Prognostic impact of genetic variants of CYP19A1 and UGT2B17 in a randomized trial for endocrine-responsive postmenopausal breast cancer

Harriet Johansson, Valentina Aristarco, Sara Gandini, Jennifer Gjerde, Debora Macis, Aliana Guerrieri-Gonzaga, Davide Serrano, Matteo Lazzeroni, Agnita Rajasekaran, Clark V. Williard, Gunnar Mellgren, Andrea DeCensi, Bernardo Bonanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymorphisms of genes involved in estrogen synthesis have been linked to breast cancer risk, prognosis, and treatment response. We investigated the prognostic impact of a deletion spanning the entire UGT2B17 gene (UGT2B17*2) and genetic variants of the aromatase CYP19A1 and estrogen receptor α (ESR1) in 125 postmenopausal women with ER-positive breast cancer enrolled in a randomized pre-surgical trial. The UGT2B17*2 was estimated by copy number variation assays and the CYP19A1 rs10046/rs4646 and ESR1 rs2077647/rs2234693/rs9340799 by TaqMan allelic discrimination assays. Serum exemestane/17-hydroxy exemestane were determined by MS and estrone (E1)/estradiol (E2)/ by GC-MS/MS. The association of genetic polymorphisms with “any event” was assessed by the Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for confounders. The UGT2B17*2 was associated with higher levels of 17-hydroxy exemestane (P = 0.04) and better prognosis (HR = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.20–1.01; P = 0.05) compared with homozygote UGT2B17 wt. The CYP19A1 rs10046 A and rs4646 C alleles were associated with higher estrogen levels: rs10046 AA vs. AG/GG genotypes had median E1 of 35.9 vs. 27.4 pg/mL (P = 0.05) and E2 of 7.57 vs. 3.9 pg/mL (P < 0.004). After a median follow-up of 7 years, women carrying the “low estrogen” alleles rs10046 G and rs4646 A had a better prognosis compared with homozygote wt for both polymorphisms (HR = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.17–0.93; P = 0.03). Our analysis points to an impact of UGT2B17 and CYP19A1 in postmenopausal endocrine responsive breast cancer. Carriers of UGT2B17*2 and CYP19A1 low estrogen variants may have better prognosis, supporting studies addressing the role of these polymorphisms in optimizing endocrine therapy. Trial registration:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacogenomics Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology


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