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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

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July 2023
Sophia Eilat-Tsanani MD, Nebal Abu Ahmad MD, Moamena Agbaria MD

Background: In Israel, breast cancer prevalence is lower among Arab than Jewish women, but incidence is increasing among Arab women at a younger age.

Objectives: To explore differences between Arab and Jewish women with breast cancer with respect to age at diagnosis, associated risk factors, and use of hormonal medications.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective database study comparing Arab and Jewish women with breast cancer focusing on age at diagnosis, smoking history, obesity, and previous hormonal medication usage, including oral combined contraceptive pills (OCCP), progestogens, hormonal medications for treatment of infertility, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Results: The study included 2494 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer during 2004–2015. Age at diagnosis was lower among Arab women (50.7 ± 13.1 years vs. 55.4 ± 12.6 years, P < 0.0001). The rate of smoking was higher among Jewish women (16.0% vs. 4.3%, P < 0.0001). The rate of obesity was higher in Arab women older than 50 years at diagnosis (59.0% vs. 42.4%, P < 0.0001). Arab women demonstrated a lower overall chance of previous use of all types of hormonal medications (odds ratio [OR] 0.6, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.6–0.8) compared to Jewish women. Arab women were more likely to have used progestogens (OR 1.7, 95%CI 1.4–2.2) and medications for treatment of infertility (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.5–3.4) and less likely OCCP (OR 0.4, 95%CI 0.3–0.6) and HRT (OR 0.4, 95%CI 0.3–0.5).

Conclusions: Previous use of hormonal medications may contribute to incidence of breast cancer in Arab women.

January 2023
Aaron Sulkes MD, Daniel Reinhorn MD, Tzeela Cohen MD, Tatiana Peysakhovich MD, Victoria Neiman MD, Baruch Brenner MD

Docetaxel (Taxotere®), obtained from the European yew Taxus baccata, is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent active against a variety of solid tumors including breast, lung, ovarian, gastric, head and neck, and prostate cancers. The drug is administered intravenously on a weekly or three-weekly schedule. Its main side effects include myelosuppression, fatigue, myalgias, arthralgias, fluid retention, peripheral neuropathy, paronychia, and lacrimation [1]. Myositis, however, has rarely been reported.

We describe a breast cancer patient who developed severe acute myositis while on treatment with docetaxel.

October 2020
Naama Garmi MD, Suheil Nasrallah MD, Yacov Baram MD, Adina Katz BSc, Avishai Koren, Maya First MSc and Arnon Blum MD

Background: An association was shown between thrombocytosis and future development of several cancers.

Objectives: To investigate whether pre-treatment platelet counts correlated with clinical outcomes of patients with breast cancer.

Methods: This retrospective study included 22 patients who had been diagnosed with stage I breast cancer and were 66.8 ± 13.2 years of age. Of these, 22 with stage II were 61.6 ± 12.3 years old and 9 with stage III and IV were 64.4 ± 15.3 years old. Clinical and hematological data from the first visit to the oncology clinic were collected. The follow-up period was 12 months to 5 years.

Results: A significant difference in platelet counts was found between patients who died (187,000 ± 4000 µ/L) and those who were disease free for 5 years (248,000 ± 83,000 µ/L, P = 0.0001). A significant difference in platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio was found between patients who died and those with recurrence (192 ± 81 vs. 124 ± 71, P = 0.01). A negative correlation was found between age and lymph nodes (Ps = -0.305, P = 0.02) and staging and white blood cells count (Ps = -0.280, P = 0.04). A positive correlation was found between clinical staging and lymph nodes (Ps = 0.443, P = 0.001) and clinical staging and metastases (P = 0.308, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Platelet counts may be a prognostic marker for breast cancer. Patients who died within 1 year had lower pre-treatment platelet count, which could represent an insidious disseminated intravascular coagulopathy cancer related consumption process.

