Serum vitamin A level in breast cancer patients.

The Kaohsiung journal of medical sciences

PubMedID: 9838762

Hou MF, Tsai LY, Huang CJ, Huang YS, Hsieh JS, Huang TJ, Chen HM, Wang JY. Serum vitamin A level in breast cancer patients. Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 1998;14(11):673-8.
Vitamin A or its synthetic analogues are potent in controlling cell differentiation and in preventing epithelial cancer in experimental animals. Although some community-based studies have found that high serum retinol levels in prediagnostic sera were associated with reduced risk for cancer, other reports in humans have not confirmed this finding. This study is to evaluate the preoperative serum vitamin A level in breast cancer patients in Taiwan. The serum specimens were collected from 106 female cases of breast cancer (aged 30 to 70 years), 32 female cases of benign breast disease (aged 29 to 57 years), and 40 healthy females (aged 22 to 52 years). The serum vitamin A levels were measured by colorimetic analysis. The results showed the mean value of the vitamin A level was 140.4 +/- 65.7 micrograms/dl in the breast cancer group comparing to 145.2 +/- 44.2 micrograms/dl in the benign breast disease group, 144.0 +/- 30.0 micrograms/dl in the control group (P > 0.05). The characteristics of the breast cancer group were analyzed and they revealed that serum vitamin A levels did not bear statistically significant differences in age, duration, steroid receptor, tumor size and menopausal state. (P > 0.05) In conclusion, the serum vitamin A levels were not decreased in early breast cancer patients. The serum vitamin A levels were significantly decreased in the metastatic breast cancer group, especially in liver metastatic women. (P < 0.05). Postoperative vitamin A supplement may have potential benefit to metastatic breast cancer patients.