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Adam L. Cohen and John H. Ward

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a premalignant condition that, if left untreated, may progress to invasive breast cancer. After lumpectomy, DCIS can recur, and about half of recurrences are invasive. In 4 randomized trials, radiation has been shown to decrease the local recurrence rate by about half, though it does not change survival. Based on the results of 3 randomized trials, tamoxifen probably decreases cancer recurrence by about 30%, particularly in young women. Low fat diets, weight loss, and physical activity decrease invasive breast cancer recurrence and may be recommended to certain women with DCIS. Prognostic factors include age, extent of DCIS, margin status, grade, and presence of necrosis, although how these affect adjuvant therapy is unclear. Research evaluating other drugs to reduce recurrence risk and on different ways of delivering radiation continues.

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Melinda L. Telli, William J. Gradishar, and John H. Ward

Advances in molecular testing have ushered in the new era of precision medicine. The 2018 publication of the TAILORx trial helped refine the use of genetic expression assays, specifically the 21-gene recurrence score, in assigning patients to endocrine therapy alone or with chemotherapy. The NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer explore the clinical applications of this study. The algorithm for managing the axilla in early breast cancer has been further refined, based on the presence or absence of clinical evidence of lymph node involvement. Ovarian suppression has been validated as the optimal approach in higher risk premenopausal women, based on updated analysis of the SOFT and TEXT pivotal trials. In the metastatic setting, the NCCN Guidelines further reinforce the benefit of the CDK4/6 inhibitors, extending the “preferred” recommendation to all the available agents in metastatic disease. Options in triple-negative breast cancer now include, for the first time, an immunotherapeutic agent.

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Michele Dabrowski, Kenneth Boucher, John H. Ward, Margaret M. Lovell, Angela Sandre, Janet Bloch, Lynne Carlquist, Monica Porter, Larry Norman, and Saundra S. Buys

A study was conducted to describe our group's experience using the NCCN Distress Thermometer in an outpatient breast cancer clinic. The NCCN Distress Thermometer was administered to patients attending the breast cancer clinic at Huntsman Cancer Institute during a 4-month period. Effects of disease, treatment, and demographic variables on distress level were analyzed. Patients reporting high distress were contacted by a social worker to determine the cause of the distress. Two hundred and eighty-six (286) subjects completed 403 questionnaires, with 96 patients (34%) reporting high levels of distress (5 or greater on a 10-point scale). No relationship was seen between high distress and stage of disease, type of current treatment, time since diagnosis, age, or other demographic factors. Underlying mental health disorders were associated with a higher level of distress. The Distress Thermometer was a useful method to screen, triage, and prioritize patient interventions. In our experience, the tool promoted communication between the patient and the health care team, which enhanced treating psychosocial and physical symptoms. Methods to optimize the use of this screen are proposed.

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Robert W. Carlson, Susan Moench, Arti Hurria, Lodovico Balducci, Harold J. Burstein, Lori J. Goldstein, William J. Gradishar, Kevin S. Hughes, Mohammad Jahanzeb, Stuart M. Lichtman, Lawrence B. Marks, Joan S. McClure, Beryl McCormick, Lisle M. Nabell, Lori J. Pierce, Mary Lou Smith, Neal S. Topham, Tiffany A. Traina, John H. Ward, and Eric P. Winer

Breast cancer is common in older women, and the segment of the U.S. population aged 65 years and older is growing rapidly. Consequently, awareness is increasing of the need to identify breast cancer treatment recommendations to assure optimal, individualized treatment of older women with breast cancer. However, the development of these recommendations is limited by the heterogeneous nature of this population with respect to functional status, social support, life expectancy, and the presence of comorbidities, and by the underrepresentation of older patients with breast cancer in randomized clinical trials. The NCCN Breast Cancer in the Older Woman Task Force was convened to provide a forum for framing relevant questions on topics that impact older women with early-stage, locally advanced, and metastatic breast cancer. The task force is a multidisciplinary panel of 18 experts in breast cancer representing medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, geriatric oncology, geriatrics, plastic surgery, and patient advocacy. All task force members were from NCCN institutions and were identified and invited solely by NCCN. Members were charged with identifying evidence relevant to their specific expertise. During a 2-day meeting, individual members provided didactic presentations; these presentations were followed by extensive discussions during which areas of consensus and controversy were identified on topics such as defining the “older” breast cancer patient; geriatric assessment tools in the oncology setting; attitudes of older patients with breast cancer and their physicians; tumor biology in older versus younger women with breast cancer; implementation of specific interventions in older patients with breast cancer, such as curative surgery, surgical axillary staging, radiation therapy, reconstructive surgery, endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, HER2-directed therapy, and supportive therapies; and areas requiring future studies. (JNCCN 2008;6[Suppl 4]:S1–S25)

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Robert W. Carlson, D. Craig Allred, Benjamin O. Anderson, Harold J. Burstein, W. Bradford Carter, Stephen B. Edge, John K. Erban, William B. Farrar, Andres Forero, Sharon Hermes Giordano, Lori J. Goldstein, William J. Gradishar, Daniel F. Hayes, Clifford A. Hudis, Britt-Marie Ljung, P. Kelly Marcom, Ingrid A. Mayer, Beryl McCormick, Lori J. Pierce, Elizabeth C. Reed, Mary Lou Smith, George Somlo, Neal S. Topham, John H. Ward, Eric P. Winer, and Antonio C. Wolff

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Robert W. Carlson, D. Craig Allred, Benjamin O. Anderson, Harold J. Burstein, W. Bradford Carter, Stephen B. Edge, John K. Erban, William B. Farrar, Andres Forero, Sharon Hermes Giordano, Lori J. Goldstein, William J. Gradishar, Daniel F. Hayes, Clifford A. Hudis, Britt-Marie Ljung, David A. Mankoff, P. Kelly Marcom, Ingrid A. Mayer, Beryl McCormick, Lori J. Pierce, Elizabeth C. Reed, Jasgit Sachdev, Mary Lou Smith, George Somlo, John H. Ward, Antonio C. Wolff, and Richard Zellars

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Robert W. Carlson, D. Craig Allred, Benjamin O. Anderson, Harold J. Burstein, W. Bradford Carter, Stephen B. Edge, John K. Erban, William B. Farrar, Lori J. Goldstein, William J. Gradishar, Daniel F. Hayes, Clifford A. Hudis, Mohammad Jahanzeb, Krystyna Kiel, Britt-Marie Ljung, P. Kelly Marcom, Ingrid A. Mayer, Beryl McCormick, Lisle M. Nabell, Lori J. Pierce, Elizabeth C. Reed, Mary Lou Smith, George Somlo, Richard L. Theriault, Neal S. Topham, John H. Ward, Eric P. Winer, and Antonio C. Wolff

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Therese B. Bevers, Deborah K. Armstrong, Banu Arun, Robert W. Carlson, Kenneth H. Cowan, Mary B. Daly, Irvin Fleming, Judy E. Garber, Mary Gemignani, William J. Gradishar, Helen Krontiras, Swati Kulkarni, Christine Laronga, Loretta Loftus, Deborah J. MacDonald, Martin C. Mahoney, Sofia D. Merajver, Ingrid Meszoely, Lisa Newman, Elizabeth Pritchard, Victoria Seewaldt, Rena V. Sellin, Charles L. Shapiro, and John H. Ward