breast-cancerOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month, for those of you living under a rock or in a hole you dug yourself. And this month calls for a little celebrating as 2015 has been a good year for doctors and patients alike with breaking news in the world of breast cancer research.

JUNE 2015

Experts announce two new treatment drugs, Perjeta and Palbociclib.

Combined, these drugs show promise in prolonging the development of breast cancer. The drugs, initially released in the UK, work together to block the protein that causes the growth of hormone receptor-positive breast tumors in the most common form of breast cancer (advanced oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer). Palbociclib has been FDA approved since February.


Professors Jeffrey S. Tobias and Jayant Vaidya discuss the INTRABEAM, a device they developed to administer a new single, one time dose of radiation during lumpectomy surgery.

This single treatment allows patients with small non-aggressive tumors an alternative to daily radiation sessions lasting between five and seven weeks. The technique, which is delivered directly into the breast, was tested on over 3,000 women. Only 3% of those women had a recurrence within 5 years.

Research reveals that a simple blood test can detect and determine relapse probabilities in patients.

Although this blood test which detects cancer DNA in the blood before the cells grow into tumors, shows promise, the studies thus far have been too small to reveal definite results. the “liquid biopsy” developed at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, is scheduled for a larger case study next year before being released to the public.

Imaging technology makes a breakthrough with 3-D mammograms.

The Breast Center at JFK Medical Center welcomes new 3-D mammography technology. According to Grace Malantic-Lu, M.D., who is a board certified radiologist, “3-D mammography captures multiple slices of the breast, all at different angles. The images are brought together to create a crystal-clear 3-D reconstruction of the breast. We are then able to review the reconstruction, one thin slice at a time, almost like turning pages in a book. That makes it easier for doctors to see if there’s anything to be concerned about. And, there’s less chance for a cancer to hide behind overlapping tissue.”