Publications by authors named "Alicja Wolk"

528 Publications

Functional annotation of the 2q35 breast cancer risk locus implicates a structural variant in influencing activity of a long-range enhancer element.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 Jul 18;108(7):1190-1203. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg 69120, Germany.

A combination of genetic and functional approaches has identified three independent breast cancer risk loci at 2q35. A recent fine-scale mapping analysis to refine these associations resulted in 1 (signal 1), 5 (signal 2), and 42 (signal 3) credible causal variants at these loci. We used publicly available in silico DNase I and ChIP-seq data with in vitro reporter gene and CRISPR assays to annotate signals 2 and 3. We identified putative regulatory elements that enhanced cell-type-specific transcription from the IGFBP5 promoter at both signals (30- to 40-fold increased expression by the putative regulatory element at signal 2, 2- to 3-fold by the putative regulatory element at signal 3). We further identified one of the five credible causal variants at signal 2, a 1.4 kb deletion (esv3594306), as the likely causal variant; the deletion allele of this variant was associated with an average additional increase in IGFBP5 expression of 1.3-fold (MCF-7) and 2.2-fold (T-47D). We propose a model in which the deletion allele of esv3594306 juxtaposes two transcription factor binding regions (annotated by estrogen receptor alpha ChIP-seq peaks) to generate a single extended regulatory element. This regulatory element increases cell-type-specific expression of the tumor suppressor gene IGFBP5 and, thereby, reduces risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (odds ratio = 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.81, p = 3.1 × 10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.013DOI Listing
July 2021

Mediterranean Diet is Associated with Reduced Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in Smokers: Results of Two Prospective Cohort Studies.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Unit of Cardiovascular and Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objective: Smoking is a strong risk factor for the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). It was hypothesised that a Mediterranean diet via its anti-oxidative properties would decrease the risk of AAA, particularly among smokers.

Methods: The study population included the Cohort of Swedish Men (45 072 men) and the Swedish Mammography Cohort (36 632 women), aged 45 - 83 years at baseline. A modified Mediterranean Diet (mMED) score, including eight food groups, was calculated based on a food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: During 17.5 years of follow up (1 427 841 person-years), 1 781 AAA cases (1 496 in men, 285 in women; 1 497 non-ruptured, 284 ruptured) were ascertained via Swedish registers. The mMED score was inversely associated with AAA incidence in men (per each one point increment in mMED score HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93 - 1.00) and in women (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.77 - 0.90), for non-ruptured (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.92 - 0.99; in men with infrarenal aortic diameter ≥ 30 mm HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.81 - 1.00) and for ruptured AAA (HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.70 - 0.93). In current and ex-smokers with low (< 20) and moderate (20 - 39.9) pack-years of smoking, a statistically significant inverse association was observed. HRs for each one point increment in the mMED score in current smokers were 0.83 (95% CI 0.75 - 0.91) and 0.90 (95% CI 0.84 - 0.97), respectively; in ex-smokers 0.89 (95% CI 0.81 - 0.97) and 0.93 (95% CI 0.85 - 1.01), respectively. No association was observed among current or ex-smokers with ≥ 40 pack-years; HRs 1.02 (95% CI 0.91 - 1.13) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.83 - 1.10), respectively.

Conclusion: Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced AAA risk in current and ex-smokers with low pack-years of smoking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2021.04.017DOI Listing
June 2021

Dairy foods, calcium, and risk of breast cancer overall and for subtypes defined by estrogen receptor status: a pooled analysis of 21 cohort studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Epidemiologic studies examining the relations between dairy product and calcium intakes and breast cancer have been inconclusive, especially for tumor subtypes.

Objective: To evaluate the associations between intakes of specific dairy products and calcium and risk of breast cancer overall and for subtypes defined by estrogen receptor (ER) status.

Method: We pooled the individual-level data of over 1 million women who were followed for a maximum of 8-20 years across studies. Associations were evaluated for dairy product and calcium intakes and risk of incident invasive breast cancer overall (n = 37,861 cases) and by subtypes defined by ER status. Study-specific multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated and then combined using random-effects models.

Results: Overall, no clear association was observed between the consumption of specific dairy foods, dietary (from foods only) calcium, and total (from foods and supplements) calcium, and risk of overall breast cancer. Although each dairy product showed a null or very weak inverse association with risk of overall breast cancer (P, test for trend >0.05 for all), differences by ER status were suggested for yogurt and cottage/ricotta cheese with associations observed for ER-negative tumors only (pooled HR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.83, 0.98 comparing ≥60 g/d with <1 g/d of yogurt and 0.85, 95% CI: 0.76, 0.95 comparing ≥25 g/d with <1 g/d of cottage/ricotta cheese). Dietary calcium intake was only weakly associated with breast cancer risk (pooled HR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.97, 0.99 per 350 mg/d).

Conclusion: Our study shows that adult dairy or calcium consumption is unlikely to associate with a higher risk of breast cancer and that higher yogurt and cottage/ricotta cheese intakes were inversely associated with the risk of ER-negative breast cancer, a less hormonally dependent subtype with poor prognosis. Future studies on fermented dairy products, earlier life exposures, ER-negative breast cancer, and different racial/ethnic populations may further elucidate the relation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab097DOI Listing
May 2021

Heterogeneity of Associations between Total and Types of Fish Intake and the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: Federated Meta-Analysis of 28 Prospective Studies Including 956,122 Participants.

Nutrients 2021 Apr 7;13(4). Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre 90040-060, Brazil.

