Annexin A1 (ANXA1) is a protein related with the carcinogenesis process and metastasis formation in many tumors. However, little is known about the prognostic value of ANXA1 in breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association between ANXA1 expression, BRCA1/2 germline carriership, specific tumor subtypes and survival in breast cancer patients.
Clinical-pathological information and follow-up data were collected from nine breast cancer studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) (n = 5,752) and from one study of familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations (n = 107). ANXA1 expression was scored based on the percentage of immunohistochemical staining in tumor cells. Survival analyses were performed using a multivariable Cox model.
The frequency of ANXA1 positive tumors was higher in familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations than in BCAC patients, with 48.6 % versus 12.4 %, respectively; P <0.0001. ANXA1 was also highly expressed in BCAC tumors that were poorly differentiated, triple negative, EGFR-CK5/6 positive or had developed in patients at a young age. In the first 5 years of follow-up, patients with ANXA1 positive tumors had a worse breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) than ANXA1 negative (HRadj = 1.35; 95 % CI = 1.05–1.73), but the association weakened after 10 years (HRadj = 1.13; 95 % CI = 0.91–1.40). ANXA1 was a significant independent predictor of survival in HER2+ patients (10-years BCSS: HRadj = 1.70; 95 % CI = 1.17–2.45).
ANXA1 is overexpressed in familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations and correlated with poor prognosis features: triple negative and poorly differentiated tumors. ANXA1 might be a biomarker candidate for breast cancer survival prediction in high risk groups such as HER2+ cases.
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Breast cancer; Annexin A1; BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations
Hepsin, (also called TMPRSS1) and TMPRSS3 are type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) that are involved in cancer progression. TTSPs can remodel extracellular matrix (ECM) and, when dysregulated, promote tumor progression and metastasis by inducing defects in basement membrane and ECM molecules. This study investigated whether the gene and protein expression levels of these TTSPs were associated with breast cancer characteristics or survival.
Immunohistochemical staining was used to evaluate hepsin levels in 372 breast cancer samples and TMPRSS3 levels in 373 samples. TMPRSS1 mRNA expression was determined in 125 invasive and 16 benign breast tumor samples, and TMPRSS3 mRNA expression was determined in 167 invasive and 23 benign breast tumor samples. The gene and protein expression levels were analyzed for associations with breast cancer-specific survival and clinicopathological parameters.
Low TMPRSS1 and TMPRSS3 mRNA expression levels were independent prognostic factors for poor breast cancer survival during the 20-year follow-up (TMPRSS1, P = 0.023; HR, 2.065; 95 % CI, 1.106–3.856; TMPRSS3, P = 0.013; HR, 2.106; 95 % CI, 1.167–3.800). Low expression of the two genes at the mRNA and protein levels associated with poorer survival compared to high levels (log rank P-values 0.015–0.042). Low TMPRSS1 mRNA expression was also an independent marker of poor breast cancer prognosis in patients treated with radiotherapy (P = 0.034; HR, 2.344; 95 % CI, 1.065–5.160). Grade III tumors, large tumor size, and metastasis were associated with low mRNA and protein expression levels.
The results suggest that the TTSPs hepsin and TMPRSS3 may have similar biological functions in the molecular pathology of breast cancer. Low mRNA and protein expression levels of the studied TTSPs were prognostic markers of poor survival in breast cancer.
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Biomarkers; Breast cancer; Extracellular matrix; Gene expression profiling; Hepsin; Membrane-associated proteins; Prognosis; TMPRSS1; Type II transmembrane serine proteases; TMPRSS3
Previous studies have identified common germline variants nominally associated with breast cancer survival. These associations have not been widely replicated in further studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of previously reported SNPs with breast cancer-specific survival using data from a pooled analysis of eight breast cancer survival genome-wide association studies (GWAS) from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
A literature review was conducted of all previously published associations between common germline variants and three survival outcomes: breast cancer-specific survival, overall survival and disease-free survival. All associations that reached the nominal significance level of P value <0.05 were included. Single nucleotide polymorphisms that had been previously reported as nominally associated with at least one survival outcome were evaluated in the pooled analysis of over 37,000 breast cancer cases for association with breast cancer-specific survival. Previous associations were evaluated using a one-sided test based on the reported direction of effect.
