Publications by authors named "Antonis C Antoniou"

210 Publications

Potential of polygenic risk scores for improving population estimates of women's breast cancer genetic risks.

Genet Med 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Molecular Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.

Purpose: Breast cancer risk has conventionally been assessed using family history (FH) and rare high/moderate penetrance pathogenic variants (PVs), notably in BRCA1/2, and more recently PALB2, CHEK2, and ATM. In addition to these PVs, it is now possible to use increasingly predictive polygenic risk scores (PRS) as well. The comparative population-level predictive capability of these three different indicators of genetic risk for risk stratification is, however, unknown.

Methods: The Canadian heritable breast cancer risk distribution was estimated using a novel genetic mixing model (GMM). A realistically representative sample of women was synthesized based on empirically observed demographic patterns for appropriately correlated family history, inheritance of rare PVs, PRS, and residual risk from an unknown polygenotype. Risk assessment was simulated using the BOADICEA risk algorithm for 10-year absolute breast cancer incidence, and compared to heritable risks as if the overall polygene, including its measured PRS component, and PV risks were fully known.

Results: Generally, the PRS was most predictive for identifying women at high risk, while family history was the weakest. Only the PRS identified any women at low risk of breast cancer.

Conclusion: PRS information would be the most important advance in enabling effective risk stratification for population-wide breast cancer screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01258-yDOI Listing
July 2021

Personalized Risk Assessment for Prevention and Early Detection of Breast Cancer: Integration and Implementation (PERSPECTIVE I&I).

J Pers Med 2021 Jun 4;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 4.

CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Québec City, QC G1V 4G2, Canada.

Early detection of breast cancer through screening reduces breast cancer mortality. The benefits of screening must also be considered within the context of potential harms (e.g., false positives, overdiagnosis). Furthermore, while breast cancer risk is highly variable within the population, most screening programs use age to determine eligibility. A risk-based approach is expected to improve the benefit-harm ratio of breast cancer screening programs. The PERSPECTIVE I&I (Personalized Risk Assessment for Prevention and Early Detection of Breast Cancer: Integration and Implementation) project seeks to improve personalized risk assessment to allow for a cost-effective, population-based approach to risk-based screening and determine best practices for implementation in Canada. This commentary describes the four inter-related activities that comprise the PERSPECTIVE I&I project. 1: Identification and validation of novel moderate to high-risk susceptibility genes. 2: Improvement, validation, and adaptation of a risk prediction web-tool for the Canadian context. 3: Development and piloting of a socio-ethical framework to support implementation of risk-based breast cancer screening. 4: Economic analysis to optimize the implementation of risk-based screening. Risk-based screening and prevention is expected to benefit all women, empowering them to work with their healthcare provider to make informed decisions about screening and prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm11060511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8226444PMC
June 2021

The predictive ability of the 313 variant-based polygenic risk score for contralateral breast cancer risk prediction in women of European ancestry with a heterozygous BRCA1 or BRCA2 pathogenic variant.

Genet Med 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Brno, Czech Republic.

Purpose: To evaluate the association between a previously published 313 variant-based breast cancer (BC) polygenic risk score (PRS) and contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk, in BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant heterozygotes.

Methods: We included women of European ancestry with a prevalent first primary invasive BC (BRCA1 = 6,591 with 1,402 prevalent CBC cases; BRCA2 = 4,208 with 647 prevalent CBC cases) from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA), a large international retrospective series. Cox regression analysis was performed to assess the association between overall and ER-specific PRS and CBC risk.

Results: For BRCA1 heterozygotes the estrogen receptor (ER)-negative PRS showed the largest association with CBC risk, hazard ratio (HR) per SD = 1.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.06-1.18), C-index = 0.53; for BRCA2 heterozygotes, this was the ER-positive PRS, HR = 1.15, 95% CI (1.07-1.25), C-index = 0.57. Adjusting for family history, age at diagnosis, treatment, or pathological characteristics for the first BC did not change association effect sizes. For women developing first BC < age 40 years, the cumulative PRS 5th and 95th percentile 10-year CBC risks were 22% and 32% for BRCA1 and 13% and 23% for BRCA2 heterozygotes, respectively.

Conclusion: The PRS can be used to refine individual CBC risks for BRCA1/2 heterozygotes of European ancestry, however the PRS needs to be considered in the context of a multifactorial risk model to evaluate whether it might influence clinical decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01198-7DOI Listing
June 2021

Prospective Evaluation of the Addition of Polygenic Risk Scores to Breast Cancer Risk Models.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Jun 2;5(3):pkab021. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

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

Background: The Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm and the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study breast cancer risk models are used to provide advice on screening intervals and chemoprevention. We evaluated the performance of these models, which now incorporate polygenic risk scores (PRSs), using a prospective cohort study.

Methods: We used a case-cohort design, involving women in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study aged 50-75 years when surveyed in 2003-2007, of whom 408 had a first primary breast cancer diagnosed within 10 years (cases), and 2783 were from the subcohort. Ten-year risks were calculated based on lifestyle factors, family history data, and a 313-variant PRS. Discrimination was assessed using a C-statistic compared with 0.50 and calibration using the ratio of expected to observed number of cases (E/O).

Results: When the PRS was added to models with lifestyle factors and family history, the C-statistic (95% confidence interval [CI]) increased from 0.57 (0.54 to 0.60) to 0.62 (0.60 to 0.65) using IBIS and from 0.56 (0.53 to 0.59) to 0.62 (0.59 to 0.64) using BOADICEA. IBIS underpredicted risk (E/O = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.80) for women in the lowest risk category (<1.7%) and overpredicted risk (E/O = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.18 to 1.67) in the highest risk category (≥5%), using the Hosmer-Lemeshow test for calibration in quantiles of risk and a 2-sided value less than.001. BOADICEA underpredicted risk (E/O = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67 to 0.99) in the second highest risk category (3.4%-5%); the Hosmer-Lemeshow test and a 2-sided valuewas equal to .02.