The association between fish consumption and new-onset type 2 diabetes is inconsistent and differs according to geographical location. We examined the association between the total and types of fish consumption and type 2 diabetes using individual participant data from 28 prospective cohort studies from the Americas (6), Europe (15), the Western Pacific (6), and the Eastern Mediterranean (1) comprising 956,122 participants and 48,084 cases of incident type 2 diabetes. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for associations of total fish, shellfish, fatty, lean, fried, freshwater, and saltwater fish intake and type 2 diabetes were derived for each study, adjusting for a consistent set of confounders and combined across studies using random-effects meta-analysis. We stratified all analyses by sex due to observed interaction ( = 0.002) on the association between fish and type 2 diabetes. In women, for each 100 g/week higher intake the IRRs (95% CIs) of type 2 diabetes were 1.02 (1.01-1.03, = 61%) for total fish, 1.04 (1.01-1.07, = 46%) for fatty fish, and 1.02 (1.00-1.04, = 33%) for lean fish. In men, all associations were null. In women, we observed variation by geographical location: IRRs for total fish were 1.03 (1.02-1.04, = 0%) in the Americas and null in other regions. In conclusion, we found evidence of a neutral association between total fish intake and type 2 diabetes in men, but there was a modest positive association among women with heterogeneity across studies, which was partly explained by geographical location and types of fish intake. Future research should investigate the role of cooking methods, accompanying foods and environmental pollutants, but meanwhile, existing dietary regional, national, or international guidelines should continue to guide fish consumption within overall healthy dietary patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13041223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068031PMC
April 2021

Fluoride in Drinking Water, Diet, and Urine in Relation to Bone Mineral Density and Fracture Incidence in Postmenopausal Women.

Environ Health Perspect 2021 Apr 6;129(4):47005. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Unit of Cardiovascular and Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Background: Although randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated that high fluoride increases bone mineral density (BMD) and skeletal fragility, observational studies of low-dose chronic exposure through drinking water (, the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization) have been inconclusive.

Objective: We assessed associations of fluoride in urine, and intake via diet and drinking water, with BMD and fracture incidence in postmenopausal women exposed to drinking water fluoride .

Methods: Data were from participants in the Swedish Mammography Cohort-Clinical, a population-based prospective cohort study. At baseline (2004-2009), fluoride exposure was assessed based on urine concentrations () and estimated dietary intake (including drinking water) (), and BMD was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Incident fractures were ascertained via register-linkage through 2017. Residential history was collected to identify women with long-term consistent drinking water exposures prior to baseline.

Results: At baseline, mean urine fluoride was creatinine () and mean dietary intake was (), respectively. During follow-up, 850, 529, and 187 cases of any fractures, osteoporotic fractures, and hip fractures, respectively, were ascertained. Baseline BMD was slightly higher among women in the highest vs. lowest tertiles of exposure. Fluoride exposures were positively associated with incident hip fractures, with multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios of 1.50 (95% CI: 1.04, 2.17) and 1.59 (95% CI: 1.10, 2.30), for the highest vs. lowest tertiles of urine fluoride and dietary fluoride, respectively. Associations with other fractures were less pronounced for urine fluoride, and null for dietary fluoride. Restricting the analyses to women with consistent long-term drinking water exposures prior to baseline strengthened associations between fractures and urinary fluoride.

Discussion: In this cohort of postmenopausal women, the risk of fractures was increased in association with two separate indicators of fluoride exposure. Our findings are consistent with RCTs and suggest that high consumption of drinking water with a fluoride concentration of may increase both BMD and skeletal fragility in older women. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP7404.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP7404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043127PMC
April 2021

Association of the Age at Menarche with Site-Specific Cancer Risks in Pooled Data from Nine Cohorts.

Cancer Res 2021 Apr 5;81(8):2246-2255. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

The average age at menarche declined in European and U.S. populations during the 19th and 20th centuries. The timing of pubertal events may have broad implications for chronic disease risks in aging women. Here we tested for associations of recalled menarcheal age with risks of 19 cancers in 536,450 women [median age, 60 years (range, 31-39 years)] in nine prospective U.S. and European cohorts that enrolled participants from 1981 to 1998. Cox regression estimated multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations of the age at menarche with risk of each cancer in each cohort and random-effects meta-analysis was used to generate summary estimates for each cancer. Over a median 10 years of follow-up, 60,968 women were diagnosed with a first primary incident cancer. Inverse linear associations were observed for seven of 19 cancers studied. Each additional year in the age at menarche was associated with reduced risks of endometrial cancer (HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.89-0.94), liver cancer (HR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85-0.99), melanoma (HR = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), bladder cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99), and cancers of the colon (HR = 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), lung (HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), and breast (HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99). All but one of these associations remained statistically significant following adjustment for baseline body mass index. Similarities in the observed associations between menarche and seven cancers suggest shared underlying causes rooted early in life. We propose as a testable hypothesis that early exposure to sex hormones increases mid-life cancer risks by altering functional capacities of stem cells with roles in systemic energy balance and tissue homeostasis. SIGNIFICANCE: Age at menarche is associated with risk for seven cancers in middle-aged women, and understanding the shared underlying causal pathways across these cancers may suggest new avenues for cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-3093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137527PMC
April 2021

Genetically predicted circulating concentrations of micronutrients and risk of colorectal cancer among individuals of European descent: a Mendelian randomization study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 06;113(6):1490-1502

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

Background: The literature on associations of circulating concentrations of minerals and vitamins with risk of colorectal cancer is limited and inconsistent. Evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to support the efficacy of dietary modification or nutrient supplementation for colorectal cancer prevention is also limited.

Objectives: To complement observational and RCT findings, we investigated associations of genetically predicted concentrations of 11 micronutrients (β-carotene, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and zinc) with colorectal cancer risk using Mendelian randomization (MR).

