Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Oncol. 2004 Jun;24(6):1529-35.

Adipocyte expression and circulating levels of leptin increase in both gynaecological and breast cancer patients.

Author information

Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche Alimentari Farmaceutiche e Farmacologiche, Università del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro, 28100 Novara, Italy.


Leptin is a hormone involved in the regulation of body weight and sexual maturation. We previously reported that cancer cachexia was associated with reduced or normal levels of leptin. Here we investigate whether leptin levels are related to cachetic or hormonal status. Circulating leptin and its mRNA from adipose tissue were measured in 87 patients with gynaecological and breast cancers and related to tumour, cachexia and hormonal markers. We found that leptin protein increased in patients with these tumours due to higher mRNA levels. In patients with ovarian cancer, the increased leptin levels were associated with higher circulating follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The higher leptin concentrations in patients with endometrial and portio tumours were related to an increase in tissue estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PGR) and, only in the postmenopause, to an increase in circulating estradiol. Patients with breast cancer showed enhanced blood plasma concentrations of progesterone and estradiol, and enhanced tissue levels of ER and PGR associated with increased leptin levels. The data from the present study indicate that, in gynaecological and breast cancers, leptin is related to hormonal status but not to cachexia. We suggest that leptin stimulates the production of sexual hormones, important risk factors for these tumours, and we propose leptin as a novel prognostic marker.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Spandidos Publications
Loading ...
Support Center