Conclusions: Although the inclusion of a 313 genetic variant PRS doubles discriminatory accuracy (relative to reference 0.50), models with and without this PRS have relatively modest discrimination and might require recalibration before their clinical and wider use are promoted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099999PMC
June 2021

Characterisation of PALB2 tumours through whole-exome and whole-transcriptomic analyses.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2021 Apr 23;7(1):46. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Cancer Research Malaysia, Subang Jaya, Malaysia.

Rare protein-truncating variants (PTVs) in PALB2 confer increased risk to breast cancer, but relatively few studies have reported the characteristics of tumours with PALB2 PTVs. In this study, we describe molecular characteristics of tumours with either germline or somatic alterations in PALB2. DNA from fresh frozen tumour tissues and matched peripheral blood lymphocytes for 560 breast cancer patients was subjected for whole-exome sequencing (WES), and RNA from tumour tissues was subjected to RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). We found six cases with germline and three with somatic protein-truncating variants in PALB2. The characteristics of tumours in patients with PALB2 PTVs were similar to those with BRCA1 and BRCA2 PTVs, having significantly more somatic alterations, and a high proportion of the mutational signature and genomic scar scores characteristic of deficiencies in homologous recombination (HR), compared to tumours arising in non-carriers. Unlike tumours arising in patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 PTVs, PALB2 tumours did not have high prevalence of TP53 somatic alterations or an enriched immune microenvironment. In summary, PALB2 tumours show the homologous recombination deficiencies characteristic of BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumours, and highlight the potential clinical relevance of PALB2 mutational status in guiding therapeutic choices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-021-00254-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065101PMC
April 2021

Improving reporting standards for polygenic scores in risk prediction studies.

Nature 2021 03 10;591(7849):211-219. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

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

Polygenic risk scores (PRSs), which often aggregate results from genome-wide association studies, can bridge the gap between initial discovery efforts and clinical applications for the estimation of disease risk using genetics. However, there is notable heterogeneity in the application and reporting of these risk scores, which hinders the translation of PRSs into clinical care. Here, in a collaboration between the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Complex Disease Working Group and the Polygenic Score (PGS) Catalog, we present the Polygenic Risk Score Reporting Standards (PRS-RS), in which we update the Genetic Risk Prediction Studies (GRIPS) Statement to reflect the present state of the field. Drawing on the input of experts in epidemiology, statistics, disease-specific applications, implementation and policy, this comprehensive reporting framework defines the minimal information that is needed to interpret and evaluate PRSs, especially with respect to downstream clinical applications. Items span detailed descriptions of study populations, statistical methods for the development and validation of PRSs and considerations for the potential limitations of these scores. In addition, we emphasize the need for data availability and transparency, and we encourage researchers to deposit and share PRSs through the PGS Catalog to facilitate reproducibility and comparative benchmarking. By providing these criteria in a structured format that builds on existing standards and ontologies, the use of this framework in publishing PRSs will facilitate translation into clinical care and progress towards defining best practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03243-6DOI Listing
March 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

Comparative validation of the BOADICEA and Tyrer-Cuzick breast cancer risk models incorporating classical risk factors and polygenic risk in a population-based prospective cohort of women of European ancestry.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 Feb 15;23(1):22. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute of Health, 9609 Medical Center Drive 7E-342, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA.

Background: The Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA) and the Tyrer-Cuzick breast cancer risk prediction models are commonly used in clinical practice and have recently been extended to include polygenic risk scores (PRS). In addition, BOADICEA has also been extended to include reproductive and lifestyle factors, which were already part of Tyrer-Cuzick model. We conducted a comparative prospective validation of these models after incorporating the recently developed 313-variant PRS.

Methods: Calibration and discrimination of 5-year absolute risk was assessed in a nested case-control sample of 1337 women of European ancestry (619 incident breast cancer cases) aged 23-75 years from the Generations Study.

Results: The extended BOADICEA model with reproductive/lifestyle factors and PRS was well calibrated across risk deciles; expected-to-observed ratio (E/O) at the highest risk decile :0.97 (95 % CI 0.51 - 1.86) for women younger than 50 years and 1.09 (0.66 - 1.80) for women 50 years or older. Adding reproductive/lifestyle factors and PRS to the BOADICEA model improved discrimination modestly in younger women (area under the curve (AUC) 69.7 % vs. 69.1%) and substantially in older women (AUC 64.6 % vs. 56.8%). The Tyrer-Cuzick model with PRS showed evidence of overestimation at the highest risk decile: E/O = 1.54(0.81 - 2.92) for younger and 1.73 (1.03 - 2.90) for older women.

Conclusion: The extended BOADICEA model identified women in a European-ancestry population at elevated breast cancer risk more accurately than the Tyrer-Cuzick model with PRS. With the increasing availability of PRS, these analyses can inform choice of risk models incorporating PRS for risk stratified breast cancer prevention among women of European ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01399-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885342PMC
February 2021

RNF168 regulates R-loop resolution and genomic stability in BRCA1/2-deficient tumors.

J Clin Invest 2021 Feb;131(3)

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network and Department of Medical Biophysics, and.

Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) genes considerably increase breast and ovarian cancer risk. Given that tumors with these mutations have elevated genomic instability, they exhibit relative vulnerability to certain chemotherapies and targeted treatments based on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition. However, the molecular mechanisms that influence cancer risk and therapeutic benefit or resistance remain only partially understood. BRCA1 and BRCA2 have also been implicated in the suppression of R-loops, triple-stranded nucleic acid structures composed of a DNA:RNA hybrid and a displaced ssDNA strand. Here, we report that loss of RNF168, an E3 ubiquitin ligase and DNA double-strand break (DSB) responder, remarkably protected Brca1-mutant mice against mammary tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that RNF168 deficiency resulted in accumulation of R-loops in BRCA1/2-mutant breast and ovarian cancer cells, leading to DSBs, senescence, and subsequent cell death. Using interactome assays, we identified RNF168 interaction with DHX9, a helicase involved in the resolution and removal of R-loops. Mechanistically, RNF168 directly ubiquitylated DHX9 to facilitate its recruitment to R-loop-prone genomic loci. Consequently, loss of RNF168 impaired DHX9 recruitment to R-loops, thereby abrogating its ability to resolve R-loops. The data presented in this study highlight a dependence of BRCA1/2-defective tumors on factors that suppress R-loops and reveal a fundamental RNF168-mediated molecular mechanism that governs cancer development and vulnerability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI140105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7843228PMC
February 2021

Oral contraceptive use and ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers: an international cohort study.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2021 07 22;225(1):51.e1-51.e17. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Brno, Czech Republic.