Fifty-six variants from 45 previous publications were evaluated in the meta-analysis. Fifty-four of these were evaluated in the full set of 37,954 breast cancer cases with 2,900 events and the two additional variants were evaluated in a reduced sample size of 30,000 samples in order to ensure independence from the previously published studies. Five variants reached nominal significance (P <0.05) in the pooled GWAS data compared to 2.8 expected under the null hypothesis. Seven additional variants were associated (P <0.05) with ER-positive disease.
Although no variants reached genome-wide significance (P <5 x 10−8), these results suggest that there is some evidence of association between candidate common germline variants and breast cancer prognosis. Larger studies from multinational collaborations are necessary to increase the power to detect associations, between common variants and prognosis, at more stringent significance levels.
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Survival after a diagnosis of breast cancer varies considerably between patients, and some of this variation may be because of germline genetic variation. We aimed to identify genetic markers associated with breast cancer–specific survival.
We conducted a large meta-analysis of studies in populations of European ancestry, including 37954 patients with 2900 deaths from breast cancer. Each study had been genotyped for between 200000 and 900000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome; genotypes for nine million common variants were imputed using a common reference panel from the 1000 Genomes Project. We also carried out subtype-specific analyses based on 6881 estrogen receptor (ER)–negative patients (920 events) and 23059 ER-positive patients (1333 events). All statistical tests were two-sided.
We identified one new locus (rs2059614 at 11q24.2) associated with survival in ER-negative breast cancer cases (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.55 to 2.47, P = 1.91 x 10–8). Genotyping a subset of 2113 case patients, of which 300 were ER negative, provided supporting evidence for the quality of the imputation. The association in this set of case patients was stronger for the observed genotypes than for the imputed genotypes. A second locus (rs148760487 at 2q24.2) was associated at genome-wide statistical significance in initial analyses; the association was similar in ER-positive and ER-negative case patients. Here the results of genotyping suggested that the finding was less robust.
This is currently the largest study investigating genetic variation associated with breast cancer survival. Our results have potential clinical implications, as they confirm that germline genotype can provide prognostic information in addition to standard tumor prognostic factors.
We have utilized a two-stage study design to search for SNPs associated with the survival of breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Our initial GWS data set consisted of 805 Finnish breast cancer cases (360 treated with adjuvant chemotherapy). The top 39 SNPs from this stage were analyzed in three independent data sets: iCOGS (n=6720 chemotherapy-treated cases), SUCCESS-A (n=3596), and POSH (n=518). Two SNPs were successfully validated: rs6500843 (any chemotherapy; per-allele HR 1.16, 95% C.I. 1.08-1.26, p=0.0001, p(adjusted)=0.0091), and rs11155012 (anthracycline therapy; per-allele HR 1.21, 95% C.I. 1.08-1.35, p=0.0010, p(adjusted)=0.0270). The SNP rs6500843 was found to specifically interact with adjuvant chemotherapy, independently of standard prognostic markers (p(interaction)=0.0009), with the rs6500843-GG genotype corresponding to the highest hazard among chemotherapy-treated cases (HR 1.47, 95% C.I. 1.20-1.80). Upon trans-eQTL analysis of public microarray data, the rs6500843 locus was found to associate with the expression of a group of genes involved in cell cycle control, notably AURKA, the expression of which also exhibited differential prognostic value between chemotherapy-treated and untreated cases in our analysis of microarray data. Based on previously published information, we propose that the eQTL genes may be connected to the rs6500843 locus via a RBFOX1-FOXM1-mediated regulatory pathway.
breast cancer; survival; SNP; chemotherapy; cell cycle
Part of the substantial unexplained familial aggregation of breast cancer may be due to interactions between common variants, but few studies have had adequate statistical power to detect interactions of realistic magnitude. We aimed to assess all two-way interactions in breast cancer susceptibility between 70 917 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected primarily based on prior evidence of a marginal effect. Thirty-eight international studies contributed data for 46 450 breast cancer cases and 42 461 controls of European origin as part of a multi-consortium project (COGS). First, SNPs were preselected based on evidence (P < 0.01) of a per-allele main effect, and all two-way combinations of those were evaluated by a per-allele (1 d.f.) test for interaction using logistic regression. Second, all 2.5 billion possible two-SNP combinations were evaluated using Boolean operation-based screening and testing, and SNP pairs with the strongest evidence of interaction (P < 10−4) were selected for more careful assessment by logistic regression. Under the first approach, 3277 SNPs were preselected, but an evaluation of all possible two-SNP combinations (1 d.f.) identified no interactions at P < 10−8. Results from the second analytic approach were consistent with those from the first (P > 10−10). In summary, we observed little evidence of two-way SNP interactions in breast cancer susceptibility, despite the large number of SNPs with potential marginal effects considered and the very large sample size. This finding may have important implications for risk prediction, simplifying the modelling required. Further comprehensive, large-scale genome-wide interaction studies may identify novel interacting loci if the inherent logistic and computational challenges can be overcome.
