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Year of Publication
1.  Modifiable Risk of Breast Cancer in Northeast Iran: Hope for the Future. A Case-Control Study 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):453-456.
Background
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Its prevalence is increasing annually by 2%. The determination of modifiable risk factors has been the subject of various studies. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors of breast cancer in women in Golestan Province.
Patients and Methods
This case-control study was conducted among women with breast cancer recorded in the cancer registry system between 2004 and 2006 (n = 134), and their age-matched healthy neighbors (n = 133). Data were statistically analyzed.
Results
Age at marriage, menarche and pregnancy, breast feeding, positive family history, marital status, and educational level were not significantly correlated with risk of breast cancer, but age at menopause (< 46.6 years) was significantly correlated (95% confidence interval 1.15–7.37; p = 0.021). Live births, still births, and infant deaths were not significantly different between the 2 groups. For other variables, such as smoking history, no odds ratio was calculated.
Conclusion
Results show that there is no significant correlation between variables and risk of breast cancer in our population, except for age at menopause. A large cohort study is recommended.
doi:10.1159/000335203
PMCID: PMC3290010  PMID: 22419899
Breast cancer; Risk factors; Golestan; Case-control study
2.  Parotid Gland Metastasis of Breast Cancer: Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):471-473.
Background
Parotid gland metastasis in breast cancer is extremely rare, and only 14 cases have been reported between 1982 and 2010.
Case Report
A 67-year-old female patient was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma of the left breast. Although clinical staging was T1N3M1 (stage IV), the tumor experienced a complete response to chemotherapy. We therefore performed a mastectomy followed by radiotherapy, and continued administration of trastuzumab. However, 11 months later, the patient complained of a swelling in the left parotid gland. Histology following a partial parotidectomy revealed a parotid gland metastasis from the breast.
Conclusion
Treatment with capecitabine in addition to trastuzumab, which is one of the strategies applied in HER2-positive breast cancer, was effective in our patient. Analysis of the 14 cases of parotid gland metastasis from the breast reported between 1982 and 2010 revealed that the metastasis may occur not by direct lymphatic but by hematogenous spread.
doi:10.1159/000335222
PMCID: PMC3290006  PMID: 22419903
Parotid gland metastasis; Breast cancer; Trastuzumab
3.  Normal Breastfeeding after Breast Reconstruction in a Patient with Poland's Syndrome 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):479-481.
Background
Poland's syndrome is a rare congenital non-inherited anomaly that usually manifests itself during adolescence and is characterized by absence or deficient development of one of the breasts. To our knowledge, no case of breastfeeding after reconstruction surgery in patients with Poland's syndrome has been described.
Case Report
A 22-year-old female patient with Poland's syndrome underwent breast reconstruction. The procedure performed consisted of rotation of a myocutaneous flap harvested from the ipsilateral latissimus dorsi muscle, which was subsequently attached to the anterior thoracic wall to create a pouch and place a 300-ml round textured cohesive silicone gel-filled breast implant. 5 years later the patient got pregnant, and 1 year after delivery she is still breastfeeding normally with both breasts.
Conclusion
Reconstruction surgery with the latissimus dorsi muscle and a prosthesis was shown to be a potential and safe solution to achieve improvement of breast symmetry and to provide confidence and comfort in relation to self-image and, moreover, the ability to breastfeed.
doi:10.1159/000335223
PMCID: PMC3290007  PMID: 22419905
Poland's syndrome; Mammoplasty; Prostheses; Implants; Breastfeeding
4.  Comparison of Clinical Features and Treatment Outcome of Breast Cancers in Young and Elderly Chinese Patients 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):435-440.
Background
This study aimed to investigate the clinicopathological features and prognosis of operable breast cancers in young and elderly Chinese women.
Patients and Methods
This study included 209 patients aged ≤35 years and 213 patients aged ≥60 but <70 years, who received treatment between January 2000 and December 2004. The clinicopathological features, molecular subtypes, therapeutic strategies, and prognosis were evaluated.
