Background: Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3 play important roles in carcinogenesis, particularly for breast cancer. However, little is known about whether the IGF system influences histologic characteristics of normal glandular tissue and whether relationships vary by race. Lesser degrees of age-related terminal duct lobular unit (TDLU) involution, as reflected by higher numbers of TDLUs and acini per TDLU, have been associated with higher breast cancer risk. We examined the associations of IGF measures with TDLU involution of normal breast using standardized TDLU measures.

Methods: Among 715 Caucasian and 283 African American (AA) women with normal breast tissue samples from the Komen Tissue Bank, serum concentrations of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Hematoxilyn and eosin-stained tissue sections were assessed for numbers of TDLUs (“TDLU count”) and acini/TDLU. Zero-inflated Poisson regression models with a robust variance estimator were used to estimate associations of IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and IGF-I:IGFBP-3 molar ratio (tertiles) with TDLU count by race and menopausal status, adjusting for potential confounders. We also tested for interactions by race using likelihood ratio tests.

Results: AA (vs. Caucasian) women had higher age-adjusted mean levels of serum IGF-I (137 vs. 131 ng/mL, p=0.07) and lower levels of IGFBP-3 (4165 vs. 4684 ng/mL, p<0.0001); the differences persisted after adjustment for additional covariates including BMI and parity/age at first birth. Postmenopausal IGFBP-3 was inversely associated with TDLU count among both AA (RR T3vs.T1=0.49, 95% CI=0.28-0.84, p-trend=0.04) and Caucasian (RR T3vs.T1=0.63, 95% CI=0.41-0.99, p-trend=0.04) women. In premenopausal women, higher IGF-I:IGFBP-3 ratios were associated with higher TDLU count in Caucasians (OR T3vs.T1=1.33, 95% CI=1.01-1.31, p-trend=0.04) but not in AA (OR T3vs.T1=0.65, 95% CI=0.42-1.00, p-trend=0.05) women. There was no statistically significant interaction by race (p-interaction≥0.10).

Conclusions: Our data suggest the potential role of the IGF system, particularly IGFBP-3, in TDLU involution of the normal breast among both Caucasian and AA women.

Citation Format: Hannah OH, Ruth M. Pfeiffer, Roni T. Falk, Hisani N. Horne, Jackie Xiang, Michael Pollak, Louise A. Brinton, Anna Maria V. Storniolo, Mark E. Sherman, Gretchen L. Gierach, Jonine D. Figueroa. Serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF binding protein-3 in relation to terminal duct lobular unit involution in Caucasian and African American women: The Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Tenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2017 Sep 25-28; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(7 Suppl):Abstract nr A36.