Publications by authors named "Bethany Van Guelpen"

94 Publications

Salicylic Acid and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Two-Sample Mendelian Randomization Study.

Nutrients 2021 Nov 21;13(11). Epub 2021 Nov 21.

Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

Salicylic acid (SA) has observationally been shown to decrease colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, that rapidly deacetylates to SA) is an effective primary and secondary chemopreventive agent. Through a Mendelian randomization (MR) approach, we aimed to address whether levels of SA affected CRC risk, stratifying by aspirin use. A two-sample MR analysis was performed using GWAS summary statistics of SA (INTERVAL and EPIC-Norfolk, N = 14,149) and CRC (CCFR, CORECT, GECCO and UK Biobank, 55,168 cases and 65,160 controls). The DACHS study (4410 cases and 3441 controls) was used for replication and stratification of aspirin-use. SNPs proxying SA were selected via three methods: (1) functional SNPs that influence the activity of aspirin-metabolising enzymes; (2) pathway SNPs present in enzymes' coding regions; and (3) genome-wide significant SNPs. We found no association between functional SNPs and SA levels. The pathway and genome-wide SNPs showed no association between SA and CRC risk (OR: 1.03, 95% CI: 0.84-1.27 and OR: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.86-1.34, respectively). Results remained unchanged upon aspirin use stratification. We found little evidence to suggest that an SD increase in genetically predicted SA protects against CRC risk in the general population and upon stratification by aspirin use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13114164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8620763PMC
November 2021

Prediagnostic Blood Selenium Status and Mortality among Patients with Colorectal Cancer in Western European Populations.

Biomedicines 2021 Oct 22;9(11). Epub 2021 Oct 22.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

A higher selenium (Se) status has been shown to be associated with lower risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), but the importance of Se in survival after CRC diagnosis is not well studied. The associations of prediagnostic circulating Se status (as indicated by serum Se and selenoprotein P (SELENOP) measurements) with overall and CRC-specific mortality were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression among 995 CRC cases (515 deaths, 396 from CRC) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Se and SELENOP serum concentrations were measured on average 46 months before CRC diagnosis. Median follow-up time was 113 months. Participants with Se concentrations in the highest quintile (≥100 µg/L) had a multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.73 (95% CI: 0.52-1.02; P = 0.06) for CRC-specific mortality and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.57-1.03; P = 0.04) for overall mortality, compared with the lowest quintile (≤67.5 µg/L). Similarly, participants with SELENOP concentrations in the highest (≥5.07 mg/L) compared with the lowest quintile (≤3.53 mg/L) had HRs of 0.89 (95% CI: 0.64-1.24; P = 0.39) for CRC-specific mortality and 0.83 (95% CI: 0.62-1.11; P = 0.17) for overall mortality. Higher prediagnostic exposure to Se within an optimal concentration (100-150 µg/L) might be associated with improved survival among CRC patients, although our results were not statistically significant and additional studies are needed to confirm this potential association. Our findings may stimulate further research on selenium's role in survival among CRC patients especially among those residing in geographic regions with suboptimal Se availability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9111521DOI Listing
October 2021

Endogenous Circulating Sex Hormone Concentrations and Colon Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women: A Prospective Study and Meta-Analysis.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Dec 28;5(6):pkab084. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Community Medicine, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Background: Observational studies have consistently reported that postmenopausal hormone therapy use is associated with lower colon cancer risk, but epidemiologic studies examining the associations between circulating concentrations of endogenous estrogens and colorectal cancer have reported inconsistent results.

Methods: We investigated the associations between circulating concentrations of estrone, estradiol, free estradiol, testosterone, free testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) with colon cancer risk in a nested case-control study of 1028 postmenopausal European women (512 colon cancer cases, 516 matched controls) who were noncurrent users of exogenous hormones at blood collection. Multivariable conditional logistic regression models were used to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals to evaluate the association between circulating sex hormones and colon cancer risk. We also conducted a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies of circulating estrone and estradiol with colorectal, colon, and rectal cancer risk in postmenopausal women. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: In the multivariable model, a nonstatistically significantly positive relationship was found between circulating estrone and colon cancer risk (odds ratio per log 1-unit increment=1.17 [95% confidence interval=1.00 to 1.38]; odds ratio =1.33 [95% confidence interval=0.89 to 1.97], =.20). Circulating concentrations of estradiol, free estradiol, testosterone, free testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA, progesterone, and SHBG were not associated with colon cancer risk. In the dose-response meta-analysis, no clear evidence of associations were found between circulating estradiol and estrone concentrations with colorectal, colon, and rectal cancer risk.

