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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Dec;12(12):1528-30.

The HRAS1 variable number of tandem repeats and risk of breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, and Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Rare alleles at the HRAS1 variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) locus have been implicated in breast cancer risk. We assessed the association of rare HRAS1 alleles and breast cancer in a case-control study nested within the Nurses' Health Study cohort. Using PCR-based methods, 717 incident breast cancer cases and 798 controls were genotyped for the HRAS1 VNTRs. The prevalence of the rare alleles in breast cancer cases was not different compared with controls (10.7 versus 12.0%, respectively; P = 0.45, two-sided Cochran-Mantel-Haenzel chi(2) test). There was no evidence that women heterozygous (multivariate odds ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-1.27) or homozygous (multivariate odds ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.32-2.14) for rare alleles were at an increased risk of breast cancer or that a positive gene-dose effect existed. The results did not vary by menopausal status. Although as a group the rare alleles were not associated with breast cancer, one class of rare alleles between the common alleles of a3 and a4 was associated with a significantly increased risk. These results suggest that there is no overall association between rare alleles of the HRAS1 VNTR and breast cancer.

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