Background: Ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers has been shown to decrease with longer duration of oral contraceptive use. Although the effects of using oral contraceptives in the general population are well established (approximately 50% risk reduction in ovarian cancer), the estimated risk reduction in mutation carriers is much less precise because of potential bias and small sample sizes. In addition, only a few studies on oral contraceptive use have examined the associations of duration of use, time since last use, starting age, and calendar year of start with risk of ovarian cancer.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate in more detail the associations of various characteristics of oral contraceptive use and risk of ovarian cancer, to provide healthcare providers and carriers with better risk estimates.

Study Design: In this international retrospective study, ovarian cancer risk associations were assessed using oral contraceptives data on 3989 BRCA1 and 2445 BRCA2 mutation carriers. Age-dependent-weighted Cox regression analyses were stratified by study and birth cohort and included breast cancer diagnosis as a covariate. To minimize survival bias, analyses were left truncated at 5 years before baseline questionnaire. Separate analyses were conducted for each aspect of oral contraceptive use and in a multivariate analysis, including all these aspects. In addition, the analysis of duration of oral contraceptive use was stratified by recency of use.

Results: Oral contraceptives were less often used by mutation carriers who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer (ever use: 58.6% for BRCA1 and 53.5% BRCA2) than by unaffected carriers (ever use: 88.9% for BRCA1 and 80.7% for BRCA2). The median duration of use was 7 years for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers who developed ovarian cancer and 9 and 8 years for unaffected BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers with ovarian cancer, respectively. For BRCA1 mutation carriers, univariate analyses have shown that both a longer duration of oral contraceptive use and more recent oral contraceptive use were associated with a reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer. However, in multivariate analyses, including duration of use, age at first use, and time since last use, duration of oral contraceptive use proved to be the prominent protective factor (compared with <5 years: 5-9 years [hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.40-1.12]; >10 years [hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval, 0.19-0.73]; P=.008). The inverse association between duration of use and ovarian cancer risk persisted for more than 15 years (duration of ≥10 years; BRCA1 <15 years since last use [hazard ratio, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.43]; BRCA1 >15 years since last use [hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.59]). Univariate results for BRCA2 mutation carriers were similar but were inconclusive because of limited sample size.

Conclusion: For BRCA1 mutation carriers, longer duration of oral contraceptive use is associated with a greater reduction in ovarian cancer risk, and the protection is long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2021.01.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8278569PMC
July 2021

Breast Cancer Risk Genes - Association Analysis in More than 113,000 Women.

N Engl J Med 2021 02 20;384(5):428-439. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

