NEWS from Dr. Lucci’s latest research - We are now assessing blood samples from our high-risk breast cancer patients- such as triple-negative or inflammatory breast cancer, or locally-advanced patients- to look for mutations within the blood- also known as a "liquid biopsy"- to identify those mutations that can be used as targets for new drug therapy. One example would be to look for mutations in PIK3CA and adding a drug known to act against this. This is the way of the future!  I believe that in the near future we will be able to identify certain mutations that will guide our therapy choices, allowing us to choose the drug most likely to kill the tumor. This will be a big advance, and its coming in the near future. in case we think its far off, recently such a mutation was found in lung cancer patients, and now such a liquid biopsy is used in the clinic to help guide lung cancer treatment.  We are hopeful that breast cancer is not far behind. 


OTHER important news from Dr. Lucci - Recent research (not on CTC research but on IBC) shows we can achieve local control rates equal time non IBC - not done before. We are combining this with our CTC blood data:

The ASCOT Post

May 25, 2017

By Caroline Helwick

"Triple‑Modality Therapy Achieves Good Control in Inflammatory Breast Cancer"

‘Shift in Thinking

Anthony Lucci, MD, Professor of Surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center and the study’s senior author, emphasized the relevance of their findings. “We frequently see patients with inflammatory breast carcinoma who are being told, ‘There is no reason to remove the primary,’ or ‘You are not a candidate for mastectomy.’ In our study, using an aggressive approach to resection of the primary, we were successful 99% of the time in achieving negative margins by performing a modified radical mastectomy after neoadjuvant chemotherapy,” he said in an interview.

“The patients then completed their trimodal therapy by undergoing postmastectomy radiation therapy specific to inflammatory breast carcinoma, resulting in local recurrence rates that were no different from patients with other forms of breast cancer,” Dr. -Lucci said. “This represents a significant improvement in previously reported local recurrence rates in this disease.”

Dr. Rosso added that the surgeons closely examine the pretreatment photos to better appreciate the degree of diffuse skin involvement. “We don’t spare much skin. We take everything off the muscle and include the muscle when it is involved,” she said. In most cases, primary wound closure is possible; in about 15% of cases, the wound requires a tissue flap by a plastic surgeon.

“We feel this represents a shift in thinking regarding the management of patients with inflammatory breast cancer,” Dr. Lucci offered. “That is, it debunks the outdated thinking that ‘There is no good reason to aggressively resect all of the local disease to negative margins in patients with inflammatory breast cancer, since the thinking is that they might have a distant recurrence, and local control is not that important.’”

To view full article: