Oral Contraceptives Reduce Long-Term Risk of Ovarian Cancer
Since they were first licensed nearly 50 years ago, birth control pills containing estrogen have prevented some 200,000 cases of ovarian cancer world-wide, estimate the authors of a study published January 26 in The Lancet. Further, in the absence of having taken oral contraceptives, half of these women would have died of the disease.
The researchers showed that oral contraceptives (OCs) continue to confer protection for years - even decades - after women stop using them. Thus, they surmise, "the number of ovarian cancers prevented [will] rise over the next few decades" to at least 30,000 each year. Read more
Sorafenib Increases Risk of High Blood Pressure
A meta-analysis published online January 24 in Lancet Oncology reports that patients receiving the standard clinical dose of sorafenib (Nexavar), an anticancer drug that targets the growth of tumor blood vessels, or angiogenesis, have a significantly increased incidence of hypertension.
Previous studies have found an increased risk of hypertension with the use of other targeted drugs and antiangiogenesis agents, including sunitinib (Sutent). To see if sorafenib also increases this risk, and subsequent risk of heart attacks and other serious cardiac events, the authors combined clinical trials data from three published papers and six meeting abstracts that included data on hypertension for patients assigned a starting dose of 400 mg of sorafenib twice daily, which is the current starting dosage approved by the FDA. Read more