Publications by authors named "Charles Fuchs"

698 Publications

Unrestrained eating behavior and risk of mortality: A prospective cohort study.

Clin Nutr 2021 Sep 17;40(11):5419-5429. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background & Aims: Unrestrained eating behavior has been thought to be a proxy for diet frequency, timing, and caloric intake. We investigated the association of unrestrained eating with mortality risk in the Nurses' Health Study prospectively.

Methods: During follow-up (1994-2016), 21,953 deaths were documented among 63,999 eligible participants in analyses of eating anything at any time, 22,120 deaths were documented among 65,839 participants in analyses of no concern with figure change. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Eating anything at any time was associated with an increased mortality from cancer (overall HR, 95%CI: 1.07, 1.00-1.13; driven by gastrointestinal tract cancer: 1.30, 1.10-1.54) and respiratory disease (1.16, 1.05-1.29), and decreased cardiovascular disease-specific mortality (0.92, 0.86-0.99), compared to those without this behavior; however, no association was observed between this behavior and all-cause mortality (1.02, 0.99-1.05). Women who reported having no concern with figure change experienced higher risk of mortality from all-cause (1.08, 1.05-1.11), cancer (1.08, 1.02-1.14), and respiratory disease (1.18, 1.08-1.30), compared to those not reporting this behavior. Their combined effect was associated with a higher all-cause (1.09, 1.04-1.14), cancer-specific (overall: 1.18, 1.09-1.28; gastrointestinal tract cancer: 1.36, 1.08-1.71; lung cancer: 1.09; 1.04-1.14), and respiratory disease-specific (1.30, 1.13-1.50) mortality, and was inversely associated with cardiovascular disease-specific mortality (0.88, 0.80-0.98), compared to those exhibiting the opposite.

Conclusions: Unrestrained eating was associated with increased risk of all-cause, cancer-specific (particularly for gastrointestinal tract cancer and lung cancer), and respiratory disease-specific mortality, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease-specific mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.09.014DOI Listing
September 2021

Survival in Young-Onset Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Findings from Cancer and Leukemia Group B (Alliance)/SWOG 80405.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer (yoCRC) is increasing. It is unknown if there are survival differences between young and older patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

Methods: We studied the association of age with survival in 2326 mCRC patients enrolled in the CALGB/SWOG 80405 trial, a multi-center, randomized trial of first-line chemotherapy plus biologics. The primary and secondary outcomes of this study were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), respectively, which were assessed by Kaplan Meier method and compared among younger versus older patients with the log-rank test. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated based on Cox proportional hazards modeling, adjusting for known prognostic variables. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Of 2326 eligible subjects, 514 (22.1%) were younger than age 50 years at study entry (yoCRC cohort). The median age of yoCRC patients was 44.3 vs. 62.5 years in patients age 50 and over. There was no statistically significant difference in OS between yoCRC vs. older-onset patients (median = 27.07 vs. 26.12 months; adjusted HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.88-1.10, P = .78). The median PFS was also similar in yoCRC vs. older patients (10.87 vs. 10.55 months) with an adjusted HR of 1.02 (95% CI = 0.92-1.13, P = .67). Patients younger than age 35 years had the shortest OS with median OS of 21.95 vs. 26.12 months in older-onset patients with an adjusted HR of 1.08 (95% CI = 0.81-1.44, Ptrend =0.93).

Conclusion: In this large study of mCRC patients, there were no statistically significant differences in survival between patients with yoCRC and CRC patients age 50 and older.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab200DOI Listing
October 2021

Phase II study of pembrolizumab in refractory esophageal cancer with correlates of response and survival.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Sep;9(9)

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized cancer treatment, but the benefits in refractory patients with esophageal cancer have been modest. Predictors of response as well as new targets for novel therapeutic combinations are needed. In this phase 2 clinical trial, we tested single-agent pembrolizumab in patients with advanced esophageal cancer, who received at least one prior line of therapy.

Methods: Pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks was tested in 49 patients with refractory esophageal cancer: 39 with adenocarcinoma and 10 with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Major endpoints were radiological response by Immune-related Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors and survival. Tumor samples were evaluated for programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, tumor mutational burden (TMB), and immune contexture by both NanoString mRNA expression analysis and flow cytometry. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells and a panel of circulating chemokines were also analyzed.

Results: The overall response rate (ORR) was 8% (4 of 49 patients; 95% CI 2.3% to 19.6%). Median overall survival (OS) was 5.8 months (95% CI 4.0 to 9.5). ORR and OS were not associated with histology. For PD-L1-positive patients, ORR was 13.3% (95% CI 1.7% to 40.5%) and median OS was 7.9 months (95% CI 4.7 to 15.5). A trend toward improved OS was observed in seven patients with a TMB ≥10 mut/Mb (p=0.086). Tumors with a PD-L1 Combined Positive Score ≥1 showed enrichment of LAG3 (p=0.005) and IDO1 (p=0.04) gene expression. Baseline levels of circulating CXCL10, interleukin 2 (IL2) receptor α (IL2RA) and IL6 were associated with survival: CXCL10 favorably, (HR 0.37, p=0.002 (progression-free survival); HR 0.55, p=0.018 (OS)); IL2RA and IL6 unfavorably (HR 1.57, p=0.020 for IL6 (OS); HR 2.36, p=0.025 for IL2RA (OS)).

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab monotherapy was modestly effective in refractory esophageal cancer. Circulating CXCL10 at baseline appeared to be a robust predictor of response. Other T cell exhaustion markers are upregulated in PD-L1-positive patients, suggesting that immunotherapy combinations such as anti-LAG3/programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or anti-IDO1/PD-1 may be of promise in refractory esophageal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8487210PMC
September 2021

Immune cell profiles in the tumor microenvironment of early-onset, intermediate-onset, and later-onset colorectal cancer.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 221 Longwood Ave., EBRC Room 404A, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Background: Despite heightened interest in early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosed before age 50, little is known on immune cell profiles of early-onset CRC. It also remains to be studied whether CRCs diagnosed at or shortly after age 50 are similar to early-onset CRC. We therefore hypothesized that immune cell infiltrates in CRC tissue might show differential heterogeneity patterns between three age groups (< 50 "early onset," 50-54 "intermediate onset,"  ≥ 55 "later onset").

Methods: We examined 1,518 incident CRC cases with available tissue data, including 35 early-onset and 73 intermediate-onset cases. To identify immune cells in tumor intraepithelial and stromal areas, we developed three multiplexed immunofluorescence assays combined with digital image analyses and machine learning algorithms, with the following markers: (1) CD3, CD4, CD8, CD45RO (PTPRC), and FOXP3 for T cells; (2) CD68, CD86, IRF5, MAF, and MRC1 (CD206) for macrophages; and (3) ARG1, CD14, CD15, CD33, and HLA-DR for myeloid cells.

