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 Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>