September 2020
Michal Laufer-Perl MD, Liat Mor MS, Assi Milwidsky MD, Matthew Derakhshesh MS, Nadav Amrami MD, Yonatan Moshkovits MS, Joshua Arnold MS, Yan Topilsky MD, Yaron Arbel MD and Zach Rozenbaum MD

Background: Progress in the treatment of breast cancer has led to substantial improvement in survival, but at the cost of increased side effects, with cardiotoxicity being the most significant one. The commonly used definition is cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD), defined as a left ventricular ejection fraction reduction of > 10%, to a value below 53%. Recent studies have implied that the incidence of CTRCD among patients with breast cancer is decreasing due to lower doses of anthracyclines and low association to trastuzumab and pertuzumab treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of CTRCD among patients with active breast cancer and to identify significant associates for its development.

Methods: Data were collected as part of the Israel Cardio-Oncology Registry, which enrolls all patients who are evaluated at the cardio-oncology clinic at our institution. Patients were divided to two groups: CTRCD and no-CTRCD.

Results: Among 103 consecutive patients, five (5%) developed CTRCD. There were no significant differences in the baseline cardiac risk factors between the groups. Significant correlations of CTRCD included treatment with trastuzumab (P = 0.001) or pertuzumab (P < 0.001), lower baseline global longitudinal strain (GLS) (P = 0.016), increased left ventricular end systolic diameter (P < 0.001), and lower e’ septal (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: CTRCD is an important concern among patients with active breast cancer, regardless of baseline risk factors, and is associated with trastuzumab and pertuzumab treatment. Early GLS evaluation may contribute to risk stratification and allow deployment of cardioprotective treatment

March 2020
Aviad Hoffman MD, Ofir Ben Ishay MD, Nir Horesh MD, Moshe Shabtai MD, Eyal Forschmidt MD, Danny Rosin MD, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS and Edward Ram MD

Background: Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease that is poorly understood. Treatment protocols are widely extrapolated from breast cancer in women.

Objectives: To review the experience with MBC of a single center in Israel over a period of 22 years.

Methods: This single center retrospective study evaluated all patients diagnosed with MBC over a period of 22 years (1993–2015). Data were extracted from patient medical charts and included demographics, clinical, surgical, and oncological outcomes.

Results: The study comprised 49 patients. Mean age at diagnosis was 64.1 ± 13.5 years. The majority were diagnosed at early stages (1A–2A) (54.4%), 30.6% were stage 3B mostly due to direct skin and nipple involvement, and 59.2% of the patients had node negative disease. All of the patients were diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and 30.6% had concomitant ductal carcinoma in situ. Estrogen receptor (ER) status was predominantly positive and luminal B (HER2-) was the most common subtype. Of the patients, 18.4% were BRCA carriers. The majority of patients underwent mastectomy. Radiotherapy was delivered to 46.9% and hormonal therapy to 89.8%. Chemotherapy was administered to 42.9%. Overall survival was 79.6% with a median survival of 60.1 (2–178) months; 5- and 10-year survival was 93.9% and 79.6%, respectively. Progesterone receptor (PR)-negative patients had a significantly improved overall survival.

Conclusions: MBC has increasing incidence. PR-negative status was associated with better overall survival and disease-free interval. Indications to radiotherapy and hormonal therapy need standardization and will benefit from prospective randomized control trials.

October 2019
Philip Lawson MD, Noam Nissan MD PhD, Renata Faermann MD, Osnat Halshtok MD, Anat Shalmon MD, Michael Gotleib MD, Merav Akiva Ben David MD and Miri Sklair Levy MD

Background: Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease representing less than 1% of breast cancers. In the absence of a screening program, such as for females, the diagnostic workup is critical for early detection of MBC.

Objectives: To summarize our institutional experience in the workup of male patients referred for breast imaging, emphasizing the clinical, imaging, and histopathological characteristics of the MBC cohort.

