Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast Cancer Drug Improves Arteries In Men With Heart Disease

Date:
March 20, 2001
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
In the first study of its kind, a drug used to treat breast cancer improved blood flow in men with coronary artery disease, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dallas, March 20 – In the first study of its kind, a drug used to treat breast cancer improved blood flow in men with coronary artery disease, researchers report today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The drug tamoxifen also reduced cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels in men in the study, suggesting that it may lead to a new line of therapy. Previous research found that tamoxifen reduced cardiovascular risk factors in women being treated for breast cancer.

Tamoxifen is one of a family of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), that have estrogen-like effects in some tissues, but block the effects of estrogen in others. For instance, tamoxifen works as an antiestrogen in some forms of breast cancer preventing the proliferative effects of the hormone. Another drug in the class, raloxifene, has estrogen-like effects that aid in the treatment of the bone-weakening condition called osteoporosis, explains co-author James C. Metcalfe, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and nearby Papworth Hospital studied 31 men with coronary artery disease (CAD). Sixteen were treated with tamoxifen for 56 days and 15 were untreated. For at least six weeks before the study, the CAD patients also received two common therapies for coronary artery disease: aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. Ten men who had chest pain (angina), but normal coronary arteries, were also treated with tamoxifen for comparison to the men with CAD.

Measurements were taken several times throughout the study to determine the blood vessels’ ability to dilate, or expand, as well as several heart disease risk factors such as total cholesterol, triglyecrides, lipoprotein (a) – a cholesterol component linked to heart and blood vessel disease – and fibrinogen, which plays a role in the clotting that can lead to a heart attack.

In the most striking effect, tamoxifen counteracted the toll of aging on the arteries’ ability to expand in response to increased blood flow, known as endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation.

In men with CAD, the vessel dilation increased from 2.1 percent at the start of the study to 7.5 percent after 28 days of tamoxifen treatment. In the group with normal coronary arteries, it rose from 3.8 percent to 7.9 percent.

"Others have shown that the blood vessels’ ability to dilate usually declines with age," says Metcalfe. "The average dilation for a man under age 40 is about 7 percent, declining to about 3.5 percent at 63 years of age – near the average age of the CAD patients in this study. Tamoxifen made the CAD patients’ vessels more responsive, somehow overcoming the age-related decline in vessel dilation."

Reduced cholesterol levels also improve vessel dilation. Because CAD patients took cholesterol-lowering drugs as well as tamoxifen, their cholesterol was further lowered. "However, while tamoxifen did reduce cholesterol levels, the effects on vessel dilation seemed to go beyond that of cholesterol-lowering alone, suggesting some new mechanism," says Metcalfe. He notes that tamoxifen even improved dilation in the men without artery disease who were not taking statins.

In addition, the cholesterol-lowering effects of statins and tamoxifen seem additive, he says. "This strongly suggests that combined therapy with the two classes of drugs can be considered and is likely to provide additive benefits," Metcalfe says.

Intriguingly, researchers say, tamoxifen also significantly reduced the blood fat known as triglycerides in men, although it causes a slight increase in triglycerides in women. Excess calories, particularly those from carbohydrates, are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue to meet the body’s energy needs between meals.

Metcalfe stresses that it is too soon to say whether tamoxifen should be used to treat CAD. Although tamoxifen caused no side effects in this study, a much larger trial to study safety and efficacy is required before SERMs could be considered for treatment of coronary artery disease. Such a trial, the Raloxifene Use for the Heart (RUTH), is currently under way in 10,000 women, he says.

Co-authors include: Sarah C. Clarke, M.B.; Peter M. Schofield, M.D.; Andrew A. Grace, Ph.D.; and Heide L. Kirschenlohr, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Breast Cancer Drug Improves Arteries In Men With Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010320074828.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2001, March 20). Breast Cancer Drug Improves Arteries In Men With Heart Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010320074828.htm
American Heart Association. "Breast Cancer Drug Improves Arteries In Men With Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010320074828.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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