September 2014





2014 Annual Symposium


Off-Label Treatment:
Use Of Cancer Drugs Outside Of Conventional Trials And Government Approvals

October 6, 2014 6:00 – 8:30 PM

New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street, 2nd Floor Meeting Hall

Click Here To Register or email Jennifer Fiorentino, Executive Director, JALBCA at


On October 29, 2014, the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone, in collaboration with JALBCA, will present “Through the Looking Glass”, where experts will explain predictions in their field on breast cancer screening, treatment and survivorship in eradicating and improving life after a breast cancer diagnosis.

TIME: 6-8 pm
DATE: Wednesday, October 29th
WHERE: Kings County Supreme Court
360 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York
Click Here To Register or email Jennifer Fiorentino, Executive Director, JALBCA at


JNCI- Contralateral Mastectomy Yields Small Life Expectancy Benefit

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently published an article, entitled “Survival Outcomes After Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy: A Decision Analysis”, co-authored by Pamela R. Portschy, Karen M. Kuntz and Todd M. Tuttle, that evaluated the magnitude of the survival benefit of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) – the rates of which have increased significantly in the United States in the last decade – for women with unilateral breast cancer. The hoped-for goal for this procedure is to lower the risk of a future second primary carcinoma.The investigators developed a model to simulate survival outcomes after CPM and no CPM among women with stage I or II breast cancer without a BRCA mutation. They estimated the probabilities for developing contralateral breast cancer (CBC), dying from CBC, dying from primary breast cancer, and age-specific mortality rates from published studies. Then they estimated life expectancy gain, 20-year overall survival, and disease-free survival with each intervention strategy among cohorts of women defined by age, estrogen receptor status, and stage of cancer.

In conclusion, it was reported that the 20-year overall survival difference between CPM and no CPM did not exceed 1% for any group. The investigators did not evaluate other outcomes such as surgical complications and quality of life because “…utility values are highly variable between women.” They also indicated that, “(s)urvival is only one potential benefit of a cancer risk-reduction strategy; effects on cancer-related anxiety, cosmesis, and self-image are also important in decision-making processes.”

The published article was accompanied by an editorial by Stephen G. Pauker and Mohamed Alseiari of the Division of Clinical Decision Making, Department of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston. They wrote that although the benefit may typically be small, it may be a reasonable prophylactic choice for some women, depending on their family history or genetic background.


Social Media Impacts Clinical Trials

Double-blind clinical trials have always been the gold standard for medical researchers. This means both researchers and patients are “blind” as to who is getting the experimental drug and who is receiving the placebo or standard therapy. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that patient communications on internet groups, online forums and message boards and blogs are presenting a challenge to this protocol because patients who share details of their experiences and reactions to the drugs they receive – trying to determine which drug they are receiving – and others are evaluating their and others’ medical data to determine whether the drug will succeed. They also share tips on how to be accepted into trials even if they do not meet all the requirements. This has raised concerns for many reasons, including the risk that the information shared is incorrect. It is reported that the FDA does not presently have a policy on subjects in trials using social media to communicate with one another. The industry may need to address the issue as well and at least one example was provided where a pharmaceutical company added a paragraph to its consent document for subjects, explaining that rumors about side effects or about the drug’s efficacy might affect results and require a repeat of the study, and telling participants not to publicly discuss their trial participation.



The Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) was created in 1992 out of the efforts of the breast cancer advocacy community. Congress appropriated funds for breast cancer research and this resulted in a partnership among the public, Congress, and the military. Funds for the CDMRP are added to the Department of Defense budget, in which support for individual programs, such as the Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), is allocated by way of specific Congressional guidance.

The CDMRP uses a two-tier review process to evaluate grant applications. The first tier of evaluation is a scientific peer review of applications measured against established criteria for determining scientific merit. The second tier is a programmatic review conducted by the Integration Panel, which is composed of leading scientists, clinicians, and consumer advocates. The Integration Panel compares applications to each other and makes recommendations for funding based on scientific merit, potential impact, adherence to the intent of the award mechanism, relevance to program goals, and portfolio composition. The BCRP claims that scientists are challenged to pursue high-risk, high-reward research and set new paradigms that could lead to critical discoveries.

The new “research on the horizon” funded during Fiscal Year 2012, which provides a glimpse of what the BCRP considered to be grant-worthy during that year, was as follows:

  • Conducting clinical studies to validate the AR as a novel target for breast cancer therapeutics
  • Targeting the immune system’s natural response to cell death to improve therapeutic response in breast cancer
  • Developing “molecular fingerprinting” as a platform to identify personalized therapeutic regimens
  • Targeting master regulators of the breast cancer metastasis transcriptome
  • Tackling triple negative breast cancer by targeting tumor suppressor networks that regulate tyrosine kinases
  • Real-time visualization and manipulation of the metastatic trajectory of breast cancer cells to better understand the tumor microenvironment
  • Exploiting mesenchymal stem cells as mechanoresponsive sensors and vehicles for drug delivery to target breast cancer metastases
  • Defining a new approach to treating inflammatory breast cancer through targeting of GLI1
  • Exploring therapeutic and imaging applications of dopamine receptor agonists in breast cancer
  • Delineating the mechanisms of glucose utilization by estradiol in breast cancer
  • Repositioning the drug pimozide for breast cancer prevention
  • Targeting breast cancer stems cells in TNBC
  • Reprogramming the effects of early high-sugar/high-fat diets on breast cancer risk
  • Metabolomic imaging of early breast cancer brain metastasis to identify targets for prevention
  • Defining how tissue tension regulates breast tumor aggressiveness, and testing whether reducing tissue tension represents a new therapeutic opportunity
  • Deciphering novel mechanisms of PARP inhibitor resistance in BRCA1-deficient breast cancer
  • Silencing chemokine signaling in tumor-conditioned myeloid cells for the treatment of breast cancer
  • Defining homocysteine as an oncome-tabolite in breast cancer

The BCRP summarized the breast cancer landscape with these facts:

  • Worldwide, breast cancer accounts for nearly a quarter of all cancers in women. In 2010, there were 438,000 breast cancer deaths globally.
  • The rate of metastatic breast cancer at initial diagnosis in the U.S. has not changed since 1975.
  • An estimated 20%-30% of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer will have a recurrence.
  • An estimated 30% of all breast cancer cases (both invasive and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are considered to be overdiagnosed and overtreated.
  • Most risk factors are not modifiable (e.g., age; family history; BRCA status). Potentially modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and exercise, are weakly-to-moderately associated with breast cancer risk.

For more information, please visit or contact the CDMRP (301) 619-7071



To Life! will hold a 4th Annual Women’s Health Conference on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. There will be a full day of presentations from medical experts focusing on breast cancer treatments and related topics.

For more information, please visit

SHARE (Self-Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer)

October 6 12:30 pm WEBINAR – Coping With October: Ideas for Those Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
October 15 1:00 pm WEBINAR – Metastatic Breast Cancer: Cutting-Edge Research from National Cancer Institute
November 5 6:00 pm Sexuality and Intimacy after Cancer, In Person and WEBINAR (SHARE Main Office)
November 13 7:30 pm Practical Tips for Your Health Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine
(Samuel Field YM/YWHA -Queens SHARE- Call 212.719.2943)


Komen Race for the Cure
JALBCA Team co-leaders for the 2014 Susan Komen 5K Walk/Run Race for the Cure in Central Park, NYC, Hon. Shirley Werner Kornreich and Sandy Lespinasse, successfully organized another group of JALBCA participants for the September 7, 2014 event.