5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The receptor activator of nuclear factor-kB (RANK) pathway plays essential roles in breast development. Mammographic density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women. We, therefore, investigated the associations of circulating RANK and soluble RANK ligand (sRANKL) with mammographic density in premenopausal women. Mammographic density was measured as volumetric percent density in 365 cancer-free premenopausal women (mean age, 47.5 years) attending screening mammogram at the Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO). We used linear regression models adjusted for confounders, to compare the least-square means of volumetric percent density across tertiles of circulating RANK and sRANKL. Furthermore, because RANKL levels in mammary tissue are modulated by progesterone, we stratified analyses by progesterone levels. The mean volumetric percent density increased across tertiles of circulating RANK from 8.6% in tertile 1, to 8.8% in tertile 2, and 9.5% in tertile 3 (Ptrend ¼ 0.02). For sRANKL, the mean volumetric percent density was 8.5% in tertile 1, 9.4% in tertile 2, and 9.0% in tertile 3 (Ptrend ¼ 0.30). However, when restricted to women with higher progesterone levels, the mean volumetric percent density increased from 9.1% in sRANKL tertile 1 to 9.5% in tertile 2, and 10.1% in tertile 3 (Ptrend ¼ 0.01). Circulating RANK was positively associated with volumetric percent density, while circulating sRANKL was positively associated with volumetric percent density among women with higher progesterone levels. These findings support the inhibition of RANKL signaling as a pathway to reduce mammographic density and possibly breast cancer incidence in high-risk women with dense breasts. Cancer Prev Res; 11(12); 789-96. 2018 AACR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-796
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

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