Tags: Cancer | melatonin | breast | cancer | tumor | growth

Melatonin Found to Slow Breast Cancer Growth

By    |   Tuesday, 28 January 2014 04:34 PM

Melatonin, a hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle often taken as a supplement, has been found to help slow the growth of breast cancer tumors in a new study by Henry Ford Hospital. The findings were released just one week after Harvard University researchers found melatonin also cuts the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
 
The new study, published online in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS One, found melatonin inhibits tumor growth and cell production in animal tests, and blocks the formation of new blood vessels in ER-negative breast.
 
"These early stage research results with the melatonin drug in a triple-negative breast cancer animal models achieved in our lab has not been seen anywhere else," said Adarsh Shankar, a research assistant in the Department of Radiology at Henry Ford Hospital. "The key finding of the study is that we now know that we can trace this drug and its effect on tumor growth, which opens the door for more research on this topic."
 
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the brain in response to darkness and is widely used as supplemental sleep aid. Because of the hormone's suspected antioxidant properties, some scientists believe it may suppress the growth of some types of cancer cells, especially when combined with certain anti-cancer drugs, according to the American Cancer Society.
 
For the new study, the Henry Ford Hospital and Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo researchers evaluated the action of melatonin on ER-negative breast cancer using cell tissues and laboratory mice.
 
The tests showed mice and cell lines treated with melatonin for 21 days had significantly smaller tumors, suggesting it has the potential as a therapeutic agent for breast cancer.
 
The findings follow the release of a similar study presented at a meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in San Diego last week by the Harvard School of Public Health that found men with higher levels of melatonin were far less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those with lower levels of the hormone.


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Melatonin has been found to help slow the growth of breast cancer tumors in a new study by Henry Ford Hospital.
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Tuesday, 28 January 2014 04:34 PM
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