Publications by authors named "Cynthia Villarreal-Garza"

105 Publications

Pregnancy After Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 1:JCO2100535. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Fertility and Procreation Unit, Gynecologic Oncology Department, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Many patients and physicians remain concerned about the potential detrimental effects of pregnancy after breast cancer (BC) in terms of reproductive outcomes and maternal safety. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at providing updated evidence on these topics.

Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to identify studies including patients with a pregnancy after BC (PROSPERO number CRD42020158324). Likelihood of pregnancy after BC, their reproductive outcomes, and maternal safety were assessed. Pooled relative risks, odds ratios (ORs), and hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs were calculated using random effects models.

Results: Of 6,462 identified records, 39 were included involving 8,093,401 women from the general population and 112,840 patients with BC of whom 7,505 had a pregnancy after diagnosis. BC survivors were significantly less likely to have a subsequent pregnancy compared with the general population (relative risk, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.49). Risks of caesarean section (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.25), low birth weight (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.31 to 1.73), preterm birth (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.88), and small for gestational age (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.33) were significantly higher in BC survivors, particularly in those with previous chemotherapy exposure, compared with the general population. No significantly increased risk of congenital abnormalities or other reproductive complications were observed. Compared to patients with BC without subsequent pregnancy, those with a pregnancy had better disease-free survival (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49 to 0.89) and overall survival (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.68). Similar results were observed after correcting for potential confounders and irrespective of patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics, pregnancy outcome, and timing of pregnancy.

Conclusion: These results provide reassuring evidence on the safety of conceiving in BC survivors. Patients' pregnancy desire should be considered a crucial component of their survivorship care plan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00535DOI Listing
July 2021

Development and Pilot Implementation of the Genomic Risk Assessment for Cancer Implementation and Sustainment (GRACIAS) Intervention in Mexico.

JCO Glob Oncol 2021 Jun;7:992-1002

City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA.

Purpose: Genomic cancer risk assessment (GCRA) is standard-of-care practice that uses genomic tools to identify individuals with increased cancer risk, enabling screening for early detection and cancer prevention interventions. GCRA is not available in most of Mexico, where breast cancer (BC) is the leading cause of cancer death and ovarian cancer has a high mortality rate.

Methods: Guided by an implementation science framework, we piloted the Genomic Risk Assessment for Cancer Implementation and Sustainment (GRACIAS) intervention, combining GCRA training, practice support, and low-cost / () gene testing at four centers in Mexico. The RE-AIM model was adapted to evaluate GRACIAS intervention outcomes, including reach, the proportion of new patients meeting adapted National Comprehensive Cancer Network criteria who participated in GCRA. Barriers to GCRA were identified through roundtable sessions and semistructured interviews.

Results: Eleven clinicians were trained across four sites. Mean pre-post knowledge score increased from 60% to 67.2% (range 53%-86%). GCRA self-efficacy scores increased by 31% (95% CI, 6.47 to 55.54; = .02). Participant feedback recommended Spanish content to improve learning. GRACIAS promoted reach at all sites: 77% in Universidad de Guadalajara, 86% in Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, 90% in Tecnológico de Monterrey, and 77% in Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán. Overall, a pathogenic variant was identified in 15.6% (195 of 1,253) of patients. All trainees continue to provide GCRA and address barriers to care.

Conclusion: We describe the first project to use implementation science methods to develop and deliver an innovative multicomponent implementation intervention, combining low-cost testing, comprehensive GCRA training, and practice support in Mexico. Scale-up of the GRACIAS intervention will promote risk-appropriate care, cancer prevention, and reduction in related mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/GO.20.00587DOI Listing
June 2021

Prospective Study of Fertility Preservation in Young Women With Breast Cancer in Mexico.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 Jun 21:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

2Joven & Fuerte, Programa para la Atencion e Investigacion para Pacientes Jovenes con Cancer de Mama en Mexico, Ciudad de Mexico.

Background: Despite the risk of treatment-related infertility, implementation of fertility-preservation (FP) strategies among young patients with breast cancer is often suboptimal in resource-constrained settings such as Mexico. The "Joven & Fuerte: Program for Young Women With Breast Cancer" strives to enhance patient access to supportive care services, including FP measures through alliances with assisted-reproduction units and procurement of coverage of some of these strategies. This study describes patients from Joven & Fuerte who have preserved fertility, and assesses which characteristics were associated with the likelihood of undergoing FP.

Methods: Women aged ≤40 years with recently diagnosed breast cancer were prospectively accrued. Sociodemographic and clinicopathologic data were collected from patient-reported and provider-recorded information at diagnosis and 1-year follow-up. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, and simple logistic regression were used to compare patients who preserved fertility with those who did not.

Results: In total, 447 patients were included, among which 53 (12%) preserved fertility, representing 38% of the 140 women who desired future biologic children. Oocyte/embryo cryopreservation was the most frequently used method for FP (59%), followed by temporary ovarian suppression with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) during chemotherapy (26%), and use of both GnRHa and oocyte/embryo cryopreservation (15%). Younger age, higher educational level, being employed, having private healthcare insurance, and having one or no children were associated with a significantly higher likelihood of preserving fertility.

Conclusions: By facilitating referral and seeking funds and special discounts for underserved patients, supportive care programs for young women with breast cancer can play a crucial role on enhancing access to oncofertility services that would otherwise be prohibitive because of their high costs, particularly in resource-constrained settings. For these efforts to be successful and widely applied in the long term, sustained and extended governmental coverage of FP options for this young group is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7692DOI Listing
June 2021

Prognosis of breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy and early postpartum according to immunohistochemical subtype: A matched case-control study.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 Jul 16;188(2):489-500. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Av. Batallon de San Patricio 112, 66278, Real San Agustin, San Pedro Garza Garcia, NL, Mexico.

