New Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Now Offered at Ingalls

Two groundbreaking breast cancer placebo-controlled clinical trials are now available through Ingalls Cancer Care and are targeted for patients with early-stage breast cancer: the APHINITY Study and the MA-32 Study.

The APHINITY Study looks at the investigational drug pertuzumab, and is taking place at 700 sites worldwide. The study is of global significance following the results of a previous trial, which revealed that a combination treatment of Pertuzumab and Herceptin offered a positive change in treatment for the aggressive HER2-positive form of breast cancer.

Forty-seven-year-old Laura Bojanski of Lowell, Indiana, was diagnosed with the aggressive HER-2 positive breast cancer in March 2012, and Laura had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery at Ingalls in April.

When her oncologist Mark Kozloff, M.D. (hematologist/oncologist and medical director of Ingalls Cancer Clinical Trials) discussed treatment options, he recommended the APHINITY Study, so Laura began both chemotherapy and the clinical trial in June and will continue on the trial for a full year, though her last chemotherapy treatment ended in October.

"I've got an extremely positive attitude, and I've had it since day one. Participating in the APHINITY Study gives me added confidence that I'm going to beat this!"

The MA-32 Study at Ingalls is investigating whether the diabetes medication metformin can decrease or affect the ability of breast cancer cells to grow and if it will work with other therapies to keep cancer from recurring.

"An earlier study showed that diabetics with breast cancer responded more favorably to breast cancer therapies given before surgery," explains Dr. James Wallace. "The researchers think metformin might decrease growth and proliferation of the breast cancer cells."

In June, 68-year-old Winni Harrison of Chicago enrolled in the metformin study at Ingalls after her lumpectomy, with the hope that the clinical trial will help her beat breast cancer. "If the study I'm doing is going to help other women in the future, that's great," Winni, a survivor of both cervical and skin cancers, added.

"Giving up is not an option for me. Those things that happen to us in life are going to happen. Staying positive helps us to get through it."

For more information about these and other cancer research studies at Ingalls, call 708.915.HOPE (4673).

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