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BACKGROUND - In addition to mediating aspects of physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis, the VEGF family also contributes to carcinogenesis.
METHODS - We comprehensively characterized genetic variation across four VEGF family genes and evaluated associations with breast cancer risk with odds ratios (OR) and 95% CIs for participants of the two-stage case-control Shanghai Breast Cancer Genetics Study (SBCGS). Stage 1 evaluated 200 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) across two VEGF ligands (VEGFA and VEGFC) and two VEGF receptors (FLT1/VEGFR1 and KDR/VEGFR2) among 2,079 cases and 2,148 controls. Five SNPs with promising associations were assessed in stage 2 among 4,419 cases and 1,851 controls.
RESULTS - Two SNPs were consistently associated with breast cancer risk across our two study stages and were significant in combined analyses. Compared with FLT1 rs9551471 major allele homozygotes (AA), reduced risks were associated with AG (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.84-1.00) and GG (OR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.64-0.95) genotypes (P(trend) = 0.005). Compared with VEGFA rs833070 major allele carriers (CC or CT), increased risk was associated with TT genotypes (OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.05-1.52, P = 0.016).
CONCLUSION - Results from our study indicate that common genetic variation in VEGFA and FLT1 (VEGFR1) may contribute to breast cancer susceptibility.
IMPACT - Our findings provide clues for future studies on VEGF family genes in relation to cancer susceptibility and survival.