Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) expression by breast epithelial cells is associated with favorable breast cancer prognosis. In preliminary studies, we found that a nucleotide variation (G-->A) at position -158 in the androgen response element (ARE-1) of the PSA promoter was present in four out of 9 breast tumors examined and in a breast carcinoma cell line. We have now determined the nucleotide composition at position -158 of DNA extracted from 148 well-characterized breast tumors and compared tumor genotype with that of controls without cancer, with tumor PSA concentration and with clinicopathological variables, overall survival and disease free survival. The G-->A base change at position -158 is a polymorphism. Allelotypes were similarly distributed in breast cancer patients and controls. The Mann-Whitney U Test showed a significantly higher tumor PSA concentration in tumors that presented a homozygous G as opposed to homozygous A genotype. Genotype at position -158 was not associated with clinicopathological variables in contingency table analysis. Univariate Cox regression models showed a 28% reduction in risk for death in patients with homozygous G genotype compared to those with homozygous A genotype (P = 0.03). However, ARE-1 genotype did not significantly add to the prognostic power in the multivariate model of overall survival. In summary, the base change at position -158 is a polymorphism that may affect breast cancer prognosis, but further studies are required to confirm this possibility and to investigate the relevance of this polymorphism in terms of breast cancer susceptibility.