Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Evidence linking coding germline variants in breast cancer (BC)-susceptibility genes other than BRCA1, BRCA2, and CHEK2 with contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk and breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) is scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the association of protein-truncating variants (PTVs) and rare missense variants (MSVs) in nine known (ATM, BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, PALB2, RAD51C, RAD51D, and TP53) and 25 suspected BC-susceptibility genes with CBC risk and BCSS. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated with Cox regression models. Analyses included 34,401 women of European ancestry diagnosed with BC, including 676 CBCs and 3,449 BC deaths; the median follow-up was 10.9 years. Subtype analyses were based on estrogen receptor (ER) status of the first BC. Combined PTVs and pathogenic/likely pathogenic MSVs in BRCA1, BRCA2, and TP53 and PTVs in CHEK2 and PALB2 were associated with increased CBC risk [HRs (95% CIs): 2.88 (1.70-4.87), 2.31 (1.39-3.85), 8.29 (2.53-27.21), 2.25 (1.55-3.27), and 2.67 (1.33-5.35), respectively]. The strongest evidence of association with BCSS was for PTVs and pathogenic/likely pathogenic MSVs in BRCA2 (ER-positive BC) and TP53 and PTVs in CHEK2 [HRs (95% CIs): 1.53 (1.13-2.07), 2.08 (0.95-4.57), and 1.39 (1.13-1.72), respectively, after adjusting for tumor characteristics and treatment]. HRs were essentially unchanged when censoring for CBC, suggesting that these associations are not completely explained by increased CBC risk, tumor characteristics, or treatment. There was limited evidence of associations of PTVs and/or rare MSVs with CBC risk or BCSS for the 25 suspected BC genes. The CBC findings are relevant to treatment decisions, follow-up, and screening after BC diagnosis.

Original publication




Journal article


American journal of human genetics

Publication Date





475 - 486


The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Molecular Pathology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:


NBCS Collaborators, kConFab Investigators, Germ Cells, Humans, Breast Neoplasms, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Germ-Line Mutation, Genes, BRCA2, Female