Saturday, December 12, 2009

Improved lung cancer survival found with anti estrogen drugs

Estrogen may play a role in lung cancer deaths. Anti-estrogen drugs used to treat breast cancer were found to reduce lung cancer mortality in women, according to results of a study from Switzerland. The therapy used for breast cancer treatment could also play an important role for improving survival of lung cancer patients.

According to Elisabetta Rapiti, M.D., M.P.H., medical researcher with the Geneva Cancer Registry, University of Geneva, Switzerland, "We found a reduction in lung cancer mortality among women treated with anti-estrogens for breast cancer. This work builds on previous studies that had suggested estrogens have a role in lung cancer development and progression."

The researchers say their findings could have important clinical significance for the treatment of lung cancer. The study included 6715 women diagnosed with breast cancer who were treated with anti-estrogen drugs in Switzerland between 1980 and 2003The anti-estrogen drug used was primarily tamoxifen, used in 46 percent of the women.

Forty cases of lung cancer had developed among women being treated for breast cancer. The incidence of lung cancer was the same with or without anti-estrogen drugs, but women who received it tamoxifen survived longer.

Anti-estrogen drugs could prolong survival in lung cancer patients.Phase II clinical trials are underway to evaluate the effect of anti estrogen drugs for improved lung cancer survival.

American Association for Cancer Research