Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of breast cancer defined by hormone receptor status have revealed loci contributing to susceptibility of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative subtypes. To identify additional genetic variants for ER-negative breast cancer, we conducted the largest meta-analysis of ER-negative disease to date, comprising 4754 ER-negative cases and 31 663 controls from three GWAS: NCI Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) (2188 ER-negative cases; 25 519 controls of European ancestry), Triple Negative Breast Cancer Consortium (TNBCC) (1562 triple negative cases; 3399 controls of European ancestry) and African American Breast Cancer Consortium (AABC) (1004 ER-negative cases; 2745 controls). We performed in silico replication of 86 SNPs at P ≤ 1 × 10-5 in an additional 11 209 breast cancer cases (946 with ER-negative disease) and 16 057 controls of Japanese, Latino and European ancestry. We identified two novel loci for breast cancer at 20q11 and 6q14. SNP rs2284378 at 20q11 was associated with ER-negative breast cancer (combined two-stage OR = 1.16; P = 1.1 × 10−8) but showed a weaker association with overall breast cancer (OR = 1.08, P = 1.3 × 10–6) based on 17 869 cases and 43 745 controls and no association with ER-positive disease (OR = 1.01, P = 0.67) based on 9965 cases and 22 902 controls. Similarly, rs17530068 at 6q14 was associated with breast cancer (OR = 1.12; P = 1.1 × 10−9), and with both ER-positive (OR = 1.09; P = 1.5 × 10−5) and ER-negative (OR = 1.16, P = 2.5 × 10−7) disease. We also confirmed three known loci associated with ER-negative (19p13) and both ER-negative and ER-positive breast cancer (6q25 and 12p11). Our results highlight the value of large-scale collaborative studies to identify novel breast cancer risk loci.
Our recent genome-wide association study identified a novel breast cancer susceptibility locus at 9q31.2 (rs865686).
To further investigate the rs865686–breast cancer association, we conducted a replication study within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, which comprises 37 case–control studies (48,394 cases, 50,836 controls).
This replication study provides additional strong evidence of an inverse association between rs865686 and breast cancer risk [study-adjusted per G-allele OR, 0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.88; 0.91, P = 2.01 × 10–29] among women of European ancestry. There were ethnic differences in the estimated minor (G)-allele frequency among controls [0.09, 0.30, and 0.38 among, respectively, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other Europeans; P for heterogeneity (Phet) = 1.3 × 10–143], but no evidence of ethnic differences in per allele OR (Phet = 0.43). rs865686 was associated with estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) disease (per G-allele OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.86–0.91; P = 3.13 × 10–22) but less strongly, if at all, with ER-negative (ER–) disease (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.94–1.02; P = 0.26; Phet = 1.16 × 10–6), with no evidence of independent heterogeneity by progesterone receptor or HER2 status. The strength of the breast cancer association decreased with increasing age at diagnosis, with case-only analysis showing a trend in the number of copies of the G allele with increasing age at diagnosis (P for linear trend = 0.0095), but only among women with ER+ tumors.
This study is the first to show that rs865686 is a susceptibility marker for ER+ breast cancer.
The findings further support the view that genetic susceptibility varies according to tumor subtype.
Recent genome-wide association studies identified 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with breast cancer (BC) risk. We investigated these and 62 other SNPs for their prognostic relevance. Confirmed BC risk SNPs rs17468277 (CASP8), rs1982073 (TGFB1), rs2981582 (FGFR2), rs13281615 (8q24), rs3817198 (LSP1), rs889312 (MAP3K1), rs3803662 (TOX3), rs13387042 (2q35), rs4973768 (SLC4A7), rs6504950 (COX11) and rs10941679 (5p12) were genotyped for 25 853 BC patients with the available follow-up; 62 other SNPs, which have been suggested as BC risk SNPs by a GWAS or as candidate SNPs from individual studies, were genotyped for replication purposes in subsets of these patients. Cox proportional hazard models were used to test the association of these SNPs with overall survival (OS) and BC-specific survival (BCS). For the confirmed loci, we performed an accessory analysis of publicly available gene expression data and the prognosis in a different patient group. One of the 11 SNPs, rs3803662 (TOX3) and none of the 62 candidate/GWAS SNPs were associated with OS and/or BCS at P<0.01. The genotypic-specific survival for rs3803662 suggested a recessive mode of action [hazard ratio (HR) of rare homozygous carriers=1.21; 95% CI: 1.09–1.35, P=0.0002 and HR=1.29; 95% CI: 1.12–1.47, P=0.0003 for OS and BCS, respectively]. This association was seen similarly in all analyzed tumor subgroups defined by nodal status, tumor size, grade and estrogen receptor. Breast tumor expression of these genes was not associated with prognosis. With the exception of rs3803662 (TOX3), there was no evidence that any of the SNPs associated with BC susceptibility were associated with the BC survival. Survival may be influenced by a distinct set of germline variants from those influencing susceptibility.
A recent two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified five novel breast cancer susceptibility loci on chromosomes 9, 10 and 11. To provide more reliable estimates of the relative risk associated with these loci and investigate possible heterogeneity by subtype of breast cancer, we genotyped the variants rs2380205, rs1011970, rs704010, rs614367, rs10995190 in 39 studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), involving 49,608 cases and 48,772 controls of predominantly European ancestry. Four of the variants showed clear evidence of association (P ≤ 3 × 10−9) and weak evidence was observed for rs2380205 (P = 0.06). The strongest evidence was obtained for rs614367, located on 11q13 (per-allele odds ratio 1.21, P = 4 × 10−39). The association for rs614367 was specific to estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease and strongest for ER plus progesterone receptor (PR)-positive breast cancer, whereas the associations for the other three loci did not differ by tumor subtype.
breast cancer susceptibility; polymorphisms; genome wide association; risk factors; hormone receptor status; 11q13
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. To date, 22 common breast cancer susceptibility loci have been identified accounting for ~ 8% of the heritability of the disease. We followed up 72 promising associations from two independent Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) in ~70,000 cases and ~68,000 controls from 41 case-control studies and nine breast cancer GWAS. We identified three new breast cancer risk loci on 12p11 (rs10771399; P=2.7 × 10−35), 12q24 (rs1292011; P=4.3×10−19) and 21q21 (rs2823093; P=1.1×10−12). SNP rs10771399 was associated with similar relative risks for both estrogen receptor (ER)-negative and ER-positive breast cancer, whereas the other two loci were associated only with ER-positive disease. Two of the loci lie in regions that contain strong plausible candidate genes: PTHLH (12p11) plays a crucial role in mammary gland development and the establishment of bone metastasis in breast cancer, while NRIP1 (21q21) encodes an ER co-factor and has a role in the regulation of breast cancer cell growth.
Mammographic density adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI) is a heritable marker of breast cancer susceptibility. Little is known about the biological mechanisms underlying the association between mammographic density and breast cancer risk. We examined whether common low-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility variants contribute to inter-individual differences in mammographic density measures.
We established an international consortium (DENSNP) of 19 studies from 10 countries, comprising 16,895 Caucasian women, to conduct a pooled cross-sectional analysis of common breast cancer susceptibility variants in 14 independent loci and mammographic density measures. Dense and non-dense areas, and percent density, were measured using interactive-thresholding techniques. Mixed linear models were used to assess the association between genetic variants and the square roots of mammographic density measures adjusted for study, age, case status, body mass index (BMI) and menopausal status.
Consistent with their breast cancer associations, the C-allele of rs3817198 in LSP1 was positively associated with both adjusted dense area (p=0.00005) and adjusted percent density (p=0.001) whereas the A-allele of rs10483813 in RAD51L1 was inversely associated with adjusted percent density (p=0.003), but not with adjusted dense area (p=0.07).
We identified two common breast cancer susceptibility variants associated with mammographic measures of radio-dense tissue in the breast gland.
We examined the association of 14 established breast cancer susceptibility loci with mammographic density phenotypes within a large genetic consortium and identified two breast cancer susceptibility variants, LSP1-rs3817198 and RAD51L1-rs10483813, associated with mammographic measures and in the same direction as the breast cancer association.
breast density; breast cancer; genetics; biomarkers; mammography
To estimate the association between measures of socio-economic status (SES) and breast cancer (BC) survival for young, urban Australian women.
