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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2006 Mar;96(2):197-202. Epub 2005 Nov 30.

Genetic polymorphisms of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1B) and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN) and breast cancer risk in Korean women.

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Cancer Research Institute, Institute of Environmental Medicine, SNUMRC, and Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-Dong, Chongno-Gu, Seoul, Korea.



To evaluate the potential role of genetic polymorphisms of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1B) and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN) on breast cancer development, a hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Korea.


Histologically confirmed breast cancer cases (n = 560) and controls (n = 509) without cancer history were recruited from three teaching hospitals in Seoul between September 1998 and January 2002. Information on risk factors of breast cancer were collected by interviewed questionnaire. Genotypes of IL-1B (-31C/T) and IL-1RN (86 bp variable number tandom repeats in intron 2) were determined by PCR-CTPP (confronting two-pair primers) and PCR, respectively. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by unconditional logistic regression model.


The IL-1RN *2-allele was associated with decreased breast cancer risk with marginal significance (OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.48-1.05). The IL-1B CC or TC genotype was not associated with decreased risk of breast cancer (OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.65-1.16). However, combination of IL-1B C-allele (CT or CC) and IL-1RN *2-allele containing genotypes significantly decreased the risk of breast cancer (OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.39-0.99). A moderately decreasing trend of risk was observed as the number of 'putative low risk' allele increased (p for trend = 0.07). Suggestive combined effect on breast cancer risk was also observed between body mass index (BMI) and IL-1RN non-*2 allele: women with higher BMI and IL-1RN non-*2 allele had 1.7-fold higher risk than women with lower BMI and IL-1RN*2 genotypes.


Our results suggest that genetic polymorphisms of interleukin-1 may play a role in the individual susceptibility for breast cancer development in Korean women.

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