On the pulse 20th September 2013

  • Look Good…Feel Better!
  • Study proves ‘brain fog’ is a side-effect of tamoxifen treatment

Look Good Feel Better!
The fabulous team from Look Good Feel Better joined us on Tuesday 17th September. The trained beauty therapists taught eleven women about skin care and how to hide some of the visible effects of treatment, whilst also giving general advice on how to expertly apply make-up. Everyone who attended also received a free make-up pack containing beauty products from well-known brands to let them recreate their looks at home!

Everyone who attended spoke of how useful and enjoyable they found the session, with comments such as “it was all wonderful” and “it was extremely good. I am very grateful. I really appreciated this boost to my confidence” common.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Look Good…Feel Better for helping to organise the afternoon. Special thanks go to Maite Zamora, Katie Finger, Jessica Finger, Lillie Russo, Manisha Patel, Youna Peenith, Annie Levy, Tina Ryan and Jan Ogario, the beauty therapists who volunteered their time to come and run such a well-received workshop.

The next Look Good…Feel Better session takes place Tuesday 15th October, from 2pm to 4pm. To book your place, or for more information, contact Reema on 020 7830 2323 or email r.ved@cancerkin.org.uk. Please note, however, the workshop is open only to those women who have not attended a previous workshop.

Study proves ‘brain fog’ is a side-effect of tamoxifen treatment
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has proven that tamoxifen produces a mental fogginess similar to ‘chemo brain’. However, the authors also report that they have discovered an existing drug compound that counteracts these adverse effects.

The researchers, based at the University of Rochester, found that tamoxifen is toxic to certain cells in the brain and central nervous system, which causes the mental fogginess which has been anecdotally reported for some time. The scientists were then able to identify which of the cells were most vulnerable to tamoxifen toxicity.

They then screened a library of 1,040 compounds which are already in clinical use or clinical trials and identified an existing compound, known as AZD6244, which essentially eliminated tamoxifen-induced killing of brain cells when tested in mice. The researchers were also optimistic about finding that while AZD6244 protected brain cells, it did not also protect cancer cells.

This research is the result of two separate but related projects: one exploring the science behind “chemo brain” and another which investigates the use of tamoxifen in cancers other than early-stage, less-aggressive breast cancer.

Mark Noble, corresponding author of the study, said: “It’s critical to find safe treatments that can rescue the brain from impairment, because despite increasing awareness and research in this area, some people continue to endure short-term memory loss, mental cloudiness, and trouble concentrating. For some patients the effects wear off over time, but others experience symptoms that can lead to job loss, depression, and other debilitating events.

“As far as I know, no one else has discovered an agent that singles out and protects brain and central nervous system cells while also not protecting cancer cells.

“This creates a whole new paradigm; it’s where we need to go.”

For more information, please see the University of Rochester website or the Independent

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