Post-treatment change in serum estrone predicts mammographic percent density changes in women who received combination estrogen and progestin in the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) Trial

Giske Ursin, Shana L Palla, Beth A Reboussin, Stacey Slone, Carol Wasilauskas, Malcolm C Pike, Gail A Greendale
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2004 July 15, 22 (14): 2842-8

PURPOSE: Postmenopausal estrogen and progestin therapy (EPT) increases mammographic percent density and breast cancer risk substantially more than does estrogen therapy alone. We determined whether increases in serum estrone as a function of treatment predict increases in mammographic percent density.

METHODS: We measured mammographic percent density and serum estrone levels in participants in the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions Trial who were randomly assigned to receive conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) 0.625 mg/d; CEE and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) 10 mg on days 1 to 12 per 28-day cycle; CEE and MPA 2.5 mg/d; or CEE and micronized progesterone (MP) 200 mg on days 1 to 12 per 28-day cycle. We used linear regression to determine whether serum estrone changes predicted mammographic percent density changes from baseline to 1 year.

RESULTS: Mammographic percent density increased with increasing change in estrone level in the EPT groups, but not in the CEE group. Combined, the mammographic percent density in the three EPT groups demonstrated an absolute increase of 2.95% per 100 pg/mL increase in serum estrone level (P =.0003). The absolute increases were 4.09% (P =.0018) in the CEE + MPA continuous group, 2.79% (P =.0292) in the CEE + MPA cyclical group, and 1.40% (P =.36) in the CEE + MP group, but the differences among the EPT groups were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Greater increase in serum estrone level as a function of treatment is a significant predictor of increase in mammographic percent density in women randomly assigned to the combination of estrogen and progestin.

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