Oxford University Press, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8(114), p. 1135-1148, 2022
Abstract Background The use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) may interact with genetic variants to influence colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Methods We conducted a genome-wide, gene-environment interaction between single nucleotide polymorphisms and the use of any MHT, estrogen only, and combined estrogen-progestogen therapy with CRC risk, among 28 486 postmenopausal women (11 519 CRC patients and 16 967 participants without CRC) from 38 studies, using logistic regression, 2-step method, and 2– or 3–degree-of-freedom joint test. A set-based score test was applied for rare genetic variants. Results The use of any MHT, estrogen only and estrogen-progestogen were associated with a reduced CRC risk (odds ratio [OR] = 0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64 to 0.78; OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.79; and OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.59 to 0.90, respectively). The 2-step method identified a statistically significant interaction between a GRIN2B variant rs117868593 and MHT use, whereby MHT-associated CRC risk was statistically significantly reduced in women with the GG genotype (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.64 to 0.72) but not within strata of GC or CC genotypes. A statistically significant interaction between a DCBLD1 intronic variant at 6q22.1 (rs10782186) and MHT use was identified by the 2–degree-of-freedom joint test. The MHT-associated CRC risk was reduced with increasing number of rs10782186-C alleles, showing odds ratios of 0.78 (95% CI = 0.70 to 0.87) for TT, 0.68 (95% CI = 0.63 to 0.73) for TC, and 0.66 (95% CI = 0.60 to 0.74) for CC genotypes. In addition, 5 genes in rare variant analysis showed suggestive interactions with MHT (2-sided P < 1.2 × 10−4). Conclusion Genetic variants that modify the association between MHT and CRC risk were identified, offering new insights into pathways of CRC carcinogenesis and potential mechanisms involved.