The authors' affiliations are as follows: the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Departments of Public Health and Primary Care (L.D., S. Carvalho, J.A., K.A.P., Q.W., M.K.B., J.D., B.D., N. Mavaddat, K. Michailidou, A.C.A., P.D.P.P., D.F.E.) and Oncology (C.L., P.A.H., C. Baynes, D.M.C., L.F., V.R., M. Shah, P.D.P.P., A.M.D., D.F.E.), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (A. Campbell, D.J.P.), and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Department of Psychology (D.J.P.), University of Edinburgh, the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre (D.A.C., J.F.), and the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh Medical School (A. Campbell, J.F.), Edinburgh, the Divisions of Informatics, Imaging, and Data Sciences (E.F.H.), Cancer Sciences (A. Howell), Population Health, Health Services Research, and Primary Care (A. Lophatananon, K. Muir), and Evolution and Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), University of Manchester, the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Unit (E.F.H.) and the Nightingale Breast Screening Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital (E.F.H., H.I.), Academic Health Science Centre and North West Genomics Laboratory Hub, and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), Manchester, the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Guy's Campus, King's College London, London (E.J.S.), the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (I.T.), and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford (I.T.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Human Genotyping-CEGEN Unit, Human Cancer Genetic Program (A.G.-N., M.R.A., N.Á., B.H., R.N.-T.), and the Human Genetics Group (V.F., A.O., J.B.), Spanish National Cancer Research Center, Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (A.O., J.B.), Servicio de Oncología Médica, Hospital Universitario La Paz (M.P.Z.), and Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (M. de la Hoya), Madrid, the Genomic Medicine Group, Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago (A. Carracedo, M.G.-D.), and Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras y Centro Nacional de Genotipado, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (A. Carracedo), Santiago de Compostela, the Oncology and Genetics Unit, Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria Galicia Sur, Xerencia de Xestion Integrada de Vigo-Servizo Galeo de Saúde, Vigo (J.E.C.), and Servicio de Cirugía General y Especialidades, Hospital Monte Naranco, Oviedo (J.I.A.P.) - all in Spain; the Division of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund (C. Wahlström, J.V., M.L., T. Törngren, Å.B., A.K.), the Department of Oncology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro (C. Blomqvist), and the Departments of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (K.C., M.E., M.G., P. Hall, W.H., K.H.), Oncology, Södersjukhuset (P. Hall, S. Margolin), Molecular Medicine and Surgery (A. Lindblom), and Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset (S. Margolin, C. Wendt), Karolinska Institutet, and the Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital (A. Lindblom), Stockholm - all in Sweden; the Department of Genetics and Computational Biology, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD (M.T.P., C.F., G.C.-T., A.B.S.), the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), and the Department of Clinical Pathology (M.C.S.), University of Melbourne, Anatomical Pathology, Alfred Hospital (C.M.), and the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (M.C.S.), Melbourne, VIC, and Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC (G.G.G., M.C.S., R.L.M.) - all in Australia; the Division of Molecular Pathology (R.K., S. Cornelissen, M.K.S.), Family Cancer Clinic (F.B.L.H., L.E.K.), Department of Epidemiology (M.A.R.), and Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology (M.K.S.), the Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, Division Laboratories, Pharmacy and Biomedical Genetics, Department of Genetics, University Medical Center, Utrecht (M.G.E.M.A.), the Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center (J.M.C., A.M.W.O.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Family Cancer Clinic, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (B.A.M.H.-G., A. Hollestelle, M.J.H.), Rotterdam, the Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht (E.B.G.G.), the Departments of Human Genetics (I.M.M.L., M.P.G.V., P.D.), Clinical Genetics (C.J.A.), and Pathology (P.D.), Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (A.R.M.), and the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen (J.C.O.) - all in the Netherlands; the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute (B.D.), and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (T.A., S.J.C., X.R.Y., M.G.-C.), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (B.D.), and the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (R.M.V.D.), Boston; the Departments of Clinical Genetics (K.A.), Oncology (C. Blomqvist), and Obstetrics and Gynecology (H.N., M. Suvanto), Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, and the Unit of Clinical Oncology, Kuopio University Hospital (P. Auvinen), the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oncology (P. Auvinen), the Translational Cancer Research Area (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Pathology, and Forensic Medicine (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), University of Eastern Finland, and the Biobank of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital (V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), Kuopio - both in Finland; the N.N. Alexandrov Research Institute of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Minsk, Belarus (N.N.A., N.V.B.); the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Kiel (N.A.), the Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology (H. Becher) and Cancer Epidemiology Group (T.M., J.C.-C.), University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (M.W.B., P.A.F., L.H.) and Institute of Human Genetics (A.B.E.), University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, Erlangen, the Division of Cancer Epidemiology (S.B., A. Jung, P.M.K., J.C.-C.), Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080 (B. Burwinkel, H.S.), Division of Pediatric Neurooncology (A.F.), and Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer (U.H., M.M., M.U.R., D.T.), German Cancer Research Center, Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer, University Women's Clinic Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg (B. Burwinkel, A.S., H.S.), Hopp Children's Cancer Center (A.F.), Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg (P.M.K.), and National Center for Tumor Diseases, University Hospital and German Cancer Research Center (A.S., C.S.), Heidelberg, the Department of Radiation Oncology (N.V.B., M. Bremer, H.C.) and the Gynecology Research Unit (N.V.B., T.D., P. Hillemanns, T.-W.P.-S., P.S.), Hannover Medical School, Hannover, the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Münster, Münster (N.B.-M.), Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart (H. Brauch, W.-Y.L.), iFIT-Cluster of Excellence, University of Tübingen, and the German Cancer Consortium, German Cancer Research Center, Partner Site Tübingen (H. Brauch), and the University of Tübingen (W.-Y.L.), Tübingen, Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum (T.B.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics, and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig (C.E.), Center for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (E.H., R.K.S.) and Center for Integrated Oncology (E.H., R.K.S.), Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, the Department of Internal Medicine, Evangelische Kliniken Bonn, Johanniter Krankenhaus, Bonn (Y.-D.K.), the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Munich, Campus Großhadern, Munich (A. Meindl), and the Institute of Pathology, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (T.R.) - all in Germany; the Gynecological Cancer Registry, Centre Georges-François Leclerc, Dijon (P. Arveux), and the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Team Exposome and Heredity, INSERM, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif (E.C.-D., P.G., T. Truong) - both in France; the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (M. Bermisheva, E.K.), the Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine, Bashkir State University (E.K., D.P., Y.V.), and the Ufa Research Institute of Occupational Health and Human Ecology (Y.V.), Ufa, Russia; the Department of Genetics and Pathology (K.B., A. Jakubowska, J. Lubiński, K.P.) and the Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetic Diagnostics (A. Jakubowska), Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland; the Copenhagen General Population Study, the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (S.E.B., B.G.N.), and the Department of Breast Surgery (H.F.), Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (S.E.B., B.G.N.) - both in Denmark; the Division of Cancer Prevention and Genetics, European Institute of Oncology Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) (B. Bonanni), the Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano (S. Manoukian), the Genome Diagnostics Program, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (P.P.), and the Unit of Molecular Bases of Genetic Risk and Genetic Testing, Department of Research, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (P.R.), Milan; the Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Radiumhospitalet (A.-L.B.-D., G.I.G.A., V.N.K.), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo (A.-L.B.-D., V.N.K.), Oslo; Medical Faculty, Universidad de La Sabana (I.B.), and the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (F.G.) and Institute of Human Genetics (D.T.), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia; the Department of Internal Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah (N.J.C., M.J.M., J.A.W.), and the Intermountain Healthcare Biorepository and Department of Pathology, Intermountain Healthcare (M.H.C.), Salt Lake City; the David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles (P.A.F.), and Moores Cancer Center (M.G.-D., M.E.M.) and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (M.E.M.), University of California San Diego, La Jolla; the Departments of Medical Oncology (V.G., D.M.) and Pathology (M.T.), University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, and the Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa (E.S.) - both in Greece; the Fred A. Litwin Center for Cancer Genetics, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital (G.G., I.L.A.), the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (A.M.M.) and Molecular Genetics (I.L.A.), University of Toronto, and the Laboratory Medicine Program, University Health Network (A.M.M.), Toronto, and the Genomics Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Québec City, QC (J.S.) - both in Canada; the Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L.), the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L., K. Michailidou), and the Biostatistics Unit (K. Michailidou), Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus; the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (M. Hartman, R.M.V.D.) and the Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (R.M.V.D.), National University of Singapore, the Department of Surgery, National University Health System (M. Hartman, J. Li), and the Human Genetics Division, Genome Institute of Singapore (J. Li), Singapore; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia (W.K.H.), and the Breast Cancer Research Programme, Cancer Research Malaysia (W.K.H., P.S.N., S.-Y.Y., S.H.T.), Selangor, and the Breast Cancer Research Unit, Cancer Research Institute (N.A.M.T.), and the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine (N.A.M.T., P.S.N., S.H.T.), University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur - both in Malaysia; Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway (M.J.K., N. Miller); the Department of Surgery, Daerim Saint Mary's Hospital (S.-W.K.), the Department of Surgery, Ulsan University College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center (J.W.L.), the Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine and Soonchunhyang University Hospital (M.H.L.), Integrated Major in Innovative Medical Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine (S.K.P.), and the Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University (S.K.P.), Seoul, South Korea; the Department of Basic Sciences, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Lahore, Pakistan (M.U.R.); and the National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand (S.T.).

