The hormone estrogen may help promote lung cancer - including compounding the effects of tobacco smoke on the disease - pointing towards potential new therapies that target the hormone metabolism, according to new research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 by scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "This research provides the link between estrogen and tobacco smoke, " says study author Jing Peng, Ph.D., postdoctoral associate in the lab of Margie L. Clapper, Ph.D., also a co-author on the paper. The researchers found that estrogen is metabolized into toxic derivatives in the mouse lung. The level of these toxic metabolites increased when mice were exposed to tobacco smoke. The results suggest that new therapies which prevent estrogen from being converted into toxins could one day help treat - or even prevent - lung cancer, says Peng.
Men experience a marked drop in their testosterone levels when taking a targeted therapy to control a specific type of lung cancer. That's according to a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the April issue of Cancer, the official journal of the American Cancer Society. Investigators at CU Cancer Center looked at the hormone levels in men with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) taking crizotinib, after a 35-year-old man on the drug reported symptoms that are often attributed to low testosterone levels: fatigue and sexual disinterest. Crizotinib tablets were licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in August 2011, because of its dramatic and long-lasting suppression of ALK positive lung cancer. ALK positive lung cancer was only recently described so very few cancer centers have a lot of experience identifying and treating this subtype of the disease.
Using its unique online research platform, 23andMe, a leading personal genetics company, has found five significant genetic associations for hypothyroidism in the largest known genome-wide association study of hypothyroidism conducted to date. The details of the study are now available online in the journal PLoS ONE. "With nearly 90 percent of our 125, 000 customers participating in our online research, 23andMe is making crowd-sourced science a reality, " stated 23andMe CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki. "Our online research platform continues to advance research faster and more cost effectively than traditional research models, " added Wojcicki. Of the five significant associations reported in this study, three are known to be involved in other autoimmune diseases. These include rs6679677 near PTPN22, rs3184504 in SH2B3, and rs2517532 in the HLA class I region.
Insulin resistance in the brain precedes and contributes to cognitive decline above and beyond other known causes of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Insulin is an important hormone in many bodily functions, including the health of brain cells. The team identified extensive abnormalities in the activity of two major signaling pathways for insulin and insulin-like growth factor in non-diabetic people with Alzheimer's disease. These pathways could be targeted with new or existing medicines to potentially help resensitize the brain to insulin and possibly slow down or even improve cognitive decline. This is the first study to directly demonstrate that insulin resistance occurs in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
Study Indicates Use Of Estrogen-Only Form Of Menopausal Hormone Therapy Continues To Protect Women From Breast Cancer
Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., an LA BioMed investigator whose research activities have focused on breast cancer therapy and prevention, and chronic diseases impacting women's health, is co-author of a study that indicates that women who use the estrogen-only form of menopausal hormone therapy appear less likely to develop breast cancer in the longer term, according to new research which was recently published The Lancet Oncology. A follow-up study of over 7, 500 women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial who took estrogen for about 6 years and then stopped has found that they are over 20 percent less likely to develop breast cancer and remain significantly less likely to die from the disease than those who never used HRT, a period of nearly 5 years after stopping treatment.