Tumor lymphocyte infiltration is associated with clinical response to chemotherapy in estrogen receptor (ER) negative breast cancer. To identify variants in immunosuppressive pathway genes associated with prognosis after adjuvant chemotherapy for ER-negative patients, we studied stage I-III invasive breast cancer patients of European ancestry, including 9,334 ER-positive (3,151 treated with chemotherapy) and 2,334 ER-negative patients (1,499 treated with chemotherapy).
We pooled data from sixteen studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), and employed two independent studies for replications. Overall 3,610 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 133 genes were genotyped as part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study, in which phenotype and clinical data were collected and harmonized. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression was used to assess genetic associations with overall survival (OS) and breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS). Heterogeneity according to chemotherapy or ER status was evaluated with the log-likelihood ratio test.
Three independent SNPs in TGFBR2 and IL12B were associated with OS (P <10−3) solely in ER-negative patients after chemotherapy (267 events). Poorer OS associated with TGFBR2 rs1367610 (G > C) (per allele hazard ratio (HR) 1.54 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22 to 1.95), P = 3.08 × 10−4) was not found in ER-negative patients without chemotherapy or ER-positive patients with chemotherapy (P for interaction <10−3). Two SNPs in IL12B (r2 = 0.20) showed different associations with ER-negative disease after chemotherapy: rs2546892 (G > A) with poorer OS (HR 1.50 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.86), P = 1.81 × 10−4), and rs2853694 (A > C) with improved OS (HR 0.73 (95% CI 0.61 to 0.87), P = 3.67 × 10−4). Similar associations were observed with BCSS. Association with TGFBR2 rs1367610 but not IL12B variants replicated using BCAC Asian samples and the independent Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary Breast Cancer Study and yielded a combined HR of 1.57 ((95% CI 1.28 to 1.94), P = 2.05 × 10−5) without study heterogeneity.
TGFBR2 variants may have prognostic and predictive value in ER-negative breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Our findings provide further insights into the development of immunotherapeutic targets for ER-negative breast cancer.
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We recently identified a novel susceptibility variant, rs865686, for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer at 9q31.2. Here, we report a fine-mapping analysis of the 9q31.2 susceptibility locus using 43 160 cases and 42 600 controls of European ancestry ascertained from 52 studies and a further 5795 cases and 6624 controls of Asian ancestry from nine studies. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs676256 was most strongly associated with risk in Europeans (odds ratios [OR] = 0.90 [0.88–0.92]; P-value = 1.58 × 10−25). This SNP is one of a cluster of highly correlated variants, including rs865686, that spans ∼14.5 kb. We identified two additional independent association signals demarcated by SNPs rs10816625 (OR = 1.12 [1.08–1.17]; P-value = 7.89 × 10−09) and rs13294895 (OR = 1.09 [1.06–1.12]; P-value = 2.97 × 10−11). SNP rs10816625, but not rs13294895, was also associated with risk of breast cancer in Asian individuals (OR = 1.12 [1.06–1.18]; P-value = 2.77 × 10−05). Functional genomic annotation using data derived from breast cancer cell-line models indicates that these SNPs localise to putative enhancer elements that bind known drivers of hormone-dependent breast cancer, including ER-α, FOXA1 and GATA-3. In vitro analyses indicate that rs10816625 and rs13294895 have allele-specific effects on enhancer activity and suggest chromatin interactions with the KLF4 gene locus. These results demonstrate the power of dense genotyping in large studies to identify independent susceptibility variants. Analysis of associations using subjects with different ancestry, combined with bioinformatic and genomic characterisation, can provide strong evidence for the likely causative alleles and their functional basis.
The distribution of histopathological features of invasive breast tumors in BRCA1 or BRCA2 germline mutation carriers differs from that of individuals with no known mutation. Histopathological features thus have utility for mutation prediction, including statistical modeling to assess pathogenicity of BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants of uncertain clinical significance. We analyzed large pathology datasets accrued by the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) and the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) to reassess histopathological predictors of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status, and provide robust likelihood ratio (LR) estimates for statistical modeling.
