Publications by authors named "David C Muller"

83 Publications

Genomic evolutionary trajectory of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Apr;10(4):1792-1803

Pathology, Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: The extent of inter- and intratumoral genomic heterogeneity and the clonal evolution of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (LUSC) are poorly understood. Genomic studies of LUSC are challenged by their low tumor cell content. We sought to define the genomic landscape and evolutionary trajectories of metastatic LUSC combining nuclei-flow sorting and whole exome sequencing.

Methods: Five patients with primary LUSC and six matched metastases were investigated. Tumor nuclei were sorted based on ploidy and expression of cytokeratin to enrich for tumor cells for whole exome sequencing.

Results: Flow-sorting increased the mean tumor purity from 26% (range, 12-50%) to 73% (range, 42-93%). Overall, primary LUSCs and their matched metastases shared a median of 79% (range, 67-85%) of copy number aberrations (CNAs) and 74% (range, 65-94%) of non-synonymous mutations, including in tumor suppressor genes such as . Furthermore, the ploidy of the tumors remained unchanged between primary and metastasis in 4/5 patients over time. We found differences in the mutational signatures of shared mutations compared to the private mutations in the primary or metastasis.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a close genomic relationship between primary LUSCs and their matched metastases, suggesting late dissemination of the metastases from the primary tumors during tumor evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-21-48DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8107762PMC
April 2021

Prostate cancer patient-derived organoids: detailed outcome from a prospective cohort of 81 clinical specimens.

J Pathol 2021 Aug 2;254(5):543-555. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Urology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Patient-derived organoids (PDOs) represent promising preclinical models in various tumor types. In the context of prostate cancer (PCa), however, their establishment has been hampered by poor success rates, which impedes their broad use for translational research applications. Along with the necessity to improve culture conditions, there is a need to identify factors influencing outcomes and to determine how to assess success versus failure in organoid generation. In the present study, we report our unbiased efforts to generate PDOs from a cohort of 81 PCa specimens with diverse pathological and clinical features. We comprehensively analyzed histological features of each enrolled sample (Gleason score, tumor content, proliferation index) and correlated them with organoid growth patterns. We identified improved culture conditions favoring the generation of PCa organoids, yet no specific intrinsic tumor feature was broadly associated with sustained organoid growth. In addition, we performed phenotypic and molecular characterization of tumor-organoid pairs using immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and targeted sequencing. Morphological and immunohistochemical profiles of whole organoids altogether provided a fast readout to identify the most promising ones. Notably, primary samples were associated with an initial take-rate of 83% (n = 60/72) in culture, with maintenance of cancer cells displaying common PCa alterations, such as PTEN loss and ERG overexpression. These cancer organoids were, however, progressively overgrown by organoids with a benign-like phenotype. Finally, out of nine metastasis samples, we generated a novel organoid model derived from a hormone-naïve lung metastasis, which displays alterations in the PI3K/Akt and Wnt/β-catenin pathways and responds to androgen deprivation. Taken together, our comprehensive study explores determinants of outcome and highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with the establishment of stable tumor organoid lines derived from PCa patients. © 2021 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5698DOI Listing
August 2021

A Prospective Diet-Wide Association Study for Risk of Colorectal Cancer in EPIC.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Apr 24. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Epidemiology and Prevention Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background & Aims: Evidence regarding the association of dietary exposures with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk is not consistent with a few exceptions. Therefore, we conducted a diet-wide association study (DWAS) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) to evaluate the associations between several dietary exposures with CRC risk.

Methods: The association of 92 food and nutrient intakes with CRC risk was assessed in 386,792 participants, 5069 of whom developed incident CRC. Correction for multiple comparisons was performed using the false discovery rate, and emerging associations were examined in the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS). Multiplicative gene-nutrient interactions were also tested in EPIC based on known CRC-associated loci.

Results: In EPIC, alcohol, liquor/spirits, wine, beer/cider, soft drinks, and pork were positively associated with CRC, whereas milk, cheese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, beta carotene, fruit, fiber, nonwhite bread, banana, and total protein intakes were inversely associated. Of these 20 associations, 13 were replicated in the NLCS, for which a meta-analysis was performed, namely alcohol (summary hazard ratio [HR] per 1-SD increment in intake: 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.09), liquor/spirits (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06), wine (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07), beer/cider (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.08), milk (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), cheese (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), calcium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95), phosphorus (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95), magnesium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.98), potassium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), riboflavin (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97), beta carotene (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), and total protein (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97). None of the gene-nutrient interactions were significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm a positive association for alcohol and an inverse association for dairy products and calcium with CRC risk, and also suggest a lower risk at higher dietary intakes of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, beta carotene, and total protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.04.028DOI Listing
April 2021

Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Renal Cell Carcinoma Incidence and Mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jun 13;30(6):1270-1274. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), Lyon, France.

Background: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for more than 80% of kidney cancers in adults, and obesity is a known risk factor. Regular consumption of sweetened beverages has been linked to obesity and several chronic diseases, including some types of cancer. It is uncertain whether soft drink and juice consumption is associated with risk of RCC. We investigated the associations of soft drink and juice consumption with RCC incidence and mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: A total of 389,220 EPIC participants with median age of 52 years at recruitment (1991-2000) were included. Cox regression yielded adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for RCC incidence and mortality in relation to intakes of juices and total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks.

Results: A total of 888 incident RCCs and 356 RCC deaths were identified. In models including adjustment for body mass index and energy intake, there was no higher risk of incident RCC associated with consumption of juices (HR per 100 g/day increment = 1.03; 95% CI, 0.97-1.09), total soft drinks (HR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.98-1.05), sugar-sweetened soft drinks (HR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.94-1.05), or artificially sweetened soft drinks (HR = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.96-1.08). In these fully adjusted models, none of the beverages was associated with RCC mortality (HR, 95% CI per 100 g/day increment 1.06, 0.97-1.16; 1.03, 0.98-1.09; 0.97, 0.89-1.07; and 1.06, 0.99-1.14, respectively).