Purpose: Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) poses a clinical challenge and its prognosis remains controversial. During the pregnancy and postpartum periods, the breast undergoes biological events that may uniquely influence disease behavior and treatment response. This study aimed to assess if a PABC diagnosis influences survival compared to non-PABC.

Methods: A single-center record review was performed to identify PABC patients diagnosed from January 2007 through June 2018. Two controls were matched to each PABC case by stage, immunohistochemical (IHC) subtype, age (± 3) and year of diagnosis (± 2). Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test. Multivariate analysis was used to assess the impact of PABC on outcomes.

Results: 125 PABC patients (pregnant: 62; postpartum: 63) and 250 controls were included. Median follow-up was 67.7 and 73.4 months, respectively. 4-year DFS was 62% in pregnant vs 78% in controls (p = 0.010), and 63% in postpartum vs 83% in controls (p = 0.034). Subanalysis by IHC subtype revealed a significantly inferior DFS in PABC with hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative (p = 0.032) and HER2-positive disease (p = 0.005) compared to corresponding non-PABC patients. 4-year OS was similar between case groups and controls. Multivariate analysis supported the independent impact of pregnant and postpartum status on DFS (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Patients diagnosed during pregnancy and early postpartum are at high risk of recurrence. Further research is warranted to better characterize PABC tumor biology and enable the identification of novel therapeutic interventions to improve treatment outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-021-06225-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Adjuvant endocrine therapy for premenopausal women with breast cancer: Patient adherence and physician prescribing practices in Mexico.

Breast 2021 Jun 1;59:8-15. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Departamento de Tumores Mamarios e Investigacion, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, San Fernando 22, Belisario Dominguez Secc 16, Tlalpan, Mexico City, 14080, Mexico.

Background: In resource-constrained settings, data regarding breast cancer patients' adherence to endocrine therapy (ET) and physicians' prescribing practices is limited. This study aims to decrease this knowledge gap in a real-world clinical practice.

Methods: Premenopausal women with stage 0-III hormone-sensitive breast cancer and receiving adjuvant ET during the past 1-5 years were identified in three Mexican referral centers. Participants' self-reported ET compliance, clinicopathologic characteristics, ET-related knowledge and beliefs, experienced adverse effects, social support, and patient-physician relationships were evaluated. Physician ET prescribing practices were compared with the gold standard according to international and national guidelines to assess clinicians' adherence to standard-of-care prescription.

Results: In total, 95/132 (72%) and 35/132 (27%) participants reported complete and acceptable adherence, respectively. Incomplete adherence was mainly attributed to forgetfulness, adverse effects, and unwillingness to take ET. Being employed/studying (p = 0.042), worrying about long-term ET use (p = 0.031), and experiencing >7 ET-related symptoms (p = 0.018) were associated with incomplete adherence. Guideline-endorsed regimens were prescribed in 84/132 (64%) patients, while the rest should have undergone ovarian function suppression (OFS) but instead received tamoxifen monotherapy.

Conclusions: Premenopausal Mexican women self-report remarkably high rates of adequate ET adherence. However, a considerable proportion misses ≥1 doses/month, usually because of forgetfulness. Notably, only 64% receive standard-of-care ET due to suboptimal prescription of OFS. Interventions that remind patients to take their ET, refine physicians' knowledge on the importance of OFS in high-risk patients, and increase access to OFS could prove pivotal to enhance optimal ET implementation and adherence, which could translate into improved patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2021.05.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192863PMC
June 2021

Adherence to Adjuvant Tamoxifen in Mexican Young Women with Breast Cancer.

Patient Prefer Adherence 2021 19;15:1039-1049. Epub 2021 May 19.

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion TecSalud, Tecnologico de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico.

Background: Breast cancer (BC) in young women is characterized by an unfavorable prognosis in hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative tumors, which may be explained by low rates of tamoxifen adherence. In Mexico, up to 14% of all BC diagnoses occur in young women and no data on tamoxifen adherence has been reported.

Objective: To estimate the rate of adherence to adjuvant tamoxifen in Mexican young women with BC (YWBC).

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at the National Cancer Institute in Mexico City, among YWBC (≤40 years at diagnosis) receiving adjuvant tamoxifen. Adherence was measured subjectively, through self-reported surveys, and objectively, through medication possession ratio (MPR). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze sociodemographic characteristics. To compare associations between patients' characteristics and adherence, Chi-square test was used for categorical variables and Student's -test or Mann-Whitney -test for quantitative variables.

Results: A total of 141 YWBC receiving adjuvant tamoxifen were included. Regarding subjective adherence, 95% expressed taking tamoxifen regularly, 70% reported missing 0 doses in the past 30 days, and 71.6% reported having adverse effects. Regarding objective adherence, 74.8% of patients had an MPR ≥80%. The association between subjective and objective adherence was statistically significant ( = 0.004). Subjective adherence was associated with not skipping tamoxifen doses when feeling worse. Objective adherence was associated with having a stable job, not skipping tamoxifen doses when feeling worse, taking additional medications, and time on tamoxifen treatment. Fifty-six percent considered the information on tamoxifen to be insufficient and 37% not understandable.

Conclusion: In our study, high subjective and objective adherence rates to adjuvant tamoxifen were reported, although an important proportion of women reported high rates of adverse effects and not fully understanding the benefits of tamoxifen. Strategies to increase tamoxifen adherence may be even more important now that longer durations of treatment or further ovarian function suppression have become the standard of care in YWBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S296747DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8141391PMC
May 2021

Improving Collection of Real-World Data: The Experience of the Joven & Fuerte Prospective Cohort for Mexican Young Women With Breast Cancer.

