Next Step for the Estrogen Metabolism Hypothesis

Questions to Doctor Robert N Hoover, MD, PhD, Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program in the Intramural Research Program of the National Cancer Institute at the NIH’s Director’s Wednesday afternoon lecture series – May 16, 2007 – “Hormones and Breast Cancer”

Question: Are you still enthusiastic about the estrogen metabolism hypothesis or not? If you are what are the next steps?

Answer: I am enthusiastic since it’s taken us 6 years to develop a way to test it. So I’m bound and determined that I’m going to test it. I think the quick look at the Asian metabolic profiles made me more interested in looking at it since it actually went the way of the first hypothesis in the field. I must say the laboratory people that work in this field have been focused on this for a decade or more with a lot of reason that these are worth looking at. It, as far as I know, didn’t crack into the clinical, epidemiological mindset until January of 2006 when the group at Hopkins, Yeager and others, wrote a kind of review paper of it. It was like a revelation that there was all this vast wealth of basic science data saying these metabolites may have more to say about risk than the parent compounds themselves. So I’m enthusiastic about looking at it but hard data should tell us if there is anything going on or not.


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