Results
Tumor size was of significant difference between the 2 groups (p = 0.018), with more T2 and T3 tumors in the young group and more lymph node involvement in young patients with stage T1 tumors (p = 0.033). There were more triple-negative and less luminal A tumors in the young group (p = 0.018). 47.1% of tumors were not detected by mammography in the young group as compared to 5.5% in the elderly group (p < 0.001). More patients received chemotherapy in the young group (p < 0.001) and preferred breast-conserving surgery (p = 0.031). The 6-year disease-free survival (DFS) was 80 and 66% in the elderly and the young group, respectively (p = 0.001), but no difference was seen in overall survival.
Conclusions
Compared with elderly women, young breast cancer patients have different clinicopathological features and molecular subtypes, and poorer DFS. Furthermore, the insidious onset of breast cancer in young women suggests that clinicians should pay more attention to young women with breast abnormalities.
doi:10.1159/000332593
PMCID: PMC3290008  PMID: 22419896
Breast; cancer; Molecular subtypes; Prognostic features; Very young women; Elderly women
5.  Fetal Renal Insufficiency Following Trastuzumab Treatment for Breast Cancer in Pregnancy: Case Report und Review of the Current Literature 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):475-478.
Some drugs are known for their fetal nephrotoxicity and should be avoided during pregnancy. We report on a pregnant woman suffering from breast cancer who received a weekly neoadjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin®) therapy from 15 weeks of gestation onward, in addition to a 3-weekly carboplatin/docetaxel chemotherapy. Fetal renal insufficiency with anhydramnios and missing visualization of the fetal bladder developed at 21 weeks. After discontinuation of trastuzumab and repeated instillation of amniotic fluid, the amount of amniotic fluid remained stable after 24 weeks of gestation. After caesarean section at 34 weeks because of fetal growth restriction, the renal function of the neonate was normal postnatally. In accordance with the current literature, our case shows a reversible adverse effect of trastuzumab on the fetal renal function and confirms the current recommendation that trastuzumab in pregnancy should be avoided. In pregnancies exposed to trastuzumab, treatment should be discontinued and the fetus should be closely monitored, with particular attention to the amniotic fluid and the fetal bladder volume, as these reflect fetal renal function.
doi:10.1159/000335202
PMCID: PMC3290009  PMID: 22419904
Fetus; Renal insufficiency; Trastuzumab; Breast cancer; Pregnancy
6.  Trends and Novel Approaches in Neoadjuvant Treatment of Breast Cancer 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):427-433.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignant disease in women worldwide. Traditionally, surgical tumour resection was the primary step within the treatment algorithm of early stage disease; systemic therapy in order to reduce the rate of systemic recurrences followed. National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) trial B-18 found that pre- and postoperative administration of chemotherapy was equally effective. This study therefore established neoadjuvant chemotherapy as a valid treatment option, as the breast conservation rate is increased. Modern neoadjuvant regimens encompassing anthracyclines and taxanes yield pathological complete response (pCR) rates of around 20%, with higher efficacy observed in triple-negative tumours. The antibody trastuzumab is the first targeted agent established in neoadjuvant regimens for the treatment of Her2-positive breast cancer, as it raised pCR rates up to 50%. Novel approaches are aiming to increase the efficacy of neoadjuvant therapy. Inclusion of capecitabine might further increase pCR rates in selected patients, although data are not unanimous throughout the respective clinical trials. In patients harbouring BRCA-1 germline mutations, platinum derivatives are apparently promising. Novel Her2-targeted agents such as lapatinib and pertuzumab are currently under investigation in several clinical trials, while the role of bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody inhibiting angiogenesis, awaits future clarification.
doi:10.1159/000335331
PMCID: PMC3290012  PMID: 22419895
Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Neoadjuvant therapy; Targeted therapy
7.  Multicenter Phase II Study with Weekly Bendamustine and Paclitaxel as First- or Later-Line Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer: RiTa II Trial 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):457-461.