Methods: Two-sample MR was conducted using 58,221 individuals with colorectal cancer and 67,694 controls from the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, Colorectal Cancer Transdisciplinary Study, and Colon Cancer Family Registry. Inverse variance-weighted MR analyses were performed with sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of potential violations of MR assumptions.

Results: Nominally significant associations were noted for genetically predicted iron concentration and higher risk of colon cancer [ORs per SD (ORSD): 1.08; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.17; P value = 0.05] and similarly for proximal colon cancer, and for vitamin B-12 concentration and higher risk of colorectal cancer (ORSD: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.21; P value = 0.01) and similarly for colon cancer. A nominally significant association was also noted for genetically predicted selenium concentration and lower risk of colon cancer (ORSD: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96, 1.00; P value = 0.05) and similarly for distal colon cancer. These associations were robust to sensitivity analyses. Nominally significant inverse associations were observed for zinc and risk of colorectal and distal colon cancers, but sensitivity analyses could not be performed. None of these findings survived correction for multiple testing. Genetically predicted concentrations of β-carotene, calcium, copper, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B-6 were not associated with disease risk.

Conclusions: These results suggest possible causal associations of circulating iron and vitamin B-12 (positively) and selenium (inversely) with risk of colon cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168352PMC
June 2021

Common genetic and clinical risk factors: association with fatal prostate cancer in the Cohort of Swedish Men.

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2021 Mar 15. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Background: Clinical variables-age, family history, genetics-are used for prostate cancer risk stratification. Recently, polygenic hazard scores (PHS46, PHS166) were validated as associated with age at prostate cancer diagnosis. While polygenic scores are associated with all prostate cancer (not specific for fatal cancers), PHS46 was also associated with age at prostate cancer death. We evaluated if adding PHS to clinical variables improves associations with prostate cancer death.

Methods: Genotype/phenotype data were obtained from a nested case-control Cohort of Swedish Men (n = 3279; 2163 with prostate cancer, 278 prostate cancer deaths). PHS and clinical variables (family history, alcohol intake, smoking, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, body mass index) were tested via univariable Cox proportional hazards models for association with age at prostate cancer death. Multivariable Cox models with/without PHS were compared with log-likelihood tests.

Results: Median age at last follow-up/prostate cancer death was 78.0 (IQR: 72.3-84.1) and 81.4 (75.4-86.3) years, respectively. On univariable analysis, PHS46 (HR 3.41 [95% CI 2.78-4.17]), family history (HR 1.72 [1.46-2.03]), alcohol (HR 1.74 [1.40-2.15]), diabetes (HR 0.53 [0.37-0.75]) were each associated with prostate cancer death. On multivariable analysis, PHS46 (HR 2.45 [1.99-2.97]), family history (HR 1.73 [1.48-2.03]), alcohol (HR 1.45 [1.19-1.76]), diabetes (HR 0.62 [0.42-0.90]) all remained associated with fatal disease. Including PHS46 or PHS166 improved multivariable models for fatal prostate cancer (p < 10).

Conclusions: PHS had the most robust association with fatal prostate cancer in a multivariable model with common risk factors, including family history. Adding PHS to clinical variables may improve prostate cancer risk stratification strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41391-021-00341-4DOI Listing
March 2021

Associations of Total Legume, Pulse, and Soy Consumption with Incident Type 2 Diabetes: Federated Meta-Analysis of 27 Studies from Diverse World Regions.

J Nutr 2021 May;151(5):1231-1240

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: The consumption of legumes is promoted as part of a healthy diet in many countries but associations of total and types of legume consumption with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not well established. Analyses across diverse populations are lacking despite the availability of unpublished legume consumption data in prospective cohort studies.

Objective: To examine the prospective associations of total and types of legume intake with the risk of incident T2D.

Methods: Meta-analyses of associations between total legume, pulse, and soy consumption and T2D were conducted using a federated approach without physical data-pooling. Prospective cohorts were included if legume exposure and T2D outcome data were available and the cohort investigators agreed to participate. We estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and CIs of associations using individual participant data including ≤42,473 incident cases among 807,785 adults without diabetes in 27 cohorts across the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, and Western Pacific. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to combine effect estimates and estimate heterogeneity.

Results: Median total legume intake ranged from 0-140 g/d across cohorts. We observed a weak positive association between total legume consumption and T2D (IRR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.04) per 20 g/d higher intake, with moderately high heterogeneity (I2 = 74%). Analysis by region showed no evidence of associations in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific. The positive association in Europe (IRR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.10, I2 = 82%) was mainly driven by studies from Germany, UK, and Sweden. No evidence of associations was observed for the consumption of pulses or soy.

Conclusions: These findings suggest no evidence of an association of legume intakes with T2D in several world regions. The positive association observed in some European studies warrants further investigation relating to overall dietary contexts in which legumes are consumed, including accompanying foods which may be positively associated with T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8112771PMC
May 2021

Genetic architectures of proximal and distal colorectal cancer are partly distinct.

Gut 2021 Jul 25;70(7):1325-1334. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology - IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: An understanding of the etiologic heterogeneity of colorectal cancer (CRC) is critical for improving precision prevention, including individualized screening recommendations and the discovery of novel drug targets and repurposable drug candidates for chemoprevention. Known differences in molecular characteristics and environmental risk factors among tumors arising in different locations of the colorectum suggest partly distinct mechanisms of carcinogenesis. The extent to which the contribution of inherited genetic risk factors for CRC differs by anatomical subsite of the primary tumor has not been examined.

Design: To identify new anatomical subsite-specific risk loci, we performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses including data of 48 214 CRC cases and 64 159 controls of European ancestry. We characterised effect heterogeneity at CRC risk loci using multinomial modelling.

