Lee et al., Page 1892

Visfatin, an adipocyte-secreted hormone, has been correlated with colorectal, prostatic, gastric, and esophageal cancers, but its role in breast cancer is not known. To address this question, Lee and colleagues examined the expression of visfatin in breast cancer tissues and correlated these results with patient clinicopathologic variables. High visfatin expression in breast cancer tissues was significantly correlated with tumor size, estrogen receptor (ER) negativity, and progesterone receptor (PR) negativity. In addition, worse disease-free and overall survival rates were observed when high visfatin expression was combined with ER- and PR-negative status. This study helps establish the prognostic significance of visfatin expression in breast cancer.

Maskarinec et al., Page 1815

Regular soy consumption has been associated with reduced breast cancer risk; however the mechanism of this hypothesized protection is not fully understood. To explore this possibility, Maskarinec and colleagues examined the effect of soy foods on estrogens in nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) and serum. Women were randomly assigned to high- or low-soy diets for 6 months, and estrogens in serum and NAF were examined. Mean estradiol and estrone sulfate levels were lower during the high-soy diet compared with the low-soy diet. The trend toward lower estrogens in NAF during a high-soy diet counters concerns about adverse effects of soy foods on breast cancer risk.

Albanes et al., Page 1850

Vitamin D compounds can inhibit prostate tumorigenesis in vitro, but epidemiologic data are inconsistent. In a nested case–control study, Albanes and colleagues examined the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and prostate cancer risk in Finnish men, ages 50 to 69 years. They found that men with higher vitamin D status, as determined by serum 25(OH)D concentrations, were at elevated risk of developing prostate cancer. No evidence was found for greater risk in men with low vitamin D status. These results suggest that caution is warranted with respect to recommendations for high-dose vitamin D supplementation.

Prizment et al., Page 1861

Allergic conditions are associated with reduced risk of several malignancies. In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) prospective cohort, Prizment and colleagues used blood eosinophil count, a marker for allergic disorders, to evaluate the association between colorectal cancer and allergy. The authors report an inverse association between blood eosinophil count and colorectal cancer risk that was not modified by age, sex, race, or smoking status. These novel findings support the hypothesis that allergies are protective for colorectal cancer.