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April 13, 1979

Medical News

JAMA. 1979;241(15):1555-1564. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290410003001

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Risk of cancer, dysplasia for DES daughters found `very low  'Since 1971 when the first cases of clear cell adenocarcinoma were attributed to the synthetic estrogen diethlystilbestrol (DES), evidence has been mounting against use of this drug once commonly employed to prevent miscarriages in women. Now there is some good news for the daughters of women who took DES.Early results of a new federal study indicate that the drug may pose less of a risk than previously believed.The study, commissioned by the National Cancer Institute and performed by investigators involved in the DES Adenosis Group (DESAD), showed there were no cancers among a group of 1,275 "DES daughters" identified through a review of their mother's medical records.In an additional group of 2,064 DES daughters referred to the DESAD Project specifically because of identified vaginal abnormalities or documented DES exposure, four cancers of the genital tract were found.