Adjuvant dietary fat intake reduction in postmenopausal breast cancer patient management

Rowan T. Chlebowski, David Rose, I. Marilyn Buzzard, George L. Blackburn, William Insull, Mary Grosvenor, Robert Elashoff, Ernst L. Wynder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Management of localized breast cancer now commonly involves a breast-sparing approach combined with systemic adjuvant therapy resulting in improved cosmetic results and patient survival. Reducing dietary fat intake represents a conceptually new approach to further improve outcome of patients with resected breast cancer. The rationale supporting evaluation of dietary fat reduction in the management of patients with localized breast cancer is based on: (1) epidemiologic observations (along with biochemical and hormonal correlates) of major differences in stage-by-stage survival of patients with localized breast cancer comparing outcome in countries with low fat (Japan) versus high fat (U.S.A.) dietary intakes; (2) relationships between dietary fat intake and factors prognostic of clinical outcome in patients with established breast cancer; (3) effects of weight gain (especially that associated with adjuvant chemotherapy) on breast cancer clinical outcome; (4)in vivo animal studies demonstrating adverse influence of increased dietary fat intake (especially linoleic acid) on growth and metastatic spread of mammary cancer; (5) direct adverse effects of increased linoleic acid on human breast cancer growth in vitro; (6) plausible mechanisms which could mediate the effects of dietary fat intake reduction on breast cancer growth and metastatic spread; (7) demonstration of adherence to dietary fat reduction regimens in ongoing clinical feasibility studies including those involving postmenopausal patients with resected breast cancer; and (8) favorable sample size requirements for definitive assessment of dietary fat intake reduction influence on breast cancer growth and metastases (using as endpoints relapse-free survival and overall survival) in postmenopausal breast cancer patients with localized disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • breast cancer recurrence
  • dietary fat
  • linoleic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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