New Treatment To Prevent Lung Cancer
A new light to prevent lung cancer is from a combination of drugs that target estrogen production. These drugs were found to significantly reduce the number of tobacco carcinogen-induced lung tumors in mice during a preclinical study.
Jill M. Siegfried, Ph.D., professor in the department of pharmacology and chemical biology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, led the study of the effects of antiestrogens in the prevention of cancer in some women. She mentioned that if antiestrogens can prevent lung cancer, this study could be a major advancement in the field since these chemicals are known to be safe even if given for a very long period of time. There are currently no approved medications in the ways to prevent lung cancer.
Siegfried presented the results at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer Biology, Therapy ad Personalized Medicine which was held last January 8-11, 2012.
An enzyme in the lungs called aromatase has been known to produce estrogen; most lung cancers are positive for a type of estrogen receptor that induces tumors located in the lungs to grow when exposed to estrogen. The research aims to prove that if blocking these estrogen receptor and the aromatase enzymes, estrogen-sensitive lung tumor growth may be reduced or prevented.
The research was conducted on two groups of female mice. One group was exposed to tobacco carcinogen awhile the other had past exposure to tobacco carcinogen and precancerous cells have already formed. This group was given a placebo, an aromatase inhibitor anastrozole which is a combination of anastrozole and fulvestrant.
In the first group, the drug combination treatment given resulted to fewer lung cancer tumors compared to those who were given a placebo or either treatment alone. Thus the results suggest that antiestrogen plus aromatase inhibitors prevent lung cancer development during tobacco carcinogen exposure. The ability to prevent the development of lung tumors in individuals who have been exposed to tobacco carcinogens is now possible when this treatment is finally approved.
At present, there is a lot of work to be done to determine who would truly benefit from this combination therapy as well as human clinical trials of these drugs in people who are at high risk for developing lung cancer.
Smoking is still seen as the number one hazard in the development of lung cancer. This habit must be stopped as early as possible to increase the possibility of preventing lung cancer.
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