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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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November 2005
Galinsky, D. Kisselgoff, T. Sella, T. Peretz, E. Libson and M. Sklair-Levy
 Background: Mammography is the principal breast cancer imaging technique; however, sensitivity is reduced, especially in dense breast tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging is increasingly used in the detection and characterization of breast cancers. The high sensitivity (95–100%) of MRI is consistently observed, and in many situations, MRI is proving superior to classical forms of imaging. Assessment of its impact on management and outcome is vital if MRI is to become standard in the management of breast cancers.

Objectives: To establish the impact of breast MRI on women undergoing testing in our institution.

Methods: We analyzed 82 cases that underwent MRI between January 2001 and April 2003. Analysis appraised the clinical impact of MRI testing in cases where medical summaries were available.

Results: Studies were categorized into five indications: a) screening in high risk women (n=7), b) search for primary disease in the presence of disease (n=5), c) monitoring of chemotherapy (n=2), d) postoperative assessment of tumor bed (n=9), and e) diagnostic/characterization of primary or recurrent breast cancer (n=59). Results were defined as negative, positive or no impact on clinical management. MRI testing had a positive impact in 62 cases, affecting measurable change in 9 cases. Benefit was seen in screening, diagnosis and postoperative cases. In 15 cases, MRI stimulated investigations.

Conclusion: MRI is a valuable tool in breast imaging and affects management. Further trials are necessary to define clearly the role of MRI and to ascertain whether in cases where beneficial impact on management is noted, there is ultimate impact on outcome. 

August 2005
S. Berger-Achituv, T. Shohat and B-Z. Garty
 Background: The rate of breast-feeding in Israel has increased over the last two decades but is still lower than rates in other developed countries that have taken an active role in promoting breast-feeding.

Objective: To determine breast-feeding patterns and the association between sociodemographic characteristics and breast-feeding in the Tel Aviv district.

Methods: The mothers of infants aged 2, 4, 6 and 12 months, attending 59 well-baby clinics in the Tel Aviv district, were interviewed by telephone. Singleton infants who weighed less than 2,000 g and multiple-gestation infants were excluded from the study. The questions covered background data, sociodemographic characteristics of the family, and breast-feeding practices. Stepwise logistic regression was used to analyze the association between breast-feeding and various sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: Altogether, 78.5% of the mothers (1,307/1,665) initiated breast-feeding. The rate of breast-feeding at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months was 55.8, 36.8, 29.9 and 11.8%, respectively. Only 35.8% of the infants at 2 months and 11.2% at 6 months were exclusively breast-fed. The mean duration of breast-feeding was 5.2 ± 0.2 months. Grand multiparas (≥5 children) had a significantly higher rate of breast-feeding than women with one to four children (P < 0.001). More likely to breast-feed for 2 weeks or longer were women married to Yeshiva students (odds ratio = 5.3), women with ≥13 years education (OR[1] = 2.1), and women on maternity leave (OR = 1.6). The predictors for breast-feeding for 6 months or longer were similar.

Conclusions: Although the rate of breast-feeding initiation in central Israel was 78.5%, only 29.9% of the mothers continue to breast-feed for 6 months. Already at a young age, an appreciable number of breast-fed infants receive infant formula. Breast-feeding promotion should focus on less educated women, homemakers, and families with one to four children.


[1] OR = odds ratio

July 2005
E. Evron, L. Barzily, E. Rakowsky, N. Ben-Baruch, J. Sulkes, S. Rizel and E. Fenig
Background: Post-mastectomy loco-regional radiation to the chest wall and draining lymphatics, combined with adjuvant chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, significantly improve survival in patients with node-positive breast cancer. However, the actual benefit of post-mastectomy radiotherapy and the desired extent of treatment are still debatable.

Objectives: To examine the effect of postoperative loco-regional radiotherapy on local and regional recurrence and survival in breast cancer patients with four or more involved lymph nodes or extracapsular tumor extension.

Methods: This controlled clinical trial included 258 breast cancer patients with four or more involved nodes or ECE[1]. Eighty-nine patients in the control group had modified radical mastectomy and received adjuvant chemotherapy with melphalan and 5FU, but no radiation therapy. The 169 patients in the study group (87 with MRM[2] and 82 with lumpectomy and axillary dissection) received various adjuvant chemotherapy regimes and radiation therapy to the chest wall/breast, supraclavicular region and full axilla.

Results: With an average follow-up of more than 5 years, loco-regional radiation significantly reduced local and regional disease recurrence. The median disease-free survival was significantly longer in radiated patients (59.2 months and 63.3 months in the MRM and L+AXLND[3] groups, respectively, vs. 28.4 months in the control group; P < 0.01). There was no difference in the rate of systemic recurrence and overall survival. The median overall survival was 71.2 and 67.5 months in the study groups (MRM and L+AXLND, respectively) and 70.5 months in the control group (P = 0.856).