Results: Although no comparisons between age groups showed statistically significant differences at the stringent two-sided α level of 0.005, compared to later-onset CRC, early-onset CRC tended to show lower levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (P = 0.013), intratumoral periglandular reaction (P = 0.025), and peritumoral lymphocytic reaction (P = 0.044). Compared to later-onset CRC, intermediate-onset CRC tended to show lower densities of overall macrophages (P = 0.050), M1-like macrophages (P = 0.062), CD14HLA-DR cells (P = 0.015), and CD3CD4FOXP3 cells (P = 0.039).

Conclusions: This hypothesis-generating study suggests possible differences in histopathologic lymphocytic reaction patterns, macrophages, and regulatory T cells in the tumor microenvironment by age at diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-021-03056-6DOI Listing
September 2021

Pembrolizumab versus paclitaxel for previously treated PD-L1-positive advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer: 2-year update of the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 trial.

Gastric Cancer 2021 Sep 1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Department of Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan.

Background: In the phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 study (cutoff: 10/26/2017), pembrolizumab did not significantly prolong OS vs paclitaxel as second-line (2L) therapy in PD-L1 combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 1 gastric/GEJ cancer. We present results in CPS ≥ 1, ≥ 5, and ≥ 10 populations after two additional years of follow-up (cutoff: 10/07/2019).

Methods: Patients were randomly allocated 1:1 to pembrolizumab 200 mg Q3W for ≤ 35 cycles or standard-dose paclitaxel. Primary endpoints: OS and PFS (CPS ≥ 1 population). HRs were calculated using stratified Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: 366/395 patients (92.7%) with CPS ≥ 1 died. Pembrolizumab demonstrated a trend toward improved OS vs paclitaxel in the CPS ≥ 1 population (HR, 0.81); 24-month OS rates: 19.9% vs 8.5%. Pembrolizumab incrementally increased the OS benefit with PD-L1 enrichment (CPS ≥ 5: HR, 0.72, 24-month rate, 24.2% vs 8.8%; CPS ≥ 10: 0.69, 24-month rate, 32.1% vs 10.9%). There was no difference in median PFS among treatment groups (CPS ≥ 1: HR, 1.25; CPS ≥ 5: 0.98; CPS ≥ 10: 0.79). ORR (pembrolizumab vs paclitaxel) was 16.3% vs 13.6% (CPS ≥ 1), 20.0% vs 14.3% (CPS ≥ 5), and 24.5% vs 9.1% (CPS ≥ 10); median DOR was 19.1 months vs 5.2, 32.7 vs 4.8, and NR vs 6.9, respectively. Fewer treatment-related AEs (TRAEs) occurred with pembrolizumab than paclitaxel (53% vs 84%).

Conclusion: In this long-term analysis, 2L pembrolizumab did not significantly improve OS but was associated with higher 24-month OS rates than paclitaxel. Pembrolizumab also increased OS benefit with PD-L1 enrichment among patients with PD-L1-positive gastric/GEJ cancer and led to fewer TRAEs than paclitaxel.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02370498.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10120-021-01227-zDOI Listing
September 2021

Trifluridine/Tipiracil and Regorafenib in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Retrospective Study at a Tertiary Oncology Center.

Oncologist 2021 Aug 18. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI) and regorafenib prolong survival for patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC); limited comparative effectiveness data exist.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective, longitudinal cohort study of patients with mCRC who initiated FTD/TPI or regorafenib (index therapy) between 2012 and 2017 at a U.S. tertiary oncology center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, was conducted. Using best tumor response assessments, real-world overall response rates (rwORR) and disease control rates (rwDCR) were described and analyzed using logistic regression. Survival rate was examined for each month after index therapy using Kaplan-Meier. Overall survival (OS) was assessed using Cox proportional hazards models. Subgroup analyses among patients with index therapy as second- or third-line were performed.

Results: One hundred twenty-six and 95 patients were treated with FTD/TPI or regorafenib as index therapy, respectively. Patients treated with FTD/TPI versus regorafenib had a better response (rwORR 52.5% vs. 34.2%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.6; all p value <.05; rwDCR 64.2% vs. 46.1%; adjusted OR = 2.5; all p value <.05). Similar findings were observed for FTD/TPI versus regorafenib as second- or third-line therapy (rwORR 54.8% vs. 25.9%; adjusted OR = 4.1; all p value <.05; rwDCR 69.0% vs. 37.0%; adjusted OR = 4.9; all p value <.05). A greater proportion of patients treated with FTD/TPI versus regorafenib survived at 3 months (86.2% vs. 73.4%; p value = .016) and 4 months (79.6% vs. 65.8%; p value = .017). Adjusted OS hazard ratio for FTD/TPI versus regorafenib was 0.80, p value = .157.

Conclusion: Patients treated with FTD/TPI had better tumor response and disease control than patients treated with regorafenib. Subgroup analysis in second- or third-line suggests that early use of FTD/TPI may have clinical benefits.

Implications For Practice: In this retrospective cohort study, patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer treated with trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI) were significantly less likely than those treated with regorafenib to have dose modifications and more likely to have higher real-world objective response rate (rwORR) and real-world disease control rate (rwDCR) while treated. Patients treated with FTD/TPI versus regorafenib had significantly higher odds of having rwORR or rwDCR in adjusted analyses. Monthly survival rates were higher overall in patients treated with FTD/TPI versus regorafenib in the first 6 months of follow-up, particularly at months 3 and 4. This study offers insight into patients' treatment experience in real-world clinical settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13942DOI Listing
August 2021

Prospective Evaluation of Malignancy in 17,708 Patients Randomized to Ezetimibe Versus Placebo: Analysis From IMPROVE-IT.

JACC CardioOncol 2020 Sep 15;2(3):385-396. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

TIMI Study Group, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: An increased risk of malignancy was reported with simvastatin/ezetimibe in 1,873 patients in the SEAS (Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis) trial.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to clarify this unexpected finding in a larger sample size of patients stabilized after acute coronary syndrome, we conducted a prospective systematic analysis of malignancy events in IMPROVE-IT (Improved Reduction of Outcomes: Vytorin Efficacy International Trial).

Methods: Within IMPROVE-IT, 17,708 patients post-acute coronary syndrome were randomized to either ezetimibe 10 mg or matching placebo on a background of simvastatin 40 mg who took ≥1 dose of the study drug. Suspected tumors (benign and malignant) reported by investigators or identified from a review of adverse events were adjudicated by oncologists without knowledge of drug assignment. The primary malignancy endpoint included new, relapsing, or progressive malignancies (excluding nonmelanotic skin malignancies). The secondary endpoint was death due to malignancy.

