Three in ten women use letrozole to treat infertility: Study
January 03, 2016
Dr Lindeman, who is also a medical oncologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said this finding helped to explain why the effects of 'chemoprevention' - a treatment aimed at breast cancer prevention continued long after anti-estrogen tablets have been stopped.
"Our research also revealed that during pregnancy there is a profound increase in breast stem cell numbers," Dr Lindeman said.
"This might account for the short-term increase in cancer risk associated with pregnancy."
Further studies, in collaboration with Dr Jack Martin at St Vincent's Institute Melbourne and Dr Hisataka Yasuda at the Nagahama Institute for Biochemical Science, identified the RANK ligand pathway as the key cell-signalling pathway responsible for the indirect control of breast stem cells in pregnancy.
Dr Lindeman said inhibitors of RANK signalling have been developed and are currently in clinical trials to help maintain bone strength and treat breast cancer that has spread to the bones. "Our discovery suggests that inhibitors of RANK or other stem cell pathways represent possible therapeutic strategies that could also be investigated as breast cancer prevention agents," Dr Lindeman said.
Source: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute