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
A Mediterranean diet has a recognized beneficial effect on health and longevity, with a protective influence on several cancers. However, its association with breast cancer risk remains unclear.
We aimed to investigate whether adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern influences breast cancer risk.
The Swedish Women’s Lifestyle and Health cohort study includes 49,258 women aged 30 to 49 years at recruitment in 1991–1992. Consumption of foods and beverages was measured at enrollment using a food frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score was constructed based on the consumption of alcohol, vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish, the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat, and dairy and meat products. Relative risks (RR) for breast cancer and specific tumor characteristics (invasiveness, histological type, estrogen/progesterone receptor status, malignancy grade and stage) associated with this score were estimated using Cox regression controlling for potential confounders.
1,278 incident breast cancers were diagnosed. Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern was not statistically significantly associated with reduced risk of breast cancer overall, or with specific breast tumor characteristics. A RR (95% confidence interval) for breast cancer associated with a two-point increment in the Mediterranean diet score was 1.08 (1.00–1.15) in all women, and 1.10 (1.01–1.21) and 1.02 (0.91–1.15) in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively. When alcohol was excluded from the Mediterranean diet score, results became not statistically significant.
Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern did not decrease breast cancer risk in this cohort of relatively young women.
To investigate the effect of surgical menopause due to bilateral oophorectomy on mortality, in light of evidence that bilateral oophorectomy among premenopausal women rapidly reduces endogenous hormone levels thereby modifying risks of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.
The California Teachers Study (CTS) is a prospective cohort study of 133,479 women initiated in 1995–1996 through a mailed, self-administered questionnaire. Relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression.
CTS participants who, at baseline, reported having surgical menopause due to bilateral oophorectomy (n=9,785), were compared to participants with natural menopause (n=32,219).
Main outcome measures
We investigated whether bilateral oophorectomy was associated with all-cause, cardiovascular, or cancer mortality, overall and by menopausal hormone therapy (HT) use status.
Among participants younger than 45 years of age at menopause, multivariable relative risks were 0.86 (95% CI, 0.74–1.00), 0.85 (95% CI, 0.66–1.11) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.67–1.23) for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and cancer mortality, respectively. Among participants with an age at menopause of 45 years or later, multivariable relative risks were 0.87 (95% CI, 0.80–0.94), 0.83 (95% CI, 0.71–0.96) and 0.84 (95% CI, 0.72–0.98) for all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, respectively. The association between bilateral oophorectomy and mortality did not differ by baseline status of HT use.
Surgical menopause due to bilateral oophorectomy vs. natural menopause does not increase all-cause, cardiovascular, or cancer mortality.
surgical menopause and mortality; bilateral oophorectomy; mortality; California Teachers Study
Mammographic density (MD) is a strong risk factor for breast cancer and may represent a useful intermediate marker for breast cancer risk. Physical activity (PA) is known to be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. If PA is associated with MD then this would be useful for breast cancer prevention studies. MD was assessed on digitized mammograms using a computer assisted method (Madena) in 2218 postmenopausal women. A questionnaire assessed PA, by asking about the duration and intensity of light, moderate, strenuous PA/week. We used multivariate linear regression models to estimate least square means of percent MD by total and intensity of PA with adjustment for confounders. The mean age (± s.d) was 58.4 (±5.3) and mean BMI was 24.6 (±4.6). We observed a statistically significant inverse association between total PA and MD in the over-weight (BMI = 25.0-29.9) women, where mean MD among women with highest activity (>360 mins/week) was 12.6% (95%CI; 11.2%-14.0%), while among women with no activity it was 15.9% (95 CI; 13.6%-18.2%, p for trend = 0.04). There was no association in the other BMI strata. MD was 12.1% (11.2%-13.0%) in the highest group (> 180 mins/week) of moderate/strenuous activity and in the no activity group 14.8% (14.2%-15.5%, p for trend = 0.001) in the over-weight women. There was no association between light PA and MD in all women combined or in any other BMI strata. We found some evidence of an inverse association between PA and MD among overweight women.
