NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 18, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 40 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer Risk Following Prophylactic Surgery

Women with mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes can reduce their risk for breast and ovarian cancer by having their ovaries removed, but then must decide whether to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause symptoms triggered by that surgery. Fears that using HRT could compromise their reduced risk of breast cancer may now be diminished, because of results published early online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers at 13 cancer centers in North America and Europe identified a prospective cohort of 462 women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, 155 of whom had bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy (BPO). Compared with 307 mutation carriers who kept one or both ovaries, the BPO patients' breast cancer risk was reduced by 60 percent.

This reduced risk reflects what other studies have found, and explains why women with the mutations - as many as 90 percent of whom may develop breast or ovarian cancer if not treated - are advised by clinicians to undergo some form of BPO after completing childbearing.  Read more  

Director's Update

Guest Update by Dr. Anna Barker

Integrating Nanotechnology in Cancer Research

During the last few weeks we announced funding for three major components of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. These awards, which represent key milestones in NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Plan, reflect the product of intense community planning and a long-term commitment to employ nanotechnology as a transformational force in cancer research.

All told, these components represent a comprehensive, national initiative designed to accelerate the application of nanotechnology's unique capabilities to cancer. We congratulate these investigator teams and their institutions for their vision and leadership. The recent announcements include funding for:

  • Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence that will develop new, nanotechnology-based diagnostic and treatment tools;
  • Training programs that will establish a cadre of scientists with the cross-disciplinary expertise needed to develop the nanotech-based tools of the future; and,
  • Investigator teams that will create new "platform" nanotechnologies to enhance discovery and translational research.
 Read more  


The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

For more information on cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit http://www.cancer.gov.

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at ncicancerbulletin@mail.nih.gov.