We used a population-based sample of 1,029 women followed prospectively for a median of 7.9 years. SES was defined by education and area of residence. Hazard ratios (HRs) associated with SES measures were estimated for (i) distant recurrence (DR) and (ii) all-cause mortality as end-points.
HRs for area of residence were not significantly different from unity, with or without adjustment for age at diagnosis and education level. The univariable HR estimate of DR for women with university education compared with women with incomplete high school education was 1.51 (95% CI = 1.08 – 2.13, p = 0.02), which reduced to 1.20 (95% CI = 0.85 – 1.72, p = 0.3) after adjusting for age at diagnosis and area of residence. Adjusting for prognostic factors differentially distributed across SES groups did not substantially alter the association between survival and SES.
Among young, urban Australian women there is no association between SES and BC survival.
This lack of estimates of association may be partly attributed to universal access to adequate breast cancer care in urban areas.
Breast cancer; socioeconomic status; Australia; survival
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 1p11.2 and 14q24.1 (RAD51L1) as breast cancer susceptibility loci. The initial GWAS suggested stronger effects for both loci for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors. Using data from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), we sought to determine whether risks differ by ER, progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), grade, node status, tumor size, and ductal or lobular morphology. We genotyped rs11249433 at 1p.11.2, and two highly correlated SNPs rs999737 and rs10483813 (r2= 0.98) at 14q24.1 (RAD51L1), for up to 46 036 invasive breast cancer cases and 46 930 controls from 39 studies. Analyses by tumor characteristics focused on subjects reporting to be white women of European ancestry and were based on 25 458 cases, of which 87% had ER data. The SNP at 1p11.2 showed significantly stronger associations with ER-positive tumors [per-allele odds ratio (OR) for ER-positive tumors was 1.13, 95% CI = 1.10–1.16 and, for ER-negative tumors, OR was 1.03, 95% CI = 0.98–1.07, case-only P-heterogeneity = 7.6 × 10−5]. The association with ER-positive tumors was stronger for tumors of lower grade (case-only P= 6.7 × 10−3) and lobular histology (case-only P= 0.01). SNPs at 14q24.1 were associated with risk for most tumor subtypes evaluated, including triple-negative breast cancers, which has not been described previously. Our results underscore the need for large pooling efforts with tumor pathology data to help refine risk estimates for SNP associations with susceptibility to different subtypes of breast cancer.
Women with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have five- to 20-fold increased risks of developing breast and ovarian cancer. A recent study claimed that women testing negative for their family-specific BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (noncarriers) have a five-fold increased risk of breast cancer. We estimated breast cancer risks for noncarriers by using a population-based sample of patients with breast cancer and their female first-degree relatives (FDRs).
Patients and Methods
Patients were women with breast cancer and their FDRs enrolled in the population-based component of the Breast Cancer Family Registry; patients with breast cancer were tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, as were FDRs of identified mutation carriers. We used segregation analysis to fit a model that accommodates familial correlation in breast cancer risk due to unobserved shared risk factors.
We studied 3,047 families; 160 had BRCA1 and 132 had BRCA2 mutations. There was no evidence of increased breast cancer risk for noncarriers of identified mutations compared with FDRs from families without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations: relative risk was 0.39 (95% CI, 0.04 to 3.81). Residual breast cancer correlation within families was strong, suggesting substantial risk heterogeneity in women without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, with some 3.4% of them accounting for roughly one third of breast cancer cases.
These results support the practice of advising noncarriers that they do not have any increase in breast cancer risk attributable to the family-specific BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
Background A previous Australian population-based breast cancer case-control study found indirect evidence that control participation, although high, was not random. We hypothesized that unaffected sisters may provide a more appropriate comparison group than unrelated population controls.
