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Breast and prostate cancer risk: the interplay of polygenic risk, high-impact monogenic variants, and family history

By Emadeldin Hassanin, Patrick May, Rana Aldisi, Isabel Spier, Andreas J. Forstner, Markus M. Noethen, Stefan Aretz, Peter Krawitz, Dheeraj Reddy Bobbili, Carlo Maj

Posted 09 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.04.21258277

Purpose Investigate to which extent polygenic risk scores (PRS), high-impact monogenic variants, and family history affect breast and prostate cancer risk by assessing cancer prevalence and cancer cumulative lifetime incidence. Methods 200,643 individuals from the UK Biobank were stratified as follows: 1. carriers or non-carriers of high impact constitutive, monogenic variants in cancer susceptibility genes, 2. high or non-high PRS (90th percentile threshold), 3. with or without a family history of cancer. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare the odds ratio (OR) across the different groups while Cox proportional hazards models were used to compute the cumulative incidence through life. Results Breast and prostate cancer cumulative incidence by age 70 is 7% and 5% for non-carriers with non-high PRS and reaches 37% and 32% among carriers of high-impact variants in cancer susceptibility genes with high PRS. The additional presence of family history is associated with a further increase of the risk of developing cancer reaching an OR of 14 and 21 for breast and prostate cancer, respectively. Conclusion High PRS confers a cancer risk comparable to high-impact monogenic variants. Family history, monogenic variants, and PRS contribute additively to breast and prostate cancer risk.

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