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Ahern T.P.,Harvard University | Pedersen L.,Aarhus University Hospital | Tarp M.,Aarhus University Hospital | Cronin-Fenton D.P.,Aarhus University Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2011

Background Accumulating evidence suggests that statins affect diseases other than cardiovascular disease, including cancer, and that these effects may depend on the lipid solubility of specific statins. Though many studies have reported an association between statin use and breast cancer incidence, the relationship between statin use and breast cancer recurrence has not been well studied. Methods We conducted a nationwide, population-based prospective cohort study of all female residents in Denmark diagnosed with stage I-III invasive breast carcinoma who were reported to the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group registry between 1996 and 2003 (n = 18769). Women were followed for a median of 6.8 years after diagnosis. Prescriptions for lipophilic and hydrophilic statins were ascertained from the national electronic pharmacy database. Associations between statin prescriptions and breast cancer recurrence were estimated with generalized linear models and Cox proportional hazards regression with adjustment for age and menopausal status at diagnosis; histological grade; estrogen receptor status; receipt of adjuvant therapy; type of primary surgery received; pre-diagnosis hormone replacement therapy; and co-prescriptions of aspirin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or anticoagulants. All statistical tests were two-sided.ResultsMost prescriptions for lipophilic statins in the study population were for simvastatin. Exclusive simvastatin users experienced approximately 10 fewer breast cancer recurrences per 100 women after 10 years of follow-up (adjusted 10-year risk difference =-0.10, 95% confidence interval =-0.11 to-0.08), compared with women who were not prescribed a statin. Exclusive hydrophilic statin users had approximately the same risk of breast cancer recurrence as women not prescribed a statin over follow-up (adjusted 10-year risk difference = 0.05, 95% confidence interval =-0.01 to 0.11). ConclusionsSimvastatin, a highly lipophilic statin, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence among Danish women diagnosed with stage I-III breast carcinoma, whereas no association between hydrophilic statin use and breast cancer recurrence was observed. © 2011 The Author. Source


Darby S.C.,University of Oxford | Ewertz M.,University of Southern Denmark | McGale P.,University of Oxford | Bennet A.M.,Karolinska Institutet | And 12 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Radiotherapy for breast cancer often involves some incidental exposure of the heart to ionizing radiation. The effect of this exposure on the subsequent risk of ischemic heart disease is uncertain. Methods: We conducted a population-based case-control study of major coronary events (i.e., myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or death from ischemic heart disease) in 2168 women who underwent radiotherapy for breast cancer between 1958 and 2001 in Sweden and Denmark; the study included 963 women with major coronary events and 1205 controls. Individual patient information was obtained from hospital records. For each woman, the mean radiation doses to the whole heart and to the left anterior descending coronary artery were estimated from her radiotherapy chart. Results: The overall average of the mean doses to the whole heart was 4.9 Gy (range, 0.03 to 27.72). Rates of major coronary events increased linearly with the mean dose to the heart by 7.4% per gray (95% confidence interval, 2.9 to 14.5; P<0.001), with no apparent threshold. The increase started within the first 5 years after radiotherapy and continued into the third decade after radiotherapy. The proportional increase in the rate of major coronary events per gray was similar in women with and women without cardiac risk factors at the time of radiotherapy. Conclusions: Exposure of the heart to ionizing radiation during radiotherapy for breast cancer increases the subsequent rate of ischemic heart disease. The increase is proportional to the mean dose to the heart, begins within a few years after exposure, and continues for at least 20 years. Women with preexisting cardiac risk factors have greater absolute increases in risk from radiotherapy than other women. (Funded by Cancer Research UK and others.). Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source


