Publications by authors named "Alicia Beeghly-Fadiel"

79 Publications

High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Effects of Adipocyte-Specific CXCR2 Conditional Knockout in the Peritoneal Tumor Microenvironment of Ovarian Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Oct 8;13(19). Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Department of Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Neuroscience and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA.

Obesity contributes to ovarian cancer (OC) progression via tumorigenic chemokines. Adipocytes and OC cells highly express CXCR2, and its ligands CXCL1/8, respectively, indicating that the CXCL1/8-CXCR2 axis is a molecular link between obesity and OC. Here, we investigated how the adipocyte-specific CXCR2 conditional knockout (cKO) affected the peritoneal tumor microenvironment of OC in a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model. We first generated adipocyte-specific CXCR2 cKO in mice: adipose tissues were not different in crown-like structures and adipocyte size between the wild-type (WT) and cKO mice but expressed lower levels of CCL2/6 compared to the obese WT mice. HFD-induced obese mice had a shorter survival time than lean mice. Particularly, obese WT and cKO mice developed higher tumors and ascites burdens, respectively. The ascites from the obese cKO mice showed increased vacuole clumps but decreased the floating tumor burden, tumor-attached macrophages, triglyceride, free fatty acid, CCL2, and TNF levels compared to obese WT mice. A tumor analysis revealed that obese cKO mice attenuated inflammatory areas, PCNA, and F4/80 compared to obese WT mice, indicating a reduced tumor burden, and there were positive relationships between the ascites and tumor parameters. Taken together, the adipocyte-specific CXCR2 cKO was associated with obesity-induced ascites despite a reduced tumor burden, likely altering the peritoneal tumor microenvironment of OC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13195033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8508092PMC
October 2021

The Impact of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine on High-Grade Cervical Lesions in Urban and Rural Areas: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Aug 21;13(16). Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, Lexington, KY 40504, USA.

Disparities in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination exist between urban (metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)) and rural (non-MSAs) regions. To address whether the HPV vaccine's impact differs by urbanicity, we examined trends in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2 or 3 and adenocarcinoma in situ (collectively, CIN2+) incidence in MSAs and non-MSAs among Tennessee Medicaid (TennCare)-enrolled women aged 18-39 years and among the subset screened for cervical cancer in Tennessee, United States. Using TennCare claims data, we identified annual age-group-specific (18-20, 21-24, 25-29, 30-34, and 35-39 years) CIN2+ incidence (2008-2018). Joinpoint regression was used to identify trends over time. Age-period-cohort Poisson regression models were used to evaluate age, period, and cohort effects. All analyses were stratified by urbanicity (MSA versus non-MSA). From 2008-2018, 11,243 incident CIN2+ events (7956 in MSAs; 3287 in non-MSAs) were identified among TennCare-enrolled women aged 18-39 years. CIN2+ incident trends (2008-2018) were similar between women in MSAs and non-MSAs, with largest declines among ages 18-20 (MSA average annual percent change (AAPC): -30.4, 95% confidence interval (95%CI): -35.4, -25.0; non-MSA AAPC: -30.9, 95%CI: -36.8, -24.5) and 21-24 years (MSA AAPC: -14.8, 95%CI: -18.1, -11.3; non-MSA AAPC: -15.1, 95%CI: -17.9, -12.2). Significant declines for ages 18-20 years began in 2008 in MSAs compared to 2010 in non-MSAs. Trends were largely driven by age and cohort effects. These patterns were consistent among screened women. Despite evidence of HPV vaccine impact on reducing CIN2+ incidence regardless of urbanicity, significant declines in CIN2+ incidence were delayed in non-MSAs versus MSAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13164215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8391543PMC
August 2021

Increasing Area Deprivation Index negatively impacts ovarian cancer survival.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 Oct 23;74:102013. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA; Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37203, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: While individual-level measures of socioeconomic status have been well-studied in relation to ovarian cancer survival, no studies to date have examined both state and national-level Area Deprivation Indices (ADIs), which incorporate neighborhood affluence and resources.

Methods: We abstracted clinical data from medical records for ovarian cancer cases from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and obtained ADIs from the Neighborhood Atlas®. Associations with clinical characteristics were assessed with Spearman correlations and Kruskal-Wallis tests; associations with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed with Cox proportional-hazards regression.

Results: Among 184 cases, state and national ADIs were highly correlated, but not related to any cancer characteristics. In multivariable adjusted regression models, both were significantly associated with OS; each decile increase in state or national ADI corresponded to a 9 % or 10 % greater risk of death, respectively.

Conclusions: Increasing area-level deprivation may negatively impact ovarian cancer survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.102013DOI Listing
October 2021

Identification of a Locus Near Associated With Progression-Free Survival in Ovarian Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Sep 23;30(9):1669-1680. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Gynecologic Oncology Center, Kiel, Germany.

Background: Many loci have been found to be associated with risk of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, although there is considerable variation in progression-free survival (PFS), no loci have been found to be associated with outcome at genome-wide levels of significance.

Methods: We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of PFS in 2,352 women with EOC who had undergone cytoreductive surgery and standard carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy.

Results: We found seven SNPs at 12q24.33 associated with PFS ( < 5 × 10), the top SNP being rs10794418 (HR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.15-1.34; = 1.47 × 10). High expression of a nearby gene, , is associated with shorter PFS in EOC, and with poor prognosis in other cancers. SNP rs10794418 is also associated with expression of in ovarian tumors, with the allele associated with shorter PFS being associated with higher expression, and chromatin interactions were detected between the promoter and associated SNPs in serous and endometrioid EOC cell lines. ULK1 knockout ovarian cancer cell lines showed significantly increased sensitivity to carboplatin .

