Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Conduct a clinical trial whether maximizing melatonin using orange eyeglasses in the evning reduces breast cancer.

Epidemiological studies have shown totally blind women have about half the incidence of breast cancer as blind women who retain light control of melatonin suppression or of women with normal vision. Studies show shift worker that reduces melatonin and disrupts the circadian rhythm increases the risk of breast cancer. Studies show human breast cancer grafts grown on rats but supplied with human blood grow rapidly if the blood does not contain melatonin but grow slowly or not at all if the blood contains melatonin. Studies with small rodents show long nights that maximize melatonin can reduce or prevent the growth of breast cancer. Extending the benefit of maximizing melatonin by light control should be tested in humans.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

About 250,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in just the U.S. The evidence suggests this number could be cut in half by simply changing to low-blue light bulbs or by wearing blue blocking glasses for a few hours before bedtime. A similar situation exists for prostate cancer. Without clinical trials the medical community will not believe it is true, despite all the evidence.Since there are no expensive drugs involved, no drug company will fund this type of trial so the federal government or foundations are the only likely funders. Reducing breast cancer incidence to half is worth billions of dollars to say nothing about the reduction in human suffering.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

By using women at high risk for cancer the time to carry out a trial of modest size will be reduced. Since there is essentially no risk and improved sleep is a side effect, compliance should be high.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Richardd L. Hansler PhD Edward Carome PhD Vilnis Kubulins MS

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Idea No. 825