Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Common class of pain drugs reduces severity of postpartum breast cancers

12.08.2011
Published online on Aug. 7, 2011, the journal Nature Medicine reports that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen reduce the severity of postpartum breast cancers in animal models.

“We caution patients and providers that because a mother’s body is undergoing radical changes during this time, we can’t yet speak to the safety of these drugs for women diagnosed with or at risk for postpartum breast cancer, and thus can’t yet recommend NSAIDs as a preventative therapy or cancer treatment,” says Pepper Schedin, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor in the division of medical oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who teamed up on this study with Virginia Borges, MD, an expert in young women’s breast cancer who is also at the Cancer Center. First authors of this important paper are University of Colorado trainees, Drs. Traci Lyons and Jenean O’Brien.

The story starts with breast involution – the process by which milk-producing cells that are no longer needed are killed and replaced with fat cells. During this time of change, the breast is especially susceptible to the development of cancer. In fact, recent studies show that women who have children before age 30 increase their risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer by 10% and women who wait to have children until after age 35 increase their risk by 30%. Not only is breast cancer more prevalent in young mothers than women who have not had a child, but cancers diagnosed in the early years postpartum tend to be more aggressive, with increased risk of spreading to other organs. For example, one study reported that women diagnosed with cancer within two years of giving birth had a 40% five-year survival rate, as opposed to a 70% five-year survival rate for women diagnosed outside the postpartum window.

What this University of Colorado research team discovered is that breast involution shares similarities with wounds, and wounds can cause cells to become cancerous in addition to promoting metastasis of otherwise localized tumor cells. Two wound-like changes that occur in the postpartum breast are an increase in fibrous collagen (the protein that gives our flesh structure) and increase of an enzyme called COX-2.

In addition to causing inflammation and pain, COX-2 aids the formation of fibrous collagen, which in the process of wound healing serves as a highway along which healthy skin cells travel in order to close the wound. However, this collagen also forms a rich architecture for the growth and spread of cancers. In short, breast involution leads to COX-2, which leads to fibrous collagen, which promotes the release of more COX-2, and this positive feedback loop can help a tumor grow and push into other tissues.

It’s a vicious chain, but one with a weak link: many drugs exist that inhibit COX-2. These include the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, or celecoxib, which is a more targeted COX-2 inhibitor used in other inflammatory diseases like arthritis. “Inhibition of COX-2 slows the formation of fibrillar collagen and thus both tumor growth and the tumor’s travel into the lung,” write Schedin and collaborators. Sure enough, Schedin and the research team found that in postpartum mice, ibuprofen and celecoxib treatment reduced mammary tumor size, collagen architecture, COX-2 expression, and breast tumor cell spreading into the lung.

However, recommending ibuprofen for women undergoing breast involution is premature. Schedin and Borges point out that early studies of vitamin A in lung cancer and vitamin E in prostate cancer at first found the vitamins to be cancer-fighting but eventually showed them to be cancer-promoting. “It becomes a numbers game,” says Borges, “with the benefit of the drug weighed against its dangers. It seems as if the safety of these drugs is self-evident, but it’s only because we don’t fully understand the effects of NSAIDs during this unique period of a woman’s life, when her body is undergoing dramatic changes. So it becomes very important to study the effects of NSAID treatment in this particular group of women before we can make any prevention recommendations.”

This is about the fifth step down an extremely promising path toward identifying a simple, inexpensive, effective treatment of postpartum breast cancers. But there are many steps still to go.

Supported by Department of Defense Synergistic Idea Award

#BC060531, Komen Foundation #KG090629, Mary Kay Ash Foundation #078-08 and

University of Colorado Cancer Center grants to PS and VB, Department of Defense

Award #BC074970 to PJK, American Cancer Society New England Division

Postdoctoral Fellowship Spin Odyssey #PF-08-257-01-CSM to TRL, Department of

Defense Postdoctoral grant BC087579 to AM, and Department of Defense Predoctoral

Grant #BC073482 to JO.

Garth Sundem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

Further reports about: COX-2 Cancer Colorado river Medicine NSAID breast cancer inflammatory disease skin cell

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>