Conclusions: Consumption of juices or soft drinks was not associated with RCC incidence or mortality after adjusting for obesity.

Impact: Soft drink and juice intakes are unlikely to play an independent role in RCC development or mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611361PMC
June 2021

A comparison of complementary measures of vitamin B6 status, function, and metabolism in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Jul;114(1):338-347

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

Background: Vitamin B6 insufficiency has been linked to increased risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The circulating concentration of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is a commonly used measure of vitamin B6 status. Ratios of substrates indicating PLP coenzymatic function and metabolism may be useful complementary measures to further explore the role of vitamin B6 in health.

Objectives: We explored the sensitivity of 5 outcomes, namely PLP concentration, homocysteine:cysteine (Hcy:Cys), cystathionine:cysteine (Cysta:Cys), the 3´-hydroxykynurenine ratio (HKr), and the 4-pyridoxic acid ratio (PAr) to vitamin B6 intake as well as personal and lifestyle characteristics.

Medthods: Dietary intake and biomarker data were collected from participants from 3 nested case-control studies within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Bayesian regression models assessed the associations of the 5 biomarker outcomes with vitamin B6 intake and personal and lifestyle covariates. Analogous models examined the relations of Hcy:Cys, Cysta:Cys, and HKr with PLP.

Results: In total, 4608 participants were included in the analyses. Vitamin B6 intake was most strongly associated with PLP, moderately associated with Hcy:Cys, Cysta:Cys, and HKr, and not associated with PAr (fold change in marker given a doubling of vitamin B6 intake: PLP 1.60 [95% credible interval (CrI): 1.50, 1.71]; Hcy:Cys 0.87 [95% CrI: 0.84, 0.90]; Cysta:Cys 0.89 [95% CrI: 0.84, 0.94]; HKr 0.88 [95% CrI: 0.85, 0.91]; PAr 1.00 [95% CrI: 0.95, 1.05]). PAr was most sensitive to age, and HKr was least sensitive to BMI and alcohol intake. Sex and menopause status were strongly associated with all 5 markers.

Conclusions: We found that 5 different markers, capturing different aspects of vitamin B6-related biological processes, varied in their associations with vitamin B6 intake and personal and lifestyle predictors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246608PMC
July 2021

Sexual dimorphism in cancer: insights from transcriptional signatures in kidney tissue and renal cell carcinoma.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Apr;30(5):343-355

Section of Genetics, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), 69372 Lyon, France.

Sexual dimorphism in cancer incidence and outcome is widespread. Understanding the underlying mechanisms is fundamental to improve cancer prevention and clinical management. Sex disparities are particularly striking in kidney cancer: across diverse populations, men consistently show unexplained 2-fold increased incidence and worse prognosis. We have characterized genome-wide expression and regulatory networks of 609 renal tumors and 256 non-tumor renal tissues. Normal kidney displayed sex-specific transcriptional signatures, including higher expression of X-linked tumor suppressor genes in women. Sex-dependent genotype-phenotype associations unraveled women-specific immune regulation. Sex differences were markedly expanded in tumors, with male-biased expression of key genes implicated in metabolism, non-malignant diseases with male predominance and carcinogenesis, including markers of tumor infiltrating leukocytes. Analysis of sex-dependent RCC progression and survival uncovered prognostic markers involved in immune response and oxygen homeostasis. In summary, human kidney tissues display remarkable sexual dimorphism at the molecular level. Sex-specific transcriptional signatures further shape renal cancer, with relevance for clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098110PMC
April 2021

Risk Prediction for Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Prospective Cohort Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Mar 17;30(3):507-512. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Early detection of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has the potential to improve disease outcomes. No screening program for sporadic RCC is in place. Given relatively low incidence, screening would need to focus on people at high risk of clinically meaningful disease so as to limit overdiagnosis and screen-detected false positives.

Methods: Among 192,172 participants from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort (including 588 incident RCC cases), we evaluated a published RCC risk prediction model (including age, sex, BMI, and smoking status) in terms of discrimination (C-statistic) and calibration (observed probability as a function of predicted probability). We used a flexible parametric survival model to develop an expanded model including age, sex, BMI, and smoking status, with the addition of self-reported history of hypertension and measured blood pressure.

Results: The previously published model yielded well-calibrated probabilities and good discrimination (C-statistic [95% CI]: 0.699 [0.679-0.721]). Our model had slightly improved discrimination (0.714 [0.694-0.735], bootstrap optimism-corrected C-statistic: 0.709). Despite this good performance, predicted risk was low for the vast majority of participants, with 70% of participants having 10-year risk less than 0.0025.

Conclusions: Although the models performed well for the prediction of incident RCC, they are currently insufficiently powerful to identify individuals at substantial risk of RCC in a general population.

Impact: Despite the promising performance of the EPIC RCC risk prediction model, further development of the model, possibly including biomarkers of risk, is required to enable risk stratification of RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1438DOI Listing
March 2021

Anthropometry, body fat composition and reproductive factors and risk of oesophageal and gastric cancer by subtype and subsite in the UK Biobank cohort.

PLoS One 2020 20;15(10):e0240413. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Obesity has been positively associated with upper gastrointestinal cancers, but prospective data by subtype/subsite are limited. Obesity influences hormonal factors, which may play a role in these cancers. We examined anthropometry, body fat and reproductive factors in relation to oesophageal and gastric cancer by subtype/subsite in the UK Biobank cohort.