Results: We identified 13 loci that reached genome-wide significance (p<5×10) and that were not reported by previous GWASs for overall CRC risk. Multiple lines of evidence support candidate genes at several of these loci. We detected substantial heterogeneity between anatomical subsites. Just over half (61) of 109 known and new risk variants showed no evidence for heterogeneity. In contrast, 22 variants showed association with distal CRC (including rectal cancer), but no evidence for association or an attenuated association with proximal CRC. For two loci, there was strong evidence for effects confined to proximal colon cancer.

Conclusion: Genetic architectures of proximal and distal CRC are partly distinct. Studies of risk factors and mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and precision prevention strategies should take into consideration the anatomical subsite of the tumour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223655PMC
July 2021

Polygenic hazard score is associated with prostate cancer in multi-ethnic populations.

Nat Commun 2021 02 23;12(1):1236. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Division of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Radiotherapy Related Research, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.

Genetic models for cancer have been evaluated using almost exclusively European data, which could exacerbate health disparities. A polygenic hazard score (PHS) is associated with age at prostate cancer diagnosis and improves screening accuracy in Europeans. Here, we evaluate performance of PHS (PHS, adapted for OncoArray) in a multi-ethnic dataset of 80,491 men (49,916 cases, 30,575 controls). PHS is associated with age at diagnosis of any and aggressive (Gleason score ≥ 7, stage T3-T4, PSA ≥ 10 ng/mL, or nodal/distant metastasis) cancer and prostate-cancer-specific death. Associations with cancer are significant within European (n = 71,856), Asian (n = 2,382), and African (n = 6,253) genetic ancestries (p < 10). Comparing the 80/20 PHS percentiles, hazard ratios for prostate cancer, aggressive cancer, and prostate-cancer-specific death are 5.32, 5.88, and 5.68, respectively. Within European, Asian, and African ancestries, hazard ratios for prostate cancer are: 5.54, 4.49, and 2.54, respectively. PHS risk-stratifies men for any, aggressive, and fatal prostate cancer in a multi-ethnic dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21287-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902617PMC
February 2021

Combinations of dietary calcium intake and mediterranean-style diet on risk of hip fracture: A longitudinal cohort study of 82,000 women and men.

Clin Nutr 2021 Jun 5;40(6):4161-4170. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Orthopedics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background And Aims: Each year, millions of people suffer from fragility fractures. Hip fractures are the most devastating type of such fractures. We aimed to investigate whether the association of dietary calcium intake with hip fracture risk can be modified by a healthy diet, herein defined as the modified Mediterranean diet score (mMED), in Swedish adults.

Methods: The study included 82,092 men and women at baseline. Diet and covariate data were collected twice, 12 years apart, using questionnaires. Information on incident hip fractures was collected from a national registry. Dietary calcium intake and mMED were each categorized into low, medium and high categories, and in nine combined strata of the two exposures. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of hip fracture with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, with time-updated information on exposures and covariates. Non-linear trends were assessed using restricted cubic splines.

Results: During 20 years of follow-up including 1,367,260 person-years at risk, 5938 individuals experienced a hip fracture. Dietary calcium intake and hip fracture were non-linearly associated, whereas adherence to mMED decreased hip fracture rates in a dose-response pattern. The lowest hip fracture rates were observed among women and men who reported a calcium intake of 800 mg or more, combined with a high adherence to mMED. In each stratum of calcium intake, the HRs of hip fracture were increasingly higher with lower adherence to mMED, compared with the reference level (high calcium and high mMED). Individuals with low calcium intake (<800 mg/day) or high calcium intake (>1200 mg/day) combined with low adherence to mMED had a HR of 1.54 (95% CI 1.28-1.85) and 1.50 (95% CI 1.26-1.77), respectively. No major differences in the hip fracture risk patterns were discerned between women and men.

Conclusion: A moderate to high dietary calcium intake in the context of an overall healthy diet were associated with lower hip fracture rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.01.043DOI Listing
June 2021

A case-only study to identify genetic modifiers of breast cancer risk for BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Nat Commun 2021 02 17;12(1):1078. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Breast cancer (BC) risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers varies by genetic and familial factors. About 50 common variants have been shown to modify BC risk for mutation carriers. All but three, were identified in general population studies. Other mutation carrier-specific susceptibility variants may exist but studies of mutation carriers have so far been underpowered. We conduct a novel case-only genome-wide association study comparing genotype frequencies between 60,212 general population BC cases and 13,007 cases with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. We identify robust novel associations for 2 variants with BC for BRCA1 and 3 for BRCA2 mutation carriers, P < 10, at 5 loci, which are not associated with risk in the general population. They include rs60882887 at 11p11.2 where MADD, SP11 and EIF1, genes previously implicated in BC biology, are predicted as potential targets. These findings will contribute towards customising BC polygenic risk scores for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20496-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890067PMC
February 2021

Effects of High Intakes of Fructose and Galactose, with or without Added Fructooligosaccharides, on Metabolic Factors, Inflammation, and Gut Integrity in a Rat Model.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2021 03 25;65(6):e2001133. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Division of Food and Nutrition Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, 41296, Sweden.

Scope: A high fructose and galactose intake show adverse metabolic effects in animal models and in humans, but it is yet unknown if addition of fermentable dietary fiber can mitigate such effects. This study investigate the effects of high intakes of fructose and galactose, with/without added fructooligosaccharides (FOS), on metabolic factors, inflammation, and gut integrity markers in rats.

Methods And Results: Rats (n = 6/group) receive different carbohydrates at isocaloric conditions for 12 weeks as follows: 1) starch (control), 2) fructose, 3) galactose, 4) starch + FOS (FOS control), 5) fructose + FOS, and 6) galactose + FOS, together with a high amount of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA) in all diets except for in 7) starch + olive oil (negative control). The rats fed the galactose and galactose + FOS diets exhibit lower body weight than other groups. High-galactose diets has more pronounced effects on metabolic factors and gut permeability than high-fructose diets. High-fructose diets show less pronounced effect on these selected markers. No differences in inflammatory markers are detected for any of the diets.

