Objective: Oxidative stress has emerged as a major etiological factor for breast cancer. Diet derivedantioxidants play an important role against oxidative stress and the aim of the present study was to examineroles of non-enzymatic antioxidants in breast cancer in India.
Methods: Plasma non-enzymatic antioxidants;beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C were analyzed spectrophotometrically from 70 healthy femalecontrols, 30 patients with benign breast diseases (BBD) and 125 untreated breast cancer patients (BCPT).
Results:Plasma vitamin C levels were significantly lower in patients with BBD as compared to the controls (p=0.043).Plasma beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C levels were significantly lower in BCPT as compared to thecontrols (p=0.0001, p=0.040 and p=0.0001, respectively). Plasma vitamin A levels were significantly higher inpatients with BBD and BCPT as compared to the controls (p=0.0001 and p=0.0001; respectively) and in BCPTas compared to patients with BBD (p=0.030). ROC curve analysis revealed that plasma beta-carotene and vitaminA could significantly discriminate between controls and patients with BBD (p=0.016 and p=0.000; respectively).Plasma beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C could significantly discriminate between controlsand BCPT (p=0.000, p=0.000, p=0.001and p=0.001, respectively). Plasma vitamin E levels could significantlydiscriminate between patients with BBD and BCPT (p=0.055). Odds ratio analysis revealed that, increasinglevels of plasma beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C were significantly associated with decreased risk ofbreast cancer (p=0.0001, p=0.003, and p=0.0001; respectively), whereas, increased risk was linked to plasmavitamin A (p=0.001).
Conclusions: The trends of the current study provide interesting clues to the etiology ofbreast cancer and suggest significance of interplay of non-enzymatic antioxidants in breast cancer. Further indepthstudy is warranted to elucidate role of these antioxidants as a preventive measure.