The combination of bendamustine (B) and paclitaxel (P) as anthracycline-free treatment option in patients with advanced breast cancer has been evaluated in the previous RiTa I trial. The regimen of weekly B 70 mg/m2 and P 90 mg/m2 with a pause every 4th week was established as an effective regimen with low toxicity. The aim of the present RiTa II study was to investigate the potential of BP as anthracycline-free combination therapy. The primary objective was to determine the progression-free survival (PFS); secondary endpoints were safety, tolerability, overall response rate (ORR) and overall survival (OS). 26 patients were available, 15 received BP as first-line, 11 as beyond first-line treatment. 27% patients had triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Median PFS and OS were 7.3 months (95% confidence interval (CI): 5.5–10.9) and 14.9 months (95% CI: 9.9–22.9), respectively. The 1-year PFS rate was 20.3% and the 1-year OS rate 71.2%. The ORR was 42.3%, including 4 complete and 7 partial remissions. TNBC patients reached an ORR of 71.4%. Anthracycline-pretreated patients showed an ORR of 43.8%, confirming bendamustine's lack of cross-resistance to anthracycline agents. BP represents a favorable option with moderate toxicity in pretreated metastatic breast cancer and offers a possibility for application in anthracycline-pretreated and TNBC patients.
doi:10.1159/000335199
PMCID: PMC3290015  PMID: 22419900
Bendamustine; Paclitaxel; Breast cancer, metastatic; Efficacy; Combination therapy; First-line chemotherapy
8.  Clinicopathological Characteristics and Survival Analysis of 87 Male Breast Cancer Cases 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):446-451.
Background
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinicopathologic characteristics, therapy methods, and prognosis of male breast cancer.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathological characteristics, recurrence or metastasis, and survival information of 87 male breast cancer patients. Statistical analysis included the Kaplan-Meier method to analyze survivals, log-rank to compare curves between groups, and Cox regression for multivariate prognostic analysis. A p value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results
5-year disease free survival (DFS) and 5-year overall survival (OS) were 66.3 and 77.0%, respectively. Monofactorial analysis showed tumor size, stage, lymph node involvement, and adjuvant chemotherapy to be prognostic factors with regard to 5-year DFS and 5-year OS. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed tumor size, stage, and adjuvant chemotherapy to be independent prognostic factors with regard to 5-year DFS and 5-year OS.
Conclusion
Male breast cancer has a lower incidence rate and poor prognosis. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the main pathologic type. Operation-based combined therapy is the standard care for these patients. Tumor size, stage, and adjuvant chemotherapy are independent prognostic factors. More emphasis should be placed on early diagnosis and early therapy, and adjuvant chemotherapy may improve survival.
doi:10.1159/000335204
PMCID: PMC3290016  PMID: 22419898
Male breast cancer; Clinical characteristics; Therapy; Prognosis
9.  Nipple Retractor to Correct Inverted Nipples 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):463-465.
Background
Inverted nipples are a common problem and a challenging clinical condition to repair. Multiple methods have been reported to correct inverted nipples, most of which will destroy breastfeeding function.
Patients and Methods
We have designed a simple nipple retractor to correct inverted nipples. A total of 53 patients with 95 inverted nipples underwent an operation in which the nipples were retracted into a normal position and fixated with the nipple retractor and wires under local anesthesia. Nipple retractors were to be worn for 6 months. Postoperatively, the patients were invited to follow-up on the 1st day, the 7th day, after 1 month, 3 months and 6 months, and yearly thereafter. Wire adjustments were performed as needed. Mean follow-up was 11.9 months (range 8–18 months).
Results
Improvement occurred in all patients and was sustained in all cases throughout the follow-up period. The total complication rate was 5.26% (5/95). The main complications included depigmentation (2.11%, 2/95), areolar ulcer (2.11%, 2/95), and wire dislocation (1.05%, 1/95).
