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Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Aug 15;20(16):3289-303. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr228. Epub 2011 May 19.

Low penetrance breast cancer susceptibility loci are associated with specific breast tumor subtypes: findings from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Broeks A1, Schmidt MK, Sherman ME, Couch FJ, Hopper JL, Dite GS, Apicella C, Smith LD, Hammet F, Southey MC, Van 't Veer LJ, de Groot R, Smit VT, Fasching PA, Beckmann MW, Jud S, Ekici AB, Hartmann A, Hein A, Schulz-Wendtland R, Burwinkel B, Marme F, Schneeweiss A, Sinn HP, Sohn C, Tchatchou S, Bojesen SE, Nordestgaard BG, Flyger H, Ørsted DD, Kaur-Knudsen D, Milne RL, Pérez JI, Zamora P, Rodríguez PM, Benítez J, Brauch H, Justenhoven C, Ko YD; Genica Network, Hamann U, Fischer HP, Brüning T, Pesch B, Chang-Claude J, Wang-Gohrke S, Bremer M, Karstens JH, Hillemanns P, Dörk T, Nevanlinna HA, Heikkinen T, Heikkilä P, Blomqvist C, Aittomäki K, Aaltonen K, Lindblom A, Margolin S, Mannermaa A, Kosma VM, Kauppinen JM, Kataja V, Auvinen P, Eskelinen M, Soini Y, Chenevix-Trench G, Spurdle AB, Beesley J, Chen X, Holland H; kConFab; AOCS, Lambrechts D, Claes B, Vandorpe T, Neven P, Wildiers H, Flesch-Janys D, Hein R, Löning T, Kosel M, Fredericksen ZS, Wang X, Giles GG, Baglietto L, Severi G, McLean C, Haiman CA, Henderson BE, Le Marchand L, Kolonel LN, Alnæs GG, Kristensen V, Børresen-Dale AL, Hunter DJ, Hankinson SE, Andrulis IL, Mulligan AM, O'Malley FP, Devilee P, Huijts PE, Tollenaar RA, Van Asperen CJ, Seynaeve CS, Chanock SJ, Lissowska J, Brinton L, Peplonska B, Figueroa J, Yang XR, Hooning MJ, Hollestelle A, Oldenburg RA, Jager A, Kriege M, Ozturk B, van Leenders GJ, Hall P, Czene K, Humphreys K, Liu J, Cox A, Connley D, Cramp HE, Cross SS, Balasubramanian SP, Reed MW, Dunning AM, Easton DF, Humphreys MK, Caldas C, Blows F, Driver K, Provenzano E, Lubinski J, Jakubowska A, Huzarski T, Byrski T, Cybulski C, Gorski B, Gronwald J, Brennan P, Sangrajrang S, Gaborieau V, Shen CY, Hsiung CN, Yu JC, Chen ST, Hsu GC, Hou MF, Huang CS, Anton-Culver H, Ziogas A, Pharoah PD, Garcia-Closas M.

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Department of Experimental Therapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Breast cancers demonstrate substantial biological, clinical and etiological heterogeneity. We investigated breast cancer risk associations of eight susceptibility loci identified in GWAS and two putative susceptibility loci in candidate genes in relation to specific breast tumor subtypes. Subtypes were defined by five markers (ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6, EGFR) and other pathological and clinical features. Analyses included up to 30 040 invasive breast cancer cases and 53 692 controls from 31 studies within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We confirmed previous reports of stronger associations with ER+ than ER- tumors for six of the eight loci identified in GWAS: rs2981582 (10q26) (P-heterogeneity = 6.1 × 10(-18)), rs3803662 (16q12) (P = 3.7 × 10(-5)), rs13281615 (8q24) (P = 0.002), rs13387042 (2q35) (P = 0.006), rs4973768 (3p24) (P = 0.003) and rs6504950 (17q23) (P = 0.002). The two candidate loci, CASP8 (rs1045485, rs17468277) and TGFB1 (rs1982073), were most strongly related with the risk of PR negative tumors (P = 5.1 × 10(-6) and P = 4.1 × 10(-4), respectively), as previously suggested. Four of the eight loci identified in GWAS were associated with triple negative tumors (P ≤ 0.016): rs3803662 (16q12), rs889312 (5q11), rs3817198 (11p15) and rs13387042 (2q35); however, only two of them (16q12 and 2q35) were associated with tumors with the core basal phenotype (P ≤ 0.002). These analyses are consistent with different biological origins of breast cancers, and indicate that tumor stratification might help in the identification and characterization of novel risk factors for breast cancer subtypes. This may eventually result in further improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment.

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