Epidemiology; Mammographic density; Physical activity; Breast cancer; Screening
As high percentage of mammographic densities complicates the assessment of imaging findings, mammographic density may influence the histopathological evaluation of core-biopsies of the breast. We measured the influence of mammographic density on the inter-observer variability of histopathological findings of breast biopsies.
Histological slides of 695 women who underwent core biopsies of the breast at University of Halle between 2006 and 2008 were evaluated in a blinded fashion by two pathologists using the five levels of the B-categorization scheme (B1-B5). To quantify mammographic density, we used a computer-based threshold method (Madena). We calculated observed and chance-corrected agreements (weighted kappa) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) according to four categories of mammographic density (<10%, 10<25%, 25<50%, ≥50%).
The weighted kappa decreased monotonically from 89.6% (95% CI: 85.8%, 93.3%) among women with less than 10% of mammographic density to 80.4% (95% CI: 69.9%, 90.9%) for women with more than 50% of mammographic density, respectively. Results of a kappa regression analysis showed that agreement of pathologists on clinically relevant categories (B1-B2 versus B3-B5) decreased with mammographic density.
Mammographic density is a relevant modifier of the agreement between pathologists who assess breast biopsies using the B-categorization scheme. The influence of mammographic density on the inter-observer variability can be explained to some extent by varying prevalences of histological entities across B categories that have typically different inter-observer agreement. Women with high mammographic density are at higher risk of inter-observer variability compared to women with low mammographic density and should possibly undergo a second pathology review.
Biopsy; Breast diseases; Mammographic density; Observer variation
Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are tumors with low or no expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. These tumors have a poor prognosis, remain a clinical challenge, and are more common among women with BRCA1 mutations. We tested whether there are distinguishing features of TNBC after BRCA1 mutation status has been taken into account.
Patients and Methods
We sequenced BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in a population-based sample of 1,469 patients with incident breast cancer age 20 to 49 years from Los Angeles County (California). Information on tumor receptor status was available for 1,167 women. Clinical, pathologic, and hormone-related lifestyle characteristics were compared across patient subgroups defined by BRCA1 mutation status and triple-negative receptor status.
Forty-eight percent of BRCA1 mutation carriers had TNBC compared with only 12% of noncarriers. Within BRCA1 mutation carriers, as well as within noncarriers, triple-negative receptor status was associated with younger age at diagnosis and higher tumor grade. Among women without a BRCA1 mutation, we observed that women with TNBC had higher premenopausal body mass index and earlier age at first full-term pregnancy than those with non-TNBC. Age at menarche and other reproductive factors were not associated with triple-negative status regardless of BRCA1 mutation status. Within BRCA1 mutation carriers, Ashkenazi Jewish women were about five times more likely to have TNBC than non–Ashkenazi Jewish women.
Our results suggest that among BRCA1 mutation carriers, as among noncarriers, there are unique characteristics associated with the triple-negative subtype. The findings in Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 mutation carriers should be confirmed.
Oral contraceptives (OCs) are widely used in the U.S. Although the relation between OC use and breast cancer incidence has been widely studied, the few studies examining associations between OC use prior to breast cancer diagnosis and survival are inconsistent.
Women with invasive breast cancer participating in the Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) Study, a population-based case-control study (4565 women ages 35–64 years), and the California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort (3929 women ages 28–91 years) were followed for vital status. 1064 women died in the CARE Study (median follow-up, 8.6 years) and 523 died in the CTS (median follow-up, 6.1 years). Cox proportional hazards regression provided hazard rate ratio estimates (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of death from any cause and from breast cancer.