Clin Breast Cancer 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Public Health Sciences Department and Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (retired). Electronic address:

The prospective collection of clinical data can generate detailed information on heterogeneous populations. This article reviews the strengths and limitations of the collection of real-world data and provides insight into the feasibility of routine collection of high-quality evidence even in a resource-constrained setting. The acquisition of high-quality data to assess the clinical and psychosocial needs of young Mexican patients with breast cancer has been enhanced through the use of preplanned, standardized data definitions and instrumentation to provide internally and externally comparable results, optimization of data collection with web-based surveys, engagement of participants to minimize missing data, and routine review for data consistency. A similar approach by other research groups could improve the quality of real-world data and accomplish enhanced inference of information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2021.04.005DOI Listing
April 2021

Unmet Needs Among Breast Cancer Patients in a Developing Country and Supportive Care Needs Survey Validation.

Rev Invest Clin 2021 05 6;73(4):245-250. Epub 2021 May 6.

oven & Fuerte: Programa para la Atención e Investigación de Mujeres Jóvenes con Cáncer de Mama, Mexico City; Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion TecSalud, Tecnologico de Monterrey, NL; Mexico.

Background: Identifying and addressing breast cancer (BC) patients' unmet needs (UN) are crucial due to their possible contribution to higher levels of morbidity, particularly in vulnerable underserved populations, such as Latinas with BC.

Objective: This study aimed to (1) identify and describe the most frequently reported items of moderate-high UN among Mexican women with BC covered by public healthcare insurance; (2) analyze the differences in UN domains according to participants' sociodemographic and clinical characteristics; and (3) validate the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form-34 (SCNS-SF34).

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 396 consecutive BC patients. A linguistically translated and culturally adapted version of the SCNS-SF34 for Mexican women with BC was completed by the participants.

Results: The validation yielded a 32-item version of the SCNS with adequate psychometric properties. The Health System and Providers Information was the highest UN domain, followed by the psychological domain. "Fears about cancer spreading" (37.4%) and "Concerns about the worries of those close to you" (37.3%) were the most prevalent moderate-high UN. Sexuality was the only domain associated with clinical and sociodemographic characteristics.

Conclusion: By defining the most urgent needs of this group of patients, our results will enable the development of targeted support services and patient-centered care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.24875/RIC.21000068DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical behavior and outcomes of breast cancer in young women with germline BRCA pathogenic variants.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2021 Feb 12;7(1):16. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Young breast cancer (BC) patients carrying a germline BRCA pathogenic variant (mBRCA) have similar outcomes as non-carriers. However, the impact of the type of gene (BRCA1 vs. BRCA2) and hormone receptor status (positive [HR+] vs. negative [HR-]) on clinical behavior and outcomes of mBRCA BC remains largely unknown. This is an international, multicenter, hospital-based, retrospective cohort study that included mBRCA patients diagnosed, between January 2000 and December 2012, with stage I-III invasive early BC at age ≤40 years. From 30 centers worldwide, 1236 young mBRCA BC patients were included. Among 808 and 428 patients with mBRCA1 or mBRCA2, 191 (23.6%) and 356 (83.2%) had HR+tumors, respectively (P < 0.001). Median follow-up was 7.9 years. Second primary BC (P = 0.009) and non-BC malignancies (P = 0.02) were more frequent among mBRCA1 patients while distant recurrences were less frequent (P = 0.02). Irrespective of hormone receptor status, mBRCA1 patients had worse disease-free survival (DFS; adjusted HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.60-0.96), with no difference in distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI) and overall survival (OS). Patients with HR+ disease had more frequent distant recurrences (P < 0.001) and less frequent second primary malignancies (BC: P = 0.005; non-BC: P = 0.18). No differences in DFS and OS were observed according to hormone receptor status, with a tendency for worse DRFI (adjusted HR = 1.39, 95% CI = 0.94-2.05) in patients with HR+ BC. Type of mBRCA gene and hormone receptor status strongly impact BC clinical behavior and outcomes in mBRCA young patients. These results provide important information for patients' counseling on treatment, prevention, and surveillance strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-021-00224-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7880991PMC
February 2021

Prioritization of Patients with Abnormal Breast Findings in the Alerta Rosa Navigation Program to Reduce Diagnostic Delays.

Oncologist 2020 12 25;25(12):1047-1054. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Médicos e Investigadores en la Lucha contra el Cáncer de Mama (MILC), Mexico City, Mexico.

Introduction: In Mexico, there are considerable health system delays in the diagnosis and treatment initiation of women with breast cancer. Alerta Rosa is a navigation program in Nuevo Leon that aims to reduce barriers that impede the timely management of these patients.

Patients And Methods: Since December 2017, women who registered to receive medical evaluations by Alerta Rosa were stratified based on their clinical characteristics into three priority groups ("Red," "Yellow," and "Green"). According to the category assigned, patients were scheduled imaging studies and medical appointments with breast specialists on a preferential basis.

Results: Up until December 2019, 561 patients were scheduled for medical evaluations. Of them, 59% were classified as "Red," 25% "Yellow," and 16% "Green" priority. The median time from stratification to first medical evaluation was 4, 6, and 7 days, respectively (p = .003). Excluding those who had a prior breast cancer diagnosis, 21 patients were diagnosed by Alerta Rosa, with the initial "Red" priority classification demonstrating a sensitivity of 95% (95% confidence interval [CI], 75.1%-99.9%) and specificity of 42% (95% CI, 37.1%-47.1%) for breast cancer. The median time elapsed from initial patient contact to diagnosis and treatment initiation was 16 days and 39 days, respectively. The majority (72%) of patients were diagnosed at an early stage (0-II).

Conclusion: This patient prioritization system adequately identified women with different probabilities of having breast cancer. Efforts to replicate similar triage systems in resource-constrained settings where screening programs are ineffective could prove to be beneficial in reducing diagnostic intervals and achieving early-stage diagnoses.