Conclusions: The results suggest potential adverse effects of high galactose and fructose on metabolic factors and gut integrity markers, but not on inflammation. However, several mechanisms are at play, and general net effects are difficult to determine conclusively for the conditions tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.202001133DOI Listing
March 2021

Contrasting prenatal nutrition and environmental exposures in association with birth weight and cognitive function in children at 7 years.

BMJ Nutr Prev Health 2020 Dec 26;3(2):162-171. Epub 2020 Jul 26.

Public Health Sciences, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.

Background: Good nutrition is essential for individual health, a notion that is particularly true during pregnancy. We have used a nutrition index that measures the adequacy of one's diet relative to the unique nutritional needs of individuals due to, for example, their activity level, dietary restrictions, lifestyle and body size. The use of this personalised metric of dietary nutritiousness in the analysis of prenatal environmental exposures and developmental outcomes permits testing for potential mitigating effects of good nutrition. We also provide an analysis strategy for investigating the balance in beneficial food sources which are also the source of environmental toxicants.

Methods: A holistic measure of nutrition, (MNI), measures the nutrient quality (ie, 'nutritiousness') of a specified daily diet. MNI is calculated based on quantification of dozens of macronutrients and micronutrients that are specific to an individual's nutritional needs by incorporating dietary restrictions, subject characteristics, activity level and health behaviours. The Swedish Environmental, Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma and allergy Study is a Swedish pregnancy cohort, with prenatal endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) exposure and dietary data available. This makes it possible to test for the potential mitigating effects of good nutrition on health and development effects in offspring from EDCs.

Results: Using prenatal Food Frequency Questionnaire data to construct an individual's MNI, the index was significantly and positively associated with important metabolic outcome (as measured by birth weight) and cognitive function at age 7 years (as measured by WISC IQ) in children when adjusted for covariates and prenatal concentrations of an EDC. In a stratified analysis of 'low' and 'high' fish consumption, a potential source of perfluoro-octanesulfonic acid (PFOS), the association between PFOS and birth weight was diminished in the high consumption group compared with the low consumption group.

Conclusions: Thus, MNI is evidently a metric of the general nutritiousness of daily diets and is useful in environmental health studies in representing the impact of good nutrition, even during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841844PMC
December 2020

Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Survival by Tumor Subtype: Pooled Analyses from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Apr 26;30(4):623-642. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Gynaecology Research Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: It is not known whether modifiable lifestyle factors that predict survival after invasive breast cancer differ by subtype.

Methods: We analyzed data for 121,435 women diagnosed with breast cancer from 67 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium with 16,890 deaths (8,554 breast cancer specific) over 10 years. Cox regression was used to estimate associations between risk factors and 10-year all-cause mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality overall, by estrogen receptor (ER) status, and by intrinsic-like subtype.

Results: There was no evidence of heterogeneous associations between risk factors and mortality by subtype ( > 0.30). The strongest associations were between all-cause mortality and BMI ≥30 versus 18.5-25 kg/m [HR (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.19 (1.06-1.34)]; current versus never smoking [1.37 (1.27-1.47)], high versus low physical activity [0.43 (0.21-0.86)], age ≥30 years versus <20 years at first pregnancy [0.79 (0.72-0.86)]; >0-<5 years versus ≥10 years since last full-term birth [1.31 (1.11-1.55)]; ever versus never use of oral contraceptives [0.91 (0.87-0.96)]; ever versus never use of menopausal hormone therapy, including current estrogen-progestin therapy [0.61 (0.54-0.69)]. Similar associations with breast cancer mortality were weaker; for example, 1.11 (1.02-1.21) for current versus never smoking.

Conclusions: We confirm associations between modifiable lifestyle factors and 10-year all-cause mortality. There was no strong evidence that associations differed by ER status or intrinsic-like subtype.

Impact: Given the large dataset and lack of evidence that associations between modifiable risk factors and 10-year mortality differed by subtype, these associations could be cautiously used in prognostication models to inform patient-centered care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026532PMC
April 2021

CYP3A7*1C allele: linking premenopausal oestrone and progesterone levels with risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Br J Cancer 2021 02 26;124(4):842-854. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Epidemiological studies provide strong evidence for a role of endogenous sex hormones in the aetiology of breast cancer. The aim of this analysis was to identify genetic variants that are associated with urinary sex-hormone levels and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We carried out a genome-wide association study of urinary oestrone-3-glucuronide and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide levels in 560 premenopausal women, with additional analysis of progesterone levels in 298 premenopausal women. To test for the association with breast cancer risk, we carried out follow-up genotyping in 90,916 cases and 89,893 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. All women were of European ancestry.

Results: For pregnanediol-3-glucuronide, there were no genome-wide significant associations; for oestrone-3-glucuronide, we identified a single peak mapping to the CYP3A locus, annotated by rs45446698. The minor rs45446698-C allele was associated with lower oestrone-3-glucuronide (-49.2%, 95% CI -56.1% to -41.1%, P = 3.1 × 10); in follow-up analyses, rs45446698-C was also associated with lower progesterone (-26.7%, 95% CI -39.4% to -11.6%, P = 0.001) and reduced risk of oestrogen and progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer (OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.91, P = 6.9 × 10).

Conclusions: The CYP3A7*1C allele is associated with reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer possibly mediated via an effect on the metabolism of endogenous sex hormones in premenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01185-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884683PMC
February 2021

Additional SNPs improve risk stratification of a polygenic hazard score for prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2021 Jun 8;24(2):532-541. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Background: Polygenic hazard scores (PHS) can identify individuals with increased risk of prostate cancer. We estimated the benefit of additional SNPs on performance of a previously validated PHS (PHS46).

