Background: An insulin-related pathway to breast cancer has been hypothesized.
Methods: We examine the 19 CA repeat of the IGF1 gene, the -202 C > A IGFBP3, the G972R IRS, and the G1057D IRS2 polymorphisms among 1,175 non-Hispanic white (NHW) and 576 Hispanic newly diagnosed breast cancer cases and 1,330 NHW and 727 Hispanic controls living in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
Results: Among post-menopausal women not recently exposed to hormones, not having the 19 CA repeat of IGF1 gene was associated with breast cancer among NHW women [odds ratio (OR) 2.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21-3.79] and having an R allele of G972R IRS1 increased breast cancer risk among Hispanic women (OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.13-6.46). Among post-menopausal Hispanic women recently exposed to hormones the A allele of the -202 C > A IGFBP3 polymorphism increased risk of breast cancer (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.06-2.33). The IGF1 19 CA repeat polymorphism interacted with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) among NHW post-menopausal women; women who had the 19/19 IGF1 genotype were at reduced risk of breast cancer (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.47-0.88) if they did not use HRT. We also observed interaction between body mass index and IGF1 19 CA repeat (p=0.06) and between weight gain and the -202 C > A IGFBP3 polymorphism (p=0.05) in NHW post-menopausal women not recently exposed to hormones.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that associations between insulin-related genes and breast cancer risk among women living in the Southwestern United States may be dependent on estrogen exposure and may differ by ethnicity.