Journal Article

Urinary estrogen metabolites in women at high risk for breast cancer

Annie Im, Victor G. Vogel, Gretchen Ahrendt, Stacy Lloyd, Camille Ragin, Seymour Garte and Emanuela Taioli

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 9, pages 1532-1535
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Urinary estrogen metabolites in women at high risk for breast cancer

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Objective: This study explored whether average urinary estrogen metabolites in breast cancer high-risk women can be used to identify a subgroup of women at particularly high risk to develop breast cancer, to which prevention strategies should be addressed. Methods: The population consisted of 77 high-risk women, 30 breast cancer patients and 41 controls. All subjects answered a standardized questionnaire; height and weight and spot urine samples were also obtained. Urine hydroxyestrogen metabolites were measured in triplicate by enzyme immunoassay, and the estrogen metabolite ratios for each individual were calculated. Results: The 2:16 OHE ratio (2-hydroxyestrone/16-alpha-hydroxyestrone) in women at high risk for breast cancer was similar to that observed in the breast cancer group (1.76 ± 2.33 versus 1.29 ± 0.80) and lower than in controls (2.47 ± 1.14; P = 0.00). At the multivariate linear regression model, the 2:16 OHE ratio was significantly associated with diagnosis (P = 0.000 for both the high risk and breast cancer group versus the controls) and body mass index (P = 0.005), but not with age (P = 0.604), or smoking history (P = 0.478). Conclusions: This study suggests that lower urinary 2:16 OHE ratios are predictors of breast cancer risk. Profiling estrogen metabolites may identify women who are more probably to develop breast cancer within a population of women with known risk factors and may help to further elucidate the clinical relevance of urinary 2:16 OHE ratios as clinical markers and prognostic indicators in this population.

Journal Article.  3431 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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