GC Barnett, CE Coles, NG Burnet, PDP Pharoah, J Wilkinson, CML West, RM Elliott, C Baynes, AM Dunning
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Several small studies have reported associations between TGFB1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), considered to increase secretion of TGF-β1, and greater than 3-fold increases in incidence of fibrosis - an indicator of late toxicity after radiotherapy in breast cancer patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two SNPs in TGFB1, C-509T (rs1800469) and L10P (rs1800470), were genotyped in 778 breast cancer patients who had received radiotherapy to the breast. Late radiotherapy toxicity was assessed two years after radiotherapy using a validated photographic technique, clinical assessment and patient questionnaires. RESULTS: On photographic assessment, 210 (27%) patients showed some degree of breast shrinkage, whilst 45 (6%) patients showed marked breast shrinkage. There was no significant association of genotype at either of the TGFB1 SNPs with any measure of late radiation toxicity. CONCLUSION: This adequately powered trial failed to confirm previously reported increases in fibrosis with TGFB1 genotype - any increase greater than 1.36 can be excluded with 95% confidence. Similar frequent failures to replicate associations with candidate genes have been resolved using genome-wide association scans: this methodology detects common, low risk alleles but requires even larger patient numbers for adequate statistical power.