Prepared by: Rich Ackerman
Date: October 13, 2004
Subject: Non-surgical treatment of breast cancer

Overview

You've asked for information about current research into non-surgical treatment of breast cancer. I have found several articles that may be helpful to you, and other resources that will be of great value. There are many different types and stages of breast cancer. The discussions in these articles may not be appropriate for your illness, but they may help you find other articles that are. I urge you to discuss these articles with your doctor. I am not a medical practitioner; I cannot give medical advice and I cannot attest to the medical value of procedures or treatments described.

Article references

These articles are typical examples of what you'll find searching for current research. They do not constitute medical advice.

Sabel, M.S., Kaufman, C.S., Whitworth, P., Chang, H., Stocks, L.H., Simmons, R. & Schultz, M. (2004). Cryoablation of early-stage breast cancer: work-in-progress report of a multi-institutional trial. Annnals of Surgical Oncology, 11(5), 542-549. This article can be found in the database Journals@Ovid by searching for its title.

Sabel and associates describe results from a multi-institutional clinical trial in which cyroablation is used. This is a process wherein small breast cancers are destroyed by repeated freezing. Cyroablation is used for treatment of other cancers and the authors report positive results from their trials. This paper also contains citations to other forms of non-surgical treatment for breast cancer, including radiofrequency ablation, laser interstitial therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, and focused microwave thermotherapy. Please consult with your doctor to see if this may be appropriate for you.

Dowlatshahi, K., Snider, H.C., Gittleman, M.A., Nguyen, C., Vigneri, P.M., Phillip, M., & Franklin, R.L. (2004). Early experience with balloon brachytherapy for breast cancer. Archives of Surgery, 139 (6), 603-8. This is from Medline via LexisNexis.

This article describes a new technique in radiation therapy that uses a ballon delivery vehicle as an alternative to external beam radiation.

Dowlatshahi, K., Dieschbourg, J. Bloom, K.J. (2004). Laser therapy of breast cancer with 3-year follow-up. Breast Journal, 10(3), 240-243. Available through Blackwell-Synergy.

This article describes interstitial laser therapy of breast cancers. The authors state, "The case reported in this article illustrates the advantages of in-situ ablation with minimal discomfort to the patient and deformity of the breast. More importantly, it demonstrates the absence of any adverse effect on health and survival of the patient during this intermediate period of follow-up."

Additional sources

There are many high quality sources of information on breast cancer. Some resources I can recommend include:

MedLinePlus ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ ) is a comprehensive site run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. The health topic "breast cancer" leads to a page with many resources including news, information guides, and treatment overviews.

The National Cancer Institute ( http://www.cancer.gov/ ) has many resources about breast cancer. The breast cancer home page is at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast

The American Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org ) has a similar set of information available throught the Internet starting at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/CRI_2_3x.asp?dt=5

An excellent database of journal articles is available through PubMed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed. These are very cliniical in nature. If you search for "breast cancer treatment" you will find many professional articles on the topic.

Another excellent resource, available through your library, is MD Consult Core Collection. It offers "access to over 30 renowned medical texts, articles from more than 40 clinical journals, practice guidelines, drug information, 2,500 patient education handouts, CME, and daily medical updates customized to your specialty."

A variety of databases available through your library offer a range of material. ScienceDirect and Wiley InterScience both provide access to vast libraries of medical research. LexisNexis provides access to articles contained in popular magazines that discuss medical research into breast cancer. This may be an easier way for you to locate additional information. A database called Kluwer Journals Online contains the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and you might look through back issues.

As you can tell, there are many resources available to help you find information about breast cancer. If you need any additional help, all you need to do is ask!