(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Anti-estrogen therapy for breast cancer may also reduce the risk of death from lung cancer.
"We found a reduction in lung cancer mortality among women treated with anti-estrogens for breast cancer," Elisabetta Rapiti, M.D., M.P.H., medical researcher with the Geneva Cancer Registry at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, was quoted as saying. "This work builds on previous studies that had suggested estrogens have a role in lung cancer development and progression."
To evaluate whether anti-estrogen therapy for breast cancer patients reduced their risk of subsequently developing and/or dying from lung cancer, Rapiti and colleagues studied 6,715 women living in the Geneva canton of Switzerland who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1980 and 2003. Forty-six percent of the women received anti-estrogen therapy, primarily tamoxifen.
By the end of the study period, 40 cases of lung cancer had developed. Although there was no difference in the incidence of developing lung cancer among women with or without anti-estrogens, the risk of dying from lung cancer was significantly lower among women who received anti-estrogen therapy.
"Our results are particularly relevant to the research agenda exploring endocrine treatment(s) for lung cancer," said Rapiti. "If prospective studies confirm our results and find that anti-estrogen agents improve lung cancer outcomes, this could have substantial implications for clinical practice."
SOURCE: Presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 9-13, 2009
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