Selection criteria for study/center inclusion were estrogen receptor (ER) status or grade data available for invasive breast cancer diagnosed younger than 70 years. The dataset included 4,477 BRCA1 mutation carriers, 2,565 BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 47,565 BCAC breast cancer cases. Country-stratified estimates of the likelihood of mutation status by histopathological markers were derived using a Mantel-Haenszel approach.
ER-positive phenotype negatively predicted BRCA1 mutation status, irrespective of grade (LRs from 0.08 to 0.90). ER-negative grade 3 histopathology was more predictive of positive BRCA1 mutation status in women 50 years or older (LR = 4.13 (3.70 to 4.62)) versus younger than 50 years (LR = 3.16 (2.96 to 3.37)). For BRCA2, ER-positive grade 3 phenotype modestly predicted positive mutation status irrespective of age (LR = 1.7-fold), whereas ER-negative grade 3 features modestly predicted positive mutation status at 50 years or older (LR = 1.54 (1.27 to 1.88)). Triple-negative tumor status was highly predictive of BRCA1 mutation status for women younger than 50 years (LR = 3.73 (3.43 to 4.05)) and 50 years or older (LR = 4.41 (3.86 to 5.04)), and modestly predictive of positive BRCA2 mutation status in women 50 years or older (LR = 1.79 (1.42 to 2.24)).
These results refine likelihood-ratio estimates for predicting BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status by using commonly measured histopathological features. Age at diagnosis is an important variable for most analyses, and grade is more informative than ER status for BRCA2 mutation carrier prediction. The estimates will improve BRCA1 and BRCA2 variant classification and inform patient mutation testing and clinical management.
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Genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNAs (miRNA) or in the miRNA binding sites may affect the miRNA dependent gene expression regulation, which has been implicated in various cancers, including breast cancer, and may alter individual susceptibility to cancer. We investigated associations between miRNA related SNPs and breast cancer risk. First we evaluated 2,196 SNPs in a case-control study combining nine genome wide association studies (GWAS). Second, we further investigated 42 SNPs with suggestive evidence for association using 41,785 cases and 41,880 controls from 41 studies included in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Combining the GWAS and BCAC data within a meta-analysis, we estimated main effects on breast cancer risk as well as risks for estrogen receptor (ER) and age defined subgroups. Five miRNA binding site SNPs associated significantly with breast cancer risk: rs1045494 (odds ratio (OR) 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88–0.96), rs1052532 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95–0.99), rs10719 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94–0.99), rs4687554 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95–0.99, and rs3134615 (OR 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01–1.05) located in the 3′ UTR of CASP8, HDDC3, DROSHA, MUSTN1, and MYCL1, respectively. DROSHA belongs to miRNA machinery genes and has a central role in initial miRNA processing. The remaining genes are involved in different molecular functions, including apoptosis and gene expression regulation. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether the miRNA binding site SNPs are the causative variants for the observed risk effects.
Micro-RNAs are small, noncoding RNAs that act as tumor suppressors or oncogenes. MiR-200c is a member of the miR-200 family; it is known to be dysregulated in invasive breast carcinoma. MiR-200c maintains the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and inhibits cell migration and invasion. Recent studies showed that miR-200c regulated steroid hormone receptors, estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). The present study aimed to detect miR-200c in 172 invasive breast carcinoma cases selected from a prospective cohort enrolled in Kuopio, Eastern Finland, between 1990 and 1995. MiR-200c expression was determined with relative q-PCR, and results were compared to clinicopathological variables and patient outcome. We found that PR status combined with miR-200c expression was a significant marker of outcome. High miR-200c expression was associated with reduced survival in PR-negative cases (n = 68); low miR-200c expression indicated reduced survival in PR-positive cases (n = 86) (Cox regression: P = 0.002, OR = 3.433; and P = 0.004, OR = 4.176, respectively). In PR-negative cases, high miR-200c expression was associated with shortened relapse-free survival (Cox regression: P = 0.001, OR = 3.613); increased local/distant recurrence (Logistic regression: P = 0.006, OR = 3.965); and more frequent distant metastasis (Logistic regression: P = 0.015, OR = 3.390). We also found that high grade and low stage tumors were positively correlated with high miR-200c expression (Logistic regression for high grade tumors: P = 0.002, OR = 2.791 and for high stage tumors: P = 0.035, OR = 0.285). Our results indicated that miR-200c may play a role in invasive breast carcinoma. Furthermore, miR-200c combined with PR status provided a refined predictor of outcome. In future, a larger study is required to confirm our results. This data may provide a basis for new research target–progesterone receptor–regulated microRNAs in breast cancer.