No association was observed for any OC use prior to diagnosis and all-cause mortality (CARE Study: RR=1.01 (95% CI=0.86–1.19); CTS: RR=0.84 (95% CI=0.67–1.05)). A decreased risk of all-cause mortality was observed in the CTS among women with more than 10 years of OC use (RR=0.67, 95% CI=0.47–0.96); however, no trend of decreasing risk with increasing OC duration was observed (P-trend=0.22), and no association was observed in the CARE study. No associations were observed for breast cancer-specific mortality.
OC use is not associated with all-cause or breast cancer-specific mortality among women with invasive breast cancer.
These two independent studies demonstrated no overall association between OC use and survival among women with breast cancer.
Oral contraceptives; breast cancer; survival; risk assessment
Studies consistently demonstrate that physical activity is inversely associated with postmenopausal breast cancer. Whether this association is stronger among non-hormone users or former users of menopausal hormone therapy (HT) is of interest given the marked decline in HT use since 2002.
The Women’s Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences Study, a population-based case-control study of invasive breast cancer, recruited white women and black women ages 35–64 years, and collected histories of lifetime recreational physical activity and HT use including estrogen-alone therapy (ET) and estrogen plus progestin therapy (EPT).
Among postmenopausal women (1908 cases, 2013 control participants), breast cancer risk declined with increasing levels of lifetime physical activity among never HT users; among short-term HT users (fewer than 5 years); and current ET users; Ptrend values ranged from 0.004 to 0.016. In contrast, physical activity had no significant association with risk among long-term and past HT users and among current EPT users. No statistical evidence of heterogeneity was demonstrated for duration or currency of HT use.
Breast cancer risk decreases with increasing lifetime physical activity levels among postmenopausal women who have not used HT, have used HT for less than 5 years, or are current ET users yet this study was unable to demonstrate statistically that HT use modifies the relationship between physical activity and breast cancer. With profound changes in HT use occurring since 2002, it will be important in future studies to learn whether or not any association between physical activity and breast cancer among former HT users is a function of time since last HT use.
Hormone therapy; physical activity; breast cancer
Results from studies examining the association between hormone therapy (HT) and lung cancer risk disagree.
We examined the associations between HT use and lung cancer risk among 60,592 postmenopausal women enrolled in the prospective California Teachers Study cohort. Between 1995 and 2007, 727 women were diagnosed with lung cancer. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were fit using age as the time metric.
No measure of HT use was associated with lung cancer risk (all p-values for trend≥0.4). In addition, no variations in risk by smoking status (never, ever, former, current), type of HT (E-alone, E+P use), type of menopause, or lung cancer histology were observed.
Our findings do not support an association between HT and lung cancer.
This large-scale, prospective study, which capitalizes on the detailed hormone use, smoking history, and type of menopause information available within this unique cohort, was unable to find any association between intake of HT and lung cancer risk.
Although the Women’s Health Initiative trial (WHI) suggested that menopausal hormone therapy (HT) does not reduce coronary heart disease mortality overall, subsequent results have suggested that there may be a benefit in younger women. The California Teachers Cohort Study (CTS) questionnaire and mortality data was used to examine whether age modified the association between HT and the relative risk of overall mortality and ischemic heart disease (IHD) deaths.
Participants from the CTS were 71,237 postmenopausal women (mean age = 63, range 36 to 94 years) followed prospectively for mortality and other outcomes from 1995–1996 through 2004.
Age at baseline was a much more important modifier of HT effects than age at start of therapy. Risks for all-cause mortality (n=8,399) were lower for younger current HT users at baseline than for never users (for women ≤60 years: HR=0.54, 95% CI=0.46–0.62). These risk reductions greatly diminished, in a roughly linear fashion, with increasing baseline age (for women 85–94 years HR=0.94, 95% CI=0.81–1.10 for all-cause mortality). Similar results were seen for IHD deaths (n=1,464). No additional significant modifying effects of age at first use, duration of use, or formulation were apparent.
These results provide evidence that reduced risks of mortality associated with HT use are observed among younger users but not for older postmenopausal women even those starting therapy close to their time of menopause.
