Skip to main content
Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R21CA179442-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Ziv, Elad
Organization: University Of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Genetics of Mammographic Density in Ashkenazi Jews
Fiscal Year: 2014
Back to top


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Mammographic density (MD) is a strong risk factor for breast cancer and is also a highly heritable trait with ~60-70% of the variance in due to genetic factors based on twin studies. MD is also higher in families with a strong history of breast cancer. Genome wide association studies (GWAS), which focus on common genetic variants, have identified several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with MD. However, these SNPs explain a very small fraction of the variance of MD suggesting many other genes are involved. Linkage studies have identified some loci that may be associated with this trait, but no genes have been mapped yet by linkage analysis. Thus, the vast majority of the heritability of mammographic density remains unexplained and is likely due to rare variants. We have recently identified an association between higher mammographic density and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Since Ashkenazi Jews are a founder population genetic mapping in this population may have several advantages. In particular, Ashkenazi Jews share extensive chromosomal segments that are identical by descent (IBD) due to a small number of founders. We propose to leverage the IBD segments to help map loci for mammographic density. In particular, we plan to search for regions that are IBD among Ashkenazi Jewish women in the top quintile of age and body mass index (BMI)-adjusted mammographic density for shared IBD segments and compare these to Ashkenazi Jewish women in the lowest quintile of age and BMI- adjusted mammographic density. We will then select the top regions and sequence them in the high density women and low density comparison group to identify the genetic variants most likely to be associated with this trait.

Back to top


Joint association of mammographic density adjusted for age and body mass index and polygenic risk score with breast cancer risk.
Authors: Vachon C.M. , Scott C.G. , Tamimi R.M. , Thompson D.J. , Fasching P.A. , Stone J. , Southey M.C. , Winham S. , Lindström S. , Lilyquist J. , et al. .
Source: Breast cancer research : BCR, 2019-05-22; 21(1), p. 68.
EPub date: 2019-05-22.
PMID: 31118087
Related Citations

Multiple breast cancer risk variants are associated with differential transcript isoform expression in tumors.
Authors: Caswell J.L. , Camarda R. , Zhou A.Y. , Huntsman S. , Hu D. , Brenner S.E. , Zaitlen N. , Goga A. , Ziv E. .
Source: Human molecular genetics, 2015-12-20; 24(25), p. 7421-31.
EPub date: 2015-10-15.
PMID: 26472073
Related Citations

The contributions of breast density and common genetic variation to breast cancer risk.
Authors: Vachon C.M. , Pankratz V.S. , Scott C.G. , Haeberle L. , Ziv E. , Jensen M.R. , Brandt K.R. , Whaley D.H. , Olson J.E. , Heusinger K. , et al. .
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2015 May; 107(5), .
EPub date: 2015-03-04.
PMID: 25745020
Related Citations

Back to Top