For rats bearing human breast tumors, exposure to dim light at night made the tumors resistant to the standard breast cancer chemotherapy doxorubicin, but giving the rats a melatonin supplement during the dim-light exposure at night prevented resistance development and promoted tumor regression, according to data presented at the 13th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Sept. 28–Oct. 1.

“Using our rat model of breast cancer, we recently reported [see July 25, 2014, news release] that exposure to dim light at night made human breast tumors resistant to the antihormone breast cancer drug tamoxifen,” said Steven M. Hill, PhD, professor of structural and cellular biology and the Edmond and Lily Safra chair for breast cancer research at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

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