Evaluation of serum lipids and high-density lipoprotein subfractions (HDL2, HDL3) in postmenopausal patients with breast cancer
Breast cancer patients are known to be at increased risk for developing other chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease. Studies by different investigators have shown a correlation between increased dietary fat or hypercholesterolemia and the occurrence of breast cancer. Since previous studies on lipoprotein subfractions in this type of cancer have been inconsistent, we evaluated the lipids and lipoprotein subfraction levels in postmenopausal patients with breast cancer in an attempt to identify the risk for the development of cardiovascular disease.
The study included 132 patients, 56 of which were suffering from breast cancer, 32 from pancreatic and 44 age-matched controls. Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides and lipoprotein fractions as well as TC/High density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2/HDL3 ratios were estimated by standard laboratory techniques.
An increase in triglycerides and a decrease in HDL-cholesterol, especially in the HDL2 subfraction, were observed in patients with breast cancer as compared to the controls (P < 0.05). The maximum changes in TC, and HDL concentrations were observed in patients with advanced disease. Analysis of indexes of atherosclerosis (TC/HDL, and HDL2/HDL3 ratios) demonstrated that breast cancer patients had significantly higher TC/HDL ratio (6.44 ± 1.24) compared with controls (3.43 ± 0.57, p = 0.001), and patients with pancreatic cancer (3.79 ± 0.15, p = 0.027).
The results have demonstrated an unfavourable lipid profile in untreated breast cancer patients with high atherosclerosis indexes. This observation is of great importance, considering the potential use of endocrine therapy that could result in further deterioration of lipid indexes. We propose the evaluation and monitoring of lipid profile prior and after the induction of hormonal therapy in breast cancer patients, as a routine in clinical setting. (Mol Cell Biochem 268: 19–24, 2005)
Key wordslipoproteins ultracentrifugation breast cancer endocrine therapy coronary artery disease
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