Exposure to estrogens and alcohol consumption - the two only well-established risk factors for breast cancer - are capable of causing oxidative stress, which has been linked to progression of breast cancer. Here, five functional polymorphisms in the antioxidant genes SOD1, CAT and GSR were investigated in 703 breast cancer case-control pairs in the Danish, prospective "Diet, Cancer and Health" cohort together with gene-environment interactions between the polymorphisms, enzyme activities and intake of fruits and vegetables, alcohol and smoking in relation to breast cancer risk. Our results showed that genetically determined variations in the antioxidant enzyme activities of SOD1, CAT and GSR were not associated with risk of breast cancer per se. However, intake of alcohol, fruit and vegetables, and smoking status interacted with some of the polymorphisms in relation to breast cancer risk. Four polymorphisms were strongly associated with enzyme activity, but there was no interaction between any of the studied environmental factors and the polymorphisms in relation to enzyme activity. Additionally, single measurement of enzyme activity at entry to the cohort was not associated with risk of breast cancer. Our results therefore suggest that the antioxidant enzyme activities studied here are not major determinants of breast cancer risk.
- antioxidant enzymes
- breast cancer
- gene-environment interactions
- prospective cohort study
- single nucleotide polymorphisms