Materials And Method: 180 SNPs, shown to be previously associated with prostate cancer, were used to develop a PHS model in men with European ancestry. A machine-learning approach, LASSO-regularized Cox regression, was used to select SNPs and to estimate their coefficients in the training set (75,596 men). Performance of the resulting model was evaluated in the testing/validation set (6,411 men) with two metrics: (1) hazard ratios (HRs) and (2) positive predictive value (PPV) of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. HRs were estimated between individuals with PHS in the top 5% to those in the middle 40% (HR95/50), top 20% to bottom 20% (HR80/20), and bottom 20% to middle 40% (HR20/50). PPV was calculated for the top 20% (PPV80) and top 5% (PPV95) of PHS as the fraction of individuals with elevated PSA that were diagnosed with clinically significant prostate cancer on biopsy.

Results: 166 SNPs had non-zero coefficients in the Cox model (PHS166). All HR metrics showed significant improvements for PHS166 compared to PHS46: HR95/50 increased from 3.72 to 5.09, HR80/20 increased from 6.12 to 9.45, and HR20/50 decreased from 0.41 to 0.34. By contrast, no significant differences were observed in PPV of PSA testing for clinically significant prostate cancer.

Conclusions: Incorporating 120 additional SNPs (PHS166 vs PHS46) significantly improved HRs for prostate cancer, while PPV of PSA testing remained the same.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41391-020-00311-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157993PMC
June 2021

Trans-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of prostate cancer identifies new susceptibility loci and informs genetic risk prediction.

Nat Genet 2021 01 4;53(1):65-75. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Prostate cancer is a highly heritable disease with large disparities in incidence rates across ancestry populations. We conducted a multiancestry meta-analysis of prostate cancer genome-wide association studies (107,247 cases and 127,006 controls) and identified 86 new genetic risk variants independently associated with prostate cancer risk, bringing the total to 269 known risk variants. The top genetic risk score (GRS) decile was associated with odds ratios that ranged from 5.06 (95% confidence interval (CI), 4.84-5.29) for men of European ancestry to 3.74 (95% CI, 3.36-4.17) for men of African ancestry. Men of African ancestry were estimated to have a mean GRS that was 2.18-times higher (95% CI, 2.14-2.22), and men of East Asian ancestry 0.73-times lower (95% CI, 0.71-0.76), than men of European ancestry. These findings support the role of germline variation contributing to population differences in prostate cancer risk, with the GRS offering an approach for personalized risk prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00748-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8148035PMC
January 2021

Is the effect of Mediterranean diet on hip fracture mediated through type 2 diabetes mellitus and body mass index?

Int J Epidemiol 2021 03;50(1):234-244

Department of Surgical Sciences, Orthopaedics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: We examined whether the inverse association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and hip fracture risk is mediated by incident type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: We included 50 755 men and women from the Cohort of Swedish Men and the Swedish Mammography Cohort who answered lifestyle and medical questionnaires in 1997 and 2008 (used for calculation of the Mediterranean diet score 9mMED; low, medium, high) and BMI in 1997, and incident T2DM in 1997-2008). The cumulative incidence of hip fracture from the National Patient Register (2009-14) was considered as outcome.

Results: We present conditional odds ratios (OR) 9[95% confidence interval, CI) of hip fracture for medium and high adherence to mMED, compared with low adherence. The total effect ORs were 0.82 (0.71, 0.95) and 0.75 (0.62, 0.91), respectively. The controlled direct effect of mMED on hip fracture (not mediated by T2DM, considering BMI as an exposure-induced confounder), calculated using inverse probability weighting of marginal structural models, rendered ORs of 0.82 (0.72, 0.95) and 0.73 (0.60, 0.88), respectively. The natural direct effect ORs (not mediated by BMI or T2DM, calculated using flexible mediation analysis) were 0.82 (0.71, 0.95) and 0.74(0.61, 0.89), respectively. The path-specific indirect and partial indirect natural effects ORs (through BMI or T2DM) were close to 1.

Conclusions: Mediterranean diet has a direct effect on hip fracture risk via pathways other than through T2DM and BMI. We cannot exclude mediating effects of T2DM or BMI, or that their effects cancel each other out.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938512PMC
March 2021

Adiposity, metabolites, and colorectal cancer risk: Mendelian randomization study.

BMC Med 2020 12 17;18(1):396. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

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

Background: Higher adiposity increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but whether this relationship varies by anatomical sub-site or by sex is unclear. Further, the metabolic alterations mediating the effects of adiposity on CRC are not fully understood.

Methods: We examined sex- and site-specific associations of adiposity with CRC risk and whether adiposity-associated metabolites explain the associations of adiposity with CRC. Genetic variants from genome-wide association studies of body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR, unadjusted for BMI; N = 806,810), and 123 metabolites from targeted nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics (N = 24,925), were used as instruments. Sex-combined and sex-specific Mendelian randomization (MR) was conducted for BMI and WHR with CRC risk (58,221 cases and 67,694 controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, Colorectal Cancer Transdisciplinary Study, and Colon Cancer Family Registry). Sex-combined MR was conducted for BMI and WHR with metabolites, for metabolites with CRC, and for BMI and WHR with CRC adjusted for metabolite classes in multivariable models.

