Menopausal HT linked to distinctive breast cancer types in Australian CLEAR study

  • Salagame U & al.
  • PLoS One
  • 1 Jan 2018

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Current, but not past, use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) by postmenopausal women is associated with nearly doubled odds of any breast cancer.
  • Current use of MHT is associated with even higher odds of:
    • Estrogen-receptor (ER)+ disease.
    • ER+, progesterone-receptor (PR)+ disease.
    • ER+/PR+ and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2)-negative disease.

Why this matters

  • Findings underscore recommendations to limit MHT use to the shortest time possible, and to women with severe symptoms.

Study design

  • Cohort study comparing 399 registry-verified breast cancer cases with known receptor status with 324 cancer-free control patients enrolled in the New South Wales (NSW) Cancer Lifestyle and Evaluation of Risk (CLEAR) study.
  • MHT use ascertained by questionnaire.
  • Funding: Cancer Council NSW.

Key results

  • Current (vs never) MHT use is associated with higher risk for breast cancer of any subtype (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.98; 95% CI, 1.27-3.11); past MHT use (vs never) is not.
  • Current (vs never) MHT use is associated with even higher risks for these BC subtypes:
    • ER+ subtype  (aOR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.28-3.24).
    • ER+/PR+ subtype (aOR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.41-3.72).
    • ER+/PR+/HER2 subtype (aOR, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.42-3.73).
  • Current MHT use is not associated with other ER, ER/PR, or ER/PR/HER2 subtypes.

Limitations

  • Observational design.

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