Open Access Research article

HFE H63D mutation frequency shows an increase in Turkish women with breast cancer

Aysen Gunel-Ozcan1*, Sibel Alyılmaz-Bekmez1, Emine Nilufer Guler2 and Dicle Guc3

Author Affiliations

1 Kirikkale University School of Medicine, Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Kirikkale, Turkey

2 Hacettepe University, Oncology Institute, Medical Oncology Department, Ankara, Turkey

3 Hacettepe University, Oncology Institute, Basic Oncology Department, Ankara, Turkey

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:37  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-37

Published: 19 February 2006



The hereditary hemochromatosis gene HFE plays a pivotal role in iron homeostasis. The association between cancer and HFE hetero- or homozygosity has previously been shown including hepatocellular and nonhepatocellular malignancies. This study was performed to compare frequencies of HFE C282Y and H63D variants in Turkish women with breast cancer and healthy controls.


Archived DNA samples of Hacettepe University Oncology Institute were used in this study. The HFE gene was investigated by PCR-RFLP.


All subjects studied were free from C282Y mutation. Thirty-nine patients had H63D mutation and were all heterozygous. H63D allele frequency was 22.2% (39/176) in the breast cancer patients, and 14% (28/200) in the healthy volunteers. Statistical analysis of cases with HFE H63D phenotype showed significant difference between breast cancer and healthy volunteers (P = 0.02).


Our results suggest that HFE H63D mutation frequencies were increased in the breast cancer patients in comparison to those in the general population. Also, odds ratios (odds ratio = 2.05) computed in this study suggest that H63D has a positive association with breast cancer.