Circulating enterolactone and risk of endometrial cancer

Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Eva Lundin, Andrea Micheli, Karen L. Koenig, Per Lenner, Paola Muti, Roy E. Shore, Ingegerd Johansson, Vittorio Krogh, Annekatrin Lukanova, Pär Stattin, Yelena Afanasyeva, Sabina Rinaldi, Alan A. Arslan, Rudolf Kaaks, Franco Berrino, Göran Hallmans, Paolo Toniolo, Herman Adlercreutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been suggested that phytoestrogens protect against hormone-dependent cancers. Lignans are the main class of phytoestrogens in Western diets. We conducted a prospective study of endometrial cancer and circulating levels of the main human lignan, enterolactone. The design was a case-control study nested within 3 prospective cohort studies, in New York, Sweden and Italy. Serum or plasma samples had been collected at enrollment and stored at -80°C. A total of 153 cases, diagnosed a median of 5.3 years after blood donation, and 271 matched controls were included. No difference in circulating enterolactone was observed between cases (median, 19.2 nmol/L) and controls (18.5 nmol/L). Adjusting for body mass index, the odds ratio for the top tertile of enterolactone, as compared to the lowest was 1.2 (95% CI, 0.7-2.0; p for trend = 0.53). Lack of association was observed in both pre- and postmenopausal women. No correlation was observed between enterolactone and circulating estrogens or SHBG in healthy postmenopausal women. These results do not support a protective role of circulating lignans, in the range of levels observed, against endometrial cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2376-2381
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2006


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Enterolactone
  • Lignan
  • Nested case-control study
  • Phytoestrogen
  • Prospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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