What's New in Menopause Research?
I'm glad you asked. Several weeks ago, I got the chance to speak with Mary Tagliaferri, MD, co-founder of a small biotech company working on improving women's health, by providing treatments for such things as advanced breast cancer, vaginal atrophy, and hot flashes.
She explained that though there are several non-hormonal drugs in clinical testing for hot flashes, including anti-depressants, her company has been working on a plant-based treatment, made out of 22 botanically-derived ingredients that has been shown in clinical trials to reduce hot flashes. Moreover this drug does not increase the risk of breast or uterine cancer and may even be protective against cancer, she says.
"The reason I got into this field was I had breast cancer when I was 30, with no family history and no genetic predisposition," Tagliaferri told me. "My whole interest in this area has been from a personal history. Having taken a lot of herbs when I did have breast cancer, and using a lot of Traditional Chinese Medicine myself, I thought maybe I should figure out whether this was a good idea or a bad idea, and that's what set me off on this path."
She and her partner have been researching anti-cancer drugs and hot flash formulas based on Chinese herbs used for thousands of years in TCM. Just this past week they reported the results from Phase II of their clinical trial. 35 post-menopausal women, with an average of 73 hot flashes, reported a 70% reduction of moderate and hot flashes after 4 weeks of taking their drug, Menerba â¢ — and a 68% reduction in night sweats.
The company plans to go ahead with Phase III testing, and if all goes well, in a few years women may have the option of a scientifically-researched and FDA-approved plant-based therapy for hot flashes.
Video: Marcia Stefanick, PhD, Talks About Menopausal Hormone Therapy
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