Estrogen and Lung Cancer Linked: Study By Scientists At Fox Chase Cancer Center

estrogen linked to lung cancer

Exposure to tobacco smoke increases toxic estrogen byproducts that can lead to lung cancer.

New research finds that lung cancer may be promoted by estrogen levels. This study opens up new avenues for lung cancer treatment, claims lead author, Jing Peng, PhD, postdoctoral associate at lab of Margie L. Clapper, PhD. Scientists have presented the research at AACR Annual Meeting 2012 on April 3.

Actual Methods and Results

  • Researchers examined lungs of healthy mice.
  • Mice lungs contained high estrogen metabolites like, 4-hydroxy-estrogens (4-OHEs).
  • Mice were exposed to tobacco smoke for 8 weeks.
  • Levels of 4-OHEs increased.
  • 4-OHEs are carcinogenic. They activate cell growth processes and generate free radicals that damage cells.

What did the researchers find?

  • Estrogen is broken down into toxic products in the lung of a mouse.
  • The levels of these toxic substances increased when mice were exposed to tobacco smoke.
  • This observation led researchers to conclude that in future, therapies targeting estrogen conversion into toxic substances may be developed for prevention and treatment of lung cancer.

Study researchers hope that the results would allow focus on personalized treatment for lung cancer.

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