BIG 1-98 Letrozole trial: Fingernail sub-study

18 April 2009

Purpose

This pilot research is a sub-study to one of the existing drug trials called the BIG 1-98 Letrozole trial (above). Research investigating the fingernail as a predictor of bone density. A team of researchers at the University of Limerick in Ireland are investigating whether or not the composition of the fingernail can be a predictor of bone density. 

Scientific Title

BIG Trial 1-98/ IBCSG18-98 Fingernail Pilot Sub study Investigating chemical properties of fingernails to determine the efficacy of nail structure for evaluating bone fragility.

Background

The relationship between nail and bone may be measurable, thus making the fingernail a potentially valuable tool for assessing bone health for women receiving treatment for breast cancer.

Results

The relationship between nail and bone may be measurable, thus making the fingernail a potentially valuable tool for assessing bone health for women receiving treatment for breast cancer. This small exploratory study showed effects in the chemical structure in the fingernail in women on endocrine therapy and are an incentive for larger studies looking at the usefulness of fingernail analysis.

Publication

Bone Quality Test scores in fingernails in postmenopausal patients treated with adjuvant letrozole or tamoxifen for early breast cancer.  Zhuoxin Sun, Aron Goldhirsch, Karen Price, Marco Colleoni, Alberto Ravaioli, Edda Simoncini, Ian Campbell, Richard Gelber, Mark Towler.  The Breast 2009 April; 18 (2), 84-88.