Conclusion
The nipple retractor is a simple tool with which severely inverted nipples can be successfully corrected with a low complication rate. Close follow-up and careful postoperative care are important to avoid complications.
doi:10.1159/000335221
PMCID: PMC3290018  PMID: 22419901
Inverted nipple; Surgery; Nipple retractor
10.  Breast Cancer-Associated Thrombotic Microangiopathy 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):441-445.
Background
Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is defined as thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. Cancer-associated TMA, a rare but fatal condition, seems an entity distinct from classical thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)/hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Patients and Methods
All patients with breast cancer-associated TMA treated at our institution between 2003 and 2008 were analyzed retrospectively. To elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms, we measured the serum activity of the metalloprotease ADAMTS13.
Results
8 patients were identified. All showed bone marrow infiltration of breast cancer as well as thrombocytopenia, schistocytes, and hemolytic anemia. ADAMTS13 activity was mildly decreased in 4/6 patients (20–108%, normal range 30–120%), but none showed severely low levels as is characteristic of classical TTP. 6 patients were treated with anthracycline-containing fractionated chemotherapy, 5/6 patients experienced partial response. Overall survival was 13 months. Fractionated chemotherapy was well tolerated.
Conclusions
Cancer-associated TMA has an underlying mechanism different from classical TTP. While bone marrow infiltration might be of major relevance, ADAMTS13 deficiency seems to be an epiphenomenon. Fractionated chemotherapy resulted in higher remission rates and comparatively long survival.
doi:10.1159/000335201
PMCID: PMC3290020  PMID: 22419897
ADAMTS13; Bone marrow infiltration; Microangiopathic anemia; Thrombotic microangiopathy; Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
11.  Neoadjuvant Treatment of Breast Cancer 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):417.
doi:10.1159/000335444
PMCID: PMC3290026  PMID: 22419893
12.  Can We Keep the ‘PROMISE’? AGO Breast Commission: Commentary on Recent Evidence Regarding LHRH Analogues for the Preservation of Ovarian Function 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):467-470.
Recently reported data from the German ZORO trial and the Italian PROMISE-GIM6 trial have come to different conclusions. The AGO Breast Commission does not recommend the general use of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues for the preservation of ovarian function. Instead, we distinguish between patients with hormone receptor-negative and hormone receptor-positive disease. This article reviews the AGO recommendations in light of the ZORO and PROMISE-GIM6 data. In conclusion, separate recommendations are needed for the prevention of ovarian failure and for fertility preservation because the trials did not investigate fertility rate as a primary outcome measure. The results from not yet published trials such as OPTION and POEM may shed new light on the role of LHRH analogues.
doi:10.1159/000335477
PMCID: PMC3290029  PMID: 22419902
LHRH; Ovarian function preservation; Fertility preservation; Chemotherapy; Breast cancer
13.  Neoadjuvant Therapy – What Have We Achieved in the Last 20 Years? 
Breast Care  2011;6(6):419-426.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with large, inoperable tumors or inflammatory breast cancer, but it is also increasingly considered for women with operable disease. Several randomized trials have demonstrated that anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimens in operable breast cancer were equally effective in terms of disease-free or overall survival regardless of whether they were administered postoperatively or preoperatively. Further neoadjuvant treatment allows for a higher rate of breast conserving surgery. Tumor responses in terms of pathologic complete remission after short-term chemotherapy will probably only serve as a surrogate marker for long-term outcome in some molecular breast cancer subtypes like the triple-negative, HER2-positive, and some luminal B subsets. Recent trials showed that in HER2-positive disease pCR rates were as high as 70% when 2 HER2-targeted agents were added to chemotherapy.
doi:10.1159/000335347
PMCID: PMC3290030  PMID: 22419894
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Pathologic complete remission; Molecular subtypes; HER2-positive breast cancer
15.  The Challenge of Integrating Radiotherapy in the Multimodal Treatment of Breast Cancer 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):345-346.
doi:10.1159/000334227
PMCID: PMC3357137  PMID: 22619642
16.  Axillary Irradiation as an Imperative Alternative to Axillary Dissection in Clinically Lymph Node-Negative but Sentinel Node-Positive Breast Cancer Patients? 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):353-358.
