Other highlights in the August 4 JNCI


Low Levels of "Good" Cholesterol Associated With Increased Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk

Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol--the "good" cholesterol--are associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in overweight and obese women, according to a new study.

Low HDL cholesterol is a component of metabolic syndrome, which is also characterized by obesity, glucose intolerance, and hypertension. Both metabolic syndrome and breast cancer have been increasing worldwide. Increased levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor in metabolic syndrome have been linked to breast cancer, but the role of other biomarkers, such as HDL cholesterol is not known.

Anne-Sofie Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Tromsø in Norway, and colleagues analyzed data from a Norwegian cohort of nearly 39,000 women over a follow-up period of 21 years. Low levels of HDL cholesterol were associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in women who were overweight or obese. The association was strongest in women who gained weight over the years of follow-up.


  • Anne-Sofie Furberg, Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, 47-99-41-4007, [email protected]
  • Inger Thune, Institute of Community Medicine, 47 91 37 27 17, [email protected]

    HER-2/neu Overexpression in Breast Cancer Does Not Adversely Influence Response to First-Line Chemotherapy

    Breast cancer patients with tumors that overexpress the gene HER-2/neu are more likely to have a poor clinical outcome. A new study finds that HER-2/neu overexpression does not lead to a poorer response to chemotherapy in women with metastatic breast cancer.

    There is some evidence that HER-2/neu overexpression is associated with a better response to anthracycline-based chemotherapy, but its association with response to taxane-based chemotherapy is not clear. Dennis J. Slamon, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed retrospective data from a randomized clinical trial that had treated patients with metastatic breast cancer with either taxane-based epirubicin–paclitaxel (ET) chemotherapy or epirubicin–cyclophosphamide (EC) chemotherapy.

    They found that HER-2/neu overexpression does not adversely influence response to first-line ET or EC chemotherapy and that a taxane-containing regimen, such as ET, may provide a preferential benefit to patients with tumors that overexpress HER-2/neu.

    Contact: Kim Irwin, Women's Cancer Program Area, Jonsson Cancer Center, 310-206-2805, [email protected]

    Researchers Examine Targeted Therapy for Neuroblastoma in Mouse Model

    Survival is poor in patients with advanced-stage neuroblastoma, a cancer of nerve cells in infants and children, and there is a need to develop better treatments. Mirco Ponzoni, Ph.D., of G. Gaslini Children's Hospital in Genoa, Italy, and colleagues show that by encapsulating an antisense oligonucleotide targeting an oncogene and activating the innate immune system in a liposome that specifically targets neuroblastoma cells, neuroblastoma-bearing mice lived longer than mice given any other treatment in the study.

    Contact: Mirco Ponzoni, G. Gaslini Children's Hospital, 39-010-563-6342, [email protected]

    Also in the August 4 JNCI:

  • No Survival Benefit for Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer after 10 Years:
  • Activated Signaling Pathway May Predict Lung Cancer Patients' Response to Gefitinib:
  • Associations Among Beta-TrCP, and E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Receptor, Beta-Catenin, and NF-kappaB in Colorectal Cancer

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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