Conclusions: The locus at 12q24.33 represents one of the first genome-wide significant loci for survival for any cancer. is a plausible candidate for the target of this association.

Impact: This finding provides insight into genetic markers associated with EOC outcome and potential treatment options..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1817DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419101PMC
September 2021

Genital Powder Use and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer in the Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Sep 21;30(9):1660-1668. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Program in Epidemiology, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Genital powder use is more common among African-American women; however, studies of genital powder use and ovarian cancer risk have been conducted predominantly in White populations, and histotype-specific analyses among African-American populations are limited.

Methods: We used data from five studies in the Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry consortium. Participants included 620 African-American cases, 1,146 African-American controls, 2,800 White cases, and 6,735 White controls who answered questions on genital powder use prior to 2014. The association between genital powder use and ovarian cancer risk by race was estimated using logistic regression.

Results: The prevalence of ever genital powder use for cases was 35.8% among African-American women and 29.5% among White women. Ever use of genital powder was associated with higher odds of ovarian cancer among African-American women [OR = 1.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.97-1.53] and White women (OR = 1.36; 95% CI = 1.19-1.57). In African-American women, the positive association with risk was more pronounced among high-grade serous tumors (OR = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.01-1.71) than with all other histotypes (OR = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.75-1.47). In White women, a significant association was observed irrespective of histotype (OR = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.12-1.56 and OR = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.15-1.66, respectively).

Conclusions: While genital powder use was more prevalent among African-American women, the associations between genital powder use and ovarian cancer risk were similar across race and did not materially vary by histotype.

Impact: This is one of the largest studies to date to compare the associations between genital powder use and ovarian cancer risk, overall and by histotype, between African-American and White women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419086PMC
September 2021

A Pooled Case-only Analysis of Reproductive Risk Factors and Breast Cancer Subtype Among Black Women in the Southeastern United States.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jul 4;30(7):1416-1423. Epub 2021 May 4.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Background: We investigated the association between reproductive risk factors and breast cancer subtype in Black women. On the basis of the previous literature, we hypothesized that the relative prevalence of specific breast cancer subtypes might differ according to reproductive factors.

Methods: We conducted a pooled analysis of 2,188 (591 premenopausal, 1,597 postmenopausal) Black women with a primary diagnosis of breast cancer from four studies in the southeastern United States. Breast cancers were classified by clinical subtype. Case-only polytomous logistic regression models were used to estimate ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for HER2 and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) status in relation to estrogen receptor-positive (ER)/HER2 status (referent) for reproductive risk factors.

Results: Relative to women who had ER/HER2 tumors, women who were age 19-24 years at first birth (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.22-2.59) were more likely to have TNBC. Parous women were less likely to be diagnosed with HER2 breast cancer and more likely to be diagnosed with TNBC relative to ER/HER2 breast cancer. Postmenopausal parous women who breastfed were less likely to have TNBC [OR, 0.65 (95% CI, 0.43-0.99)].

Conclusions: This large pooled study of Black women with breast cancer revealed etiologic heterogeneity among breast cancer subtypes.

Impact: Black parous women who do not breastfeed are more likely to be diagnosed with TNBC, which has a worse prognosis, than with ER/HER2 breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1784DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254754PMC
July 2021

Prevalence of Anemia and Compliance With NCCN Guidelines for Evaluation and Treatment of Anemia in Patients With Gynecologic Cancer.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 05 1;19(5):513-520. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and.

Background: NCCN recommends evaluation and treatment of all patients with cancer who have anemia. Few studies have evaluated the prevalence of anemia among patients with gynecologic cancer and compliance with the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Hematopoietic Growth Factors.

Methods: We performed a single-institution retrospective cohort study of patients diagnosed with primary gynecologic cancer between 2008 and 2018. We identified tumor registry-confirmed patients using ICD-O codes from the Synthetic Derivative database, a deidentified copy of Vanderbilt's electronic medical records. Patients were included if they were between ages 18 and 89 years, received initial care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and had a hemoglobin measurement within the first 6 months of diagnosis. Anemia was defined as a hemoglobin level ≤11 g/dL and was graded using CTCAE version 5.0.

Results: A total of 939 patients met inclusion criteria, with a median age of 60 years. The most common malignancy was uterine cancer. At the time of cancer diagnosis, 186 patients (20%) were noted to have anemia. Within 6 months of diagnosis, 625 patients (67%) had anemia, of whom 200 (32%) had grade 3 anemia and 209 (33%) underwent any evaluation of anemia, including 80 (38%) with iron studies performed. Of the patients with iron studies performed, 7 (9%) had absolute iron deficiency and 7 (9%) had possible functional iron deficiency. Among those with anemia within 6 months of diagnosis, 260 (42%) received treatment for anemia, including blood transfusion (n=205; 79%), oral iron (n=57; 22%), intravenous iron (n=8; 3%), vitamin B12 (n=37; 14%), and folate supplementation (n=7; 3%). Patients with ovarian cancer were significantly more likely to have anemia and undergo evaluation and treatment of anemia.

Conclusions: Anemia is pervasive among patients with gynecologic cancer, but compliance with the NCCN Guidelines is low. Our data suggest that there are opportunities for improvement in the evaluation and management of anemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7638DOI Listing
May 2021

First- and second-degree family history of ovarian and breast cancer in relation to risk of invasive ovarian cancer in African American and white women.

