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 Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>