Hadassah

Drug May Prevent Recurrence of Aggressive Cancer

Tuesday, Jun 20 2017

New Study led by Hadassah Hospital Oncologist Dr. Amir Sonnenblick

An international team led by Hadassah Hospital Oncologist Dr. Amir Sonnenblick reveals that giving a drug called metformin to diabetic women with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer may prevent its recurrence.

This HER2-positive breast cancer tends to grow faster, is more likely to spread, and is more likely to come back, as compared with HER2-negative breast cancers. When insulin is given to HER2-positive patients, the treatment doubles their risk of cancer recurrence.

Previous studies have suggested that administering metformin, an anti-diabetic drug that primarily suppresses glucose production by the liver, may prevent or delay recurrence of breast cancer. Dr. Sonnenblick’s study, which was based on a very large database from a Phase III clinical trial, involved over 8,381 breast cancer patients from around the world. While 7,935 of the patients (94.7 percent) had no history of diabetes at diagnosis of their breast cancer, 186 (2.2 percent) had diabetes and were not being treated with metformin and 260 (3.1 percent) were diabetic and had been treated with metformin.

The researchers found that metformin may improve the worse prognosis that is associated with diabetes, mainly in patients with primary HER2-positive and hormone receptor–positive breast cancer.

 

“We believe that for patients with diabetes and HER2-positive and hormone receptor positive disease,” explains Dr. Sonnenblick, “it is reasonable to recommend metformin treatment if patients have not already received treatment and to avoid insulin use as much as possible. From a prognostic point of view, patients with diabetes and HER2-positive as well as hormone receptor–positive disease who are treated with insulin should be considered at higher risk for recurrence."

The study findings are highlighted in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The international team of researchers included physicians from Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

From 2013 to 2015, lead investigator Sonnenblick did a translational and clinical research fellowship in breast cancer at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

Learn more about groundbreaking research at the Hadassah Medical Organization.

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Tuesday, Mar 13 2018

The 100 Year Project: When nurses built an Israeli Nation

As a part of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Hadassah School of Nursing, Prof. Freda DeKeyser Ganz, PhD, RN, Coordinator of Research and Development and Head of the Doctoral Program at the Henrietta Szold Hebrew University – Hadassah School of Nursing, has been touring the United States and talking about the crucial role of Hadassah nurses in the development of the State of Israel, the Israeli medical system, and why nursing is still such an innovative and vital component of the Hadassah Medical Center.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Mar 1 2018

Heart Disease: Six Insights for Women to Remember

Many of us know what we need to do to be healthy, but we don’t seem to be able to translate this knowledge into our own daily reality. We need to empower ourselves to take action and take care of ourselves...

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Feb 15 2018

First Cadre of Arab-Sector “Heart Guardians” Graduated by Hadassah

The first cadre of Jerusalem’s Arab-sector volunteer “Heart Guardians” received graduation certificates at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem today, from the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Center for Women, recognizing their leadership in bringing better health to their local community.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Feb 2 2018

It Wasn't a Heart Attack, But How Could I Tell?

By Barbara Sofer As the Israel Director of Public Relations for Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, I've written so many articles about women's heart health that I know heart attacks are hard to self-diagnose.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More