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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: 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...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

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

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>