Overall mortality; heart disease; menopausal hormone therapy; risk; survival; age
Removal or impairment of ovaries before menopause may affect a woman's breast cancer risk by altering her cumulative exposure to ovarian hormones. The Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences Study, a population-based, multicenter case-control study of incident invasive breast cancer, recruited women aged 35–64 years (4,490 cases and 4,611 controls) who provided data on ovariectomy, hysterectomy, and tubal sterilization during in-person interviews. Controls were frequency-matched to cases by age, race, and study site. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was used. Women who had not undergone premenopausal reproductive surgery were the referent group. Bilateral ovariectomy was associated with reduced breast cancer risk overall (odds ratio (OR) = 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.50, 0.69) and among women <45 years of age (ORs ranged from 0.31 to 0.52), but not among those who were older at surgery. It was also associated with a reduced risk for estrogen and progesterone receptor–positive tumors (OR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.52, 0.75) but not receptor-negative tumors. Hysterectomy with ovarian conservation (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.72, 0.96) and hysterectomy with partial ovary removal (OR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.91) were also associated with lower risk. No association with breast cancer risk was observed with tubal sterilization only or partial ovariectomy without hysterectomy. Reproductive organ surgeries may alter ovarian hormone levels, thereby affecting breast cancer risk.
breast neoplasms; case-control studies; hysterectomy; ovariectomy; sterilization, tubal
Several previous studies found inverse associations between alcohol consumption and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. However, most studies were retrospective, and few distinguished former drinkers or infrequent drinkers from consistent nondrinkers. Therefore, the authors investigated whether history of alcohol drinking affected risks of NHL and multiple myeloma among 102,721 eligible women in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort study in which 496 women were diagnosed with B-cell NHL and 101 were diagnosed with multiple myeloma between 1995–1996 and December 31, 2007. Incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Risk of all types of B-cell NHL combined or multiple myeloma was not associated with self-reported past consumption of alcohol, beer, wine, or liquor at ages 18–22 years, at ages 30–35 years, or during the year before baseline. NHL subtypes were inconsistently associated with alcohol intake. However, women who were former alcohol drinkers at baseline were at elevated risk of overall B-cell NHL (rate ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.97) and follicular lymphoma (rate ratio = 1.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 3.28). The higher risk among former drinkers emphasizes the importance of classifying both current and past alcohol consumption and suggests that factors related to quitting drinking, rather than alcohol itself, may increase B-cell NHL risk.
alcohol drinking; cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; multiple myeloma
To investigate whether obesity and hormone therapy (HT) are associated with ovarian cancer risk among women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Of 56,091 women age ≥45 years, 277 developed epithelial ovarian cancer between 1995 and 2007. Multivariate Cox regression was performed.
Among women who never used HT, greater adult weight gain, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio, but not adult BMI, increased risk of ovarian cancer. Compared to women who never used HT and had a stable adult weight, risk of ovarian cancer was increased in women who gained ≥40 lb (relative risk (RR) 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0–3.0) or used HT for >5 years (RR 2.3 95% CI: 1.3–4.1). Having both exposures (RR 1.9, 95% CI: 0.99–3.5), however, did not increase risk more than having either alone. Results were similar for waist circumference and weight-to-height ratio; however, differences across HT groups were not statistically significant.
This study suggests that abdominal adiposity and weight gain, but not overall obesity, increase ovarian cancer risk and that there may be a threshold level beyond which additional hormones, whether exogenous or endogenous, do not result in additional elevation in risk. However, large pooled analyses are needed to confirm these findings.
