Lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress genes and dietary factors in breast cancer protection: a hypothesis

Breast Cancer Res. 2007;9(1):201. doi: 10.1186/bcr1628.


We have recently proposed that lipid peroxidation may be a common mechanistic pathway by which obesity and hypertension lead to increased renal cell cancer risk. During this exercise, we noted a risk factor swap between breast and kidney cancer (oophorectomy and increased parity, detrimental for kidney, beneficial for breast; high blood pressure, detrimental for kidney, beneficial for breast when it occurs during pregnancy; alcohol, beneficial for kidney, detrimental for breast, and so on). We have subsequently proposed the hypothesis that lipid peroxidation represents a protective mechanism in breast cancer, and reviewed the evidence of the role of lipid peroxidation on established hormonal and non-hormonal factors for breast cancer. Here, we review the evidence in support of lipid peroxidation playing a role in the relationships between dietary factors and breast cancer. Available evidence implicates increased lipid peroxidation products in the anti-carcinogenic effect of suspected protective factors for breast cancer, including soy, marine n-3 fatty acids, green tea, isothiocyanates, and vitamin D and calcium. We also review the epidemiological evidence supporting a modifying effect of oxidative stress genes in dietary factor-breast cancer relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Oxidative Stress*