Background: Genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility is widely used, but for many genes, evidence of an association with breast cancer is weak, underlying risk estimates are imprecise, and reliable subtype-specific risk estimates are lacking.

Methods: We used a panel of 34 putative susceptibility genes to perform sequencing on samples from 60,466 women with breast cancer and 53,461 controls. In separate analyses for protein-truncating variants and rare missense variants in these genes, we estimated odds ratios for breast cancer overall and tumor subtypes. We evaluated missense-variant associations according to domain and classification of pathogenicity.

Results: Protein-truncating variants in 5 genes (, , , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.0001. Protein-truncating variants in 4 other genes (, , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.05 and a Bayesian false-discovery probability of less than 0.05. For protein-truncating variants in 19 of the remaining 25 genes, the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the odds ratio for breast cancer overall was less than 2.0. For protein-truncating variants in and , odds ratios were higher for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease than for ER-negative disease; for protein-truncating variants in , , , , , and , odds ratios were higher for ER-negative disease than for ER-positive disease. Rare missense variants (in aggregate) in , , and were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.001. For , , and , missense variants (in aggregate) that would be classified as pathogenic according to standard criteria were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall, with the risk being similar to that of protein-truncating variants.

Conclusions: The results of this study define the genes that are most clinically useful for inclusion on panels for the prediction of breast cancer risk, as well as provide estimates of the risks associated with protein-truncating variants, to guide genetic counseling. (Funded by European Union Horizon 2020 programs and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1913948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611105PMC
February 2021

Performance of Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Scores in 760 Female CHEK2 Germline Mutation Carriers.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul;113(7):893-899

Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Genome-wide association studies suggest that the combined effects of breast cancer (BC)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can improve BC risk stratification using polygenic risk scores (PRSs). The performance of PRSs in genome-wide association studies-independent clinical cohorts is poorly studied in individuals carrying mutations in moderately penetrant BC predisposition genes such as CHEK2.

Methods: A total of 760 female CHEK2 mutation carriers were included; 561 women were affected with BC, of whom 74 developed metachronous contralateral BC (mCBC). For PRS calculations, 2 SNP sets covering 77 (SNP set 1, developed for BC risk stratification in women unselected for their BRCA1/2 germline mutation status) and 88 (SNP set 2, developed for BC risk stratification in female BRCA1/2 mutation carriers) BC-associated SNPs were used. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Both SNP sets provided concordant PRS results at the individual level (r = 0.91, P < 2.20 × 10-16). Weighted cohort Cox regression analyses revealed statistically significant associations of PRSs with the risk for first BC. For SNP set 1, a hazard ratio of 1.71 per SD of the PRS was observed (95% confidence interval = 1.36 to 2.15, P = 3.87 × 10-6). PRSs identify a subgroup of CHEK2 mutation carriers with a predicted lifetime risk for first BC that exceeds the surveillance thresholds defined by international guidelines. Association of PRS with mCBC was examined via Cox regression analysis (SNP set 1 hazard ratio = 1.23, 95% confidence interval = 0.86 to 1.78, P = .26).

Conclusions: PRSs may be used to personalize risk-adapted preventive measures for women with CHEK2 mutations. Larger studies are required to assess the role of PRSs in mCBC predisposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246885PMC
July 2021

CanRisk Tool-A Web Interface for the Prediction of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and the Likelihood of Carrying Genetic Pathogenic Variants.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Mar 17;30(3):469-473. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: The CanRisk Tool (https://canrisk.org) is the next-generation web interface for the latest version of the BOADICEA (Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm) state-of-the-art risk model and a forthcoming ovarian cancer risk model.

Methods: The tool captures information on family history, rare pathogenic variants in cancer susceptibility genes, polygenic risk scores, lifestyle/hormonal/clinical features, and imaging risk factors to predict breast and ovarian cancer risks and estimate the probabilities of carrying pathogenic variants in certain genes. It was implemented using modern web frameworks, technologies, and web services to make it extensible and increase accessibility to researchers and third-party applications. The design of the graphical user interface was informed by feedback from health care professionals and a formal evaluation.

Results: This freely accessible tool was designed to be user friendly for clinicians and to boost acceptability in clinical settings. The tool incorporates a novel graphical pedigree builder to facilitate collection of the family history data required by risk calculations.

Conclusions: The CanRisk Tool provides health care professionals and researchers with a user-friendly interface to carry out multifactorial breast and ovarian cancer risk predictions. It is the first freely accessible cancer risk prediction program to carry the CE marking.

Impact: There have been over 3,100 account registrations, and 98,000 breast and ovarian cancer risk calculations have been run within the first 9 months of the CanRisk Tool launch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1319DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611188PMC
March 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

Association of germline variation with the survival of women with pathogenic variants and breast cancer.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2020 10;6:44. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Fred A. Litwin Center for Cancer Genetics, Toronto, ON Canada.

Germline genetic variation has been suggested to influence the survival of breast cancer patients independently of tumor pathology. We have studied survival associations of genetic variants in two etiologically unique groups of breast cancer patients, the carriers of germline pathogenic variants in or genes. We found that rs57025206 was significantly associated with the overall survival, predicting higher mortality of carrier patients with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, with a hazard ratio 4.37 (95% confidence interval 3.03-6.30,  = 3.1 × 10). Multivariable analysis adjusted for tumor characteristics suggested that rs57025206 was an independent survival marker. In addition, our exploratory analyses suggest that the associations between genetic variants and breast cancer patient survival may depend on tumor biological subgroup and clinical patient characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-020-00185-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483417PMC
September 2020

European polygenic risk score for prediction of breast cancer shows similar performance in Asian women.

Nat Commun 2020 07 31;11(1):3833. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 117597, Singapore, Singapore.