Int J Cancer 2021 06 17;148(12):2964-2973. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Family history (FH) of ovarian cancer and breast cancer are well-established risk factors for ovarian cancer, but few studies have examined this association in African American (AA) and white women by histotype. We assessed first- and second-degree FH of ovarian and breast cancer and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in the Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry Consortium. Analyses included 1052 AA cases, 2328 AA controls, 2380 white cases and 3982 white controls. Race-specific odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multilevel logistic regression with adjustment for covariates. Analyses were stratified by histotype (high-grade serous vs others). First-degree FH of ovarian cancer was associated with high-grade serous carcinoma in AA (OR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.50, 3.59) and white women (OR = 2.48, 95% CI: 1.82, 3.38). First-degree FH of breast cancer increased risk irrespective of histotype in AAs, but with high-grade serous carcinoma only in white women. Associations with second-degree FH of ovarian cancer were observed for overall ovarian cancer in white women and with high-grade serous carcinoma in both groups. First-degree FH of ovarian cancer and of breast cancer, and second-degree FH of ovarian cancer is strongly associated with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma in AA and white women. The association of FH of breast cancer with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma is similar in white women and AA women, but may differ for other histotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8353974PMC
June 2021

Racial Differences in Population Attributable Risk for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer in the OCWAA Consortium.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jun;113(6):710-718

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: The causes of racial disparities in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) incidence remain unclear. Differences in the prevalence of ovarian cancer risk factors may explain disparities in EOC incidence among African American (AA) and White women.

Methods: We used data from 4 case-control studies and 3 case-control studies nested within prospective cohorts in the Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry Consortium to estimate race-specific associations of 10 known or suspected EOC risk factors using logistic regression. Using the Bruzzi method, race-specific population attributable risks (PAR) were estimated for each risk factor individually and collectively, including groupings of exposures (reproductive factors and modifiable factors). All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Among 3244 White EOC cases and 9638 controls and 1052 AA EOC cases and 2410 controls, AA women had a statistically significantly higher PAR (false discovery rate [FDR] P < .001) for first-degree family history of breast cancer (PAR = 10.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.5% to 13.7%) compared with White women (PAR = 2.6%, 95% CI = 0.8% to 4.4%). After multiple test correction, AA women had a higher PAR than White women when evaluating all risk factors collectively (PAR = 61.6%, 95% CI = 48.6% to 71.3% vs PAR = 43.0%, 95% CI = 32.8% to 51.4%, respectively; FDR P = .06) and for modifiable exposures, including body mass index, oral contraceptives, aspirin, and body powder (PAR = 36.0%, 95% CI = 21.0% to 48.8% vs PAR = 13.8%, 95% CI = 4.5% to 21.8%, respectively; FDR P = .04).

Conclusions: Collectively, the selected risk factors accounted for slightly more of the risk among AA than White women, and interventions to reduce EOC incidence that are focused on multiple modifiable risk factors may be slightly more beneficial to AA women than White women at risk for EOC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168275PMC
June 2021

Platelets, Thrombocytosis, and Ovarian Cancer Prognosis: Surveying the Landscape of the Literature.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Oct 31;21(21). Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, 1301 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

Platelets are critical components of a number of physiologic processes, including tissue remodeling after injury, wound healing, and maintenance of vascular integrity. Increasing evidence suggests that platelets may also play important roles in cancer. In ovarian cancer, thrombocytosis, both at the time of initial diagnosis and at recurrence, has been associated with poorer prognosis. This review describes current evidence for associations between thrombocytosis and ovarian cancer prognosis and discusses the clinical relevance of platelet count thresholds and timing of assessment. In addition, we discuss several mechanisms from , , and clinical studies that may underlie these associations and recommend potential approaches for novel therapeutic targets for this lethal disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7663176PMC
October 2020

Modeling the Impact of Delaying Bariatric Surgery due to COVID-19: a Decision Analysis.

Obes Surg 2021 03 26;31(3):1387-1391. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 609 Oxford House, 1313 21st Ave. South, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA.

We developed a decision analysis model to evaluate risks and benefits of delaying scheduled bariatric surgery during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Our base case was a 45-year-old female with diabetes and a body mass index of 45 kg/m. We compared immediate with delayed surgery after 6 months to allow for COVID-19 prevalence to decrease. We found that immediate and delayed bariatric surgeries after 6 months resulted in similar 20-year overall survival. When the probability of COVID-19 infection exceeded 4%, then delayed surgery improved survival. If future COVID-19 infection rates were at least half those in the immediate scenario, then immediate surgery was favored and local infection rates had to exceed 9% before surgical delay improved survival. Surgeons should consider local disease prevalence and patient comorbidities associated with increased mortality before resuming bariatric surgery programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-05054-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7587518PMC
March 2021

Expression of p52, a non-canonical NF-kappaB transcription factor, is associated with poor ovarian cancer prognosis.

Biomark Res 2020 15;8:45. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN 37232 USA.

Background: The canonical and non-canonical nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathways have key roles in cancer, but studies have previously evaluated only the association of canonical transcription factors and ovarian cancer survival. Although a number of in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated mechanisms by which non-canonical NF-κB signaling potentially contributes to ovarian cancer progression, a prognostic association has yet to be shown in the clinical context.

Methods: We assayed p65 and p52 (major components of the canonical and non-canonical NF-κB pathways) by immunohistochemistry in epithelial ovarian tumor samples; nuclear and cytoplasmic staining were semi-quantified by H-scores and dichotomized at median values. Associations of p65 and p52 with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were quantified by Hazard Ratios (HR) from proportional-hazards regression.