Methods: All male patients who underwent breast imaging between 2011 and 2016 in our institution were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, radiological, and histopathological data were collected and statistically evaluated. All images were reviewed using the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.

Results: 178 male patients (average age 61 years, median age 64), underwent breast imaging in our institution. The most common indication for referral was palpable mass (49%) followed by gynecomastia (16%). Imaging included mostly mammography or ultrasound. Biopsies were performed on 56 patients, 38 (68%) were benign and 18 (32%) were malignant. In all, 13 patients had primary breast cancer and 5 had metastatic disease to the breast. Palpable mass at presentation was strongly associated with malignancy (P = 0.007).

Conclusion: Mammography and ultrasound remain the leading modalities in breast imaging among males for diagnostic workup of palpable mass, with gynecomastia being the predominant diagnosis. However, presentation with palpable mass was also associated with malignancy. Despite a notable MBC rate in our cohort, the likelihood of cancer is low in young patients and in cases of gynecomastia.

September 2019
Oleg Kaminsky MD, Nasser Abdul Halim MD, Veacheslav Zilbermints MD, Eran Sharon MD and David Aranovich MD

Background: Young women concerned about a breast cancer diagnosis will visit breast care centers and request breast cancer screening, including imaging studies, on their initial visit.

Objectives: To explore the role of breast examination and breast ultrasound in self-referred asymptomatic women under the age of 40 years.

Methods: We identified 3524 women under the age of 40 at our medical clinic from 1 January 2010 until 1 June 2014. Of this group, 164 women with above average breast cancer risk were excluded and 233 were excluded because of breast complaints. Of 3127 women, 220 underwent breast ultrasound following the initial visit to the clinic and formed the study group.

Results: Of 220 women evaluated with ultrasound, 68 had prior positive clinical findings. Of this group 8 women had no sonographic findings, and in the remaining 60, a total of 30 simple cysts, 15 fibroadenomas, and 15 suspicious solid masses were identified. One infiltrating ductal carcinoma and one ductal carcinoma in situ were found in a biopsy. The remaining 152 of the 220 total women who underwent breast ultrasound without showing prior physical findings did not require follow-up.

Conclusions: In the absence of clinical findings during physical breast examination, the addition of breast ultrasonography does not provide additional information to supplement the physical examination in self-referred women under age 40 who do not have any major risk factors for developing breast cancer.

August 2019
Yeela Ben Naftali MD, Yoav Barnea MD, Mark W. Clemens MD and Eran Bar-Meir MD

Background: Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is found around breast implants. ALCL was discovered only two decades ago. In Israel we currently have four diagnosed cases (as of 2018). Until recently, the estimated incidence was 1:300,000 women with breast implants, while recent reports range from 1:3817 to 1:30,000. 

Objectives: To determine the occurrence of breast implant-ALCL in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the four patients diagnosed with ALCL in Israel. Cytology was confirmed and the clinical data was collected. Based on the estimated number of women with breast implants in Israel, a calculation of the true incidence was completed.

Results: The incidence in Israel is significantly higher than the older incidence reports indicate. We estimated that the lifetime prevalence of the disease is 4:60,000 women with a textured breast implant, or 1:15,000 women with a textured breast implant in Israel.

Conclusions: ALCL is not common. We support the claim that the prevalence is significantly higher than what was initially described. This finding has clinical and medicolegal implications that should be addressed accordingly.

July 2019
Bar Davidov MD, Riva Shmulevich MSc, Ayelet Shabtay PhD, Tami Rubinek PhD and Ido Wolf MD

Background: Klotho is a transmembrane protein that can be shed and can act as a circulating hormone in three forms: soluble klotho (KL1 + KL2), KL1, and KL2. Klotho was discovered as a gene implicated in aging through inhibition of the IGF-I pathway. Our laboratory discovered the role of klotho as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer and other malignancies. Furthermore, we showed that the KL1 domain mediates this activity. Altered cancer cell metabolism is a hallmark of cancer and our lab demonstrated various effects of klotho on breast cancer cell metabolism. Thus, klotho inhibited glycolysis and activated adenosine monophosphate activating kinase (AMPK), an energy sensor pathway. Moreover, inhibition of AMPK reduced the tumor suppressor activity of klotho.

