March 14, 2017
1 min read

Estrogen exposure may affect pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor size in women with MEN1

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Previous estrogen exposure in women with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 may affect size of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, but exposure is not correlated with time to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor diagnosis, according to published findings.

Nancy D. Perrier, MD, FACS, professor of endocrine surgery in the department of surgical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues evaluated 141 women with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) to determine whether estrogen exposure is protective against pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNET) tumorigenesis, tumor growth and survival (median follow-up, 38.5 months).

Overall, 93 participants had PNETs. Median age at diagnosis was 40 years, median tumor size was 1.55 cm, and median tumor number was two. Of the cohort, 33 participants completed a questionnaire about previous estrogen exposure.

Researchers observed no statistically significant association between cumulative estrogen exposure time and time to PNET diagnosis. Cumulative estrogen exposure time was related to PNET size (P = .043), with longer exposure associated with tumors 1.55 cm and smaller, and shorter exposure associated with tumors larger than 1.55 cm.

Researchers were unable to determine the effect of cumulative estrogen exposure time on overall survival because of the small number of events (only one participant with PNETs died). Overall survival was not correlated with parity, live-birth pregnancies or bilateral oophorectomy.

“Our study uniquely focused on the heterogeneity of estrogen exposure across the reproductive lifespan and how it could affect PNET progression in female MEN1 patients,” the researchers wrote. “The results of our study suggest that estrogen exposure may have a protective effect against PNET growth in female MEN1 patients. The results identified here should be viewed as preliminary; further studies to confirm the effect of estrogen exposure on tumor size are needed.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.