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

Monday, Dec 10 2018

A Nurses Council Celebration in Israel: The Milestone Mission

We were honored to meet so many dynamic Hadassah nurses, some longtime and some new members--all of us excited to be together to celebrate the 100th anniversaries of the Hadassah Medical Organization, the Henrietta Szold Hadasssah-Hebrew University Nursing School and HMO's Department of Ophthalmology. And Israel's 70th

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Dec 5 2018

Prof. Chowers’ Long and Meaningful Hadassah Connections

Sophie Szold, mother of Hadassah founder Henrietta, wept when she saw children with flies in their eyes on their maiden trip to pre-state Israel in 1909. Those children had trachoma, endemic in the Middle East in those days.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Dec 5 2018

Ending the Violence Against Women: Hadassah Staff Joins Nationwide Protests

On December 4, employees from both Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus rallied to end violence against women. “Together we will banish the darkness and return the light to all women,” read banners held by the participants.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Dec 4 2018

No Ovaries? Mystery Solved By Hadassah Endocrinologist

A few years ago, a mother brought her teenage daughter to see Prof. David Zangen, Director of Pediatric Endocrinology at the Hadassah Medical Organization.

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