Breast cancer frequently metastasizes to bone. Metastases result in skeletal morbidity including pathologic fractures, the need for radiation or surgery to bone, spinal cord compression and hypercalcemia. The pathophysiology of bone destruction is related to activation of osteoclasts by tumor-derived and bone marrow microenvironmental factors. One prominent osteoclast–activating factor associated with breast cancer is parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP). Bisphosphonates have been shown to impair osteoclast activity by decreasing recruitment from the monocyte macrophage cell line, inhibiting osteoclast function at the bone site and causing osteoclasts to undergo apoptosis. Clinical studies with bisphosphonates show an improvement in the control of hypercalcemia and a reduction in skeletal related morbidity with administration of pamidronate and zoledronic acid. Bisphosphonates have become the standard of care for osteolytic metastases associated with breast cancer. Recent data with zoledronic acid found that skeletal related morbidity may be reduced regardless of the radiographic picture of skeletal metastases. Thus, zoledronic acid may be valuable in osteolytic and osteoblastic disease as well as in disease with an osteolytic or osteoblastic radiographic appearance. In breast cancer with osteolytic disease, zoledronic acid may be more effective than pamidronate in reducing skeletal morbidity and prolonging the time to first skeletal event.
The Role of Bisphosphonates in Breast Cancer
Richard L. Theriault
Aromatase Inhibitors in Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Patients
Alyssa G. Rieber and Richard L. Theriault
Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have greatly enriched the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal patients. Before the introduction of the well-tolerated third-generation AIs, tamoxifen was the mainstay of endocrine therapy for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Many clinical trials have shown the superiority of AIs compared with tamoxifen in adjuvant breast cancer treatment, as well as their benefit in metastatic breast cancer. NCCN guidelines recommendations for their use are based on the evidence provided by these clinical trials. This discussion reviews the evidence supporting the current guidelines for use of AI therapy in the treatment of hormone receptor-positive postmenopausal breast cancer patients.
NCCN Task Force Report: Bone Health and Cancer Care
Richard L. Theriault, J. Sybil Biermann, Elizabeth Brown, Adam Brufsky, Laurence Demers, Ravinder K. Grewal, Theresa Guise, Rebecca Jackson, Kevin McEnery, Donald Podoloff, Peter Ravdin, Charles L. Shapiro, Matthew Smith, and Catherine H. Van Poznak
Higher incidences of osteoporosis and osteopenia are found in cancer patients, particularly in women receiving aromatase inhibitors or with chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure, or in men with prostate cancer and androgen deprivation therapy. Therefore, management of long-term bone health is emerging as an important aspect of comprehensive cancer care. Patients with cancer typically have a number of additional risk factors for osteoporosis that should prompt screening, regardless of patient age or sex. Maintaining bone health requires a broad knowledge base, including understanding underlying bone metabolism and how it is affected by both cancer itself and the drugs used to treat cancer, the effect of chemotherapy-induced menopause on bone health, bone markers and imaging techniques used to assess bone health, therapeutic strategies to maintain bone health, and treatment of bone metastases, including surgery for pathologic fractures. Multiple members of the healthcare team may need to be involved in education and care of the patient. This report summarizes discussion of these and other issues regarding bone health and cancer care from the NCCN Bone Health and Cancer Care Task Force meeting in early 2006. (JNCCN 2006;4(Suppl 2):S1-S24)
Predictors and Temporal Trends of Adjuvant Aromatase Inhibitor Use in Breast Cancer
Tiffany H. Svahn, Joyce C. Niland, Robert W. Carlson, Melissa E. Hughes, Rebecca A. Ottesen, Richard L. Theriault, Stephen B. Edge, Anne F. Schott, Michael A. Bookman, and Jane C. Weeks
After the first report of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial, adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use increased rapidly among National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions. Increased aromatase inhibitor use was associated with older age, vascular disease, overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), or more advanced stage, and substantial variation was seen among institutions. This article examines adjuvant endocrine therapy in postmenopausal women after the first report of the trial, identifies temporal relationships in aromatase inhibitor use, and examines characteristics associated with choice of endocrine therapy among 4044 postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor–positive nonmetastatic breast cancer presenting from July 1997 to December 2004. Multivariable logistic regression analysis examined temporal associations and characteristics associated with aromatase inhibitor use. Time-trend analysis showed increased aromatase inhibitor and decreased tamoxifen use after release of ATAC results (P < .0001). In multivariable regression analysis, institution (P <. 0001), vascular disease (P <. 0001), age (P = .0002), stage (P = .0002), and HER2 status (P = .0009) independently predicted aromatase inhibitor use. Institutional rates of use ranged from 15% to 66%. Adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use increased after the first report of ATAC, with this increase associated with older age, vascular disease, overexpression of HER2, or more advanced stage. Substantial variation was seen among institutions.
