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Dietary Prevention of Breast Cancer

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Annual rept. 15 Aug 1999-14 Aug 2000

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The purpose of the project is to appraise critically the state of dietary prevention of breast cancer and to forge new avenues of investigation in the field of nutrition. A special emphasis is on the role of diet during fetal life, puberty, and pregnancy, in influencing breast development and breast cancer risk task-1 . In addition, the data we obtain using animal models serve as a basis of developing and conducting studies in human populations task-3. Dietary factors that are the focus of these studies are fats, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids PUFAs, and phytoestrogens. Special emphasis is put on identifying their mechanism of action task-2. In particular, the role of ER-alpha and ER-beta and eicosanoids in mediating the effects of PUFAs and phytoestrogens are assessed. We will also determine whether BRCA1 is involved. In pubertal girls and adult parous women, estrogen-regulated factors, including epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor a and insulin like growth factors, are studied in the serum and nipple aspirate fluid. During the funding period, a course is developed and directed at the Georgetown University as a new initiative to the existing Tumor Biology program, addressing critical nutritional issues in breast cancer task-4. Significant progress has been made towards all the four tasks, and this progress is detailed in this report. For example, we have shown that prepubertal estrogen exposure reduces breast cancer risk in an animal model, and our cohort study in 3,447 Finnish women support this conclusion. Further, our data indicate that up-regulation of ER-beta protects the mammary gland from malignant transformation. Development of the proposed course has also been completed, and it will be offered to students starting in Spring 2001.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition

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