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Coffee and Recurrence

Posted 5/2/2013

Posted in

  There hasn't been the same amount of attention paid to any relationship between coffee and breast cancer risk or recurrence as there has been to any associations with alcohol. However, a group in Sweden has just published the results of a study that suggest that, for women with a hormone positive breast cancer, drinking at least two cups of coffee (and, no, I don't know if that means a Grande or something bigger) may cut the rate of recurrence by half.

  This does feel like one of those subjects in which the best advice may be "Stay tuned" as things likely will change. I surely remember headlines that connected coffee consumption with much higher rates of cancer. Anyway, this one study suggests quite the opposite and, if you are a moderate coffee drinker, this is a study for you. On a related note: a friend who is a liver specialist is convinced that drinking quite a lot of cofee (as in 4 cups or more) each day may help you in all kinds of ways.

  Here is the abstract from Cancer Causes Control and a link to read more:

Coffee prevents early events in tamoxifen-treated breast cancer

patients and modulates hormone receptor status



Maria Simonsson Viktoria So¨derlind Maria Henningson Maria Hjertberg Carsten Rose Christian Ingvar Helena Jernstro¨m



Whether coffee modulates response to endocrine therapy in breast cancer patients is currently unknown. The CYP1A2 and CYP2C8 enzymes contribute to tamoxifen and caffeine metabolism. The purpose was to investigate the impact of coffee consumption on tumor characteristics and risk for early events in relation to breast cancer treatment and CYP1A2 and CYP2C8 genotypes.


Questionnaires regarding lifestyle were completed preoperatively by 634 patients in southern Sweden. CYP1A2*1F and CYP2C8*3 were genotyped. Clinical data and tumor characteristics were obtained from patients' charts, population registries, and pathology reports. Coffee consumption was categorized as low (0-1 cups/day), moderate (2-4 cups/day), or high (5+ cups/day).


The proportion of estrogen receptor negative (ER-) tumors increased with increasing coffee consumption (p trend = 0.042). Moderate to high consumption was associated with lower frequency of discordant receptor status (ER + PgR-) OR 0.38 (0.23-0.63) compared to low consumption. Median follow-up time was 4.92 (IQR 3.01-6.42) years. Tamoxifen-treated patients with ER+ tumors (n = 310) who consumed two or more cups/day had significantly decreased risk for early events compared to patients with low consumption, adjusted HR 0.40 (0.19-0.83). Low consumption combined with at least one CYP1A2*1F C-allele (n = 35) or CYP2C8*3 (n = 13) was associated with a high risk for early events in tamoxifen-treated patients compared to other tamoxifen-treated patients, adjusted HRs 3.49 (1.54-7.91) and 6.15 (2.46-15.36), respectively.


Moderate to high coffee consumption was associated with significantly decreased risk for early events in tamoxifen-treated patients and modified hormone receptor status. If confirmed, new recommendations regarding coffee consumption during tamoxifen treatment may be warranted.




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