Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
A new study just released, reports the Washington Post, shows mifepristone, the active component of the abortion pill regimen RU-486, may stave off breast cancer. The research shows that BRCA1, a gene that causes breast cancer, actually accelerates the production of progesterone (a necessary hormone for pregnant women) in the body. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, and scientists discovered that it was very effective in shutting down cancer-causing genes in mice. It was actually 100% effective. Proponents of RU-486 are hoping that this new advancement will make the drug more available and therefore pave the way for women to use the pill for abortions. Scientists, though, are not yet convinced (and neither should you be-- the long-term effects of RU-486 have not been studied because the drug is meant for one-time use only). There are concerns that long-term use of RU-486 by humans suppresses the immune system and scientists are looking into other progesterone blocking options. So, this is likely not, nor should it be hyped as, the pro-choice ticket to off-label cancer fighting use of RU-486, but, then again, it isn't bad news for the much maligned abortion pill.