NCCN Task Force Report: Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer
Robert W. Carlson, Elizabeth Brown, Harold J. Burstein, William J. Gradishar, Clifford A. Hudis, Charles Loprinzi, Eleftherios Paul Mamounas, Edith A. Perez, Kathleen Pritchard, Peter Ravdin, Abram Recht, George Somlo, Richard L. Theriault, Eric P. Winer, Antonio C. Wolff, and for the NCCN Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer Task Force
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) first published the NCCN Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines in 1996. The Guidelines address the treatment of all stages of breast cancer across the spectrum of patient care and have been updated yearly. Adjuvant therapy for breast cancer has undergone an especially rapid evolution over the past few years. Therefore, the NCCN Breast Cancer Guidelines Panel was supplemented by additional experts to form the Adjuvant Therapy Task Force to provide a forum for an extended discussion and expanded input to the adjuvant therapy recommendations for the Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines. Issues discussed included methods of risk-stratification for recurrence; how biologic markers such as HER2 status, quantitative estrogen receptor, or genetic markers can be incorporated as prognostic or predictive factors; and how age, menopausal status, and estrogen receptor levels impact benefits from chemotherapy and endocrine therapy. Additionally, the task force discussed the strategies for use of aromatase inhibitors in postmenopausal women and the potential incorporation of trastuzumab into adjuvant therapy of women with HER2/neu positive breast cancer. This supplement summarizes the background data and ensuing discussion from the Adjvuant Task Force meeting. (JNCCN 2006;4[suppl 1]:S-1–S-26)
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
Metastatic Breast Cancer, Version 1.2012
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Robert W. Carlson, D. Craig Allred, Benjamin O. Anderson, Harold J. Burstein, Stephen B. Edge, William B. Farrar, Andres Forero, Sharon Hermes Giordano, Lori J. Goldstein, William J. Gradishar, Daniel F. Hayes, Clifford A. Hudis, Steven Jay Isakoff, Britt-Marie E. Ljung, David A. Mankoff, P. Kelly Marcom, Ingrid A. Mayer, Beryl McCormick, Lori J. Pierce, Elizabeth C. Reed, Mary Lou Smith, Hatem Soliman, George Somlo, Richard L. Theriault, John H. Ward, Antonio C. Wolff, Richard Zellars, Rashmi Kumar, and Dorothy A. Shead
These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight the important updates/changes specific to the management of metastatic breast cancer in the 2012 version of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Breast Cancer. These changes/updates include the issue of retesting of biomarkers (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) on recurrent disease, new information regarding first-line combination endocrine therapy for metastatic disease, a new section on monitoring of patients with metastatic disease, and new information on endocrine therapy combined with an mTOR inhibitor as a subsequent therapeutic option.
Breast Cancer, Version 3.2013
Richard L. Theriault, Robert W. Carlson, Craig Allred, Benjamin O. Anderson, Harold J. Burstein, Stephen B. Edge, William B. Farrar, Andres Forero, Sharon Hermes Giordano, Lori J. Goldstein, William J. Gradishar, Daniel F. Hayes, Clifford A. Hudis, Steven J. Isakoff, Britt-Marie E. Ljung, David A. Mankoff, P. Kelly Marcom, Ingrid A. Mayer, Beryl McCormick, Lori J. Pierce, Elizabeth C. Reed, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Mary Lou Smith, Hatem Soliman, George Somlo, John H. Ward, Antonio C. Wolff, Richard Zellars, Dorothy A. Shead, and Rashmi Kumar
These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight the important updates specific to the management of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer in the 2013 version of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Breast Cancer. These include new first-line and subsequent therapy options for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.