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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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March 2002
Konstantin Lavrenkov, MD, PhD, Sofia Man, MD, David B. Geffen, MD and Yoram Cohen, MD

Background: Recent years have brought significant progress to the development of hormonal therapies for the treatment of breast cancer. Several new agents have been approved for the treatment of breast cancer in the metastatic setting, among which is the new non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor, anastrozole, introduced for clinical use in Israel in March 1997.

Objectives: To evaluate the response rate and survival duration of patients treated with anastrozole for metastatic breast cancer, who had previously received at least one line of hormonal therapy.

Methods: Anastrozole was administered to 37 patients with metastatic breast cancer. The median age was 64 years. Estrogen receptor was positive in 20 patients, negative in 10 and unknown in 7. All patients were previously treated with tamoxifen in the adjuvant setting or as first-line hormonal therapy for metastatic disease. Anastrozole was given orally, 1 mg/day. Response was evaluated 2 months after the initiation of treatment and reevaluated every 2 months. Therapy was given until disease progression. Ten ER[1]-negative patients were excluded from the final analysis.

Results: Twenty-seven patients were eligible for response and toxicity analysis. The median follow-up was 20 months. One patient (3.7%) achieved complete response and remains free of disease 28 months after start of therapy. No partial responses were seen. Twenty patients (74%) had stable disease. Two year actuarial survival was 57%. Median survival was 26.5 months after starting therapy and median progression free survival was 11 months. The toxicity was mild: one patient (3.7%) complained of weight gain and one patient (3.7%) had mild fatigue.

Conclusion: Although the response rate was low, hormonal therapy with anastrozole seems to be beneficial in terms of disease stabilization, freedom from progression, and overall survival without serious toxicity.  






[1] ER = estrogen receptor


December 2001
Yuri Viner, MD, Dan Miron, MD, Emanuel Gottfried, MD, Dora Segal and Anthony Luder, MBBS (UK)
November 2001
Moshe Shabtai, MD, Patricia Saavedra-Malinger, MD, Esther L. Shabtai, MSc, Dan Rosin, MD, Josef Kuriansky, MD, Michal Ravid-Megido, MD, MSc, Menachem Ben Haim, MD and Amram H. Ayalon, MD

Background: Fibroadema, one of the most common benign breast lesions, has a characteristic age-specific incidence and is associated with other pathological entities in 50% of cases. The clinical or imaging diagnosis of fibroadenoma may be erroneous, and in some cases is found to be invasive cancer. The clustering of such entities, their correlation with age, and the risk of synchronous breast malignancy are uncertain.

Objective: To explore the possibility of any sigficant clustering of fibroadenoma-associated benign breast disease and to assess the possible risk of concomitant breast cancer.

Method: We analyzed the pathological results of 147 women undergoing excisional biopsies for fibroadenoma diagnosed pre-operatively either by clinical examination and imaging (n=117) or by radiology alone (n=30). The inter-relationships among all entities associated with fibroadenoma were studies by hierarchial cluster analysis. The correlation of the various pathologies with the risk of invasive breast cancer in relation to the patient’s age was also evaluated.

Results: Fibroadema-associated pathologies were found in 48% of the cases: sclerosing adenosis (23%), duct ectasia (17/7%), apocrine metaplasia (15.6%), florid fibrocystic disease (12.9%), duct papillomatosis (11.6%), infiltrating duct carcinoma (5.4%), duct carcinoma in situ (3.4%), and 1 case of lobular carcinoma in situ (0.6%). An orderly internal hierarchy and three significant clusters emerged: a) epithelial apocrine metaplasia, duct ectasia and sclerosing adenosis (similarity coefficients 16.0, 11.0 and 8.0 respectively); b) papillomatosis, florid fibrocystic disease and calcifications (similarity coefficients of 6.0, 4.0 and 2.0 respectively); and c) infiltrating duct carcinoma in situ (similarity coefficients of 1.8 and 1.6 respectively). Seven of the eight patients with breast cancer were older than 40 years.

Conclusions: In about half of the cases fibroadema was associated with other pathological entities clustered in an orderly hierarchy. The rarity of synchronous breast cancer in the younger age group and its more common association with fibroadema in the older age groups dictate a different approach to each. The finding of fibroadema in women older than 40 indicates the need for surgical excision.
 

October 2001
Sigal Ringel, MD, Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH, Revital Greenberg, Shlomo Arieli, MD, Amihood Blay and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD

Background: Many women stop smoking before or during pregnancy, or while breast-feeding (nursing).

Objectives: To assess the relation between breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Methods: A survey was conducted among 920 women attending family health clinics (group 1) and a maternity department (group 2) on their breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Results: A total of 156 women (16.95%) smoked during pregnancy. A significant correlation was found between breast-feeding and not smoking after delivery (P=0.009 in group 1, P=0.03 in group 2). A higher tendency to nurse was found among women with an uneventful pregnancy, who vaginally delivered a singleton at term weighing 2,500-4000 g, and who received guidance on breast-feeding.

Conclusion: Professional guidance in favor of breast­feeding is crucial to increase the rate of nursing. Encouraging breast-feeding will probably decrease the rate of cigarette smoking.
 

August 2001
Liat Lubish, MD, Shragit Greenberg, MD, Michael Friger and Pesach Shvartzman, MD

Background: Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent malignancies in women, yet one of the most treatable. Early detection is essential to obtain the desired remission and longevity. Numerous studies have shown that periodic screen­ing for breast cancer can reduce mortality by 20-30%.

Objective: To assess the rates, compliance, character­istics as well as barriers in women regarding mammography screening.

Methods: The study group comprised a random sample of 702 women aged 50 or older from 5914 eligible women in two teaching clinics in southern Israel. Phone interviews using structured questionnaires were conducted.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 61 years. The vast majority of the women were not born in Israel. Sixty-three percent of the women had undergone a mammo­graphy screening, 48% in the past 2 years. Monthly self-breast examinations were performed by 12% of the women in the last 2 years. Significant factors associated with undergoing mammography were: more than 7 years since immigration, married, a higher education level, adequate knowledge about breast cancer and mammography, presence of past or current cancer, and cancer in relatives. The main reasons for not being screened was no referral (54%) and a lack of knowledge about breast cancer and mammography (19%) - conditions easily remedied by physician counseling.

Conclusion: The study suggests that promotional efforts should be concentrated on new immigrants and on less educated and unmarried women.

Dan Bar-Zohar, MD, Yoram Kluger and Moshe Michowitz, MD, MSc,
November 2000
April 2000
Arnon D. Cohen MD, Yoram Cohen MD, Maximo Maislos MD and Dan Buskila PhD

Background: Previous studies have suggested that prolactin may serve as an indicator of disease progression in breast cancer.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of PRL as a serum tumor marker in patients with breast cancer.

Methods: PRL serum level was determined in 99 breast cancer patients and compared with CA 15-3 serum level.

Results: Elevated serum level of PRL (>20 ng/ml) was found in 8 of 99 patients (8.1%). A stratified analysis of prolactin levels according to therapy revealed that PRL levels was increased in 8 of 55 untreated patients (14.5%), but not in patients who received hormonal or chemotherapy in the 3 months preceding the test (0/42 patients, P=0.009). However, mean PRL level was similar in patients with no evidence of disease activity and in patients with active disease (10.2 vs. 8.2 ng/ml, NS). In comparison, CA 15-3 mean level was significantly lower in patients with no evidence of disease as compared to patients with active disease (18.2 vs. 144.7 units/ml, P<0.001). PRL level was increased in 6 of 60 patients (10%) with no evidence of disease and in 2 of 39 (5.2%) with active disease (NS). In comparison, CA 15-3 level was increased in 3 of 60 patients (5%) with no evidence of disease and in 24 of 39 (61.5%) with active disease (P<0.001).

Conclusions: PRL levels are decreased following hormonal or chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer and there is no correlation between PRL serum level and the state of disease. Further studies are needed to clarify a possible clinical significance of hyperprolactinemia in a subset of patients with breast cancer.

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PRL = prolactin

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