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Tuesday, January 28, 2020
  1. 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chia Balls
  2. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-25-2020
  3. Can neurogastronomy save the world?
  4. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  5. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: 01-18-2020
  6. Pantry 2020 Basics
  7. Top 10 Tips for Cooking Dried Legumes
  8. What I Ate Wednesday + Day In the Life
  9. Brussels Sprout Kale Caesar Salad with Rosemary Croutons
  10. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-11-2020
  11. Eat for your Dosha
  12. Keep it Moving
  13. No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars
  14. Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion
  15. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-04-2020
  16. Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta with Chickpeas
  17. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-28-2019
  18. Get Well, Not High
  19. 21 Fabulously Festive Vegan Holiday Treats
  20. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-21-2019
  21. Vegan Lasagna Soup
  22. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese, Roasted Grapes, and Pecans
  23. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-14-2019
  24. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  25. Kid-approved vegan eats
  26. Fudgy Avocado Walnut Brownies
  27. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  28. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  29. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  30. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  31. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
  32. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-30-2019
  33. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
  34. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-23-2019
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  36. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
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  43. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  44. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
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  48. Scribble Anxiety Away
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  50. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
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  52. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
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  54. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
  55. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  56. Orca Conservation
  57. Fall’s Functional Foods
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  59. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  60. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  61. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
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  103. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  104. Manganese
  105. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  106. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  107. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  108. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  109. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  110. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  111. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  112. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  113. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  114. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  115. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  116. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  117. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
  118. Skin Care
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  120. The Final Word on Whether Alcohol Actually Has Any Health Benefits
  121. New One-Time “Seed” Treatment for Breast Cancer Being Used in Philadelphia
  122. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  123. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
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  125. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
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  127. This Charcoal Powder Drastically Whitens Teeth Without Any Chemicals
  128. These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss
  129. Olivia Newton-John Talks About How She Stays Positive Amid Cancer Battle
  130. This Army Captain Mom Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When She Was Just 8 Weeks Pregnant
  131. High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
  132. Antibiotic shortages are putting Aboriginal kids at risk – The Conversation AU
  133. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  134. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
  135. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  136. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  137. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  138. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
  139. Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation and Medications
  140. If Soap and Water Are Not Available, Hand Sanitizers May Be a Good Alternative
  141. Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
  142. One side of your brain might be giving you nightmares – Cosmos
  143. What Personality Tests Tell Us About Ourselves – NPR
  144. Having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute DOUBLES your risk of an early death – Daily Mail
  145. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
  146. Herbal drug kratom linked to almost 100 overdose deaths, CDC says – USA TODAY
  147. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
  148. Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  149. 11 Unexpected Ways You Can Relieve Headaches – HuffPost
  150. New Jersey preschoolers have highest autism rates in the nation, researchers say
  151. Auburn gymnast who suffered severe injuries: My pain is not your entertainment
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NCI-funded researchers are working to advance our understanding of how to prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer. They are also looking at how to address disparities and improve quality of life for survivors of the disease.

This page highlights some of the latest research in breast cancer, including clinical advances that may soon translate into improved care, NCI-supported programs that are fueling progress, and research findings from recent studies.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of a few cancers for which an effective screening test, mammography, is available. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasound, and clinical breast exams are also used to detect breast cancer, but not as routine screening tools.

Ongoing studies are looking at ways to enhance current breast cancer screening options. Technological advances in imaging are creating new opportunities for improvements in both screening and early detection.

One new technology is 3-D mammography, also called breast tomosynthesis. This procedure takes images from different angles around the breast and builds them into a 3-D-like image. Although this technology is increasingly available in the clinic, it isn’t known whether it is better than standard 2-D mammography, for detecting cancer at a less advanced stage.

NCI is funding a large-scale randomized breast screening trial, the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST), to compare the number of advanced cancers detected in women screened for 5 years with 3-D mammography with the number detected in women screened with 2-D mammography. 

