Other highlights in the September 21 JNCI


Study Reports Elevated Risk of Second Cancers for Testicular Cancer Survivors

Men who survive testicular cancer have an increased risk of developing a second cancer for at least 35 years after diagnosis, according to the largest study to date of testicular cancer survivors.

Testicular cancer largely affects young men, and the 10-year survival rate of the disease is as high as 95%, so most men survive testicular cancer. However, these men have an increased risk of developing second cancers, mostly because of the late side effects of treatment. These cancers are a leading cause of death for testicular cancer patients.

To determine the risks of second cancers among long-term survivors of testicular cancer, Lois B. Travis, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues examined data from 40,576 1-year survivors of testicular cancer from population-based tumor registries in Europe and North America. A total of 2,285 second solid cancers were reported among these men anywhere from 1 year to more than 35 years after their testicular cancer diagnosis.

Ten-year survivors who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 35 had a risk of developing a second cancer that was nearly twice that of the general population, and this risk remained elevated for 35 years. Risks were higher for patients diagnosed with testicular cancer at younger ages and lower for patients diagnosed at older ages. Cancers of the bladder, colon, lung, pancreas, and stomach accounted for 60% of the total excess risk. The authors conclude that testicular cancer survivors are at increased risk of solid tumors for at least 35 years after treatment and that young patients may face high levels of risk as they get older.

Contact: National Cancer Institute Press Office, 301-496-6641, [email protected]

Hormone Replacement Therapy Associated With Increases in Mammographic Breast Density

A randomized placebo-controlled study has found that use of hormone replacement therapy that contains estrogen and progestin for up to 2 years is associated with increases in mammographic breast density. Mammographic density has been associated with decreased sensitivity of mammograms and increased breast cancer risk.

To assess the affect of estrogen-plus-progestin therapy on mammographic density, Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined data from 413 women who had participated in the Women's Health Initiative.

The Women's Health Initiative, a randomized trial in which more than 16,000 women received either estrogen plus progestin or a placebo for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, found that women given the hormones were more often diagnosed with breast cancer and were diagnosed with cancers at more advanced stages. In addition, the frequency of abnormal mammograms was higher among the women given hormones than among those given the placebo.

In the new study, the authors found that mean percent mammographic density increased by an absolute 6% over baseline mammographic density during the first year of hormone therapy but decreased almost 1% in women receiving placebo. After 2 years, the mean changes persisted but were attenuated in both groups. The authors conclude that use of hormone therapy for up to 2 years is associated with increases in mammographic density.

Contact: Kristen Lidke Woodward, Media Relations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 206-667-5095, [email protected]

Study Finds Antibiotic Therapy Effective Treatment for Rare Type of Lymphoma

Anti-Helicobacter pylori therapy may be a treatment option for a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a new study.

Several studies have found that patients with H. pylori-positive early-stage gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma can achieve durable complete remission if treated with H. pylori eradication therapy. However, it has not been known whether this therapy could also be effective against high-grade transformed tumors (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with features of MALT, or DLBCL[MALT] lymphoma).

Li-Tzong Chen, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Health Research Institutes in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues compared two studies of H. pylori eradication therapy: one of 34 patients with the low-grade MALT lymphoma and a second of 24 patients with the high-grade DLBCL(MALT).

After 2 weeks of antibiotic therapy, H. pylori was eradicated in 97% of patients with low-grade tumors and in 92% of those with high-grade tumors; complete tumor response was observed in 80% and 64% of the low- and high-grade patients, respectively. The authors conclude that large-scale prospective studies should be performed to validate the use of anti-H. pylori therapy as a first-line therapy for early-stage H. pylori-positive DLBCL(MALT).


  • Miss Guan-Jiun Pu, Central Office of Taiwan Cooperative Oncology Group, National Health Reseach Institutes, 886-2-2653-4401 ext 25152, [email protected]
  • Professor Ann-Lii Cheng, National Taiwan University Hospital, 886-2-23123456 ext 7251, [email protected]

    Study Identifies Possible Location of Gene for Melanoma

    A new study has identified the potential location of a gene involved in familial cutaneous malignant melanoma and ocular malignant melanoma, two cancers for which the genetics are largely unknown.

    Göran Jönsson, of University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, and colleagues conducted a genome-wide scan of Danish pedigrees with multiple cases of these two types of melanoma and other malignancies to identify melanoma susceptibility genes.

    Linkage to chromosome 9q21.32 was observed in three of the families studied. The authors also examined tumor tissue from 10 sporadic cutaneous malignant melanoma lesions for expression of RASEF, a known gene in this region. Expression was found to be decreased in 70% of these tumors compared with RASEF expression in a human reference RNA pool and in 10 breast cancer tumors. The authors conclude that a novel susceptibility locus maps to chromosome 9q21 in families at high-risk of developing ocular malignant melanoma and cutaneous malignant melanoma.

    Contact: Göran Jönsson, University Hospital, +46 46 2220383 or +46 703210353, [email protected]

    Women From BRCA Mutation-Negative Hereditary Breast Cancer Families Not at Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer

    Women from hereditary breast cancer families that do not carry a BRCA mutation do not have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to a new study.

    The risk of ovarian cancer is increased by 6 to 61-fold in women with deleterious mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. However, it was not known whether women from hereditary breast cancer families who lack BRCA mutations are also at increased risk of ovarian cancer.

    Kenneth Offit, M.D., M.P.H., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and colleagues followed 199 BRCA mutation-negative individuals and their families to determine the incidence of breast and ovarian cancers. During 2,534 women-years of follow-up, 19 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed--more than the 6 cases that were expected--whereas one case of ovarian cancer was diagnosed, no more than was expected to occur in this population. The authors conclude that women from these families do not have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

    Contact: Esther Napolitano, Public Affairs, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 646-227-3139, [email protected]

    Also in the September 21 JNCI:

  • Change in Gene May Be Underlying Molecular Defect in Some Colorectal Cancers, Study Suggests: http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2005-09/jotn-cig091505.php
  • Beta-Carotene Associated With Higher Risk of Tobacco-Related Cancers in Women Smokers but Not in Nonsmokers: http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2005-09/jotn-baw091505.php

    Source: Eurekalert & others

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