Genetic variants associated with breast cancer susceptibility are reported this week in Nature Genetics. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women, with an estimated incidence of one million new cases annually. Douglas Easton and colleagues report genome-wide association analyses on over 70,000 breast cancer cases and 68,000 controls, including women from over 40 worldwide studies. They identify three genomic regions newly associated with breast cancer susceptibility. Two of these showed association only with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. They note plausible candidate genes involved in mammary gland development and breast cancer cell growth, suggesting mechanisms likely to be involved in breast cancer pathogenesis.
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