Results: Among 196 cases, median p52 and p65 H-scores were higher in high-grade serous cancers. Multivariable regression models indicated that higher p52 was associated with higher hazards of disease progression (cytoplasmic HR: 1.54; nuclear HR: 1.67) and death (cytoplasmic HR: 1.53; nuclear HR: 1.49), while higher nuclear p65 was associated with only a higher hazard of disease progression (HR: 1.40) in unadjusted models. When cytoplasmic and nuclear staining were combined, p52 remained significantly associated with increased hazards of disease progression (HR: 1.91,  = 0.004) and death (HR: 1.70,  = 0.021), even after adjustment for p65 and in analyses among only high-grade serous tumors.

Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that p52, a major component of non-canonical NF-κB signaling, may be an independent prognostic factor for epithelial ovarian cancer, particularly high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Approaches to inhibit non-canonical NF-κB signaling should be explored as novel ovarian cancer therapies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40364-020-00227-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493985PMC
September 2020

Development and Validation of the Gene Expression Predictor of High-grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma Molecular SubTYPE (PrOTYPE).

Clin Cancer Res 2020 10 17;26(20):5411-5423. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Purpose: Gene expression-based molecular subtypes of high-grade serous tubo-ovarian cancer (HGSOC), demonstrated across multiple studies, may provide improved stratification for molecularly targeted trials. However, evaluation of clinical utility has been hindered by nonstandardized methods, which are not applicable in a clinical setting. We sought to generate a clinical grade minimal gene set assay for classification of individual tumor specimens into HGSOC subtypes and confirm previously reported subtype-associated features.

Experimental Design: Adopting two independent approaches, we derived and internally validated algorithms for subtype prediction using published gene expression data from 1,650 tumors. We applied resulting models to NanoString data on 3,829 HGSOCs from the Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis consortium. We further developed, confirmed, and validated a reduced, minimal gene set predictor, with methods suitable for a single-patient setting.

Results: Gene expression data were used to derive the predictor of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma molecular subtype (PrOTYPE) assay. We established a standard as a consensus of two parallel approaches. PrOTYPE subtypes are significantly associated with age, stage, residual disease, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and outcome. The locked-down clinical grade PrOTYPE test includes a model with 55 genes that predicted gene expression subtype with >95% accuracy that was maintained in all analytic and biological validations.

Conclusions: We validated the PrOTYPE assay following the Institute of Medicine guidelines for the development of omics-based tests. This fully defined and locked-down clinical grade assay will enable trial design with molecular subtype stratification and allow for objective assessment of the predictive value of HGSOC molecular subtypes in precision medicine applications..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572656PMC
October 2020

Combined Associations of a Polygenic Risk Score and Classical Risk Factors With Breast Cancer Risk.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 03;113(3):329-337

Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

We evaluated the joint associations between a new 313-variant PRS (PRS313) and questionnaire-based breast cancer risk factors for women of European ancestry, using 72 284 cases and 80 354 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Interactions were evaluated using standard logistic regression and a newly developed case-only method for breast cancer risk overall and by estrogen receptor status. After accounting for multiple testing, we did not find evidence that per-standard deviation PRS313 odds ratio differed across strata defined by individual risk factors. Goodness-of-fit tests did not reject the assumption of a multiplicative model between PRS313 and each risk factor. Variation in projected absolute lifetime risk of breast cancer associated with classical risk factors was greater for women with higher genetic risk (PRS313 and family history) and, on average, 17.5% higher in the highest vs lowest deciles of genetic risk. These findings have implications for risk prevention for women at increased risk of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936056PMC
March 2021

CCNE1 and BRD4 co-amplification in high-grade serous ovarian cancer is associated with poor clinical outcomes.

Gynecol Oncol 2020 05 7;157(2):405-410. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, United States of America; The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Kansas City, KS, United States of America. Electronic address:

Objective: High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and lethal histological subtype of epithelial ovarian cancer. HGSOC with cyclin E1 gene (CCNE1) amplification and bromodomain and extraterminal 4 (BRD4) amplification have been associated with poor outcomes. Our objective was to evaluate clinical outcomes of HGSOC with co-amplification of CCNE1 and BRD4 and high protein expression of cyclin E and BRD4.

Methods: Copy number amplification data were extracted from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) for 579 HGSOC. Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) TCGA data were used to determine cyclin E and BRD4 protein expression in 482 HGSOC. Cyclin E and BRD4 protein expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) was evaluated in a tissue microarray (TMA) of 110 HGSOC. Measured clinical outcomes were survival and platinum sensitivity.

Results: Of 30% of HGSOC with amplifications in CCNE1 or BRD4, 8% have both CCNE1 and BRD4 amplification. Protein expression of cyclin E and BRD4 are positively correlated, both by RPPA (r = 0.23; p < 0.001) and by IHC (r = 0.21; p = 0.025). Patients with CCNE1 and BRD4 co-amplified HGSOC have worse overall survival than patients without amplifications, 39.94 vs 48.06 months (p = 0.029). High protein expression of cyclin E, but not BRD4, was associated with poor overall survival (HR 1.62, 1.04-2.53, p = 0.033) and platinum resistance (p = 0.016).

Conclusion: HGSOC with CCNE1 and BRD4 co-amplification are associated with poor overall survival. Further studies are warranted to determine the use of protein expression by IHC as a surrogate marker for CCNE1 and BRD4 co-amplified HGSOC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.01.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7217738PMC
May 2020

Fine-mapping of 150 breast cancer risk regions identifies 191 likely target genes.

