Tag Archives: hypothesis

Tamoxifen and lung cancer

A study published in the US peer-reviewed journal Cancer says that tamoxifen, a drug commonly used to treat breast cancer, may also help reduce the risk of death from lung cancer.

Tamoxifen works by blocking estrogen. Previous studies have shown that women undergoing hormone replacement therapy to boost estrogen during menopause showed an increased risk of dying from lung cancer.

Based on the hypothesis that blocking estrogen might also cut lung cancer death risk, researchers examined data from 6,655 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1980 and 2003 in Switzerland’s Geneva Cancer Registry.

Close to half of those women, 3,066 (46 percent), were given anti-estrogen drugs.

Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen

The registry’s Elisabetta Rapiti, lead author of the study in Cancer, followed all those subjects until December 2007 and looked at how many developed lung cancer and how many died from lung cancer.

Rapiti found that among those taking anti-estrogen drugs, there were 87 percent fewer deaths from lung cancer when compared to the general population.

When she looked simply at how many women in the study were diagnosed with lung cancer, she found no significant difference between those taking anti-estrogen therapy and those who were not.


“Our results support the hypothesis that there is a hormonal influence on lung cancer which has been suggested by findings such as the presence of estrogen and progesterone receptors in a substantial proportion of lung cancers,” said Rapiti.

“If prospective studies confirm our results and find that anti-estrogen agents improve lung cancer outcomes, this could have substantial implications for clinical practice,” she added.

Statins may reduce the risk of epileptic seizures

A new research has discovered that statins, the family of drugs used to lower cholesterol, might also reduce the risk of epileptic seizures in people with cardiovascular disease.

A drug safety expert at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute conducted the statistical study.

The findings could provide the basis for randomized, controlled clinical trials to test the efficacy of the drugs as anti-epileptic medication.

statins-lancastria

Statins have been hailed as a “wonder drug”

The study, based on a database of 2,400 respondents aged 65 and older, showed that those taking statins were 35 per cent less likely to be hospitalized with a diagnosis of epilepsy than those not taking the drug.


“Our data is compelling in that it opens doors for future studies to test this hypothesis in patients with epilepsy. Such trials would show whether statins truly have a protective effect, and if that effect is limited to certain types of statins or certain types of epilepsy,” says Mahyar Etminan, lead author of the research.

Co-author Ali Samii also said that, “Our study suggests that statin use reduces the risk of developing epilepsy in persons over the age of 65 with cardiovascular disease. The most plausible explanation is that statin use reduces the risk of stroke in this population, and since strokes can increase the risk of epilepsy, statins reduce the risk of epilepsy because of stroke prevention.”

The report is published today in the journal Neurology.