Some Carotenoids May Have a Protective Effect on Breast Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ying Wang, PHD | Senior Epidemiologist
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Wang: Several epidemiologic studies and a recent large pooled analysis suggest that higher blood levels of carotenoids, a group of lipid-soluble pigments that are rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, are associated with lower breast cancer risk. What remains unclear is whether or not the effect of carotenoids on breast cancer differ by estrogen receptor status, tumor stage, BMI, and smoking status. We examined plasma carotenoids and breast cancer risk overall, and by aforementioned tumor and participant characteristics in a cohort of 992 postmenopausal women. We found that higher pre-diagnosis plasma α-carotene, but not other subtypes or total carotenoids, was significantly associated with lower invasive breast cancer risk. The inverse association of α-carotene with breast cancer risk seems stronger for estrogen receptor positive tumors than for estrogen receptor negative tumors. There is a suggestive inverse association of total plasma carotenoid levels and breast cancer among ever smokers but not among never smokers.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Wang: Our study was consistent with others that suggest a protective effect of blood carotenoids, specifically α-carotene, on breast cancer. It is worth noting that this study examines blood carotenoid levels generally consistent with dietary intakes, and should not be construed to mean that α-carotene supplements are recommended.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Wang: Our findings need to be confirmed by future studies including larger pooled analyses.

Citation:

Plasma carotenoids and breast cancer risk in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort

Ying Wang1, Susan M. Gapstur1, Mia M. Gaudet1, Jeremy D. Furtado2, Hannia Campos2, Marjorie L. McCullough1. 1American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA; 2Harvard School of Public Health, Boston,

Abstract presented at 2015 AACR meeting

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ying Wang, PHD | Senior Epidemiologist American Cancer Society, Inc., & Atlanta, Georgia (2015). Some Carotenoids May Have a Protective Effect on Breast Cancer