A common 936 C/T polymorphism in the gene for the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been associated with VEGF plasma levels. In our case-control study, we investigated the role of this polymorphism for breast cancer risk. VEGF genotype was determined in 500 women with breast cancer and 500 sex- and age-matched healthy control subjects. Carriers of a 936T-allele were more frequent among controls (29.4%) than among patients (17.6%; p = 0.000014). The odds ratio for carriers of a 936T-allele for breast cancer was 0.51 (95% confidence interval 0.38-0.70). Additionally, VEGF plasma levels were determined in 21 nonsmoking post-menopausal controls; carriers of a 936T allele had significantly lower levels (median 23 pg/ml; range 6-50 pg/ml) than noncarriers (37; 21-387; p = 0.034). We conclude that carriers of a VEGF 936T-allele are at decreased risk for breast cancer, this, however, requiring further confirmation in a larger study.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.