Background: A limited number of studies have been conducted on the effects of hormonal therapy with tamoxifen (TMX) or aromatase inhibitors (AIs) on plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin, as well as body composition in breast cancer (BC) patients. Therefore, we aimed to analyze the relationship between adipocytokines and body composition as well as the effects of TMX and AIs on plasma adiponectin, leptin, leptin/adiponectin ratio (LAR) and body composition.
Methods: Patients were treated with either TMX or AI according to their menopausal status after adjuvant radiotherapy. Changes in body composition and serum leptin and adiponectin levels were evaluated. We recorded the type of hormonal therapy, BMI, waist/hip ratio (WHR), leptin and adiponectin levels at study entry, and after 6 and 12 months.
Results: From baseline to the 6- and 12-month follow-ups, there were statistically significant increases in WHR (p = 0.003), fat mass (p = 0.041), and serum leptin (p < 0.001) and adiponectin levels (p < 0.001). The changes in body composition and serum leptin and adiponectin levels were similar in TMX and AI groups. A statistically significant decrease was found in total body water and LAR (p < 0.001). Although weight and body fat percentage increased, such increases were not statistically significant. A positive correlation was found between baseline BMI and serum leptin levels. This correlation was maintained at 6 and 12 months. The negative correlation found between serum adiponectin levels at baseline and baseline BMI did not last throughout the study.
Conclusion: In this study, increased leptin and adiponectin levels and a decreased LAR were found in both AI and TMX groups. These changes might have occurred through both mechanisms of hormonal therapy and body composition changes. Therefore, AIs and TMX may exert their protective effects for BC patients by decreasing LAR rather than affecting leptin or adiponectin alone.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.