Implications For Practice: Low- and middle-income countries such as Mexico currently lack the infrastructure to achieve effective breast cancer screening and guarantee prompt access to health care when required. To reduce the disease burden in such settings, strategies targeting early detection are urgently needed. Patient navigation programs aid in the reduction of health system intervals and optimize the use of available resources. This article presents the introduction of a triage system based on initial patient concern. Appointment prioritization proved to be successful at reducing health system intervals and achieving early-stage diagnoses by overcoming barriers that impede early access to quality medical care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2020-0228DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938393PMC
December 2020

Breast cancer associated pathogenic variants among women 61 years and older with triple negative breast cancer.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 Jun 1;12(5):749-751. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA, United States. Electronic address:

Women with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) have a high prevalence of BRCA1 mutations, and current clinical guidelines recommend genetic testing for patients with TNBC aged ≤60 years. However, studies supporting this recommendation have included few older women with TNBC.

Methods: Genetic testing results from women aged >60 years with TNBC enrolled in the Clinical Cancer Genomics Community Research Network (CCGCRN) registry were included in this analysis. Prevalence of breast cancer-associated pathogenic variants (PVs) was compared across age groups.

Results: We identified 151 women with TNBC aged >60 years (median 65 years; SD 5.3). Of these, 130 (86%) underwent genetic testing, and a breast cancer-associated PV was identified in 16 (12.3%; 95% CI 7-19): BRCA1 (n = 6), BRCA2 (n = 5), PALB2 (n = 2), ATM (n = 1) and RAD51C (n = 2). We found no differences in the proportion of patients with close blood relatives with breast (≤50 years) or ovarian cancer (any age) between PV carriers (37.5%) and non-carriers (34.2%) (p = 0.79). Among PV's carriers, the proportion of older women with a BRCA1 PV was lower when compared to younger women (37.5% vs 77.2%; p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Breast cancer-associated PVs were found in an important proportion of women aged >60 years with TNBC undergoing genetic testing, including greater representation of BRCA2. These results suggest that older women with TNBC should be offered genetic testing, and that their exclusion based on chronologic age alone may not be appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2020.11.008DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of chemotherapy regimen and sequence on the effectiveness of scalp cooling for alopecia prevention.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 Jan 30;185(2):453-458. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion TecSalud, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Batallon de San Patricio 112, Real de San Agustin, 66278, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Purpose: Scalp cooling (SC) is the most reliable method for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia. However, it remains unclear if its effectiveness is related to the chemotherapy regimen, sequence, and frequency. This study aims to evaluate SC performance among breast cancer patients who received different chemotherapy regimens.

Methods: The medical records of all consecutive patients undergoing curative-intent chemotherapy and receiving at least one SC session using the DigniCap® System from 2016-2020 in a private Mexican hospital were retrospectively reviewed. SC effectiveness according to chemotherapy regimen was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Successful alopecia prevention was defined as grade 0-1 alopecia (< 50% hair loss not requiring the use of a wig or headpiece) according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0.

Results: SC adequately prevented alopecia in 56/76 (74%) patients. All 12/12 (100%) and 15/17 (88%) patients receiving paclitaxel-only and docetaxel-based chemotherapy, respectively, had effective hair preservation. SC was successful in 7/16 (44%) patients when sequential chemotherapy started with anthracyclines and 22/30 (73%) when paclitaxel was administered upfront. Considering dose-dense regimens, 9/15 (60%) had satisfactory hair retention, and chemotherapy sequence was not clearly related to SC success.

Conclusion: SC was highly effective in preventing alopecia, particularly with taxane-based regimens. Notably, better outcomes were observed when sequential chemotherapy started with taxanes followed by anthracyclines than when the inverse order was administered, suggesting that the chemotherapy sequence, rather than chemotherapeutic agents per se, might have a more significant impact on the effectiveness of SC for the prevention of alopecia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-05968-wDOI Listing
January 2021

Clinical utility of genomic signatures in young breast cancer patients: a systematic review.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2020 25;6:46. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion, Tecnologico de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico.

Risk stratification by genomic signatures has been shown to improve prognostication and guide treatment decisions among patients with hormone-sensitive breast cancer. However, their role in young women has not been fully elucidated. In this review, a systematic search was conducted for published articles and abstracts from major congresses that evaluated the use of genomic signatures in young breast cancer patients. A total of 71 studies were analyzed, including 561,188 patients of whom 27,748 (4.9%) were young. Women aged ≤40 years were subjected to genomic testing at a similar rate to older women but had a higher proportion of intermediate- to high-risk tumors when classified by EndoPredict ( = 0.04), MammaPrint ( < 0.01), and Oncotype DX ( < 0.01). In young women with low genomic risk, 6-year distant recurrence-free survival was 94%, while 5-year overall survival was nearly 100%. Nonetheless, young patients classified as low-risk had a higher tendency to receive chemotherapy compared to their older counterparts. In conclusion, genomic tests are useful tools for identifying young patients in whom chemotherapy omission is appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-020-00188-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7519162PMC
September 2020

Physicians' Attitudes, Knowledge, and Perceived Barriers toward Fertility Preservation in Young Breast Cancer Patients in a Developing Country.

Rev Invest Clin 2020 May 7;73(5). Epub 2020 May 7.

Unidad de Epidemiología e Investigación Biomédica en Cáncer, INCan-UNAM, Mexico City; Department of Medical Oncology, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Mexico City, Mexico.

Background: In Mexico, up to 15% of breast cancer (BC) patients are 40 years or younger. Therefore, fertility preservation and pregnancy after cancer treatment are major concerns in this population. However, no data are available regarding Mexican physicians' knowledge and attitudes toward these issues.

Objective: The objective of the study was to describe physicians' attitudes, knowledge, and perceived barriers toward fertility preservation among young women with BC (YWBC) in a developing country.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among physicians attending the 2016 Mexican Society of Oncology (SMeO) Annual Meeting or affiliated to SMeO. Chi-squared tests were used to assess factors associated with a higher likelihood of disclosing infertility risks, discussing fertility preservation methods, referring to specialists, and effective counseling.