Nat Genet 2020 01 7;52(1):56-73. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Genome-wide association studies have identified breast cancer risk variants in over 150 genomic regions, but the mechanisms underlying risk remain largely unknown. These regions were explored by combining association analysis with in silico genomic feature annotations. We defined 205 independent risk-associated signals with the set of credible causal variants in each one. In parallel, we used a Bayesian approach (PAINTOR) that combines genetic association, linkage disequilibrium and enriched genomic features to determine variants with high posterior probabilities of being causal. Potentially causal variants were significantly over-represented in active gene regulatory regions and transcription factor binding sites. We applied our INQUSIT pipeline for prioritizing genes as targets of those potentially causal variants, using gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci), chromatin interaction and functional annotations. Known cancer drivers, transcription factors and genes in the developmental, apoptosis, immune system and DNA integrity checkpoint gene ontology pathways were over-represented among the highest-confidence target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0537-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974400PMC
January 2020

A Mendelian randomization analysis of circulating lipid traits and breast cancer risk.

Int J Epidemiol 2020 08;49(4):1117-1131

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Conventional epidemiologic studies have evaluated associations between circulating lipid levels and breast cancer risk, but results have been inconsistent. As Mendelian randomization analyses may provide evidence for causal inference, we sought to evaluate potentially unbiased associations between breast cancer risk and four genetically predicted lipid traits.

Methods: Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 164 discrete variants associated with high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides and total cholesterol. We used 162 of these unique variants to construct weighted genetic scores (wGSs) for a total of 101 424 breast cancer cases and 80 253 controls of European ancestry from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between per standard deviation increase in genetically predicted lipid traits and breast cancer risk. Additional Mendelian randomization analysis approaches and sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess pleiotropy and instrument validity.

Results: Corresponding to approximately 15 mg/dL, one standard deviation increase in genetically predicted HDL-C was associated with a 12% increased breast cancer risk (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.08-1.16). Findings were consistent after adjustment for breast cancer risk factors and were robust in several sensitivity analyses. Associations with genetically predicted triglycerides and total cholesterol were inconsistent, and no association for genetically predicted LDL-C was observed.

Conclusions: This study provides strong evidence that circulating HDL-C may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, whereas LDL-C may not be related to breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7750975PMC
August 2020

Two truncating variants in FANCC and breast cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2019 08 29;9(1):12524. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Westmead Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder with 22 disease-causing genes reported to date. In some FA genes, monoallelic mutations have been found to be associated with breast cancer risk, while the risk associations of others remain unknown. The gene for FA type C, FANCC, has been proposed as a breast cancer susceptibility gene based on epidemiological and sequencing studies. We used the Oncoarray project to genotype two truncating FANCC variants (p.R185X and p.R548X) in 64,760 breast cancer cases and 49,793 controls of European descent. FANCC mutations were observed in 25 cases (14 with p.R185X, 11 with p.R548X) and 26 controls (18 with p.R185X, 8 with p.R548X). There was no evidence of an association with the risk of breast cancer, neither overall (odds ratio 0.77, 95%CI 0.44-1.33, p = 0.4) nor by histology, hormone receptor status, age or family history. We conclude that the breast cancer risk association of these two FANCC variants, if any, is much smaller than for BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2 mutations. If this applies to all truncating variants in FANCC it would suggest there are differences between FA genes in their roles on breast cancer risk and demonstrates the merit of large consortia for clarifying risk associations of rare variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48804-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715680PMC
August 2019

Identifying Putative Susceptibility Genes and Evaluating Their Associations with Somatic Mutations in Human Cancers.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 09 8;105(3):477-492. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37203, USA. Electronic address:

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified hundreds of genetic risk variants for human cancers. However, target genes for the majority of risk loci remain largely unexplored. It is also unclear whether GWAS risk-loci-associated genes contribute to mutational signatures and tumor mutational burden (TMB) in cancer tissues. We systematically conducted cis-expression quantitative trait loci (cis-eQTL) analyses for 294 GWAS-identified variants for six major types of cancer-colorectal, lung, ovary, prostate, pancreas, and melanoma-by using transcriptome data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project, the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and other public data sources. By using integrative analysis strategies, we identified 270 candidate target genes, including 99 with previously unreported associations, for six cancer types. By analyzing functional genomic data, our results indicate that 180 genes (66.7% of 270) had evidence of cis-regulation by putative functional variants via proximal promoter or distal enhancer-promoter interactions. Together with our previously reported associations for breast cancer risk, our results show that 24 genes are shared by at least two cancer types, including four genes for both breast and ovarian cancer. By integrating mutation data from TCGA, we found that expression levels of 33 and 66 putative susceptibility genes were associated with specific mutational signatures and TMB of cancer-driver genes, respectively, at a Bonferroni-corrected p < 0.05. Together, these findings provide further insight into our understanding of how genetic risk variants might contribute to carcinogenesis through the regulation of susceptibility genes that are related to the biogenesis of somatic mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6731359PMC
September 2019

Urinary PGE-M Levels and Risk of Ovarian Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2019 11 6;28(11):1845-1852. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Regular aspirin use may lower ovarian cancer risk by blocking the cyclooxygenase enzymes, resulting in lower expression of prostaglandins, including prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). We evaluated whether higher prediagnosis PGE-M (a urinary biomarker of PGE2) was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk in three prospective cohorts.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study nested in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), NHSII, and Shanghai Women's Health Study. Our analyses included 304 cases of epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed from 1996 to 2015 and 600 matched controls. We measured urinary PGE-M using LC/MS with normalization to creatinine. Measures from each study were recalibrated to a common standard. We estimated ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using conditional logistic regression, with PGE-M levels modeled in quartiles. Multivariable models were adjusted for ovarian cancer risk factors.

