Hormones and Cancer


The overarching goal of the Hormones and Cancer research group is to provide actionable knowledge on the etiology of breast and gynecologic cancers toward reducing morbidity and mortality associated with these cancers. To that end, our group (1) conducts studies on epidemiologic factors and circulating endogenous hormones, hormonally active metabolites, growth factors, inflammation factors and markers of infection (e.g., chlamydia) in relation to cancer risk, especially cancers of the breast and ovary; (2) integrates blood-based biomarkers into risk prediction models; and, (3) engages in studies on predictors of cancer survival and disease aggressiveness (ongoing). Further, our group has a special interest in circulating hormones and growth factors in early pregnancy and subsequent breast and ovarian cancer risk in the mother.

Scientists in the Hormones and Cancer Group work extensively with studies including the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort and the Scandinavian maternity cohorts, and in worldwide collaborations including the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium (OC3).

Research in our group has been supported by funding from the European Commission, the Deutsche Krebshilfe, the United States Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, the World Cancer Research Fund International, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute.

Selected Publications (2014-2017)

Fortner RT, Schock H, Le Cornet C, et al. Ovarian Cancer Early Detection by Circulating CA125 in the context of Anti-CA125 Autoantibody Levels: Results from the EPIC cohort. Int J Cancer. 2017 Nov 21. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31164

Fortner RT, Schock H, Jung S, et al. Anti-Mullerian hormone and endometrial cancer: a multi-cohort study. Br J Cancer.2017 Oct 24;117(9):1412-1418.

Sarink D, Schock H, Johnson T, et al. Circulating RANKL and RANKL/OPG and Breast Cancer Risk by ER and PRSubtype: Results from the EPIC Cohort. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2017Sep;10(9):525-534. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-17-0125.

Ose J, Poole EM, Schock H, et al. Androgens Are Differentially Associated with Ovarian Cancer Subtypes in the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium. Cancer Res. 2017 Jul15;77(14):3951-3960.

Hüsing A*, Fortner RT*, Kühn T, et al. Added Value of Serum Hormone Measurements in Risk Prediction Models for Breast Cancer for Women Not Using Exogenous Hormones: Results from the EPIC Cohort. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Aug 1;23(15):4181-4189.

Ose J, Schock H, Poole EM, et al. Pre-diagnosis insulin-like growth factor-I and risk of epithelial invasive ovarian cancer by histological subtypes: A collaborative re-analysis from the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium. Cancer Causes Control. 2017 May;28(5):429-435.

Fortner RT, Sarink D, Schock H, et al. Osteoprotegerin and breast cancer risk by hormone receptor subtype: a nested case-control study in the EPIC cohort. BMC Med. 2017Feb 8;15(1):26.

Hirko KA, Fortner RT, Hankinson SE, et al. Plasma fluorescent oxidation products and risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer in the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study II. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016Jul;158(1):149-55

Fortner RT, Ose J, Merritt MA, et al. Reproductive and hormone-related risk factors for epithelialovarian cancer by histologic pathways, invasiveness and histologic subtypes: Results from the EPIC cohort. Int J Cancer. 2015 Sep 1;137(5):1196-208.

Schock H, Fortner RT, Surcel HM, et al. Early pregnancy IGF-I and placental GH and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: A nested case-control study. Int J Cancer. 2015 Jul 15;137(2):439-47.

Fortner RT, Schock H, Kaaks R, et al. Early pregnancy sex steroids and maternal breast cancer: a nested case-control study. Cancer Res. 2014 Dec 1;74(23):6958-67.

Schock H, Surcel HM, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, et al. Early pregnancy sexsteroids and maternal risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer.2014;21(6):831-44.

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