Progesterone block prevents breast cancer

Blocking progesterone may prevent or halt the development of breast and ovarian cancers in women with mutations of the BRCA1 gene, findings of a study suggest.

The study of mice lacking BRCA1 and the gene p53 showed that mammary tumours developed in an average of eight months. However, mice given the progesterone antagonist mifepristone were free of tumours at 12 months.  

In mice lacking BRCA1 and p53, there were more epithelial cells with progesterone receptors than in mice lacking the gene p53 only.  

The role of progesterone in BRCA1-mutation cancers could explain why they occur only in breast and ovarian tissue.

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