The single nucleotide polymorphism 5p12-rs10941679has been found to be associated with risk of breast cancer, particularly estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease. We aimed to further explore this association overall, and by tumor histopathology, in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
Data were combined from 37 studies, including 40,972 invasive cases, 1,398 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 46,334 controls, all of white European ancestry, as well as 3,007 invasive cases and 2,337 controls of Asian ancestry. Associations overall and by tumor invasiveness and histopathology were assessed using logistic regression.
For white Europeans, the per-allele odds ratio (OR) associated with 5p12-rs10941679 was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.08–1.14, P=7×10−18) for invasive breast cancer and 1.10 (95%CI=1.01–1.21, P=0.03) for DCIS. For Asian women, the estimated OR for invasive disease was similar (OR=1.07, 95%CI=0.99–1.15, P=0.09). Further analyses suggested that the association in white Europeans was largely limited to progesterone receptor (PR)-positive disease (per-allele OR=1.16, 95%CI=1.12–1.20, P=1×10−18 versus OR=1.03, 95%CI=0.99–1.07, P=0.2 for PR-negative disease; P-heterogeneity=2×10−7); heterogeneity by estrogen receptor status was not observed (P=0.2) once PR status was accounted for. The association was also stronger for lower-grade tumors (per-allele OR [95%CI]=1.20 [1.14–1.25], 1.13 [1.09–1.16] and 1.04 [0.99–1.08] for grade 1, 2 and 3/4, respectively; P–trend=5×10−7).
5p12 is a breast cancer susceptibility locus for PR-positive, lower gradebreast cancer.
Multi-centre fine-mapping studies of this region are needed as a first step to identifying the causal variant or variants.
Breast cancer; SNP; susceptibility; disease subtypes
Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) are related to tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis in cancer. Genetic variants in these genes may alter their function, leading to cancer onset and progression, and affect patient outcome. Here, 464 breast cancer cases and 370 controls were genotyped for 82 single-nucleotide polymorphisms covering eight genes. Association of the genotypes was estimated against breast cancer risk, breast cancer–specific survival, and survival in different treatment groups, and clinicopathological variables. SNPs in TMPRSS3 (rs3814903 and rs11203200), TMPRSS7 (rs1844925), and HGF (rs5745752) associated significantly with breast cancer risk (Ptrend = 0.008–0.042). SNPs in TMPRSS1 (rs12151195 and rs12461158), TMPRSS2 (rs2276205), TMPRSS3 (rs3814903), and TMPRSS7 (rs2399403) associated with prognosis (P = 0.004–0.046). When estimating the combined effect of the variants, the risk of breast cancer was higher with 4–5 alleles present compared to 0–2 alleles (P = 0.0001; OR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.39–3.94). Women with 6–8 survival-associating alleles had a 3.3 times higher risk of dying of breast cancer compared to women with 1–3 alleles (P = 0.001; HR, 3.30; 95% CI, 1.58–6.88). The results demonstrate the combined effect of variants in TTSPs and their related genes in breast cancer risk and patient outcome. Functional analysis of these variants will lead to further understanding of this gene family, which may improve individualized risk estimation and development of new strategies for treatment of breast cancer.
Certain somatic alterations in breast cancer can define prognosis and response to therapy. This study investigated the frequencies, prognostic effects, and predictive effects of known cancer somatic mutations using a randomized, adjuvant, phase III clinical trial dataset.
The FinHER trial was a phase III, randomized adjuvant breast cancer trial involving 1010 women. Patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–positive breast cancer were further randomized to 9 weeks of trastuzumab or no trastuzumab. Seven hundred five of 1010 tumors had sufficient DNA for genotyping of 70 somatic hotspot mutations in 20 genes using mass spectrometry. Distant disease-free survival (DDFS), overall survival (OS), and interactions with trastuzumab were explored with Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Median follow-up was 62 months. Of 705 tumors, 687 were successfully genotyped. PIK3CA mutations (exons 1, 2, 4, 9, 13, 18, and 20) were present in 25.3% (174 of 687) and TP53 mutations in 10.2% (70 of 687). Few other mutations were found: three ERBB2 and single cases of KRAS, ALK, STK11/LKB1, and AKT2. PIK3CA mutations were associated with estrogen receptor positivity (P < .001) and the luminal-A phenotype (P = .04) but were not statistically significantly associated with prognosis (DDFS: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.88, 95% confidence [CI] = 0.58 to 1.34, P = .56; OS: HR = 0.603, 95% CI = .32 to 1.13, P = .11), although a statistically significant nonproportional prognostic effect was observed for DDFS (P = .002). PIK3CA mutations were not statistically significantly associated with trastuzumab benefit (P
interaction: DDFS P = .14; OS P = .24).
