Progesterone to help breast cancer patients

A cheap and safe drug could help half of women with breast cancer to live longer, scientists suggest.

Their study, published in Nature, is in its early stages, but hints that the hormone progesterone could be used to slow the growth of some tumours.

The UK and Australian researchers say the findings are “very significant” and they are planning clinical trials.

Cancer Research UK said the study was “highly significant” and could help thousands of women.

Hormones play a huge role in breast cancer.

They can make a cancerous cell divide by hooking up with “hormone receptors” on the surface of a cancer.

One of the most successful breast cancer drugs, tamoxifen, bungs up the oestrogen receptor.

Cancers with progesterone receptors were known to be less deadly, but the reason why was unclear and they have not been explored as a treatment.

Now a team at the University of Cambridge and the University of Adelaide have studied cancer cells growing in the laboratory.

Breast cancer
Breast cancer

They show that the progesterone receptor and the oestrogen receptor are closely linked and that the progesterone receptor can make the oestrogen receptor less nasty.

Cancer cells growing in the laboratory grew to half the size when treated with progesterone and tamoxifen than when given tamoxifen alone.

One of the researchers, Prof Carlos Caldas from the University of Cambridge, told the BBC News website: “It appears you control the tumours better, but to prove it is better in women with breast cancer we need to do the trial.

“It could be very significant. In early breast cancer you could increase the number of people being cured and in advanced breast cancer, where we’re not curing, we could control the disease for longer.”

The researchers are in the first stages of planning a clinical trial.

About 75% of women have breast cancers with the oestrogen receptor and of those, 75% also have progesterone receptors.

It suggests roughly half of women could benefit.

Dr Emma Smith, from Cancer Research UK, said the early results were an “exciting” prospect.

She told the BBC: “This is a highly significant finding. It could be an easy, cheap and simple way to improve the survival of thousands of women, but it needs clinical trials.”

Coffee can reduce the risk of heart disease

The much believed fact that coffee does good to people is now being proved as researchers have claimed that drinking coffee can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease.

According to a report presented at the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation drinking three to five cups of coffee per day can cut an individual’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by up to 21 per cent, reported U.S. News and World Report.

But your heart isn’t the only thing coffee can protect as it reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and daily consumption of coffee can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 11 percent.

Cup of coffee
Cup of coffee

Further, researchers have claimed that coffee consumption helps in weight loss, improves cognitive function and improves kidney and liver health.

And along with enhancing sexual health, consumption of the aromatic brew also reduces the risk of cancer as a research found out that women, who drink five or more cups of coffee a day, are 57 per cent less likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer compared to the ones who drink less than one cup a day.