Publication Abstract

Authors: Ballard-Barbash R, Birt DF, Kestin M, King IB

Title: Perspectives on integrating experimental and epidemiologic research on diet, anthropometry and breast cancer.

Journal: J Nutr 127(5 Suppl):936S-939S

Date: 1997 May

Abstract: Three perspectives on the integration of experimental and epidemiologic research on diet, anthropometry and breast cancer are presented. 1) Although body weight and height have been linked to breast cancer risk by epidemiologic research, their roles have not been directly explored with animal models. However, basic, clinical and epidemiologic research on obesity and associated metabolic alterations may be pertinent. Individual differences in the timing and magnitude of weight gain and loss during adult life need to be considered in epidemiologic studies of adiposity and breast cancer, along with individual differences in the pattern of body fat deposition, the hormonal and metabolic changes that accompany the adiposity, and family history of obesity-related chronic diseases. Animal models with genetic predispositions to obesity, diabetes and breast cancer merit further exploration, as well as models that can evaluate exposures occurring after puberty. 2) The synergy between experimental and epidemiologic studies on fat and energy intake and breast carcinogenesis has been productive because each discipline has had to incorporate recent findings of the other. Dietary studies utilizing animals with different genetic profiles are promising, but require identification of the critical genes in human carcinogenesis. 3) Controlled dietary intervention studies with human participants using intermediate endpoints can bridge the gap between animal and epidemiologic studies, but generally accepted intermediate endpoints for breast cancer need to be developed. Such studies would permit better control of diet than large clinical trials and the opportunity to explore mechanisms.