In this dataset, targeted genotyping revealed only two alterations at a frequency greater than 10%, with other mutations observed infrequently. PIK3CA mutations were associated with a better outcome, however this effect disappeared after 3 years. There were no statistically significant associations with trastuzumab benefit.
Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46 450 cases and 42 600 controls) and analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 [rs1053338, per allele OR = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04–1.10, P = 2.9 × 10−6], AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.03–1.07, P = 1.7 × 10−6) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.07–1.12, P = 5.1 × 10−17). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWASs): for ATXN7-K264R, OR = 1.07 (95% CI = 1.05–1.10, P = 1.0 × 10−8); for AKAP9-M463I, OR = 1.05 (95% CI = 1.04–1.07, P = 2.0 × 10−10). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known GWAS hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
We have previously shown that a tag single nucleotide polymorphism (rs10235235), which maps to the CYP3A locus (7q22.1), was associated with a reduction in premenopausal urinary estrone glucuronide levels and a modest reduction in risk of breast cancer in women age ≤50 years.
We further investigated the association of rs10235235 with breast cancer risk in a large case control study of 47,346 cases and 47,570 controls from 52 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Genotyping of rs10235235 was conducted using a custom Illumina Infinium array. Stratified analyses were conducted to determine whether this association was modified by age at diagnosis, ethnicity, age at menarche or tumor characteristics.
We confirmed the association of rs10235235 with breast cancer risk for women of European ancestry but found no evidence that this association differed with age at diagnosis. Heterozygote and homozygote odds ratios (ORs) were OR = 0.98 (95% CI 0.94, 1.01; P = 0.2) and OR = 0.80 (95% CI 0.69, 0.93; P = 0.004), respectively (Ptrend = 0.02). There was no evidence of effect modification by tumor characteristics. rs10235235 was, however, associated with age at menarche in controls (Ptrend = 0.005) but not cases (Ptrend = 0.97). Consequently the association between rs10235235 and breast cancer risk differed according to age at menarche (Phet = 0.02); the rare allele of rs10235235 was associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk for women who had their menarche age ≥15 years (ORhet = 0.84, 95% CI 0.75, 0.94; ORhom = 0.81, 95% CI 0.51, 1.30; Ptrend = 0.002) but not for those who had their menarche age ≤11 years (ORhet = 1.06, 95% CI 0.95, 1.19, ORhom = 1.07, 95% CI 0.67, 1.72; Ptrend = 0.29).
To our knowledge rs10235235 is the first single nucleotide polymorphism to be associated with both breast cancer risk and age at menarche consistent with the well-documented association between later age at menarche and a reduction in breast cancer risk. These associations are likely mediated via an effect on circulating hormone levels.
Genes that alter disease risk only in combination with certain
environmental exposures may not be detected in genetic association analysis. By
using methods accounting for gene-environment (G × E) interaction, we
aimed to identify novel genetic loci associated with breast cancer risk. Up to
34,475 cases and 34,786 controls of European ancestry from up to 23 studies in
the Breast Cancer Association Consortium were included. Overall, 71,527 single
nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), enriched for association with breast cancer,
were tested for interaction with 10 environmental risk factors using three
recently proposed hybrid methods and a joint test of association and
interaction. Analyses were adjusted for age, study, population stratification,
and confounding factors as applicable. Three SNPs in two independent loci showed
statistically significant association: SNPs rs10483028 and rs2242714 in perfect
linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 21 and rs12197388 in ARID1B on chromosome
6. While rs12197388 was identified using the joint test with parity and with age
at menarche (P-values = 3 × 10−07),
the variants on chromosome 21 q22.12, which showed interaction with adult body
mass index (BMI) in 8,891 postmenopausal women, were identified by all methods
applied. SNP rs10483028 was associated with breast cancer in women with a BMI
below 25 kg/m2 (OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.15–1.38) but not in women
with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher (OR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.72–1.11,
P for interaction = 3.2 × 10−05).