Methods Three population-based case-control-family studies of breast cancer in women of white European origin were carried out by the Australian, Ontario and Northern California sites of the Breast Cancer Family Registry. We compared risk factors between 3643 cases, 2444 of their unaffected sisters and 2877 population controls and conducted separate case-control analyses based on population and sister controls using unconditional multivariable logistic regression.
Results Compared with sister controls, population controls were more highly educated, had an earlier age at menarche, fewer births, their first birth at a later age and their last birth more recently. The established breast cancer associations detected using sister controls, but not detected using population controls, were decreasing risk with each of later age at menarche, more births, younger age at first birth and greater time since last birth.
Conclusions Since participation of population controls might be unintentionally related to some risk factors, we hypothesize that sister controls could provide more valid relative risk estimates and be recruited at lower cost. Given declining study participation by population controls, this contention is highly relevant to epidemiologic research.
Case-control; sister; breast cancer; lifestyle; risk factors
Percent mammographic breast density (PMD) is a strong heritable risk factor for breast cancer. However, the pathways through which this risk is mediated are still unclear. To explore whether PMD and breast cancer have a shared genetic basis, we identified genetic variants most strongly associated with PMD in a published meta-analysis of five genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and used these to construct risk scores for 3628 breast cancer cases and 5190 controls from the UK2 GWAS of breast cancer. The signed per-allele effect estimates of SNPs were multiplied with the respective allele counts in the individual and summed over all SNPs to derive the risk score for an individual. These scores were included as the exposure variable in a logistic regression model with breast cancer case-control status as the outcome. This analysis was repeated using ten different cut-offs for the most significant density SNPs (1-10% representing 5,222-50,899 SNPs). Permutation analysis was also performed across all 10 cut-offs. The association between risk score and breast cancer was significant for all cut-offs from 3-10% of top density SNPs, being most significant for the 6% (2-sided P=0.002) to 10% (P=0.001) cut-offs (overall permutation P=0.003). Women in the top 10% of the risk score distribution had a 31% increased risk of breast cancer [OR= 1.31 (95%CI 1.08-1.59)] compared to women in the bottom 10%. Together, our results demonstrate that PMD and breast cancer have a shared genetic basis that is mediated through a large number of common variants.
breast cancer; mammographic density; SNPs; polygenic; Mendelian Randomisation
Breast cancers demonstrate substantial biological, clinical and etiological heterogeneity. We investigated breast cancer risk associations of eight susceptibility loci identified in GWAS and two putative susceptibility loci in candidate genes in relation to specific breast tumor subtypes. Subtypes were defined by five markers (ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6, EGFR) and other pathological and clinical features. Analyses included up to 30 040 invasive breast cancer cases and 53 692 controls from 31 studies within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We confirmed previous reports of stronger associations with ER+ than ER− tumors for six of the eight loci identified in GWAS: rs2981582 (10q26) (P-heterogeneity = 6.1 × 10−18), rs3803662 (16q12) (P = 3.7 × 10−5), rs13281615 (8q24) (P = 0.002), rs13387042 (2q35) (P = 0.006), rs4973768 (3p24) (P = 0.003) and rs6504950 (17q23) (P = 0.002). The two candidate loci, CASP8 (rs1045485, rs17468277) and TGFB1 (rs1982073), were most strongly related with the risk of PR negative tumors (P = 5.1 × 10−6 and P = 4.1 × 10−4, respectively), as previously suggested. Four of the eight loci identified in GWAS were associated with triple negative tumors (P ≤ 0.016): rs3803662 (16q12), rs889312 (5q11), rs3817198 (11p15) and rs13387042 (2q35); however, only two of them (16q12 and 2q35) were associated with tumors with the core basal phenotype (P ≤ 0.002). These analyses are consistent with different biological origins of breast cancers, and indicate that tumor stratification might help in the identification and characterization of novel risk factors for breast cancer subtypes. This may eventually result in further improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment.
Mammographic breast density is a highly heritable (h2 > 0.6) and strong risk factor for breast cancer. We conducted a genome-wide linkage study to identify loci influencing mammographic breast density (MD).
