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Does Higher Protein Intake Improve BC Survival?

J Clin Oncol; ePub 2016 Nov 7; Holmes, et al

Higher intake of protein revealed only a modest survival advantage among women with breast cancer, regardless of insulin receptor (IR) status, according to a recent study. The Nurses’ Health Study included 6,348 women diagnosed with stage I to III breast cancer between 1976 and 2004, with 1,046 direct recurrences. Researchers found:

  • An inverse association between energy-adjusted protein intake and recurrence.
  • Multivariable relative risks (RRs) for increasing quintiles of intake compared with the lowest were 0.95, 0.92, 0.75, and 0.84.
  • For animal protein intake, the RRs were 0.88, 0.85, 0.75, and 0.78.
  • Neither essential amino acids, branched-chain amino acids, nor any individual amino acid stood out as being the source of the association.

The authors concluded that there was no likely advantage for women with a history of breast cancer in restricting protein intake or protein-containing foods.


Holmes MD, Wang J, Hankinson SE, et al. Protein intake and breast cancer survival in the Nurses’ Health Study. [Published online ahead of print November 7, 2016]. J Clin Oncol. doi:JCO.2016.68.3292.