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

Abstract

Purpose

Several circulating carotenoids have been inversely associated with postmenopausal breast cancer risk in large cohort studies and a pooled analysis. Whether associations differ by tumor or participant characteristics remains unclear. We investigated the associations of plasma carotenoids with postmenopausal breast cancer risk overall and by estrogen receptor (ER) status, tumor stage, smoking status, and body mass index, in a case–control study nested in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.

Methods

A total of 496 invasive breast cancer cases diagnosed between blood draw in 1998–2001 and June 30, 2007 and matched 1:1 with controls on race, birth date, and blood draw date were included. Multivariable-adjusted conditional and unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Plasma α-carotene above the lowest quartile was associated with significant 40–43 % lower risk of invasive breast cancer risk (fourth vs. first quartile OR 0.60, 95 % CI 0.41–0.87, P-trend = 0.037) after adjustment for multiple covariates. This inverse association was strengthened after further adjustment for other plasma carotenoids and total fruit and vegetable intake (fourth vs. first quartile OR 0.50, 95 % CI 0.29–0.85, P-trend = 0.041). Other plasma carotenoids or total carotenoids were not associated with breast cancer risk. The inverse association of α-carotene with breast cancer remained for ER+, but not for ER− tumors, although test for heterogeneity was not statistically significant (P-heterogeneity = 0.49).

Conclusions

These results suggest that higher plasma α-carotene is associated with lower risk of invasive breast cancer.

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Acknowledgments

The American Cancer Society funds the creation, maintenance, and updating of the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) cohort. We thank the CPS-II participants and Study Management Group for their invaluable contributions to this research. We also acknowledge the contribution to this study from central cancer registries supported through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Program of Cancer Registries, as well as cancer registries supported by the National Cancer Institute Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Ying Wang.

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Wang, Y., Gapstur, S.M., Gaudet, M.M. et al. Plasma carotenoids and breast cancer risk in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Cancer Causes Control 26, 1233–1244 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-015-0614-4

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Keywords

  • Plasma carotenoids
  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Cohort study
  • Body mass index
  • Smoking