Purpose: To examine the association of polymorphisms in ATM (codon 158), GSTP1 (codon 105), SOD2 (codon 16), TGFB1 (position -509), XPD (codon 751), and XRCC1 (codon 399) with the risk of severe erythema after breast conserving radiotherapy.
Methods and materials: Retrospective analysis of 83 breast cancer patients treated with breast conserving radiotherapy. A total dose of 50.4 Gy was administered, applying 1.8 Gy/fraction within 42 days. Erythema was evaluated according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) score. DNA was extracted from blood samples and polymorphisms were determined using either the Polymerase Chain Reaction based Restriction-Fragment-Length-Polymorphism (PCR-RFL) technique or Matrix-Assisted-Laser-Desorption/Ionization -Time-Of-Flight-Mass-Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF). Relative excess heterozygosity (REH) was investigated to check compatibility of genotype frequencies with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). In addition, p-values from the standard exact HWE lack of fit test were calculated using 100,000 permutations. HWE analyses were performed using R.
Results: Fifty-six percent (46/83) of all patients developed erythema of grade 2 or 3, with this risk being higher for patients with large breast volume (odds ratio, OR = 2.55, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.03-6.31, p = 0.041). No significant association between SNPs and risk of erythema was found when all patients were considered. However, in patients with small breast volume the TGFB1 SNP was associated with erythema (p = 0.028), whereas the SNP in XPD showed an association in patients with large breast volume (p = 0.046). A risk score based on all risk alleles was neither significant in all patients nor in patients with small or large breast volume. Risk alleles of most SNPs were different compared to a previously identified risk profile for fibrosis.
Conclusions: The genetic risk profile for erythema appears to be different for patients with small and larger breast volume. This risk profile seems to be specific for erythema as compared to a risk profile for fibrosis.