Results: In this trial, 1,470 patients developed the primary malignancy endpoint during a median 6 years of follow-up. The most common malignancy locations were prostate (18.9%), lung (16.8%), and bladder (8.8%) with no differences by treatment group (p > 0.05 for each location). Kaplan-Meier 7-year rates of malignancies were similar with ezetimibe and placebo (10.2% vs. 10.3%; hazard ratio: 1.03; 95% confidence interval: 0.93 to 1.14; p = 0.56), as were the rates for malignancy death (3.8% vs. 3.6%; hazard ratio: 1.04; 95% confidence interval: 0.88 to 1.23; p = 0.68).

Conclusions: Among 17,708 patients receiving simvastatin 40 mg daily, those randomized to ezetimibe 10 mg daily had a similar incidence of malignancy and deaths due to malignancy compared with those receiving placebo during a median follow-up of 6 years (96,377 patient-years). (IMPROVE-IT: Examining Outcomes in Subjects With Acute Coronary Syndrome: Vytorin [Ezetimibe/Simvastatin] vs Simvastatin [P04103]; NCT00202878).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccao.2020.07.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8352126PMC
September 2020

Health-related quality of life in advanced gastric/gastroesophageal junction cancer with second-line pembrolizumab in KEYNOTE-061.

Gastric Cancer 2021 Nov 7;24(6):1330-1340. Epub 2021 Aug 7.

Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital, Chiba, Japan.

Background: In the primary analysis population (i.e., PD-L1 combined positive score [CPS] ≥ 1) of the phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 study (NCT02370498), pembrolizumab did not significantly prolong overall survival or progression-free survival. Pembrolizumab had a favorable safety profile in the all-patient population. We present results of prespecified health-related quality of life (HRQoL) analyses.

Methods: HRQoL was measured using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30), EORTC QLQ gastric cancer questionnaire (QLQ-STO22), and EuroQol 5-dimension, 3-level questionnaire (EQ-5D-3L). Data were analyzed from patients who received ≥ 1 dose of study treatment and who completed ≥ 1 HRQoL assessment. Key analyses included baseline to week 12 least-squares mean (LSM) change in global health status (GHS)/QoL, functional/symptom subscales, and time to deterioration (TTD; ≥ 10-point decrease from baseline) for specific subscales.

Results: The HRQoL population included 371 patients (pembrolizumab, n = 188; paclitaxel, n = 183). Compliance and completion rates for all 3 questionnaires were similar in both groups at baseline and week 12. There was no difference in LSM change between groups (- 3.54; 95% CI - 8.92 to 1.84) in GHS/QoL at week 12. LSM change from baseline to week 12 for most QLQ-C30, QLQ-STO22, and EQ-5D-3L subscales indicated some worsening of QoL in both groups. TTD for GHS/QoL, nausea/vomiting, and appetite loss subscales in QLQ-C30 and the pain subscales in QLQ-STO22 were similar between treatment groups.

Conclusions: In this population with advanced gastric and GEJ cancer receiving second-line treatment, HRQoL was similar in patients receiving pembrolizumab and those receiving paclitaxel.

Clinical Trial Registry And Number: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02370498.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10120-021-01200-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8502140PMC
November 2021

Unrestrained eating behavior and risk of digestive system cancers: a prospective cohort study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Unrestrained eating behavior, as a potential proxy for diet frequency, timing, and caloric intake, has been questioned as a plausible risk factor for digestive system cancers, but epidemiological evidence remains sparse.

Objectives: We investigated prospectively the associations between unrestrained eating behavior and digestive system cancer risk.

Methods: Participants in the Nurses' Health Study who were free of cancer and reported dietary information in 1994 were followed for ≤18 y. Cox models were used to estimate HRs and 95% CIs for unrestrained eating (eating anything at any time, no concern with figure change, or both) and risk of digestive system cancers.

Results: During follow-up, 2064 digestive system cancer cases were documented among 70,450 eligible participants in analyses of eating anything at any time, In total, 2081 digestive system cancer cases were documented among 72,468 eligible participants in analyses of no concern with figure change. In fully adjusted analyses, women with the behavior of eating anything at any time had a higher risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.35), overall gastrointestinal tract cancer ((HR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.18, 1.50), buccal cavity and pharynx cancer (HR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.21), esophageal cancer (HR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.62), small intestine cancer (HR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.02,3. 59), and colorectal cancer (HR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.38), and a non-statistically significant increased risk of stomach cancer (HR: 1.54; 95% CI: 0.96,2.48), compared with women without this behavior. No statistically significant association was observed for pancreatic cancer and liver and gallbladder cancer. The combined effect of eating anything at any time and having no concern with figure change was associated with a significantly increased risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.46), overall gastrointestinal tract cancer (HR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.23, 1.71), and colorectal cancer (HR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.63), compared with women exhibiting the opposite.

Conclusions: Unrestrained eating behavior was independently associated with increased risk of gastrointestinal tract cancers. The potential importance of unrestrained eating behavior modification in preventing gastrointestinal tract cancers should be noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab235DOI Listing
July 2021

Sugar-sweetened beverage, artificially sweetened beverage and sugar intake and colorectal cancer survival.

Br J Cancer 2021 Sep 15;125(7):1016-1024. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

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

Background: The influence of a high sugar diet on colorectal cancer (CRC) survival is unclear.

Methods: Among 1463 stage I-III CRC patients from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CRC-specific and all-cause mortality in relation to intake of post-diagnosis sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), artificially sweetened beverages (ASB), fruit juice, fructose and other sugars.

Results: Over a median 8.0 years, 781 cases died (173 CRC-specific deaths). Multivariable-adjusted HRs for post-diagnosis intake and CRC-specific mortality were 1.21 (95% CI: 0.87-1.68) per 1 serving SSBs per day (serving/day) and 1.24 (95% CI: 0.95-1.63) per 20 grams fructose per day. Significant positive associations for CRC-specific mortality were primarily observed ≤5 years from diagnosis (HR per 1 serving/day of SSBs = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.06-2.38). Significant inverse associations were observed between ASBs and CRC-specific and all-cause mortality (HR for ≥5 versus <1 serving/week = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.26-0.75 and 0.70, 95% CI: 0.55-0.89, respectively).

