Elevated levels of COX-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE 2) occur in inflamed tissues. To evaluate the potential links between inflammation and breast cancer, levels of urinary prostaglandin E metabolite (PGEM), a stable end metabolite of PGE2, were quantified. We enrolled 400 patients with breast cancer: controls with early breast cancer (n = 200), lung metastases (n = 100), and metastases to other sites (n = 100). Patients completed a questionnaire, provided urine, and had measurements of height and weight. Urinary PGE-M was quantified by mass spectrometry. Ever smokers with lung metastasis who had not been exposed to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had the highest PGE-M levels. PGE-M levels were increased in association with elevated body mass index (BMI; P < 0.001), aging (P < 0.001), pack-year smoking history (P = 0.02), lung metastases (P = 0.02), and recent cytotoxic chemotherapy (P = 0.03). Conversely, use of NSAIDs, prototypic inhibitors of COX activity, was associated with reduced PGE-M levels (P<0.001). On the basis of the current findings, PGE-M is likely to be a useful biomarker for the selection of high-risk subgroups to determine the use of interventions that aim to reduce inflammation and possibly the development and progression of breast cancer, especially in overweight and obese women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research