• Genome-wide association study of germline variants and breast cancer-specific mortality

      Escala-Garcia, M; Guo, Q; Dork, T; Canisius, S; Keeman, R; Dennis, J; Beesley, J; Lecarpentier, J; Bolla, K; Wang, Q; et al. (2019)
      BACKGROUND: We examined the associations between germline variants and breast cancer mortality using a large meta-analysis of women of European ancestry. METHODS: Meta-analyses included summary estimates based on Cox models of twelve datasets using ~10.4 million variants for 96,661 women with breast cancer and 7697 events (breast cancer-specific deaths). Oestrogen receptor (ER)-specific analyses were based on 64,171 ER-positive (4116) and 16,172 ER-negative (2125) patients. We evaluated the probability of a signal to be a true positive using the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP). RESULTS: We did not find any variant associated with breast cancer-specific mortality at P?<?5?×?10-8. For ER-positive disease, the most significantly associated variant was chr7:rs4717568 (BFDP?=?7%, P?=?1.28?×?10-7, hazard ratio [HR]?=?0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]?=?0.84-0.92); the closest gene is AUTS2. For ER-negative disease, the most significant variant was chr7:rs67918676 (BFDP?=?11%, P?=?1.38?×?10-7, HR?=?1.27, 95% CI?=?1.16-1.39); located within a long intergenic non-coding RNA gene (AC004009.3), close to the HOXA gene cluster. CONCLUSIONS: We uncovered germline variants on chromosome 7 at BFDP?<?15% close to genes for which there is biological evidence related to breast cancer outcome. However, the paucity of variants associated with mortality at genome-wide significance underpins the challenge in providing genetic-based individualised prognostic information for breast cancer patients.