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1.  Is Symptom-Oriented Follow-Up Still Up to Date? 
Breast Care  2013;8(5):336-340.
The main objective of following patients after the primary treatment of breast cancer is the detection of potentially curable events, particularly the detection of local recurrences and contralateral breast cancer. Additionally, medical counseling on therapies, psychosocial aspects, side effects of therapies, and lifestyle interventions is important to improve the quality of life. There is an ongoing discussion about whether early detection of asymptomatic metastasis could improve the course of disease. Today, the follow-up is still symptom-orientated. Intensified imaging and laboratory check-ups have not been beneficial for the patients’ survival. A follow-up in the first 2–3 years is recommended every 3 months. Because of the decreasing incidence of recurrence from year 4, 6-monthly screening intervals are recommended. The screening should include a history, physical examination, and a consultation. Routine diagnostic imaging – except for mammography/ultrasound – is not indicated in asymptomatic patients. Innovative therapies for patients with metastatic breast cancer have been introduced. Therefore, measures of an intensified follow-up could change in the future as novel endocrine combination or targeted therapies in molecular subtypes could significantly improve the survival in early detected metastasis. In the future, more individualized follow-up programs are conceivable. However, this idea is so far not supported by the available data.
PMCID: PMC3861877  PMID: 24415986
Breast cancer follow-up; Imaging; Laboratory check-up; Lead time; Breast cancer subtypes
2.  Significance of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer 
Breast Care  2009;4(6):373-378.
Preclinical and clinical trials suggest that tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) could supplement current therapies in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). HER-2 inhibition is still a main focus. Numerous agents targeting the epidermal growth factor receptors EGFR and HER-2 are currently tested after previous trastuzumab treatment. Lapatinib targets HER-2 and EGFR. As monotherapy, clinical activity was low. Combined with cytotoxic agents, lapatinib showed good activity (overall response rate (ORR) 24-27%) and moderate toxicity. Neratinib, a pan-ErbB TKI, showed an ORR of 26%. Neratinib combined with trastzumab was well tolerated and active (ORR = 27%). After bevacizumab's proof-of-concept studies, anti-angiogenesis remains of importance. Sunitinib inhibits the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), c-kit and the colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) receptor. Monotherapy is tolerated and moderately active in MBC. Combination trials are ongoing. Toxicities of docetaxel ± sunitinib were manageable (ORR 72.2%). Pazopanib targets VEGFR, PDGFR and c-kit. Pazopanib ± lapatinib was superior in combination (progression-free survival (PFS) = 27% vs. 19%). Axitinib has similar targets. Combined with docetaxel, it was superior compared to placebo (ORR 40% vs. 23%), with manageable toxicity. Imatinib inhibits PDGFR and c-kit. As monotherapy, it showed no clinical activity. Combination trials with chemotherapy are ongoing.
PMCID: PMC2942000  PMID: 20877672
Metastatic breast cancer; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Her-2/neu; Anti-angiogenesis; Intracellular kinase pathways
3.  Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Early Postmenopausal Breast Cancer 
Breast Care  2008;3(5):317-324.
Five years of adjuvant tamoxifen treatment has been the gold standard for women with early hormone-responsive breast cancer. Results from two large phase III, adjuvant studies have indicated that the third-generation aro-matase inhibitors (AIs) letrozole and anastrozole offer greater protection against recurrence than tamoxifen in upfront substitution strategies in the first 5 years. Similarly, changeover to an AI (exemestane or anastrozole) after 2-3 years of tamoxifen has been more efficient to prevent recurrence than 5 years of tamoxifen. Most early breast cancer recurrences occur 5 or more years after surgery. Letrozole has been shown to offer greater protection against recurrence than placebo in the 5 years after a standard course of tamoxifen. The optimal adjuvant use (duration and sequencing) of AIs requires further investigation. Safety implications of treatment with these AIs for 5 years or more are closely monitored. The anticipated effects of estrogen deprivation on bone health may be treatable with bisphosphonates. Effects on the cardiovascular system, and other estrogen-sensitive systems such as the central nervous system, are currently examined. The AIs letrozole, anastrozole, and ex-emestane have recently replaced tamoxifen as the recommended adjuvant endocrine therapy, on the basis of greater efficacy and better tolerability.
PMCID: PMC2931103  PMID: 20824026
Early breast cancer; Aromatase inhibitors; Letrozole; Anastrozole; Exemestane; Tamoxifen
4.  Adjuvant Consensus: A Breast Cancer Patient Web Tool 
Breast Care  2008;3(2):114-117.
The new web tool Adjuvant Consensus gives the user access to the most recent information on how world leading experts suggest to treat a specific breast cancer with systemic therapy. By entering tumor characteristics, age, and menopausal status, the user can find out what experts and national guidelines suggest for this specific tumor. The basis for the suggested treatment options and guidelines are coming from 2 world leading resources: They reflect the reached expert consensus on the implications of evidence for patient treatment selection at the world leading consensus conference on adjuvant therapy held regularly in St. Gallen, and the ‘Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology’ for breast cancer published in the US by the National Cancer Center Network in January 2007. The calculated treatment options include the suggested systemic treatment — chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and antibody therapy, alone or in combination — and the duration and sequence of therapy. Furthermore, the user can find information on the mode of action and important side effects of the different drugs.
PMCID: PMC2931085  PMID: 21373214
Breast cancer; Internet; Counseling

Results 1-4 (4)