Ovarian cancer; Obesity; Abdominal adiposity; Hormone therapy
Mitochondria play important roles in cellular energy production, free radical generation and apoptosis. In a previous report in Cancer Research, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) G10398A (Thr → Ala) polymorphism was associated with breast cancer risk in African-American women. Here, we seek to replicate the association by genotyping the G10398A polymorphism in three established population-based case-control studies of breast cancer in African-American women. The 10398A allele was not significantly associated with risk in any of the studies [San Francisco study (542 cases, 282 controls, odds ratio (OR) = 1.73; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.87, 3.47, P = 0.12); Multiethnic Cohort (391 cases, 460 controls, OR = 1.08; 95% CI: 0.62, 1.86, P = 0.79); CARE/LIFE study (524 cases, 236 controls, OR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.43, 1.52, P = 0.50)]. When pooling the data across the three studies (1456 cases and 978 controls), no significant association was observed with the 10398A allele (OR = 1.14; 95% CI: 0.80, 1.62, P = 0.47, P heterogeneity=0.30). In analysis of advanced breast cancer cases (n=674), there also was no significant association (OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 0.76, 1.82, P = 0.46). Our results do not support the hypothesis that the mtDNA G10398A polymorphism is a marker of breast cancer risk in African Americans as previously reported.
The incomplete penetrance of mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 suggests that some combination of environmental and genetic factors modifies the risk of breast cancer in mutation carriers. The current study sought to identify possible interactions between established breast cancer risk factors and BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations using a case-only study design. Breast cancer cases that had been tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations were identified from 11 collaborating centers. Comparisons of reproductive and lifestyle risk factors were made between women with breast cancer who were positive for BRCA1 mutations (n=283), BRCA2 mutations (n=204) or negative for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations (n=894). Interaction risk ratios (IRRs) were calculated using multinominal logistic regression models. Compared with non-carriers, statistically significant IRRs were observed for later age at menarche among BRCA2 mutation carriers, for a greater number of pregnancies among both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, and for alcohol use among BRCA1 mutation carriers. Our data suggest that the risk for breast cancer among BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers may be modified by reproductive characteristics and alcohol use. However, our results should be interpreted cautiously given the overall inconsistency in the epidemiologic literature on modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Breast cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; mutations; modifiers
Increased understanding of the variability in normal breast biology will enable us to identify mechanisms of breast cancer initiation and the origin of different subtypes, and to better predict breast cancer risk.
Gene expression patterns in breast biopsies from 79 healthy women referred to breast diagnostic centers in Norway were explored by unsupervised hierarchical clustering and supervised analyses, such as gene set enrichment analysis and gene ontology analysis and comparison with previously published genelists and independent datasets.
Unsupervised hierarchical clustering identified two separate clusters of normal breast tissue based on gene-expression profiling, regardless of clustering algorithm and gene filtering used. Comparison of the expression profile of the two clusters with several published gene lists describing breast cells revealed that the samples in cluster 1 share characteristics with stromal cells and stem cells, and to a certain degree with mesenchymal cells and myoepithelial cells. The samples in cluster 1 also share many features with the newly identified claudin-low breast cancer intrinsic subtype, which also shows characteristics of stromal and stem cells. More women belonging to cluster 1 have a family history of breast cancer and there is a slight overrepresentation of nulliparous women in cluster 1. Similar findings were seen in a separate dataset consisting of histologically normal tissue from both breasts harboring breast cancer and from mammoplasty reductions.
This is the first study to explore the variability of gene expression patterns in whole biopsies from normal breasts and identified distinct subtypes of normal breast tissue. Further studies are needed to determine the specific cell contribution to the variation in the biology of normal breasts, how the clusters identified relate to breast cancer risk and their possible link to the origin of the different molecular subtypes of breast cancer.
Gene expression; normal breast tissue; hierarchical clustering; claudin-low
To investigate whether hormone therapy (HT) and obesity are associated with endometrial cancer risk among postmenopausal women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Of 28,418 postmenopausal women, 395 developed type 1 endometrial cancer between 1995 and 2006. Multivariate Cox regression was performed to estimate relative risks (RR), stratified by HT use (never used, ever estrogen-alone (ET), or exclusively estrogen-plus-progestin (EPT)).
