Reducing fat intake means reducing risk of breast cancer
recurrence, according to a large clinical study published in the December 20
issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Rowan T. Chlebowski MD, PhD, Divisions of Medical Oncology
and Hematology, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at
Center and colleagues from
many other organizations did the randomized trial of 2,400 postmenopausal women
who had received standard conventional therapies for their breast cancer such as surgery, radiation,
chemotherapy, hormone therapy or some combination of these treatments.
In the study performed between February 1994 and January
2001, one group of women were asked to use less than 20 percent of total
calories (33 grams of total fat) per day while the other was allowed to
continue using their standard diet comprised of 51 grams of fat.
Fiver years later, those who were asked to use the low fat
diet experienced a significantly lower rate of breast cancer recurrence than
the control group, 9.8 percent versus 12.4 percent.
The benefit of low fat diet was even greater in those whose
breast cancer was not sensitive to hormone estrogen; the risk of breast cancer recurrence
was reduced by 41 percent among this particular group compared to the control.
Preliminary results from the study observed for longer than
five years indicated that the reduction of risk of breast cancer recurrence was
much better than that observed during the fiver-year period of study in women
with the estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer.
The preliminary results were presented at a conference on
December 16, 2006.
However, the effect of low fat diet on the risk of breast
cancer recurrence in those with an estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast
cancer was not significant somehow.
It remains unknown how the fat reduction reduced the risk,
but a health observer affiliated with foodconsumer.org suggested that there may
be other risk factors determining the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women
with the ER-positive breast cancer.
The landmark Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS) was
funded by American Institute of Cancer Research, a not-for-profit cancer research
organization which sponsored research on the prevention and treatment of cancer
by adopting a healthy dietary habit.
Rowan T. Chlebowski, George L. Blackburn, Cynthia A.
Thomson, Daniel W. Nixon, Alice Shapiro, M. Katherine Hoy, Marc T. Goodman,
Armando E. Giuliano, Njeri Karanja, Philomena McAndrew, Clifford Hudis, John
Butler, Douglas Merkel, Alan Kristal, Bette Caan, Richard Michaelson, Vincent
Vinciguerra, Salvatore Del Prete, Marion Winkler, Rayna Hall, Michael Simon,
Barbara L. Winters, and Robert M. Elashoff
Dietary Fat Reduction and Breast Cancer Outcome:
Interim Efficacy Results From the Women's Intervention Nutrition Study
J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2006 98: 1767-1776; doi:10.1093/jnci/djj494