Methods: Among 458,713 UK Biobank participants, 339 oesophageal adenocarcinomas, 124 oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas, 137 gastric cardia and 92 gastric non-cardia cancers were diagnosed during a mean of 6.5 years follow-up. Cox models estimated multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Body mass index (BMI), hip circumference, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, total body fat and trunk fat were positively associated with oesophageal adenocarcinoma (highest vs lowest category: HR = 2.33, 95%-CI:1.65-3.28; HR = 1.56, 95%-CI:1.15-2.13; HR = 2.30, 95%-CI:1.47-3.57; HR = 1.71, 95%-CI:1.01-2.90; HR = 2.87, 95%-CI:1.88-4.38; HR = 1.96, 95%-CI:1.30-2.96; HR = 2.34, 95%-CI:1.70-3.22, respectively). Although there were no statistically significant associations in combined sex analyses, BMI (HR = 1.83, 95%-CI:1.00-3.37), waist circumference (HR = 2.21, 95%-CI:1.27-3.84) and waist-to-hip ratio (HR = 1.92, 95%-CI:1.11-3.29) were associated with gastric cardia cancer in men; however, mutual adjustment attenuated the associations for BMI and waist-to-hip ratio. For oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, statistically significant inverse associations were observed among women for BMI, hip circumference, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, total body fat and trunk fat, although they were based on small numbers. In addition, older age at first (HR = 0.44, 95%-CI:0.22-0.88) and last live birth (HR = 0.44, 95%-CI:0.22-0.87) were inversely associated with oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and having a stillbirth/miscarriage/termination was positively associated (HR = 1.84, 95%-CI:1.10-3.07).

Conclusions: Obesity and abdominal obesity specifically may be a risk factor for oesophageal adenocarcinoma and gastric cardia cancer in men. Some reproductive factors may be associated with oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma in women.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0240413PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7575071PMC
December 2020

Weight change in middle adulthood and risk of cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Int J Cancer 2021 04 9;148(7):1637-1651. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Città della Salute e della Scienza University-Hospital and Center for Cancer Prevention (CPO), Turin, Italy.

Obesity is a risk factor for several major cancers. Associations of weight change in middle adulthood with cancer risk, however, are less clear. We examined the association of change in weight and body mass index (BMI) category during middle adulthood with 42 cancers, using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Of 241 323 participants (31% men), 20% lost and 32% gained weight (>0.4 to 5.0 kg/year) during 6.9 years (average). During 8.0 years of follow-up after the second weight assessment, 20 960 incident cancers were ascertained. Independent of baseline BMI, weight gain (per one kg/year increment) was positively associated with cancer of the corpus uteri (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval: 1.05-1.23). Compared to stable weight (±0.4 kg/year), weight gain (>0.4 to 5.0 kg/year) was positively associated with cancers of the gallbladder and bile ducts (HR = 1.41; 1.01-1.96), postmenopausal breast (HR = 1.08; 1.00-1.16) and thyroid (HR = 1.40; 1.04-1.90). Compared to maintaining normal weight, maintaining overweight or obese BMI (World Health Organisation categories) was positively associated with most obesity-related cancers. Compared to maintaining the baseline BMI category, weight gain to a higher BMI category was positively associated with cancers of the postmenopausal breast (HR = 1.19; 1.06-1.33), ovary (HR = 1.40; 1.04-1.91), corpus uteri (HR = 1.42; 1.06-1.91), kidney (HR = 1.80; 1.20-2.68) and pancreas in men (HR = 1.81; 1.11-2.95). Losing weight to a lower BMI category, however, was inversely associated with cancers of the corpus uteri (HR = 0.40; 0.23-0.69) and colon (HR = 0.69; 0.52-0.92). Our findings support avoiding weight gain and encouraging weight loss in middle adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33339DOI Listing
April 2021

A Body Shape Index (ABSI) achieves better mortality risk stratification than alternative indices of abdominal obesity: results from a large European cohort.

Sci Rep 2020 09 3;10(1):14541. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP), Granada, Spain.

Abdominal and general adiposity are independently associated with mortality, but there is no consensus on how best to assess abdominal adiposity. We compared the ability of alternative waist indices to complement body mass index (BMI) when assessing all-cause mortality. We used data from 352,985 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for other risk factors. During a mean follow-up of 16.1 years, 38,178 participants died. Combining in one model BMI and a strongly correlated waist index altered the association patterns with mortality, to a predominantly negative association for BMI and a stronger positive association for the waist index, while combining BMI with the uncorrelated A Body Shape Index (ABSI) preserved the association patterns. Sex-specific cohort-wide quartiles of waist indices correlated with BMI could not separate high-risk from low-risk individuals within underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m) categories, while the highest quartile of ABSI separated 18-39% of the individuals within each BMI category, which had 22-55% higher risk of death. In conclusion, only a waist index independent of BMI by design, such as ABSI, complements BMI and enables efficient risk stratification, which could facilitate personalisation of screening, treatment and monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71302-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7471961PMC
September 2020

Prioritisation by FIT to mitigate the impact of delays in the 2-week wait colorectal cancer referral pathway during the COVID-19 pandemic: a UK modelling study.

Gut 2021 06 27;70(6):1053-1060. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Division of Genetics and Epidemiology, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK

Objective: To evaluate the impact of faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) prioritisation to mitigate the impact of delays in the colorectal cancer (CRC) urgent diagnostic (2-week-wait (2WW)) pathway consequent from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: We modelled the reduction in CRC survival and life years lost resultant from per-patient delays of 2-6 months in the 2WW pathway. We stratified by age group, individual-level benefit in CRC survival versus age-specific nosocomial COVID-19-related fatality per referred patient undergoing colonoscopy. We modelled mitigation strategies using thresholds of FIT triage of 2, 10 and 150 µg Hb/g to prioritise 2WW referrals for colonoscopy. To construct the underlying models, we employed 10-year net CRC survival for England 2008-2017, 2WW pathway CRC case and referral volumes and per-day-delay HRs generated from observational studies of diagnosis-to-treatment interval.