Results: Of the 314 participants, 83% reported a high sense of responsibility about informing treatment-related infertility risks, 58% always informed patients about those risks, 38% always discussed fertility preservation procedures, 52% always referred interested patients to fertility specialists, and 24% wrongly considered pregnancy and GnRH analogs detrimental in YWBC. Barriers for discussing fertility preservation were costs, lack of specialists, and prognosis.

Conclusions: It is crucial to promote physicians' knowledge and to endorse policies to overcome barriers obstructing universal access to fertility preservation for YWBC in Mexico.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.24875/RIC.20000064DOI Listing
May 2020

Factors associated with the desire to undergo post-mastectomy breast reconstruction in a Mexican breast cancer center.

Support Care Cancer 2021 May 25;29(5):2679-2688. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion TecSalud, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Av. Batallon de San Patricio 112, 66278, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Purpose: To assess the proportion of breast cancer patients treated with total mastectomy who are interested in undergoing breast reconstruction, the factors associated with their desire to undergo this procedure, and the motives stated for their decision.

Methods: Women with stage I-III breast cancer, public health insurance, and history of total mastectomy treated at a center in Monterrey, Mexico, were invited to answer a series of questionnaires regarding their clinical and demographic characteristics, information received about breast reconstruction, body image, and relationship satisfaction.

Results: A total of 100 patients were interviewed, of which 68% desired to undergo breast reconstruction. Only 35% recalled talking about this procedure with a physician and 85% claimed not to have enough information to make an informed decision. Those who desired breast reconstruction were younger (p < 0.001), more likely to be in a relationship (p = 0.025), and had a higher probability of having talked to a physician about the procedure (p = 0.019). Furthermore, they felt less sexually attractive (p < 0.001), more deformed (p = 0.006), and less feminine (p = 0.005) since the mastectomy. The main motives to undergo this procedure were to have breast symmetry and greater freedom on which clothes to wear, while the main deterrent was the high economical cost.

Conclusions: Insufficient information about the procedure and high economical cost were identified as potential barriers to undergo breast reconstruction. The findings of this study emphasize the pressing need to optimize patient care by providing information in a standardized manner and improving access to breast reconstruction within the Mexican public healthcare system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05784-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Immunotyping of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in triple-negative breast cancer and genetic characterization.

Oncol Lett 2020 Nov 20;20(5):140. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital San José, TecSalud, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Nuevo León 64710, México.

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) reflect the host immune response against cancer cells. Immunomodulators have been recently suggested as a novel therapeutic strategy against triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, the TIL profile in TNBC has not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, the percentage, immunophenotype and genetic profiles of TILs in pre-surgical tumor samples of patients with TNBC were evaluated prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Patients diagnosed with breast cancer at Hospital San José TecSalud were consecutively and prospectively enrolled in the present study between August 2011 and August 2015. The pathological response to NAC was evaluated using the de Miller-Payne and MD Anderson Cancer Center system. TIL percentage (low, intermediate, and high) was evaluated using special hematoxylin-eosin staining on the core needle biopsies. The immunophenotype of TILs was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) for CD3, CD4 and CD8. In addition, the gene expression profile of , forkhead box P3, interleukin 6, programmed cell death 1 and CD274 molecule was assessed in all patients. A total of 26 samples from patients with TNBC prior to NAC were included in the present study. TILs were low in 30.7%, intermediate in 38.4% and elevated in 30.7% of tumors. CD3 and CD4 counts were associated with the pathological response to NAC (P=0.04). Finally, an overexpression pattern of and genes was observed in patients with a partial or complete pathological response. The present results demonstrated that TILs may predict the pathological response to NAC in patients with TNBC. Furthermore, a more accurate association was identified between the high expression levels of and genes and partial and complete pathological response, compared with the association between high expression and IHC alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.12000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7471657PMC
November 2020

Optimizing the management of HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer in the era of PARP inhibitors-proceedings from breast cancer expert group meeting.

Chin Clin Oncol 2020 Oct 17;9(5):61. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Kasr Al Ainy Hospital, Cairo university, Giza, Egypt.

The therapeutic landscape of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) metastatic breast cancer (mBC) has evolved considerably with the introduction of newer targeted agents such as poly-ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi), novel chemotherapeutic agents, immunotherapy, and endocrine therapies. In this scenario, optimizing the appropriate treatment sequence is a daunting task for clinicians. To develop evidence-based answers to key clinical questions on treatment selection and appropriate treatment sequence for the management of patients with HER2- mBC in the era of PARPi, a breast cancer expert group meeting was convened. The expert panel comprised of eight key opinion leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Mexico, Moscow, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, who convened and reviewed the literature, discussed the clinical practices across the participating regions, and formulated answers to key clinical questions for optimizing the management of HER2- mBC. In this review, evidence-based answers have been provided pertaining to (I) the specific mBC population to be considered for BRCA testing, optimal time point of BRCA testing, and genetic counselling in mBC patients; (II) the role of PARPi versus platinum therapy in HER2- mBC patients in the metastatic setting; (III) sequencing treatment in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and hormone receptor-positive HER2- mBC patients, and defining the place of PARPi in the sequencing algorithms; and (IV) the need for a breast cancer registry for patients with HER2- mBC. This expert review will serve as a comprehensive guide to clinicians for optimizing BRCA testing and managing patients with BRCA mutation (BRCAm) and HER2- mBC. The data collected from the proposed HER2- mBC registry will help understand the treatment practices, identify unmet needs, and develop strategic policies regionally to help improve access to optimized care of HER2- mBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cco-20-138DOI Listing
October 2020

Comparison of characteristics in Mexican women with breast cancer according to healthcare coverage.

Womens Health (Lond) 2020 Jan-Dec;16:1745506520949416

Breast Cancer Center, Hospital Zambrano Hellion, Tecnologico de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico.

