Can Cutting Carbs Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk?

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Can Cutting Carbs Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk?
Can Cutting Carbs Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk?

(HealthDay News) -- Personalized dietary recommendations based on molecular characteristics of primary tumor tissue may be an effective strategy for breast cancer survivors, according to research published in the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

Jennifer A. Emond, MD, of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center in San Diego, and colleagues conducted a nested, case–control study of 265 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors to assess the association between carbohydrate intake and recurrence of breast cancer.

RELATED: Breast Cancer Resource Center

The researchers found that half of the primary breast tumors were positive for the insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) receptor. Factors separately associated with increased risk of breast cancer recurrence were IGF-I receptor–positive status (hazard ratio [HR], 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 2.5) and stable or increased intake of carbohydrates (HR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3 to 5.0).

Among women with primary breast cancer that were IGF-I receptor–positive, carbohydrate intake increased the risk of recurrence more than five-fold (HR, 5.5; 95% CI, 1.8 to 16.3). Among women with primary breast cancer that were IGF-I receptor–negative, carbohydrate intake had no significant effect on the risk of recurrence.

"This is the first study to suggest that it may be possible to personalize dietary recommendations for breast cancer survivors based on molecular characteristics of their primary tumor tissue," the researchers wrote.

One of the authors disclosed financial ties to a pharmaceutical company. Because the costs of publication were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges, this article must be marked as an advertisement.


  1. Emond JA, Pierce JP, Natarajan L et al. Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence Associated with Carbohydrate Intake and Tissue Expression of IGFI Receptor. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014;doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-1218.

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