Jacobs Journal of Cancer Science and Research

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) VAL66MET Polymorphism and Symptoms in Breast Cancer Survivors

Published on: 2014-01-25


The relationship between occurrence and severity of cancer-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors following treatment and the presence or absence of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism was examined in this study. Individuals with the BDNF polymorphism were predicted to be more prone to persistent cancer-related symptoms following treatment. Breast cancer survivors post-treament (6 months to 6 years; majority: 3 years or more) completed an on-line version of the Therapy-Related Symptom Checklist (TRSC). A subpopulation of participants was genotyped to determine the presence or absence of the BDNF polymorphism. The results indicated BDNF genotype did not have a significant effect on total TRSC scores (OR = 0.27; 95% CI, [0.036, 1.98]; p = 0.196); the sample size was small (weak statistical power). But, the odds of having higher TRSC scores (OR=29.29; 95% CI [2.81, 305.10], p=.005) were found in subjects who had experienced chemotherapy treatment. Also, higher percent occurrence of 7 symptoms were reported by breast cancer survivors with absent BDNF SNP. It can be concluded that chemotherapy effects (symptom occurrence and severity) are long lasting; and (b) a larger study on BDNF is needed.


BDNF: Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor; Breast Cancer Survivors; Symptoms; Therapy Related Symptom Checklist, (TRSC); VAL66MET Polymorphism