Two concerns in breast cancer screening, as in all cancer screening, are the potential for diagnosing tumors that will not become life-threatening (overdiagnosis) and the possibility of receiving false-positive test results. As cancer treatment is becoming more individualized, researchers are looking at ways to personalize breast cancer screening. They are studying screening methods that are appropriate for each woman’s level of risk and limit the possibility of overdiagnosis.

For example, the Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of Risk (WISDOM) study aims to determine if risk-based screening—that is, screening at intervals that are based on each woman’s risk as determined by her genetic makeup, family history, and other risk factors—is as safe, effective, and accepted as standard annual screening mammography.

Breast Cancer Treatment

The mainstays of breast cancer treatment are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. But scientists continue to study novel treatments and drugs, along with new combinations of existing treatments.

NCI Experts Discuss Challenges in Breast Cancer Research

Hear about challenges in breast cancer research in this excerpt from a Facebook Live event with Dr. Stan Lipkowitz and Dr Alexandra Zimmer of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research.

It is now known that breast cancer can be divided into subtypes that respond differently to various types of treatment. The three main clinical subtypes of breast cancer are:

  • Hormone receptor (HR) positive. HR-positive breast cancers are those that contain the estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR). These cancers grow in response to these hormones and can be treated with hormone therapies.
  • Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive. HER2-positive breast cancers are those that have high amounts of the HER2 protein; they can be HR positive or HR negative. These cancers can be treated with therapies that target HER2.
  • Triple-negative breast cancer. Such cancers do not contain ER, PR, or HER2.

As we learn more about the subtypes of breast cancer and their behavior, we can use this information to guide treatment decisions. One example of this is the NCI-sponsored TAILORx clinical trial. The study, which included patients with ER-positive, lymph node-negative breast cancer, found that a test that looks at the expression of certain genes can predict which women can safely avoid chemotherapy.

Genomic analyses, such as those carried out through The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), have helped reveal the molecular diversity of breast cancer and eventually could help identify even more breast cancer subtypes. That knowledge, in turn, may lead to the development of therapies that target the genetic alterations that drive those cancer subtypes.

Few drugs are currently available that target specific genetic mutations in breast cancer, although this is an active area of research. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several targeted therapies for breast cancer that block the action of specific cell-growth molecules, and more are in development.

HR-Positive Breast Cancer Treatment

Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to attack cancer cells with less harm to normal cells. There is a new focus on adding targeted therapies to hormone therapy for advanced or metastatic HR-positive breast cancer. These treatments could prolong the time until chemotherapy is needed and ideally, extend survival. Several new targeted drugs are being tested in the metastatic setting for HR-positive breast cancer:

  • Palbociclib (Ibrance)ribociclib (Kisqali), and everolimus (Afinitor) have all been approved by the FDA recently for use with hormonal therapy for treatment of advanced or metastatic breast cancer
  • Abemaciclib (Verzenio) can be given with hormonal therapy or alone after treatment with hormonal therapy to women with advanced or metastatic ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. These combinations are also being tested to see if they can a prevent relapse after treatment of early-stage ER-positive disease.

HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Treatment

The FDA has approved a number of targeted therapies to treat HER2-positive breast cancer, including:

  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) can be used in combination with chemotherapy for both early and advanced breast cancer.
  • Ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) is an FDA-approved treatment for advanced HER2-positive breast cancer.
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb) has been approved for treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. However, a study that tested adding lapatinib to chemotherapy and trastuzumab to treat early-stage breast cancer did not show a significant improvement in outcomes.
  • Neratinib Maleate (Nerlynx) was shown to improve outcomes in patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer when given for one year after completion of standard adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy.
  • Trastuzumab has been approved to prevent a relapse in patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer is more likely to spread to the brain than other types of breast cancer. HER2-targeted drugs that can cross the blood-brain barrier are currently being studied for the treatment and prevention of brain metastases.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are the hardest to treat because they lack both hormone receptors and HER2 overexpression, so they do not respond to therapies directed at these targets. Therefore, chemotherapy is the mainstay for treatment of TNBC. Ongoing studies are testing new treatments for this type of breast cancer, such as:

  • PARP inhibitors work by blocking a protein that is used to repair damage to DNA that occurs during cell division. They are effective drugs that target TNBC caused by inherited BRCA gene mutations or other alterations that lead to defects in DNA damage repair. They are also approved for metastatic ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancers in patients who have inherited a harmful BRCA gene mutation. These drugs are currently being studied for treatment of TNBCs that are not caused by an inherited mutation in the BRCA gene.
  • Immunotherapy drugs have shown some promise in a small number of breast cancers, particularly those that are triple negative. Some data suggest that patients may be more likely to respond to immunotherapy if their tumor expresses the protein PD-L1 or if it has a large number of mutations.
  • Scientists are also studying whether combining a variety of drugs with immunotherapy will work better than immunotherapy alone. One recent study of the drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq)Tecentriq), in combination with chemotherapy, showed promising results in patients with metastatic TNBC that expressed the PD-L1 protein.
  • Drugs that block the androgen receptors (AR) or prevent androgen production are being tested in a subset of TNBC cancers that express the AR.

NCI-Supported Research Programs

Many NCI-funded researchers working at the NIH campus, as well as across the United States and world, are seeking ways to address breast cancer more effectively. Some research is basic, exploring questions as diverse as the biological underpinnings of cancer and the social factors that affect cancer risk. And some are more clinical, seeking to translate this basic information into improving patient outcomes. The programs listed below are a small sampling of NCI’s research efforts in breast cancer.

Early Detection and Treatment Research

The Breast Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (Breast SPOREs) are designed to quickly move basic scientific findings into clinical settings. The Breast SPOREs support the development of new therapies and technologies, and studies to better understand tumor resistance, diagnosis, prognosis, screening, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer.

The NCI Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) focuses on using modeling to improve our understanding of how prevention, early detection, screening, and treatment affect breast cancer outcomes.

The Confluence Project, from NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, will develop a research resource that includes data from thousands of breast cancer patients and controls of different races and ethnicities. This resource will be used to identify genes that are associated with breast cancer risk, prognosis, subtypes, response to treatment, and second breast cancers.

The goal of the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), an NCI-funded program launched in 1994, is to enhance the understanding of breast cancer screening practices in the United States and their impact on the breast cancer’s stage at diagnosis, survival rates, and mortality.

There are ongoing programs at NCI that support prevention and early detection research in different cancers, including breast cancer. One example is the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group, which promotes research in cancer biomarkers and manages the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN). EDRN is a network of NCI-funded institutions that are collaborating to discover and validate early detection biomarkers.

The Consortium for Imaging and Biomarkers (CIB) and the Consortium for Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Lesions are programs that research which screen-detected lesions are areas of concern and which can be left alone. The goal of the programs is to give physicians a better idea whether regular monitoring is sufficient or if early treatment is warranted.

Health Disparities Research

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, and they are more likely to die of their disease than white women. To gain an understanding of these disparities, NCI is funding a multi-institution project, the Breast Cancer Genetic Study in African-Ancestry Populations.  The genes of black women with and without breast cancer will be compared to each other, as well as to those of white women who have breast cancer.

The NCI-funded Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors (Detroit ROCS) study will look at the major factors affecting cancer progression, recurrence, mortality, and quality of life among African-American survivors of four different cancers, including breast. Detroit ROCS will examine medical, emotional, social, environmental, and other factors that may affect cancer survival.

Survivorship Research

NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship, part of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), supports research projects throughout the country that study many issues related to breast cancer survivorship. Examples of studies funded include the impact of cancer and its treatment on physical functioning, emotional well-being, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and cardiovascular health. Other studies focus on financial impacts, the effects on caregivers, models of care for survivors, and issues such as racial disparities and communication.

Clinical Trials

NCI funds and oversees both early- and late-phase clinical trials to develop new treatments and improve patient care. Trials are available for breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment

Breast Cancer Research Results

The following are some of our latest news articles on breast cancer research and study updates:

View the full list of Breast Cancer Research Results and Study Updates.

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