Breast Cancer News of Note: November 2021

November 30, 2021

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

Here are the headlines from November 2021:


November 2: A new study adds evidence that chemo helps the spread beyond the original tumor into the lungs. Read more in Science Daily HERE.

November 3: Researchers at George Washington University have identified a molecule in certain breast cancers that stops immune cells from entering tumors in order to kill the cancer cells. Study author Zhiqiang An said, “The discovery of the important role of DDR1 in cancer resistance is a significant advance that can potentially transform treatment pathways.” For an overview see more at ScienceDaily here.

November 5: We all know that stress takes a toll on our health and overall well-being but now researchers are examining how chronic stress weakens immunity and promotes tumor growth. Read the whole story in MedicalXpress HERE.

November 8: A panel at the Advanced Breast Cancer Sixth International Consensus Conference in a session to accept new guidelines for treating advanced breast cancer shared that the average survival time for two out of three advanced types of breast cancer has doubled in the past decade. This article also provides some details on the new guidelines. You can find out more at MedicalXpress here.

November 9: VCU Massey Cancer Center partners with the American Cancer Society to fund early career cancer researchers. This year the Institutional Research Grants process drew a record number of applicants. This is exciting for the researchers, institutions and ultimately for patients as they will be studying new and innovative treatment methods. Six grants were funded while all the applicants received helpful feedback. For more on this collaboration see this link.

November 11: A recent study in The British Medical Journal found that women who exercise shortly after non-reconstructive breast cancer surgery may experience less pain and increased mobility. The authors of the study said, "We found robust evidence that early, structured, progressive exercise is safe and clinically effective for women at higher risk of developing shoulder and upper limb problems after non- reconstructive breast surgery.” For more details on this study follow this MedicalXpress link.

November 12: Breastcancer.org reports on an important study that found cancer research is not representative of Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Alaskan Native populations. This matters to breast cancer patients as Karen Winkfield, M.D., Ph.D., a radiation oncologist and executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance in Nashville, Tennessee acknowledged. “We need everyone appropriately represented because we want to make sure a therapy works the same way and the side effects are the same in different populations.” Check this link for more details about clinical trial participation, race and ethnicity.

November 22: Blacks and Hispanics are still underrepresented in clinical trials despite their increased participation from 2015 to 2019, reports HealthDay News. Read the full article here.

November 23: Some breast cancer treatments may result in bone density loss and now a team of researchers at the University of Arizona may have a way to monitor bone health through an ultra-thin 'computer on the bone.' Read the full article at MedicalXpress here.

November 24: Neelam V. Desai, MD reports here that there may be a new targeted treatment for early stage breast cancer? Dr. Desai put it this way, “These findings suggest taking olaparib for a year after completing standard treatment could be a good option for women who have early-stage breast cancer and an inherited BRCA gene mutation who are at high risk for cancer recurrence and, possibly, its spread.” The results of this study were first published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

November 29: Research links the connection between breast cancer and alcohol consumption including the overall risk for recurrence or a secondary breast cancer. Learn more at Medical News Today by clicking here.

November 29: Alice Park writes in Time Magazine about a new trial that considers whether a vaccine can prevent breast cancer. Dr. G. Thomas Budd, staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center says, “I would say this could be game changing,” she reports. This is something to keep an eye on as this story develops. This particular study is focused on a breast cancer protein called alpha lactalbumin.

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