Serum Leptin Might Be Causally Correlated to Invasive Ductal Breast Carcinoma
Introduction: Leptin, the hormone secreted from white adipose tissue is suspected of being a causative factor in tumorigenesis in various tissues. Thus it might be a link between obesity and breast cancer.
Objectives: In this project we tried to study causative association of obesity and serum leptin with invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) in a sample of Malaysian population.
Methods: We measured various obesity parameters, and estimated serum leptin levels in a group of healthy control and IDC patients. After confirming diagnosis by standard histopathological methods, serum leptin levels were estimated using ELISA. Both the pre-and postoperative leptin levels were measured with the Patient group.
Results: The difference between the serum leptin levels of the Control and the Patient group were highly significant with a P value of < 0.001. There was no significant difference in the serum leptin level between the pre and post-operative states in the IDC patients (P=0.414). There was significant positive correlation between the serum leptin level and the Body Mass Index (BMI) with the Control group (rs=0.598, P < 0.01), however, the breast cancer cases showed a very weakly positive correlation (rs = 0.217, P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Since high serum leptin in IDC patients persists unabated in the post-operative state, we infer that the source of leptin in these cases cannot be the breast cancer tissue itself and leptin cannot be a marker for breast cancer. Highly significant association between serum leptin and IDC patients suggests that leptin in serum might play a causative role in the tumorigenesis of breast cancer, and it might be an important connection between obesity and breast cancer. Therefore, leptin signal transduction pathway might be a prospective therapeutic target in the treatment and prevention of IDC.