WHI Estrogen-Alone Data Indicate No Overall Benefit for Disease Prevention, No Apparent Increase in Cancer Risk
Data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study to investigate the effect of estrogen-alone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the incidence of chronic disease indicate that there is no overall benefit for disease prevention. Specifically for cancer, it showed no effect on the risk of breast or colorectal cancer. Use of estrogen did, however, increase the risk of stroke by 39 percent, a finding that prompted the decision in February by the National Institutes of Health to bring the trial to a premature end. It was slated to run through March 2005. The trial's stoppage was initially announced in early March, but the complete data from the study were not published until this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).Of particular interest to the cancer community is the finding that estrogen did not increase participants' risk of breast cancer during the study period. In fact, there was a trend, though not statistically significant, toward reduction in breast cancer incidence. Overall, 218 of the more than 10,000 postmenopausal women in the study - all of whom had undergone hysterectomy - developed breast cancer. Read more
CIRB to be Extended to Support Pediatric Trials
The annual spring meeting of the Children's Oncology Group (COG) was held in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, and I had the privilege of learning about some of the exciting work that COG researchers are currently conducting. Representative Bill Young (R-Fla.) and I had the honor of addressing the membership during its March 31 luncheon, when Rep. Young received the organization's Congressional Champion for Childhood Cancer Award in recognition of his pivotal role as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and his leadership in supporting COG's research program to identify more effective treatments for children with cancer.
COG is a National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials cooperative group devoted to translational and clinical research on childhood and adolescent cancers. It develops and coordinates clinical trials conducted through its 238 member institutions, which include cancer centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. COG enrolls approximately 4,000 children and adolescents in treatment studies annually and has 70-80 studies open to patient accrual each year. Read more