Researchers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center have found a new use for the hormone hCG, human chorionic gonatropin – preventing breast cancer.
The study used animal models where rats were injected with hCG and exposed to known carcinogens and a control group where there was no hCG injections. The results showed that the rats with the hCG injections were less likely to develop breast cancer than the control group. Also, the rats that were exposed to hCG but did develop breast cancer, did so at a much slower pace. The findings suggest that the hormone makes breast tissue more resistant to cancer.
hCG is a hormone that is commonly used as a fertilization drug and is FDA approved. Human studies are already underway in the US and in Europe.
“The ability to replicate the naturally protective effects of pregnancy against breast cancer will hold a significant public health value,” says Johana Vanegas, M.D., a research associate at Fox Chase. “In order to translate our finding into humans, a clinical trial with hCG as a preventive agent against breast cancer, is already ongoing in pre-menopausal women with no previouspregnancy.”