Increased mammographic breast density is associated with a 4-6-fold increased risk of breast cancer, yet lifestyle factors that can reduce dense breasts are yet to be identified, and viable prevention strategies to reduce breast density-associated breast cancer development are yet to be developed. We investigated the associations of breast tissue receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK) pathway gene expression with mammographic density in 48 premenopausal women, with no previous history of cancer. Gene expression levels were measured in total RNA isolated from formalinfixed paraffin-embedded breast tissue samples, using the NanoString nCounter platform. Mammographic density was classified based on the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data (BI-RADS). Linear regression was used to evaluate associations between gene expression and mammographic density. The mean age of participants was 44.4 years. Women with higher breast tissue RANKL (TNFSF11) (p-value = 0.0076), and TNF (p-value = 0.007) gene expression had higher mammographic density. Our finding provides mechanistic support for a breast cancer chemoprevention trial with a RANKL inhibitor among high-risk premenopausal women with dense breasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73787-73792
Number of pages6
Issue number43
StatePublished - 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Mammographic density
  • Premenopausal women
  • Prevention


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased breast tissue receptor activator of nuclear factor- κB ligand (RANKL) gene expression is associated with higher mammographic density in premenopausal women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this