Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Sulfotransferase 1A1 (SULT1A1) polymorphism, PAH-DNA adduct levels in breast tissue and breast cancer risk in a case-control study
Tang, D., Rundle, A., Mooney, L., Cho, S., Schnabel, F., Estabrook, A., Kelly, A., Levine, R., Hibshoosh, H., Perera, F. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2003. 78:2, 217-22.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - PAH, SULTA1
Study design
Case-control, hospital-based
Funding agency
US Department of Defense
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 94 BBD, 132 healthy
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Breast surgery patients > 35 and < 75 years of age with first breast cancer compared with benign breast disease without atypia. Patients with prior cancer (other than basal skin cancer), current pregnancy, recent bone fracture, or recent breastfeeding were excluded.
Exposures investigated
PAH-DNA adducts in breast tissue, Phase II detoxification enzyme sulfotransferase 1A1 (SULTA1) (Arg/His) polymorphism at codon 213
Statistical Analysis
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary breast cancer
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Adequately controlled
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Logistic regression. Arg/Arg genotype as referent group. Student's t-test, ANOVA
Strength of associations reported
His/His genotype cases vs. all controls Adjusted OR=2.3; 95% CI 0.90-5.90 (p-trend for increasing number of His copies =0.07)
SULT1A1 was not associated with PAH-DNA adduct levles in any type of breast tissue.
Results Comments
Sulfonate conjugation is a pathway in metabolism of various mammary carcinogens, including estrogen, PAHs.SULT1A1 catalyzes sulfonation of estrogens to water-soluble, biologically inactive form, reducing exposure of target tissues to estrogen. "The less active His allele is associated with higher levels of unconjugated estrogens and increased breast cancer risk." In contrast, SULT1A1 is also involved in bioactiviation of heterocyclic amines and PAH. "The less active His allele would be hypothesized to confer lower risk of PAH-related carcinogenesis." The hypothesis regarding PAH-DNA adducts was not supported.
Author address
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Joseph L Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City, NY 10032, USA.