Conclusion: Our observational and meta-analysis results do not support an association between circulating concentrations of endogenous sex hormones and colon or rectal cancer in postmenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8598284PMC
December 2021

Smoking Behavior and Prognosis After Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis: A Pooled Analysis of 11 Studies.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Oct 31;5(5):pkab077. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

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

Background: Smoking has been associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality in previous studies, but current evidence on smoking in association with survival after CRC diagnosis is limited.

Methods: We pooled data from 12 345 patients with stage I-IV CRC from 11 epidemiologic studies in the International Survival Analysis in Colorectal Cancer Consortium. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate the associations of prediagnostic smoking behavior with overall, CRC-specific, and non-CRC-specific survival.

Results: Among 12 345 patients with CRC, 4379 (35.5%) died (2515 from CRC) over a median follow-up time of 7.5 years. Smoking was strongly associated with worse survival in stage I-III patients, whereas no association was observed among stage IV patients. Among stage I-III patients, clear dose-response relationships with all survival outcomes were seen for current smokers. For example, current smokers with 40 or more pack-years had statistically significantly worse overall, CRC-specific, and non-CRC-specific survival compared with never smokers (hazard ratio [HR] =1.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.68 to 2.25; HR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.12 to 1.78; and HR = 2.67, 95% CI = 2.19 to 3.26, respectively). Similar associations with all survival outcomes were observed for former smokers who had quit for less than 10 years, but only a weak association with non-CRC-specific survival was seen among former smokers who had quit for more than 10 years.

Conclusions: This large consortium of CRC patient studies provides compelling evidence that smoking is strongly associated with worse survival of stage I-III CRC patients in a clear dose-response manner. The detrimental effect of smoking was primarily related to noncolorectal cancer events, but current heavy smoking also showed an association with CRC-specific survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab077DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8561259PMC
October 2021

Work-Related Stress Was Not Associated with Increased Cancer Risk in a Population-Based Cohort Setting.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Oct 25. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Oncology, Department of Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Stress is a commonly perceived cause of cancer, but the evidence to date is limited and inconclusive. We examined work-related stress in relation to cancer incidence in a population-based cohort, with outcome data from Swedish national registries.

Methods: The study population included 113,057 participants in the Västerbotten Intervention Programme. HRs were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression, for cancer overall and for types with ≥500 cases, and adjusting for several potential confounders. The primary exposure was prediagnostic work-related stress, using the well established Karasek job demand/control model. Demand and control variables were dichotomized at the median, and participants were classified according to combinations of these categories. We also considered social network and aspects of quality of life.

Results: "High-strain" work (high demand/low control) was not associated with cancer risk compared with "low-strain" work (low demand/high control): multivariable HR 1.01 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.94-1.08] for men and 0.99 (95% CI, 0.92-1.07) for women. Results were also null for most cancer types assessed: prostate, breast, colorectal, lung, and gastrointestinal (GI). The risk of GI cancer was lower for "passive" (low demand/low control) versus "low-strain" work, particularly for colorectal cancer in women: multivariable HR 0.71 (95% CI, 0.55-0.91), but statistical significance was lost after adjustment for multiple testing.

Conclusions: The findings of this population-based, cohort study do not support a role for work-related stress in determining cancer risk.

Impact: This study helps fill an important knowledge gap given the common concern about stress as a risk factor for cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0182DOI Listing
October 2021

Density of CD3 and CD8 Cells in the Microenvironment of Colorectal Cancer according to Prediagnostic Physical Activity.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Oct 4. Epub 2021 Oct 4.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Physical activity is associated not only with a decreased risk of developing colorectal cancer but also with improved survival. One putative mechanism is the infiltration of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. Experimental findings suggest that physical activity may mobilize immune cells to the tumor. We hypothesized that higher levels of physical activity prior to colorectal cancer diagnosis are associated with higher densities of tumor-infiltrating T-lymphocytes in colorectal cancer patients.

Methods: The study setting was a northern Swedish population-based cohort, including 109,792 participants with prospectively collected health- and lifestyle-related data. For 592 participants who later developed colorectal cancer, archival tumor tissue samples were used to assess the density of CD3 and CD8 cytotoxic T cells by IHC. Odds ratios for associations between self-reported, prediagnostic recreational physical activity and immune cell infiltration were estimated by ordinal logistic regression.

Results: Recreational physical activity >3 times per week was associated with a higher density of CD8 T cells in the tumor front and center compared with participants reporting no recreational physical activity. Odds ratios were 2.77 (95% CI, 1.21-6.35) and 2.85 (95% CI, 1.28-6.33) for the tumor front and center, respectively, after adjustment for sex, age at diagnosis, and tumor stage. The risk estimates were consistent after additional adjustment for several potential confounders. For CD3, no clear associations were found.

Conclusions: Physical activity may promote the infiltration of CD8 immune cells in the tumor microenvironment of colorectal cancer.

