New gateway may be lifesaver for patients with AML: Study
December 18, 2015
"It is well known that oestrogen is associated with breast cancer development. However, beyond a certain level, oestrogen exerts inhibitory effects on breast cancer cells. Laboratory experiments have shown that oestrogen and progesterone receptors located on 60-70% of breast tumours undergo apoptosis (programmed cell death) when exposed to high levels of oestrogen, which possibly mimics levels encountered during pregnancy. Furthermore, prolactin is elevated in pregnancy and there is evidence suggesting that women with high levels of prolactin have a reduced risk of breast cancer relapse." He added: "Nevertheless, hormonal changes during pregnancy are very complex, and the effect seen in this study could possibly be the result of the interaction of the different hormones rather than an action of a particular one by itself.
"Immunological theories could partially explain the possible protective value of pregnancy as well. It has been shown that foetal antigens are expressed on the tumour cells of the mother. Thus, antibodies produced by the mother in response to these antigens, may act as a kind of tumour vaccination."
Dr Azim said that they had contacted all the authors of trials published after 1995 to get extra information on subgroups, and this would inform their further research.
He concluded: "Nowadays, fertility after cancer has become a top issue not only for patients, but also physicians. In 2006, the American Society of Clinical Oncology published guidelines that state that fertility issues should be discussed with patients before treatment - a recommendation we believe is of great importance."
Source: Institute Jules Bordet