Polygenic risk scores (PRS) have been shown to predict breast cancer risk in European women, but their utility in Asian women is unclear. Here we evaluate the best performing PRSs for European-ancestry women using data from 17,262 breast cancer cases and 17,695 controls of Asian ancestry from 13 case-control studies, and 10,255 Chinese women from a prospective cohort (413 incident breast cancers). Compared to women in the middle quintile of the risk distribution, women in the highest 1% of PRS distribution have a ~2.7-fold risk and women in the lowest 1% of PRS distribution has ~0.4-fold risk of developing breast cancer. There is no evidence of heterogeneity in PRS performance in Chinese, Malay and Indian women. A PRS developed for European-ancestry women is also predictive of breast cancer risk in Asian women and can help in developing risk-stratified screening programmes in Asia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17680-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7395776PMC
July 2020

Polygenic risk scores and breast and epithelial ovarian cancer risks for carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants.

Genet Med 2020 10 15;22(10):1653-1666. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Department of Clinical Genetics, Exeter, UK.

Purpose: We assessed the associations between population-based polygenic risk scores (PRS) for breast (BC) or epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with cancer risks for BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers.

Methods: Retrospective cohort data on 18,935 BRCA1 and 12,339 BRCA2 female pathogenic variant carriers of European ancestry were available. Three versions of a 313 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) BC PRS were evaluated based on whether they predict overall, estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, or ER-positive BC, and two PRS for overall or high-grade serous EOC. Associations were validated in a prospective cohort.

Results: The ER-negative PRS showed the strongest association with BC risk for BRCA1 carriers (hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation = 1.29 [95% CI 1.25-1.33], P = 3×10). For BRCA2, the strongest association was with overall BC PRS (HR = 1.31 [95% CI 1.27-1.36], P = 7×10). HR estimates decreased significantly with age and there was evidence for differences in associations by predicted variant effects on protein expression. The HR estimates were smaller than general population estimates. The high-grade serous PRS yielded the strongest associations with EOC risk for BRCA1 (HR = 1.32 [95% CI 1.25-1.40], P = 3×10) and BRCA2 (HR = 1.44 [95% CI 1.30-1.60], P = 4×10) carriers. The associations in the prospective cohort were similar.

Conclusion: Population-based PRS are strongly associated with BC and EOC risks for BRCA1/2 carriers and predict substantial absolute risk differences for women at PRS distribution extremes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0862-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521995PMC
October 2020

Validation of the BOADICEA model and a 313-variant polygenic risk score for breast cancer risk prediction in a Dutch prospective cohort.

Genet Med 2020 11 6;22(11):1803-1811. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Purpose: We evaluated the performance of the recently extended Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA version 5) in a Dutch prospective cohort, using a polygenic risk score (PRS) based on 313 breast cancer (BC)-associated variants (PRS) and other, nongenetic risk factors.

Methods: Since 1989, 6522 women without BC aged 45 or older of European descent have been included in the Rotterdam Study. The PRS was calculated per 1 SD in controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Cox regression analysis was performed to estimate the association between the PRS and incident BC risk. Cumulative 10-year risks were calculated with BOADICEA including different sets of variables (age, risk factors and PRS). C-statistics were used to evaluate discriminative ability.

Results: In total, 320 women developed BC. The PRS was significantly associated with BC (hazard ratio [HR] per SD of 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.40-1.73]). Using 10-year risk estimates including age and the PRS, other risk factors improved the discriminatory ability of the BOADICEA model marginally, from a C-statistic of 0.636 to 0.653.

Conclusions: The effect size of the PRS is highly reproducible in the Dutch population. Our results validate the BOADICEA v5 model for BC risk assessment in the Dutch general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0884-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605432PMC
November 2020

Immune Cell Associations with Cancer Risk.

iScience 2020 Jul 20;23(7):101296. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

ProCURE, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet del Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia 08908, Spain. Electronic address:

Proper immune system function hinders cancer development, but little is known about whether genetic variants linked to cancer risk alter immune cells. Here, we report 57 cancer risk loci associated with differences in immune and/or stromal cell contents in the corresponding tissue. Predicted target genes show expression and regulatory associations with immune features. Polygenic risk scores also reveal associations with immune and/or stromal cell contents, and breast cancer scores show consistent results in normal and tumor tissue. SH2B3 links peripheral alterations of several immune cell types to the risk of this malignancy. Pleiotropic SH2B3 variants are associated with breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. A retrospective case-cohort study indicates a positive association between blood counts of basophils, leukocytes, and monocytes and age at breast cancer diagnosis. These findings broaden our knowledge of the role of the immune system in cancer and highlight promising prevention strategies for individuals at high risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7334419PMC
July 2020

Characterization of the Cancer Spectrum in Men With Germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Variants: Results From the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA).

JAMA Oncol 2020 08;6(8):1218-1230

Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Importance: The limited data on cancer phenotypes in men with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants (PVs) have hampered the development of evidence-based recommendations for early cancer detection and risk reduction in this population.

Objective: To compare the cancer spectrum and frequencies between male BRCA1 and BRCA2 PV carriers.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study of 6902 men, including 3651 BRCA1 and 3251 BRCA2 PV carriers, older than 18 years recruited from cancer genetics clinics from 1966 to 2017 by 53 study groups in 33 countries worldwide collaborating through the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Clinical data and pathologic characteristics were collected.

Main Outcomes And Measures: BRCA1/2 status was the outcome in a logistic regression, and cancer diagnoses were the independent predictors. All odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, country of origin, and calendar year of the first interview.

Results: Among the 6902 men in the study (median [range] age, 51.6 [18-100] years), 1634 cancers were diagnosed in 1376 men (19.9%), the majority (922 of 1,376 [67%]) being BRCA2 PV carriers. Being affected by any cancer was associated with a higher probability of being a BRCA2, rather than a BRCA1, PV carrier (OR, 3.23; 95% CI, 2.81-3.70; P < .001), as well as developing 2 (OR, 7.97; 95% CI, 5.47-11.60; P < .001) and 3 (OR, 19.60; 95% CI, 4.64-82.89; P < .001) primary tumors. A higher frequency of breast (OR, 5.47; 95% CI, 4.06-7.37; P < .001) and prostate (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.09-1.78; P = .008) cancers was associated with a higher probability of being a BRCA2 PV carrier. Among cancers other than breast and prostate, pancreatic cancer was associated with a higher probability (OR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.55-5.81; P = .001) and colorectal cancer with a lower probability (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29-0.78; P = .003) of being a BRCA2 PV carrier.