Andersen K.G.,Copenhagen University | Jensen M.B.,Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group | Tvedskov T.F.,Copenhagen University | Kehlet H.,Copenhagen University | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Surgical Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Patients treated with 2-step axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) may be at increased risk of nerve damage due to more challenging surgery than an ALND immediately after a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), and thus more at risk for persistent pain after breast cancer treatment (PPBCT). The aim of this study was to examine PPBCT, sensory disturbances and functional impairment in patients treated with a 2-step ALND compared to patients with an SLNB followed by an immediate ALND, and patients with ALND without a prior SLNB. Methods: The study is a cross-sectional questionnaire study, comparing 2847 women treated with ALND in Denmark in 2005-2008. 196 patients treated with a 2-step ALND were compared with 1558 patients treated with an ALND after SLNB and 1093 with an ALND without a prior SLNB. Results: Overall prevalence of PPBCT and sensory disturbances was high, with about 55% reporting PPBCT and 77% reporting sensory disturbances in all groups. No differences were found between the groups on prevalence and intensity of PPBCT (p = 0.92), sensory disturbances (p = 0.32), and functional consequences (p = 0.35). Conclusions: A 2-step ALND does not modify the risk of developing PPBCT compared to an immediate ALND. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Biggar R.J.,Statens Serum Institute | Biggar R.J.,Queensland University of Technology | Andersen E.W.,Statens Serum Institute | Kroman N.,Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group | And 2 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Introduction: Digoxin use is associated with increased incidence of breast and uterus cancers. We postulated that digoxin use might affect tumor characteristics and increase relapse risk in women with breast cancer.Methods: Incident breast cancer cases in Danish women (n = 49,312; 1995 to 2008) were identified. Analyses were conducted in women 20 to 74 years old. Relapse hazard ratios (HR) were compared in women using and not using digoxin, adjusting for age, calendar period, protocol, tumor size, nodal involvement, histology grade, estrogen-receptor (ER) status, and anti-estrogen therapy in Cox regression models.Results: At diagnosis, tumors in digoxin users were more likely ER+ (85.4% vs. 78.6%: P = 0.002) and have grade 1 ductal histology (37.2% vs. 25.7%; P = 0.004), compared to non-users. 45 relapses occurred in women already using digoxin at breast cancer diagnosis (1,487 person-years); 24 relapses occurred in women later starting digoxin (384 person-years). Overall relapse risk HR in digoxin users was 1.13 (95% confidence interval: 0.88, 1.46) compared to non-users. Relapse risk in digoxin users was significantly increased in the first year (2.19; 1.26, 3.78) but not thereafter (0.99; 0.74, 1.32) (P = 0.02 for difference in HRs). First-year relapse hazard was high in digoxin-using women with ER+ tumors (2.51; 1.39, 4.55) but not ER- tumors (0.72; 0.10, 5.27). Recurrence hazard was not significantly changed among digoxin-using women also using tamoxifen.Conclusions: Breast cancers arising in digoxin-using women had better prognostic features. After adjustment for markers, overall breast cancer relapse risk in digoxin users was not increased significantly, although recurrence hazards for ER+ tumors were higher in the first year following diagnosis. © 2013 Biggar et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Land L.H.,University of Southern Denmark | Dalton S.O.,Danish Cancer Society | Jensen M.-B.,Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group | Ewertz M.,University of Southern Denmark
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Background:Prevalence of comorbidity at breast cancer diagnosis increases with age and is likely to influence the likelihood of receiving treatment according to guidelines. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of breast cancer treatment on mortality, taking age at diagnosis and comorbidity into account.Methods:Four nationwide population registries in Denmark: the Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group, the Danish National Patient Register, and the Danish Register of Causes of Death provided information on 62 591 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, 1990-2008, of whom data on treatment were available for 39 943. Comorbidity was measured using the Charlson Comorbidity Index. Adjuvant treatment were categorised as none, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, and unknown. Multivariable Cox modelling assessed the effect of comorbidity on breast cancer-specific mortality and other cause mortality according to treatment, adjusting for age at diagnosis and other clinical prognostic factors.Results:The impact of comorbidity on mortality was most pronounced in patients aged 50-79 years. Patients receiving chemotherapy with mild to moderate comorbidity had HR 0.99 (95% confidence interval (CI); 0.82-1.19) and 1.06 (95% CI; 0.77-1.46) for breast cancer-specific mortality, respectively, compared with patients without comorbidity.Conclusion:Comorbidity at breast cancer diagnosis is an independent adverse prognostic factor for death after breast cancer. We identified a subgroup of patients with mild to moderate comorbidity receiving chemotherapy who had similar breast cancer mortality as patients with no comorbidity. © 2012 Cancer Research UK. Source

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