Objectives: To assess the effect of KL1 on breast tumor cells metabolism, as KL1 possesses the tumor suppressor activity of klotho.

Methods: We used MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with soluble or over-expressed KL1 and klotho. Glycolysis was assessed by measuring mRNA levels of key glycolytic enzymes using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and by measuring lactate and glucose levels in media. The AMPK pathway was studied by monitoring AMPK phosphorylation as well as its down-stream target, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, using western blotting. Wound healing assay was used to assess cell migration.

Results: KL1 treatment reduced glycolytic enzymes mRNA levels and the activity of hexokinase, similar to klotho treatment. Furthermore, KL1 reduced glucose uptake and decreased lactate production. KL1 elevated phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase and phosphorylatedAMPK levels. Inhibition AMPK (using a mutant AMPK activator) stopped KL1 from inhibiting cell migration, suggesting AMPK underlies klotho’s tumor suppressor activity.

Conclusions: Our data indicate KL1 as a regulator of metabolic activity in breast cancer and suggest that metabolic alterations underlie KL1 tumor suppressor activities. Furthermore, as KL1 and klotho share a similar effect on cell metabolism, our results further support the central role KL1 domain plays in klotho’s tumor suppressor activity.

December 2018
Anca Leibovici MD, Rivka Sharon Msc and David Azoulay PhD

Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neuronal growth factor that is important for the development, maintenance, and repair of the peripheral nervous system. The BDNF gene commonly carries a single nucleotide polymorphism (Val66Met-SNP), which affects the cellular distribution and activity-dependent secretion of BDNF in neuronal cells.

Objectives: To check the association between BDNF Val66Met-SNP as a predisposition that enhances the development of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in an Israeli cohort of patients with breast cancer who were treated with paclitaxel.

Methods: Peripheral neuropathy symptoms were assessed and graded at baseline, before beginning treatment, and during the treatment protocol in 35 patients, using the reduced version of the Total Neuropathy Score (TNSr). Allelic discrimination of BDNF polymorphism was determined in the patients' peripheral blood by established polymerase chain reaction and Sanger sequencing.

Results: We found Val/Val in 20 patients (57.14%), Val/Met in 15 patients (42.86%), and Met/Met in none of the patients (0%). Baseline TNSr scores were higher in Met-BDNF patients compared to Val-BDNF patients. The maximal TNSr scores that developed during the follow-up in Met-BDNF patients were higher than in Val-BDNF patients. However, exclusion of patients with pre-existing peripheral neuropathy from the analysis resulted in equivalent maximal TNSr scores in Met-BDNF and Val-BDNF patients.

Conclusions: These observations suggest that BDNF Val66met-SNP has no detectable effect on the peripheral neuropathy that is induced by paclitaxel. The significance of BDNF Val66Met-SNP in pre-existing peripheral neuropathy-related conditions, such as diabetes, should be further investigated.

September 2018
Anna Kaplinsky MD, Vera Pyatigorskaya MA, Hila Granot BA, Ilana Gelernter MA, Maoz Ben-Ayun PhD, Dror Alezra PhD, Shira L. Galper MD, Zvi Symon MD and Merav A. Ben-David MD

Background: Adjuvant radiotherapy for breast cancer reduces local recurrence and improves survival. In patients with left sided breast cancer, anterior heart position or medial tumor location may cause inadequate breast coverage due to heart shielding. Respiration gating using the Real-time Position Management (RPM) system enables pushing the heart away from the tangential fields during inspiration, thus optimizing the treatment plan.

Objectives: To compare breathing inspiration gating (IG) techniques with free breathing (FB), focusing on breast coverage.

