Common genetic variants associated with breast cancer and mammographic density measures that predict disease

Fabrice Odefrey, Jennifer Stone, Lyle C. Gurrin, Graham B. Byrnes, Carmel Apicella, Gillian S. Dite, Jennifer N. Cawson, Graham G. Giles, Susan A. Treloar, Dallas R. English, John L. Hopper, Melissa C. Southey

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Mammographic density for age and body mass index (BMI) is a heritable risk factor for breast cancer. We aimed to determine if recently identified common variants associated with small gradients in breast cancer risk are associated with mammographic density. We genotyped 497 monozygotic and 330 dizygotic twin pairs and 634 of their sisters from 903 families for 12 independent variants. Mammographic dense area, percent dense area, and nondense area were measured by three observers using a computer-thresholding technique. Associations with mammographic density measures adjusted for age, BMI, and other determinants were estimated (a) cross-sectionally using a multivariate normal model for pedigree analysis (Px), (b) between sibships, and (c) within sibships using orthogonal transformations of outcomes and exposures. A combined test of association (Pc) was derived using the independent estimates from b and c. We tested if the distributions of P values across variants differed from the uniform distribution (Pu). For dense area and percent dense area, the distributions of Pc values were not uniform (both Pu <0.007). Consistent with their breast cancer associations, rs3817198 (LSP1) and rs13281615 (8q) were associated with dense area and percent dense area (all Px and Pc <0.05), and rs889312 (MAP3K1), rs2107425 (H19), and rs17468277 (CASP8) were marginally associated with dense area (some Px or Pc <0.05). All associations were independent of menopausal status. At least two common breast cancer susceptibility variants are associated with mammographic density measures that predict breast cancer. These findings could help elucidate how those variants and mammographic density measures are associated with breast cancer susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1458
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

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