RANK Pathway and Mammographic Breast Density

Faculty involved: Adetunji Toriola, Graham Colditz, Rosy Luo

Dr. Adetunji Toriola (right) meets with a work group with acting NCI director, Dr. Doug Lowy (left).

RANK pathway and Mammographic Breast Density: A very dense breast on mammogram is one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer, and many women in the United States have extremely dense breasts. There is, however, very limited knowledge on how to modify breast density to reduce breast cancer risk. Through a series of projects, Dr. Toriola is investigating the associations between RANK pathway, known RANK pathway genes with mammographic density in premenopausal women (funded by a Susan G. Komen Career Catalyst Award), and in mid-life postmenopausal women (R21), and how these can be targeted in primary prevention of breast cancer. 

Related Publications:

Alimujiang A, Appleton C, Colditz GA, & Toriola AT. Adiposity during early
adulthood, changes in adiposity during adulthood, attained adiposity, and
mammographic density among premenopausal women. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017
Nov;166(1):197-206. doi: 10.1007/s10549-017-4384-4. Epub 2017 Jul 12. PubMed
PMID: 28702890.

Rosner B, Eliassen AH, Toriola AT, Chen WY, Hankinson SE, Willett WC, Berkey
CS, & Colditz GA. Weight and weight changes in early adulthood and later breast
cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2017 May 1;140(9):2003-2014. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30627.
PubMed PMID: 28133728.

Lee JM, Holley S, Appleton C, & Toriola AT. Is There an Association Between Bone Mineral Density and Mammographic Density? A Systematic Review. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 Apr;26(4):389-395. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2016.5769. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Toriola AT, Dang HX, Hagemann IS, Appleton CM, Colditz GA, Luo J, & Maher CA. Increased breast tissue receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) gene expression is associated with higher mammographic density in premenopausal women. Oncotarget. 2017 May 17;8(43):73787-73792. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.17909. eCollection 2017 Sep 26.