Objective: To compare the sociodemographic, diagnostic, clinical, and treatment-related characteristics and outcomes of patients with breast cancer in two hospitals in Mexico according to type of healthcare coverage.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of women with breast cancer according to public or private healthcare coverage in two hospitals was done. Patients were treated by the same group of physicians and healthcare infrastructure. Groups were compared using the chi-square test for categorical variables, Mann-Whitney U-test and Student's t-test for quantitative variables, and Kaplan-Meier estimator and log-rank test for time dependent outcomes (including recurrence-free and overall survival). A value of p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 282 women were included. Mean age at diagnosis was 52 years. Women with public healthcare coverage were diagnosed more frequently with self-detected tumors (82.8% vs 47.9%, p < 0.001) and advanced clinical stage (III and IV) (31.1% vs 17.8%, p = 0.014). More women with public healthcare insurance underwent initial systemic treatment (41.1% vs 17.8%, p < 0.001) and mastectomy (70.1% vs 54.9%, p = 0.020), and received more chemotherapy (79.4% vs 43.8%, p < 0.001) and adjuvant radiotherapy (68.9% vs 53.4%, p = 0.017). Overall, no differences were found in survival outcomes according to healthcare coverage. Trends suggesting worse recurrence-free and overall survival were observed in patients with public coverage at 3 years follow-up in stage III (85.7% vs 67.3% and 100% vs 84.6%, respectively) and triple negative disease (83.3% vs 74.5% and 100% vs 74.1%, respectively).

Conclusion: Strategies to promote preventive medicine, diagnostic mammograms, and prompt diagnosis of breast cancer in Mexican women with public health coverage are needed. Access to the main treatment modalities by Seguro Popular and good quality care by an experienced group of physicians likely explains the similar outcomes between patients with private and public healthcare coverage. However, trends suggesting worse survival for patients with public medical coverage with stage III and triple-negative disease should encourage close follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745506520949416DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444103PMC
September 2020

Successful Implementation of a Quality Improvement Intervention Toward a QOPI-Certified Breast Cancer Center in Mexico.

JCO Oncol Pract 2020 11 31;16(11):e1406-e1411. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Oncology Service at Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, FL.

Introduction: As part of a quality improvement (QI) project undertaken during the 2018 edition of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Quality Training Program (QTP), we evaluated our practice's compliance to 70 measures regarding the Core, Symptom/Toxicity and Breast Cancer modules from the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) database. Thirteen measures were identified as being consistently low in documentation rate in our medical records (MR).

Methods: After establishing a multidisciplinary QI team, we defined to accomplish 100% documentation rate of these 13 QOPI measures in ≥ 80% of the monthly new patient MRs during the 6-month QTP. We designed a Microsoft Word MR template and implemented a new pre-consultation process. Monthly Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles were conducted to assess the performance of the intervention.

Results: After the 6-month QI intervention, > 80% of our monthly MRs achieved 100% compliance to the aimed-for 13 QOPI measures. Furthermore, our new pre-consultation process proved to be valuable in facilitating the documentation of data without interfering with the oncology appointment.

Conclusion: The development of a systematic QI approach effectively enhanced our compliance to 13 QOPI measures over a 6-month period. These results led to the standardization of the current model of care at our institution. To our knowledge, Hospital Zambrano Hellion's Breast Cancer Center is the first Mexican cancer center to pursue a QOPI certified practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/OP.20.00230DOI Listing
November 2020

Pregnancy After Breast Cancer in Patients With Germline Mutations.

J Clin Oncol 2020 09 16;38(26):3012-3023. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Jules Bordet and Université Libre de, Brussels, Belgium.

Purpose: Young women with germline mutations have unique reproductive challenges. Pregnancy after breast cancer does not increase the risk of recurrence; however, very limited data are available in patients with mutations. This study investigated the impact of pregnancy on breast cancer outcomes in patients with germline mutations.

Patients And Methods: This is an international, multicenter, hospital-based, retrospective cohort study. Eligible patients were diagnosed between January 2000 and December 2012 with invasive early breast cancer at age ≤ 40 years and harbored deleterious germline mutations. Primary end points were pregnancy rate, and disease-free survival (DFS) between patients with and without a pregnancy after breast cancer. Pregnancy outcomes and overall survival (OS) were secondary end points. Survival analyses were adjusted for guarantee-time bias controlling for known prognostic factors.

Results: Of 1,252 patients with germline mutations (, 811 patients; , 430 patients; , 11 patients) included, 195 had at least 1 pregnancy after breast cancer (pregnancy rate at 10 years, 19%; 95% CI, 17% to 22%). Induced abortions and miscarriages occurred in 16 (8.2%) and 20 (10.3%) patients, respectively. Among the 150 patients who gave birth (76.9%; 170 babies), pregnancy complications and congenital anomalies occurred in 13 (11.6%) and 2 (1.8%) cases, respectively. Median follow-up from breast cancer diagnosis was 8.3 years. No differences in DFS (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.87; 95% CI, 0.61 to 1.23; = .41) or OS (adjusted HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.50 to 1.56; = .66) were observed between the pregnancy and nonpregnancy cohorts.

Conclusion: Pregnancy after breast cancer in patients with germline mutations is safe without apparent worsening of maternal prognosis and is associated with favorable fetal outcomes. These results provide reassurance to patients with -mutated breast cancer interested in future fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.02399DOI Listing
September 2020

Short inter-pregnancy interval and pregnancy-associated breast cancer.

Med Hypotheses 2020 Nov 6;144:109951. Epub 2020 Jun 6.

