Dr. Ron’s Research Review – February 25, 2015

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This week’s research review focuses on hormones and benign breast disease.

A study included 578 BBD patients and 178 healthy women in Athens, Greece. Of the benign breast disease (BBD) patients, 254 had non-proliferative disease, 268 proliferative disease without atypia and 56 atypical hyperplasia. Steroid hormones tended to be higher in proliferative compared with non-proliferative BBD. Circulating steroid hormones tend to be higher among women with BBD than women with no breast pathology and higher in proliferative than non-proliferative disease; these patterns are more evident among peri/post-menopausal women. (Samoli et al., 2013)

A case-control investigation in Athens, Greece included 466 women with incident breast cancer, 704 women with BBD and 244 healthy women.  Compared with healthy women, breast cancer patients tended to have higher levels of steroid hormones. The evidence was strong for estrone (difference 21.5%, P < 0.001), weaker for testosterone (difference 15.8%, P = 0.07) and weaker still for estradiol (difference 12.0%, P = 0.18). Compared with women with BBD, breast cancer patients had non-statistically significantly lower levels of steroid hormones, but they had higher levels of IGF-1 [difference 5.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7% to 10.6%] and lower levels of IGFBP-3 (difference -3.7%, 95% CI -6.7% to -0.7%). Differences were more pronounced when breast cancer patients were contrasted to women with proliferative BBD. These findings suggest that high levels of IGF-1 may be an important factor toward the evolution of BBD to breast cancer. (Lagiou et al., 2013)

Dr. Ron


 

Articles

A comparison of hormonal profiles between breast cancer and benign breast disease: a case-control study.
            (Lagiou et al., 2013) Download
BACKGROUND: Benign breast disease (BBD), particularly proliferative BBD, is an established breast cancer risk factor. However, there has been no systematic attempt to compare the hormonal profiles of the two conditions. In a case-control investigation in Athens, Greece, we compared levels of estrogens, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), as well as their principal binding proteins, between breast cancer patients, women with BBD by histological type (proliferative and nonproliferative) and women with no breast pathology. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied 466 women with incident breast cancer, 704 women with BBD and 244 healthy women. We used multiple regression to compare log-transformed serum hormone levels of breast cancer patients with those of healthy women and women with BBD by histological type (proliferative and nonproliferative BBD). RESULTS: The hormonal profile of breast cancer in our study was in line with the generally accepted hormonal profile of this disease, as reported from large cohort studies. Compared with healthy women, breast cancer patients tended to have higher levels of steroid hormones. The evidence was strong for estrone (difference 21.5%, P < 0.001), weaker for testosterone (difference 15.8%, P = 0.07) and weaker still for estradiol (difference 12.0%, P = 0.18). Also compared with healthy women, breast cancer patients had barely higher levels of IGF-1 (difference 2.0%, P = 0.51), but had significantly lower levels of IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) (difference -6.7%, P = 0.001). Compared with women with BBD, breast cancer patients had nonstatistically significantly lower levels of steroid hormones, but they had higher levels of IGF-1 [difference 5.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7% to 10.6%] and lower levels of IGFBP-3 (difference -3.7%, 95% CI -6.7% to -0.7%). Differences were more pronounced when breast cancer patients were contrasted to women with proliferative BBD. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that high levels of IGF-1 may be an important factor toward the evolution of BBD to breast cancer.

The hormonal profile of benign breast disease.
            (Samoli et al., 2013) Download
BACKGROUND: Limited information exists about the endocrine milieu of benign breast disease (BBD), a documented breast cancer risk factor. We compared blood levels of estrogens, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) between BBD patients by histological type and women without breast pathology. METHODS: We studied 578 BBD patients and 178 healthy women in Athens, Greece, who provided blood samples, and completed interviewer-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: Of the BBD patients, 254 had non-proliferative disease, 268 proliferative disease without atypia and 56 atypical hyperplasia. Comparing BBD patients with healthy women, the per cent differences (and 95% confidence intervals) for blood hormones, among pre-menopausal and peri/post-menopausal women, respectively, were: 22.4% (-4.0%, 56.1%) and 32.0% (5.6%, 65.1%) for estradiol; 26.2% (10.1%, 44.8%) and 30.9% (16.8%, 46.6%) for estrone; 19.5% (3.1%, 38.4%) and 16.5% (-5.0%, 42.9%) for testosterone; and -5.2% (-13.8%, 4.4%) and -12.1% (-19.8%, -3.6%) for IGF-1. Steroid hormones tended to be higher in proliferative compared with non-proliferative BBD. CONCLUSIONS: Circulating steroid hormones tend to be higher among women with BBD than women with no breast pathology and higher in proliferative than non-proliferative disease; these patterns are more evident among peri/post-menopausal women. In peri/post-menopausal women IGF-1 was lower among women with BBD compared with healthy women.

 

References

Lagiou, P, et al. (2013), ‘A comparison of hormonal profiles between breast cancer and benign breast disease: a case-control study.’, Ann Oncol, 24 (10), 2527-33. PubMedID: 23723293
Samoli, E, et al. (2013), ‘The hormonal profile of benign breast disease.’, Br J Cancer, 108 (1), 199-204. PubMedID: 23169293