Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Polymorphisms in DNA double-strand break repair genes and breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study
Han, J., Hankinson, S. E., Ranu, H., De Vivo, I., Hunter, D. J. Carcinogenesis. 2004. 25:2, 189-95.
Topic area
Diet - Genetic variability
Study design
Nested case-control
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 995
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women in the Nurses' Health Study. Pathologically confirmed, incident breast cancers. Cohort members without BC matched on year of birth, menopausal status, postmenopausal hormone use at blood collection, month of blood return, time of day of blood collection, and fasting status.
Exposures investigated
Plasma cartenoids; allele frequencies of XRCC2, XRCC3, and Ligase IV, used TaqMan assay
How exposure was measured
Biological Questionnaire
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 analysis of XRCC2 and XRCC3 genotype and antioxidant exposure, including interactions
Strength of associations reported
No significant associations between XRCC2, XRCC3, and Ligase IV polymorphisms and BC risk. XRCC2 R188h non-carriers in the highest quartile of alpha-carotene level, showed an AOR=0.55 (0.40-0.75): This OR remained significant after adjustment for other forms of carotenoids. Among XRCC2 R188H carriers, no significant associations were noted, regardless of carotene consumption. No evidence of effect modification was present for the other polymorphisms.
Author address
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. jhan@hsph.harvard.edu