Results: There was no evidence of an association between urinary PGE-M levels and ovarian cancer risk for women with PGE-M levels in the top versus bottom quartile (OR = 0.80; 95% CI, 0.51-1.27; = 0.37). We did not observe heterogeneity by histotype ( = 0.53), and there was no evidence of effect modification by body mass index ( = 0.82), aspirin use ( = 0.59), or smoking ( = 0.14).

Conclusions: Prediagnosis urinary PGE-M levels were not significantly associated with ovarian cancer risk. Larger sample sizes are needed to consider a more modest association and to evaluate associations for specific tumor subtypes.

Impact: Systemic prostaglandin levels do not appear strongly associated with ovarian cancer risk. Future research into aspirin use and ovarian cancer risk should consider local prostaglandins and prostaglandin-independent mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825569PMC
November 2019

Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry (OCWAA) consortium: a resource of harmonized data from eight epidemiologic studies of African American and white women.

Cancer Causes Control 2019 Sep 24;30(9):967-978. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Purpose: Although the incidence rate of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is somewhat lower in African American (AA) than white women, survival is worse. The Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry (OCWAA) consortium will overcome small, study-specific sample sizes to better understand racial differences in EOC risk and outcomes.

Methods: We harmonized risk factors and prognostic characteristics from eight U.S.

Studies: the North Carolina Ovarian Cancer Study (NCOCS), the Los Angeles County Ovarian Cancer Study (LACOCS), the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES), the Cook County Case-Control Study (CCCCS), the Black Women's Health Study (BWHS), the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the Multiethnic Cohort Study (MEC), and the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS).

Results: Determinants of disparities for risk and survival in 1,146 AA EOC cases and 2,922 AA controls will be compared to 3,368 white EOC cases and 10,270 white controls. Analyses include estimation of population-attributable risk percent (PAR%) by race.

Conclusion: OCWAA is uniquely positioned to study the epidemiology of EOC in AA women compared with white women to address disparities. Studies of EOC have been underpowered to address factors that may explain AA-white differences in the incidence and survival. OCWAA promises to provide novel insight into disparities in ovarian cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10552-019-01199-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325484PMC
September 2019

Evaluation of vitamin D biosynthesis and pathway target genes reveals UGT2A1/2 and EGFR polymorphisms associated with epithelial ovarian cancer in African American Women.

Cancer Med 2019 05 18;8(5):2503-2513. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

An association between genetic variants in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) was previously reported in women of African ancestry (AA). We sought to examine associations between genetic variants in VDR and additional genes from vitamin D biosynthesis and pathway targets (EGFR, UGT1A, UGT2A1/2, UGT2B, CYP3A4/5, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP11A1, and GC). Genotyping was performed using the custom-designed 533,631 SNP Illumina OncoArray with imputation to the 1,000 Genomes Phase 3 v5 reference set in 755 EOC cases, including 537 high-grade serous (HGSOC), and 1,235 controls. All subjects are of African ancestry (AA). Logistic regression was performed to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We further evaluated statistical significance of selected SNPs using the Bayesian False Discovery Probability (BFDP). A significant association with EOC was identified in the UGT2A1/2 region for the SNP rs10017134 (per allele OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2-1.7, P = 1.2 × 10 , BFDP = 0.02); and an association with HGSOC was identified in the EGFR region for the SNP rs114972508 (per allele OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.6-3.4, P = 1.6 × 10 , BFDP = 0.29) and in the UGT2A1/2 region again for rs1017134 (per allele OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2-1.7, P = 2.3 × 10 , BFDP = 0.23). Genetic variants in the EGFR and UGT2A1/2 may increase susceptibility of EOC in AA women. Future studies to validate these findings are warranted. Alterations in EGFR and UGT2A1/2 could perturb enzyme efficacy, proliferation in ovaries, impact and mark susceptibility to EOC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.1996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536963PMC
May 2019

Obesity-Induced Peritoneal Dissemination of Ovarian Cancer and Dominant Recruitment of Macrophages in Ascites.

Immune Netw 2018 Dec 12;18(6):e47. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA.

One-fifth of cancer deaths are associated with obesity. Because the molecular mechanisms by which obesity affects the progression of ovarian cancer (OC) are poorly understood, we investigated if obesity could promote the progression of OC cells using the postmenopausal mouse model and peritoneal dissemination of mouse ID8 OC cells. Compared to lean mice, obese mice had earlier OC occurrence, greater metastasis throughout the peritoneal cavity, a trend toward shorter survival, and higher circulating glucose and proinflammatory chemokine CXCL1 levels. Ascites in obese mice had higher levels of macrophages (Mφ) and chemokines including CCL2, CXCL12, CXCL13, G-CSF and M-CSF. Omental tumor tissues in obese mice had more adipocytes than lean mice. Our data suggest that obesity may accelerate the peritoneal dissemination of OC through higher production of pro-inflammatory chemokines and Mφ recruitment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4110/in.2018.18.e47DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312889PMC
December 2018

Genetic Data from Nearly 63,000 Women of European Descent Predicts DNA Methylation Biomarkers and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk.

