BackgroundOur recent genome-wide association study identified a novel breast cancer susceptibility locus at 9q31.2 (rs865686).
MethodsTo further investigate the rs865686-breast cancer association, we conducted a replication study within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, which comprises 37 case-control studies (48,394 cases, 50,836 controls).
ResultsThis replication study provides additional strong evidence of an inverse association between rs865686 and breast cancer risk [study-adjusted per G-allele OR, 0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.88; 0.91, P = 2.01 × 10(-29)] among women of European ancestry. There were ethnic differences in the estimated minor (G)-allele frequency among controls [0.09, 0.30, and 0.38 among, respectively, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other Europeans; P for heterogeneity (P(het)) = 1.3 × 10(-143)], but no evidence of ethnic differences in per allele OR (P(het) = 0.43). rs865686 was associated with estrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) disease (per G-allele OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.86-0.91; P = 3.13 × 10(-22)) but less strongly, if at all, with ER-negative (ER(-)) disease (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.94-1.02; P = 0.26; P(het) = 1.16 × 10(-6)), with no evidence of independent heterogeneity by progesterone receptor or HER2 status. The strength of the breast cancer association decreased with increasing age at diagnosis, with case-only analysis showing a trend in the number of copies of the G allele with increasing age at diagnosis (P for linear trend = 0.0095), but only among women with ER(+) tumors.
ConclusionsThis study is the first to show that rs865686 is a susceptibility marker for ER(+) breast cancer.
ImpactThe findings further support the view that genetic susceptibility varies according to tumor subtype.