed. Among the findings:

Read more of the findings and guidelines on the website.

More women choosing mastectomy

A recently released study finds that in the past 10 years, more U.S. women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer who were eligible for lumpectomy chose mastectomy or double mastectomy followed by reconstruction. The research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tracked the demographics of breast cancer patients who had surgery. Among the findings:

Read more about this study at BreastCancer.org.

Study looks at care for longtime survivors

People are living longer after cancer treatment than ever before, and this means the effects of their treatment may show up years later. A new study in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship found that breast cancer survivors may be at higher risk for bone density loss, high blood pressure or heart disease, depending on their treatment. Read more online.

Chemo may account for fast-track aging

Adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer is "gerontogenic," accelerating the pace of physiologic aging, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. These results suggest the age-promoting effects of chemotherapy last for several years after treatment, and may be permanent.

African-American women experience delays in treatment

African-American women ages 20 to 49 experience a much greater delay in treatment for breast cancer than do white women of the same ages, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Deaths from breast cancer are higher among African-American women than white women, and several studies have pointed to African-American women experiencing delays in treatment.

Obesity raises mortality in young ER+ patients

An analysis of 80,000 women with early stage breast cancer shows that obesity raises the risk of dying from the disease, according to researchers at Oxford University in England. The study found that pre-menopausal women diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer who had a body mass index of more than 30 kg/m2 had a higher 10 year mortality rate (21.5 percent) compared with non-obese women (16.6 percent). Read more online.

More women choosing reconstruction after mastectomy

The number of women having breast reconstruction after mastectomy increased greatly from 1998 to 2007, a recent large-scale study suggests. Significant differences in the use of breast reconstruction were noted depending on geographic region, breast cancer treatment and other factors. Read more about this trend.

Drug combo may be effective against metastatic

Everolimus (Afinitor) and exemestane (Aromasin) taken at the same time may be an effective first-line treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer that metastasized, or spread beyond the breast to other organs, after treatment with another aromatase inhibitor. This finding comes from a new analysis of data from the BOLERO-2 trial.

Radiation with mastectomy may benefit some

A new analysis shows that women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer with only one to three positive lymph nodes under the arm are less likely to have a recurrence and more likely to survive breast cancer if they have radiation after mastectomy.

Breast cancer care affects debt

A study suggests that about 25 percent of long-term breast cancer survivors go into debt to pay for their treatment. Minority women are more likely to go into debt to pay for breast cancer treatment than white women. Read more about the financial consequences of fighting disease.

New ASCO guidelines say fewer may need axillary dissection

New research suggests women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer with one or two positive sentinel nodes who have lumpectomy and radiation do just as well as women who have axillary node surgery, according to a recent study. The findings are so convincing that the American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued new guidelines on sentinel lymph node biopsy, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Surgery for metastatic patients may carry extra risk

Roughly 3.5 percent of all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients will present with metastatic disease, yet few have studied the postoperative complications in this group. A new study says some of the common postoperative problems that occurred often in the metastatic group included infectious, respiratory, thromboembolic, cardiac and bleeding complications.

Learn about survivors' 'Emotional Journey'
hand with ribbon

If you are a patient, survivor or caregiver, you probably have witnessed the range of emotions breast cancer patients display over the course of treatment and into survivorship. Indiana University researchers, led by Susan Woods, have released a study about just this topic, "The Emotional Journey of Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors Five Years and Beyond," and Breast Cancer: FYI is proud to host the entire study on this website.

In the study, Woods and fellow researchers Nancy T. Ellis and Kathleen R. Gilbert look at nine themes: Changed Sense of Identity, Taking Control, Why?, Fears, Significant Milestones, Mementos, Marriage and Family, Spirituality and Words of Wisdom. One of the more powerful sections, Results, features survivors sharing their reflections on these topics. This section should be a must-read for any health professionals working with survivors, and may be useful to patients just finishing treatment, too.

Get started on the intro page, then follow the links.

More research news is available from the Archives page.

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