Active and secondhand smoke exposure throughout life and DNA methylation in breast tumors.

Callahan CL, Bonner MR, Nie J, Wang Y, Tao MH, Shields PG, Marian C, Eng KH, Trevisan M, Freudenheim JL
Cancer Causes Control 30 53-62 01/01/2019


PURPOSE: Tobacco smoke exposure has been associated with altered DNA methylation. However, there is a paucity of information regarding tobacco smoke exposure and DNA methylation of breast tumors.

METHODS: We conducted a case-only analysis using breast tumor tissue from 493 postmenopausal and 225 premenopausal cases in the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) study. Methylation of nine genes (SFN, SCGB3A1, RARB, GSTP1, CDKN2A, CCND2, BRCA1, FHIT, and SYK) was measured with pyrosequencing. Participants reported their secondhand smoke (SHS) and active smoking exposure for seven time periods. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) of having methylation higher than the median.

RESULTS: SHS exposure was associated with tumor DNA methylation among postmenopausal but not premenopausal women. Active smoking at certain ages was associated with increased methylation of GSTP1, FHIT, and CDKN2A and decreased methylation of SCGB3A1 and BRCA1 among both pre- and postmenopausal women.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to tobacco smoke may contribute to breast carcinogenesis via alterations in DNA methylation. Further studies in a larger panel of genes are warranted.

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