Results: In sex-specific MR analyses, higher BMI (per 4.2 kg/m) was associated with 1.23 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08, 1.38) times higher CRC odds among men (inverse-variance-weighted (IVW) model); among women, higher BMI (per 5.2 kg/m) was associated with 1.09 (95% CI = 0.97, 1.22) times higher CRC odds. WHR (per 0.07 higher) was more strongly associated with CRC risk among women (IVW OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.08, 1.43) than men (IVW OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.81, 1.36). BMI or WHR was associated with 104/123 metabolites at false discovery rate-corrected P ≤ 0.05; several metabolites were associated with CRC, but not in directions that were consistent with the mediation of positive adiposity-CRC relations. In multivariable MR analyses, associations of BMI and WHR with CRC were not attenuated following adjustment for representative metabolite classes, e.g., the univariable IVW OR for BMI with CRC was 1.12 (95% CI = 1.00, 1.26), and this became 1.11 (95% CI = 0.99, 1.26) when adjusting for cholesterol in low-density lipoprotein particles.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that higher BMI more greatly raises CRC risk among men, whereas higher WHR more greatly raises CRC risk among women. Adiposity was associated with numerous metabolic alterations, but none of these explained associations between adiposity and CRC. More detailed metabolomic measures are likely needed to clarify the mechanistic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01855-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745469PMC
December 2020

A Combined Proteomics and Mendelian Randomization Approach to Investigate the Effects of Aspirin-Targeted Proteins on Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Mar 14;30(3):564-575. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Nutrition and Metabolism Section, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: Evidence for aspirin's chemopreventative properties on colorectal cancer (CRC) is substantial, but its mechanism of action is not well-understood. We combined a proteomic approach with Mendelian randomization (MR) to identify possible new aspirin targets that decrease CRC risk.

Methods: Human colorectal adenoma cells (RG/C2) were treated with aspirin (24 hours) and a stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) based proteomics approach identified altered protein expression. Protein quantitative trait loci (pQTLs) from INTERVAL ( = 3,301) and expression QTLs (eQTLs) from the eQTLGen Consortium ( = 31,684) were used as genetic proxies for protein and mRNA expression levels. Two-sample MR of mRNA/protein expression on CRC risk was performed using eQTL/pQTL data combined with CRC genetic summary data from the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), Colorectal Transdisciplinary (CORECT), Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer (GECCO) consortia and UK Biobank (55,168 cases and 65,160 controls).

Results: Altered expression was detected for 125/5886 proteins. Of these, aspirin decreased MCM6, RRM2, and ARFIP2 expression, and MR analysis showed that a standard deviation increase in mRNA/protein expression was associated with increased CRC risk (OR: 1.08, 95% CI, 1.03-1.13; OR: 3.33, 95% CI, 2.46-4.50; and OR: 1.15, 95% CI, 1.02-1.29, respectively).

Conclusions: MCM6 and RRM2 are involved in DNA repair whereby reduced expression may lead to increased DNA aberrations and ultimately cancer cell death, whereas ARFIP2 is involved in actin cytoskeletal regulation, indicating a possible role in aspirin's reduction of metastasis.

Impact: Our approach has shown how laboratory experiments and population-based approaches can combine to identify aspirin-targeted proteins possibly affecting CRC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086774PMC
March 2021

The Variant C.349A>G Is Associated with Prostate Cancer Risk and Carriers Share a Common Ancestor.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Nov 4;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.

The identification of recurrent founder variants in cancer predisposing genes may have important implications for implementing cost-effective targeted genetic screening strategies. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence and relative risk of the recurrent variant c.349A>G in a series of 462 Portuguese patients with early-onset and/or familial/hereditary prostate cancer (PrCa), as well as in the large multicentre PRACTICAL case-control study comprising 55,162 prostate cancer cases and 36,147 controls. Additionally, we investigated the potential shared ancestry of the carriers by performing identity-by-descent, haplotype and age estimation analyses using high-density SNP data from 70 variant carriers belonging to 11 different populations included in the PRACTICAL consortium. The missense variant c.349A>G was found significantly associated with an increased risk for PrCa (OR 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1-3.2). A shared haplotype flanking the variant in all carriers was identified, strongly suggesting a common founder of European origin. Additionally, using two independent statistical algorithms, implemented by DMLE+2.3 and ESTIAGE, we were able to estimate the age of the variant between 2300 and 3125 years. By extending the haplotype analysis to 14 additional carrier families, a shared core haplotype was revealed among all carriers matching the conserved region previously identified in the high-density SNP analysis. These findings are consistent with c.349A>G being a founder variant associated with increased PrCa risk, suggesting its potential usefulness for cost-effective targeted genetic screening in PrCa families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694218PMC
November 2020

Body size and weight change over adulthood and risk of breast cancer by menopausal and hormone receptor status: a pooled analysis of 20 prospective cohort studies.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jan 30;36(1):37-55. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Epidemiology and Prevention Group, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan.

Associations between anthropometric factors and breast cancer (BC) risk have varied inconsistently by estrogen and/or progesterone receptor (ER/PR) status. Associations between prediagnostic anthropometric factors and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal BC overall and ER/PR status subtypes were investigated in a pooled analysis of 20 prospective cohorts, including 36,297 BC cases among 1,061,915 women, using multivariable Cox regression analyses, controlling for reproductive factors, diet and other risk factors. We estimated dose-response relationships and tested for nonlinear associations using restricted cubic splines. Height showed positive, linear associations for premenopausal and postmenopausal BC risk (6-7% RR increase per 5 cm increment), with stronger associations for receptor-positive subtypes. Body mass index (BMI) at cohort baseline was strongly inversely associated with premenopausal BC risk, and strongly positively-and nonlinearly-associated with postmenopausal BC (especially among women who never used hormone replacement therapy). This was primarily observed for receptor-positive subtypes. Early adult BMI (at 18-20 years) showed inverse, linear associations for premenopausal and postmenopausal BC risk (21% and 11% RR decrease per 5 kg/m, respectively) with stronger associations for receptor-negative subtypes. Adult weight gain since 18-20 years was positively associated with postmenopausal BC risk, stronger for receptor-positive subtypes, and among women who were leaner in early adulthood. Women heavier in early adulthood generally had reduced premenopausal BC risk, independent of later weight gain. Positive associations between height, baseline (adult) BMI, adult weight gain and postmenopausal BC risk were substantially stronger for hormone receptor-positive versus negative subtypes. Premenopausal BC risk was positively associated with height, but inversely with baseline BMI and weight gain (mostly in receptor-positive subtypes). Inverse associations with early adult BMI seemed stronger in receptor-negative subtypes of premenopausal and postmenopausal BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00688-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847460PMC
January 2021

