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Apolipoprotein E phenotype, cholesterol and breast and prostate cancer
  1. Mari Niemia,c,
  2. Kari Kervinena,c,
  3. Heikki Kiviniemib,
  4. Olavi Lukkarinenb,
  5. Atte-Pekka Kyllönend,
  6. Meeri Apaja-Sarkkinend,
  7. Markku J Savolainena,c,
  8. Matti I Kairaluomab,
  9. Y Antero Kesäniemia,c
  1. aDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland, bDepartment of Surgery, University of Oulu, cBiocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, dDepartment of Pathology, Oulu University Hospital
  1. Professor Kesäniemi, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Kajaanintie 50, FIN-90220 Oulu, Finland (antero.kesaniemi{at}

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Although many studies have shown an increased risk of death from cancer in subjects with low plasma cholesterol concentrations, the underlying mechanism between low blood cholesterol and cancer is unclear. Apolipoprotein E is a central regulatory protein in cholesterol metabolism, and recent studies have shown that apolipoprotein E is a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis and tumour cell growth.1 Apolipoprotein E has three common isoforms, E2, E3, and E4, which are coded by the alleles e2, e3 and e4, respectively. The e4 allele is associated with high serum total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.2 Recently, it was suggested that the apolipoprotein E e4 allele may protect from carcinoma and adenoma of the colon.3 We hypothesised that the apolipoprotein E polymorphism could also be associated with other cancer types. The main question of this study was whether the apolipoprotein E allele distribution is different in …

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  • Funding: this work was supported by the Medical Council of the Academy of Finland and the Cancer Society of Northern Finland.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.