Epidemiological data were assembled on 1,415 families from the Australia, Northern California and Ontario sites of the Breast Cancer Family Registry, and additional families recruited in Australia and Ontario. Families consisted of sister pairs with age-matched mammograms and data on factors known to influence MD. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was performed on 3,952 individuals using the Illumina Infinium 6K linkage panel.
Using a variance components method, genome-wide linkage analysis was performed using quantitative traits obtained by adjusting MD measurements for known covariates. Our primary trait was formed by fitting a linear model to the square root of the percentage of the breast area that was dense (PMD), adjusting for age at mammogram, number of live births, menopausal status, weight, height, weight squared, and menopausal hormone therapy. The maximum logarithm of odds (LOD) score from the genome-wide scan was on chromosome 7p14.1-p13 (LOD = 2.69; 63.5 cM) for covariate-adjusted PMD, with a 1-LOD interval spanning 8.6 cM. A similar signal was seen for the covariate adjusted area of the breast that was dense (DA) phenotype. Simulations showed that the complete sample had adequate power to detect LOD scores of 3 or 3.5 for a locus accounting for 20% of phenotypic variance. A modest peak initially seen on chromosome 7q32.3-q34 increased in strength when only the 513 families with at least two sisters below 50 years of age were included in the analysis (LOD 3.2; 140.7 cM, 1-LOD interval spanning 9.6 cM). In a subgroup analysis, we also found a LOD score of 3.3 for DA phenotype on chromosome 12.11.22-q13.11 (60.8 cM, 1-LOD interval spanning 9.3 cM), overlapping a region identified in a previous study.
The suggestive peaks and the larger linkage signal seen in the subset of pedigrees with younger participants highlight regions of interest for further study to identify genes that determine MD, with the goal of understanding mammographic density and its involvement in susceptibility to breast cancer.
The perception of breast cancer risk held by women who have not had breast cancer, and who are at increased, but unexplained, familial risk of breast cancer is poorly described. This study aims to describe risk perception and how it is related to screening behaviour for these women.
Participants were recruited from a population-based sample (the Australian Breast Cancer Family Study - ABCFS). The ABCFS includes women diagnosed with breast cancer and their relatives. For this study, women without breast cancer with at least one first- or second-degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 were eligible unless a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation had been identified in their family. Data collection consisted of an audio recorded, semi-structured interview on the topic of breast cancer risk and screening decision-making. Data was analysed thematically.
A total of 24 interviews were conducted, and saturation of the main themes was achieved. Women were classified into one of five groups: don't worry about cancer risk, but do screening; concerned about cancer risk, so do something; concerned about cancer risk, so why don't I do anything?; cancer inevitable; cancer unlikely.
The language and framework women use to describe their risk of breast cancer must be the starting point in attempts to enhance women's understanding of risk and their prevention behaviour.
Breast cancer; risk perception; screening; qualitative research; cancer; familial risk
Few studies have considered the joint association of body mass index (BMI) and physical activity, two modifiable factors, with all-cause mortality after breast cancer diagnosis. Women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (n=4,153) between 1991 and 2000 were enrolled in the Breast Cancer Family Registry through population-based sampling in Northern California, USA; Ontario, Canada; and Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. During a median follow-up of 7.8 years, 725 deaths occurred. Baseline questionnaires assessed moderate and vigorous recreational physical activity and BMI prior to diagnosis. Associations with all-cause mortality were assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for established prognostic factors. Compared with no physical activity, any recreational activity during the three years prior to diagnosis was associated with a 34% lower risk of death (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51-0.85) for women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors, but not those with ER-negative tumors; this association did not appear to differ by race/ethnicity or BMI. Lifetime physical activity was not associated with all-cause mortality. BMI was positively associated with all-cause mortality for women diagnosed at age ≥50 years with ER-positive tumors (compared with normal-weight women, HR for overweight = 1.39, 95% CI: 0.90-2.15; HR for obese = 1.77, 95% CI: 1.11-2.82). BMI associations did not appear to differ by race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that physical activity and BMI exert independent effects on overall mortality after breast cancer.
breast cancer; physical activity; body mass index; obesity; mortality
High percent mammographic density adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI) is one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer. We conducted a meta-analysis of five genome-wide association studies of percent mammographic density and report an association with rs10995190 in ZNF365 (combined P=9×6·10−10). This finding might partly explain the underlying biology of the recently discovered association between common variants in ZNF365 and breast cancer risk.