Conclusions: Radiotherapy to the breast/chest wall and to the draining lymphatics, in addition to surgery and adjuvant therapy, significantly reduced the risk of local and regional recurrence in high risk breast cancer patients with four or more involved lymph nodes or ECE.


[1] ECE = extracapsular tumor extension

[2] MRM = modified radical mastectomy

[3] L+AXLND = lumpectomy and axillary dissection

February 2005
D. Aranovich, O. Kaminsky and A. Schindel
October 2004
K. Belkic

Israel has a National Screening Program for early detection of breast cancer. The need to continue and even expand this program was recently stressed in light of the high risk in the population. However, the optimal modalities for breast cancer screening are controversial, especially for women at risk. Mammography, the established screening method, is critically examined, and molecular imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging are explored, especially for primary breast cancer detection. MRS[1] and MRSI[2] are currently limited by their reliance on the conventional framework for data analysis in biomedical imaging, i.e., the fast Fourier transform. Recent mathematical advances in signal processing via the fast Pade transform can extract diagnostically important information, which until now has been unavailable with in vivo MRS. A clinical MRS signal illustrates the rapid and stable convergence provided by FPT[3], yielding accurate information about key metabolites and their concentrations at short acquisition times. We suggest that the next step would be to apply the FPT to in vivo MRS/MRSI signals from patients with breast cancer and to compare these to findings for normal breast tissue. The potential implications of such an optimized MRS/MRSI for breast cancer screening strategies are discussed, especially for younger women at high risk.

[1] MRS = magnetic resonance spectroscopy

[2] MRSI = magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging

[3] FPT = fast Padé transform

July 2004
R. Ben-Yosef, N. Vigler, M. Inbar and A. Vexler

Background: Hyperthermia combined with radiation therapy was shown to be more effective in local recurrent breast cancer than radiotherapy alone, but it use is limited due to technical difficulties, stringent reimbursement policies and because it is time consuming.

Objectives: To report our experience with a simple and convenient XRT+HT[1] delivery system.

Methods: XRT was delivered through either electron or photon beams (total dose 30–40 Gy in previously irradiated fields or 50–70 Gy in non-irradiated fields). Hyperthermia was delivered by a dedicated HT device operating at 915 MHz. The heating session lasted 45 minutes. The maximal tumor surface temperature was set at 45°C and modified according to patient comfort. No intratumoral (invasive) thermometry was used. At least two HT sessions were scheduled to each HT field during the entire XRT treatment period. Tumor response was evaluated every 3 months after completion of treatment. The overall survival was measured from XRT+HT initiation until the last follow‑up.

Results: Fifteen women underwent 114 HT treatments delivered through 28 HT fields. Twenty-four HT fields (15 patients) were previously irradiated. There was complete infield response in 10 fields (6 patients), partial response in 8 fields (4 patients), no response or progressive disease in 4 fields (3 patients), and no parameters in 6 fields (5 patients). Eighteen (64%) fields had complete or partial response. Seven patients had outfield recurrence despite wide XRT+HT fields. Ulceration was the only major side effect (three patients, three fields).

Conclusions: The combined HT+XRT delivery system, with no invasive thermometry, is a simple and effective method for treating local recurrent breast cancer.

[1] XRT-HT = radiation therapy-hyperthermia

June 2004
M. Carmon, L. Rivkin, R. Abu-Dalo, M. Goldberg, I. Hadas, I. Zagal, S. Strano, A. Fisher and O. Lernau

Background: Major efforts are being directed at the early diagnosis of breast cancer. The diagnosis rate of non-palpable tumors is steadily growing as a result of increased screening by mammography. In most patients with non-palpable lesions, percutaneous image-guided biopsies have replaced wire localization with surgical excision for obtaining tissue diagnosis. In recent years the Israel Ministry of Health initiated a mammograpy screening program. Percutaneous image-guided biopsies have also become widely available.

Objective: To assess the impact of these changes on breast cancer surgical treatment in our hospital.

Methods: The charts of 483 patients operated on in our department for primary breast carcinoma during the years 1997 to mid-2001 were reviewed. Data on the mode of diagnosis, tumor stage, resection margins, and number and types of operations were recorded and analyzed. The term non-palpable tumors relates to tumors necessitating wire localization for surgical excision.

Results: The percentage of patients diagnosed with non-palpable tumors rose from 16.2% in 1997 to 47.4% in 2001, with an average size of 2.6 cm for palpable and 1.7 cm for non-palpable tumors. The rate of preoperative diagnosis for non-palpable tumors rose from 6.2% in 1997 to 96.4% in 2001. The rate of involved or very close margins was reduced by 73% in the patient group diagnosed preoperatively as compared to those without a preoperative diagnosis (10.6% vs. 39.4%). Finally, the percentage of patients who had two operations fell from 56.2% in 1997 to 11.1% in 2001.

Conclusions: The mammography screening program in Jerusalem in 1997–2001 was effective in increasing the relative percentage of non-palpable breast cancers with reduced tumor size at diagnosis. The improved availability of preoperative tissue diagnosis in these patients reduced the number of surgical procedures needed.

