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Circulating levels of sex steroid hormones and risk of ovarian cancer.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional Research.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional Research. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
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2003 (English)In: International Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0020-7136, E-ISSN 1097-0215, Vol. 104, no 5, 636-642 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Experimental and epidemiological evidence supports a role for sex steroid hormones in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. We investigated the association between ovarian cancer risk and pre-diagnostic blood concentrations of testosterone, androstenedione, DHEAS, estrone and SHBG. A case-control study nested within 3 cohorts, in New York (USA), Umeå (Sweden) and Milan (Italy), included 132 subjects with primary invasive epithelial ovarian cancer. For each case subject, 2 controls were selected who matched a case on cohort, menopausal status, age and date of recruitment and, if premenopausal, day of the menstrual cycle at blood donation. Only women who did not use exogenous hormones at blood donation were included in the study. Conditional logistic regression was used to relate cancer risk to sex steroid hormone concentrations with adjustment for potential confounders. No clear association was observed between ovarian cancer risk and any of the 5 hormones under study. In the premenopausal group, the risk appeared to increase with increasing blood concentrations of androstenedione (upper vs. lower tertile OR = 2.35; 95% CI = 0.81-6.82.), but the small number of subjects in the sub-group precluded reaching unambiguous conclusions about such association. Our study does not support previous observations relating elevations in blood levels of the major sex steroid hormones to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, but offers some evidence that elevated circulating androstenedione before menopause may be associated with increased ovarian cancer risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 104, no 5, 636-642 p.
Keyword [en]
testosterone, androstenedione, DHEAS, estrone, SHBG, sex steroid hormones, ovarian cancer, cohort study
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35183DOI: 10.1002/ijc.10990PubMedID: 12594820OAI: diva2:332449
Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2015-04-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Endogenous hormones in the etiology of ovarian and endometrial cancers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Endogenous hormones in the etiology of ovarian and endometrial cancers
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of this thesis was to examine the relationship of pre-diagnostic circulating levels of sex-steroids (androgens and estrogens), sex hormone binding globuline (SHBG), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), IGF binding proteins (BP) and C-peptide (as a marker of pancreatic insulin secretion) with risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Additionally, the interrelationships of body mass index (BMI), sex-steroids, IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were examined. Two case-control studies were nested within 3 prospective cohort studies centered in New York (USA), Umeå (Sweden) and Milan (Italy). The ovarian study included 132 cancer cases. The endometrial study included 166 cancer cases in the IGF-I and C-peptide component and 124 postmenopausal cases in the sex-steroids component. For each case, two controls matching the case for cohort, age, menopausal status and date at recruitment were selected. In total 286 and 315 controls were included in the ovarian and endometrial cancer studies, respectively. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for cancer risk associated with increasing hormone concentrations were estimated by conditional logistic regression. The cross-sectional analysis was based on anthropometric and hormonal data from 620 controls selected for the two nested case-control studies. There was no association of prediagnostic androstenedione, testosterone, DHEAS, SHBG or estrone with ovarian cancer risk in the whole study population or in women who were pre- or postmenopausal at blood donation. In the premenopausal group, risk appeared to increase with increasing androstenedione (OR (95% CI) for the highest tertile: 2.35 (0.81-6.82), p=0.12). There was no association of IGF-I, IGFBP-1, 2, 3 or C-peptide concentrations with risk of ovarian cancer risk in the study group as a whole. In analyses restricted to subjects who had developed ovarian cancer at an early age (<55), circulating IGF-I was directly and strongly associated with risk (OR (95% CI): 4.74 (1.20-18.7), p<0.05 for the highest IGF-I tertile). In the endometrial study, previous observations were confimed that elevated circulating estrogens and androgens and decreased SHBG increase risk of developing endometrial malignancy after menopause. Multivariate ORs (95% CI) for endometrial cancer for quartiles with the highest hormone levels were: 4.13 (1.76-9.72), p<0.001 for estradiol; 3.67 (1.71-7.88), p=0.001 for estrone; 2.15 (1.05-4.40), p<0.04 for androstenedione; 1.74 (0.88-3.46), p=0.06 for testosterone; 2.90 (1.42-5.90), p<0.01 for DHEAS and 0.46 (0.20-1.05), p<0.01 for SHBG. Prediagnostic IGF-I, IGFBP-1, -2 and –3 were not related to risk of endometrial cancer in the whole study population. In postmenopausal women, levels of IGFBP-1 were inversely related to risk with an OR for the highest quartile of 0.36 (0.13-0.95), p<0.05. Endometrial cancer risk increased with increasing levels of C-peptide (p<0.01), up to an OR of 4.40 (1.65-11.7) for the highest quintile after adjustment for BMI and other confounders. The cross-sectional analyses showed that in both pre- and postmenopausal women SHBG decreased with increasing BMI. In the postmenopausal group, estrogens, testosterone and androstenedione increased with BMI, while the association with IGF-I was non-linear, the highest mean IGF-I concentration being observed in women with BMI between 24 and 25. In postmenopausal women, IGF-I was positively related to androgens, inversely correlated with SHBG, and was not correlated with estrogens. In conclusion, elevated pre-diagnostic sex-steroids, IGF-I or C-peptide increase risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancer. BMI influences the circulating levels of these hormones, especially after menopause.

100 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 878
Public health, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, sex-steroid hormones, sex-hormone binding globulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor bidning proteins, C-peptide, Folkhälsomedicin
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-215 (URN)91-7305-612-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-04-16, Hörsal E04, By 6E, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00
Available from: 2004-03-23 Created: 2004-03-23 Last updated: 2010-08-06Bibliographically approved

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