Identifying Novel Susceptibility Genes for Colorectal Cancer Risk From a Transcriptome-Wide Association Study of 125,478 Subjects.

Gastroenterology 2021 Mar 12;160(4):1164-1178.e6. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Background And Aims: Susceptibility genes and the underlying mechanisms for the majority of risk loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for colorectal cancer (CRC) risk remain largely unknown. We conducted a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) to identify putative susceptibility genes.

Methods: Gene-expression prediction models were built using transcriptome and genetic data from the 284 normal transverse colon tissues of European descendants from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx), and model performance was evaluated using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 355). We applied the gene-expression prediction models and GWAS data to evaluate associations of genetically predicted gene-expression with CRC risk in 58,131 CRC cases and 67,347 controls of European ancestry. Dual-luciferase reporter assays and knockdown experiments in CRC cells and tumor xenografts were conducted.

Results: We identified 25 genes associated with CRC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P < 9.1 × 10, including genes in 4 novel loci, PYGL (14q22.1), RPL28 (19q13.42), CAPN12 (19q13.2), MYH7B (20q11.22), and MAP1L3CA (20q11.22). In 9 known GWAS-identified loci, we uncovered 9 genes that have not been reported previously, whereas 4 genes remained statistically significant after adjusting for the lead risk variant of the locus. Through colocalization analysis in GWAS loci, we additionally identified 12 putative susceptibility genes that were supported by TWAS analysis at P < .01. We showed that risk allele of the lead risk variant rs1741640 affected the promoter activity of CABLES2. Knockdown experiments confirmed that CABLES2 plays a vital role in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Conclusions: Our study reveals new putative susceptibility genes and provides new insight into the biological mechanisms underlying CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.08.062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7956223PMC
March 2021

Circulating adipokine concentrations and risk of five obesity-related cancers: A Mendelian randomization study.

Int J Cancer 2021 04 26;148(7):1625-1636. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Obesity is considered a chronic inflammatory state characterized by continued secretion of adipokines and cytokines. Experimental and epidemiological evidence indicates that circulating adipokines may be associated with the development of obesity-related cancers, but it is unclear if these associations are causal or confounded. We examined potential causal associations of specific adipokines (adiponectin, leptin, soluble leptin receptor [sOB-R] and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 [PAI-1]) with five obesity-related cancers (colorectal, pancreatic, renal cell carcinoma [RCC], ovarian and endometrial) using Mendelian randomization (MR) methods. We used summary-level data from large genetic consortia for 114 530 cancer cases and 245 284 controls. We constructed genetic instruments using 18 genetic variants for adiponectin, 2 for leptin and 4 for both sOB-R and PAI-1 (P value for inclusion<5 × 10 ). Causal estimates were obtained using two-sample MR methods. In the inverse-variance weighted models, we found an inverse association between adiponectin and risk of colorectal cancer (odds ratio per 1 μg/mL increment in adiponectin concentration: 0.90 [95% confidence interval = 0.84-0.97]; P = .01); but, evidence of horizontal pleiotropy was detected and the association was not present when this was taken into consideration. No association was found for adiponectin and risks of pancreatic cancer, RCC, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. Leptin, sOB-R and PAI-1 were also similarly unrelated to risk of obesity-related cancers. Despite the large sample size, our MR analyses do not support causal effects of circulating adiponectin, leptin, sOB-R and PAI-1 concentrations on the development of five obesity-related cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894468PMC
April 2021

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 11 5;107(5):837-848. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry, Hong Kong; Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, Department of Pathology, Happy Valley, Hong Kong.

Previous research has shown that polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can be used to stratify women according to their risk of developing primary invasive breast cancer. This study aimed to evaluate the association between a recently validated PRS of 313 germline variants (PRS) and contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk. We included 56,068 women of European ancestry diagnosed with first invasive breast cancer from 1990 onward with follow-up from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Metachronous CBC risk (N = 1,027) according to the distribution of PRS was quantified using Cox regression analyses. We assessed PRS interaction with age at first diagnosis, family history, morphology, ER status, PR status, and HER2 status, and (neo)adjuvant therapy. In studies of Asian women, with limited follow-up, CBC risk associated with PRS was assessed using logistic regression for 340 women with CBC compared with 12,133 women with unilateral breast cancer. Higher PRS was associated with increased CBC risk: hazard ratio per standard deviation (SD) = 1.25 (95%CI = 1.18-1.33) for Europeans, and an OR per SD = 1.15 (95%CI = 1.02-1.29) for Asians. The absolute lifetime risks of CBC, accounting for death as competing risk, were 12.4% for European women at the 10 percentile and 20.5% at the 90 percentile of PRS. We found no evidence of confounding by or interaction with individual characteristics, characteristics of the primary tumor, or treatment. The C-index for the PRS alone was 0.563 (95%CI = 0.547-0.586). In conclusion, PRS is an independent factor associated with CBC risk and can be incorporated into CBC risk prediction models to help improve stratification and optimize surveillance and treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.09.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675034PMC
November 2020