Genetic polymorphisms and breast cancer risk: evidence from meta-analyses, pooled analyses, and genome-wide association studies

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Jun;127(2):309-24. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1459-5. Epub 2011 Mar 29.


To address the association between variants and breast cancer, an increasing number of articles on genetic association studies, genome-wide association studies (GWASs), and related meta- and pooled analyses have been published. Such studies have prompted an updated assessment of the associations between gene variants and breast cancer risk. We searched PubMed, Medline, and Web of Science and retrieved a total of 87 meta- and pooled analyses, which addressed the associations between 145 gene variants and breast cancer. Analyses met the following criteria: (1) breast cancer was the outcome, (2) the articles were all published in English, and (3) in the recent published meta- and pooled analyses, the analyses with more subjects were selected. Among the 145 variants, 46 were significantly associated with breast cancer and the other 99 (in 62 genes) were not significantly associated with breast cancer. The summary ORs for the 46 significant associations (P < 0.05) were further assessed by the method of false-positive report probability (FPRP). Our results demonstrated that 10 associations were noteworthy: CASP8 (D302H), CHEK2 (*1100delC), CTLA4 (+49G>A), FGFR2 (rs2981582, rs1219648, and rs2420946), HRAS (rare alleles), IL1B (rs1143627), LSP1 (rs3817198), and MAP3K1 (rs889312). In addition, eight GWASs were identified, in which 25 loci were obtained (14 in nine genes, six near a gene or genes, and five intergenic loci). Of the 25 SNPs, 20 were noteworthy: C6orf97 (rs2046210 and rs3757318), FGFR2 (rs2981579, rs1219648, and rs2981582), LSP1 (rs909116), RNF146 (rs2180341), SLC4A7 (rs4973768), MRPS30 (rs7716600), TOX3 (rs3803662 and rs4784227), ZNF365 (rs10995190), rs889312, rs614367, rs13281615, rs13387042, rs11249433, rs1011970, rs614367, and rs1562430. In summary, in this review of genetic association studies, 31.7% of the gene-variant breast cancer associations were significant, and 21.7% of these significant associations were noteworthy. However, in GWASs, 80% of the significant associations were noteworthy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Risk*