Methods: The study comprised 49 consecutive patients with left sided breast cancer who underwent lumpectomy and adjuvant radiation. RPM was chosen due to insufficient breast coverage caused by an anterior heart position or medial lumpectomy cavity. FB and IG computed tomography simulations were generated for each patient. Breast (PTVbreast) and lumpectomy cavity (CTVlump) were defined as the target areas. Optimized treatment plans were created for each scan. A dosimetric comparison was made for breast coverage and heart and lungs doses.

Results: PTVbreast V95% and mean dose (Dmean) were higher with IG vs. FB (82.36% vs. 78.88%, P = 0.002; 95.73% vs. 93.63%, P < 0.001, respectively). CTVlump V95% and Dmean were higher with IG (98.87% vs. 88.92%, P = 0.001; 99.14% vs. 96.73%, P = 0.003, respectively). The cardiac dose was lower with IG. The IG left lung Dmean was higher. No statistical difference was found for left lung V20.

Conclusions: In patients with suboptimal treatment plans due to anterior heart position or medial lumpectomy cavity, RPM IG enabled better breast/tumor bed coverage and reduced cardiac doses.

July 2018
Tima Davidson, Michal M. Ravid, Ella Nissan, Mirriam Sklair-Levy, Johnatan Nissan and Bar Chikman

Background: When a breast lesion is suspected based on a physical exam, mammography, or ultrasound, a stereotactic core needle biopsy (CNB) is usually performed to help establish a definitive diagnosis. CNBs are far less invasive than excisional biopsies, with no need for general anesthetics or hospitalization, and no recovery period. However, since only samples of the mass are removed in a CNB and not the whole mass, sampling errors can occur.

Objectives: To compare the degree of agreement between the pathological data from CNBs and excisional biopsies from a single tertiary referral hospital.

Methods: The concordance of pathological data was compared in patients who underwent CNBs and had their surgical procedures at the same medical center.

Results: From the 894 patients who underwent CNBs, 254 (28.4%) underwent subsequent excisional biopsies at our medical center. From the total of 894 patients, 227 (25.3%) who underwent a CNB were diagnosed with a malignancy, with the rest of the CNBs being diagnosed as benign pathologies. The pathological findings in the CNBs and in the excisional biopsies concurred in 232/254 (91.3%) of the cases.

Conclusions: A CNB to confirm mammographic or clinical findings of breast lesions is an accurate method to establish a pathological diagnosis of breast lesions. The accuracy is higher for invasive carcinomas than for non-invasive cancers. Excisional biopsies are necessary for lesions with anticipated sampling errors or when the core needle biopsy findings are discordant with clinical or mammographic findings.

March 2018
Avi Ben-Haroush MD, Irit Ben-Aharon MD PhD, Yechezkel Lande MD and Benjamin Fisch MD PhD

Background: Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) followed by oocyte retrieval is a leading option for fertility preservation before chemotherapy, yet this procedure causes excessive serum levels of estradiol (E2), which are often detrimental for cancer patients. Aromatase inhibitors are often used in breast cancer patients during COH to prevent elevated levels of E2.

Objectives: To describe our experience with COH for oocyte cryopreservation in non-breast cancer patients using aromatase inhibitors.

Methods: Of the five patients treated, two had an aggressive abdominal desmoid tumor, one had endometrial carcinoma, one had uterine sarcoma, and one patient had a brain oligodendroglioma. In all cases the treating oncologist suggested an association between estrogen and possible tumor progression. All patients were treated with a standard in vitro fertilization antagonist protocol combined with aromatase inhibitors, similar to the protocol used for breast cancer patients.

Results: The average duration of treatment was 10.5 days, mean peak E2 was 2348 pmol/L, mean number of oocytes aspirated was 17.3, and a mean of 14.6 embryos/oocytes were cryopreserved.

Conclusions: COH with aromatase inhibitors is apparently effective in non-breast cancer patients and spares exposure to high E2 levels.

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