Impact: The study provides some evidence on how physical activity may alter the prognosis in colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0508DOI Listing
October 2021

Risk-Predictive and Diagnostic Biomarkers for Colorectal Cancer; a Systematic Review of Studies Using Pre-Diagnostic Blood Samples Collected in Prospective Cohorts and Screening Settings.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Aug 31;13(17). Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden.

This systematic review summarizes the evidence for blood-based colorectal cancer biomarkers from studies conducted in pre-diagnostic, asymptomatic settings. Of 1372 studies initially identified, the final selection included 30 studies from prospective cohorts and 23 studies from general screening settings. Overall, the investigations had high quality but considerable variability in data analysis and presentation of results, and few biomarkers demonstrated a clinically relevant discriminatory ability. One of the most promising biomarkers was the anti-p53 antibody, with consistent findings in one screening cohort and in the 3-4 years prior to diagnosis in two prospective cohort studies. Proteins were the most common type of biomarker assessed, particularly carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and C-reactive protein (CRP), with modest results. Other potentially promising biomarkers included proteins, such as AREG, MIC-1/GDF15, LRG1 and FGF-21, metabolites and/or metabolite profiles, non-coding RNAs and DNA methylation, as well as re-purposed routine lab tests, such as ferritin and the triglyceride-glucose index. Biomarker panels generally achieved higher discriminatory performance than single markers. In conclusion, this systematic review highlighted anti-p53 antibodies as a promising blood-based biomarker for use in colorectal cancer screening panels, together with other specific proteins. It also underscores the need for validation of promising biomarkers in independent pre-diagnostic settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13174406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8430893PMC
August 2021

Antibiotics Use and Subsequent Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Swedish Nationwide Population-Based Study.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Sep 1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Antibiotics use may increase colorectal cancer (CRC) risk by altering the gut microbiota, with suggestive evidence reported. Our study aims to investigate antibiotics use in relation to subsequent CRC risk.

Methods: This is a nationwide, population-based study with a matched case-control design (first primary CRC cases and 5 matched, cancer-free controls). Complete-population data, extracted from Swedish national registers for the period 2005-2016, were used to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: We included 40 545 CRC cases and 202 720 controls. Using the full dataset, we found a positive association between more frequent antibiotics use and CRC, excluding antibiotics prescribed within 2 years of diagnosis attenuated results toward the null. In site-specific analyses, excluding the 2-year washout, the positive association was confined to the proximal colon (adjusted odds ratio for very high use vs no use = 1.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.05 to 1.31). For rectal cancer, an inverse association, which appears to be driven by women, was observed. Quinolones and sulfonamides and/or trimethoprims were positively associated with proximal colon cancer, whereas a more general inverse association, across antibiotics classes, was observed for rectal cancer. We found no association between methenamine hippurate, a urinary tract antiseptic not affecting the gut microbiota, and CRC risk.

Conclusions: This register-based study covering the entire population of Sweden found a robust association between antibiotics use and higher risk of proximal colon cancer and an inverse association with rectal cancer in women. This study strengthens the evidence from previous investigations and adds important insight into site-specific colorectal carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab125DOI Listing
September 2021

Association Between Smoking and Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Cancer.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Aug 14;5(4):pkab056. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Departments of Cancer Biology and Genetics and Internal Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Background: Smoking is associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Previous studies suggested this association may be restricted to certain molecular subtypes of CRC, but large-scale comprehensive analysis is lacking.

Methods: A total of 9789 CRC cases and 11 231 controls of European ancestry from 11 observational studies were included. We harmonized smoking variables across studies and derived sex study-specific quartiles of pack-years of smoking for analysis. Four somatic colorectal tumor markers were assessed individually and in combination, including mutation, mutation, CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and microsatellite instability (MSI) status. A multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between smoking and risk of CRC subtypes by molecular characteristics, adjusting for age, sex, and study. All statistical tests were 2-sided and adjusted for Bonferroni correction.

Results: Heavier smoking was associated with higher risk of CRC overall and stratified by individual markers ( < .001). The associations differed statistically significantly between all molecular subtypes, which was the most statistically significant for CIMP and . Compared with never-smokers, smokers in the fourth quartile of pack-years had a 90% higher risk of CIMP-positive CRC (odds ratio = 1.90, 95% confidence interval = 1.60 to 2.26) but only 35% higher risk for CIMP-negative CRC (odds ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval = 1.22 to 1.49; = 2.1 x 10). The association was also stronger in tumors that were positive, MSI high, or wild type when combined ( < .001).

