Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hormone replacement therapy may improve breast cancer detection and survival rate

13.09.2002


OHSU study suggests that HRT may act on cancer cells to produce less aggressive tumors



A study of nearly 300 breast cancer patients at Oregon Health & Science University found that women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have less aggressive tumors and are more likely to be diagnosed through mammograms than other methods. Also, HRT users with breast cancer had significantly better survival rates than non-HRT users. The study is published in the September issue of the journal The Archives of Surgery.

Because hormones increase the density of breast tissue, researchers have suspected that HRT use would make it more difficult to detect tumors on mammograms. As a result, it was suspected that tumors in patients who have received HRT might not be detected until they were larger and more advanced. However, of 144 study patients using HRT, 84 had their tumors detected by mammogram, while 60 were detected by other methods. Comparatively, of 148 non-HRT users, 63 had their tumors detected by mammogram, while 85 were detected by palpation (feeling for lumps).


Even more surprising, among the women whose tumors were detected by mammogram, HRT users had a 100 percent survival rate, while nonusers had only an 87 percent survival rate after six years. The study found significantly fewer cases of invasive tumors among HRT users, and higher incidences of T1 lesions, stage 1 tumors and node-negative tumors--all signs of a less aggressive disease.

"From this data it appears that HRT use had only beneficial effects on breast cancer detection and outcomes, with no visible negative effects," said Rodney F. Pommier, M.D., associate professor of surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study.

Hormone replacement therapy has come under fire in recent months after several studies indicated that long-term use of combination hormone therapies can lead to slight increases in heart disease, stroke and breast cancer among patients.

"Every woman should talk to her physician about her own risks and benefits of taking hormones," said Pommier. "But this data needs to be taken into consideration as well. If we know that HRT can improve survival rates by producing a less aggressive breast cancer, then it’s possible that by withholding HRT for the purpose of possibly preventing a few cases of breast cancer, you’re going to have a higher death rate among women who were going to get the disease anyway."

The Women’s Health Initiative last July canceled its clinical trial on the use of combination estrogen-progestin HRT due to higher reports of associated illnesses. However, there has not been the same association with estrogen-only HRT. The OHSU study, which was a retrospective analysis of patients already diagnosed with breast cancer, included patients who took any form of HRT.

"This study opens an entirely new direction for future research of breast cancers. When we learn how HRT favorably affects the biology of tumors we can then use that information in a therapeutic fashion to improve the outcome of women with breast cancer," said study co-investigator SuEllen Toth-Fejel, Ph.D., research assistant professor of surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine, who led the laboratory work on the project.

Martin Munguia | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells
13.12.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart
13.12.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>