Among women who never used HT, overall and abdominal adiposity were associated with increased risk; when evaluated simultaneously, abdominal adiposity was more strongly associated (RR 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–4.5 for waist ≥35 vs. <35 inches). Among women who ever used ET, risk was increased in women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (RR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.3 vs. <25 kg/m2). Neither overall nor abdominal obesity was associated with risk in women who exclusively used EPT (P-interaction<0.001 for BMI by HT use).
Among women who never used HT, risk was strongly positively related to obesity and may have been influenced more by abdominal than overall adiposity; however, due to small numbers, this latter finding requires replication. Among women who ever used ET, being overweight at baseline predicted higher risk, whereas use of EPT mitigated any effect of obesity.
endometrial cancer; obesity; abdominal adiposity; hormone therapy
Although it is well established that combined estrogen-progestin therapy (EPT) increases breast cancer risk, questions remain regarding the impact of different formulations of hormones, whether certain women are at particularly high risk, and whether risk varies by tumor subtype.
We investigated hormone therapy (HT) use in relation to breast cancer risk in the California Teachers Study cohort; after a mean follow-up of 9.8 years 2,857 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed.
Compared to women who had never used HT, women who reported 15 or more years of estrogen therapy (ET) use had 19% greater risk of breast cancer (95% Confidence Interval (CI), 1.03-1.37), while women using EPT for 15 or more years had 83% greater risk (95% CI, 1.48-2.26). Breast cancer risk was highest among women using continuous combined EPT regimens. Risks associated with EPT and ET use were increased with duration of HT use for women with body mass index (BMI)<29.9 kg/m2 but not for women with BMI≥30 kg/m2. Elevated risks associated with EPT and ET use were confined to tumors that were positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors and those that were HER2+ but were slightly diminished for HER2- tumors.
Breast cancer risks increased with longer duration of ET and EPT use, and risks were highest for continuous-combined EPT use. Further, risks varied by BMI and tumor subtype.
These findings underscore the need for personalized risk-benefit discussions with women contemplating HT use.
High serum levels of estradiol are associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Little is known about the gene expression in normal breast tissue in relation to levels of circulating serum estradiol.
We compared whole genome expression data of breast tissue samples with serum hormone levels using data from 79 healthy women and 64 breast cancer patients. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) was used to identify differentially expressed genes and multivariate linear regression was used to identify independent associations.
Six genes (SCGB3A1, RSPO1, TLN2, SLITRK4, DCLK1, PTGS1) were found differentially expressed according to serum estradiol levels (FDR = 0). Three of these independently predicted estradiol levels in a multivariate model, as SCGB3A1 (HIN1) and TLN2 were up-regulated and PTGS1 (COX1) was down-regulated in breast samples from women with high serum estradiol. Serum estradiol, but none of the differentially expressed genes were significantly associated with mammographic density, another strong breast cancer risk factor. In breast carcinomas, expression of GREB1 and AREG was associated with serum estradiol in all cancers and in the subgroup of estrogen receptor positive cases.
We have identified genes associated with serum estradiol levels in normal breast tissue and in breast carcinomas. SCGB3A1 is a suggested tumor suppressor gene that inhibits cell growth and invasion and is methylated and down-regulated in many epithelial cancers. Our findings indicate this gene as an important inhibitor of breast cell proliferation in healthy women with high estradiol levels. In the breast, this gene is expressed in luminal cells only and is methylated in non-BRCA-related breast cancers. The possibility of a carcinogenic contribution of silencing of this gene for luminal, but not basal-like cancers should be further explored. PTGS1 induces prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production which in turn stimulates aromatase expression and hence increases the local production of estradiol. This is the first report studying such associations in normal breast tissue in humans.
