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Blocking Estrogen Critical to Lung Cancer Survival?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -February 22, 2005 - Stopping or slowing the spread of lung cancer may depend on the addition of drugs that block the effects of estrogen, according to two new studies in the current issue of Cancer Research.
In the first study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center evaluated the effects of three different treatments that block the action of estrogen in human lung tumors grafted in mice. They studied the effectiveness of an estrogen receptor-blocking drug (fulvestrant, also known as Faslodex), an epidermal growth factor receptor-blocking drug (gefitinib, also known as Iressa), and a combination of both drugs.
Results show combining both drugs was most effective at shrinking the tumors, with a 59-percent decrease in tumor volume compared to a 49-percent decrease using gefitinib alone and a 32-percent decrease using fulvestrant alone. Moreover, the lung tumors in the drug-combo group were mostly made up of dead or dying cells, while numbers of these cells were significantly lower in the single-drug-therapy groups.
In the second study, also conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, researchers found estrogen regulated some of the same growth genes in lung cancer as in breast cancer.
Results show the same estrogen inhibitor from the first study, fulvestrant, also blocked estrogen's ability to regulate lung cancer cell gene expression.
Jill Siegfried, Ph.D., co-author of both studies, concludes, "Both of these studies clearly suggest that lung cancer cells respond to estrogen and that improving overall patient survival may be contingent upon identifying therapies that target specific pathways and put a halt to estrogen signaling."
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.
SOURCE: Cancer Research, Feb. 15, 2005
Malloy: Lung Cancer -- Know the Enemy
CHICAGO - April 8, 2005 - This week, the focus was on lung cancer as Peter Jennings, the ABC nightly news anchor, announced he had the disease. Jennings had been a smoker and quit in 1985 and began again after 9/11. Here's some things you should know about lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women. The five year survival for a lung cancer victim is 15 percent.
About 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Risk depends on how long you have smoked. how much and how old you were when you started. The younger, you are, the higher the risk. Twenty cigarettes a day increases your risk of developing lung cancer 20 times.
Women smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer than male smokers. The reason is not clear.
Second-hand smoke can increase your risk of lung cancer by 30 percent.
The most common symptom of lung cancer is a new cough, especially one that produces blood.
Diet may help prevent lung cancer but not all agree. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage lowered risk in one study. Apples, berries and onions were helpful in another. Fish may be slightly protective. No food showed any protective effects if smoking continued.
If you stop smoking, lung cancer risk starts to drop and is down 50 percent in 10 years.
You can find support in stopping smoking at www.quitnet.com.