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Cancer Med. 2019 Jun;8(6):3237-3249. doi: 10.1002/cam4.2202. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Multiple exposure to environmental factors and variations in CYP27B1 and the microRNA-binding site of IL-13 are associated with breast cancer risk.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, P. R. China.
Department of Breast Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, P. R. China.



Several molecular epidemiology studies have evidenced an association of environmental factors and genetic polymorphisms with breast cancer (BC) risk. However, most have considered the functions of a single element rather than combined effects.


This case-control study of 693 newly-diagnosed BC cases and 714 cancer-free controls evaluated the effect of multiple exposures to environmental factors and polymorphisms in CYP27B1 and IL-13 on BC risk. Genotypes were detected using TaqMan genotyping. Combinations and interactions were analyzed using cross-over analysis and multivariate logistic regression. Combining exposure models were assessed using classification and regression tree and multivariate logistic regression analyses.


No significant independent association was observed for any polymorphism in CYP27B1 or IL-13 with the risk of BC. However, significant combined effects were noted for ≥1 time/wk physical activity with rs10877012 (adjusted odds ratio [ORadj ] = 0.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.11-0.39) and rs4646536 (ORadj  = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.11-0.39) in CYP27B1. Furthermore, taking garlic ≥4 times/wk, ≥1 time/wk physical activity, and a psychological index score ≥33 all displayed significant combined effects with three IL-13 polymorphisms. These relationships remained significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Combining exposure models indicated that compared with consuming garlic ≥4 times/wk, five models (model 5, ORadj  = 2.94, 95% CI = 1.07-8.06; model 6, ORadj  = 10.26, 95% CI = 5.81-18.10; model 7, ORadj  = 5.05, 95% CI = 2.78-9.17; model 8, ORadj  = 3.95, 95% CI = 2.79-5.58; and model 9, ORadj  = 7.97, 95% CI = 5.26-12.07) showed a significant increased risk.


Our findings suggest that personalized adjustments to diet and behavioral patterns may aid BC prevention in variant carriers of CYP27B1 and IL-13.


CYP27B1 ; IL-13 ; breast cancer; environmental factors; polymorphism

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