At the moment, positive sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) of the axilla is followed by axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) as standard of care. Recent data proves that omitting ALND after positive SLND in clinically lymph node-negative early stage breast cancer patients is feasible with low recurrence rates. The well known effect of radiotherapy to destroy occult tumor cells highly contributes to these results as a large extent of level I and II lymph nodes are unavoidably included in standard tangential radiation treatment fields. Reviewing the up to date published data on axillary lymph node treatment with radiotherapy, we hypothesize that full dosage coverage of level I and II of the axilla in early stage breast cancer will improve outcome and should be further evaluated.
doi:10.1159/000333835
PMCID: PMC3357141  PMID: 22619644
Adjuvant treatment; Breast cancer; Curative radiotherapy; Sentinel lymph node
17.  Intracystic Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast in Males. In Search of the Optimal Treatment for this Rare Disease 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):399-403.
Intracystic papillary carcinoma (IPC) of the breast in men is an extremely infrequent disease, and it appears to have a good prognosis. Because of this, histological findings are of great importance in the decision-making process regarding treatment. Clinical examination, radiological and histological assessments are required for early detection. Adequate surgical excision with negative margins is mandatory. However, the role of sentinel node biopsy has not been evaluated in male IPC. It appears that sentinel node biopsy may be an excellent alternative to radical axillary dissection in patients with IPC and associated ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive carcinoma. Nevertheless, due to the rarity of IPC and its confusing histopathological classification and staging, there are still no clear guidelines as far as IPC treatment is concerned.
doi:10.1159/000331386
PMCID: PMC3357144  PMID: 22619652
Breast cancer; Man; IPC; DCIS; Papilloma
18.  Does Radiotherapy Have Curative Potential in Metastatic Patients? The Concept of Local Therapy in Oligometastatic Breast Cancer 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):363-368.
In 1995, Hellmann and Weichselbaum defined for the first time the term oligometastases which is used to describe limited metastasis with a maximum of 3–4 clinically detectable metastases. It is assumed that these patients have a better prognosis and that local treatment of the metastases plays a significant part in the further development of the disease. Therefore, these patients could benefit from a curative local therapy of the manifested metastases. Local therapy measures include mainly radiotherapeutic methods alongside invasive ablative processes, such as surgical resection and radiofrequency ablation. Patients subjected to radiation therapy benefit especially from the usage of modern precision technology as it reduces the radiation exposure to the normal tissue, and because short radiation sessions with escalating doses are possible (e.g. radiation surgery, image-assisted radiation therapy, stereotactic radiation). Initial clinical studies show very good local tumor control rates which are on a par with resection and ablative methods, but with very few side effects and risks. This article summarizes the integration of the concept of oligometastases in the radiotherapy of limited metastatic breast cancer.
doi:10.1159/000333115
PMCID: PMC3357150  PMID: 22619646
Breast cancer; Oligometastases; Radiotherapy; Stereotactic body radiotherapy, SBRT
19.  An Unusual Case of Marginal Zone B-Cell Lymphoma Arising in the Breast – Its Diagnosis and the Role of Radiotherapy in its Management 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):391-393.
Background
Primary lymphoma of the breast accounts for 0.04–0.5% of all breast malignancies and approximately 1% of all extranodal lymphomas. For stage IE node-negative disease, involved field radiotherapy is recommended except for very young women in whom the risk of breast cancer is a concern. The rate of complete response for limited stage extranodal marginal B-cell lymphoma is in excess of 90%.
