Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 253–262 | Cite as

The effects of a low-fat dietary intervention and tamoxifen adjuvant therapy on the serum estrogen and sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations of postmenopausal breast cancer patients

  • David P. Rose
  • Jeanne M. Connolly
  • Rowan T. Chlebowski
  • I. Marilyn Buzzard
  • Ernst L. Wynder
Report

Summary

The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of a low-fat dietary intervention, with or without concomitant tamoxifen adjuvant therapy, on serum estrogen and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels in postmenopausal patients with resected breast cancer. Ninety-three patients were randomized to either reduce their fat intake to 15–20% of total calories, or to a dietary control group. Serum estradiol, estrone, estrone sulfate, and SHBG concentrations were assayed at baseline, and at 6, 12, and 18 months thereafter. In 19% of patients, the preintervention serum estradiol levels were below the sensitivity of the assay (5 pg/ml). Tamoxifen had no significant effect on serum estrogen levels, but produced an elevation in SHBG. Patients with reliably quantifiable preintervention estradiol concentrations (≥ 10 pg/ml) showed a significant reduction in serum estradiol after 6 months on the low-fat diet (average, 20%; p < 0.005); this was sustained over the 18 month study period. Serum SHBG levels were increased by tamoxifen therapy, but were reduced significantly (p = 0.01) after 12 months on the low-fat diet in patients not receiving tamoxifen. No changes in serum estrone or estrone sulfate resulted from the dietary intervention. While the low-fat diet produced significant weight loss, patients treated with tamoxifen without dietary intervention showed a gain in body weight. These weight changes produced disruptions in the normal positive correlation between body weight and serum estrone sulfate, and the negative correlation with SHBG concentration.

Key words

dietary fat breast cancer estrogens 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Rose
    • 1
  • Jeanne M. Connolly
    • 1
  • Rowan T. Chlebowski
    • 2
  • I. Marilyn Buzzard
    • 3
  • Ernst L. Wynder
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nutrition and EndocrinologyAmerican Health FoundationValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Harbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA
  3. 3.University of Minnesota School of Public HealthMinneapolisUSA

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