Genetic polymorphisms in phase I and phase II enzymes and breast cancer risk associated with menopausal hormone therapy in postmenopausal women.

Research paper by

Indexed on: 09 May '09Published on: 09 May '09Published in: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment


Recent findings indicate a greater risk of postmenopausal breast cancer with estrogen-progestagen therapy than estrogen monotherapy, and more so for current than past use. Few studies have examined individual genetic susceptibility to the effects of menopausal hormone therapy. We used two population-based case-control studies with 3,155 postmenopausal breast cancer patients and 5,496 controls to evaluate modification of breast cancer risk associated with duration of hormone use by genes involved in hormone metabolism and detoxification. Twenty-eight polymorphisms in eight genes of phase I (CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7) and nine genes of phase II enzymes (COMT, GSTM1, GSTM3, GSTP1, GSTT1, SULT1A1, UGT1A1, UGT1A6, UGT2B7) were genotyped. The risk associated with duration of use of combined estrogen-progestagen therapy was significantly modified by genetic polymorphisms located in CYP1B1, GSTP1, and GSTT1. In homozygote carriers of the CYP1B1_142_G and the CYP1B1_355 _T variant alleles, adjusted odds ratios (OR) per year of use were 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02-1.09) and 1.06 (95% CI = 1.03-1.09), respectively, compared with 1.02 (95% CI = 1.01-1.03) in non-carriers of either polymorphism (p(interaction) = 0.01). Carriers of the functional GSTT1 allele and the GSTP1_341_T allele were at significantly higher risks associated with hormone use compared with non-carriers (p(interaction) = 0.0001 and 0.02). CYP1A1_2452_C>A significantly reduced the risk associated with duration of use of estrogen monotherapy (p(interaction) = 0.01). The finding regarding GSTT1 was still statistically significant after corrections for multiple comparisons. Postmenopausal breast cancer risk associated with hormone therapy may be modified by genetically determined variations in phase I and II enzymes involved in steroid hormone metabolism.