Conclusion: Smoking was associated with differential risk of CRC subtypes defined by molecular characteristics. Heavier smokers had particularly higher risk of CRC subtypes that were CIMP positive and MSI high in combination, suggesting that smoking may be involved in the development of colorectal tumors via the serrated pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8346704PMC
August 2021

Metabolic signatures of greater body size and their associations with risk of colorectal and endometrial cancers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

BMC Med 2021 04 30;19(1):101. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: The mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer relationship are incompletely understood. This study aimed to characterise metabolic signatures of greater body size and to investigate their association with two obesity-related malignancies, endometrial and colorectal cancers, and with weight loss within the context of an intervention study.

Methods: Targeted mass spectrometry metabolomics data from 4326 participants enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort and 17 individuals from a single-arm pilot weight loss intervention (Intercept) were used in this analysis. Metabolic signatures of body size were first determined in discovery (N = 3029) and replication (N = 1297) sets among EPIC participants by testing the associations between 129 metabolites and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) using linear regression models followed by partial least squares analyses. Conditional logistic regression models assessed the associations between the metabolic signatures with endometrial (N = 635 cases and 648 controls) and colorectal (N = 423 cases and 423 controls) cancer risk using nested case-control studies in EPIC. Pearson correlation between changes in the metabolic signatures and weight loss was tested among Intercept participants.

Results: After adjustment for multiple comparisons, greater BMI, WC, and WHR were associated with higher levels of valine, isoleucine, glutamate, PC aa C38:3, and PC aa C38:4 and with lower levels of asparagine, glutamine, glycine, serine, lysoPC C17:0, lysoPC C18:1, lysoPC C18:2, PC aa C42:0, PC ae C34:3, PC ae C40:5, and PC ae C42:5. The metabolic signature of BMI (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.30-1.74), WC (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.27-1.69), and WHR (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.33-1.79) were each associated with endometrial cancer risk. Risk of colorectal cancer was positively associated with the metabolic signature of WHR (OR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.07-1.49). In the Intercept study, a positive correlation was observed between weight loss and changes in the metabolic signatures of BMI (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.06-0.94, p = 0.03), WC (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.05-0.94, p = 0.03), and WHR (r = 0.6, 95% CI 0.32-0.87, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Obesity is associated with a distinct metabolic signature comprising changes in levels of specific amino acids and lipids which is positively associated with both colorectal and endometrial cancer and is potentially reversible following weight loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01970-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086283PMC
April 2021

Prevalent diabetes and risk of total, colorectal, prostate and breast cancers in an ageing population: meta-analysis of individual participant data from cohorts of the CHANCES consortium.

Br J Cancer 2021 May 26;124(11):1882-1890. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, Lyon, France.

Background: We investigated whether associations between prevalent diabetes and cancer risk are pertinent to older adults and whether associations differ across subgroups of age, body weight status or levels of physical activity.

Methods: We harmonised data from seven prospective cohort studies of older individuals in Europe and the United States participating in the CHANCES consortium. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the associations of prevalent diabetes with cancer risk (all cancers combined, and for colorectum, prostate and breast). We calculated summary risk estimates across cohorts using pooled analysis and random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 667,916 individuals were included with an overall median (P25-P75) age at recruitment of 62.3 (57-67) years. During a median follow-up time of 10.5 years, 114,404 total cancer cases were ascertained. Diabetes was not associated with the risk of all cancers combined (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86-1.04; I = 63.3%). Diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk in men (HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.08-1.26; I = 0%) and a similar HR in women (1.13; 95% CI: 0.82-1.56; I = 46%), but with a confidence interval including the null. Diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk (HR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.77-0.85; I = 0%), but not with postmenopausal breast cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.89-1.03; I = 0%). In exploratory subgroup analyses, diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk only in men with overweight or obesity.

Conclusions: Prevalent diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk and inversely associated with prostate cancer risk in older Europeans and Americans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01347-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144608PMC
May 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

A two-tiered targeted proteomics approach to identify pre-diagnostic biomarkers of colorectal cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2021 03 4;11(1):5151. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden.

Colorectal cancer prognosis is dependent on stage, and measures to improve early detection are urgently needed. Using prospectively collected plasma samples from the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study, we evaluated protein biomarkers in relation to colorectal cancer risk. Applying a two-tiered approach, we analyzed 160 proteins in matched sequential samples from 58 incident colorectal cancer case-control pairs. Twenty-one proteins selected from both this discovery phase and the literature were then analyzed in a validation set of 450 case-control pairs. Odds ratios were estimated by conditional logistic regression. LASSO regression and ROC analysis were used for multi-marker analyses. In the main validation analysis, no proteins retained statistical significance. However, exploratory subgroup analyses showed associations between FGF-21 and colon cancer risk (multivariable OR per 1 SD: 1.23 95% CI 1.03-1.47) as well as between PPY and rectal cancer risk (multivariable OR per 1 SD: 1.47 95% CI 1.12-1.92). Adding protein markers to basic risk predictive models increased performance modestly. Our results highlight the challenge of developing biomarkers that are effective in the asymptomatic, prediagnostic window of opportunity for early detection of colorectal cancer. Distinguishing between cancer subtypes may improve prediction accuracy. However, single biomarkers or small panels may not be sufficient for effective precision screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83968-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933352PMC
March 2021

Causal Effects of Lifetime Smoking on Breast and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Mendelian Randomization Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 05 2;30(5):953-964. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

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

Background: Observational evidence has shown that smoking is a risk factor for breast and colorectal cancer. We used Mendelian randomization (MR) to examine causal associations between smoking and risks of breast and colorectal cancer.

