Estrogen, Diet, Genetics, and Endometrial cancer (EDGE)

Estrogen, Diet, Genetics, and Endometrial cancer (EDGE)

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Principal Investigator
Sara H. Olson, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Co-Principal Investigator
Ann G. Zauber, PhD

Study Objective

To see how people’s diets, lifestyle, and individual genetic makeup affect their chances of getting endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus).

Why Is this Study Important?

This study will provide a basis for understanding why some people get endometrial cancer, so that doctors can identify people at higher risk and help them prevent this disease.

Who Is Conducting this Study?

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Funded by the National Cancer Institute

Initial Results

Initial results from the EDGE Study have recently been published, including:

  • Our study of medical conditions and medication use, which has reported two novel findings that await confirmation in other studies (Fortuny et al: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18:1448-56). First, a type of drug commonly used for high blood pressure, thiazide diuretics, was found to be used by more cases than controls, suggesting that its use might increase risk. Second, women who had anemia at some time in the past were less likely to get endometrial cancer.
  • Common genetic variants in two genes in the estrogen metabolism pathway (CYP17A1 and CYP19A1) were found to be related to altered risk of endometrial cancer, while other genes in this pathway were not related (Olson et al Cancer Causes Control 2008;19:955-63.). In CYP19A1, the variants we studied and others are likely to be related to levels of estrogen in the blood. In an analysis combining data from the EDGE study with data from several other studies, we found slightly higher risk for women with the forms of the gene known to increase estrogen levels, and found higher risk for heavier women with these variants (Setiawan et al 2009 Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18:242-7).
  • We found an indication that isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, are related to lower risk particularly in thinner women. One particular type of isoflavone, quercetin, was also found to be related to lower risk (Bandera et al Cancer Causes Control 2009;20:1117-27; doi:10.1007/s10552-009-9336-9)

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