Polymorphisms in base excision repair genes: Breast cancer risk and individual radiosensitivity

Clarice Patrono, Silvia Sterpone, Antonella Testa, Renata Cozzi

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women worldwide. The aetiology and carcinogenesis of BC are not clearly defined, although genetic, hormonal, lifestyle and environmental risk factors have been established. The most common treatment for BC includes breast-conserving surgery followed by a standard radiotherapy (RT) regimen. However, radiation hypersensitivity and the occurrence of RT-induced toxicity in normal tissue may affect patients' treatment. The role of DNA repair in cancer has been extensively investigated, and an impaired DNA damage response may increase the risk of BC and individual radiosensitivity. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA repair genes may alter protein function and modulate DNA repair efficiency, influencing the development of various cancers, including BC. SNPs in DNA repair genes have also been studied as potential predictive factors for the risk of RT-induced side effects. Here, we review the literature on the association between SNPs in base excision repair (BER) genes and BC risk. We focused on X-ray repair cross complementing group 1 (XRCC1 ), which plays a key role in BER, and on 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1, apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1, which encode three important BER enzymes that interact with XRCC1. Although no association between SNPs and radiation toxicity has been validated thus far, we also report published studies on XRCC1 SNPs and variants in other BER genes and RT-induced side effects in BC patients, emphasising that large well-designed studies are needed to determine the genetic components of individual radiosensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874 - 882
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology

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