Results: Delay of 2/4/6 months across all 11 266 patients with CRC diagnosed per typical year via the 2WW pathway were estimated to result in 653/1419/2250 attributable deaths and loss of 9214/20 315/32 799 life years. Risk-benefit from urgent investigatory referral is particularly sensitive to nosocomial COVID-19 rates for patients aged >60. Prioritisation out of delay for the 18% of symptomatic referrals with FIT >10 µg Hb/g would avoid 89% of these deaths attributable to presentational/diagnostic delay while reducing immediate requirement for colonoscopy by >80%.

Conclusions: Delays in the pathway to CRC diagnosis and treatment have potential to cause significant mortality and loss of life years. FIT triage of symptomatic patients in primary care could streamline access to colonoscopy, reduce delays for true-positive CRC cases and reduce nosocomial COVID-19 mortality in older true-negative 2WW referrals. However, this strategy offers benefit only in short-term rationalisation of limited endoscopy services: the appreciable false-negative rate of FIT in symptomatic patients means most colonoscopies will still be required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321650DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447105PMC
June 2021

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

Effect of delays in the 2-week-wait cancer referral pathway during the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer survival in the UK: a modelling study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 08 20;21(8):1035-1044. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Division of Genetics and Epidemiology, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK; National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, Public Health England, London, UK; Department of Clinical Genetics, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: During the COVID-19 lockdown, referrals via the 2-week-wait urgent pathway for suspected cancer in England, UK, are reported to have decreased by up to 84%. We aimed to examine the impact of different scenarios of lockdown-accumulated backlog in cancer referrals on cancer survival, and the impact on survival per referred patient due to delayed referral versus risk of death from nosocomial infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Methods: In this modelling study, we used age-stratified and stage-stratified 10-year cancer survival estimates for patients in England, UK, for 20 common tumour types diagnosed in 2008-17 at age 30 years and older from Public Health England. We also used data for cancer diagnoses made via the 2-week-wait referral pathway in 2013-16 from the Cancer Waiting Times system from NHS Digital. We applied per-day hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer progression that we generated from observational studies of delay to treatment. We quantified the annual numbers of cancers at stage I-III diagnosed via the 2-week-wait pathway using 2-week-wait age-specific and stage-specific breakdowns. From these numbers, we estimated the aggregate number of lives and life-years lost in England for per-patient delays of 1-6 months in presentation, diagnosis, or cancer treatment, or a combination of these. We assessed three scenarios of a 3-month period of lockdown during which 25%, 50%, and 75% of the normal monthly volumes of symptomatic patients delayed their presentation until after lockdown. Using referral-to-diagnosis conversion rates and COVID-19 case-fatality rates, we also estimated the survival increment per patient referred.

Findings: Across England in 2013-16, an average of 6281 patients with stage I-III cancer were diagnosed via the 2-week-wait pathway per month, of whom 1691 (27%) would be predicted to die within 10 years from their disease. Delays in presentation via the 2-week-wait pathway over a 3-month lockdown period (with an average presentational delay of 2 months per patient) would result in 181 additional lives and 3316 life-years lost as a result of a backlog of referrals of 25%, 361 additional lives and 6632 life-years lost for a 50% backlog of referrals, and 542 additional lives and 9948 life-years lost for a 75% backlog in referrals. Compared with all diagnostics for the backlog being done in month 1 after lockdown, additional capacity across months 1-3 would result in 90 additional lives and 1662 live-years lost due to diagnostic delays for the 25% backlog scenario, 183 additional lives and 3362 life-years lost under the 50% backlog scenario, and 276 additional lives and 5075 life-years lost under the 75% backlog scenario. However, a delay in additional diagnostic capacity with provision spread across months 3-8 after lockdown would result in 401 additional lives and 7332 life-years lost due to diagnostic delays under the 25% backlog scenario, 811 additional lives and 14 873 life-years lost under the 50% backlog scenario, and 1231 additional lives and 22 635 life-years lost under the 75% backlog scenario. A 2-month delay in 2-week-wait investigatory referrals results in an estimated loss of between 0·0 and 0·7 life-years per referred patient, depending on age and tumour type.

Interpretation: Prompt provision of additional capacity to address the backlog of diagnostics will minimise deaths as a result of diagnostic delays that could add to those predicted due to expected presentational delays. Prioritisation of patient groups for whom delay would result in most life-years lost warrants consideration as an option for mitigating the aggregate burden of mortality in patients with cancer.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30392-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116538PMC
August 2020

Patterns of stemness-associated markers in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Prostate 2020 09 6;80(13):1108-1117. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Urology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Putative castration-resistant (CR) stem-like cells (CRSC) have been identified based on their ability to initiate and drive prostate cancer (PCa) recurrence following castration in vivo. Yet the relevance of these CRSC in the course of the human disease and particularly for the transition from hormone-naive (HN) to castration-resistance is unclear. In this study, we aimed at deciphering the significance of CRSC markers in PCa progression.

Methods: We constructed a tissue microarray comprising 112 matched HN and CR tissue specimens derived from 55 PCa patients. Expression of eight stemness-associated markers (ALDH1A1, ALDH1A3, ALDH3A1, BMI1, NANOG, NKX3.1, OCT4, SOX2) was assessed by immunohistochemistry and scored as a percentage of positive tumor cells. For each marker, the resulting scores were statistically analyzed and compared to pathological and clinical data associated with the samples. Unsupervised clustering analysis was performed to stratify patients according to the expression of the eight CRSC markers. Publicly-available transcriptional datasets comprising HN and CR PCa samples were interrogated to assess the expression of the factors in silico.

