Impact of pre-diagnostic triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol on breast cancer recurrence and survival by breast cancer subtypes
AuthorLofterød, Trygve; Mortensen, Elin Synnøve; Nalwoga, Hawa; Wilsgaard, Tom; Frydenberg, Hanne; Risberg, Terje; Eggen, Anne Elise; McTiernan, Anne; Aziz, Sura Mohammed; Wist, Erik; Stensvold, Andreas; Reitan, Jon Brinchmann; Akslen, Lars A.; Thune, Inger
Methods: A population-based survival study among 464 breast cancer cases identified within the Tromsø study was conducted. Pre-diagnostic triglycerides, total-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol were measured, and detailed clinical and histopathological data were obtained. Using tissue microarray, all breast cancer cases were reclassified into the following subtypes: Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-enriched, and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to study the associations between pre-diagnostic lipids and breast cancer recurrence, mortality, and survival.
Results: A total of 464 breast cancer patients, with mean age at diagnosis of 57.9 years, were followed for a mean 8.4 years. TNBC patients in the highest tertile of triglycerides (≥ 1.23 mmol/l) had 3 times higher overall mortality compared to TNBC patients in the lowest tertile (≤ 0.82 mmol/l) (HR 2.99, 95% CI 1.17–7.63), and the 5-year overall survival was 19% lower for TNBC patients in the highest vs. lowest tertile of triglycerides (65% vs. 84%). TNBC patients in the highest tertile of the HDL-cholesterol/total-cholesterol ratio (≥0.35), compared to those in the lowest tertile (≤0.27), had a 67% reduced overall mortality risk (HR 0.33, 95% CI 0.12–0.89). No associations were observed between lipids and prognostic outcome among breast cancer patients overall, or among patients with luminal A and luminal B subtypes. Among HER2-enriched patients, pre-diagnostic triglyceride level was inversely associated with overall mortality.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that pre-diagnostic triglycerides and the HDL-cholesterol/total-cholesterol ratio may independently provide unique information regarding prognostic outcome among triple negative breast cancer patients. However, a small sample size underlines the need for additional studies.