Conclusions: Higher post-diagnosis intake of SSBs and sugars may be associated with higher CRC-specific mortality, but only up to 5 years from diagnosis, when more deaths were due to CRC. The inverse association between ASBs and CRC-specific mortality warrants further examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01487-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8476625PMC
September 2021

Adiposity, Adulthood Weight Change, and Risk of Incident Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2021 Oct 15;14(10):945-954. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Prospective data are limited regarding dynamic adulthood weight changes and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk. We included 77,238 women (1980-2012) and 48,026 men (1986-2012), who recalled young-adult weight [age 18 years (women); 21 years (men)], and provided biennially updated information regarding weight, body mass index (BMI), and comorbidities. Overall adulthood weight change was defined as the difference in weight (kilograms) between young-adulthood and present. Using Cox proportional hazards models, we calculated multivariable adjusted HRs (aHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Over 3,676,549 person-years, we documented 158 incident HCC cases. Elevated HCC risk was observed with higher BMI in both young-adulthood and later-adulthood [continuous aHRs per each 1 unit = 1.05; 95% CI = 1.02-1.09 ( = 0.019), and 1.08; 95% CI = 1.06-1.10 ( = 0.004), respectively]. Moreover, overall adulthood weight gain was also significantly associated with increased HCC risk (aHR per each 1-kg increase = 1.03; 95% CI = 1.01-1.08; = 0.010), including after further adjusting for young-adult BMI ( = 0.010) and later-adult BMI ( = 0.008). Compared with adults with stable weight (±5 kg), the multivariable-aHRs with weight gain of 5-<10 kg, 10-<20 kg, and ≥20 kg were, 1.40 (95% CI = 0.67-2.16), 2.09 (95% CI = 1.11-3.95), and 2.61 (95% CI = 1.42-5.22), respectively. In two prospective, nationwide cohorts, adulthood weight gain was significantly associated with increased HCC risk. PREVENTION RELEVANCE: Our data suggest that maintaining a stable weight during adulthood, specifically by preventing weight gain, could represent an important public health strategy for the prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-20-0549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8492521PMC
October 2021

Smoking and Incidence of Colorectal Cancer Subclassified by Tumor-Associated Macrophage Infiltrates.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Biological evidence indicates that smoking can influence macrophage functions and polarization, thereby promoting tumor evolution. We hypothesized that the association of smoking with colorectal cancer incidence might differ by macrophage infiltrates.

Methods: Utilizing the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we examined the association of smoking with incidence of colorectal cancer subclassified by macrophage counts. Multiplexed immunofluorescence [for CD68, CD86, IRF5, MAF, and MRC1 (CD206)] combined with digital image analysis and machine learning was used to identify overall, M1-polarized, and M2-polarized macrophages in tumor. We used inverse-probability-weighted multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models to control for potential confounders and selection bias due to tissue data availability. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: During follow-up of 131,144 participants (3,648,370 person-years), we documented 3,092 incident colorectal cancer cases including 871 cases with available macrophage data. The association of pack-years smoked with colorectal cancer incidence differed by stromal macrophage densities (Pheterogeneity=.003). Compared to never smoking, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for tumors with low macrophage densities were 1.32 (0.97 to 1.79) for 1-19 pack-years, 1.31 (0.92 to 1.85) for 20-39 pack-years, and 1.74 (1.26 to 2.41) for ≥40 pack-years (Ptrend=.004). In contrast, pack-years smoked were not statistically significantly associated with the incidence of tumors having intermediate or high macrophage densities (Ptrend>.009, with the α level of 0.005). No statistically significant differential association was found for colorectal cancer subclassified by M1-like or M2-like macrophages.

Conclusions: The association of smoking with colorectal cancer incidence is stronger for tumors with lower stromal macrophage counts. Our findings suggest an interplay of smoking and macrophages in colorectal carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab142DOI Listing
July 2021

Impact of geography on prognostic outcomes of 21,509 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer enrolled in clinical trials: an ARCAD database analysis.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2021 30;13:17588359211020547. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Department of Medical Oncology, Franco-British Institute, Levallois-Perret, France.

Background: Benchmarking international cancer survival differences is necessary to evaluate and improve healthcare systems. Our aim was to assess the potential regional differences in outcomes among patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) participating in international randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

Design: Countries were grouped into 11 regions according to the World Health Organization and the EUROCARE model. Meta-analyses based on individual patient data were used to synthesize data across studies and regions and to conduct comparisons for outcomes in a two-stage random-effects model after adjusting for age, sex, performance status, and time period. We used mCRC patients enrolled in the first-line RCTs from the ARCAD database, which provided enrolling country information. There were 21,509 patients in 27 RCTs included across the 11 regions.

Results: Main outcomes were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Compared with other regions, patients from the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland were proportionaly over-represented, older, with higher performance status, more frequently male, and more commonly not treated with biological therapies. Cohorts from central Europe and the United States (USA) had significantly longer OS compared with those from UK and Ireland ( = 0.0034 and  < 0.001, respectively), with median difference of 3-4 months. The survival deficits in the UK and Ireland cohorts were, at most, 15% at 1 year. No evidence of a regional disparity was observed for PFS. Among those treated without biological therapies, patients from the UK and Ireland had shorter OS than central Europe patients ( < 0.001).

Conclusions: Significant international disparities in the OS of cohorts of mCRC patients enrolled in RCTs were found. Survival of mCRC patients included in RCTs was consistently lower in the UK and Ireland regions than in central Europe, southern Europe, and the USA, potentially attributed to greater overall population representation, delayed diagnosis, and reduced availability of therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/17588359211020547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8252342PMC
June 2021

Hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism genes and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a pathway analysis of genome-wide association studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 10;114(4):1408-1417

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

Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested positive associations for iron and red meat intake with risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Inherited pathogenic variants in genes involved in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway are known to cause iron overload and hemochromatosis.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine whether common genetic variation in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway is associated with PDAC.

Methods: We conducted a pathway analysis of the hepcidin-regulating genes using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) summary statistics generated from 4 genome-wide association studies in 2 large consortium studies using the summary data-based adaptive rank truncated product method. Our population consisted of 9253 PDAC cases and 12,525 controls of European descent. Our analysis included 11 hepcidin-regulating genes [bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6), ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1), ferritin light chain (FTL), hepcidin (HAMP), homeostatic iron regulator (HFE), hemojuvelin (HJV), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), ferroportin 1 (SLC40A1), transferrin receptor 1 (TFR1), and transferrin receptor 2 (TFR2)] and their surrounding genomic regions (±20 kb) for a total of 412 SNPs.

Results: The hepcidin-regulating gene pathway was significantly associated with PDAC (P = 0.002), with the HJV, TFR2, TFR1, BMP6, and HAMP genes contributing the most to the association.

Conclusions: Our results support that genetic susceptibility related to the hepcidin-regulating gene pathway is associated with PDAC risk and suggest a potential role of iron metabolism in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Further studies are needed to evaluate effect modification by intake of iron-rich foods on this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488877PMC
October 2021

Total Vitamin D Intake and Risks of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer and Precursors.

Gastroenterology 2021 Oct 7;161(4):1208-1217.e9. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Vitamin D has been implicated in colorectal cancer (CRC) pathogenesis, but it remains unknown whether total vitamin D intake is associated with early-onset CRC and precursors diagnosed before age 50.

Methods: We prospectively examined the association between total vitamin D intake and risks of early-onset CRC and precursors among women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for early-onset CRC were estimated with Cox proportional hazards model. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for early-onset conventional adenoma and serrated polyp were estimated with logistic regression model.