Results: Immunohistochemical assessment of paired samples revealed atypical patterns of expression and intra- and intertumor heterogeneity for a subset of CRSC markers. While the expression of particular CRSC markers was dynamic over time in some patients, none of the markers showed significant changes in expression upon the development of castration resistance (CR vs HN). Using unsupervised clustering approaches, we identified phenotypic subtypes based on the expression of specific stem-associated markers. In particular, we found (a) patterns of mutual exclusivity for ALDH1A1 and ALDH1A3 expression, which was also observed at the transcriptomic level in publicly-available PCa datasets, and (b) a phenotypic cluster associated with more aggressive features. Finally, by comparing HN and CR matched samples, we identified phenotypic cluster switches (ie, change of phenotypic cluster between the HN and CR state), that may be associated with clinical and predictive relevance.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate stemness-associated patterns that are associated with the development of castration-resistance. These results pave the way toward a deeper understanding of the relevance of CRSC markers in PCa progression and resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.24039DOI Listing
September 2020

Estimated 24-Hour Urinary Sodium Excretion and Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality Among 398 628 Individuals in UK Biobank.

Hypertension 2020 09 6;76(3):683-691. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

From the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health (P.E., D.C.M., D.S.-L., R.P., E.E., A.D., B.N., I.T.), Imperial College London, United Kingdom.

We report on an analysis to explore the association between estimated 24-hour urinary sodium excretion (surrogate for sodium intake) and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Data were obtained from 398 628 UK Biobank prospective cohort study participants (40-69 years) recruited between 2006 and 2010, with no history of CVD, renal disease, diabetes mellitus or cancer, and cardiovascular events and mortality recorded during follow-up. Hazard ratios between 24-hour sodium excretion were estimated from spot urinary sodium concentrations across incident CVD and its components and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. In restricted cubic splines analyses, there was little evidence for an association between estimated 24-hour sodium excretion and CVD, coronary heart disease, or stroke; hazard ratios for CVD (95% CIs) for the 15th and 85th percentiles (2.5 and 4.2 g/day, respectively) compared with the 50th percentile of estimated sodium excretion (3.2 g/day) were 1.05 (1.01-1.10) and 0.96 (0.92-1.00), respectively. An inverse association was observed with heart failure, but that was no longer apparent in sensitivity analysis. A J-shaped association was observed between estimated sodium excretion and mortality. Our findings do not support a J-shaped association of estimated sodium excretion with CVD, although such an association was apparent for all-cause and cause-specific mortality across a wide range of diseases. Reasons for these differences are unclear; methodological limitations, including the use of estimating equations based on spot urinary data, need to be considered in interpreting our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.14302DOI Listing
September 2020

Protein-altering germline mutations implicate novel genes related to lung cancer development.

Nat Commun 2020 05 11;11(1):2220. Epub 2020 May 11.

Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Few germline mutations are known to affect lung cancer risk. We performed analyses of rare variants from 39,146 individuals of European ancestry and investigated gene expression levels in 7,773 samples. We find a large-effect association with an ATM L2307F (rs56009889) mutation in adenocarcinoma for discovery (adjusted Odds Ratio = 8.82, P = 1.18 × 10) and replication (adjusted OR = 2.93, P = 2.22 × 10) that is more pronounced in females (adjusted OR = 6.81 and 3.19 and for discovery and replication). We observe an excess loss of heterozygosity in lung tumors among ATM L2307F allele carriers. L2307F is more frequent (4%) among Ashkenazi Jewish populations. We also observe an association in discovery (adjusted OR = 2.61, P = 7.98 × 10) and replication datasets (adjusted OR = 1.55, P = 0.06) with a loss-of-function mutation, Q4X (rs150665432) of an uncharacterized gene, KIAA0930. Our findings implicate germline genetic variants in ATM with lung cancer susceptibility and suggest KIAA0930 as a novel candidate gene for lung cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15905-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214407PMC
May 2020

Components of one-carbon metabolism and renal cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Eur J Nutr 2020 Dec 11;59(8):3801-3813. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Purpose: Little is known about the aetiology of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Components of one-carbon (1C) metabolism, which are required for nucleotide synthesis and methylation reactions, may be related to risk of RCC but existing evidence is inconclusive. We conducted a systematic review and independent exposure-specific meta-analyses of dietary intake and circulating biomarkers of 1C metabolites and RCC risk.

Methods: Medline and Embase databases were searched for observational studies investigating RCC or kidney cancer incidence or mortality in relation to components of 1C metabolism and 12 eligible articles were included in the meta-analyses. We used Bayesian meta-analyses to estimate summary relative risks (RRs) and 95% credible intervals (CrIs) comparing the highest versus lowest categories as well as the between-study heterogeneity.

Results: We did not find convincing evidence of an association between any exposure (riboflavin, vitamin B, folate, vitamin B, methionine, homocysteine, choline, or betaine) and RCC risk. However, vitamin B biomarker status did have a protective (RR = 0.62) but imprecise (95% CrI 0.39-1.14) effect estimate and folate intake had a notable association as well (RR = 0.85, 95% CrI 0.71-1.01).

Conclusion: There was a lack of precision due largely to the low number of studies. Further investigation is warranted, especially for folate and vitamin B, which had consistent suggestive evidence of a protective effect for both dietary intake and biomarker status. A unique strength of this review is the use of Bayesian meta-analyses which allowed for robust estimation of between-study heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02211-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7669778PMC
December 2020

Predictive Accuracy of a Polygenic Risk Score-Enhanced Prediction Model vs a Clinical Risk Score for Coronary Artery Disease.

JAMA 2020 02;323(7):636-645

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Importance: The incremental value of polygenic risk scores in addition to well-established risk prediction models for coronary artery disease (CAD) is uncertain.

Objective: To examine whether a polygenic risk score for CAD improves risk prediction beyond pooled cohort equations.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Observational study of UK Biobank participants enrolled from 2006 to 2010. A case-control sample of 15 947 prevalent CAD cases and equal number of age and sex frequency-matched controls was used to optimize the predictive performance of a polygenic risk score for CAD based on summary statistics from published genome-wide association studies. A separate cohort of 352 660 individuals (with follow-up to 2017) was used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of the polygenic risk score, pooled cohort equations, and both combined for incident CAD.

