How to use current therapies to best benefit?


Question from Rich: Considering there is suggestion from cancer stem cell researchers that therapies that attack rapidly dividing cells can stimulate cancer stem cells, how does one use currently available therapies for actual benefit?
Answers - Nicholas Robert, M.D. The issue of stem cells in breast cancer has become a field of great interest. The thinking is that there are certain cells in a tumor, called stem cells, that are responsible for resistance and we may need a different strategy to eliminate stem cells. However, these concerns, which are right now more theoretical than fact, should not discourage us from using effective therapies that attack highly proliferative breast cancers. If you look at the experience of treating hormone-receptor-negative cancers, which tend to be more proliferative than hormone-receptor-positive cancers, you notice that chemotherapy is more effective in these hormone-receptor-negative cancers. At this time, it would be a mistake to avoid regimens that are effective against proliferative cancers. With that said, we look forward to understanding better the stem cell biology and how it relates to different breast cancers.

On Wednesday, June 24, 2009, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Updates from the ASCO Annual Meeting. Nick Robert, M.D. and Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answered your questions about the newest findings on risk, screening, treatment, and more.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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