Serum estradiol; SCGB3A1; HIN1; TLN2; PTGS1; COX1; AREG; GREB1; TFF; normal breast tissue; gene expression
Background: It is well established that estrogen increases endometrial cancer risk, whereas progesterone opposes the estrogen effects. The PROGINS allele of the progesterone receptor (PGR) gene reduces the function of PGR and has been associated with increased risk of the endometrioid type ovarian cancer. We investigated whether genetic variation in PGR is also associated with endometrial cancer risk using a haplotype-based approach. Methods: We pooled data from two endometrial cancer case–control studies that were nested within two prospective cohorts, the Multiethnic Cohort Study and the California Teachers Study. Seventeen haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across four linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks spanning the PGR locus were genotyped in 583 incident cases and 1936 control women. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with each haplotype were estimated using conditional logistic regression, stratified by age and ethnicity. Results: Genetic variation in LD block 3 of the PGR locus was associated with endometrial cancer risk (Pglobal test = 0.002), with haplotypes 3C, 3D and 3F associated with 31–34% increased risk. Among whites (383 cases/840 controls), genetic variation in all four blocks was associated with increased endometrial cancer risk (Pglobal test = 0.010, 0.013, 0.005 and 0.020). Haplotypes containing the PROGINS allele and several haplotypes in blocks 1, 3 and 4 were associated with 34–77% increased risk among whites. SNP analyses for whites suggested that rs608995, partially linked to the PROGINS allele (r2 = 0.6), was associated with increased risk (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.06–1.59). Conclusions: Our results suggest that genetic variation in the PGR region is associated with endometrial cancer risk.
A low meat diet and regular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with decreased mortality among colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Here we investigated the association between pre-diagnosis usual meat consumption and CRC-specific mortality, and whether meat consumption modifies the previously noted association between NSAID use and CRC-specific mortality among women in the California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort. Women joining CTS in 1995–1996 without prior CRC diagnosis, diagnosed with incident CRC during follow-up through December 2007, were eligible for inclusion. Meat intake (frequency and serving size) and NSAID use (aspirin or ibuprofen use) were ascertained via self-administered questionnaires before diagnosis. Vital status and cause of death were determined by linkage with mortality files. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for death and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Pre-diagnosis meat consumption was not associated with CRC-specific mortality among 704 CRC patients (and 201 CRC-specific deaths), comparing patients in the lowest consumption tertile (0–5.4 medium-size servings/week) to those with higher consumption. Regular NSAID use (1–3 times/week, 4–6 times/week, daily) vs. none was associated with decreased CRC-specific mortality among patients in the lowest meat consumption tertile (HR=0.22, 95% CI 0.06–0.82), but not among patients in the higher meat intake tertiles. The previously observed mortality risk reduction among female CRC patients associated with regular NSAID use was restricted to patients who reported low meat intake before diagnosis. These findings have implications for CRC survivorship and tertiary CRC prevention.
Recent genome-wide association studies have identified a breast cancer susceptibility locus on 16q12 with an unknown biological basis. We used a set of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to generate a fine-scale map and narrowed the region of association to a 133 kb DNA segment containing the largely uncharacterized hypothetical gene LOC643714, a short intergenic region and the 5′ end of TOX3. Re-sequencing this segment in European subjects identified 293 common polymorphisms, including a set of 26 highly correlated candidate causal variants. By evaluation of these SNPs in five breast cancer case–control studies involving more than 23 000 subjects from populations of European and Southeast Asian ancestry, all but 14 variants could be excluded at odds of <1:100. Most of the remaining variants lie in the intergenic region, which exhibits evolutionary conservation and open chromatin conformation, consistent with a regulatory function. African-American case–control studies exhibit a different pattern of association suggestive of an additional causative variant.
Large body size has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer in premenopausal, but with increased risk in postmenopausal women. Limited information is available about African American women and differences by estrogen- and progesterone-receptor (ERPR) status.
We analyzed data from the Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) Study among 3,997 white and African American breast cancer case patients diagnosed in 1994-98 and 4,041 control participants aged 35 to 64. We calculated multivariate odds ratios (ORs) as measures of relative risk of breast cancer associated with self-reported body mass index (BMI) at age 18 and 5 years before diagnosis (recent BMI).
