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Open Access Research article

Genetic variants in FGFR2 and FGFR4 genes and skin cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study

Hongmei Nan12*, Abrar A Qureshi23, David J Hunter12 and Jiali Han12

Author Affiliations

1 Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

3 Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:172  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-172

Published: 6 June 2009

Abstract

Background

The human fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and its receptor (FGFR) play an important role in tumorigenesis. Deregulation of the FGFR2 gene has been identified in a number of cancer sites. Overexpression of the FGFR4 protein has been linked to cutaneous melanoma progression. Previous studies reported associations between genetic variants in the FGFR2 and FGFR4 genes and development of various cancers.

Methods

We evaluated the associations of four genetic variants in the FGFR2 gene highly related to breast cancer risk and the three common tag-SNPs in the FGFR4 gene with skin cancer risk in a nested case-control study of Caucasians within the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) among 218 melanoma cases, 285 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cases, 300 basal cell carcinoma (BCC) cases, and 870 controls.

Results

We found no evidence for associations between these seven genetic variants and the risks of melanoma and nonmelanocytic skin cancer.

Conclusion

Given the power of this study, we did not detect any contribution of genetic variants in the FGFR2 or FGFR4 genes to inherited predisposition to skin cancer among Caucasian women.