Conclusions And Relevance: Significant differences in the cancer spectrum were observed in male BRCA2, compared with BRCA1, PV carriers. These data may inform future recommendations for surveillance of BRCA1/2-associated cancers and guide future prospective studies for estimating cancer risks in men with BRCA1/2 PVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7333177PMC
August 2020

Personalized early detection and prevention of breast cancer: ENVISION consensus statement.

Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2020 11 18;17(11):687-705. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The European Collaborative on Personalized Early Detection and Prevention of Breast Cancer (ENVISION) brings together several international research consortia working on different aspects of the personalized early detection and prevention of breast cancer. In a consensus conference held in 2019, the members of this network identified research areas requiring development to enable evidence-based personalized interventions that might improve the benefits and reduce the harms of existing breast cancer screening and prevention programmes. The priority areas identified were: 1) breast cancer subtype-specific risk assessment tools applicable to women of all ancestries; 2) intermediate surrogate markers of response to preventive measures; 3) novel non-surgical preventive measures to reduce the incidence of breast cancer of poor prognosis; and 4) hybrid effectiveness-implementation research combined with modelling studies to evaluate the long-term population outcomes of risk-based early detection strategies. The implementation of such programmes would require health-care systems to be open to learning and adapting, the engagement of a diverse range of stakeholders and tailoring to societal norms and values, while also addressing the ethical and legal issues. In this Consensus Statement, we discuss the current state of breast cancer risk prediction, risk-stratified prevention and early detection strategies, and their implementation. Throughout, we highlight priorities for advancing each of these areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41571-020-0388-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7567644PMC
November 2020

Prostate Cancer Risk by BRCA2 Genomic Regions.

Eur Urol 2020 10 10;78(4):494-497. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Medical Genetics, National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

A BRCA2 prostate cancer cluster region (PCCR) was recently proposed (c.7914 to 3') wherein pathogenic variants (PVs) are associated with higher prostate cancer (PCa) risk than PVs elsewhere in the BRCA2 gene. Using a prospective cohort study of 447 male BRCA2 PV carriers recruited in the UK and Ireland from 1998 to 2016, we estimated standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) compared with population incidences and assessed variation in risk by PV location. Carriers of PVs in the PCCR had a PCa SIR of 8.33 (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.46-15.6) and were at a higher risk of PCa than carriers of other BRCA2 PVs (SIR = 3.31, 95% CI 1.97-5.57; hazard ratio = 2.34, 95% CI 1.09-5.03). PCCR PV carriers had an estimated cumulative PCa risk of 44% (95% CI 23-72%) by the age of 75 yr and 78% (95% CI 54-94%) by the age of 85 yr. Our results corroborate the existence of a PCCR in BRCA2 in a prospective cohort. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report, we investigated whether the risk of prostate cancer for men with a harmful mutation in the BRCA2 gene differs based on where in the gene the mutation is located. We found that men with mutations in one region of BRCA2 had a higher risk of prostate cancer than men with mutations elsewhere in the gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.05.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532700PMC
October 2020

Population Study of Ovarian Cancer Risk Prediction for Targeted Screening and Prevention.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 May 15;12(5). Epub 2020 May 15.

Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, Barts CRUK Cancer Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.

Unselected population-based personalised ovarian cancer (OC) risk assessment combining genetic/epidemiology/hormonal data has not previously been undertaken. We aimed to perform a feasibility study of OC risk stratification of general population women using a personalised OC risk tool followed by risk management. Volunteers were recruited through London primary care networks.

Inclusion Criteria: women ≥18 years.

Exclusion Criteria: prior ovarian/tubal/peritoneal cancer, previous genetic testing for OC genes. Participants accessed an online/web-based decision aid along with optional telephone helpline use. Consenting individuals completed risk assessment and underwent genetic testing (, OC susceptibility single-nucleotide polymorphisms). A validated OC risk prediction algorithm provided a personalised OC risk estimate using genetic/lifestyle/hormonal OC risk factors. Population genetic testing (PGT)/OC risk stratification uptake/acceptability, satisfaction, decision aid/telephone helpline use, psychological health and quality of life were assessed using validated/customised questionnaires over six months. Linear-mixed models/contrast tests analysed impact on study outcomes.

Main Outcomes: feasibility/acceptability, uptake, decision aid/telephone helpline use, satisfaction/regret, and impact on psychological health/quality of life. In total, 123 volunteers (mean age = 48.5 (SD = 15.4) years) used the decision aid, 105 (85%) consented. None fulfilled NHS genetic testing clinical criteria. OC risk stratification revealed 1/103 at ≥10% (high), 0/103 at ≥5%-<10% (intermediate), and 100/103 at <5% (low) lifetime OC risk. Decision aid satisfaction was 92.2%. The telephone helpline use rate was 13% and the questionnaire response rate at six months was 75%. Contrast tests indicated that overall depression ( = 0.30), anxiety ( = 0.10), quality-of-life ( = 0.99), and distress ( = 0.25) levels did not jointly change, while OC worry ( = 0.021) and general cancer risk perception ( = 0.015) decreased over six months. In total, 85.5-98.7% were satisfied with their decision. Findings suggest population-based personalised OC risk stratification is feasible and acceptable, has high satisfaction, reduces cancer worry/risk perception, and does not negatively impact psychological health/quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12051241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281662PMC
May 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies 32 novel breast cancer susceptibility loci from overall and subtype-specific analyses.

Nat Genet 2020 06 18;52(6):572-581. Epub 2020 May 18.