Centro de Cancer de Mama, Hospital Zambrano Hellion - Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Joven & Fuerte: Programa para la Atencion e Investigacion de Mujeres Jovenes con Cancer de Mama, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address:

The relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer risk is not fully understood. Most of the literature has described this interaction in terms of the age at first pregnancy and the number of full-term pregnancies. During the prospective accrual of the "Joven & Fuerte: Program for young women with breast cancer in Mexico" cohort, a series of cases with pregnancy-associated breast cancer and a history of a short inter-pregnancy interval was identified. To date, there is a very limited number of descriptions about the interaction between a short inter-pregnancy interval and breast cancer, but none specifically regarding the association of a short inter-pregnancy interval and pregnancy-associated breast cancer. Based on findings from a prospective cohort of young Mexican breast cancer patients, we hypothesize that a short inter-pregnancy interval may increase the incidence of pregnancy-associated breast cancer, possibly by amplifying the effects of the pregnancy-associated factors involved in the development of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109951DOI Listing
November 2020

Physicians' Attitudes, Knowledge, and Perceived Barriers toward Fertility Preservation in Young Breast Cancer Patients in a Developing Country.

Rev Invest Clin 2020 May 7;73(3). Epub 2020 May 7.

Unidad de Epidemiología e Investigación Biomédica en Cáncer, INCan-UNAM, Mexico City; Department of Medical Oncology, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Mexico City, Mexico.

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May 2020

Identification of risk factors for central nervous system metastasis in patients with breast cancer with neurologic symptoms.

Cancer 2020 08 26;126(15):3456-3463. Epub 2020 May 26.

General Director, National Institute of Cancer, Mexico City, Mexico.

Background: The current study was performed to identify factors that are present at the time of breast cancer (BC) diagnosis that are associated with a higher rate of central nervous system metastasis (CNSm).

Methods: The authors analyzed a database of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of BC who were referred for a neuro-oncology consultation at the National Cancer Institute in Mexico City, Mexico, from June 2009 to June 2017. Information was collected prospectively and included demographic, pathologic, and clinical data at the time of diagnosis of BC. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were built to estimate the associations between the development of CNSm and the time after BC diagnosis.

Results: Among 970 patients with BC, 263 (27%) were diagnosed with CNSm. The median time from BC diagnosis to the development of CNSm was 33 months (interquartile range, 15-76 months). After multivariate analysis, age <50 years at the time of BC diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.8-3.5 [P < .0001]), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive status (HER2+) (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 2.1-6.1 [P < .0001]), luminal B/HER2+ subtype (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.9-5.3 [P < .001]), triple-negative subtype(OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5-4 [P = .001]), and Karnofsky performance status ≤70 (OR, 6.6; 95% CI, 4.5-9.6 [P < .0001]) were associated with a higher frequency of CNSm. Brain parenchyma was the most common site of CNSm. The median overall survival after a diagnosis of CNSm was 12.2 months (95% CI, 9.3-15.1 months).

Conclusions: CNSm is not uncommon among patients with BC, particularly in those with neurologic symptoms who require neuro-oncology evaluation and are aged <50 years at the time of diagnosis, have HER2+ or triple-negative subtypes, have a poor Karnofsky performance status, and/or have ≥2 non-CNS metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32928DOI Listing
August 2020

Gaps in Knowledge and Understanding of Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer in Mexico.

Cancer Control 2020 Jan-Dec;27(1):1073274820920637

Departamento de Tumores Mamarios e Investigacion, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Mexico City, Mexico.

There is paucity of data regarding the knowledge and understanding of patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) about their disease stage and treatment goals. This study assessed these patients' awareness of MBC incurability, topics reviewed with their oncologist, perceptions of having enough knowledge to participate in treatment decision-making, most helpful information source, and satisfaction with the information they received. For this purpose, 185 patients with MBC who attended follow-up medical appointments at a Mexican referral cancer center completed a survey designed by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance. Clinical data were obtained from medical records. Descriptive statistics were applied, and associations between qualitative and quantitative variables were assessed with χ and Mann-Whitney tests, respectively. Half (52%) of the patients were aware that their disease was incurable, while 31% were not sure, and 17% thought it was curable. Forty percent found it difficult to talk about treatments because they did not understand the options that were available to them. The medical staff was the most helpful information source for 74% of participants, and 64% scored their satisfaction with information ≥9 of 10. A significant association was found between higher satisfaction and knowing that MBC is incurable, as well as being older than 40 years. These results illustrate the significant lack of understanding patients with MBC have regarding their cancer, even when reporting high satisfaction with the provided information, and identify a critical need for improved patient education to enhance their comprehension and promote their participation in decision-making processes, treatment adherence, and, ultimately, outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1073274820920637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223866PMC
December 2020

Breast cancer treatment: A phased approach to implementation.

Cancer 2020 05;126 Suppl 10:2365-2378

Hopital Riviera Chablais, Vaud-Valais, Rennaz, Switzerland.

Optimal treatment outcomes for breast cancer are dependent on a timely diagnosis followed by an organized, multidisciplinary approach to care. However, in many low- and middle-income countries, effective care management pathways can be difficult to follow because of financial constraints, a lack of resources, an insufficiently trained workforce, and/or poor infrastructure. On the basis of prior work by the Breast Health Global Initiative, this article proposes a phased implementation strategy for developing sustainable approaches to enhancing patient care in limited-resource settings by creating roadmaps that are individualized and adapted to the baseline environment. This strategy proposes that, after a situational analysis, implementation phases begin with bolstering palliative care capacity, especially in settings where a late-stage diagnosis is common. This is followed by strengthening the patient pathway, with consideration given to a dynamic balance between centralization of services into centers of excellence to achieve better quality and decentralization of services to increase patient access. The use of resource checklists ensures that comprehensive therapy or palliative care can be delivered safely and effectively. Episodic or continuous monitoring with established process and quality metrics facilitates ongoing assessment, which should drive continual process improvements. A series of case studies provides a snapshot of country experiences with enhancing patient care, including the implementation of national cancer control plans in Kenya, palliative care in Romania, the introduction of a 1-stop clinic for diagnosis in Brazil, the surgical management of breast cancer in India, and the establishment of a women's cancer center in Ghana.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32910DOI Listing
May 2020

Prognostic Value of the Pretreatment Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Different Phenotypes of Locally Advanced Breast Cancer During Neoadjuvant Systemic Treatment.

