Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hypothyroidism associated with reduced breast cancer risk

14.02.2005


Discovery could lead to new direction for prevention, treatment research

Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that women with a common thyroid gland disorder appear to have a reduced chance of developing invasive breast cancer, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Cancer, out online Feb. 14.

In a retrospective case-control study of 2,226 females, researchers found that women with primary hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) had a 61 percent lower risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Additionally, women newly diagnosed with breast cancer were 57 percent less likely to have the under-active thyroid gland condition compared to a control group of healthy women.



Even more, the breast cancer patients on the study who also had a history of hypothyroidism tended to be older when diagnosed and have a less aggressive, indolent variety of the disease that was sensitive to estrogen treatment.

"These intriguing and very exciting findings suggest a biological role of thyroid hormone in women with breast cancer that could offer some prognostic or therapeutic value, perhaps suggesting novel preventive strategies," says Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Breast Medical Oncology and the study’s lead author. "The study also draws attention to the role of thyroid hormone and its potential interaction with estrogen to promote the onset of breast cancer. We need to consider that while in the past we’ve looked only at the role of estrogen on breast tissue to promote the onset of cancer - thereby promoting research that brought therapeutic and preventive hormonal approaches to the patient - many more studies need to be done to explore the role of other hormones.

The influence of thyroid gland disease on breast cancer has been debated for some time. Other smaller studies have focused on a population of women with several thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid), thyroid cancer and others, and reported conflicting results on the incidence of breast cancer. Consequentially, researchers were not sure what to make of the different findings, Cristofanilli says.

M. D. Anderson’s study is the first clinical investigation to examine the characteristics of invasive breast cancer in patients with hypothyroidism and compare the incidence of this common condition with a carefullyselected matched control group. The study compared the medical records of 1,136 women treated at M. D. Anderson for breast cancer to those of 1,088 healthy women who came to the institution for breast cancer screening.

"Thyroid hormone and estrogen both share similar pathways in regulating proliferation and growth in the target cells, including cancer cells. This well known phenomenon of cross-talk between the receptor of these hormones may promote or inhibit thereby determining the "fate" of a cell towards either a regulated growth or a cancer," he says. "If results of a planned M. D. Anderson prospective study bear out this conclusion, then it may be possible to design a treatment that specifically and narrowly targets thyroid hormone receptors, which might provide enough influence on the target cells to help prevent breast cancer - perhaps even serving as a complement to tamoxifen," Cristofanilli says.

Even before this research is concluded, Cristofanilli believes that, as a first step, all women diagnosed with breast cancer should have their thyroid function tested to detect common disorders - namely hyper- or hypothyroidism - so that women with both conditions can be closely monitored.

Nuclear receptors for thyroid hormone and estrogen are part of the "superfamily" of receptors that contribute to control cell growth and differentiation. Hormones must bind to this family of important proteins to exert their functions, and depending on the hormone to which they bind, can either stimulate or inhibit the growth of cells, Cristofanilli says.

Estrogen controls growth of female reproductive tissues, such as is found in the breasts, and thyroid hormones control energy metabolism in tissue.

Hypothyroidism - a condition estimated to affect approximately 20 percent of older women - is produced when the thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. Insufficient levels of specific types of thyroid hormone may affect all body functions, and can slow patient functioning, causing mental and physical sluggishness.

Other researchers contributing to the M. D. Anderson study include: Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., chairman of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology; Richard Theriault, D.O.; Therese Bevers, M.D.; Sara Strom, Ph.D.; Savitri Krishnamurthy, M.D.; Yuko Yamamura; Shu-Wan Kau; Modesto Patangan; and Limin Hsu.

Laura Sussman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>