Cancer Res 2019 02 17;79(3):505-517. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

The Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

DNA methylation is instrumental for gene regulation. Global changes in the epigenetic landscape have been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. However, the role of DNA methylation in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains unclear. In this study, high-density genetic and DNA methylation data in white blood cells from the Framingham Heart Study ( = 1,595) were used to build genetic models to predict DNA methylation levels. These prediction models were then applied to the summary statistics of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of ovarian cancer including 22,406 EOC cases and 40,941 controls to investigate genetically predicted DNA methylation levels in association with EOC risk. Among 62,938 CpG sites investigated, genetically predicted methylation levels at 89 CpG were significantly associated with EOC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of < 7.94 × 10. Of them, 87 were located at GWAS-identified EOC susceptibility regions and two resided in a genomic region not previously reported to be associated with EOC risk. Integrative analyses of genetic, methylation, and gene expression data identified consistent directions of associations across 12 CpG, five genes, and EOC risk, suggesting that methylation at these 12 CpG may influence EOC risk by regulating expression of these five genes, namely , and . We identified novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk and propose that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk via regulation of gene expression. SIGNIFICANCE: Identification of novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk suggests that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk through regulation of gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6359948PMC
February 2019

SMART Cancer Navigator: A Framework for Implementing ASCO Workshop Recommendations to Enable Precision Cancer Medicine.

JCO Precis Oncol 2018 1;2018. Epub 2018 May 1.

Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Purpose: Data standards and interoperability are critical for improving care for patients with cancer. Recent efforts by ASCO include the Data Standards and Interoperability Summit in 2016, which led to the Omics and Precision Oncology and Advancing Interoperability workshops. To facilitate improved patient care, several recommendations for data sharing and standardization were made to the community.

Methods: To address these recommendations, we developed SMART Cancer Navigator, a Web application that uses application programming interfaces to gather clinical and genomic data from 11 public knowledge bases ranging from basic to clinical content coverage; three (CIViC, ClinVar, and OncoKB) explicitly linked genomic variants to clinical factors such as prognosis and treatment selection. We illustrated the utility of this application by selecting one of the monthly case studies presented by the ASCO University Molecular Oncology Tumor Board: Ovarian Cancer (BRCA Mutation). We also performed analyses on information from the three clinico-genomic knowledge bases to corroborate previous work and illustrate the state of data sharing among publicly available resources.

Results: SMART Cancer Navigator aggregates and contextualizes data from 11 different knowledge bases and stores user queries in a lightweight Web application that can link into Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources-enabled electronic health records. Potentially relevant clinical trials and/or approved treatments were identified for three mutations found in a hypothetical patient with advanced ovarian cancer. A comparison of the three clinico-genomic knowledge bases indicated substantial differences in coverage at the gene and variant levels.

Conclusion: SMART Cancer Navigator has immediate relevance to practicing oncologists and others. Additional knowledge bases can be added without undue effort. As a first step toward utility, we generalized and disseminated the resulting implementation (https://smart-cancer-navigator.github.io) and data sets.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6141039PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.17.00292DOI Listing
May 2018

Chemokine Network and Overall Survival in Wild-Type and Mutant Ovarian Cancer.

Immune Netw 2018 Aug 13;18(4):e29. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA.

Ovarian cancer (OC) has the highest mortality rate among gynecological malignancies. Because chemokine network is involved in OC progression, we evaluated associations between chemokine expression and survival in tumor suppressor protein p53 () wild-type (WT) and mutant (m) OC datasets. was highly mutated in OC compared to other cancer types. Among OC subtypes, CXCL14 was predominantly expressed in clear cell OC, and CCL15 and CCL20 in mucinous OC. WT endometrioid OC highly expressed CXCL14 compared to m, showing better progression-free survival but no difference in overall survival (OS). m serous OC highly expressed CCL8, CCL20, CXCL10 and CXCL11 compared to WT. CXCL12 and CCL21 were associated with poor OS in WT serous OC. CXCR2 was associated with poor OS in m serous OC, while CXCL9, CCL5, CXCR4, CXCL11, and CXCL13 were associated with better OS. Taken together, specific chemokine signatures may differentially influence OS in WT and m OC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4110/in.2018.18.e29DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117514PMC
August 2018

A Transcriptome-Wide Association Study Among 97,898 Women to Identify Candidate Susceptibility Genes for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk.

Cancer Res 2018 09 27;78(18):5419-5430. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified approximately 35 loci associated with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk. The majority of GWAS-identified disease susceptibility variants are located in noncoding regions, and causal genes underlying these associations remain largely unknown. Here, we performed a transcriptome-wide association study to search for novel genetic loci and plausible causal genes at known GWAS loci. We used RNA sequencing data (68 normal ovarian tissue samples from 68 individuals and 6,124 cross-tissue samples from 369 individuals) and high-density genotyping data from European descendants of the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx V6) project to build ovarian and cross-tissue models of genetically regulated expression using elastic net methods. We evaluated 17,121 genes for their -predicted gene expression in relation to EOC risk using summary statistics data from GWAS of 97,898 women, including 29,396 EOC cases. With a Bonferroni-corrected significance level of < 2.2 × 10, we identified 35 genes, including at 11q14.2 (Z = 5.08, = 3.83 × 10, the cross-tissue model; 1 Mb away from any GWAS-identified EOC risk variant), a potential novel locus for EOC risk. All other 34 significantly associated genes were located within 1 Mb of known GWAS-identified loci, including 23 genes at 6 loci not previously linked to EOC risk. Upon conditioning on nearby known EOC GWAS-identified variants, the associations for 31 genes disappeared and three genes remained ( < 1.47 × 10). These data identify one novel locus ) and 34 genes at 13 known EOC risk loci associated with EOC risk, providing new insights into EOC carcinogenesis. Transcriptomic analysis of a large cohort confirms earlier GWAS loci and reveals FZD4 as a novel locus associated with EOC risk. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-0951DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139053PMC
September 2018

Gene expression in triple-negative breast cancer in relation to survival.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2018 Aug 10;171(1):199-207. Epub 2018 May 10.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Purpose: The identification of biomarkers related to the prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is critically important for improved understanding of the biology that drives TNBC progression.