Clin Breast Cancer 2020 08 21;20(4):307-316.e1. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Research Unit, National Institute of Cancer, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address:

Purpose: Neutrophils are among the key cellular players in the inflammatory milieu produced in patients with breast cancer (BC), and strong evidence exists in terms of the prognostic value of assessing the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in patients with BC. In this study we sought to determine whether the baseline NLR correlates with pathological complete response (pCR), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with locally advanced BC in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) setting.

Methods: We analyzed the pretreatment NLR from the first blood count of patients treated from 2007 to 2015 in terms of pCR, DFS, and OS in patients with locally advanced BC. Patients received standard medical care based on national guidelines.

Results: A total of 1519 patients were included in the study. Median age was 49 years (22-88). The cutoff point for NLR was 2.0. NLR was not associated with pCR or DFS. However, patients with high NLR had worse OS in the presence of triple-negative BC (105.9 months; 95% confidence interval [CI], 100.2-111.5] vs. 98.7 months; 95% CI, 91.1-106.3; P = .029), Her2 overexpression (114.0 months; 95% CI, 110.5-118.0 vs. 100.8 months; 95% CI 95.7-105.9; P = .019), and residual disease after NAC for both phenotypes. Multivariate analysis showed that NLR was independently associated with OS (hazard ratio, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.02-1.95; P = .037).

Conclusions: Pretreatment NLR in patients with locally advanced BC correlates with OS as an independent prognostic factor. This influence depends on phenotype and residual disease. Routine assessment of this parameter could be an easy and affordable tool for defining prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2019.12.011DOI Listing
August 2020

Real-World Outcomes Among Older Mexican Women with Breast Cancer Treated with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.

Oncologist 2020 12 28;25(12):1023-1031. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Departamento de Oncología Médica-Tumores Mamarios, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Mexico City, Mexico.

Background: Older patients with breast cancer treated in high-income countries often present with early-stage disease, leading to a lack of information on the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in this population. We analyzed the real-world outcomes of older women with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy at a single institution in Mexico.

Materials And Methods: The study included 2,216 patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Regarding achievement of pathologic complete response (defined as no invasive residual tumor in the breast and lymph nodes), 243 patients aged ≥65 years were compared with 1,973 patients aged <65 years. Disease-free survival and overall survival were compared between groups according to pathologic complete response and subtype, defined by hormone receptor and human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2) status.

Results: Older women were less likely to have a pathologic complete response than their younger counterparts (26.3 vs. 35.3%, p < .001). When response rates by subtype were analyzed, this difference was significant only for women with triple-negative tumors. Achieving less than a pathologic complete response was associated with a greater chance of recurrence, but age was not an independent factor for recurrence for any subtype. Reaching a pathologic complete response was significantly associated with improved survival among older women with breast cancer, with the exception of those with hormone receptor-positive, HER2- disease.

Conclusion: Although older women have fewer pathological complete responses, their outcomes after neoadjuvant chemotherapy are comparable to those of younger patients. This is particularly relevant for the treatment of older adults with breast cancer in developing countries, who present in advanced stages and more often need neoadjuvant therapy.

Implications For Practice: The majority of older patients with breast cancer in high-income countries present with early-stage disease, leading to a lack of information regarding the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in real-world settings. This article reports the outcomes of older Mexican women with breast cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared with their younger counterparts. Although older women (particularly those with triple-negative tumors) were less likely to have a pathologic complete response after neoadjuvant treatment, age was not an independent factor for recurrence. Achieving a pathologic complete response was associated with improved survival, regardless of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0891DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938403PMC
December 2020

Change in therapeutic management after the EndoPredict assay in a prospective decision impact study of Mexican premenopausal breast cancer patients.

PLoS One 2020 11;15(3):e0228884. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Fundacion de Cancer de Mama (FUCAM), Mexico City, Mexico.

Objective: To evaluate the change in adjuvant therapeutic decision in a cohort of young women with breast cancer discussed by a multidisciplinary team, before and after EndoPredict testing.

Patients And Methods: 99 premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, T1-T2, and N0-N1 breast cancer were included. Clinicopathological characteristics were recorded and cases were presented in a multidisciplinary tumor board. Consensual therapeutic decisions before and after EndoPredict results were registered. Medical records were reviewed at six-month follow-up to determine physicians' adherence to therapeutic recommendations. Pearson chi-square and McNemar's tests were used to analyze differences between groups and changes in treatment recommendations, respectively.

Results: Median age at diagnosis was 43 years. The most frequent tumor size was pT2 (53.5%) and 27% of patients had 1-3 positive lymph nodes. 46% of patients had a low-risk EPclin result. Nodal status and tumor grade were significantly associated with EPclin result (p < .00001 and p = .0110, respectively), while Ki67 levels and age ≤40 years were not. A change in chemotherapy decision was registered in 19.2% of patients (p = .066), with the greatest impact in de-escalation (9% net reduction). A change in chemotherapy or endocrine therapy regimen was suggested in 19% and 20% of cases, respectively, after EPclin results were available. A significant difference was found in the median EPclin score between patients with a low- vs. high-intensity chemotherapy and endocrine therapy regimen recommendation (p = 0.049 and p = 0.0001, respectively). Tumor board treatment recommendation adherence with the EndoPredict result was 95% and final treatment adherence to EPclin result was 93%.

Conclusions: The EndoPredict test successfully assisted the clinical decision-making process in premenopausal patients, with a clinically significant change in overall decision-making, with the greatest impact seen in chemotherapy reduction, and a high rate of therapeutic adherence.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228884PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065749PMC
June 2020
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