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A cumulative index of exposure to endogenous estrogens and breast cancer by molecular subtypes in northern Mexican women

Rojas-Lima E1, Gamboa-Loira B1, Cebrián ME2, Rothenberg SJ1, López-Carrillo L3.

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2020 Feb 22. doi: 10.1007/s10549-020-05562-0. [Epub ahead of print]

To evaluate breast cancer (BC) molecular subtypes association with reproductive characteristics and an index of cumulative exposure to endogenous estrogens (EEI) in Mexican women.

We performed a study of incident cases and population controls in northern Mexico. We included BC cases with tumor molecular classification in their medical records (n = 509), and classified them as HR+/HER2- (ER+ and/or PR+ and HER2-) (n = 289), HER2+ (HR+ or HR-) (n = 117) or triple negative (TN) (n = 103). We matched controls (n = 1030) by age and place of residence with index cases. Women were interviewed about their reproductive history, from which the EEI was developed. We used logistic regression models to estimate BC molecular subtypes associations with reproductive characteristics and EEI.

The EEI was higher in all subtypes compared to controls (Median HR+/HER2- 27.25, HER2+ 26.8, TN 24.2 vs. controls 22.8 years, p < 0.05), and was associated with HR+/HER2- (ORT3 vs. T1 = 2.58, 95% CI 1.77-3.55, p-trend < 0.001) and HER2+ (ORT3 vs. T1 = 4.17, 95% CI 2.15-8.08, p-trend < 0.001) BC. Additionally, HR+/HER2- tumors were positively associated with age at first pregnancy and age at menopause, and negatively with age at menarche, parity and breastfeeding. The HER2+ subtype was associated in the same direction as HR+/HER2- tumors with all the reproductive characteristics except for age at menarche. TN tumors were negatively associated with parity and breastfeeding. CONCLUSION: Endogenous estrogens exposure throughout Mexican women reproductive life may contribute to the development of all but TN BC, however, these findings should be confirmed in other Hispanic populations.