Molecular Medicine Unit, Fundación Pública Galega de Medicina Xenómica, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Breast cancer susceptibility variants frequently show heterogeneity in associations by tumor subtype. To identify novel loci, we performed a genome-wide association study including 133,384 breast cancer cases and 113,789 controls, plus 18,908 BRCA1 mutation carriers (9,414 with breast cancer) of European ancestry, using both standard and novel methodologies that account for underlying tumor heterogeneity by estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status and tumor grade. We identified 32 novel susceptibility loci (P < 5.0 × 10), 15 of which showed evidence for associations with at least one tumor feature (false discovery rate < 0.05). Five loci showed associations (P < 0.05) in opposite directions between luminal and non-luminal subtypes. In silico analyses showed that these five loci contained cell-specific enhancers that differed between normal luminal and basal mammary cells. The genetic correlations between five intrinsic-like subtypes ranged from 0.35 to 0.80. The proportion of genome-wide chip heritability explained by all known susceptibility loci was 54.2% for luminal A-like disease and 37.6% for triple-negative disease. The odds ratios of polygenic risk scores, which included 330 variants, for the highest 1% of quantiles compared with middle quantiles were 5.63 and 3.02 for luminal A-like and triple-negative disease, respectively. These findings provide an improved understanding of genetic predisposition to breast cancer subtypes and will inform the development of subtype-specific polygenic risk scores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0609-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808397PMC
June 2020

Evaluating clinician acceptability of the prototype CanRisk tool for predicting risk of breast and ovarian cancer: A multi-methods study.

PLoS One 2020 6;15(3):e0229999. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: There is a growing focus on the development of multi-factorial cancer risk prediction algorithms alongside tools that operationalise them for clinical use. BOADICEA is a breast and ovarian cancer risk prediction model incorporating genetic and other risk factors. A new user-friendly Web-based tool (CanRisk.org) has been developed to apply BOADICEA. This study aimed to explore the acceptability of the prototype CanRisk tool among two healthcare professional groups to inform further development, evaluation and implementation.

Method: A multi-methods approach was used. Clinicians from primary care and specialist genetics clinics in England, France and Germany were invited to use the CanRisk prototype with two test cases (either face-to-face with a simulated patient or via a written vignette). Their views about the tool were examined via a semi-structured interview or equivalent open-ended questionnaire. Qualitative data were subjected to thematic analysis and organised around Sekhon's Theoretical Framework of Acceptability.

Results: Seventy-five clinicians participated, 21 from primary care and 54 from specialist genetics clinics. Participants were from England (n = 37), France (n = 23) and Germany (n = 15). The prototype CanRisk tool was generally acceptable to most participants due to its intuitive design. Primary care clinicians were concerned about the amount of time needed to complete, interpret and communicate risk information. Clinicians from both settings were apprehensive about the impact of the CanRisk tool on their consultations and lack of opportunities to interpret risk scores before sharing them with their patients.

Conclusions: The findings highlight the challenges associated with developing a complex tool for use in different clinical settings; they also helped refine the tool. This prototype may not have been versatile enough for clinical use in both primary care and specialist genetics clinics where the needs of clinicians are different, emphasising the importance of understanding the clinical context when developing cancer risk assessment tools.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0229999PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059924PMC
June 2020

Transcriptome-wide association study of breast cancer risk by estrogen-receptor status.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 07 1;44(5):442-468. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Previous transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) have identified breast cancer risk genes by integrating data from expression quantitative loci and genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but analyses of breast cancer subtype-specific associations have been limited. In this study, we conducted a TWAS using gene expression data from GTEx and summary statistics from the hitherto largest GWAS meta-analysis conducted for breast cancer overall, and by estrogen receptor subtypes (ER+ and ER-). We further compared associations with ER+ and ER- subtypes, using a case-only TWAS approach. We also conducted multigene conditional analyses in regions with multiple TWAS associations. Two genes, STXBP4 and HIST2H2BA, were specifically associated with ER+ but not with ER- breast cancer. We further identified 30 TWAS-significant genes associated with overall breast cancer risk, including four that were not identified in previous studies. Conditional analyses identified single independent breast-cancer gene in three of six regions harboring multiple TWAS-significant genes. Our study provides new information on breast cancer genetics and biology, particularly about genomic differences between ER+ and ER- breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987299PMC
July 2020

Ovarian and Breast Cancer Risks Associated With Pathogenic Variants in RAD51C and RAD51D.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 12;112(12):1242-1250

Department of Clinical Genetics Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: The purpose of this study was to estimate precise age-specific tubo-ovarian carcinoma (TOC) and breast cancer (BC) risks for carriers of pathogenic variants in RAD51C and RAD51D.

Methods: We analyzed data from 6178 families, 125 with pathogenic variants in RAD51C, and 6690 families, 60 with pathogenic variants in RAD51D. TOC and BC relative and cumulative risks were estimated using complex segregation analysis to model the cancer inheritance patterns in families while adjusting for the mode of ascertainment of each family. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: Pathogenic variants in both RAD51C and RAD51D were associated with TOC (RAD51C: relative risk [RR] = 7.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.60 to 10.19; P = 5 × 10-40; RAD51D: RR = 7.60, 95% CI = 5.61 to 10.30; P = 5 × 10-39) and BC (RAD51C: RR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.39 to 2.85; P = 1.55 × 10-4; RAD51D: RR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.24 to 2.72; P = .002). For both RAD51C and RAD51D, there was a suggestion that the TOC relative risks increased with age until around age 60 years and decreased thereafter. The estimated cumulative risks of developing TOC to age 80 years were 11% (95% CI = 6% to 21%) for RAD51C and 13% (95% CI = 7% to 23%) for RAD51D pathogenic variant carriers. The estimated cumulative risks of developing BC to 80 years were 21% (95% CI = 15% to 29%) for RAD51C and 20% (95% CI = 14% to 28%) for RAD51D pathogenic variant carriers. Both TOC and BC risks for RAD51C and RAD51D pathogenic variant carriers varied by cancer family history and could be as high as 32-36% for TOC, for carriers with two first-degree relatives diagnosed with TOC, or 44-46% for BC, for carriers with two first-degree relatives diagnosed with BC.

Conclusions: These estimates will facilitate the genetic counseling of RAD51C and RAD51D pathogenic variant carriers and justify the incorporation of RAD51C and RAD51D into cancer risk prediction models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735771PMC
December 2020