Results: We documented 111 incident cases of early-onset CRC during 1,250,560 person-years of follow-up (1991 to 2015). Higher total vitamin D intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of early-onset CRC (HR for ≥450 IU/day vs <300 IU/day, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.26-0.93; P for trend = .01). The HR per 400 IU/day increase was 0.46 (95% CI, 0.26-0.83). The inverse association was significant and appeared more evident for dietary sources of vitamin D (HR per 400 IU/day increase, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.15-0.79) than supplemental vitamin D (HR per 400 IU/day increase, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.37-1.62). For CRC precursors, the ORs per 400 IU/day increase were 0.76 (95% CI, 0.65-0.88) for conventional adenoma (n = 1,439) and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.75-0.97) for serrated polyp (n = 1,878).

Conclusions: In a cohort of younger women, higher total vitamin D intake was associated with decreased risks of early-onset CRC and precursors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.07.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8463427PMC
October 2021

Pharmacogenetic study in gastric cancer patients treated with adjuvant fluorouracil/leucovorin or epirubicin/cisplatin/fluorouracil before and after chemoradiation on CALGB 80101 (Alliance).

Pharmacogenet Genomics 2021 Dec;31(9):215-220

Department of Precision Medicine, USF Taneja College of Pharmacy and the Geriatric Oncology Consortium, Tampa, Florida, USA.

There is a lack of pharmacogenetic predictors of outcome in gastric cancer patients. The aim of this study was to assess previously identified candidate genes associated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), cisplatin, or epirubicin toxicity or response in a cohort of resected gastric cancer patients treated on CALGB (Alliance) 80101. Gastric or gastroesophageal cancer patients randomized to adjuvant 5-FU/leucovorin or epirubicin/cisplatin/5-FU before and after 5-FU chemoradiation were genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in GSTP1 (rs1695), ERCC1 (rs11615 and rs3212986), XRCC1 (rs25487), UGT2B7 (rs7439366) and the 28 base-pair tandem repeats in TYMS (rs34743033). Logistic regression and log rank tests were used to assess the association between each SNP and incidence of grade 3/4 neutropenia and leukopenia, overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), respectively. Toxicity endpoint analyses were adjusted for the treatment arm, while OS and PFS were also adjusted for performance status, sex, age, lymph node involvement, and primary tumor site and size. Of 281 subjects with successful genotyping results and available clinical (toxicity and efficacy) data, 166 self-reported non-Hispanic White patients were included in the final analysis. There was a lack of evidence of an association among any SNPs tested with grade 3/4 neutropenia and leukopenia or OS and PFS. Age, lymph node involvement, and primary tumor size were significantly associated with OS and PFS. This study failed to confirm results of previous gastric cancer pharmacogenetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FPC.0000000000000442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8490297PMC
December 2021

Discovery and Features of an Alkylating Signature in Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Discov 2021 Oct 17;11(10):2446-2455. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Several risk factors have been established for colorectal cancer, yet their direct mutagenic effects in patients' tumors remain to be elucidated. Here, we leveraged whole-exome sequencing data from 900 colorectal cancer cases that had occurred in three U.S.-wide prospective studies with extensive dietary and lifestyle information. We found an alkylating signature that was previously undescribed in colorectal cancer and then showed the existence of a similar mutational process in normal colonic crypts. This alkylating signature is associated with high intakes of processed and unprocessed red meat prior to diagnosis. In addition, this signature was more abundant in the distal colorectum, predicted to target cancer driver mutations p.G12D, p.G13D, and p.E545K, and associated with poor survival. Together, these results link for the first time a colorectal mutational signature to a component of diet and further implicate the role of red meat in colorectal cancer initiation and progression. SIGNIFICANCE: Colorectal cancer has several lifestyle risk factors, but the underlying mutations for most have not been observed directly in tumors. Analysis of 900 colorectal cancers with whole-exome sequencing and epidemiologic annotations revealed an alkylating mutational signature that was associated with red meat consumption and distal tumor location, as well as predicted to target p.G12D/p.G13D..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8487940PMC
October 2021

Analysis of Survival Among Adults With Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer in the National Cancer Database.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2112539. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.

Importance: While increased adherence to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening guidelines in the US has been associated with significant reductions in cancer incidence in US individuals aged 50 years and older, the incidence of CRC among those aged younger than 50 years has been steadily increasing. Understanding the survival among individuals with early-onset CRC compared with those aged 50 years and older is fundamental to informing treatment approaches and understanding the unique biological distinctiveness within early-onset CRC.

Objective: To characterize the overall survival for individuals with early-onset CRC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study used data from the National Cancer Database. Included individuals were ages 0 to 90 years and diagnosed with primary CRC from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2015. Individuals diagnosed at ages 51 through 55 years were selected as the reference group and defined as later-onset CRC for this study. Individuals diagnosed at age 50 years were excluded to minimize an apparent screening detection bias at that age in our population, given that these individuals disproportionately presented with earlier stage. All statistical analyses were conducted from January 4, 2020, through December 26, 2020.

Exposures: Early-onset CRC was defined as age younger than 50 years at diagnosis.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Overall survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: Among 769 871 individuals with CRC (377 890 [49.1%] women; 636 791 White individuals [82.7%]), 353 989 individuals (46.0%) died (median [range] follow-up: 2.9 [0-14.0] years), 102 168 individuals (13.3%) had early-onset CRC, and 78 812 individuals (10.2%) had later-onset CRC. Individuals with early-onset CRC, compared with those diagnosed with CRC at ages 51 through 55 years, had a lower 10-year survival rate (53.6% [95% CI, 53.2%-54.0%] vs 54.3% [95% CI, 53.8%-54.8%]; P < .001) in unadjusted analysis. However, after adjustment for other factors associated with mortality, most notably stage, individuals with early-onset CRC had a lower risk of death compared with individuals diagnosed from ages 51 through 55 years (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.95 [95% CI, 0.93-0.96]; P < .001). In the model adjusted for stage, the HR for individuals with early-onset CRC was 0.89 (95% CI, 0.88-0.90; P < .001). The survival advantage was greatest for individuals diagnosed at ages 35 through 39 years (adjusted HR, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.84-0.92]; P < .001) and stages I (adjusted HR, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.81-0.93]; P < .001) and II (adjusted HR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.82-0.90]; P < .001) and was absent among those diagnosed at ages 25 years or younger and stages III through IV.

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings suggest that there is a survival benefit for individuals with early-onset CRC compared with those diagnosed with CRC at later ages. Further study is needed to understand the underlying heterogeneity of survival among individuals with early-onset CRC by age and stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.12539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209612PMC
June 2021

Race, Income, and Survival in Stage III Colon Cancer: CALGB 89803 (Alliance).