Methods: We evaluated gene expression in total RNA isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples using the NanoString nCounter assay for 469 TNBC cases from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. We used Cox regression to quantify Hazard Ratios (HR) and corresponding confidence intervals (CI) for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in models that included adjustment for breast cancer intrinsic subtype. Of 302 genes in our discovery analysis, 22 were further evaluated in relation to OS among 134 TNBC cases from the Nashville Breast Health Study and the Southern Community Cohort Study; 16 genes were further evaluated in relation to DFS in 335 TNBC cases from four gene expression omnibus datasets. Fixed-effect meta-analysis was used to combine results across data sources.

Results: Twofold higher expression of EOMES (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.97), RASGRP1 (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.82-0.97), and SOD2 (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.66-0.96) was associated with better OS. Twofold higher expression of EOMES (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.81-0.97) and RASGRP1 (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.95) was also associated with better DFS. On the contrary, a doubling of FA2H (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.22) and GSPT1 (HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.14-1.55) expression was associated with shorter DFS.

Conclusions: We identified five genes (EOMES, FA2H, GSPT1, RASGRP1, and SOD2) that may serve as potential prognostic biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets for TNBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-018-4816-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7195858PMC
August 2018

CXCR2 is a negative regulator of p21 in p53-dependent and independent manner via Akt-mediated Mdm2 in ovarian cancer.

Oncotarget 2018 Feb 15;9(11):9751-9765. Epub 2018 Jan 15.

Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA.

Ovarian cancer (OC) has the highest rate of mortality among gynecological malignancy. Chemokine receptor CXCR2 in OC is associated with poor outcomes. However, the mechanisms by which CXCR2 regulates OC proliferation remain poorly understood. We generated CXCR2-positive cells from parental p53 wild-type (WT), mutant and null OC cells, and assessed the roles of CXCR2 on proliferation of OC cells in p53-dependent and independent manner. CXCR2 promoted cell growth rate: p53WT > mutant = null cells. Nutlin-3, a p53 stabilizer, inhibited cell proliferation in p53WT cells, but had little effect in p53-mutant or null cells, indicating p53-dependence of CXCR2-mediated proliferation. CXCR2 decreased p53 protein, a regulator of p21, and downregulated p21 promoter activity only in p53WT cells. The p53 responsive element (RE) of p21 promoter played a critical role in this CXCR2-mediated p21 downregulation. Moreover, CXCR2-positive cells activated more Akt than CXCR2-negative cells followed by enhanced murine double minute (Mdm2). Silencing Mdm2 or Akt1 upregulated p21 expression, whereas Akt1 overexpression downregulated p21 at the promoter and protein levels in p53WT cells. Cell cycle analysis revealed that CXCR2 decreased p21 gene in p53-null cells. Interestingly, romidepsin (histone deacetylase inhibitor)-induced p21 upregulation did not involve the p53 RE in the p21 promoter in p53-null cells. Romidepsin decreased the protein levels of Akt1 and Mdm2, leading to induction of p21 in p53-null cells. CXCR2 reduced romidepsin-induced p21 upregulation by activating Akt-induced Mdm2. Taken together, CXCR2 enhances cell proliferation by suppressing p21 through Akt-Mdm2 signaling in p53-dependent and independent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24231DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839399PMC
February 2018

Differential cyclooxygenase expression levels and survival associations in type I and type II ovarian tumors.

J Ovarian Res 2018 Feb 27;11(1):17. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, The University of Kansas Medical Center, MS 2028, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS, 66160, USA.

Background: High cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression in ovarian tumors has been associated with poor prognosis, but the role of COX-1 expression and its relation to survival is less clear. Here, we evaluated COX expression and associations with survival outcomes between type I (clear cell, mucinous, low grade endometrioid and low grade serous) and type II (high grade serous and high grade endometrioid) ovarian tumors.

Methods: We developed and validated a new COX-1 antibody, and conducted immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for COX-1 and COX-2 on a tissue microarray (TMA) of 190 primary ovarian tumors. In addition to standard IHC scoring and H-scores to combine the percentage of positive cells and staining intensity, we also measured COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA expression by QPCR. High expression was defined as greater than or equal to median values. Clinical characteristics and disease outcomes were ascertained from medical records. Associations with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were quantified by hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) from proportional hazards regression.

Results: Type I tumors had high COX-2 expression, while type II tumors had high COX-1 expression. In multivariable adjusted regression models, higher COX-1 mRNA expression was associated with shorter DFS (HR: 6.37, 95% CI: 1.84-22.01) and OS (HR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.04-4.91), while higher H-scores for COX-2 expression were associated with shorter DFS (HR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.06-3.49). Stratified analysis indicated that COX-2 was significantly associated with DFS among cases with Type II tumors (HR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.06-3.53).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that ovarian tumor type contributes to differences in COX expression levels and associations with survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13048-018-0389-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828488PMC
February 2018
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