(WWJ) — New research shows how light and dark could mean the difference between life and death for some breast cancer patients.
Tulane University researchers have found exposure to light at night, which shuts off production of the hormone melatonin, makes breast cancer completely resistant to the drug tamoxifen.READ MORE: U Of M Establishes New Sexual Misconduct Policy For Employees, Students
Researchers exposed rats implanted with human breast cancer cells to either 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of total darkness, or, exposed the animals to very dim light during the 12 hour dark phase.READ MORE: AG Nessel Reissues Consumer Alerts Amid Flooding, Power Outages In Michigan
They found high melatonin levels at night put breast cancer cells to sleep, by stopping their growth and making them vulnerable to tamoxifen. But when even dim lights were on and melatonin was suppressed, breast cancer cells woke up and ignored tamoxifen.MORE NEWS: 17-Year-Old Charged In Non-Fatal Shooting In Detroit
The study appears in the journal Cancer Research.