The DES saga: Death risk high for young women exposed in utero

ScienceDaily | 5/2/2018 | Staff
ridge-khridge-kh (Posted by) Level 4
In the May 3, 2018, issue of the NEJM, the authors show that DES-exposed patients with clear-cell adenocarcinoma had "increased mortality across their life span."

"The risk of death for women aged 10 to 34 who had been exposed to DES in utero and had clear-cell adenocarcinoma was 27 times higher than the risk for women in the general U.S. population," said study author Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD, associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Chicago Medicine. That fell to five times higher for women ages 35 to 49, mainly due to late recurrences. The risk of death for women between 50 and 65 fell to just two times higher.

Series - Reports - DES - April - NEJM

This series of reports on DES began on April 22, 1971, when the NEJM published a classic study, titled "Adenocarcinoma of the **** -- Association of Maternal Stilbestrol Therapy with Tumor Appearance in Young Women." It described a few unusual cancer cases at a Boston hospital: eight women, age 15 to 22, who suffered from this extraordinarily rare tumor.

Although clear-cell adenocarcinoma had been described in older women, "none of us had heard of it in young people," recalled the study's lead author Arthur Herbst, MD, the Joseph Bolivar DeLee distinguished service professor emeritus and former chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the UChicago.

Herbst - Boston - Colleagues - Onset - Cancer

Herbst and his Boston colleagues connected the onset of this rare cancer to DES exposure. Seven of the eight women with clear-cell adenocarcinoma in the original study had taken DES.

This finding raised many concerns. In the previous 25 years, an estimated 4.8 million women in the United States and as many as 10 million worldwide had taken DES during pregnancy. These eight cases were the first evidence of a delayed but potentially devastating side effect.

DES - Year - Food - Drug - Administration

DES, created in 1938, the same year as the Food and Drug Administration...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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