Researchers Link Hormone Treatments to Heightened Risk of Brain Tumors

Scientists at the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety in France recently linked the use of hormone treatments by women to a heightened risk of women developing benign brain tumors. During their research, they determined that prolonged use of some progestogen drugs was associated with a higher risk of meningioma.

This sentiment isn’t shared by all, however, with one leading expert noting that while the risk of meningioma was higher in women who took the drugs for more than one year, the finding need not worry present or past users as heightened risk remained small.

Meningiomas are common tumors that often form in tissues around the brain. They grow slowly and aren’t typically cancerous. However, they can exert pressure on an individual’s brain, which can be addressed through surgical removal.

Progestogens are akin to progesterone, a hormone produced in the body for the creation of a healthy uterine lining. The drugs are used in hormone replacement treatments administered during menopause, for gynaecological conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis, and in contraceptives.

For their study, the investigators used data from the French national healthcare system to examine eight commonly used forms of progestogens. They started by identifying more than 18,000 women of different ages who had undergone surgery to extract intracranial meningiomas in the period between 2009 to 2018.

Once this information had been gathered, the investigators compared each case with five healthy, matched controls. They discovered that prolonged use of three progestogens was linked to increased risk of meningioma that required surgery. Note that prolonged use in this case means more than 12 months.

A contraceptive injection marketed as Depo-Provera, medoxyprogesterone acetate, was associated with a 5.6-fold heightened risk of meningioma. Promegestone and Medrogestone, oral progestogens, were also linked to a 2.7 and 4.1-fold higher risk of meningioma.

It should be noted that because this research is observational, it can’t prove whether the hormone prompts tumor growth.

In their report, the investigators highlighted that no excess risk was observed for dydrogesterone, progesterone or hormonal intrauterine systems. They also asked that additional research into the safety of hormones and, in particular, injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate, be conducted.

The researchers theorize that while medroxyprgesterone acetate is rarely used in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, more than 70 million women around the globe receive them. This means that the number of meningiomas we can attribute to this could possibly be high.

The findings of the study was reported “The BMJ.

While the tumors linked to hormone treatments aren’t usually malignant, other kinds of brain tumors are cancerous and aggressive. Companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are devoting considerable resources to developing next-gen treatments targeting these brain cancers that have become a global concern.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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