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Jun 12;5(3):pkab034. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: Disparities in colon cancer outcomes have been reported across race and socioeconomic status, which may reflect, in part, access to care. We sought to assess the influences of race and median household income (MHI) on outcomes among colon cancer patients with similar access to care.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, observational study of 1206 stage III colon cancer patients enrolled in the CALGB 89803 randomized adjuvant chemotherapy trial. Race was self-reported by 1116 White and 90 Black patients at study enrollment; MHI was determined by matching 973 patients' home zip codes with publicly available US Census 2000 data. Multivariate analyses were adjusted for baseline sociodemographic, clinical, dietary, and lifestyle factors. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 7.7 years, the adjusted hazard ratios for Blacks (compared with Whites) were 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.66 to 1.35, =.75) for disease-free survival, 0.91 (95% CI = 0.62 to 1.35, =.65) for recurrence-free survival, and 1.07 (95% CI = 0.73 to 1.57, =.73) for overall survival. Relative to patients in the highest MHI quartile, the adjusted hazard ratios for patients in the lowest quartile were 0.90 (95% CI = 0.67 to 1.19, = .18) for disease-free survival, 0.89 (95% CI = 0.66 to 1.22, =.14) for recurrence-free survival, and 0.87 (95% CI = 0.63 to 1.19, = .23) for overall survival.

Conclusions: In this study of patients with similar health-care access, no statistically significant differences in outcomes were found by race or MHI. The substantial gaps in outcomes previously observed by race and MHI may not be rooted in differences in tumor biology but rather in access to quality care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8178799PMC
June 2021

KEYNOTE-859: a Phase III study of pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in gastric/gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.

Future Oncol 2021 Aug 12;17(22):2847-2855. Epub 2021 May 12.

PLA Cancer Centre of Nanjing, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing, 34210002, China.

Current guidelines recommend two-drug cytotoxic chemotherapy with a fluoropyrimidine (fluorouracil or capecitabine) and a platinum-based agent (oxaliplatin or cisplatin) as first-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer. Pembrolizumab monotherapy has demonstrated durable antitumor activity in patients with advanced programmed death ligand 1-positive (combined positive score ≥1) gastric/gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Accumulating evidence indicates that combining pembrolizumab with standard-of-care chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced or metastatic cancer improves clinical outcomes. We describe the rationale for and the design of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase III KEYNOTE-859 study, which is investigating pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced unresectable or metastatic gastric/gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. The planned sample size is 1542 patients, and the primary end point is overall survival. NCT03675737 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2021-0176DOI Listing
August 2021

Prognostic significance of myeloid immune cells and their spatial distribution in the colorectal cancer microenvironment.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 04;9(4)

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Background: Myeloid cells represent an abundant yet heterogeneous cell population in the colorectal cancer microenvironment, and their roles remain poorly understood.

Methods: We used multiplexed immunofluorescence combined with digital image analysis to identify CD14 monocytic and CD15 granulocytic cells and to evaluate their maturity (HLA-DR and CD33), immunosuppressive potential (ARG1) and proximity to cytokeratin (KRT)-positive tumor cells in 913 colorectal carcinomas. Using covariate data of 4465 incident colorectal cancers in two prospective cohort studies, the inverse probability weighting method was used with multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to assess cancer-specific mortality according to ordinal quartiles (Q1-Q4) of myeloid cell densities. Immune cell-tumor cell proximity was measured with the nearest neighbor method and the G-cross function, which determines the likelihood of any tumor cell having at least one immune cell of the specified type within a certain radius.

Results: Higher intraepithelial ( =0.0002; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 0.48, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.76) and stromal ( <0.0001; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 0.42, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.63) densities of CD14HLA-DR cells were associated with lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality while, conversely, higher intraepithelial densities of CD14HLA-DR cells were associated with higher colorectal cancer-specific mortality ( =0.0003; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 1.78, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.55). Spatial analyses indicated that CD15 cells were located closer to tumor cells than CD14 cells, and CD14HLA-DR cells were closer to tumor than CD14HLA-DR cells (p<0.0001). The G-cross proximity measurement, evaluating the difference in the likelihood of any tumor cell being colocated with at least one CD14HLA-DR cell versus CD14HLA-DR cell within a 20 µm radius, was associated with lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality ( <0.0001; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 0.37, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.57).

Conclusions: Myeloid cell populations occur in spatially distinct distributions and exhibit divergent, subset-specific prognostic significance in colorectal cancer, with mature CD14HLA-DR and immature CD14HLA-DR monocytic phenotypes most notably showing opposite associations. These results highlight the prognostic utility of multimarker evaluation of myeloid cell infiltrates and reveal a previously unrecognized degree of spatial organization for myeloid cells in the immune microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-002297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098931PMC
April 2021

Effect of Celecoxib vs Placebo Added to Standard Adjuvant Therapy on Disease-Free Survival Among Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer: The CALGB/SWOG 80702 (Alliance) Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2021 04;325(13):1277-1286

Department of Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Importance: Aspirin and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors have been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal polyps and cancer in observational and randomized studies. The effect of celecoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor, as treatment for nonmetastatic colon cancer is unknown.

Objective: To determine if the addition of celecoxib to adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) improves disease-free survival in patients with stage III colon cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Cancer and Leukemia Group B (Alliance)/Southwest Oncology Group 80702 was a 2 × 2 factorial design, phase 3 trial conducted at 654 community and academic centers throughout the United States and Canada. A total of 2526 patients with stage III colon cancer were enrolled between June 2010 and November 2015 and were followed up through August 10, 2020.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive adjuvant FOLFOX (every 2 weeks) for 3 vs 6 months with or without 3 years of celecoxib (400 mg orally daily; n = 1263) vs placebo (n = 1261). This report focuses on the results of the celecoxib randomization.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was disease-free survival, measured from the time of randomization until documented recurrence or death from any cause. Secondary end points included overall survival, adverse events, and cardiovascular-specific events.

Results: Of the 2526 patients who were randomized (mean [SD] age, 61.0 years [11 years]; 1134 women [44.9%]), 2524 were included in the primary analysis. Adherence with protocol treatment, defined as receiving celecoxib or placebo for more than 2.75 years or continuing treatment until recurrence, death, or unacceptable adverse events, was 70.8% for patients treated with celecoxib and 69.9% for patients treated with placebo. A total of 337 patients randomized to celecoxib and 363 to placebo experienced disease recurrence or died, and with 6 years' median follow-up, the 3-year disease-free survival was 76.3% for celecoxib-treated patients vs 73.4% for placebo-treated patients (hazard ratio [HR] for disease recurrence or death, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.76-1.03; P = .12). The effect of celecoxib treatment on disease-free survival did not vary significantly according to assigned duration of adjuvant chemotherapy (P for interaction = .61). Five-year overall survival was 84.3% for celecoxib vs 81.6% for placebo (HR for death, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.72-1.04; P = .13). Hypertension (any grade) occurred while treated with FOLFOX in 14.6% of patients in the celecoxib group vs 10.9% of patients in the placebo group, and a grade 2 or higher increase in creatinine levels occurred after completion of FOLFOX in 1.7% vs 0.5% of patients, respectively.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with stage III colon cancer, the addition of celecoxib for 3 years, compared with placebo, to standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not significantly improve disease-free survival.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01150045.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.2454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025124PMC
April 2021

Assessment of Pembrolizumab Therapy for the Treatment of Microsatellite Instability-High Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer Among Patients in the KEYNOTE-059, KEYNOTE-061, and KEYNOTE-062 Clinical Trials.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Jun;7(6):895-902

David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.

