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A randomized controlled trial of oral melatonin supplementation and breast cancer biomarkers.


We examined compliance with and the effects of melatonin supplementation on breast cancer biomarkers (estradiol, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), and the IGF-1/IGFBP-3 ratio) in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, postmenopausal women with a prior history of stages 0-III breast cancer who had completed active cancer treatment (including hormonal therapy) were randomly assigned to either 3 mg oral melatonin (n = 48) or placebo daily for 4 months. Plasma samples were collected at baseline and after the completion of the intervention. The primary endpoints were compliance and change in estradiol and IGF-1/IGFBP-3 levels. Ninety-five women were randomized (48 to melatonin and 47 to placebo). Eighty-six women (91%) completed the study and provided pre- and postintervention bloods. Melatonin was well tolerated without any grade 3/4 toxicity and compliance was high (89.5%). Overall, among postmenopausal women with a prior history of breast cancer, a 4-month course of 3 mg melatonin daily did not influence circulating estradiol, IGF-1, or IGFBP-3 levels. Compliance was comparable between the two groups. Short-term melatonin treatment did not influence the estradiol and IGF-1/IGBBP-3 levels. Effects of longer courses of melatonin among premenopausal women are unknown. Low baseline estradiol levels in our study population may have hindered the ability to detect any further estradiol-lowering effects of melatonin.


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    Cancer causes & control : CCC 23:4 2012 Apr pg 609-16


    Administration, Oral
    Aged, 80 and over
    Breast Neoplasms
    Double-Blind Method
    Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
    Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
    Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
    Middle Aged
    Tumor Markers, Biological

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural



    PubMed ID