Several common breast cancer genetic susceptibility variants have recently been identified. We aimed to determine how these variants combine with a subset of other known risk factors to influence breast cancer risk in white women of European ancestry using case-control studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
We evaluated two-way interactions between each of age at menarche, ever having had a live birth, number of live births, age at first birth and body mass index (BMI) and each of 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (10q26-rs2981582 (FGFR2), 8q24-rs13281615, 11p15-rs3817198 (LSP1), 5q11-rs889312 (MAP3K1), 16q12-rs3803662 (TOX3), 2q35-rs13387042, 5p12-rs10941679 (MRPS30), 17q23-rs6504950 (COX11), 3p24-rs4973768 (SLC4A7), CASP8-rs17468277, TGFB1-rs1982073 and ESR1-rs3020314). Interactions were tested for by fitting logistic regression models including per-allele and linear trend main effects for SNPs and risk factors, respectively, and single-parameter interaction terms for linear departure from independent multiplicative effects.
These analyses were applied to data for up to 26,349 invasive breast cancer cases and up to 32,208 controls from 21 case-control studies. No statistical evidence of interaction was observed beyond that expected by chance. Analyses were repeated using data from 11 population-based studies, and results were very similar.
The relative risks for breast cancer associated with the common susceptibility variants identified to date do not appear to vary across women with different reproductive histories or body mass index (BMI). The assumption of multiplicative combined effects for these established genetic and other risk factors in risk prediction models appears justified.
As a group, women who carry germline mutations in partner and localizer of breast cancer 2 susceptibility protein (PALB2) are at increased risk of breast cancer. Little is known about by how much or whether risk differs by mutation or family history, owing to the paucity of studies of cases unselected for family history.
We screened 1,403 case probands for PALB2 mutations in a population-based study of Australian women with invasive breast cancer stratified by age at onset. The age-specific risk of breast cancer was estimated from the cancer histories of first- and second-degree relatives of mutation-carrying probands using a modified segregation analysis that included a polygenic modifier and was conditioned on the carrier case proband. Further screening for PALB2 c.3113G > A (W1038X) was conducted for 779 families with multiple cases of breast cancer ascertained through family cancer clinics in Australia and New Zealand and 764 population-based controls.
We found five independent case probands in the population-based sample with the protein-truncating mutation PALB2 c.3113G > A (W1038X); 2 of 695 were diagnosed before age 40 years and 3 of 708 were diagnosed when between ages 40 and 59 years. Both of the two early-onset carrier case probands had very strong family histories of breast cancer. Further testing found that the mutation segregated with breast cancer in these families. No c.3113G > A (W1038X) carriers were found in 764 population-based unaffected controls. The hazard ratio was estimated to be 30.1 (95% confidence interval (CI), 7.5 to 120; P < 0.0001), and the corresponding cumulative risk estimates were 49% (95% CI, 15 to 93) to age 50 and 91% (95% CI, 44 to 100) to age 70. We found another eight families carrying this mutation in 779 families with multiple cases of breast cancer ascertained through family cancer clinics.
The PALB2 c.3113G > A mutation appears to be associated with substantial risks of breast cancer that are of clinical relevance.
Models have been developed to predict the probability that a person carries a detectable germline mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Their relative performance in a clinical setting is unclear.
To compare the performance characteristics of four BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutation prediction models: LAMBDA, based on a checklist and scores developed from data on Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) women; BRCAPRO, a Bayesian computer program; modified Couch tables based on regression analyses; and Myriad II tables collated by Myriad Genetics Laboratories.
Design and setting
Family cancer history data were analyzed from 200 probands from the Mayo Clinic Familial Cancer Program, in a multispecialty tertiary care group practice. All probands had clinical testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations conducted in a single laboratory.
Main outcomes measures
For each model, performance was assessed by the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (ROC) and by tests of accuracy and dispersion. Cases “missed” by one or more models (model predicted less than 10% probability of mutation when a mutation was actually found) were compared across models.
