Chlebowski RT, Schwartz AG, Wakelee H, et al. Oestrogen plus progestin and lung cancer in postmenopausal women (Women’s Health Initiative trial): A post-hoc analysis of a randomised controlled trial

Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA 90502, USA.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 09/2009; 374(9697):1243-51. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61526-9
Source: PubMed


In the post-intervention period of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial, women assigned to treatment with oestrogen plus progestin had a higher risk of cancer than did those assigned to placebo. Results also suggested that the combined hormone therapy might increase mortality from lung cancer. To assess whether such an association exists, we undertook a post-hoc analysis of lung cancers diagnosed in the trial over the entire follow-up period.
The WHI study was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial undertaken in 40 centres in the USA. 16 608 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years with an intact uterus were randomly assigned by a computerised, stratified, permuted block algorithm to receive a once-daily tablet of 0.625 mg conjugated equine oestrogen plus 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate (n=8506) or matching placebo (n=8102). We assessed incidence and mortality rates for all lung cancer, small-cell lung cancer, and non-small-cell lung cancer by use of data from treatment and post-intervention follow-up periods. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study is registered with, number NCT00000611.
After a mean of 5.6 years (SD 1.3) of treatment and 2.4 years (0.4) of additional follow-up, 109 women in the combined hormone therapy group had been diagnosed with lung cancer compared with 85 in the placebo group (incidence per year 0.16%vs 0.13%; hazard ratio [HR] 1.23, 95% CI 0.92-1.63, p=0.16). 96 women assigned to combined therapy had non-small-cell lung cancer compared with 72 assigned to placebo (0.14%vs 0.11%; HR 1.28, 0.94-1.73, p=0.12). More women died from lung cancer in the combined hormone therapy group than in the placebo group (73 vs 40 deaths; 0.11%vs 0.06%; HR 1.71, 1.16-2.52, p=0.01), mainly as a result of a higher number of deaths from non-small-cell lung cancer in the combined therapy group (62 vs 31 deaths; 0.09%vs 0.05%; HR 1.87, 1.22-2.88, p=0.004). Incidence and mortality rates of small-cell lung cancer were similar between groups.
Although treatment with oestrogen plus progestin in postmenopausal women did not increase incidence of lung cancer, it increased the number of deaths from lung cancer, in particular deaths from non-small-cell lung cancer. These findings should be incorporated into risk-benefit discussions with women considering combined hormone therapy, especially those with a high risk of lung cancer.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.

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    • "During the past two decades, studies on the HRT and lung cancer risk have demonstrated contradictory results, making the association still remained uncertain. Two clinical trials from Chlebowski confirmed the correlation between increased lung cancer risk and HRT [5], [6], but Chen et al., Clague et al. and Ramnath et al. showed in their studies that HRT use in females can decrease the incidence of lung cancer [7]–[9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to determine the relationship between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and lung cancer risk in females. Publications were reviewed and obtained through a PubMed, EMBASE database and Cochrane Library literature search up to May, 2012. The detailed numbers of patients in different groups, odd ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were collected and estimated using a random-effects model. Twenty five studies entered into the meta-analysis. The total number of participates and lung cancer patients was 656,403 and 11,442, respectively. The OR of all 25 studies was 0.91 (95%CI = 0.83 to 0.99) and P value was 0.033. In stratified analyses, the positive association between HRT use and decreased lung cancer risk was also found in the patients with BMI<25 kg/m(2) (OR = 0.65, P = 0.000), and never smokers patients (OR = 0.86, P = 0.042). However, HRT use in patients with artificial menopause could increase the lung cancer risk, OR = 1.51(P = 0.001). The result of Egger's test did not show any evidence of publican bias (P = 0.069). In conclusion, our meta-analysis on HRT and lung cancer risk suggests that HRT use is correlated with decreased lung cancer risk in female, especially in female with BMI<25 kg/m(2) and never smokers.
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    • "Lung cancer in young women exhibits rapid growth and a more aggressive biology than in postmenopausal women [9] [10]. Furthermore, the longterm use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) seems to be correlated with a poor survival rate of patients with lung cancer [11] [12]. Therefore, gender may be an additional independent risk factor, apart from tobacco exposure and genetic and environmental factors, in carcinogenesis of the lung. "
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    ABSTRACT: There are several findings suggesting the protective role of estrogens in gastric carcinogenesis. Extragonadal 17β-estradiol (E2) may be formed during estrone (E1) reduction to E2 by 17-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD17B1). Therefore, we studied the HSD17B1 transcript and protein levels in primary nontumoral and tumoral gastric tissue from the same 21 patients with gastric cancer (GC). We also assessed the effect of 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-dAzaC), on the methylation status of HSD17B1 and its expression and conversion of E1 to E2 in HGC-27 and EPG 85-257 GC cells. We identified the presence of HSD17B1 transcript and protein in HGC-27 and EPG 85-257 GC cells as well as in primary nontumoral and tumoral tissues from patients with GC. Moreover, we found that 5-dAzaC significantly up-regulated the HSD17B1 transcript and protein levels, which is associated with increased conversion of E1 to E2 in HGC-27 and EPG 85-257 GC cells. The changes in HSD17B1 expression in both HGC-27 and EPG 85-257 cells were accompanied by 5-dAzaC induced DNA demethylation in the 5' flanking region. Our results demonstrated that HSD17B1 expression and its ability to convert the weak estrogen E1 to the more potent E2 can be associated with DNA methylation in the 5' flanking region in GC cells.
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    • "The results of epidemiological studies demonstrated that the combined treatment of oestrogen and progesterone increased both the incidence and mortality of female postmenopausal lung cancer patients (Chlebowski et al, 2009). On the other hand, the above effects were not detected in the groups of postmenopausal women taking only oestrogen (Chlebowski et al, 2010). "
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