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BMC Cancer. 2010 Feb 9;10:36. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-36.

A polymorphism at the 3'-UTR region of the aromatase gene defines a subgroup of postmenopausal breast cancer patients with poor response to neoadjuvant letrozole.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Fundaci√≥n Instituto Valenciano de Oncolog√≠a, Valencia, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Aromatase (CYP19A1) regulates estrogen biosynthesis. Polymorphisms in CYP19A1 have been related to the pathogenesis of breast cancer (BC). Inhibition of aromatase with letrozole constitutes the best option for treating estrogen-dependent BC in postmenopausal women. We evaluate a series of polymorphisms of CYP19A1 and their effect on response to neoadjuvant letrozole in early BC.

METHODS:

We analyzed 95 consecutive postmenopausal women with stage II-III ER/PgR [+] BC treated with neoadjuvant letrozole. Response to treatment was measured by radiology at 4th month by World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Three polymorphisms of CYP19A1, one in exon 7 (rs700519) and two in the 3'-UTR region (rs10046 and rs4646) were evaluated on DNA obtained from peripheral blood.

RESULTS:

Thirty-five women (36.8%) achieved a radiological response to letrozole. The histopathological and immunohistochemical parameters, including hormonal receptor status, were not associated with the response to letrozole. Only the genetic variants (AC/AA) of the rs4646 polymorphism were associated with poor response to letrozole (p = 0.03). Eighteen patients (18.9%) reported a progression of the disease. Those patients carrying the genetic variants (AC/AA) of rs4646 presented a lower progression-free survival than the patients homozygous for the reference variant (p = 0.0686). This effect was especially significant in the group of elderly patients not operated after letrozole induction (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study reveals that the rs4646 polymorphism identifies a subgroup of stage II-III ER/PgR [+] BC patients with poor response to neoadjuvant letrozole and poor prognosis. Testing for the rs4646 polymorphism could be a useful tool in order to orientate the treatment in elderly BC patients.

PMID:
20144226
PMCID:
PMC2830181
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2407-10-36
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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