Multiple nonmalignant cell types in the tumor microenvironment (TME) impact breast cancer risk, metastasis, and response to therapy, yet most heritable mechanisms that influence TME cell function and breast cancer outcomes are largely unknown. Breast cancer risk is ∼30% heritable and >170 genetic loci have been associated with breast cancer traits. However, the majority of candidate genes have poorly defined mechanistic roles in breast cancer biology. Research indicates that breast cancer risk modifiers directly impact cancer cells, yet it is equally plausible that some modifier alleles impact the nonmalignant TME. The objective of this review is to examine the list of current breast cancer candidate genes that may modify breast cancer risk and outcome through the TME.
- breast cancer
- tumor microenvironment