Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Studies on HRT for breast cancer patients can give false hopes

19.05.2005


Women treated for breast cancer who are considering taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) should be cautious when using published research to inform their decision. An article published today in the journal Breast Cancer Research reveals that qualitative studies on the recurrence of breast cancer in breast cancer survivors undergoing HRT are unreliable.



There are two main types of research studies – qualitative and quantitative. Each type is used to answer different research questions. Dr Col, from Brown Medical School, USA, and colleagues found that all of the qualitative studies on the recurrence of breast cancer in patients taking HRT they looked at have “serious design features that could introduce selection, reporting and/or publication biases”.

These qualitative studies have concluded that there is no increased risk of the recurrence of breast cancer in patients taking HRT, but the authors of today’s study feel that this is not a reliable conclusion. Meanwhile, evidence from randomized controlled trials - a type of quantitative study – suggests the opposite – that there is an increased risk of the recurrence of breast cancer in patients taking HRT.


Patients and doctors, the authors conclude, should base their decision on randomised controlled trials, as these “provide the only reliable estimates of recurrence risk”.

The authors scrutinized 10 studies on the recurrence of breast cancer in a total of 1,316 breast cancer survivors who used HRT and 2,839 who didn’t. Out of the ten studies, the eight qualitative studies were positive and suggested that HRT decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 0.64. The two randomised controlled trials found the opposite and concluded that HRT increases the risk of recurrence by 3.41.

The positive studies were all said to have methodological limitations that could not be controlled using statistical methods. For example, they selected healthier women to take HRT and followed them for only a very short time. The authors also speculated that ‘publication bias’ played a role – this is where researchers and journals are more likely to publish positive results, which suggests that negative results have not been published. Overall, this bias in the reporting of results has propagated the idea of a protective effect of HRT.

Overall, the authors conclude that these qualitative studies “should be considered essentially uninformative with respect to HRT use in breast cancer survivors.”

Women who have been treated for breast cancer are usually menopausal, either because of age, the cancer itself or because of therapy. HRT offers the hope of overcoming symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes, mood swings and increased risk of developing osteoporosis. The link between HRT and breast cancer is controversial. The present study highlights the need for extreme caution and critical judgment when looking at the evidence for or against HRT use in breast cancer survivors.

Juliette Savin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: 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 >>>