Methods: Genome-Wide Association Study summary data were used to identify genetic variants associated with lifetime amount of smoking ( = 126 variants) and ever having smoked regularly ( = 112 variants). Using two-sample MR, we examined these variants in relation to incident breast (122,977 cases/105,974 controls) and colorectal cancer (52,775 cases/45,940 controls).

Results: In inverse-variance weighted models, a genetic predisposition to higher lifetime amount of smoking was positively associated with breast cancer risk [OR per 1-SD increment: 1.13; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.26; = 0.04]; although heterogeneity was observed. Similar associations were found for estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tumors. Higher lifetime amount of smoking was positively associated with colorectal cancer (OR per 1-SD increment, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.04-1.40; = 0.01), colon cancer (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.11-1.55; < 0.01), and rectal cancer (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.07-1.73; = 0.01). Ever having smoked regularly was not associated with risks of breast (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.90-1.14; = 0.85) or colorectal cancer (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.86-1.10; = 0.68).

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with prior observational evidence and support a causal role of higher lifetime smoking amount in the development of breast and colorectal cancer.

Impact: The results from this comprehensive MR analysis indicate that lifetime smoking is a causal risk factor for these common malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1218DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611442PMC
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

Development and validation of a lifestyle-based model for colorectal cancer risk prediction: the LiFeCRC score.

BMC Med 2021 01 4;19(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Background: Nutrition and lifestyle have been long established as risk factors for colorectal cancer (CRC). Modifiable lifestyle behaviours bear potential to minimize long-term CRC risk; however, translation of lifestyle information into individualized CRC risk assessment has not been implemented. Lifestyle-based risk models may aid the identification of high-risk individuals, guide referral to screening and motivate behaviour change. We therefore developed and validated a lifestyle-based CRC risk prediction algorithm in an asymptomatic European population.

Methods: The model was based on data from 255,482 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study aged 19 to 70 years who were free of cancer at study baseline (1992-2000) and were followed up to 31 September 2010. The model was validated in a sample comprising 74,403 participants selected among five EPIC centres. Over a median follow-up time of 15 years, there were 3645 and 981 colorectal cancer cases in the derivation and validation samples, respectively. Variable selection algorithms in Cox proportional hazard regression and random survival forest (RSF) were used to identify the best predictors among plausible predictor variables. Measures of discrimination and calibration were calculated in derivation and validation samples. To facilitate model communication, a nomogram and a web-based application were developed.

Results: The final selection model included age, waist circumference, height, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, vegetables, dairy products, processed meat, and sugar and confectionary. The risk score demonstrated good discrimination overall and in sex-specific models. Harrell's C-index was 0.710 in the derivation cohort and 0.714 in the validation cohort. The model was well calibrated and showed strong agreement between predicted and observed risk. Random survival forest analysis suggested high model robustness. Beyond age, lifestyle data led to improved model performance overall (continuous net reclassification improvement = 0.307 (95% CI 0.264-0.352)), and especially for young individuals below 45 years (continuous net reclassification improvement = 0.364 (95% CI 0.084-0.575)).

Conclusions: LiFeCRC score based on age and lifestyle data accurately identifies individuals at risk for incident colorectal cancer in European populations and could contribute to improved prevention through motivating lifestyle change at an individual level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01826-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780676PMC
January 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 03 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

Metabolic Signatures of Healthy Lifestyle Patterns and Colorectal Cancer Risk in a European Cohort.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 Dec 29. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Granada, Spain; Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.

Background & Aims: Colorectal cancer risk can be lowered by adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) guidelines. We derived metabolic signatures of adherence to these guidelines and tested their associations with colorectal cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort.

Methods: Scores reflecting adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations (scale, 1-5) were calculated from participant data on weight maintenance, physical activity, diet, and alcohol among a discovery set of 5738 cancer-free European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition participants with metabolomics data. Partial least-squares regression was used to derive fatty acid and endogenous metabolite signatures of the WCRF/AICR score in this group. In an independent set of 1608 colorectal cancer cases and matched controls, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were calculated for colorectal cancer risk per unit increase in WCRF/AICR score and per the corresponding change in metabolic signatures using multivariable conditional logistic regression.

