Background: Inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations confer elevated breast cancer risk. Knowledge of factors that can improve breast cancer risk assessment in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers may improve personalized cancer prevention strategies. Methods: A cohort of 5,546 BRCA1 and 2,865 BRCA2 mutation carriers was used to evaluate risk of breast cancer associated with BARD1 Cys557Ser. In a second nonindependent cohort of 1,537 of BRCA1 and 839 BRCA2 mutation carriers, BARD1 haplotypes were also evaluated. Results: The BARD1 Cys557Ser variant was not significantly associated with risk of breast cancer from single SNP analysis, with a pooled effect estimate of 0.90 (95% CI: 0.71-1.15) in BRCA1 carriers and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.59-1.29) in BRCA2 carriers. Further analysis of haplotypes at BARD1 also revealed no evidence that additional common genetic variation not captured by Cys557Ser was associated with breast cancer risk. Conclusion: Evidence to date does not support a role for BARD1 variation, including the Cy557Ser variant, as a modifier of risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Impact: Interactors of BRCA1/2 have been implicated as modifiers of BRCA1/2-associated cancer risk. Our finding that BARD1 does not contribute to this risk modification may focus research on other genes that do modify BRCA1/2-associated cancer risk.
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