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Hormone Therapy Study Stopped Due To Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Lack Of Overall Benefit

Date:
July 10, 2002
Source:
NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute
Summary:
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stopped early a major clinical trial of the risks and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy menopausal women due to an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. The large multi-center trial, a component of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), also found increases in coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in study participants on estrogen plus progestin compared to women taking placebo pills. There were noteworthy benefits of estrogen plus progestin, including fewer cases of hip fractures and colon cancer, but on balance the harm was greater than the benefit. The study, which was scheduled to run until 2005, was stopped after an average follow-up of 5.2 years.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stopped early a major clinical trial of the risks and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy menopausal women due to an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. The large multi-center trial, a component of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), also found increases in coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in study participants on estrogen plus progestin compared to women taking placebo pills. There were noteworthy benefits of estrogen plus progestin, including fewer cases of hip fractures and colon cancer, but on balance the harm was greater than the benefit. The study, which was scheduled to run until 2005, was stopped after an average follow-up of 5.2 years. Participants in this component of WHI, like most women with a uterus who take hormone therapy, were given progestin in combination with estrogen. This practice is known to prevent endometrial cancer. A separate WHI study of estrogen alone in women who had a hysterectomy before joining the WHI hormone program continues unchanged because, at this point, the balance of risks and benefits of estrogen alone is still uncertain.


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The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Hormone Therapy Study Stopped Due To Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Lack Of Overall Benefit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020710081413.htm>.
NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. (2002, July 10). Hormone Therapy Study Stopped Due To Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Lack Of Overall Benefit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020710081413.htm
NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Hormone Therapy Study Stopped Due To Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Lack Of Overall Benefit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020710081413.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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