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08.05.2020 | Epidemiology

Association of CYP19A1 gene variations with adjuvant letrozole-induced adverse events in South Indian postmenopausal breast cancer cohort expressing hormone-receptor positivity

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Gurusamy Umamaheswaran, Dharanipragada Kadambari, Suresh Kumar Muthuvel, Sekar Kalaivani, Jaganathan Devi, Solai Elango Damodaran, Suresh Chandra Pradhan, Biswajit Dubashi, Steven Aibor Dkhar, Chandrasekaran Adithan
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Musculoskeletal adverse events (MS-AEs) and vasomotor symptoms (VMSs) are the major side-effects of newer generation non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor (AI), letrozole. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CYP19A1 gene coding for the enzyme aromatase are related to AI treatment-associated adverse drug reactions. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether SNPs in the CYP19A1 gene are associated with adjuvant letrozole-induced ‘specific’ AEs in postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer patients.


Genomic DNA was isolated from 198 HR+ breast cancer patients by the phenol–chloroform method, and eleven SNPs in the CYP19A1 gene were genotyped by TaqMan genotyping assays on the qRT-PCR system. Toxicity was assessed according to the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0, and the data were analyzed using SPSS v19.0 and Haploview v4.2 statistical software.


Subjects carrying the genetic variants of CYP19A1 gene SNP rs700519 had significantly higher odds (OR 2.33; 95% CI [1.29–4.20], P = 0.0057) of MS-AEs under dominant statistical effect. The frequency of the two distinct haplotypes that include the variant allele ‘T’ at rs700519 locus, H5-GCTATCTGGCG (P = 0.042) and H11-GCTATTGCACG (P = 0.013) were significantly higher in patients with musculoskeletal toxicity than in those without MS-AEs and thus predisposing to MS-AEs. Similarly, H6-GCCAGCTGGCG (P = 0.037) haplotype exhibited higher frequencies in patients presented with VMSs. However, no such association was observed between CYP19A1 genotypes and VMSs.


To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the impact of CYP19A1 genetic variations with adjuvant letrozole treatment-associated AEs in Indian women. Genetic variations in the CYP19A1 gene is associated with letrozole-induced AEs and warrants further investigation in larger cohorts to validate this finding.

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