Enterolactone is differently associated with estrogen receptor β-negative and -positive breast cancer in a Swedish nested case-control study

Emily Sonestedt, Signe Borgquist, Ulrika Ericson, Bo Gullberg, Håkan Olsson, Herman Adlercreutz, Göran Landberg, Elisabet Wirfält

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Differences in the estrogen receptor (ER) status of tumors may explain ambiguities in epidemiologic studies between the blood concentrations of enterolactone and breast cancer. To our knowledge, the association between enterolactone and ERβ-defined breast cancer has previously not been examined. Methods: A nested case-control study within the Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort used 366 cases and 733 matched controls to identify the major determinants of plasma enterolactone and to examine the association between enterolactone concentration and breast cancer risk and if this association differs depending on the ERα and ERβ status of tumors. A modified diet history method assessed dietary habits. Time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay determined enterolactone concentrations and immunohistochemistry using tissue microarray determined ER status. Results: Dietary fiber, as well as fruits and berries, and high-fiber bread showed statistically significant correlations with enterolactone (r, 0.13-0.22). Smoking and obesity were associated with lower enterolactone concentrations. Enterolactone concentrations above the median (16 nmol/L) were associated with reduced breast cancer risk when compared with those below [odds ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.58-0.98]. The reduced risk was only observed for ERα [positive (+); odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.97] and ERβ [negative (-)] tumors (odds ratio, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.42-0.84), with significantly different risks for ERβ (-) and ERβ (+) tumors (P for heterogeneity = 0.04). Conclusions: This study supports the suggestion that enterolactone is a biomarker of a healthy lifestyle. The protective association between enterolactone and breast cancer was significantly different between ERβ (-) and ERβ (+) tumors and most evident in tumors that express ERα but not ERβ. Copyright © 2008 American Association for Cancer Research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3241-3251
    Number of pages10
    JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


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