September 2003
R. Greenberg, Y. Barnea, S. Schneebaum, H. Kashtan, O. Kaplan and Y. Skornik

Background: Drains are inserted in the dissected axilla of most patients during surgery for breast cancer.

Objective: To evaluate the presence and prognostic value of MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF in the axillary drainage of these patients.

Methods: The study group included 40 consecutive patients with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast who were suitable for breast-conserving treatment; 20 malignant melanoma patients found to have negative axillary sentinel lymph node served as the control group. The output of the drains, which had been placed in the axilla during operation, was collected, and the presence of MUC1, Met-hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor and b-actin were assessed in the lymphatic fluid by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays. The data were compared to the pathologic features of the tumor and the axillary lymph nodes, and to the estrogen and progesterone receptors status.

Results: RT-PCR[1] assays of the axillary lymphatic drainage were positive for MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF[2] in 15 (37.5%) and 26 (65%) of the patients, respectively. Patients in whom MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF were not found in the axillary fluid had smaller tumors and less capillary and lymphatic invasion, compared to patients with positive assays (P < 0.02 for all these comparisons). The lymph nodes were negative for metastases in all patients with negative assays (P < 0.001). The presence of MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF showed negative correlations with the estrogen and progesterone receptors (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF can be detected in the axillary fluids of patients with breast cancer. The expression of both tumor markers in the axillary drainage is strongly associated with unfavorable tumor features and can be used as a prognostic factor.

[1] RT-PCR = reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction

[2] HGF/SF = hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor

August 2003
A. Mahajna, D.D. Hershko, S. Israelit, A. Abu-Salih, Z. Keidar and M.M. Krausz

Background: The histologic status of axillary lymph nodes is one of the most important prognostic factors in breast cancer, influencing the management of these patients. Axillary lymph node dissection was traditionally performed in all patients to obtain this information but this procedure carries a considerable rate of complications. Recently, sentinel lymph node biopsy has emerged as an accurate and minimally invasive tool for predicting the axillary nodal status and has become the standard of care in selected patients with breast cancer.

Objective: To examine the accuracy of SLN[1] biopsies performed by surgical residents during surgical resident training.

Methods: This prospective, randomized controlled study included 100 consecutive patients with clinically early breast cancer (T1-T2, N0, M0) study. Lymphatic mapping was performed using radiotracers, blue dye, or both. Formal axillary lymph node dissection completed the operations in all patients. All operations were performed by surgical residents under the supervision of senior surgeons.

Results: The overall rate of identification of sentinel lymph nodes was 92%. The accuracy of SLN biopsy in reflecting the axillary nodal status was 96% with a false negative rate of 5.7%.

Conclusions: Sentinel lymph node biopsy is an accurate method for the evaluation and staging of regional lymph nodes in breast cancer patients. A dedicated instruction program for surgical residents may increase the standard of care and lead to highly trained surgeons in the management of early breast cancer.


[1] SLN = sentinel lymph node

July 2003
October 2002
Arie Figer, MD, Yael Patael Karasik, MD, Ruth Gershoni Baruch, MD, Angela Chetrit, MSc, Moshe Z. Papa, MD, Revital Bruchim Bar Sade, MSc, Shulamith Riezel, MD and Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD

Background: Genes that confer mild or moderate susceptibility to breast cancer may be involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic breast cancer, modifying the phenotypic expression of mutant BRCA1/BRCA2 alleles. An attractive candidate is the insulin-like growth factor I, a known mitogen to mammary ductal cells in vivo and in vitro, whose serum levels were reportedly elevated in breast cancer patients.

Objective: To evaluate the contribution of the IGF-1 gene polymorphism to breast cancer risk by genotyping for a polymorphic allele size in breast cancer patients and controls.

Methods: We analyzed allele size distribution of the polymorphic CA repeat upstream of the IGF-I gene in 412 Israeli Jewish women: 268 women with breast cancer (212-sporadic and 56 carriers of either a BRCA1:or BRCA2 mutation), and 144 controls. Genotyping was accomplished by radioactive polymerase chain reaction of the relevant genomic region and size fractionation on polyacrylamide gels with subsequent auloradiography,

Results: Among women with breast cancer, with or without BRCA germline mutations, 196 and 198 basepair alleles were present in 4.7% (25/536 alleles), compared with 9% (26/288) controls (P = 0.02). This difference was more pronounced and significant in the non-Ashkenazi population. Conversely, the smaller size allele (176 bp) was present in the breast cancer group only {3/536, 0.6%).

Conclusions: The IGF-I polymorphism may serve as a marker for breast cancer risk in the general Jewish population, in particular non-Ashkenazi Jews, but extension and confirmation of these preliminary data are needed.

Arie Bitterman, MD, Richard I. Bleicher, MD, Myles C. Cabot, PhD, Yong Y. Liu, MD, PhD and Armando E. Giuliano, MD
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