The following article is part of conference coverage from the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium, which is being held virtually from March 7-21, 2021. The team at Cancer Therapy Advisor will be reporting on the latest research conducted by leading experts in breast cancer. Check back for more from the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium.
Patients with breast cancer were found to have a lower risk of developing dementia compared with patients without breast cancer, according to the results of a population-based cohort study presented at the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021.
The investigators explained that it has been previously suggested that cancer and neurodegenerative disease have an inverse relationship. “However, a nationwide longitudinal population-based study of specific types of cancer with due consideration of treatment effects has not been conducted.”
Using the Korean National Health Insurance claim database, the study researchers identified 90,396 women aged 50 years and older who received a diagnosis of breast cancer between 2009 and 2010. To serve as a control group for comparison, 85,906 patients who did not have breast cancer but did have senile cataracts were also identified.
Patients were matched for age and comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure, yielding an equal number (n=2252) of patients in each group (with vs without breast cancer).
Matched patients with breast cancer were found to have a significantly lower risk of developing dementia compared with patients without breast cancer (hazard ratio=0.091; 95% CI, 0.075–0.111; P <.0001). Receipt of chemotherapy and endocrine therapy among breast cancer patients did not influence the incidence of dementia.
A significantly lower risk of developing dementia was also seen when unmatched patients were compared (P <.001).
“Breast cancer was associated with a remarkably decreased risk of dementia,” the researchers concluded. “The findings strongly suggest an inverse relationship between cancer and neurodegeneration, regardless of the adverse effects of cancer treatment on cognitive function.”
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Oh J, Lee HS, Jeon S, et al. Marked reduction in the risk of dementia in patients with breast cancer: a nationwide population-based cohort study. Poster presented at: The 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021; March 17-21, 2021. Abstract P046.