CACNG2 polymorphisms associate with chronic pain after mastectomy

Pain. 2019 Mar;160(3):561-568. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001432.


Chronic postmastectomy pain (PMP) imposes a major burden on the quality of life of the ever-increasing number of long-term survivors of breast cancer. An earlier report by Nissenbaum et al. claimed that particular polymorphisms in the gene CACNG2 are associated with the risk of developing chronic PMP after breast surgery (Nissenbaum J, Devor M, Seltzer Z, Gebauer M, Michaelis M, Tal M, Dorfman R, Abitbul-Yarkoni M, Lu Y, Elahipanah T, delCanho S, Minert A, Fried K, Persson AK, Shpigler H, Shabo E, Yakir B, Pisante A, Darvasi A. Susceptibility to chronic pain following nerve injury is genetically affected by CACNG2. Genome Res 2010;20:1180-90). This information is important because in principle, it can inform the surgical, radiological, and chemotherapeutic decision-making process in ways that could mitigate the increased risk of chronic pain. In this study, we revisited this claim by independently evaluating the proposed marker haplotype using 2 different patient cohorts recruited in different research settings. Meta-analysis of these new postmastectomy cohorts and the original cohort confirmed significant association of the CACNG2 haplotype with PMP. In addition, we tested whether the same markers would predict chronic postsurgical pain in men who underwent surgery for inguinal hernia repair, and whether there is significant genetic association with cutaneous thermal sensitivity in postmastectomy and postherniotomy patients. We found that the biomarker is selective because it did not predict pain after laparoscopic hernia repair and was not associated with pain sensitivity to experimentally applied noxious thermal stimuli. We conclude that the A-C-C haplotype at the 3 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs4820242, rs2284015, and rs2284017) in the CACNG2 gene is associated with increased risk of developing PMP. This information may advance current knowledge on pathophysiology of PMP and serve as a step forward in the prediction of clinical outcomes and personalized pain management.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Calcium Channels / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hyperalgesia / etiology
  • Mastectomy / adverse effects*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / complications
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology*
  • Pain, Postoperative / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*


  • CACNG2 protein, human
  • Calcium Channels