Combined genetic and nutritional risk models of triple negative breast cancer

Eunkyung Lee, Edward A. Levine, Vivian I. Franco, Glenn O. Allen, Feng Gong, Yanbin Zhang, Jennifer J. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) presents clinical challenges due to unknown etiology, lack of treatment targets, and poor prognosis. We examined combined genetic and nutritional risk models of TNBC in 354 breast cancer cases. We evaluated 18 DNA-repair nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) and dietary/nutritional intakes. Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines models were used to select nutrients of interest and define cut-off values for logistic regression models. Our results suggest that TNBC was associated with 6 DNA-repair nsSNPs, ERCC4 R415Q (rs1800067), MSH3 R940Q (rs184967), MSH6 G39E (rs1042821), POLD1 R119H (rs1726801), XRCC1 R194W (rs1799782), and XPC A499V (rs2228000) and/or deficiencies in 3 micronutrients (zinc, folate, and β-carotene). Combined analyses of these 6 nsSNPs and 3 micronutrients showed significant association with TNBC: odds ratios = 2.77 (95% confidence interval = 1.01-7.64) and 10.89 (95% confidence interval = 3.50-33.89) for 2 and at least 3 risk factors, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest that multiple genetic and nutritional factors are associated with TNBC, particularly in combination. Our findings, if validated in larger studies, will have important clinical implication that dietary modulations and/or micronutrient supplementations may prevent or reverse TNBC phenotype, so tumors can be treated with less toxic therapeutic strategies, particularly in genetically susceptible women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-963
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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