Alcohol, obesity and estrogen modulate mammary tumor growth through adiposity and angiogenensis

Jina Hong, Valerie B. Holcomb, and Nomelí P Núñez

Background: Alcohol consumption increases breast cancer risk in women. Postmenopausal women who consume alcohol come in all shapes and sizes, including overweight and obese; some of these women may also take estrogen to prevent the side effects of menopause. It is unclear whether the effects of alcohol on breast cancer development are modified by body weight or exogenous estrogen. In this study, we will determine if the effects alcohol on breast cancer are modified by body weight and exogenous estrogen.

Methods: To determine whether the effects of alcohol on mammary cancer are modified by body weight, we injected subcutaneously Met-1 mouse mammary cancer cells to lean, overweight, and obese female mice consuming water or alcohol. Likewise, to determine if the effects of alcohol on mammary tumorigenesis are modified by exogenous estrogen, we implanted estrogen pellets (0.18mg/day or 0.72mg/day) into ovariectomized female mice; subsequently, we injected Met-1 cancer cells into these mice and then measured tumor growth.

Results: Results show that alcohol-consuming mice were more insulin sensitive than water-consuming mice; also, alcohol-consuming mice developed earlier and larger tumors than water-consuming mice (p<0.05). Our data show that obese mice developed larger tumors than lean mice. Obese mice had higher levels of insulin, IGF-1, and leptin. The only mammary tumor growth factor that was increased by alcohol consumption was leptin (p<0.05). Additionally, alcohol intake increased the pro-angiogenesis factor VEGF (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Results suggest that alcohol consumption, obesity, and estrogen treatment modulate mammary tumorigenesis through adipose tissue and angiogenesis.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2010 Apr 17-21; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2010;70(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 3268.