The -174 G/C gene polymorphism in interleukin-6 is associated with an aggressive breast cancer phenotype

Br J Cancer. 2004 Jan 26;90(2):419-22. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601545.


Serum and tissue levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been implicated in the biological phenotype of breast carcinoma. A common G/C polymorphism at position -174 of the IL-6 promoter can influence the expression level of this gene. We therefore investigated for associations between this polymorphism and various phenotypic features in a series of 256 breast cancers. Individuals who were homozygous for the C allele (n=55) were more likely to have higher-grade tumours (P=0.039) with ductal histology (P=0.030) compared to those harbouring at least one wild-type G allele (n=201). Homozygosity for the C allele was also associated with significantly worse overall survival (P=0.031). We conclude that the -174 C allele of IL-6 is associated with a more aggressive breast cancer phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Interleukin-6