Our findings confirm comparable power of the recent methods for detecting G
× E interaction and the utility of using G × E interaction
analyses to identify new susceptibility loci.
breast cancer risk; gene-environment interaction; polymorphisms; body mass index; case-control study
Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) accounts for 10–15% of all invasive breast carcinomas. It is generally ER positive (ER+) and often associated with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 70 common polymorphisms that predispose to breast cancer, but these studies included predominantly ductal (IDC) carcinomas. To identify novel common polymorphisms that predispose to ILC and LCIS, we pooled data from 6,023 cases (5,622 ILC, 401 pure LCIS) and 34,271 controls from 36 studies genotyped using the iCOGS chip. Six novel SNPs most strongly associated with ILC/LCIS in the pooled analysis were genotyped in a further 516 lobular cases (482 ILC, 36 LCIS) and 1,467 controls. These analyses identified a lobular-specific SNP at 7q34 (rs11977670, OR (95%CI) for ILC = 1.13 (1.09–1.18), P = 6.0×10−10; P-het for ILC vs IDC ER+ tumors = 1.8×10−4). Of the 75 known breast cancer polymorphisms that were genotyped, 56 were associated with ILC and 15 with LCIS at P<0.05. Two SNPs showed significantly stronger associations for ILC than LCIS (rs2981579/10q26/FGFR2, P-het = 0.04 and rs889312/5q11/MAP3K1, P-het = 0.03); and two showed stronger associations for LCIS than ILC (rs6678914/1q32/LGR6, P-het = 0.001 and rs1752911/6q14, P-het = 0.04). In addition, seven of the 75 known loci showed significant differences between ER+ tumors with IDC and ILC histology, three of these showing stronger associations for ILC (rs11249433/1p11, rs2981579/10q26/FGFR2 and rs10995190/10q21/ZNF365) and four associated only with IDC (5p12/rs10941679; rs2588809/14q24/RAD51L1, rs6472903/8q21 and rs1550623/2q31/CDCA7). In conclusion, we have identified one novel lobular breast cancer specific predisposition polymorphism at 7q34, and shown for the first time that common breast cancer polymorphisms predispose to LCIS. We have shown that many of the ER+ breast cancer predisposition loci also predispose to ILC, although there is some heterogeneity between ER+ lobular and ER+ IDC tumors. These data provide evidence for overlapping, but distinct etiological pathways within ER+ breast cancer between morphological subtypes.
Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) accounts for 10–15% of invasive breast cancer and is generally ER positive (ER+). To date, none of the genome-wide association studies that have identified loci that predispose to breast cancer in general or to ER+ or ER-negative breast cancer have focused on lobular breast cancer. In this lobular breast cancer study we identified a new variant that appears to be specific to this morphological subtype. We also ascertained which of the known variants predisposes specifically to lobular breast cancer and show for the first time that some of these loci are also associated with lobular carcinoma in situ, a non-obligate precursor of breast cancer and also a risk factor for contralateral breast cancer. Our study shows that the genetic pathways of invasive lobular cancer and ER+ ductal carcinoma mostly overlap, but there are important differences that are likely to provide insights into the biology of lobular breast tumors.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Common variants at 27 loci have been identified as associated with susceptibility to breast cancer, and these account for ~9% of the familial risk of the disease. We report here a meta-analysis of 9 genome-wide association studies, including 10,052 breast cancer cases and 12,575 controls of European ancestry, from which we selected 29,807 SNPs for further genotyping. These SNPs were genotyped in 45,290 cases and 41,880 controls of European ancestry from 41 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). The SNPs were genotyped as part of a collaborative genotyping experiment involving four consortia (Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study, COGS) and used a custom Illumina iSelect genotyping array, iCOGS, comprising more than 200,000 SNPs. We identified SNPs at 41 new breast cancer susceptibility loci at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8). Further analyses suggest that more than 1,000 additional loci are involved in breast cancer susceptibility.
Estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors represent 20–30% of all breast cancers, with a higher proportion occurring in younger women and women of African ancestry1. The etiology2 and clinical behavior3 of ER-negative tumors are different from those of tumors expressing ER (ER positive), including differences in genetic predisposition4. To identify susceptibility loci specific to ER-negative disease, we combined in a meta-analysis 3 genome-wide association studies of 4,193 ER-negative breast cancer cases and 35,194 controls with a series of 40 follow-up studies (6,514 cases and 41,455 controls), genotyped using a custom Illumina array, iCOGS, developed by the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). SNPs at four loci, 1q32.1 (MDM4, P = 2.1 × 10−12 and LGR6, P = 1.4 × 10−8), 2p24.1 (P = 4.6 × 10−8) and 16q12.2 (FTO, P = 4.0 × 10−8), were associated with ER-negative but not ER-positive breast cancer (P > 0.05). These findings provide further evidence for distinct etiological pathways associated with invasive ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers.
