Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein from pregnancy hormone may prevent breast cancer

Date:
November 25, 2009
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Researchers have found that hormones produced during pregnancy induce a protein that directly inhibits the growth of breast cancer. This protein, alpha-fetoprotein, may serve as a viable, well-tolerated agent for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, according to new findings.

Researchers have found that hormones produced during pregnancy induce a protein that directly inhibits the growth of breast cancer. This protein, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), may serve as a viable, well-tolerated agent for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, according to findings published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Related Articles


"Hormones in pregnancy, such as estrogen, all induce AFP, which directly inhibits the growth of breast cancer," said lead researcher Herbert Jacobson, Ph.D., who is a basic breast cancer researcher in the Center for Immunology and Microbial Diseases and in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Albany Medical College, N.Y.

"The body has a natural defense system against breast cancer," he added. "AFP needs to be safely harnessed and developed into a drug that can be used to protect women from breast cancer."

Recent studies have shown that hormones released during pregnancy, such as estrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin, reduce a women's risk for breast cancer. AFP is a protein normally produced by the liver and yolk sac of a fetus. Jacobson and colleagues sought to determine whether administering pregnancy hormones to carcinogen-exposed rats led them to produce AFP, which in turn produces the protective effect of pregnancy in the absence of pregnancy.

Results from this study showed that treatment with estrogen plus progesterone, estrogen alone or human chorionic gonadotropin reduced the incidence of mammary cancers in rats. Furthermore, the researchers noted that each of these treatments elevated the serum level of AFP and that AFP directly inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells growing in culture, suggesting that these hormones of pregnancy are preventing breast cancer through their induction of AFP.

Cancer Prevention Research Editorial Board Member Powel Brown, M.D., Ph.D., said while these preclinical findings are important and suggest a role of AFP in breast cancer prevention, they are not yet ready to be used in the clinic.

"The researchers have not directly demonstrated the cancer preventive activity of AFP, instead they found an association of these hormones preventing mammary tumors. None of these treatments prevented mammary tumors in 100 percent of the rats, it appears to delay mammary tumor formation and prevent breast cancer development in approximately 30 to 50 percent of the rats," said Brown, professor of medicine and cancer prevention and clinical cancer prevention department chairman at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

"This study is promising and suggests that additional animal studies need to be done before translation to humans," he said. "We may want to further test AFP for its cancer prevention activity."

Jacobson and colleagues are currently conducting studies in which they have isolated a small piece of AFP molecule and are working to convert it into a breast cancer preventative agent.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Protein from pregnancy hormone may prevent breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124140949.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2009, November 25). Protein from pregnancy hormone may prevent breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124140949.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Protein from pregnancy hormone may prevent breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124140949.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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