Efforts to fight cancer include both treatment and prevention. A recently tested vaccine proved to be safe and tolerable for breast cancer patients hoping to prevent recurrence. I'm Miranda Savioli with your latest health news.
Targeting protein or tumor cells is the goal of vaccine development. One protein found in some breast cancers is HER2. The GP2 vaccine was developed to teach the immune system to look for and destroy the protein. In the clinical study, participants were either given the vaccine with an immune system stimulant or just the immune system stimulant alone. The results showed the vaccine to be as safe as the immune system agent and the women tolerated it well. Breast cancer recurrence decreased by nearly 60 percent in women who got the vaccine compared to those who only received the immune system agent.
Make sure to get screened regularly for breast cancer.
Taken from DailyRX.
PHILADELPHIA — Women who recently used birth control pills containing high–dose estrogen and a few other formulations had an increased risk for breast cancer, whereas women using some other formulations did not, according to data published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
“Our results suggest that use of contemporary oral contraceptives [birth control pills] in the past year is associated with an increased breast cancer risk relative to never or former oral contraceptive use, and that this risk may vary by oral contraceptive formulation,” said Elisabeth F. Beaber, PhD, MPH, a staff scientist in the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.
“Our results require confirmation and should be interpreted cautiously,” added Beaber. “Breast cancer is rare among young women and there are numerous established health benefits associated with oral contraceptive use that must be considered. In addition, prior studies suggest that the increased risk associated with recent oral contraceptive use declines after stopping oral contraceptives.”
In a nested case–control study of 1,102 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 21,952 controls, Beaber and colleagues found that recent oral contraceptive use increased breast cancer risk by 50%, compared with never or former use. All study participants were at Group Health Cooperative in the Seattle–Puget Sound area. Patients received a cancer diagnosis between 1990 and 2009.
Birth control pills containing high–dose estrogen increased breast cancer risk 2.7–fold, and those containing moderate–dose estrogen increased the risk 1.6–fold. Pills containing ethynodiol diacetate increased the risk 2.6–fold, and triphasic combination pills containing an average of 0.75 milligrams of norethindrone increased the risk 3.1–fold.
Birth control pills containing low–dose estrogen did not increase breast cancer risk.
About 24%, 78%, and less than 1% of study controls who were recent oral contraceptive users filled at least one prescription in the past year for low–, moderate–, and/or high–estrogen dose oral contraceptives, respectively, according to Beaber.
Unlike most previous studies that depended on women’s self–report or recall, which may cause bias, Beaber and colleagues used electronic pharmacy records to gather detailed information on oral contraceptive use including drug name, dosage, and duration of medication.
This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. Beaber declares no conflicts of interest.
Taken from American Association for Cancer Research News
Northwestern Medicine scientists have demonstrated how metformin, a drug widely used to treat patients with type II diabetes, inhibits cancer progression. Recent studies suggest that the anti–diabetic drug prevents cancer progression, but how metformin diminishes tumor growth is not fully understood. Metformin works by decreasing insulin in the blood. It is postulated that since cancer cells need insulin to multiply, the drug slows down tumor growth by cutting the energy supply produced by their mitochondria. Navdeep S. Chandel, PhD, professor in Medicine–Pulmonary and Cell and Molecular Biology, and collaborators showed that metformin inhibits the function of mitochondrial complex I in human cancer cells, which reduces tumor burden. Mitochondrial complex I is a compound central to energy production in the cell. First authors are William W. Wheaton, graduate student in Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Graduate Training Program in Life Sciences, and Samuel E. Weinberg, MD/PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program. The paper was published May 13 in eLife.
Taken from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine News
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