Press Release About DES Breast Cancer Cases in Boston, MA

15 Sep

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

DISTINGUISHED HARVARD EPIDEMIOLOGIST TESTIFIES AGAINST ELI LILLY & COMPANY AND BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB THAT DES DAUGHTERS ARE AT SUBSTANTIAL RISK FOR BREAST CANCER

On September 7, 2011, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston, Dr. Hans-Olov Adami, former Chair of the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and a world-renowned physician and epidemiologist, testified that women exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES) are at substantially increased risk for breast cancer.  Dr. Adami cited to Dr. Julie Palmer’s 2006 NCI study, “Prenatal Diethylstilbestrol Exposure and the Risk of Breast Cancer,” which showed a 2.05 – 3.85 relative risk for DES daughters over the age of 40.  Dr. Adami “found it overwhelmingly likely based on this methodology that DES causes breast cancer, [and] increases substantially the risk of breast cancer in women starting about the age of 40.”

In confirming the Palmer study in court as a valid and important reopening of the never-ending DES tragedy, Dr. Adami stated: “so the bottom line of this is it provides strong evidence that DES exposure increases the risk, and that the risk increase starts sometime around age 40 and then grows as women get older.”

Dr. Adami stressed that there are two practical implications in the Palmer study: “one is that it reinforces the importance of women who have been exposed to participate in mammography screening programs in order to allow early detection of breast cancer if they develop it; and secondly, because women who have been on hormone replacement therapies are already at an increased risk, the indications should be very restrictive to add another major risk factor if they have also been exposed to DES in the uterus.”

DES, primarily promoted by Eli Lilly and Company and E.R. Squibb & Sons (the predecessor to Bristol-Myers Squibb) was given to two to five million pregnant women in the 1950’s and 1960’s and was banned in 1971 when it was discovered to cause cancer and malformations of the reproductive tract.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently declared “DES Awareness Week” this July commemorating the experience of DES daughters and warning of breast cancer risks.

The trial taking place in federal court will continue for another week and a half as the fifty-three DES daughters involved put on further biology, toxicology, oncology, and obstetrics and gynecology experts to support Dr. Adami’s opinion of this substantial DES breast cancer risk in the daughters.

For Further Information, Contact:

Aaron M. Levine & Associates

1320 19th St., NW

Fifth Floor

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 833-8040

aaronlevinelaw@aol.com

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