Results: Higher WCRF/AICR scores were characterized by metabolic signatures of increased odd-chain fatty acids, serine, glycine, and specific phosphatidylcholines. Signatures were inversely associated more strongly with colorectal cancer risk (fatty acids: OR, 0.51 per unit increase; 95% CI, 0.29-0.90; endogenous metabolites: OR, 0.62 per unit change; 95% CI, 0.50-0.78) than the WCRF/AICR score (OR, 0.93 per unit change; 95% CI, 0.86-1.00) overall. Signature associations were stronger in male compared with female participants.

Conclusions: Metabolite profiles reflecting adherence to WCRF/AICR guidelines and additional lifestyle or biological risk factors were associated with colorectal cancer. Measuring a specific panel of metabolites representative of a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle may identify strata of the population at higher risk of colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2020.11.045DOI Listing
December 2020

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

Gastroenterology 2021 03 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

Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy and Colorectal Cancer Risk by Molecularly Defined Subtypes and Tumor Location.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2020 Aug 19;4(5):pkaa042. Epub 2020 May 19.

Division of Laboratory Genetics, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: Postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) is associated with a decreased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. As CRC is a heterogeneous disease, we evaluated whether the association of HT and CRC differs across etiologically relevant, molecularly defined tumor subtypes and tumor location.

Methods: We pooled data on tumor subtypes (microsatellite instability status, CpG island methylator phenotype status, and mutations, pathway: adenoma-carcinoma, alternate, serrated), tumor location (proximal colon, distal colon, rectum), and HT use among 8220 postmenopausal women (3898 CRC cases and 4322 controls) from 8 observational studies. We used multinomial logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of ever vs never HT use with each tumor subtype compared with controls. Models were adjusted for study, age, body mass index, smoking status, and CRC family history. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Among postmenopausal women, ever HT use was associated with a 38% reduction in overall CRC risk (OR =0.62, 95% CI = 0.56 to 0.69). This association was similar according to microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype and or status. However, the association was attenuated for tumors arising through the serrated pathway (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.66 to 1.01) compared with the adenoma-carcinoma pathway (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.55 to 0.73; =.04) and alternate pathway (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.51 to 0.72). Additionally, proximal colon tumors had a weaker association (OR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.62 to 0.80) compared with rectal (OR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.46 to 0.63) and distal colon (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.49 to 0.66; =.01) tumors.

Conclusions: We observed a strong inverse association between HT use and overall CRC risk, which may predominantly reflect a benefit of HT use for tumors arising through the adenoma-carcinoma and alternate pathways as well as distal colon and rectal tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477374PMC
August 2020

Intake of Dietary Fruit, Vegetables, and Fiber and Risk of Colorectal Cancer According to Molecular Subtypes: A Pooled Analysis of 9 Studies.

Cancer Res 2020 10 14;80(20):4578-4590. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Protective associations of fruits, vegetables, and fiber intake with colorectal cancer risk have been shown in many, but not all epidemiologic studies. One possible reason for study heterogeneity is that dietary factors may have distinct effects by colorectal cancer molecular subtypes. Here, we investigate the association of fruit, vegetables, and fiber intake with four well-established colorectal cancer molecular subtypes separately and in combination. Nine observational studies including 9,592 cases with molecular subtypes for microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and somatic mutations in and genes, and 7,869 controls were analyzed. Both case-only logistic regression analyses and polytomous logistic regression analyses (with one control set and multiple case groups) were used. Higher fruit intake was associated with a trend toward decreased risk of -mutated tumors [OR 4th vs. 1st quartile = 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.65-1.04)] but not -wildtype tumors [1.09 (0.97-1.22); difference as shown in case-only analysis = 0.02]. This difference was observed in case-control studies and not in cohort studies. Compared with controls, higher fiber intake showed negative association with colorectal cancer risk for cases with microsatellite stable/MSI-low, CIMP-negative, -wildtype, and -wildtype tumors ( range from 0.03 to 3.4e-03), which is consistent with the traditional adenoma-colorectal cancer pathway. These negative associations were stronger compared with MSI-high, CIMP-positive, -mutated, or -mutated tumors, but the differences were not statistically significant. These inverse associations for fruit and fiber intake may explain, in part, inconsistent findings between fruit or fiber intake and colorectal cancer risk that have previously been reported. SIGNIFICANCE: These analyses by colorectal cancer molecular subtypes potentially explain the inconsistent findings between dietary fruit or fiber intake and overall colorectal cancer risk that have previously been reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572895PMC
October 2020

