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Dr. Aft on Disseminating Tumor Cells and Prognosis

Rebecca L. Aft, MD, PhD
Published: Friday, Jun 14, 2013

Rebecca L. Aft, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a physician at Siteman Cancer Center, discusses the identification of patients with breast cancer at high risk of recurrent disease development by detection of HER2-positive disseminated tumor cells in bone marrow of patients with HER2-negative tumors.

The study presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Meeting found that 20% of patients with HER2-negative tumors will have HER2-positive disseminating tumor cells. These patients, Aft notes, have a worse prognosis than patients with HER2-positive tumors and HER2-positive disseminating tumor cells who are treated with trastuzumab and other patients with HER2-negative tumor cells in their bone marrow.

The findings from this study are hypothesis-generating, Aft says, as it could be possible to treat patients with HER2-negative tumors with a high risk of recurrence due to HER2-positive disseminating tumor cells with targeted therapies.

<<< View more from the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting

Rebecca L. Aft, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a physician at Siteman Cancer Center, discusses the identification of patients with breast cancer at high risk of recurrent disease development by detection of HER2-positive disseminated tumor cells in bone marrow of patients with HER2-negative tumors.

The study presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Meeting found that 20% of patients with HER2-negative tumors will have HER2-positive disseminating tumor cells. These patients, Aft notes, have a worse prognosis than patients with HER2-positive tumors and HER2-positive disseminating tumor cells who are treated with trastuzumab and other patients with HER2-negative tumor cells in their bone marrow.

The findings from this study are hypothesis-generating, Aft says, as it could be possible to treat patients with HER2-negative tumors with a high risk of recurrence due to HER2-positive disseminating tumor cells with targeted therapies.

<<< View more from the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting




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