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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2023


Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular


2023 Jun 01





The Role of Female Reproductive Hormones in the Association between Migraine and Breast Cancer: An Unanswered Question.


Tiberio P, Viganò A, Ilieva MB, Pindilli S, Bianchi A, Zambelli A, Santoro A, De Sanctis R


Accumulating epidemiological studies have investigated a possible interconnection between migraine (Mi) and breast cancer (BC) because of the strong link between these diseases and female reproductive hormones. This review aims to consolidate findings from epidemiological studies and explore biologically plausible hypothetical mechanisms related to hormonal pathways. Current evidence suggests a protective role of Mi in BC development, particularly in case-control studies but not in cohort ones. The inconsistency among studies may be due to several reasons, including diagnostic criteria for Mi and the age gap between the development of these two diseases. Furthermore, recent research has challenged the concept of a net beneficial effect of Mi on BC, suggesting a more complex relationship between the two conditions. Many polymorphisms/mutations in hormone-related pathways are involved in at least one of the two conditions. The most promising evidence has emerged for a specific alteration in the estrogen receptor 1 gene (rs2228480). However, the possible specific mutation or polymorphism involved in this association has not yet been identified. Further studies with robust methodologies are needed to validate the protective role of Mi in BC and fully elucidate the precise nature of this causal relationship.