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Eur J Cancer. 1999 Apr;35(4):596-600.

Effect of tamoxifen on lipoprotein(a) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in healthy women.

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FIRC Chemoprevention Unit, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.


Studies in breast cancer patients have shown that tamoxifen decreases circulating levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), an independent risk factor for premature coronary heart disease, and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), a promising surrogate biomarker for breast cancer. Since a common hormone regulatory pathway has been suggested for both biomarkers, we measured Lp(a) levels for 6 months in 68 healthy women participating in a chemoprevention trial of tamoxifen and correlated its changes with IGF-I. After 1 month, mean Lp(a) levels decreased by 23% with tamoxifen and increased by 6% with placebo (P = 0.033). No further change was observed after 2 and 6 months. Women with abnormal values at baseline (i.e. > 30 mg/dl) showed the highest reduction. The mean levels of IGF-I decreased by 23.5% with tamoxifen and remained stable with placebo, but the changes induced by tamoxifen in Lp(a) and IGF-I levels were uncorrelated. Our results support the observation that tamoxifen may be a suitable preventive option for women with multiple disease risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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