The most important breast cancer findings of 2014



Learn more about the potentially lifesaving research that has been published from research centres around the world.

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“Good sleep seems to have a strongly protective effect, even with advanced breast cancer,” said researcher Oxana Palesh, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in a press release.

Another sleep study demonstrated how melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy at night, is absolutely crucial to the success of tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug. The only problem is that exposing yourself to light from your TV, mobile phone or computer at night shuts off that melatonin production, which in turn could weaken tamoxifen. To show this, researchers from Tulane University implanted rats with human breast cancer cells and then regulated their light to alternate between 12 hours of light and 12 hours of total darkness for several weeks. Then they repeated the light/dark cycles, but this time they shone a very dim light during the dark portion, which suppressed melatonin production. Tamoxifen was most effective in rats that had 12 hours of unadulterated darkness, or rats who received melatonin supplements.

“High melatonin levels at night put breast cancer cells to ‘sleep’ by turning off key growth mechanisms,” explained researcher David Blask of Tulane University in a press release. “These cells are vulnerable to tamoxifen. But when the lights are on and melatonin is suppressed, breast cancer cells ‘wake up’ and ignore tamoxifen.”

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Source: News.com.au



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