Importance: Immunotherapy has been associated with improved outcomes among patients who have received previous treatment for microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) tumors.

Objective: To evaluate the antitumor activity of pembrolizumab therapy vs chemotherapy among patients with MSI-H advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) cancer regardless of the line of therapy in which it was received.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This post hoc analysis of the phase 2 KEYNOTE-059 (third-line treatment or higher) single-arm trial and the phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 (second-line treatment) and KEYNOTE-062 (first-line treatment) randomized trials included patients with advanced G/GEJ cancer from 52 sites in 16 countries enrolled in KEYNOTE-059, 148 sites in 30 countries enrolled in KEYNOTE-061, and 200 sites in 29 countries enrolled in KEYNOTE-062. Patients were enrolled from March 2, 2015, to March 26, 2016, in KEYNOTE-059; from June 4, 2015, to July 26, 2016, in KEYNOTE-061; and from September 18, 2015, to May 26, 2017, in KEYNOTE-062, with data cutoff dates of August 8, 2018; October 26, 2017; and March 26, 2019; respectively.

Interventions: Pembrolizumab monotherapy in KEYNOTE-059, pembrolizumab monotherapy or chemotherapy (paclitaxel) in KEYNOTE-061, and pembrolizumab monotherapy, pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine), or chemotherapy alone in KEYNOTE-062.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Response was assessed centrally using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST), version 1.1; MSI-H status was determined centrally by polymerase chain reaction testing.

Results: At data cutoff, 7 of 174 patients (4.0%) in KEYNOTE-059, 27 of 514 patients (5.3%) in KEYNOTE-061, and 50 of 682 patients (7.3%) in KEYNOTE-062 had MSI-H tumors. Among those with MSI-H tumors, the median overall survival was not reached (NR) for pembrolizumab in KEYNOTE-059, KEYNOTE-061, and KEYNOTE-062 or for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in KEYNOTE-062. The median progression-free survival (PFS) for pembrolizumab was NR (95% CI, 1.1 months to NR) in KEYNOTE-059 and 17.8 months (95% CI, 2.7 months to NR) in KEYNOTE-061 (vs 3.5 months [95% CI, 2.0-9.8 months] for chemotherapy). In KEYNOTE-062, the median PFS was 11.2 months (95% CI, 1.5 months to NR) for pembrolizumab, NR (95% CI, 3.6 months to NR) for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy, and 6.6 months (95% CI, 4.4-8.3 months) for chemotherapy. The objective response rate (ORR) for pembrolizumab was 57.1% in KEYNOTE-059 and 46.7% (vs 16.7% for chemotherapy) in KEYNOTE-061. In KEYNOTE-062, the ORR was 57.1% for pembrolizumab , 64.7% for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy, and 36.8% for chemotherapy.

Conclusions And Relevance: Findings from this study indicate that MSI-H status may be a biomarker for pembrolizumab therapy among patients with advanced G/GEJ cancer regardless of the line of therapy in which it was received.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers: NCT02335411, NCT02370498, and NCT02494583.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.0275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017478PMC
June 2021

Simple Sugar and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake During Adolescence and Risk of Colorectal Cancer Precursors.

Gastroenterology 2021 07 19;161(1):128-142.e20. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

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

Background & Aims: Recent increasing trends in early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) strongly supports that early-life diet is involved in CRC development. However, data are lacking on the relationship with high sugar intake during early life.

Methods: We prospectively investigated the association of adolescent simple sugar (fructose, glucose, added sugar, total sugar) and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake with CRC precursor risk in 33,106 participants of the Nurses' Health Study II who provided adolescent dietary information in 1998 and subsequently underwent lower gastrointestinal endoscopy between 1999 and 2015. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression for clustered data.

Results: During follow-up, 2909 conventional adenomas (758 high-risk) and 2355 serrated lesions were identified (mean age at diagnoses, 52.2 ± 4.3 years). High sugar and SSB intake during adolescence was positively associated with risk of adenoma, but not serrated lesions. Per each increment of 5% of calories from total fructose intake, multivariable ORs were 1.17 (95% CI, 1.05-1.31) for total and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.06-1.60) for high-risk adenoma. By subsite, ORs were 1.12 (95% CI, 0.96-1.30) for proximal, 1.24 (95% CI, 1.05-1.47) for distal, and 1.43 (95% CI, 1.10-1.86) for rectal adenoma. Per 1 serving/day increment in SSB intake, ORs were 1.11 (95% CI, 1.02-1.20) for total and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.08-1.55) for rectal adenoma. Contrary to adolescent intake, sugar and SSB intake during adulthood was not associated with adenoma risk.

Conclusions: High intake of simple sugars and SSBs during adolescence was associated with increased risk of conventional adenoma, especially rectal adenoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.03.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238879PMC
July 2021

Dairy consumption, plasma metabolites, and risk of type 2 diabetes.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 07;114(1):163-174

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

Background: Epidemiologic studies have reported a modest inverse association between dairy consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Whether plasma metabolite profiles associated with dairy consumption reflect this relationship remains unknown.

Objectives: We aimed to identify the plasma metabolites associated with total and specific dairy consumption, and to evaluate the association between the identified multi-metabolite profiles and T2D.

Methods: The discovery population included 1833 participants from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) trial. The confirmatory cohorts included 1522 PREDIMED participants at year 1 of the trial and 4932 participants from the Nurses' Health Studies (NHS), Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII), and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study US-based cohorts. Dairy consumption was assessed using validated FFQs. Plasma metabolites (n = 385) were profiled using LC-MS. We identified the dairy-related metabolite profiles using elastic net regularized regressions with a 10-fold cross-validation procedure. We evaluated the associations between the metabolite profiles and incident T2D in the discovery and the confirmatory cohorts.

Results: Total dairy intake was associated with 38 metabolites. C14:0 sphingomyelin (positive coefficient), C34:0 phosphatidylethanolamine (positive coefficient), and γ-butyrobetaine (negative coefficient) were associated in a directionally similar fashion with total and specific (milk, yogurt, cheese) dairy consumption. The Pearson correlation coefficients between self-reported total dairy intake and predicted total dairy intake based on the corresponding multi-metabolite profile were 0.37 (95% CI, 0.33-0.40) in the discovery cohort and 0.16 (95% CI, 0.13-0.19) in the US confirmatory cohort. After adjusting for T2D risk factors, a higher total dairy intake-related metabolite profile score was associated with a lower T2D risk [HR per 1 SD; discovery cohort: 0.76 (95% CI, 0.63-0.90); US confirmatory cohort: 0.88 (95% CI, 0.78-0.99)].

