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Biomed Pharmacother. 2003 Dec;57(10):471-81.

Polymorphisms of estrogen synthesizing and metabolizing genes and breast cancer risk in Japanese women.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamada-Oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Recent success of chemoprevention with tamoxifen has opened a new era wherein prevention of breast cancer is much more emphasized than treatment of established breast cancer. Since tamoxifen has been shown to reduce the risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, but not ER-negative, breast cancer in the chemoprevention trial (P-1), it seems to be important to develop risk factors for ER-positive breast cancer in order to select the candidates for chemoprevention more appropriately. Estrogens, the major risk factors for breast cancer, are speculated to affect breast cancer risk through ER, thus, genetic polymorphisms of the genes involved in the estrogens biosynthesis and metabolism are expected as risk factors for ER-positive breast cancer. Significance of polymorphisms of the genes involved in estrogens biosynthesis (CYP17, CYP19) and metabolism (CYP1A1, CYP1B1, COMT) in modulating the susceptibility to breast cancer is reviewed. The ethnic difference of the variant allele frequencies between Caucasian women and Asian women is also discussed.

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