Assessment of multifactor gene?environment interactions and ovarian cancer risk: Candidate genes, obesity, and hormone-related risk factors

On behalf of Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium and the Australian Cancer Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Many epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk factors relate to hormone exposure and elevated estrogen levels are associated with obesity in postmenopausal women. Therefore, we hypothesized that gene?environment interactions related to hormone-related risk factors could differ between obese and nonobese women. Methods: We considered interactions between 11,441 SNPs within 80 candidate genes related to hormone biosynthesis and metabolism and insulin-like growth factors with six hormonerelated factors (oral contraceptive use, parity, endometriosis, tubal ligation, hormone replacement therapy, and estrogen use) and assessed whether these interactions differed between obese and non-obese women. Interactions were assessed using logistic regression models and data from 14 case?control studies (6,247 cases; 10,379 controls). Histotype-specific analyses were also completed. Results: SNPs in the following candidate genes showed notable interaction: IGF1R (rs41497346, estrogen plus progesterone hormone therapy, histology = all, P = 4.9 × 10-6) and ESR1 (rs12661437, endometriosis, histology=all, P=1.5×10-5). The most notable obesity?gene?hormone risk factor interaction was within INSR (rs113759408, parity, histology=endometrioid, P= 8.8 × 10-6). Conclusions: We have demonstrated the feasibility of assessing multifactor interactions in large genetic epidemiology studies. Follow-up studies are necessary to assess the robustness of our findings for ESR1, CYP11A1, IGF1R, CYP11B1, INSR, and IGFBP2. Future work is needed to develop powerful statistical methods able to detect these complex interactions. Impact: Assessment of multifactor interaction is feasible, and, here, suggests that the relationship between genetic variants within candidate genes and hormone-related risk factorsmay vary EOC susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-790
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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