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Plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I, IGF-binding protein 3, and mammographic density
Cancer Research (2000)
  • C. Byrne
  • G. A. Colditz
  • W. C. Willett
  • F. E. Speizer
  • M. Pollak
  • Susan E. Hankinson, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins (IGFBPs) play a role in the normal development of breast tissue and possibly in the etiology of breast cancer. Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of breast cancer. In a cross-sectional analysis within the Nurses' Health Study, we compared the associations of plasma levels of endogenous IGF-I and IGFBP-3 with breast density in 65 premenopausal and 192 postmenopausal women. The digitized film screen mammograms were evaluated by the computer-assisted Toronto method, in which visually selected gray-scale cut points are used to assess breast density. Generalized linear models and Spearman's partial correlation coefficients described the associations between breast density and IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and the IGF-I:IGFBP-3 ratio. Premenopausal breast density was positively correlated with IGF-I and inversely correlated with IGFBP-3; the association was strongest for the IGF-I:IGFBP-3 ratio and breast density (r = 0.39; P = 0.004). In contrast, the correlation between breast density and the IGF-I:IGFBP-3 ratio among postmenopausal women was -0.02 (P = 0.83). The associations of IGF-I:IGFBP-3 ratio with breast density differed significantly between premenopausal and postmenopausal women (P = 0.01). Mammographic density is positively associated with plasma IGF-I levels and inversely associated with plasma IGFBP-3 levels among premenopausal women, but not among postmenopausal women. These results are consistent with previous studies that showed a positive association between a higher IGF-I:IGFBP-3 ratio and subsequent risk of breast cancer only among premenopausal women. The findings raise the possibility that premenopausal levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 could be in the etiological pathway that relates higher breast density with increased breast cancer risk.
Publication Date
July, 2000
Citation Information
C. Byrne, G. A. Colditz, W. C. Willett, F. E. Speizer, et al.. "Plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I, IGF-binding protein 3, and mammographic density" Cancer Research Vol. 60 Iss. 14 (2000)
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