Case Report
We report the case of a 62-year-old lady who presented with a unilateral painless palpable right breast lump. She subsequently underwent a trucut biopsy of the lesion. The histology revealed a low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Immunohistochemistry showed that more than 95% of the cells were B cells which were CD 20+/CD 45+ and BC L6+. This confirmed the diagnosis of marginal zone lymphoma. Staging work-up was negative for distant metastases. Serum alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase were normal. The patient had no ‘B’ symptoms. Her final diagnosis was clinical stage IAE NHL, and she was referred for curative radiotherapy.
Conclusion
Radiation treatment is a safe and extremely effective modality of treatment for early stage I marginal zone B-cell lymphomas of the breast.
doi:10.1159/000333128
PMCID: PMC3357153  PMID: 22619650
Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma; Breast; Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Involved field radiotherapy
20.  Margins! Margins. Margins? How Important Is Margin Status in Breast-Preserving Therapy? 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):359-362.
Margin status is surely a prognostic factor in patients undergoing breast-conserving therapy, but its impact is probably overestimated in case of adequate adjuvant radiotherapy. Radiotherapy improves local control after excision of the primary tumor in all subgroups of patients. There is, in contrast, no evidence that a certain margin width or a re-resection improves local control.
doi:10.1159/000333145
PMCID: PMC3357154  PMID: 22619645
Breast cancer; Breast preservation; Margins; Surgery; Radiotherapy
21.  Should Postmastectomy Radiotherapy to the Chest Wall and Regional Lymph Nodes Be Standard for Patients with 1–3 Positive Lymph Nodes? 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):347-351.
The indication for adjuvant postmastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT) in breast cancer patients with small tumors and 1–3 macrometastases in the axilla remains a controversial issue, despite the recommendation that PMRT should be applied in these patients in the most recent overview by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group. In this report, we discuss the available data on the benefit from PMRT in patients diagnosed with N1 breast cancer. Based on this, we recommend adjuvant PMRT to the chest wall and regional lymph nodes in patients diagnosed with early node-positive breast cancer.
doi:10.1159/000333250
PMCID: PMC3357155  PMID: 22619643
Postmastectomy radiotherapy; Breast cancer; Positive lymph nodes; Randomized clinical trial
22.  Preoperative Systemic Treatment in BRCA-Positive Breast Cancer Patients: Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):395-398.
Background
In vitro and in vivo analyses have shown differences in chemosensitivity between breast cancers associated with BRCA1/2 mutations compared to sporadic variants. In the preoperative setting, the tumor response can be directly measured. Therefore, preoperative systemic treatment (PST) offers the opportunity to assess the chemosensitivity in vivo. However, there have been neither clear guidelines for mutation carriers in terms of choice of chemotherapy regimen nor recommendations how to proceed in case of an inadequate response to PST.
Case Report
Herein, we present the history of a 39-year-old woman with bilateral breast cancer who was tested positive for germ-line BRCA1 mutation while under PST. We performed a comprehensive literature review covering the MEDLINE database from 1992 to 2010 on published data regarding PST options for BRCA mutation carriers.
Conclusions
If results of genetic testing are obtained during PST, individual therapy adaptations can be discussed with respect to mainly retrospective data of response to specific drugs. However, larger studies with longer follow-up are eagerly needed to draw firm conclusions before any specific treatment recommendations can be given for BRCA mutation carriers. PST is an ideal setting to evaluate such treatment options and to describe predictive markers that can help define subgroups that benefit most.
doi:10.1159/000333129
PMCID: PMC3357156  PMID: 22619651
Preoperative chemotherapy; BRCA mutation; Breast cancer
23.  Cost-Benefit Analysis of Endocrine Therapy in the Adjuvant Setting for Postmenopausal Patients with Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer, Based on Survival Data and Future Prices for Generic Drugs in the Context of the German Health Care System 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):381-389.
Background
Cost-effectiveness analyses have focused on aromatase inhibitors (AIs), but the results are inconsistent and disease-free survival has often been extrapolated to overall survival. The present study calculates the cost-effectiveness of 5 years of letrozole versus tamoxifen versus anastrozole in the context of the German health care system, using survival data from the Breast International Group (BIG) 1–98 study and the Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination (ATAC) study and generic prices.
