The A2 allele of CYP17 has been associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome, elevated levels of certain steroid hormones in premenopausal women, and increased breast cancer risk. We prospectively assessed the association between the A2 allele of CYP17 and breast cancer risk in a case-control study nested within the Nurses' Health Study cohort. We also evaluated associations between this CYP17 genotype and plasma steroid hormone levels among postmenopausal controls not using hormone replacement to assess the biological significance of this genetic variant. Women with the A2 allele were not at an increased risk of incident breast cancer [OR (odds ratio), 0.85; 95% CI (confidence interval), 0.65-1.12] or advanced breast cancer (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.54-1.32). We did observe evidence that the inverse association of late age at menarche with breast cancer may be modified by the CYP17 A2 allele. The protective effect of later age at menarche was only observed among women without the A2 allele (A1/A1 genotype: for age at menarche ≥13 versus <13; OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.36-0.90; A1/A2 and A2/A2 genotypes: OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.76-1.45; P for interaction = 0.07). Among controls, we found women with the A2/A2 genotype to have elevated levels of estrone (+14.3%, P = 0.01), estradiol (+13.8%, P = 0.08), testosterone (+8.6%, P = 0.34), androstenedione (+17.1%, P = 0.06), dehydroepiandrosterone (+14.4%, P = 0.02), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (+7.2%, P = 0.26) compared with women with the A1/A1 genotype. These data suggest that the A2 allele of CYP17 modifies endogenous hormone levels, but is not a strong independent risk factor for breast cancer.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 1 1999|