Genome-wide Modeling of Polygenic Risk Score in Colorectal Cancer Risk.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 09 5;107(3):432-444. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Accurate colorectal cancer (CRC) risk prediction models are critical for identifying individuals at low and high risk of developing CRC, as they can then be offered targeted screening and interventions to address their risks of developing disease (if they are in a high-risk group) and avoid unnecessary screening and interventions (if they are in a low-risk group). As it is likely that thousands of genetic variants contribute to CRC risk, it is clinically important to investigate whether these genetic variants can be used jointly for CRC risk prediction. In this paper, we derived and compared different approaches to generating predictive polygenic risk scores (PRS) from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) including 55,105 CRC-affected case subjects and 65,079 control subjects of European ancestry. We built the PRS in three ways, using (1) 140 previously identified and validated CRC loci; (2) SNP selection based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) clumping followed by machine-learning approaches; and (3) LDpred, a Bayesian approach for genome-wide risk prediction. We tested the PRS in an independent cohort of 101,987 individuals with 1,699 CRC-affected case subjects. The discriminatory accuracy, calculated by the age- and sex-adjusted area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), was highest for the LDpred-derived PRS (AUC = 0.654) including nearly 1.2 M genetic variants (the proportion of causal genetic variants for CRC assumed to be 0.003), whereas the PRS of the 140 known variants identified from GWASs had the lowest AUC (AUC = 0.629). Based on the LDpred-derived PRS, we are able to identify 30% of individuals without a family history as having risk for CRC similar to those with a family history of CRC, whereas the PRS based on known GWAS variants identified only top 10% as having a similar relative risk. About 90% of these individuals have no family history and would have been considered average risk under current screening guidelines, but might benefit from earlier screening. The developed PRS offers a way for risk-stratified CRC screening and other targeted interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.07.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477007PMC
September 2020

Landscape of somatic single nucleotide variants and indels in colorectal cancer and impact on survival.

Nat Commun 2020 07 20;11(1):3644. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Department of Preventive Medicine, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a biologically heterogeneous disease. To characterize its mutational profile, we conduct targeted sequencing of 205 genes for 2,105 CRC cases with survival data. Our data shows several findings in addition to enhancing the existing knowledge of CRC. We identify PRKCI, SPZ1, MUTYH, MAP2K4, FETUB, and TGFBR2 as additional genes significantly mutated in CRC. We find that among hypermutated tumors, an increased mutation burden is associated with improved CRC-specific survival (HR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.21-0.82). Mutations in TP53 are associated with poorer CRC-specific survival, which is most pronounced in cases carrying TP53 mutations with predicted 0% transcriptional activity (HR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.21-1.94). Furthermore, we observe differences in mutational frequency of several genes and pathways by tumor location, stage, and sex. Overall, this large study provides deep insights into somatic mutations in CRC, and their potential relationships with survival and tumor features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17386-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371703PMC
July 2020

Antibody Responses to and Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer in a European Cohort.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 07 24;29(7):1475-1481. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: While () is the major cause of gastric cancer, it has also been suggested to be involved in colorectal cancer development. However, prospective studies addressing and colorectal cancer are sparse and inconclusive. We assessed the association of antibody responses to proteins with colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: We applied multiplex serology to measure antibody responses to 13 proteins in prediagnostic serum samples from 485 colorectal cancer cases and 485 matched controls nested within the EPIC study. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariable conditional logistic regression to estimate the association of overall and protein-specific seropositivity with odds of developing colorectal cancer.

Results: Fifty-one percent of colorectal cancer cases were seropositive compared with 44% of controls, resulting in an OR of 1.36 (95% CI, 1.00-1.85). Among the 13 individual proteins, the association was driven mostly by seropositivity to cysteine-rich protein C (HcpC; OR: 1.66; 95% CI, 1.19-2.30) and Vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA) (OR: 1.34; 95% CI, 0.99-1.82), the latter being nonstatistically significant only in the fully adjusted model.

Conclusions: In this prospective multicenter European study, antibody responses to proteins, specifically HcpC and VacA, were associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Impact: Biological mechanisms for a potential causal role of in colorectal carcinogenesis need to be elucidated, and subsequently whether eradication may decrease colorectal cancer incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1545DOI Listing
July 2020

C-reactive Protein and Future Risk of Clinical and Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 07 21;29(7):1482-1491. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Inflammation has been implicated in colorectal cancer etiology, but the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) and colorectal cancer risk is unclear. We aimed to investigate the association between prediagnostic plasma CRP concentrations and the risk of clinical and molecular colorectal cancer subtypes.

Methods: We used prospectively collected samples from 1,010 matched colorectal cancer case-control pairs from two population-based cohorts in Northern Sweden, including 259 with repeated samples. Conditional logistic regression and linear mixed models were used to estimate relative risks of colorectal cancer, including subtypes based on and mutations, microsatellite instability status, tumor location, stage, lag time, and (using unconditional logistic regression) body mass index.

