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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Dec;14(12):2990-4.

Androgen receptor and prostate-specific antigen gene polymorphisms and breast cancer in African-American women.

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USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Room 6419, 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9175, USA.


Several previous studies have found the CAG repeat polymorphism in exon 1 of the androgen receptor (AR) gene to be associated with breast cancer risk among some groups of Caucasian and Asian women. In a population-based case-control study of 488 African-American women (239 cases and 249 controls), we examined this polymorphism along with a polymorphism (-158 G/A) in an androgen-regulated gene (PSA) whose expression has been correlated with breast cancer prognosis. Overall, we did not observe any significant association between the CAG repeat polymorphism and breast cancer risk. However, among women with a first-degree family history of breast cancer, longer CAG repeats were associated with a significantly increased risk. Women carrying at least one longer allele [(CAG)n > or = 22] had a 3-fold increased risk compared to those with two shorter alleles (odds ratio, 3.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-9.36). There was no significant association between the PSA gene polymorphism and breast cancer risk, nor was there significant gene-gene interaction. In summary, our results further support that shorter CAG repeats (stronger AR transactivation activity) may reduce the risk of breast cancer, at least among some groups of women. Our data, however, are unable to provide evidence that PSA is the pathway through which the protective effect of androgens operates.

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