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||The HER2 I655V polymorphism and breast cancer risk in Ashkenazim.
||Rutter JL, Chatterjee N, Wacholder S, Struewing J
||SUMMARY: BACKGROUND Over-expression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2) protooncogene is associated with poor prognosis among female patients with breast cancer. A polymorphism in the HER2 gene (I655V) has been associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer in some ethnic groups. METHODS Subjects from a community-based study of 5318 Ashkenazim from the Washington, DC area were selected for analysis of the I655V HER2 germline polymorphism. We estimated age-specific breast cancer risk from HER2 I655V based on the family history data, using the female first-degree relatives of the study participants and a novel extension of the kin cohort method. RESULTS The estimated cumulative risk of breast cancer to age 70 was approximately 30% higher among HER2 I655V carriers than noncarriers (RR = 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03-1.83). The effect of the allele seems stronger at younger ages (among women younger than 50 years, RR = 2.11; CI = 1.39-3.28) and especially among younger women with a family history of breast cancer (RR = 8.9; CI = 1.9-19.7). Increased risk of breast cancer associated with the I655V allele was also observed among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, although these results are based on small numbers. CONCLUSION These analyses suggest that the HER2 valine allele might be associated with increased risk of breast cancer, especially in young women and in women with a family history of the disease.