Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen

Date:
June 17, 2010
Source:
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Summary:
Women taking tamoxifen for early-stage breast cancer who developed blood clots were more likely to carry a gene mutation for clotting than women taking tamoxifen who did not develop a clot, according to a new study.

Women taking tamoxifen for early-stage breast cancer who developed blood clots were more likely to carry a gene mutation for clotting than women taking tamoxifen who did not develop blood clots, according to an online study published June 16 in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Tamoxifen is a widely-used breast cancer treatment after surgery for pre and post menopausal patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. One of the most serious complications of tamoxifen usage is the development of blood clots, or thromboembolic events (TEs). Previous studies have shown that use of tamoxifen increases the risk of TEs in healthy women twofold, and that in women aged 50 and above, it is associated with even greater risk. The genetic mutation Factor V Leiden (FVL) is the most common inherited clotting factor mutation and also causes increased thrombosis risk.

To determine if having the Factor V Leiden genetic mutation increases the risk of thromboembolisms among women taking tamoxifen, Judy E. Garber, M.D. of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute's Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) looked at 412 women who received the drug as adjuvant treatment for stage I, II, or IIIA breast cancer, between January 1999 and April 2005. The women, whose median age was 64, included 141 patients who developed TEs and 271 who did not.

The researchers found that women who had experienced a thromboembolism while taking tamoxifen were nearly five times more likely to carry the FVL mutation compared with the women who did not develop a thromboembolism. This result differed from previous studies, which found no associated risk of TEs or an increased presence of FVLs among women at risk of breast cancer, but who did not actually have the disease.

The researchers concluded that the presence of breast cancer may influence the occurrence of TEs among patients taking tamoxifen. Chemotherapy is also thought to increase the risk of TEs by decreasing coagulation inhibitors and damaging vascular endothelium. However, even though half the women in this study had also received chemotherapy, the study showed no statistically significant difference in chemotherapy exposure between the women who developed TEs and those who did not. So chemotherapy, the researchers concluded, was unlikely to explain the prevalence of the FVL mutation among women with TEs in this study. The risk of TE was also associated with smoking and family and personal history of TEs.

The researchers also concluded that: "These data may prove useful to women who must decide between tamoxifen and an effective, essentially non-thrombogenic, alternative adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, such as aromatase inhibitors for postmenopausal women and gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs or oophorectomy for premenopausal women."

According to the authors, the study's limitations include lack of family history data on TE and other hereditary factors leading to coagulopathies. The researchers also did not collect data on other potential TE risk factors, such as body mass index and recent surgery.

In an accompanying editorial, Jack Cuzick, Ph.D., of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said that why the FVL mutation is associated with TEs among breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen but not among people taking tamoxifen preventively "remains a mystery."

"Continued follow-up and research on the relationship between the FVL mutation and tamoxifen, especially in the prevention setting, will be the only way to clarify these apparently contradictory settings," Cuzick said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Judy E. Garber, Susan Halabi, Sara M. Tolaney, Ellen Kaplan, Laura Archer, James N. Atkins, Stephen Edge, Charles L. Shapiro, Lynn Dressler, Electra M. Paskett, Gretchen Kimmick, James Orcutt, Anthony Scalzo, Eric Winer, Ellis Levine, Nasir Shahab, Nancy Berliner, and for the Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Factor V Leiden Mutation and Thromboembolism Risk in Women Receiving Adjuvant Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2010; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djq211

Cite This Page:

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616161203.htm>.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (2010, June 17). Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616161203.htm
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616161203.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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