Genetic risk factors for male breast cancer (MBC) are poorly understood. High penetrance genes such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 account for only a small proportion of the disease. A 1100delC mutation in CHEK2 (previously known as CHK2), a cell-cycle checkpoint kinase, has been implicated in predisposition of Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) and breast cancer in families suggestive of LFS. This 1100delC mutation has also been shown to confer a 2-fold increase of breast cancer risk in women and a 10-fold increase of risk in men. It was estimated to account for 1% of breast cancers in women and as much as 9% of breast cancers in men at the population level based on analysis of breast cancer families without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. We wanted to evaluate the significance of CHEK2 1100delC in predisposition to MBC by assessing its frequency in a population-based material of 114 Finnish MBC patients. Two patients (1.8%) carried the 1100delC mutation. The mutation frequency among MBC cases was similar to that seen in population controls (26/1885, 1.4%). Our results indicate that CHEK2 1100delC variant does not substantially increase the risk of male breast cancer at the population level. We cannot exclude the fact that a small fraction of hereditary, family-positive male breast cancers could be attributable to CHEK2 mutations.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.