Gamma-ray-induced mutagen sensitivity and risk of sporadic breast cancer in young women: a case–control study
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- Wang, LE., Han, C.H., Xiong, P. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2012) 132: 1147. doi:10.1007/s10549-011-1940-1
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Hypersensitivity to radiation exposure has been suggested to be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer. In this case–control study of 515 young women (≤55 years) with newly diagnosed sporadic breast cancer and 402 cancer-free controls, we examined the radiosensitivity as measured by the frequency of chromatid breaks induced by gamma-radiation exposure in the G2 phase of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated and short-term cultured fresh lymphocytes. We found that the average chromatid breaks per cell from 50 well-spread metaphases were statistically significantly higher in 403 non-Hispanic White breast cancer patients (0.52 ± 0.22) than that in 281 non-Hispanic White controls (0.44 ± 0.16) (P value < 0.001), and in 60 Mexican American breast cancer patients (0.52 ± 0.19) than that in 65 Mexican American controls (0.44 ± 0.16) (P value = 0.021), but the difference was not significant in African Americans (52 cases [0.45 ± 0.16] versus 56 controls [0.47 ± 0.16], P = 0.651). The frequency of chromatid breaks per cell above the median of control subjects was associated with two-fold increased risk for breast cancer in non-Hispanic Whites and Mexican Americans. A dose–response relationship was evident between radiosensitivity and risk for breast cancer (Ptrend < 0.001) in these two ethnic groups. We concluded that gamma-ray-induced mutagen sensitivity may play a role in susceptibility to breast cancer in young non-Hispanic White and Mexican American women.