Alcohol consumption promotes breast cancer development in female mice

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Fan, Betty

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Backgrounds: Epidemiological studies show that alcohol consumption increases breast cancer risk. However, the mechanism by which alcohol causes this effect is not known. Therefore, our objective is to generate an animal model to find the mechanism by which alcohol increases breast cancer risk. Methods: To determine the effects of alcohol consumption on breast cancer development, 65 female FVB/N mice were randomized (30-water, 35-alcohol) to have free access to water or 20% alcohol. All mice were given the same diet and placed in similar living conditions. Eleven weeks into the study, mice were injected with Met-1 mammary cancer cells subcutaneously in their backs. We measured body weight, food, liquid consumption, and tumor growth rate throughout the study. To determine body composition, mice were scanned using a GE Lunar Piximus Densitometer, which measures percent body fat, percent lean body mass, and bone mineral density. Results: Results showed that tumor development is exacerbated in the alcohol consuming mice. Alcohol consuming mice developed tumors earlier than water consuming mice. Furthermore, tumors in the alcohol consuming mice were larger in volume. Body weights, caloric consumption, and body composition showed no significant difference between the alcohol and water consuming mice. Conclusion: We present a suitable animal model where we can elucidate the mechanism by which alcohol consumption promotes mammary tumor development.


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