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Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy That Reduces Breast Cancer Risk?

Posted Oct 22 2009 12:00am
New research presented October 19, 2009 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggests that we might one day actually have a postmenopausal hormone therapy that reduces breast cancer risk.

A team of researchers from Yale University, the Federal University of Parana (Brazil), and Wyeth Research examined the effects of four different selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) either alone or combined with estrogen on breast cancer and uterine cancer cells in culture.  The SERMs tested were tamoxifene, raloxifene, lasofoxifene, and bazedoxifene.  In these cell culture tests, estrogen alone increased cell growth as expected.  In breast cancer cells, three of the SERMs (tamoxifene, lasofoxifene, and bazedoxifene) substantially reduced the cell growth caused by the estrogen.  In uterine cancer cells, all 4 SERMs reduced estrogen-induced cell growth.  The investigators concluded that this combination of estrogen with a SERM, called a "Tissue Selective Estrogen Complex", shows promise as a new postmenopausal hormone therapy.

This very interesting research.  We already know that some SERMs, tamoxifene and raloxifene, have been shown to reduce breast cancer risk.  If these or other SERMs can be combined with estrogen safely, an effective therapy for menopausal symptoms that does not increase breast cancer incidence might be on the horizon.  Of course, it is important to remember that this study was done in a cell culture system and these systems can sometimes have different results than what happens in a living human being.  Human clinical trials will be needed to determine the true safety and effectiveness of this new hormone therapy.

In the meantime, you can reduce your breast cancer risk by making important lifestyle changes.  To learn more, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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