Male and female breast cancer: the two faces of the same genetic susceptibility coin

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in women. In contrast, male BC is about 100 times less common than in women, being considered a rare disease. Male BC may be a distinctive subtype of BC and available data seems to indicate that male BC has a higher dependence on genetic variants than female BC. Nevertheless, the same prognostic and predictive markers are used to determine optimal management strategies for both male and female BC. Several studies have assessed the role of genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA repair genes in female BC susceptibility. However, data on male BC is scarce. Thus, the current study aimed to assess the role of SNPs in XRCC1, MUTYH and TP53 genes in a male cohort of BC, and, in addition, compare the male data with matched results previously genotyped in female BC patients. Methods: The male BC cohort was genotyped through Real-Time PCR using TaqMan Assays for several SNPs previously analysed in Portuguese female BC patients. Results: The results obtained indicate significant differences in BC susceptibility between males and females for the XRCC1 rs1799782, MUTYH rs3219489 and TP53 rs1042522 and rs8064946 variants. Conclusions: In males, XRCC1 and TP53 variants, when in heterozygosity, seem to be related with lower susceptibility for BC, contrasting with higher susceptibility for a MUTYH variant in females. These findings may help to explain the difference in incidence of BC between the two sexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-305
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Genetic variants in male and female breast cancer
  • DNA repair genes
  • TP53
  • XRCC1


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