McCune-Albright Syndrome and Tamoxifen: How Traditional Breast Cancer Medications are Being Used to Treat the Symptoms Associated with Precocious Puberty
Bachelor of Science
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Director of the Honors Program
Gigi Gokcek, PhD
Diara Spain, PhD
Ekaterina Kalashnikova, PhD
Precocious puberty is a disorder characterized by the early onset of puberty in both males and females. Since the early 2000s, multiple studies have found that the average age at which adolescents start puberty is steadily decreasing (Shin Hye Kim, 2015). There is growing concern that precocious puberty will lead to the decrease of both the ages of fertility and menopause in women affected by the disease. One probable cause of precocious puberty is McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS), which is a rare genetic disease that affects the skin, bones, and endocrine glands. While traditional treatments of precocious puberty in MAS are generally seen as safe, they are not completely effective in alleviating the symptoms. Research studies have shown that tamoxifen, which has traditionally been used as a treatment for breast cancer, successfully alleviates many of the symptoms of precocious puberty in girls with MAS (Erin A. Eugster, 2003). However, as tamoxifen is a known carcinogen with relatively high toxicity, there is some apprehension regarding the possible long term effects of using it to treat precocious puberty. Natural analogs to tamoxifen, such as Eryvarin H, are currently being researched with regard to the treatment of breast cancer. If these drugs are found to have a similar mechanism to tamoxifen with fewer toxic effects, then they may also be applied to the treatment of precocious puberty in females with MAS.