Black women with breast cancer have worse outcomes than white women

Modesto Morganelli
Dicembre 8, 2018

"Breast cancer is the most common malignancy treated with radiation therapy in the United States", said Wendy A. Woodward, MD, PhD, Professor and Chief of the Clinical Breast Radiotherapy Service at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. It found that treatment to prevent the cancer from returning with chemotherapy and hormone therapy, following surgery, is not more beneficial than hormone therapy alone in patients with a low or intermediate recurrence score. "Normal BMI categorization may be an inadequate proxy for the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women".

"These findings suggest that surgical choices may have long-term impact on quality of life", Dominici said. The drug is most commonly used to treat urinary incontinence.

"Women are becoming increasingly involved in the decision-making process, so we must make sure that they have as much information as possible about long-term outcomes, including quality of life", Dominici added. Eighty-nine percent of the women had had reconstructive surgery. There were three arms in the trial with patients in two arms receiving different dosages of oxybutynin and patients in the third arm receiving a placebo. They experienced an average of 4.8 fewer hot flashes per day, compared with 2.6 fewer hot flashes for the women in the placebo arm.

The women in both oxybutynin arms also reported improvement in work, social activities, leisure activities, sleep, and overall quality of life.

"This study, in addition to previously published work in this area, establishes that oxybutynin is an effective drug for treatment of hot flashes in patients who have relative or absolute contraindications to hormone-based therapy", says Dr. Leon-Ferre. He says that oxybutynin does not interfere with the metabolism of tamoxifen, which is an important consideration for breast cancer survivors, as some of the most effective non-hormonal treatments for hot flashes (e.g. antidepressants) are thought to potentially decrease the efficacy of tamoxifen.

Because oxybutynin is already available for other conditions, Leon-Ferre said doctors could prescribe it off-label.

Today's General Session 4 (3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT in Hall 3) will showcase five major studies created to improve outcomes for the majority of breast cancer patients who receive radiation therapy to cure and/or provide relief from the disease. This breakthrough test helps oncologists and patients navigate the hard trade-off between taking steps to prevent recurrence of their disease and facing significant side effects and safety challenges related to unnecessary treatment.

The study was funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and other organizations.

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