Conjugated equine estrogen and risk of benign proliferative breast disease: A randomized controlled trial
ABSTRACT Estrogens stimulate proliferation of breast epithelium and may therefore increase the risk of benign proliferative breast disease, a condition that is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. We tested the effect of conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) on risk of benign proliferative breast disease in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized controlled trial.
In the WHI CEE trial, 10,739 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to 0.625 mg/d of CEE or to placebo. Baseline and annual breast examinations and mammograms were required. We identified women in the trial who reported breast biopsies that were free of cancer, obtained the associated histological sections, and subjected them to standardized central review. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All statistical tests were two-sided.
A total of 232 incident cases of benign proliferative breast disease were ascertained during follow-up (average duration, 6.9 years), with 155 in the CEE group and 77 in the placebo group. Use of CEE was associated with a more than two-fold increase in the risk of benign proliferative breast disease (HR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.58 to 2.81). For benign proliferative breast disease without atypia, the HR was 2.34 (95% CI = 1.71 to 3.20), whereas for atypical hyperplasia, it was 1.12 (95% CI = 0.53 to 2.40). Risk varied little by levels of baseline characteristics.
Use of 0.625 mg/d of CEE was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of benign proliferative breast disease.
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ABSTRACT: Proliferative lesions of the mammary gland are risk markers and potential precursors for the development of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. In this study we evaluated mammary epithelial proliferation and proliferative lesions in a group of 63 aged postmenopausal macaques randomized by social group to receive one of three experimental diets for 8 months: (1) control; (2) control with 17beta-estradiol (E2) at the human equivalent dose of 1.0 mg per day; and (3) control with the soy phytoestrogen equol (EQ) at the human equivalent dose of 105 mg per day. In normal mammary epithelium, treatment with E2 but not EQ resulted in greater proliferation, epithelial area, and progesterone receptor expression (P<0.05 for all). Mammary lesions included columnar cell change (26/63), columnar cell hyperplasia with and without atypia (13/63), atypical ductal hyperplasia (6/63), and atypical lobular hyperplasia (3/63). Lesions were most common within terminal ductal lobular units. The prevalence of columnar cell hyperplasia (total and atypical cases) was higher in animals treated with E2 compared to control (P<0.05 for both). Compared to normal mammary epithelium, columnar cell lesions (CCLs) showed greater constitutive expression of estrogen receptor-alpha across all groups (P<0.001) and greater expression of progesterone receptor in response to E2 (P<0.01). Independent of treatment, animals with CCLs on histology had greater gene expression of estrogen receptor-alpha and markers of estrogen receptor activity (trefoil factor 1) and proliferation (gene for Ki67 antigen) at a site contralateral to the CCL (P<0.05 for all). These findings demonstrate that the terminal ductal lobular units of the postmenopausal mammary gland contain morphologically distinct cell populations that may hyperrespond to E2 exposure, resulting in specific types of hyperplastic lesions.Laboratory Investigation 08/2008; 88(9):938-48. DOI:10.1038/labinvest.2008.64 · 3.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Women with benign proliferative breast disease are at increased risk of subsequent breast cancer. Estrogens and progesterone exert proliferative effects on mammary epithelium, and combined hormone replacement therapy has been associated with increased breast cancer risk. We tested the effect of conjugated equine estrogen plus progestin on the risk of benign proliferative breast disease in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized controlled trial. In the WHI trial of estrogen plus progestin, 16,608 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned either to 0.625 mg/day of conjugated equine estrogen plus 2.5 mg/day of medroxyprogesterone acetate or to placebo. Baseline and annual breast exams and mammograms were required. The trial was terminated early (average follow-up, 5.5 years). We identified women who had had a biopsy for benign breast disease, and subjected histologic sections from the biopsies to standardized review. Overall, 178 incident cases of benign proliferative breast disease were ascertained in the estrogen plus progestin group and 99 in the placebo group. The use of estrogen plus progestin was associated with a 74% increase in the risk of benign proliferative breast disease [hazard ratio, 1.74; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.35-2.25]. For benign proliferative breast disease without atypia the hazard ratio was 2.00 (95% CI, 1.50-2.66), while for atypical hyperplasia it was 0.76 (95% CI, 0.38-1.52). The risk varied little by levels of baseline characteristics. The results of this study suggest that the use of estrogen plus progestin may increase the risk of benign proliferative breast disease.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 10/2008; 17(9):2337-43. DOI:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0380 · 4.32 Impact Factor
- CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 10/2008; 100(18):1335; author reply 1335-6. DOI:10.1093/jnci/djn277 · 15.16 Impact Factor