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Chronic inflammation has been hypothesized to play a role in endometrial cancer development. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), one of the major pro-inflammatory cytokines, has also been implicated in endometrial physiology. We conducted a case-control study nested within the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC) to examine the association of TNF-α and its two soluble receptors (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2) with endometrial cancer risk. Two-hundred-seventy cases and 518 matched controls were analyzed using conditional logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided. We observed an increased risk of endometrial cancer among women in the highest versus lowest quartile of TNF-α (odds ratio [OR]: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.09-2.73, P(trend) = 0.01), sTNFR1 (OR: 1.68, 95% CI: 0.99-2.86, P(trend) = 0.07) and sTNFR2 (OR: 1.53, 95%CI: 0.92-2.55, P(trend) = 0.03) after adjustment for body-mass-index, parity, age at menopause and previous postmenopausal hormone therapy use. Further adjustments for estrogens and C-peptide had minor effect on risk estimates. Our data show that elevated prediagnostic concentrations of TNF-α and its soluble receptors are related to a higher risk of endometrial cancer, particularly strong in women diagnosed within 2 years of blood donation. This is the first study of its kind and therefore deserves replication in further prospective studies.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/ijc.25840

Type

Journal article

Journal

Int J Cancer

Publication Date

15/10/2011

Volume

129

Pages

2032 - 2037

Keywords

Aged, Case-Control Studies, Endometrial Neoplasms, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Risk, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha