Performance of breast cancer polygenic risk scores in 760 female CHEK2 germline mutation carriers.



Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) suggest that the combined effects of breast cancer (BC)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can improve BC risk stratification using polygenic risk scores (PRSs). The performance of PRSs in GWAS-independent clinical cohorts is poorly studied in individuals carrying mutations in moderately penetrant BC predisposition genes such as CHEK2.


Both SNP sets provided concordant PRS results at the individual level (r = 0.91, p < 2.20 × 10-16). Weighted cohort Cox regression analyses revealed statistically significant associations of PRSs with the risk for first BC. For SNP set 1, a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.71 per standard deviation of the PRS was observed (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.36 to 2.15, p = 3.87x10-6). PRSs identify a subgroup of CHEK2 mutation carriers with a predicted lifetime risk for first BC that exceeds the surveillance thresholds defined by international guidelines. Association of PRS with mCBC was examined via Cox regression analysis (SNP set 1 HR =: 1.23, 95%CI = 0.86 to 1.78, p = .26).


PRSs may be used to personalize risk-adapted preventive measures for women with CHEK2 mutations. Larger studies are required to assess the role of PRSs in mCBC predisposition.


760 female CHEK2 mutation carriers were included; 561 women were affected with BC, of whom 74 developed metachronous contralateral BC (mCBC). For PRS calculations, two SNP sets covering 77 (SNP set 1, developed for BC risk stratification in women unselected for their BRCA1/2 germline mutation status) and 88 (SNP set 2, developed for BC risk stratification in female BRCA1/2 mutation carriers) BC-associated SNPs were used. All statistical tests were two-sided.

More about this publication

Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  • Publication date 29-12-2020

This site uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.