Results: CRP was not associated with colorectal cancer risk, regardless of clinical or molecular colorectal cancer subtype. For participants with advanced tumors and blood samples <5 years before diagnosis, CRP was associated with higher risk [OR per 1 unit increase in natural logarithm (ln) transformed CRP, 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.73]. CRP levels increased over time, but average time trajectories were similar for cases and controls ( = 0.19).

Conclusions: Our results do not support intertumoral heterogeneity as an explanation for previous inconsistent findings regarding the role of CRP in colorectal cancer etiology. The possible association in the subgroup with advanced tumors and shorter follow-up likely reflects undiagnosed cancer at baseline.

Impact: Future efforts to establish the putative role of chronic, low-grade inflammation in colorectal cancer development will need to address the complex relationship between systemic inflammatory factors and tumor microenvironment, and might consider larger biomarker panels than CRP alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1339DOI Listing
July 2020

Body composition measured by computed tomography is associated with colorectal cancer survival, also in early-stage disease.

Acta Oncol 2020 Jul 31;59(7):799-808. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Cachexia and sarcopenia are associated with poor survival after colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis. Computed tomography (CT) can be used to measure aspects of cachexia including sarcopenia, myosteatosis and the amount of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to relate CT-based body composition variables with survival outcomes in CRC. In this population-based, retrospective cohort study, CT scans of 974 patients with pathological stages I-IV CRCs, collected at or very near diagnosis (years 2000-2016), were used to measure cross-sectional fat and muscle tissue areas. Body composition variables based on these measurements were assessed in relation to tumor stage and site and cancer-specific survival in stages I-III CRC ( = 728) using Cox proportional hazards models and Kaplan-Meier estimators. Sarcopenia was associated with decreased cancer-specific survival, especially in patients with stages I-II tumors. The hazard ratio (HR) for the lowest versus highest tertile of skeletal muscle index (SMI) was 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.08-2.58 for all stages, and HR 2.22; 95% CI 1.06-4.68, for stages I-II. Myosteatosis was also associated with decreased cancer-specific survival [(HR 2.03; 95% CI 1.20-3.34 for the lowest versus the highest tertile of skeletal muscle radiodensity (SMR)]. SMI and SMR were lower in patients with right-sided CRC, independent of age and sex. No adipose tissue measurement was significantly associated with cancer-specific survival. In concordance with previous studies, sarcopenia and myosteatosis were associated with decreased cancer-specific survival. The strong association between sarcopenia and poor cancer-specific survival in early-stage disease could have clinical implications for personalizing therapy decisions, including nutritional support.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2020.1744716DOI Listing
July 2020

A longitudinal study of prediagnostic metabolic biomarkers and the risk of molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer.

Sci Rep 2020 03 24;10(1):5336. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Body fatness increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Insulin resistance and altered adipokines are potential mechanisms, but previous biomarker studies have been inconsistent. Intertumoral heterogeneity might provide an explanation. We investigated insulin, C-peptide, adiponectin, and leptin in relation to CRC molecular subtypes using a nested case-control design (1010 cases, 1010 matched controls, median 12.3 years from baseline to CRC diagnosis) from the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study. Repeated samples were available from 518 participants. Risks of CRC and subtypes, defined by tumor BRAF and KRAS mutations and microsatellite instability (MSI) status, were estimated using conditional logistic regression and linear mixed models. Higher C-peptide and lower adiponectin were associated with increased CRC risk (odds ratios per standard deviation increase (95% CI): 1.11 (1.01, 1.23) and 0.91 (0.83, 1.00), respectively), though weakened when adjusted for body mass index. Insulin and leptin were not associated with CRC risk. Within-individual time trajectories were similar in cases and controls, and no subtype-specific relationships were identified (all P > 0.1). Adiponectin was weakly inversely associated with the risk of KRAS-mutated (P = 0.08) but not BRAF-mutated or KRAS/BRAF-wildtype CRC, consistent with the one previous study. These findings contribute to an increased understanding of the complex role of body size in CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62129-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093429PMC
March 2020

Physical activity and risks of breast and colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomisation analysis.

Nat Commun 2020 01 30;11(1):597. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA.

Physical activity has been associated with lower risks of breast and colorectal cancer in epidemiological studies; however, it is unknown if these associations are causal or confounded. In two-sample Mendelian randomisation analyses, using summary genetic data from the UK Biobank and GWA consortia, we found that a one standard deviation increment in average acceleration was associated with lower risks of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR]: 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.27 to 0.98, P-value = 0.04) and colorectal cancer (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.48 to 0.90, P-value = 0.01). We found similar magnitude inverse associations for estrogen positive (ER) breast cancer and for colon cancer. Our results support a potentially causal relationship between higher physical activity levels and lower risks of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Based on these data, the promotion of physical activity is probably an effective strategy in the primary prevention of these commonly diagnosed cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14389-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6992637PMC
January 2020
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