Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have to date identified 94 genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) associated with risk of developing breast cancer. A score based on the combined effect of the 94 risk alleles can be calculated to measure the global risk of breast cancer. We aimed to test the hypothesis that the 94-SNP-based risk score is associated with clinico-pathological characteristics, breast cancer subtypes and outcomes in early breast cancer.
Methods: A 94-SNP risk score was calculated in 8703 patients in the PHARE and SIGNAL prospective case cohorts. This score is the total number of inherited risk alleles based on 94 selected SNPs. Clinical data and outcomes were prospectively registered. Genotyping was obtained from a GWAS.
Results: The median 94-SNP risk score in 8703 patients with early breast cancer was 77.5 (range: 58.1-97.6). The risk score was not associated with usual prognostic and predictive factors (age; tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) status; Scarff-Bloom-Richardson grade; inflammatory features; estrogen receptor status; progesterone receptor status; human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status) and did not correlate with breast cancer subtypes. The 94-SNP risk score did not predict outcomes represented by overall survival or disease-free survival.
Conclusions: In a prospective case cohort of 8703 patients, a risk score based on 94 SNPs was not associated with breast cancer characteristics, cancer subtypes, or patients' outcomes. If we hypothesize that prognosis and subtypes of breast cancer are determined by constitutional genetic factors, our results suggest that a score based on breast cancer risk-associated SNPs is not associated with prognosis.
Trial registration: PHARE cohort: NCT00381901 , Sept. 26, 2006 - SIGNAL cohort: INCa RECF1098, Jan. 28, 2009.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Genetic variant; Prognosis; Risk score; Single nucleotide polymorphism.