Updated on February 7, 2015
Limiting carbs reduces breast cancer recurrence in women with positive IGF1
June 10, 2014
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
The study, “Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence Associated with Carbohydrate Intake and Tissue Expression of IGFI Receptor,” will appear in the July issue ofCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
“There is a growing body of research demonstrating associations between obesity, diabetes, and cancer risk,” said lead author Jennifer A. Emond, an instructor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.
Using an unusual approach, this study assessed the combined association of two factors implicated in tumor growth — carbohydrate intake and IGF1 receptor status — to test whether activating the insulin/insulin-like growth-factor axis can impact breast cancer. Since carbohydrates stimulate the biological pathway that can increase concentrations of IGF1, the researchers focused on carbohydrate intake. The women they studied were part of a larger intervention trial called the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study conducted between 2001 and 2007.
An association was found between increased breast cancer recurrence in women with a primary breast cancer tumor that was positive for the IGF1 receptor, which is consistent with other studies. And a decreased carbohydrate intake was associated with decreased breast cancer recurrence for these women.
Breast cancer survivors need to continue to follow a plant-based dietary pattern as suggested by the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Association, which means eating lots of fiber rich vegetables, legumes, and fruits; consuming whole grains and also limiting refined grains, starchy vegetables, and added sugar.