Exposures: Polygenic risk score for CAD, pooled cohort equations, and both combined.

Main Outcomes And Measures: CAD (myocardial infarction and its related sequelae). Discrimination, calibration, and reclassification using a risk threshold of 7.5% were assessed.

Results: In the cohort of 352 660 participants (mean age, 55.9 years; 205 297 women [58.2%]) used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of the examined models, there were 6272 incident CAD events over a median of 8 years of follow-up. CAD discrimination for polygenic risk score, pooled cohort equations, and both combined resulted in C statistics of 0.61 (95% CI, 0.60 to 0.62), 0.76 (95% CI, 0.75 to 0.77), and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.77 to 0.79), respectively. The change in C statistic between the latter 2 models was 0.02 (95% CI, 0.01 to 0.03). Calibration of the models showed overestimation of risk by pooled cohort equations, which was corrected after recalibration. Using a risk threshold of 7.5%, addition of the polygenic risk score to pooled cohort equations resulted in a net reclassification improvement of 4.4% (95% CI, 3.5% to 5.3%) for cases and -0.4% (95% CI, -0.5% to -0.4%) for noncases (overall net reclassification improvement, 4.0% [95% CI, 3.1% to 4.9%]).

Conclusions And Relevance: The addition of a polygenic risk score for CAD to pooled cohort equations was associated with a statistically significant, yet modest, improvement in the predictive accuracy for incident CAD and improved risk stratification for only a small proportion of individuals. The use of genetic information over the pooled cohort equations model warrants further investigation before clinical implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.22241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042853PMC
February 2020

Nutrient-wide association study of 92 foods and nutrients and breast cancer risk.

Breast Cancer Res 2020 01 13;22(1). Epub 2020 Jan 13.

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

Background: Several dietary factors have been reported to be associated with risk of breast cancer, but to date, unequivocal evidence only exists for alcohol consumption. We sought to systematically assess the association between intake of 92 foods and nutrients and breast cancer risk using a nutrient-wide association study.

Methods: Using data from 272,098 women participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, we assessed dietary intake of 92 foods and nutrients estimated by dietary questionnaires. Cox regression was used to quantify the association between each food/nutrient and risk of breast cancer. A false discovery rate (FDR) of 0.05 was used to select the set of foods and nutrients to be replicated in the independent Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS).

Results: Six foods and nutrients were identified as associated with risk of breast cancer in the EPIC study (10,979 cases). Higher intake of alcohol overall was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer (hazard ratio (HR) for a 1 SD increment in intake = 1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.07), as was beer/cider intake and wine intake (HRs per 1 SD increment = 1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.06 and 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06, respectively), whereas higher intakes of fibre, apple/pear, and carbohydrates were associated with a lower risk of breast cancer (HRs per 1 SD increment = 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.98; 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.99; and 0.96, 95% CI 0.95-0.98, respectively). When evaluated in the NLCS (2368 cases), estimates for each of these foods and nutrients were similar in magnitude and direction, with the exception of beer/cider intake, which was not associated with risk in the NLCS.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm a positive association of alcohol consumption and suggest an inverse association of dietary fibre and possibly fruit intake with breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-019-1244-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6958698PMC
January 2020

Immunocytochemistry for ARID1A as a potential biomarker in urine cytology of bladder cancer.

Cancer Cytopathol 2019 Sep 6;127(9):578-585. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Mutations of AT-rich interactive domain 1 (ARID1A) have been associated with a worse outcome after intravesical treatment with bacille Calmette-Guérin in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Loss of ARID1A protein expression in urine cytology may serve as an indication of an ARID1A mutation. Therefore, the authors examined the expression of ARID1A in urine cytology and histological specimens of bladder cancer for correlation with ARID1A mutational status.

Methods: The authors constructed a tissue microarray containing samples from 164 tissue samples from 150 patients with NMIBC and 100 tissue samples from 81 patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. A second cohort consisted of archived cytological specimens and matched tissue sections from 62 patients with high-grade NMIBC. The authors established immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry (ICC) protocols, respectively, for the analysis of ARID1A protein expression in histological and cytological specimens. Confirmatory next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed on tumor specimens using a targeted NGS panel containing all exonic regions of ARID1A.

Results: The prevalence of ARID1A loss of expression on the tissue microarray was 3.6% in NMIBC (6 of 164 tissue samples) and 10% in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (10 of 100 tissue samples) (P = .059). Loss of ARID1A expression in cytology was concordantly immunohistochemistry negative in 6 of 8 matched tissue specimens. NGS confirmed an ARID1A mutation on all 6 histology samples with loss of ARID1A expression. When NGS demonstrated an absence of ARID1A mutation, histology was concordantly positive (16 of 16 cases).

Conclusions: The authors have suggest ARID1A ICC as a promising surrogate marker for ARID1A mutational status in patients with urothelial carcinoma. Pitfalls in ICC scoring include benign umbrella cells that often are negative for ARID1A. Further prospective studies are needed to determine the clinical relevance of ARID1A ICC in urinary cytology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncy.22167DOI Listing
September 2019

Sex specific associations in genome wide association analysis of renal cell carcinoma.

Eur J Hum Genet 2019 10 23;27(10):1589-1598. Epub 2019 Jun 23.

Russian N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Centre, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has an undisputed genetic component and a stable 2:1 male to female sex ratio in its incidence across populations, suggesting possible sexual dimorphism in its genetic susceptibility. We conducted the first sex-specific genome-wide association analysis of RCC for men (3227 cases, 4916 controls) and women (1992 cases, 3095 controls) of European ancestry from two RCC genome-wide scans and replicated the top findings using an additional series of men (2261 cases, 5852 controls) and women (1399 cases, 1575 controls) from two independent cohorts of European origin. Our study confirmed sex-specific associations for two known RCC risk loci at 14q24.2 (DPF3) and 2p21(EPAS1). We also identified two additional suggestive male-specific loci at 6q24.3 (SAMD5, male odds ratio (OR) = 0.83 [95% CI = 0.78-0.89], P = 1.71 × 10 compared with female odds ratio (OR) = 0.98 [95% CI = 0.90-1.07], P = 0.68) and 12q23.3 (intergenic, OR = 0.75 [95% CI = 0.68-0.83], P = 1.59 × 10 compared with OR = 0.93 [95% CI = 0.82-1.06], P = 0.21) that attained genome-wide significance in the joint meta-analysis. Herein, we provide evidence of sex-specific associations in RCC genetic susceptibility and advocate the necessity of larger genetic and genomic studies to unravel the endogenous causes of sex bias in sexually dimorphic traits and diseases like RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-019-0455-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777615PMC
October 2019

Use of TETRA personal radios and sickness absence in the Airwave Health Monitoring Study of the British police forces.

Environ Res 2019 08 14;175:148-155. Epub 2019 May 14.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is used for radiocommunications among the British police forces.

Objectives: To investigate association of personal radio use and sickness absence among police officers and staff from the Airwave Health Monitoring Study.

Methods: Participant-level sickness absence records for 26 forces were linked with personal radio use for 32,102 participants. We used multivariable logistic regression to analyse TETRA usage in year prior to enrolment and sickness absence (lasting more than 7 or 28 consecutive days) in the following year and a zero-inflated negative binomial model for analyses of number of sickness absence episodes of any duration ('spells') over the same period. In secondary analyses, we looked at an extended period of observation among a sub-cohort with linked data over time, using Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: Median personal radio use (year prior to enrolment) was 29.7 min per month (interquartile range 7.5, 64.7) among users. In the year following enrolment there were 25,655 sickness absence spells among 15,248 participants. There were similar risks of sickness absence lasting more than seven days among users and non-users, although among users risk was higher with greater use, odds ratio = 1.04 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02 to 1.06) per doubling of radio use. There was no association for sickness absence of more than 28 days. For sickness absence spells, risk was lower among users than non-users (incidence rate ratio = 0.91; 95% CI 0.75 to 1.11), again with higher risk among users for greater radio use. There was no association between radio use and sickness absence in secondary analyses.

Discussion: There were similar or lower risks of sickness absence in TETRA radio users compared with non-users. Among users, the higher risk of sickness absence with greater radio use may reflect working pattern differences among police personnel rather than effects of radiofrequency exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.012DOI Listing
August 2019

Anthropometric and reproductive factors and risk of esophageal and gastric cancer by subtype and subsite: Results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Int J Cancer 2020 02 21;146(4):929-942. Epub 2019 May 21.

Institution of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Sweden.

Obesity has been associated with upper gastrointestinal cancers; however, there are limited prospective data on associations by subtype/subsite. Obesity can impact hormonal factors, which have been hypothesized to play a role in these cancers. We investigated anthropometric and reproductive factors in relation to esophageal and gastric cancer by subtype and subsite for 476,160 participants from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox models. During a mean follow-up of 14 years, 220 esophageal adenocarcinomas (EA), 195 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, 243 gastric cardia (GC) and 373 gastric noncardia (GNC) cancers were diagnosed. Body mass index (BMI) was associated with EA in men (BMI ≥30 vs. 18.5-25 kg/m : HR = 1.94, 95% CI: 1.25-3.03) and women (HR = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.15-6.19); however, adjustment for waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) attenuated these associations. After mutual adjustment for BMI and HC, respectively, WHR and waist circumference (WC) were associated with EA in men (HR = 3.47, 95% CI: 1.99-6.06 for WHR >0.96 vs. <0.91; HR = 2.67, 95% CI: 1.52-4.72 for WC >98 vs. <90 cm) and women (HR = 4.40, 95% CI: 1.35-14.33 for WHR >0.82 vs. <0.76; HR = 5.67, 95% CI: 1.76-18.26 for WC >84 vs. <74 cm). WHR was also positively associated with GC in women, and WC was positively associated with GC in men. Inverse associations were observed between parity and EA (HR = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.14-0.99; >2 vs. 0) and age at first pregnancy and GNC (HR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.32-0.91; >26 vs. <22 years); whereas bilateral ovariectomy was positively associated with GNC (HR = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.04-3.36). These findings support a role for hormonal pathways in upper gastrointestinal cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32386DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6973006PMC
February 2020

Genetic interaction analysis among oncogenesis-related genes revealed novel genes and networks in lung cancer development.

Oncotarget 2019 Mar 5;10(19):1760-1774. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russian Federation.

The development of cancer is driven by the accumulation of many oncogenesis-related genetic alterations and tumorigenesis is triggered by complex networks of involved genes rather than independent actions. To explore the epistasis existing among oncogenesis-related genes in lung cancer development, we conducted pairwise genetic interaction analyses among 35,031 SNPs from 2027 oncogenesis-related genes. The genotypes from three independent genome-wide association studies including a total of 24,037 lung cancer patients and 20,401 healthy controls with Caucasian ancestry were analyzed in the study. Using a two-stage study design including discovery and replication studies, and stringent Bonferroni correction for multiple statistical analysis, we identified significant genetic interactions between SNPs in (OR=0.44, value=3.27x10 in overall lung cancer and OR=0.41, value=9.71x10 in non-small cell lung cancer), (OR=0.73, value=1.01x10 in adenocarcinoma) and (OR=1.82, value=7.62x10 in squamous cell carcinoma) in our analysis. None of these genes have been identified from previous main effect association studies in lung cancer. Further eQTL gene expression analysis in lung tissues provided information supporting the functional role of the identified epistasis in lung tumorigenesis. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed potential pathways and gene networks underlying molecular mechanisms in overall lung cancer as well as histology subtypes development. Our results provide evidence that genetic interactions between oncogenesis-related genes play an important role in lung tumorigenesis and epistasis analysis, combined with functional annotation, provides a valuable tool for uncovering functional novel susceptibility genes that contribute to lung cancer development by interacting with other modifier genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26678DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6442994PMC
March 2019

Vitamin D Status and Mortality: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 01 29;16(3). Epub 2019 Jan 29.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK.