All models gave similar areas under the ROC curve of 0.71 to 0.76. All models except LAMBDA substantially under-predicted the numbers of carriers. All models were too dispersed.
In terms of ranking, all prediction models performed reasonably well with similar performance characteristics. Model predictions were widely discrepant for some families. Review of cancer family histories by an experienced clinician continues to be vital to ensure that critical elements are not missed and that the most appropriate risk prediction figures are provided.
Ashkenazi Jewish; Bayesian; BRCA1; BRCA2; Breast cancer; Risk prediction
Although having a family history of breast cancer is a well established breast cancer risk factor, it is not known whether it influences mortality after breast cancer diagnosis.
Subjects were 4,153 women with first primary incident invasive breast cancer diagnosed between 1991 and 2000, and enrolled in the Breast Cancer Family Registry through population-based sampling in Northern California, USA; Ontario, Canada; and Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Cases were oversampled for younger age at diagnosis and/or family history of breast cancer. Carriers of germline mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 were excluded. Cases and their relatives completed structured questionnaires assessing breast cancer risk factors and family history of cancer. Cases were followed for a median of 6.5 years, during which 725 deaths occurred. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate associations between family history of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis and risk of all-cause mortality after breast cancer diagnosis, adjusting for established prognostic factors.
The hazard ratios for all-cause mortality were 0.98 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.84-1.15) for having at least one first- or second-degree relative with breast cancer, and 0.85 (95% CI=0.70-1.02) for having at least one first-degree relative with breast cancer, compared with having no such family history. Estimates did not vary appreciably when stratified by case or tumor characteristics.
Family history of breast cancer is not associated with all-cause mortality after breast cancer diagnosis for women without a known germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. Therefore, clinical management should not depend on family history of breast cancer.
breast cancer; survival; mortality; family history
Studies have examined the prognostic relevance of reproductive factors prior to breast cancer (BC) diagnosis, but most have been small and overall their findings inconclusive. Associations between reproductive risk factors and all-cause mortality after BC diagnosis were assessed using a population-based cohort of 3,107 women of white European ancestry with invasive BC (1,130 from Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; 1,441 from Ontario, Canada; and 536 from Northern California, USA). During follow-up with a median of 8.5 years, 567 deaths occurred. At recruitment, questionnaire data were collected on oral contraceptive use, number of full-term pregnancies, age at first full-term pregnancy, time from last full-term pregnancy to BC diagnosis, breastfeeding, age at menarche and menopause and menopausal status at BC diagnosis. Hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause mortality were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models with and without adjustment for age at diagnosis, study center, education and body mass index. Compared with nulliparous women, those who had a child up to 2 years, or between 2 to 5 years, prior to their BC diagnosis were more likely to die. The unadjusted HR estimates were 2.75 (95%CI=1.98–3.83, p<0.001) and 2.20 (95%CI=1.65–2.94, p<0.001), respectively, and the adjusted estimates were 2.25 (95%CI=1.59–3.18, p<0.001) and 1.82 (95%CI=1.35–2.46, p<0.001), respectively). When evaluating the prognosis of women recently diagnosed with BC, the time since last full-term pregnancy should be routinely considered along with other established host and tumor prognostic factors, but consideration of other reproductive factors may not be warranted.
Breast cancer; survival; reproductive; outcome; pregnancy
Most women with early-stage breast cancer believe that psychosocial factors are an important influence over whether their cancer will recur. Studies of the issue have produced conflicting results.
Patients and Methods
A population-based sample of 708 Australian women diagnosed before age 60 years with nonmetastatic breast cancer was observed for a median of 8.2 years. Depression and anxiety, coping style, and social support were assessed at a median of 11 months after diagnosis. Hazard ratios for distant disease-free survival (DDFS) and overall survival (OS) associated with psychosocial factors were estimated separately using Cox proportional hazards survival models, with and without adjustment for known prognostic factors.
