Estrogen metabolism and laryngeal papillomatosis: a pilot study on dietary prevention

Anticancer Res. Nov-Dec 1998;18(6B):4569-73.


Evidence exists that estrogen metabolism has a role in the pathogenesis of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). This disease has a papillomavirus etiology and is characterized by recurrent benign tumors with a significant propensity to become malignant. We have measured the systemic transformation of estrogen using an enzyme-linked-immunoassay to measure estrogen metabolites in the urine of patients with RRP and compared these ratios to the severity of RRP, a measure of the average growth rate of papillomas. Our results show an inverse relationship between the ratio of C-2 to C-16 alpha-hydroxylated estrogens and the severity of RRP. In a pilot study, patients consumed cruciferous vegetables to induce C-2-hydroxylation. In this group of patients, an increase in the ratio correlated with an improvement in RRP. The ratio did not change in a subset of these patients, and their RRP did not improve. Regardless, the ratio correlated with severity of their RRP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brassicaceae*
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylation
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Papilloma / diet therapy*
  • Papilloma / metabolism
  • Papilloma / pathology
  • Papilloma / prevention & control
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Vegetables*


  • Estrogens