Monday October 21, 2019

Soy-rich Food Decrease Risk of Bone Fractures in Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the US, with one in eight women diagnosed with it during their lifetime

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Eating soy-rich food can decrease the risk of bone fractures in pre-menopausal breast cancer survivors, suggests a new study. The higher soy intake was linked to 77 per cent reduced risk of osteoporotic fractures in younger women, the study showed.

In the study, published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum journal, researchers at Yale University investigated the impact of exercise and soy food consumption on bone fracture rates among breast cancer survivors.

“The menopausal transition is known to be a period of high risk for bone loss, and given the relative scarcity of data related to fracture risk among younger women with breast cancer, this study marks an important contribution to this body of literature,” said the paper’s lead author, Evelyn Hsieh, Assistant Professor at Yale University.

“Our findings, in particular regarding the protective effects of soy food consumption, provide novel insight into how future interventions can be best tailored to different risk groups,” Hsieh said.

For the study, the team used data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival study of 5,042 newly diagnosed breast cancer survivors in the age group of 20-75.

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Bone fracture (Representational image). Pixabay

The study found soy-based foods that are rich in isoflavones provide a natural selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), which helps in increasing the bone mineral density.

Previous studies have showed the use of tamoxifen, a SERM or drug, that is prescribed for breast cancer patients, reduces risk of fractures.

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Several treatments for breast cancer can cause premature menopause and decrease bone mineral density, leading to a higher incidence of osteoporosis-related fractures among survivors compared with healthy women in the same age group.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the US, with one in eight women diagnosed with it during their lifetime. (IANS)

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Breast Cancer Drugs may Force Some Cancer Cells into ‘Sleeper Mode’

The team studied human breast cancer cells in the laboratory and examined the effects of a group of breast cancer drugs called hormone treatments

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Breast Cancer, Drugs, Cells
The research could open avenues for finding ways of keeping the cancer cells dormant for longer, or even potentially finding a way of awakening the cells so they can then be killed by the treatment. Pixabay

Breast cancer drugs may force some cancer cells into ‘sleeper mode’, allowing them to potentially come back to life years after initial treatment.

The research could open avenues for finding ways of keeping the cancer cells dormant for longer, or even potentially finding a way of awakening the cells so they can then be killed by the treatment.

The team studied human breast cancer cells in the laboratory and examined the effects of a group of breast cancer drugs called hormone treatments.

“For a long time scientists have debated whether hormone therapies – which are a very effective treatment and save millions of lives – work by killing breast cancer cells or whether the drugs flip them into a dormant ‘sleeper’ state,” said Luca Magnani, lead author of the study from Imperial College London.

Breast Cancer, Drugs, Cells
Breast cancer drugs may force some cancer cells into ‘sleeper mode’, allowing them to potentially come back to life years after initial treatment. Pixabay

“This is an important question as hormone treatments are used on the majority of breast cancers. Our findings suggest the drugs may actually kill some cells and switch others into this sleeper state,” Magnani added.

“If we can unlock the secrets of these dormant cells, we may be able to find a way of preventing cancer coming back, either by holding the cells in permanent sleep mode, or be waking them up and killing them,” Magnani said.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the team studied around 50,000 human breast cancer single cells in the lab, and found that treating them with hormone treatment exposed a small proportion of them as being in a dormant state.

The ‘sleeper cells’ may also provide clues as to why some breast cancer cells become resistant to treatment, causing a patient’s drugs to stop working, and their cancer to return, the researchers said.

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Hormone therapies are used to treat a type of breast cancer called oestrogen-receptor positive. These make up over 70 per cent of all breast cancers, and are fuelled by the hormone oestrogen.

These cancers are usually treated with surgery to remove the tumour, followed by a course of targeted hormone therapy – usually either aromatase inhibitors or tamoxifen, which target oestrogen receptors.

However, around 30 per cent of breast cancer patients taking hormone therapies see their cancer eventually return – sometimes as long as 20 years after treatment.

This returning cancer is usually metastatic, meaning it has spread around the body, and the tumours are often now resistant to medication. (IANS)