Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Pittsburgh Researcher Identifies Serum Sex Hormones As Powerful Predictors Of Breast Cancer

Date:
February 17, 1999
Source:
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
Results of a study published in the February 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine suggest that in the near future a simple blood test to detect levels of sex hormones could predict which women are at the highest risk of developing breast cancer. With this information, physicians could determine who would be good candidates for medications that can reduce the risk of the disease.

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15 -- Results of a study published in the February 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine suggest that in the near future a simple blood test to detect levels of sex hormones could predict which women are at the highest risk of developing breast cancer. With this information, physicians could determine who would be good candidates for medications that can reduce the risk of the disease. Jane A. Cauley, Dr.P.H., associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), led the multi-center, federally funded study.

"In our study of older women, we found those with the highest levels of either serum estradiol or testosterone were three times more likely than expected to develop breast cancer," said Dr. Cauley. "This magnitude of risk is much higher than that observed for other breast cancer risk factors."

She explained, "Each year more than 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Although well-established risk factors exist for breast cancer, more than 90 percent of all women have at least one of these factors and, individually, each factor only modestly increases a woman's risk of developing the disease."

The research involved participants from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures and included 97 women who developed breast cancer and 244 randomly selected controls. All women were white, 65 years of age or older and not receiving estrogen. The estimated incidence of breast cancer was lowest (4 per 10,000 women/year) in women with the lowest blood levels of estradiol and testosterone. Conversely, the incidence of breast cancer was highest (65 per 10,000 women/year) in women with the highest concentrations of both hormones.

This research strengthens previous reports indicating that hormone levels influence the risk of breast cancer, according to Dr. Cauley. "This type of information could help clinicians direct high-risk women to consider chemoprevention for breast cancer," said Dr. Cauley. "Results from the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial and the Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Evaluation Trial have shown that certain medications can reduce the incidence of breast cancer."

Unlike previous reports, results of this study showed that testosterone and estradiol independently contributed to breast cancer risk. For many years, researchers have known that estradiol, a metabolic product of estrogen, fuels the growth of some breast cancers. The way that testosterone may contribute to breast cancer growth is unclear at this time, according to Dr. Cauley.

Studies are currently underway to determine whether selective estrogen receptor modifiers, or SERMS, can reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women who have high baseline measurements of estradiol. In addition, studies like the Women's Health Trial have shown that dietary modifications can reduce blood levels of estradiol in post-menopausal women. In another study, the Women's Health Initiative, investigators are waiting to see whether reduced dietary fat will translate into a decrease in the number of breast cancer cases.

Because absolute levels of hormones in older women are low, the study employed extremely sensitive, accurate assays to measure differences among levels in study participants. These sensitive assays are not yet clinically available, according to Dr. Cauley.

###

For more information on the GSPH department of epidemiology, access the website: http://www.pitt.edu/~epidept/epihome.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "University Of Pittsburgh Researcher Identifies Serum Sex Hormones As Powerful Predictors Of Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990217080035.htm>.
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (1999, February 17). University Of Pittsburgh Researcher Identifies Serum Sex Hormones As Powerful Predictors Of Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990217080035.htm
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "University Of Pittsburgh Researcher Identifies Serum Sex Hormones As Powerful Predictors Of Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990217080035.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins