Saturday January 25, 2020

Here’s How Neurologic, BP Drugs Can Help to Reduce Breast Tumour Development

Early treatment studies in people have shown that these two drugs can work in tandem to disrupt tumour growth

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Breast
According to a study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, adding a medication used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraines to a blood pressure medicine reversed some aspects of breast cancer. Pixabay

Researchers have found that combining neurologic and blood pressure drugs may reduce breast tumour development.

According to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, adding a medication used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraines to a blood pressure medicine reversed some aspects of breast cancer in the offspring of mice at high risk of the disease because of the high fat diet fed to their mothers during pregnancy.

“We believe that our research is the first to show that we can reverse some aspects of increased breast cancer risk found in offspring of mouse mothers fed a high fat diet during pregnancy,” said study researcher Leena A Hilakivi-Clarke from the Georgetown University in the US.

“This finding may have important implications in people because exposures in the womb to certain chemicals, or a mother’s high fat diet, or being obese, can subsequently increase a daughter’s breast cancer risk,” Hilakivi-Clarke.

According to the researchers, the key drug in the study regimen was valproic acid which, among several targets, inhibits histone deacetylase (HDAC), an important epigenetic silencer of genes.

In contrast to mutations that permanently disrupt the normal functions of genes, epigenetic modifications are reversible. Valproic acid was combined with the blood pressure medication hydralazine that inhibits another critical epigenetic regulator, DNA methyltransferase (DNMT).

Early treatment studies in people have shown that these two drugs can work in tandem to disrupt tumour growth.

These research findings demonstrate how impactful an epigenetic methyl group addition or subtraction from DNA can be. Compounds that reduce methylation of tumour suppressor genes that are excessively methylated (hypermethylated) can be beneficial.

However, these drugs can have the opposite effect if tumour suppressor genes are not hypermethylated; they may remove methyl groups from cancer-causing genes, making these genes more active and potentially leading to more aggressive cancers.

The other key aspect of this finding involves the potential impact of diet on cancer risk. Many fruits and vegetables have compounds (such as flavones) that chemically react in the same ways as the HDAC- and DNMT-inhibiting drugs in this study.

Breast
Researchers have found that combining neurologic and blood pressure drugs may reduce breast tumour development. Pixabay

Some compounds in these foods, especially folic acid, have opposite effects. This research suggests that exposure to a high fat diet or endocrine disrupting chemicals in the womb might be reversed by the consumption of foods high in DNMT and HDAC inhibitors, while those who have not had such exposures might also gain a cancer protective benefit from consuming foods high in folic acid.

The scientists noted, however, that their findings, particularly as they relate to diet, need to be studied in people.

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“Our next step will be to try to identify biomarkers in humans that indicate an exposure in the womb to diets or endocrine disrupting chemicals that could increase breast cancer risk later in life,” said Hilakivi-Clarke. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Everything you Need to Know About Male Breast Cancer

Know about the rarely seen breast cancer in men

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Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer is rarely seen and that is people are not aware about it. Pixabay

Breast cancer in men is rarely seen. It shares many similarities with cancer of the breast in women but there are some important differences too.

Male breast cancer represents between 0.5 and 1 per cent of all breast cancers diagnosed each year. Higher rates of male cancer in central and eastern Africa may be related to higher liver infectious diseases that lead to hypoestrogenism.

Dr Kumardeep Dutta Choudhury, Senior Consultant & Head of Department, Dept of Medical Oncology (IOSPL), Fortis Hospital, Noida, shares the facts you need to know about it.

Risk factors associated with breast cancer in men:

Genetics and family history

Breast Cancer
Higher rates of male breast cancer in central and eastern Africa may be related to higher liver infectious diseases that lead to hypoestrogenism. IANS

Family history of cancer in a first-degree relative is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among men. Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of men with breast cancer have a family history of the disease compared with only 7 per cent of the general male population.

The risk is higher with inherited BRCA2 rather than BRCA1 mutations. Other genes which have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in men are PTEN tumor suppressor gene (Cowden syndrome), tumor protein p53 (TP53; Li-Fraumeni syndrome), partner and localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2), and mismatch repair genes (Lynch syndrome).

Alterations of the estrogen to androgen ratio

Excessive estrogen stimulation may be due to hormonal therapies (e.g., estrogen-containing compounds or testosterone), hepatic dysfunction, obesity, marijuana use, thyroid disease, or an inherited condition, such as Klinefelter syndrome may increase risk of male breast cancer.

Primary testicular conditions

Testicular conditions may increase risk of breast cancer in men include orchitis, undescended testes (cryptorchidism), and testicular injury.

PRESENTATION:

Male breast cancer has been diagnosed at a more advanced stage than female breast cancer, due to a lack of awareness. They generally present with a painless, firm mass that is usually subareolar, with nipple involvement in 40 to 50 percent of cases. The left breast is involved slightly more often than the right, and less than 1 percent of cases are bilateral. There may be associated skin changes, including nipple retraction, ulceration, or fixation of the mass to the skin or underlying tissues. Axillary nodes are typically palpable in advanced cases.

Breast Cancer
Excessive estrogen stimulation may be due to hormonal therapies can lead to breast cancer. Pixabay

Most histologic subtypes of that cancer seen in women are also present in men, men with breast cancer are rarely diagnosed with lobular carcinomas is due to lack of acini and lobules in the normal male breast, although these can be induced in the context of estrogenic stimulation.

TREATMENT:

Approach to treatment in men is same as that for women. However, role of breast conserving surgery is limited because of small volume of breast tissue. In hormone receptor-positive disease, we give adjuvant tamoxifen rather than an aromatase inhibitor (AI), because of insufficient evidence to support AI monotherapy for men. If there are contraindications to tamoxifen (e.g., hypercoagulable state), an AI with GnRHa may be administered. AIs do not reduce testicular production of estrogens, that’s why GnRHa is administered concurrently with AI. They are treated with mastectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

SURVEILLANCE:

Limited data suggest these patients are at an increased risk of a contralateral breast cancer, but absolute risk is low. They are also at risk for secondary malignancies and 12.5 percent may develop a second primary cancer. The most common types were gastrointestinal, pancreas, non-melanoma skin, and prostate cancer.

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PROGNOSIS:

Ten-year disease-specific survival rates for histologically negative nodes – 77 and 84 per cent, one to three positive nodes – 50 and 44 per cent and four or more histologically positive nodes – 24 and 14 per cent. (IANS)