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Articles by D. L Hershman
Total Records ( 2 ) for D. L Hershman
  K. D Crew , M. D Gammon , S. E Steck , D. L Hershman , S Cremers , E Dworakowski , E Shane , M. B Terry , M Desai , S. L Teitelbaum , A. I Neugut and R. M. Santella

Vitamin D has been associated with decreased risk of several cancers. In experimental studies, vitamin D has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce differentiation and apoptosis in normal and malignant breast cells. Using a population-based case-control study on Long Island, New York, we examined the association of breast cancer with plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels, a measure of vitamin D body stores. In-person interviews and blood specimens were obtained from 1,026 incident breast cancer cases diagnosed in 1996 to 1997 and 1,075 population-based controls. Plasma 25-OHD was measured in batched, archived specimens by Diasorin RIA. The mean (SD) plasma 25-OHD concentration was 27.1 (13.0) and 29.7 (15.1) ng/mL in the cases and controls, respectively (P < 0.0001). Plasma 25-OHD was inversely associated with breast cancer risk in a concentration-dependent fashion (Ptrend = 0.002). Compared with women with vitamin D deficiency (25-OHD, <20 ng/mL), levels above 40 ng/mL were associated with decreased breast cancer risk (odds ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.41-0.78). The reduction in risk was greater among postmenopausal women (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.83), and the effect did not vary according to tumor hormone receptor status. In summary, these results add to a growing body of evidence that adequate vitamin D stores may prevent breast cancer development. Whereas circulating 25-OHD levels of >32 ng/mL are associated with normal bone mineral metabolism, our data suggest that the optimal level for breast cancer prevention is ≥40 ng/mL. Well-designed clinical trials are urgently needed to determine whether vitamin D supplementation is effective for breast cancer chemoprevention.

  D. L Hershman , D. L Buono , J Malin , R McBride , W. Y Tsai and A. I. Neugut

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (erythropoietin and darbepoietin) have been approved to reduce the number of blood transfusions required during chemotherapy; however, concerns about the risks of venous thromboembolism and mortality exist.


We identified patients who were aged 65 years or older in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare database; who were diagnosed with colon, non–small cell lung, or breast cancer or with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma from January 1, 1991, through December 31, 2002; and who received chemotherapy. The main outcome measures were claims for use of an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent, blood transfusion, venous thromboembolism (ie, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism), and overall survival. We used multivariable logistic regression models to analyze the association of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent use with clinical and demographic variables. We used time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models to analyze the association of time to receipt of first erythropoiesis-stimulating agent with venous thromboembolism and overall survival. All statistical tests were two-sided.


Among 56 210 patients treated with chemotherapy from 1991 through 2002, 15 346 (27%) received an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent. The proportion of patients receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents increased from 4.8% in 1991 to 45.9% in 2002 (P < .001). Use was associated with more recent diagnosis, younger age, urban residence, comorbidities, receipt of radiation therapy, female sex, and metastatic or recurrent cancer. The rate of blood transfusion per year during 1991–2002 remained constant at 22%. Venous thromboembolism developed in 1796 (14.3%) of the 12 522 patients who received erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and 3400 (9.8%) of the 34 820 patients who did not (hazard ratio = 1.93, 95% confidence interval = 1.79 to 2.07). Overall survival was similar in both groups.


Use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent increased rapidly after its approval in 1991, but the blood transfusion rate did not change. Use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents was associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism but not of mortality.

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