A steroid metabolizing gene variant in a polyfactorial model improves risk prediction in a high incidence breast cancer population.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


BBA clinical, Volume 2, p.94-102 (2014)


BACKGROUND: We have combined functional gene polymorphisms with clinical factors to improve prediction and understanding of sporadic breast cancer risk, particularly within a high incidence Caucasian population.

METHODS: A polyfactorial risk model (PFRM) was built from both clinical data and functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) gene candidates using multivariate logistic regression analysis on data from 5022 US Caucasian females (1671 breast cancer cases, 3351 controls), validated in an independent set of 1193 women (400 cases, 793 controls), and reassessed in a unique high incidence breast cancer population (165 cases, 173 controls) from Marin County, CA.

RESULTS: The optimized PFRM consisted of 22 SNPs (19 genes, 6 regulating steroid metabolism) and 5 clinical risk factors, and its 5-year and lifetime risk prediction performance proved significantly superior (~ 2-fold) over the Gail model (Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, BCRAT), whether assessed by odds (OR) or positive likelihood (PLR) ratios over increasing model risk levels. Improved performance of the PFRM in high risk Marin women was due in part to genotype enrichment by a CYP11B2 (-344T/C) variant.

CONCLUSIONS AND GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Since the optimized PFRM consistently outperformed BCRAT in all Caucasian study populations, it represents an improved personalized risk assessment tool. The finding of higher Marin County risk linked to a CYP11B2 aldosterone synthase SNP associated with essential hypertension offers a new genetic clue to sporadic breast cancer predisposition.