Newsletter February 2017

Dear subscriber:

U.K. and Italian researchers have discovered one way that estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer treated with aromatase inhibitors can become resistant to treatment. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body. The authors found that tumors treated with aromatase inhibitors respond by increasing production of aromatase in approximately 22% of cases. This appears to be the result of an increase in the number of aromatase genes (a phenomenon known as encoding aromatase amplification), which enable the affected breast cancer cells to make more of their own estrogen, reducing their reliance on external sources of the hormone.

According to Dr. Luca Magnani, co-lead author based at Imperial College London, “For the first time, we have seen how breast cancer tumors become resistant to aromatase inhibitors. The treatments work by cutting off the tumor’s fuel supply - estrogen - but the cancer adapts to this by making its own fuel supply.” The overall effect is to reduce sensitivity to aromatase inhibitor treatment. This suggests that patients whose disease progresses during aromatase inhibitor treatment might benefit more from a switch to tamoxifen than to another aromatase inhibitor.

Below are links to new topics covered last month in our website.

Best wishes,


Below are links to new topics covered last month in our website.

Factors affecting breast cancer risk, treatment and prognosis

Weight loss after breast cancer diagnosis does not necessarily improve survival

Treatment at a major cancer center could improve long-term outcomes

Breast cancer in 2nd degree relatives can further increase risk when 1st degree relative has the disease

Food, diet & supplements

Grilled, barbecued & smoked meat consumption linked to reduced survival after breast cancer

Click on reference for the abstract of the study described in this month's newsletter.

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