Materials and Methods
A hybrid model was developed that incorporates recurrence rates, overall survival, treatment costs and treatment-associated adverse events and the resulting costs. The basic assumption was that generic anastrozole would lead to a price reduction to 75% of the original price. Further analyses were carried out with 50% and 25% of the original prices for anastrozole and letrozole.
Results
The cost-benefit model showed a gain of 0.3124 or 0.0659 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) for letrozole or anastrozole. Incremental costs of € 29,375.15/QALY for letrozole (100% of original price) were calculated and € 94,648.03/QALY for anastrozole (75% of original price). Marked increases in cost-effectiveness are observed with further decreases in price (anastrozole: 50% price € 54,715.17/QALY, 25% price € 14,779.57/QALY; letrozole 75% price € 20,988.59/QALY, 50% price € 12,602.03/QALY, 25% price € 4,215.46/QALY).
Conclusion
The present model including the inverse probability of censoring weighted analysis (IPCW) for letrozole and generic prices for both AIs shows that letrozole is cost effective.
doi:10.1159/000333118
PMCID: PMC3357170  PMID: 22619649
Letrozole; Anastrozole; Tamoxifen; Cost-effectiveness; QALY; BIG 1–98; ATAC
24.  Raising the Breast Health Awareness amongst Women in an Urban Slum Area in Alexandria, Egypt 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):375-379.
Background
Breast Cancer (BC) is the most frequently occurring cancer among Egyptian women. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a health education program on raising the knowledge related to BC, its risk factors, and some related preventive practices among women living in an urban slum area in Alexandria.
Patients and Methods
A pre-/post-test interventional study was conducted during 2009–2010 on a random sample of women aged 30–65 years (n = 486) living in a slum area in Alexandria, Egypt. 20 health education sessions were carried out to educate the women on BC risk factors and some preventive practices. Previously trained nurses educated the sampled women on breast self-examination (BSE). The women's knowledge and opinion about BC and their practice of BSE were evaluated before and 3 months after the intervention.
Results
The findings indicated a significant increase in the mean knowledge score regarding BC and the mean opinion score regarding some BC risk factors. A significant increase in the practice of BSE was observed post intervention.
Conclusion
This study confirms the effectiveness of intervention programs in improving the knowledge about BC risk factors and practice of BSE even in a group of women with a low literacy rate living in a slum area.
doi:10.1159/000331311
PMCID: PMC3357171  PMID: 22619648
Breast cancer; Breast self-examination; Breast awareness; Knowledge; Egypt
25.  Late Toxicity of Radiotherapy: A Problem or a Challenge for the Radiation Oncologist? 
Breast Care  2011;6(5):369-374.
Background
Large randomized clinical trials have established radiotherapy in conjunction with adjuvant systemic treatment as standard treatment in breast cancer after both mastectomy and lumpectomy. Although standard radiation therapy is well tolerated by the majority of patients, some patients might suffer from late normal tissue effects.
Methods
The literature on radiotherapy following surgery of breast cancer was reviewed with regard to late toxicity.
Results
Radiotherapy may, to some degree, cause persistent pain in the breast, arm and shoulder in up to 30–50% of patients after 3–5 years, lymphedema in 15–25%, and restriction of arm and shoulder movement in 35%. Awareness of cardiotoxicity is needed since anthracyclines, trastuzumab, and radiotherapy may cause damage to the heart. However, using modern radiotherapy techniques, the available evidence does not suggest a higher incidence of cardiac mortality.
Conclusions
This review updates the database on toxicity from radiation in breast cancer. Advances in research of radiation-induced late effects may lead to improved treatment choices for breast cancer patients including radiotherapy and may improve quality of life after surviving breast cancer.
doi:10.1159/000334220
PMCID: PMC3357174  PMID: 22619647
Breast cancer; Late effects; Radiotherapy

Results 1-25 (65)