Risk tended to decrease with increasing BMI at age 18 in all women (ORBMI≥25 kg/m2 vs <20kg/m2=0.76, 95% CI:0.63–0.90, Ptrend=0.005) and with recent BMI in premenopausal women (ORBMI ≥35 kg/m2 vs <25kg/m2=0.81, 95% CI:0.61–1.06, Ptrend=0.05), unmodified by race. Among postmenopausal white but not African American women, there was an inverse relation between recent BMI and risk. High recent BMI was associated with increased risk of ERPR positive tumors among postmenopausal African American women (ORBMI ≥35 kg/m2 vs <25kg/m2=1.83, 95% CI:1.08–3.09, Ptrend=0.03).
Among women at age 35-64, BMI at age 18 is inversely associated with risk of breast cancer, but association with recent BMI varies by menopause status, race and hormone receptor status.
Our findings indicate that studies of BMI and breast cancer should consider breast cancer subtypes.
African American; Body Mass Index; Breast cancer; Premenopausal; Postmenopausal
Among unanswered questions is whether menopausal use of estrogen therapy (ET) or estrogen-plus-progestin therapy (CHT) increases risk of developing fatal breast cancer, i.e developing and dying of breast cancer. Using a population-based case-control design, we estimated incidence rate ratios of fatal breast cancer in postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) users compared to non-users by type, duration, and recency of HT use.
HT use prior to breast cancer diagnosis in 278 women who died of breast cancer within 6 years of diagnosis (cases) was compared with use in 2,224 controls never diagnosed with breast cancer using conditional logistic regression. Measures taken to address potential bias and confounding inherent in case-control studies included collecting and adjusting for detailed data on demographic and other factors potentially associated both with hormone therapy use and breast cancer.
Fifty-six percent of cases and 68% of controls reported HT use. Among current 3+ year HT users, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for death were 0.83 (0.50, 1.38) and 0.69 (0.44, 1.09), respectively, for exclusive use of CHT or of ET, and were 0.94 (0.59, 1.48) and 0.70 (0.45, 1.07) for any use of CHT or of ET regardless of other hormone use.
Point estimates suggest no increased risk of fatal breast cancer with HT use, although 50% increases in risk in longer-term current CHT users cannot be ruled out.
Hormone replacement therapy; estrogen replacement therapy; estrogen progestin combination therapy; breast neoplasms; death; menopause; case-control
The female sex steroids estrogen and progesterone are important in breast cancer etiology. It therefore seems plausible that variation in genes involved in metabolism of these hormones may affect breast cancer risk, and that these associations may vary depending on menopausal status and use of hormone therapy.
We conducted a nested case-control study of breast cancer in the California Teachers Study cohort. We analyzed 317 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 24 hormone pathway genes in 2746 non-Hispanic white women: 1351 cases and 1395 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by fitting conditional logistic regression models using all women or subgroups of women defined by menopausal status and hormone therapy use. P values were adjusted for multiple correlated tests (PACT).
The strongest associations were observed for SNPs in SLCO1B1, a solute carrier organic anion transporter gene, which transports estradiol-17β-glucuronide and estrone-3-sulfate from the blood into hepatocytes. Ten of 38 tagging SNPs of SLCO1B1 showed significant associations with postmenopausal breast cancer risk; 5 SNPs (rs11045777, rs11045773, rs16923519, rs4149057, rs11045884) remained statistically significant after adjusting for multiple testing within this gene (PACT = 0.019-0.046). In postmenopausal women who were using combined estrogen-progestin therapy (EPT) at cohort enrollment, the OR of breast cancer was 2.31 (95% CI = 1.47-3.62) per minor allele of rs4149013 in SLCO1B1 (P = 0.0003; within-gene PACT = 0.002; overall PACT = 0.023). SNPs in other hormone pathway genes evaluated in this study were not associated with breast cancer risk in premenopausal or postmenopausal women.
We found evidence that genetic variation in SLCO1B1 is associated with breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, particularly among those using EPT.