A CYP19 (aromatase) polymorphism is associated with increased premenopausal breast cancer risk

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Due to the established association between estrogen levels and breast cancer risk, polymorphic variation in genes regulating estrogen levels is thought to be related to breast cancer risk. Aromatase, the protein product of the CYP19 gene, is involved in the production of endogenous estrogens via androgen conversion. We examined whether polymorphic variation in CYP19 associated with increased breast cancer risk in a population based case-control study. We examined two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), rs1008805 (A/G) and rs730154 (C/T), which have been shown to tag SNPs within two different haplotype blocks in CYP19. Among premenopausal women, the presence of at least one G allele at rs1008805 was significantly associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer (OR = 1.72 [95% CI, 1.20–2.49]), especially with estrogen and progesterone receptor negative breast cancer (OR = 3.89 [1.74–8.70] and OR = 2.52 [1.26–5.05], respectively). No association was observed among postmenopausal women (OR = 1.06 [0.82–1.36]). There was no significant association between rs730154 and breast cancer, regardless of menopausal status. Our results suggest that premenopausal women carrying the G allele at CYP19 rs1008805 have increased risk of breast cancer. The finding supports the potential role of variation in estrogen biosynthesis genes in premenopausal breast cancer risk.

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