Evidence of Gene-Environment Interactions between Common Breast Cancer Susceptibility Loci and Established Environmental Risk Factors

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Nickels S, Truong T, Hein R, Stevens K, Buck K, Behrens S, Eilber U, Schmidt M, Haberle L, Vrieling A, Gaudet M, Figueroa J, Schoof N, Spurdle AB, Rudolph A, Fasching PA, Hopper JL, Makalic E, Schmidt DF, Southey MC, Beckmann MW, Ekici AB, Fletcher O, Gibson L, Dos Santos Silva I, Peto J, Humphreys MK, Wang J, Cordina-Duverger E, Menegaux F, Nordestgaard BG, Bojesen SE, Lanng C, Anton-Culver H, Ziogas A, Bernstein L, Clarke CA, Brenner H, Muller H, Arndt V, Stegmaier C, Brauch H, Bruning T, Harth V, The Genica N, Mannermaa A, Kataja V, Kosma VM, Hartikainen JM, Kconfab, Group AM, Lambrechts D, Smeets D, Neven P, Paridaens R, Flesch-Janys D, Obi N, Wang-Gohrke S, Couch FJ, Olson JE, Vachon CM, Giles GG, Severi G, Baglietto L, Offit K, John EM, Miron A, Andrulis IL, Knight JA, Glendon G, Mulligan AM, Chanock SJ, Lissowska J, Liu J, Cox A, Cramp H, Connley D, Balasubramanian S, Dunning AM, Shah M, Trentham-Dietz A, Newcomb P, Titus L, Egan K, Cahoon EK, Rajaraman P, Sigurdson AJ, Doody MM, Guenel P, Pharoah PD, Schmidt MK, Hall P, Easton DF, Garcia-Closas M, Milne RL, Chang-Claude J (2013) Evidence of Gene-Environment Interactions between Common Breast Cancer Susceptibility Loci and Established Environmental Risk Factors. PLoS Genet 9:e1003284


Various common genetic susceptibility loci have been identified for breast cancer; however, it is unclear how they combine with lifestyle/environmental risk factors to influence risk. We undertook an international collaborative study to assess gene-environment interaction for risk of breast cancer. Data from 24 studies of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium were pooled. Using up to 34,793 invasive breast cancers and 41,099 controls, we examined whether the relative risks associated with 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms were modified by 10 established environmental risk factors (age at menarche, parity, breastfeeding, body mass index, height, oral contraceptive use, menopausal hormone therapy use, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, physical activity) in women of European ancestry. We used logistic regression models stratified by study and adjusted for age and performed likelihood ratio tests to assess gene-environment interactions. All statistical tests were two-sided. We replicated previously reported potential interactions between LSP1-rs3817198 and parity (Pinteraction = 2.4x10(-6)) and between CASP8-rs17468277 and alcohol consumption (Pinteraction = 3.1x10(-4)). Overall, the per-allele odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for LSP1-rs3817198 was 1.08 (1.01-1.16) in nulliparous women and ranged from 1.03 (0.96-1.10) in parous women with one birth to 1.26 (1.16-1.37) in women with at least four births. For CASP8-rs17468277, the per-allele OR was 0.91 (0.85-0.98) in those with an alcohol intake of <20 g/day="" and="" 1.45="" (1.14-1.85)="" in="" those="" who="" drank="">/=20 g/day. Additionally, interaction was found between 1p11.2-rs11249433 and ever being parous (Pinteraction = 5.3x10(-5)), with a per-allele OR of 1.14 (1.11-1.17) in parous women and 0.98 (0.92-1.05) in nulliparous women. These data provide first strong evidence that the risk of breast cancer associated with some common genetic variants may vary with environmental risk factors.

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