But the latest research into the nature of hormone receptors and therapies using bioidentical instead of synthetic hormones have caused a shift in thinking and new hope for treating this cancer with testosterone. Today the medical profession equates a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s with a death sentence. In fact, the only thing doctors do is throw ineffective drugs at it and resign themselves to failure. For the first time, this book explains how testosterone can halt the disease and cure early-stage Alzheimer’s. Similar breakthroughs for fighting breast cancer follow close on the heels of these revelations, outlining how the avoidance of synthetic progestins and the use of aromatase inhibitors are crucial tools in prevention and treatment. At the core of this book is the remarkable observation that we experience our highest hormone levels during our teen years–a time of life when there is no breast cancer, prostate cancer, or Alzheimer’s. Could bringing hormones back to teen levels be the key to vibrant good health? The answer is a resounding yes. This thoroughly researched guide to the latest biomedical research is must-reading for medical professionals and anyone concerned about their health.
Receptors are The Thing!
There are so many opinions concerning the best way to test for hormone deficiencies and how to use hormones and how to confirm the intervention with hormones is achieving the intended results. But whether we test the serum or saliva or urine, all the action of hormones occurs at the receptors.
All hormones are alike
Conventional practitioners are insisting that if a hormone receptor receives a hormone whether it is identical to human or not, then all hormones and hormone like substances have to be considered equal. This completely ignores the research identifying different affinities for a hormone receptor. As an example, the hormone estriol is generally considered a weak estrogen. This is because the binding of estriol on a receptor in comparison to estradiol binding on the same receptor produces less response. In sharp contrast, the receptors for estrogen in the urinary tract, bladder and vaginal tissue have a much greater affinity for estriol. An early study published in1993 in NEJM demonstrated dramatic effectiveness with the urinary tract in elderly women with recurrent infection. Clinically, estriol shines when treating vaginal dryness, outperforming estradiol and other estrogens.
What are receptors?
Receptors are protein structures designed to snag passing hormones. Receptors for hormones poke through the cell membrane. These are called membrane receptors. Other receptors are inside the cell (intracellular receptors) in the cytosol and more receptors are in the cell nucleus. Once a receptor captures a hormone, cells receive instructions for their work. This work includes cell replication, manufacturing other proteins, moderating cell activity and programming cell death of abnormal cells. A single hormone can produce action within minutes of binding. Receptors oversee manipulating the cell’s work by upregulating or downregulating production of proteins.
Hormone receptors are promiscuous
Receptors can be affected by synthetic hormones as well as the real thing. Receptor activity could be blocked or accentuated. Numbers of receptors are not stagnant but vary according to food and environment. Medroxyprogesterone acetate, a progestin rather than real progesterone, will not only interfere with progesterone receptors but can block testosterone and cortisol receptors too. Since testosterone has such a positive effect on potential breast and prostate cancer (below), this could explain why this synthetic hormone is so associated with increases in breast cancer as reported in the Women’s Health Initiative study.
In his book, Dr. Edward Friedman, a theoretical biologist put together the “big picture” and offers his theory he calls the Hormone Receptor Model. He believes his model answers the questions about how breast and prostate cancer initiate and how this information can be used to target very specific treatment based on bioidentical hormones, particularly testosterone to change the course of these diseases. He states that breast and prostate cancer are fundamentally identical in their causes and presentation and progression.
Bcl-2 is a protein which is produced by hormone stimulation in the cell nucleus in cancer cells. This protein is of high importance in the discussion of breast and prostate cancer. Cancer cells are immortal. They escape the normal program for cell death called apoptosis. The Bcl-2 protein shields cancer cells from their normal cell destruction,
Types of hormone receptors
Vitamin D should always be considered first and foremost during the presentation of breast or prostate cancer. Activation of the vitamin D receptor helps destroy cancer cells by at least 4 different mechanisms. There is no downside to ensuring that vitamin D levels are optimized.
Estrogen receptor Beta (ER-Beta)
Stimulation of the beta receptors with estrogen has a positive result. Production of the Bcl-2 protein is down-regulated thus depriving cancer cells of their immortality. More, there is an anti-inflammatory effect.
Progesterone receptor B also diminishes the production of Bcl-2 when activated.
Estrogen receptor Alpha (ER-Alpha) increases inflammation and the production of the Bcl-2 protein. When breast cancer tissue is examined and reported as estrogen receptor positive, the information is incomplete. We should know the concentrations of receptors. If there is a dominance of ER-Beta, it would be a good thing. A feature of cancer cells is that the more the cancer progresses, the more ER-alpha receptors are available.
Progesterone receptors A increases Bcl-2 and stimulation of this type of receptor is tied into BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. According to Dr. Friedman, the small number of women with this mutation with have increased amounts of progesterone receptor A. In turn, this leads to an increased Bcl-2 production protecting cancer cells. He outlines a different strategy to use in this situation.
Types of estrogen and binding properties.
Estradiol binds to both alpha and beta receptors with equal strength. Estrone binds to alpha receptors 5 times more tightly than to beta receptors and estriol binds to ER-beta 3.2 times more tightly than will bind to ER-alpha. The amount of Bcl-2 being produced is dependent upon which estrogen is binding, how strongly it is binding and finally the amounts of each type of receptor. Hence estrone is potentially more pro cancer and estriol has potential to be more anti-cancer.
The membrane androgen receptor behaves differently in men and women. In women, stimulation of this receptor causes a decrease in Bcl-2 and in men there is an increase in Bcl-2 Stimulation of the intracellular androgen receptors decrease Bcl-2 and also causes of the production of other anti-cancer proteins in both men and women. However, if there is a shortage of testosterone to stimulate the intracellular receptors, the shortage favors more cancer cell growth.
This is a simplistic synopsis of the Dr. Friedman’s ideas. First and foremost, he considers testosterone in ample amounts is very protective against both breast and prostate cancer. He advises on the use of aromatase inhibitors to diminish the amount of conversion of testosterone to estrogens which can lead to more activation of ER-alpha receptors. He believes that estriol is underused and could be supplemented generously to shift stimulation to the ER-beta receptors. Premarin, with its predominance of estrone clearly is a therapy that shifts the stimulation to the ER-alpha receptors.
A study recently published by Dr. Rebecca Glazer illustrates strong evidence for the idea that testosterone can be protective and perhaps even effective in treatment for breast cancer. She presented the results of the 1268 women receiving testosterone treatment along with an aromatase inhibitor. She is observing a dramatic decrease in breast cancer incidence in her study group as compared to other studies and population statistics.
Dr Friedman offers some very thought-provoking ideas using bioidentical hormones in treatment of breast and prostate cancer. His theory is not yet tested but some practitioners have incorporated some of the features. He feels this method is not intended to be a “cure” but a means to control the cancer. The only downside is instead of suffering from the disfigurement and secondary effects of cancer surgery and radiation and the debilitation of hormone deprivation and chemotherapy drugs, restoring hormones to more youthful levels yields zestful living while living with cancer.
Review by Carol Petersen and published at www.womensinternational.com