International Breast Cancer Specialists’ Group Agrees on Options for Controversial Early Stage Cancer Treatment
For the second time in three years, three medical journals will concurrently publish the findings of 35 breast cancer specialists from around the world.
A who’s who of breast cancer experts from medical institutions around the world have agreed upon a series of treatment options for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), a controversial malignancy found in the breast, as an important new step toward improving patient treatment for this type of early breast cancer. DCIS currently represents 25 to 30 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed.
In a paper to be published concurrently by three medical journals, Cancer, Human Pathology and The Breast Journal, the international Consensus Conference Committee outlines treatment options for DCIS to help determine the appropriate treatment for each patient.
“Now when DCIS is encountered, whether it’s in Philadelphia, London or in Timbuktu, there can be a set of treatment options available,” said Dr. Schwartz. “This should set the standard for treating DCIS.”
The committee made its recommendations during a weekend-long conference held April 22-25, 1999 in Philadelphia. This is the second time in three years these specialists have met to examine DCIS. The Breast Health Institute and the Fashion Group International – Philadelphia, supported the conference.
In 1997, the international conclave created a classification system for DCIS – an important first step toward improving patient treatment of this early-stage breast cancer.
As a result of the 1999 meeting, the group agreed that, when possible, women with DCIS should be treated with breast conservation through lumpectomy or lumpectomy along with radiation therapy. Mastectomy may still be regarded as a treatment option for some women with DCIS.
However, each patient along with her physician must determine the most appropriate means, the group indicated. The group also concurred that there is no evidence yet that the use of tamoxifen in conjunction with any of these options will have a survival benefit in DCIS patients, Dr. Schwartz said.
“It was the opinion of the committee that the role of tamoxifen in patients undergoing breast conservation for DCIS is promising, but is still under investigation,” the Jefferson breast specialist said.
One panelist, Roland Schwarting, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Director of Immunopathology, Hematopathology, and Molecular Diagnostics, JMC, presented his own experience in using biologic markers as predictors of local recurrence following breast conservation for DCIS. Dr. Schwartz noted that Jefferson is in the forefront in the use of biologic markers to help decide treatment.
The report’s significance in determining treatment options for DCIS is confirmed by the fact that three journals have agreed to publish the paper at the same time, Dr. Schwartz said. The 1997 report was also published concurrently by the same journals.
“It’s rarely done,” said Dr. Schwartz of the multiple journal publications, “By chance, not by design, three of the physicians who were here are also the editors-in-chief of the three journals. They thought it was important enough to reach all three journal audiences.”
The committee members include pathologists, surgeons, radiation and surgical oncologists and biostatisticians, from medical institutions around the globe.
For a complete commitee member list, and information on sponsors, please see below:
The conference was funded through the annual “Give the Shirt Off Your Back! Fight Breast Cancer” gala dinner dance sponsored by the Breast Health Institute and the Fashion Group International-Philadelphia.
The Breast Health Institute (BHI) was founded in response to an ever-increasing incidence of breast cancer and a corresponding decrease in the availability of public funds for basic and clinical research in this specialty. BHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for clincal research, education and public awareness of breast cancer. BHI funds many early detection programs for the underserved women of the Delaware Valley.
Fashion Group International (FGI) is a nonprofit association promoting the advancement of professionals in the fashion industry. Members include professionals in design, marketing, manufacturing, retailing, advertising and publishing, and those who provide research, financial and educational services to the fashion industry. FGI members create events nationwide and join with other organizations to support causes that benefit entire communities.