Best of Breast: news for week ending 6 June 2014

The weekly aggregation from Google Alerts, for articles on Breast Cancer and Cancer, for the week ending 6 June 2014.

ChristmasMorning

Just some of the goodies at the American Society for Clinical Oncology conference 2014

It was a bit like Christmas morning unwrapping the presents that was the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s conference that was held 2 weeks’ ago.  It’s made for an extra-long Best of Breast (which is also a week late – sorry!).

There was fantastic new research into treatment-resistant breast cancer, HER-2 positive breast cancer and TNBC; however, what stands out is the first step to developing an immunotherapy approach to breast cancer by combining cryoablation and Ipilimumab (an immune stimulant that is already being used in melanomas).  Cryoablation breaks the tumour down and Ipilimumab allows the immune system to recognise the cancer cells.

The irony is that cryoablation is something I looked into shortly after my diagnosis, but I was told by my surgeon that it wouldn’t guarantee clean margins.  Well … what surgeons also don’t tell you is that clean margins will not guarantee the cancer won’t come back.  I’ve seen people who’ve had mastectomies who’ve had with recurrences (even with radiotherapy and chemotherapy to mop up) in the scar tissue.  So clean margins my foot.  There are no guarantees with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.  The medical establishment is conservative and playing a numbers game and it’s us patients who are being kept in the dark.

I think one of the drawbacks of doing Best of Breast is that I read about all these wonderful new developments and all I can think is:  why didn’t they come up with this 2 years’ ago, or why didn’t I do this 2 years ago?  Why are my clinicians stuck in the dark ages?  And I think of all my friends who’ve passed on, and I hope that a cure comes soon for all of us with cancer.

To cheer myself up, the lead article is about the blind mole rat.  I’d posted previously about the naked mole rat which is cancer-resistant, now there’s the blind mole rat (not related!) which has the same superhuman anti-cancer properties.  Scientists have decoded its genes and discovered the secret of how it never gets cancer.  The next step is to work out how to turn us all into blind mole rats … .

BlindMoleRat

See how they run … (The furry-but-blind blind mole rat (Spalax) is a close cousin to the common house mouse.) Image credit: bbc

1.  Cancer-resistant blind mole rat gets genome sequence

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