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. To identify genetic loci that modify breast cancer risk related to MHT use in postmenopausal women, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) with replication. In stage I, we performed a case-only GWAS in 731 invasive breast cancer cases from the German case-control study Mammary Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation (MARIE). The 1,200 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showing the lowest P values for interaction with current MHT use (within 6 months prior to breast cancer diagnosis), were carried forward to stage II, involving pooled case-control analyses including additional MARIE subjects (1,375 cases, 1,974 controls) as well as 795 cases and 764 controls of a Swedish case-control study. A joint P value was calculated for a combined analysis of stages I and II. Replication of the most significant interaction of the combined stage I and II was performed using 5,795 cases and 5,390 controls from nine studies of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). The combined stage I and II yielded five SNPs on chromosomes 2, 7, and 18 with joint P values <6 × 10−6 for effect modification of current MHT use. The most significant interaction was observed for rs6707272 (P = 3 × 10−7) on chromosome 2 but was not replicated in the BCAC studies (P = 0.21). The potentially modifying SNPs are in strong linkage disequilibrium with SNPs in TRIP12 and DNER on chromosome 2 and SETBP1 on chromosome 18, previously linked to carcinogenesis. However, none of the interaction effects reached genome-wide significance. The inability to replicate the top SNP × MHT interaction may be due to limited power of the replication phase. Our study, however, suggests that there are unlikely to be SNPs that interact strongly enough with MHT use to be clinically significant in European women.
Postmenopausal breast cancer risk; Menopausal hormone therapy; Polymorphisms; Gene-environment interaction; Genome-wide association study; Case-only study
We tested the hypotheses that CHEK2*1100delC heterozygosity is associated with increased risk of early death, breast cancer–specific death, and risk of a second breast cancer in women with a first breast cancer.
Patients and Methods
From 22 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, 25,571 white women with invasive breast cancer were genotyped for CHEK2*1100delC and observed for up to 20 years (median, 6.6 years). We examined risk of early death and breast cancer–specific death by estrogen receptor status and risk of a second breast cancer after a first breast cancer in prospective studies.
CHEK2*1100delC heterozygosity was found in 459 patients (1.8%). In women with estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer, multifactorially adjusted hazard ratios for heterozygotes versus noncarriers were 1.43 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.82; log-rank P = .004) for early death and 1.63 (95% CI, 1.24 to 2.15; log-rank P < .001) for breast cancer–specific death. In all women, hazard ratio for a second breast cancer was 2.77 (95% CI, 2.00 to 3.83; log-rank P < .001) increasing to 3.52 (95% CI, 2.35 to 5.27; log-rank P < .001) in women with estrogen receptor–positive first breast cancer only.
Among women with estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer, CHEK2*1100delC heterozygosity was associated with a 1.4-fold risk of early death, a 1.6-fold risk of breast cancer–specific death, and a 3.5-fold risk of a second breast cancer. This is one of the few examples of a genetic factor that influences long-term prognosis being documented in an extensive series of women with breast cancer.
γ-secretase is a large ubiquitously expressed protease complex composed of four core subunits: presenilin, Aph1, PEN-2, and nicastrin. The function of γ-secretase in the cells is to proteolytically cleave various proteins within their transmembrane domains. Presenilin and Aph1 occur as alternative variants belonging to mutually exclusive γ-secretase complexes and providing the complexes with heterogeneous biochemical and physiological properties. γ-secretase is proposed to have a role in the development and progression of cancer and γ-secretase inhibitors are intensively studied for their probable anti-tumor effects in various types of cancer models. Here, we for the first time determined mRNA expression levels of presenilin-1, presenilin-2, Aph1a, Aph1b, PEN-2, and nicastrin in a set of breast cancer tissue samples (N = 55) by quantitative real-time PCR in order to clarify the clinical significance of the expression of different γ-secretase complex components in breast cancer. We found a high positive correlation between the subunit expression levels implying a common regulation of transcription. Our univariate Kaplan-Meier survival analyses established low expression level of γ-secretase complex as a risk factor for breast cancer specific mortality. The tumors expressing low levels of γ-secretase complex were characterized by high histopathological tumor grade, low or no expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors and consequently high probability to fall into the class of triple negative breast cancer tumors. These results may provide novel tools to further categorize breast cancer tumors, especially the highly aggressive and poorly treatable breast cancer type of triple negative cases, and suggest a significant role for γ-secretase in breast cancer.
TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
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.