Common Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the Estrogen Receptor β Promoter Are Associated with Colorectal Cancer Survival in Postmenopausal Women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer research, Volume 73, Issue 2, p.767-775 (2013)


December 2012, Public Health Sciences Division


Loss of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) expression in the gut is associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation and progression. Germline single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in genes for the sex-steroid hormone receptors are not strongly associated with CRC risk; however, these SNPs have not previously been evaluated in relation to survival after diagnosis. We enrolled 729 women, ages 50 to 74, diagnosed with invasive CRC between 1997 and 2002 in 13 counties covered by the Seattle-Puget Sound Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results cancer registry. Participants provided germline DNA. We selected 99 tag-SNPs for the androgen receptor (AR), ERα (ESR1), ERβ (ESR2), and progesterone receptor (PGR) genes. Mortality outcomes were ascertained from the National Death Index. During a median of 6.6 years of follow-up, 244 deaths occurred (161 from CRC). We identified 20 SNPs (12 of ESR2 and 8 of PGR) for replication in 1,729 women diagnosed with incident invasive CRC (555 deaths; 405 from CRC) from three prospective cohort studies that participate in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium. Three correlated SNPs in the promoter of ESR2 (rs2987983, rs3020443, and rs2978381) were statistically significant predictors of CRC-specific and overall survival. Minor alleles of each were associated with improved survival [for rs2987983, CRC-specific HR, 0.77; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.60-0.99 in the initial study, and HR, 0.79; CI, 0.64-0.98 in replication]. No associations were noted for SNPs of AR, ESR1, or PGR. SNPs in the promoter of ESR2 may be important to pathways related to the association between ERβ and tumor progression and metastasis. Cancer Res; 73(2); 767-75. ©2012 AACR.