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A genome-wide gene-environment interaction study of breast cancer risk for women of European ancestry.

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Middha, Pooja 
Wang, Xiaoliang 
Behrens, Sabine 
Bolla, Manjeet K 
Wang, Qin 


BACKGROUND: Genome-wide studies of gene-environment interactions (G×E) may identify variants associated with disease risk in conjunction with lifestyle/environmental exposures. We conducted a genome-wide G×E analysis of ~ 7.6 million common variants and seven lifestyle/environmental risk factors for breast cancer risk overall and for estrogen receptor positive (ER +) breast cancer. METHODS: Analyses were conducted using 72,285 breast cancer cases and 80,354 controls of European ancestry from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Gene-environment interactions were evaluated using standard unconditional logistic regression models and likelihood ratio tests for breast cancer risk overall and for ER + breast cancer. Bayesian False Discovery Probability was employed to assess the noteworthiness of each SNP-risk factor pairs. RESULTS: Assuming a 1 × 10-5 prior probability of a true association for each SNP-risk factor pairs and a Bayesian False Discovery Probability < 15%, we identified two independent SNP-risk factor pairs: rs80018847(9p13)-LINGO2 and adult height in association with overall breast cancer risk (ORint = 0.94, 95% CI 0.92-0.96), and rs4770552(13q12)-SPATA13 and age at menarche for ER + breast cancer risk (ORint = 0.91, 95% CI 0.88-0.94). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the contribution of G×E interactions to the heritability of breast cancer is very small. At the population level, multiplicative G×E interactions do not make an important contribution to risk prediction in breast cancer.



Breast cancer, European ancestry, Gene-environment interactions, Genetic epidemiology

Journal Title

Breast Cancer Res

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Cancer Research UK (A16563)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Societal Challenges (634935)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Societal Challenges (633784)
Cancer Research UK (C1287/A8459)
Cancer Research UK (A10118)
Cancer Research UK (A10710)
Cancer Research UK (A12014)
Medical Research Council (G1000143)
National Cancer Institute (U19CA148537)
European Commission (223175)
National Cancer Institute (R01CA128978)
National Cancer Institute (U19CA148065)
Wellcome Trust (203477/Z/16/Z)
National Cancer Institute (P30CA023100)