Association of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) gene polymorphisms with endometrial thickness and lipid profile in women with breast cancer treated with aromatase inhibitors

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Nov;28(11):859-62. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2012.671393. Epub 2012 Jul 16.


Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) provide an alternative to tamoxifen as an adjuvant therapy for post-menopausal, hormone-receptor positive breast cancer patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of PvuII and XbaI polymorphisms of the ERα gene at ΑΙs treatment's adverse effects in post-menopausal women with breast cancer. The study included 87 post-menopausal women with ER-positive breast cancer treated with AIs and 80 healthy controls. The overall presence of ERα polymorphisms in all women with breast cancer was not different from the healthy controls. Endometrial thickness under AIs treatment was reduced from (mean value ± SD) 6,404 ± 2,901 mm to 3,666 ± 1,4656 mm. Moreover, the AA XbaI genotype was associated with greater reduction in endometrial thickness during therapy with AIs (p = 0.005). The presence of the CC PvuII and the AA XbaI genotypes were associated with elevated LDL levels and elevated triglycerides. In conclusion, the results of the present study showed that the genotype of women with breast cancer under AIs treatment might influence treatment's adverse effects, as, the presence of the CC PvuII and the AA XbaI genotypes of the ERα were associated with elevated LDL and triglycerides serum levels, while the AA XbaI genotype was associated with a greater reduction in endometrial thickness.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endometrium / drug effects*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Lipids