||5R01CA072787-05 Interpret this number
||Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
||Calcium Channel Blockers in Breast Cancer Etiology
DESCRIPTION: (Adapted from Applicant's Abstract). Although over one-third
of all breast cancers are diagnosed among women aged 65-79 years, little
epidemiologic research has specifically focussed on breast cancer in women
of this age. Women of this age also commonly suffer from hypertension or
coronary disease, and calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are often used to
treat either of these conditions. Two recent studies, yet to be published,
of women aged 65 and older, suggest that women who use CCBs may be at an
increased risk of breast cancer. This suspected association is given
biological plausibility by the observation that pharmacological blockade of
the calcium channels can inhibit apoptosis (programmed cell death), the
process whereby organisms eliminate unwanted cells (e.g., preneoplastic,
initiated, damaged, excessive). In this sense, CCBs may be cancer
The application proposes a case-control study of 1,000 women, aged 65-79,
who reside in King County, Washington, who are on the Health Care Financing
Administration (HCFA) tapes, and who are diagnosed with their first invasive
breast cancer during the time period of January 1, 1997 through December 31,
1999. The personal interview responses of these women about drug use and
other known risk factors for breast cancer will be compared to a control
group of 1,000 women without breast cancer who will be identified through
the HCFA tapes. Based on the preliminary studies and the evidence from in
vitro studies on cells, it is posited that the use of CCBs increases the
risk of breast cancer in older women.
The plan is to assess whether calcium antagonists used in the treatment of
hypertension and cardiovascular diseases promote breast cancer in women aged
65-79 years, and whether any one type of calcium channel blocker is more
related to breast cancer than the other types. Since no studies have
assessed present or past use of combined estrogen-progestin therapy in a
large group of women this age, and the concurrent use of hormone replacement
therapy (HRT) by these women may affect the proposed estimates of risk
associated with CCBs, data will also be collected and analyzed on other
drugs (viz., cimetidine, anti-depressants, lipid lowering drugs) frequently
used by women in this age group.
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