Epidemiological evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased mortality, but it is unclear whether this is explained by reverse causation, and if there are specific causes of death for which vitamin D might be important. We conducted a systematic review of observational studies investigating associations between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration and all-cause or cause-specific mortality in generally healthy populations. Relevant studies were identified using PubMed and EMBASE searches. After screening 722 unique records and removing those that were ineligible, 84 articles were included in this review. The vast majority of studies reported inverse associations between 25(OH)D concentration and all-cause mortality. This association appeared to be non-linear, with progressively lower mortality with increasing 25(OH)D up to a point, beyond which there was no further decrease. There is moderate evidence that vitamin D status is inversely associated with cancer mortality and death due to respiratory diseases, while for cardiovascular mortality, there is weak evidence of an association in observational studies, which is not supported by the data from intervention or Mendelian randomization studies. The relationship between vitamin D status and other causes of death remains uncertain due to limited data. Larger long-term studies are required to clarify these associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6388383PMC
January 2019

Circulating high sensitivity C reactive protein concentrations and risk of lung cancer: nested case-control study within Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium.

BMJ 2019 01 3;364:k4981. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

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

Objectives: To conduct a comprehensive analysis of prospectively measured circulating high sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) concentration and risk of lung cancer overall, by smoking status (never, former, and current smokers), and histological sub-type.

Design: Nested case-control study.

Setting: 20 population based cohort studies in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States.

Participants: 5299 patients with incident lung cancer, with individually incidence density matched controls.

Exposure: Circulating hsCRP concentrations in prediagnostic serum or plasma samples.

Main Outcome Measure: Incident lung cancer diagnosis.

Results: A positive association between circulating hsCRP concentration and the risk of lung cancer for current (odds ratio associated with a doubling in hsCRP concentration 1.09, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.13) and former smokers (1.09, 1.04 to 1.14) was observed, but not for never smokers (P<0.01 for interaction). This association was strong and consistent across all histological subtypes, except for adenocarcinoma, which was not strongly associated with hsCRP concentration regardless of smoking status (odds ratio for adenocarcinoma overall 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.94 to 1.01). The association between circulating hsCRP concentration and the risk of lung cancer was strongest in the first two years of follow-up for former and current smokers. Including hsCRP concentration in a risk model, in addition to smoking based variables, did not improve risk discrimination overall, but slightly improved discrimination for cancers diagnosed in the first two years of follow-up.

Conclusions: Former and current smokers with higher circulating hsCRP concentrations had a higher risk of lung cancer overall. Circulating hsCRP concentration was not associated with the risk of lung adenocarcinoma. Circulating hsCRP concentration could be a prediagnostic marker of lung cancer rather than a causal risk factor.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315896PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4981DOI Listing
January 2019

The influence of obesity-related factors in the etiology of renal cell carcinoma-A mendelian randomization study.

PLoS Med 2019 01 3;16(1):e1002724. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

National Institute of Public Health, Bucharest, Romania.

Background: Several obesity-related factors have been associated with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but it is unclear which individual factors directly influence risk. We addressed this question using genetic markers as proxies for putative risk factors and evaluated their relation to RCC risk in a mendelian randomization (MR) framework. This methodology limits bias due to confounding and is not affected by reverse causation.

Methods And Findings: Genetic markers associated with obesity measures, blood pressure, lipids, type 2 diabetes, insulin, and glucose were initially identified as instrumental variables, and their association with RCC risk was subsequently evaluated in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 10,784 RCC patients and 20,406 control participants in a 2-sample MR framework. The effect on RCC risk was estimated by calculating odds ratios (ORSD) for a standard deviation (SD) increment in each risk factor. The MR analysis indicated that higher body mass index increases the risk of RCC (ORSD: 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.44-1.70), with comparable results for waist-to-hip ratio (ORSD: 1.63, 95% CI 1.40-1.90) and body fat percentage (ORSD: 1.66, 95% CI 1.44-1.90). This analysis further indicated that higher fasting insulin (ORSD: 1.82, 95% CI 1.30-2.55) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; ORSD: 1.28, 95% CI 1.11-1.47), but not systolic blood pressure (ORSD: 0.98, 95% CI 0.84-1.14), increase the risk for RCC. No association with RCC risk was seen for lipids, overall type 2 diabetes, or fasting glucose.

Conclusions: This study provides novel evidence for an etiological role of insulin in RCC, as well as confirmatory evidence that obesity and DBP influence RCC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6317776PMC
January 2019

Personal radio use and cancer risks among 48,518 British police officers and staff from the Airwave Health Monitoring Study.

Br J Cancer 2019 02 26;120(3):375-378. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from mobile phones have been classified as potentially carcinogenic. No study has investigated use of Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), a source of RF-EMF with wide occupational use, and cancer risks.

Methods: We investigated association of monthly personal radio use and risk of cancer using Cox proportional hazards regression among 48,518 police officers and staff of the Airwave Health Monitoring Study in Great Britain.

Results: During median follow-up of 5.9 years, 716 incident cancer cases were identified. Among users, the median of the average monthly duration of use in the year prior to enrolment was 30.5  min (inter-quartile range 8.1, 68.1). Overall, there was no association between personal radio use and risk of all cancers (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93, 1.03). For head and neck cancers HR = 0.72 (95% CI: 0.30, 1.70) among personal radio users vs non-users, and among users it was 1.06 (95% CI: 0.91, 1.23) per doubling of minutes of personal radio use.

Conclusions: With the limited follow-up to date, we found no evidence of association of personal radio use with cancer risk. Continued follow-up of the cohort is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0365-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6354010PMC
February 2019
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