Distant recurrence occurred in 209 (33%) of 638 assessable patients, and 170 (24%) of 708 patients died during the follow-up period. There were no statistically significant associations between any of the measured psychosocial factors and DDFS or OS from the adjusted analyses. From unadjusted analyses, associations between greater anxious preoccupation and poorer DDFS and OS were observed (P = .02). These associations were no longer evident after adjustment for established prognostic factors; greater anxious preoccupation was associated with younger age at diagnosis (P = .03), higher tumor grade (P = .02), and greater number of involved axillary nodes (P = .008).
The findings do not support the measured psychosocial factors being an important influence on breast cancer outcomes. Interventions for adverse psychosocial factors are warranted to improve quality of life but should not be expected to improve survival.
A key function of cancer genetics services is to provide risk information. Yet, to date there has been little consistency in the way that breast cancer risk perception has been measured. The aims of the study were to measure estimates of (i) population risk (ii) absolute risk (iii) comparative risk of developing breast cancer for Ashkenazi Jewish women, and to determine predictors of breast cancer risk perception. Of 152 women, 107 (70%) completed all questions. The mean (s.d.) estimate for population risk, absolute risk and comparative risk were 22.7% (15.9), 31.8% (20.6) and 1.9-fold (1.9), respectively. Most women over-estimated population risk. Women at population risk generally over-estimated the population risk and their own absolute risk, yet understood they are at the same risk as the population. Those with a family history understood they are at increased risk, but underestimated the extent to which their familial risk is increased. Anxiety, high estimation of population risk and lesser family history predicted over-estimation of absolute risk, while high estimation of population risk and a strong family history predicted under-estimation of comparative risk.
Ashkenazi; breast cancer; perceived risk; genetic counselling; BRCA1; BRCA2
The androgen receptor (AR) gene exon 1 CAG repeat polymorphism encodes a string of 9–32 glutamines. Women with germline BRCA1 mutations who carry at least one AR allele with 28 or more repeats have been reported to have an earlier age at onset of breast cancer.
A total of 604 living female Australian and British BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation carriers from 376 families were genotyped for the AR CAG repeat polymorphism. The association between AR genotype and disease risk was assessed using Cox regression. AR genotype was analyzed as a dichotomous covariate using cut-points previously reported to be associated with increased risk among BRCA1 mutation carriers, and as a continuous variable considering smaller allele, larger allele and average allele size.
There was no evidence that the AR CAG repeat polymorphism modified disease risk in the 376 BRCA1 or 219 BRCA2 mutation carriers screened successfully. The rate ratio associated with possession of at least one allele with 28 or more CAG repeats was 0.74 (95% confidence interval 0.42–1.29; P = 0.3) for BRCA1 carriers, and 1.12 (95% confidence interval 0.55–2.25; P = 0.8) for BRCA2 carriers.
The AR exon 1 CAG repeat polymorphism does not appear to have an effect on breast cancer risk in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers.
AR; BRCA1; BRCA2; modifier
Ancestral mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and are associated with a substantially increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Women considering mutation testing usually have several personal and family cancer characteristics, so predicting mutation status from one factor alone could be misleading. The aim of this study was to develop a simple algorithm to estimate the probability that an Ashkenazi Jewish woman carries an ancestral mutation, based on multiple predictive factors.
We studied Ashkenazi Jewish women with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer and living in Melbourne or Sydney, Australia, or with a previous diagnosis of breast or ovarian cancer and living in the UK. DNA samples were tested for the germline mutations 185delAG and 5382insC in BRCA1, and 6174delT in BRCA2. Logistic regression was used to identify, and to estimate the predictive strength of, major determinants.
A mutation was detected in 64 of 424 women. An algorithm was developed by combining our findings with those from similar analyses of a large study of unaffected Jewish women in Washington. Starting with a baseline score, a multiple of 0.5 (based on the logistic regression estimates) is added for each predictive feature. The sum is the estimated log odds ratio that a woman is a carrier, and is converted to a probability by using a table. There was good internal consistency.
This simple algorithm might be useful in the clinical and genetic counselling setting. Comparison and validation in other settings should be sought.
Ashkenazi Jews; BRCA1; BRCA2; breast cancer; mutations; ovarian cancer