Common Mutations Linked To Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer

March 31, 1998

Women with common variations in the class of enzyme known as glutathione S-transferase (GST), which detoxify carcinogens, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The scientists studied three GST genes, and found that certain genetic variants of the genes increased a woman's odds of developing breast cancer by 1.5 to 2.5 times. Proteins produced by GST genes help the body disarm chemically reactive molecules that can damage cells' DNA and start them on the road to becoming cancerous. The highest change, a nearly fourfold increase in risk, occurred in women with mutations in all three genes.

"This appears to be a significant increase in risk," said Kathy Helzlsouer, MD, associate professor, Epidemiology. "It's definitely not as large as the risk increase associated with genes like BRCA1 or BRCA2, but this genetic variant affects a much larger group of women. One of these genetic variants, for example, is estimated to occur in about 44 percent of the population."

For the study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Hopkins scientists compared the genetic makeup of 110 breast cancer patients with 113 women not affected by breast cancer. The women who had breast cancer were more likely to have variations in the GST gene family.

According to Dr. Helzlsouer, if the association can be confirmed with larger studies a substantial proportion of breast cancer cases may be preventible by testing for the genetic variations and then advising women with them to avoid certain environmental cancer risk factors.

The patients and the control subjects were closely matched for age, menopausal status, and age of first period and first pregnancy. Slightly more of the control subjects used estrogen replacement therapy, and each group had similar levels of contraceptive use.

"We had a pretty tight fit between the control and the experimental group," Dr.Helzlsouer said, "but we can't be sure another risk factor isn't affecting our results until researchers can study these connections in a much larger group of patients."

This research was funded by several grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; and the Department of Defense.

-end-
-end-


Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.