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The following is an introduction written by Dr. Ueno director of the Morgan Welch Clinic at MD Anderson commenting on an article ran in Science November 29, 2013.   We are very familiar with the desire of Dr. Ueno to research how statin can impact recurrence of breast cancer. In May 2013 our charity gave seed funding of $75,000 to the clinic for Dr. Ueno’s research. Please donate and help us fund more IBC and TN research.  

 

Does High Cholesterol makes ER+ breast cancer aggressive? by Dr. Naoto Ueno

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Dr Naoto Ueno, Executive Director, Morgan Welch Clinic.

Dr Naoto Ueno, Executive Director, Morgan Welch Clinic.

The journal of “Science” just published a paper saying that cholesterol is linked to aggressiveness in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. A great article. But, we now have a major issue.

How can we prove that the cholesterol is the “bad guy” in a real clinical setting?

As you know, statins (anti-cholesterol drugs) have a link with an improved outcome in many cancers including breast cancer. The scientific dispute is that this statin therapeutic effect could be due to anti-inflammatory effect, the direct impact to cancer, and/or reduction of cholesterol.

If the therapeutic efficacy stems more from reduction of the cholesterol, we will have major difficulties solving the mystery of weather or not reducing the cholesterol is the best way to deal with ER+ breast cancer.

The problem is that you can not conduct a randomized clinical trial among patients with hypercholesterolemia. The internal medicine guideline for treating hypercholesterolemia is that you have to take a statin in most cases. So how can we solve this?

MD Anderson group has published that Statin may reduce the rate of inflammatory breast cancer recurrence. This data was based on a retrospective study. Can we design a prospective randomized study in patients with high cholesterol? The answer is no. Could Statin work among patients with normal cholesterol? Yes, it is possible. The best we can do is to test the hypothesis among patients with a normal cholesterol level.

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May 2103 funding Statin study at MD Anderson's Morgan Welch Clinic.

May 2103 funding Statin study at MD Anderson’s Morgan Welch Clinic in Houston, Texas.

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