Conclusions: Total dairy intake was associated with 38 metabolites, including 3 consistently associated with dairy subtypes (C14:0 sphingomyelin, C34:0 phosphatidylethanolamine, γ-butyrobetaine). A score based on the 38 identified metabolites showed an inverse association with T2D risk in Spanish and US populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246603PMC
July 2021

Prediagnostic Inflammation and Pancreatic Cancer Survival.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Sep;113(9):1186-1193

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Chronic inflammation may promote initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer, but no studies have examined the association between inflammation in the period before diagnosis and pancreatic cancer survival.

Methods: We prospectively examined the association of prediagnostic plasma levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 with survival among 492 participants from 5 large US prospective cohort studies who developed pancreatic cancer. Using an empirical dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) score, we evaluated whether long-term proinflammatory diets were associated with survival among 1153 patients from 2 of the 5 cohorts. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios for death with adjustment for potential confounders. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Higher prediagnostic levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 were individually associated with reduced survival (Ptrend = .03, .01, and .04, respectively). Compared with patients with a combined inflammatory biomarker score of 0 (all 3 marker levels below medians), those with a score of 3 (all 3 marker levels above medians) had a hazard ratio for death of 1.57 (95% confidence interval = 1.16 to 2.12; Ptrend = .003), corresponding to median overall survival times of 8 vs 5 months. Patients consuming the most proinflammatory diets (EDIP quartile 4) in the prediagnostic period had a hazard ratio for death of 1.34 (95% confidence interval = 1.13 to 1.59; Ptrend = .01), compared with those consuming the least proinflammatory diets (EDIP quartile 1).

Conclusion: Prediagnostic levels of inflammatory biomarkers and long-term proinflammatory diets were inversely associated with pancreatic cancer survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8522350PMC
September 2021

Association of with Specific T-cell Subsets in the Colorectal Carcinoma Microenvironment.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 May 25;27(10):2816-2826. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: While evidence indicates that () may promote colorectal carcinogenesis through its suppressive effect on T-cell-mediated antitumor immunity, the specific T-cell subsets involved remain uncertain.

Experimental Design: We measured DNA within tumor tissue by quantitative PCR on 933 cases (including 128 -positive cases) among 4,465 incident colorectal carcinoma cases in two prospective cohorts. Multiplex immunofluorescence combined with digital image analysis and machine learning algorithms for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD45RO (PTPRC isoform), and FOXP3 measured various T-cell subsets. We leveraged data on , microsatellite instability (MSI), tumor whole-exome sequencing, and M1/M2-type tumor-associated macrophages [TAM; by CD68, CD86, IRF5, MAF, and MRC1 (CD206) multimarker assay]. Using the 4,465 cancer cases and inverse probability weighting method to control for selection bias due to tissue availability, multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analysis assessed the association between and T-cell subsets.

Results: The amount of was inversely associated with tumor stromal CD3 lymphocytes [multivariable OR, 0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.28-0.79, for -high vs. -negative category; = 0.0004] and specifically stromal CD3CD4CD45RO cells (corresponding multivariable OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.85; = 0.003). These relationships did not substantially differ by MSI status, neoantigen load, or exome-wide tumor mutational burden. was not significantly associated with tumor intraepithelial T cells or with M1 or M2 TAMs.

Conclusions: The amount of tissue is associated with lower density of stromal memory helper T cells. Our findings provide evidence for the interactive pathogenic roles of microbiota and specific immune cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127352PMC
May 2021

Smoking Modifies Pancreatic Cancer Risk Loci on 2q21.3.

Cancer Res 2021 06 11;81(11):3134-3143. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Germline variation and smoking are independently associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We conducted genome-wide smoking interaction analysis of PDAC using genotype data from four previous genome-wide association studies in individuals of European ancestry (7,937 cases and 11,774 controls). Examination of expression quantitative trait loci data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project followed by colocalization analysis was conducted to determine whether there was support for common SNP(s) underlying the observed associations. Statistical tests were two sided and < 5 × 10 was considered statistically significant. Genome-wide significant evidence of qualitative interaction was identified on chr2q21.3 in intron 5 of the transmembrane protein 163 (TMEM163) and upstream of the cyclin T2 (CCNT2). The most significant SNP using the Empirical Bayes method, in this region that included 45 significantly associated SNPs, was rs1818613 [per allele OR in never smokers 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.82-0.93; former smokers 1.00, 95% CI, 0.91-1.07; current smokers 1.25, 95% CI 1.12-1.40, = 3.08 × 10). Examination of the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project data demonstrated an expression quantitative trait locus in this region for TMEM163 and CCNT2 in several tissue types. Colocalization analysis supported a shared SNP, rs842357, in high linkage disequilibrium with rs1818613 ( = 0. 94) driving both the observed interaction and the expression quantitative trait loci signals. Future studies are needed to confirm and understand the differential biologic mechanisms by smoking status that contribute to our PDAC findings. SIGNIFICANCE: This large genome-wide interaction study identifies a susceptibility locus on 2q21.3 that significantly modified PDAC risk by smoking status, providing insight into smoking-associated PDAC, with implications for prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-3267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8178175PMC
June 2021

Preexisting Type 2 Diabetes and Survival among Patients with Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 2;30(4):757-764. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Type 2 diabetes increases risk of developing colorectal cancer, but the association of preexisting diabetes with colorectal cancer survival remains unclear.

Methods: We analyzed survival by diabetes status at cancer diagnosis among 4,038 patients with colorectal cancer from two prospective U.S. cohorts. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for overall and cause-specific mortality, with adjustment for tumor characteristics and lifestyle factors.

Results: In the first 5 years after colorectal cancer diagnosis, diabetes was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality in women (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.00-1.49), but not in men (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.62-1.12; heterogeneity by sex = 0.04). Beyond 5 years, diabetes was associated with substantially increased overall mortality with no evidence of sex heterogeneity; in women and men combined, the HRs were 1.45 (95% CI, 1.09-1.93) during >5-10 years and 2.58 (95% CI, 1.91-3.50) during >10 years. Compared with those without diabetes, patients with colorectal cancer and diabetes had increased mortality from other malignancies (HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.18-2.67) and cardiovascular disease (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.29-2.91). Only women with diabetes for more than 10 years had increased mortality from colorectal cancer (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.76).

Conclusions: Among patients with colorectal cancer, preexisting diabetes was associated with increased risk of long-term mortality, particularly from other malignancies and cardiovascular disease.

Impact: Our findings highlight the importance of cardioprotection and cancer prevention to colorectal cancer survivors with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026573PMC
April 2021
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