Publications by authors named "David E Goldgar"

180 Publications

Germline Pathogenic Variants in Cancer Predisposition Genes Among Women With Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Oct 21:JCO2100640. Epub 2021 Oct 21.

UWM Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, Milwaukee, WI.

Purpose: To determine the contribution of germline pathogenic variants (PVs) in hereditary cancer testing panel genes to invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) of the breast.

Materials And Methods: The study included 2,999 women with ILC from a population-based cohort and 3,796 women with ILC undergoing clinical multigene panel testing (clinical cohort). Frequencies of germline PVs in breast cancer predisposition genes (, , , , , , , , , , , and ) were compared between women with ILC and unaffected female controls and between women with ILC and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC).

Results: The frequency of PVs in breast cancer predisposition genes among women with ILC was 6.5% in the clinical cohort and 5.2% in the population-based cohort. In case-control analysis, and PVs were associated with high risks of ILC (odds ratio [OR] > 4) and , , and PVs were associated with moderate (OR = 2-4) risks. PVs and p.Ile157Thr were not associated with clinically relevant risks (OR < 2) of ILC. Compared with IDC, PVs were > 10-fold enriched, whereas PVs in were substantially reduced in ILC.

Conclusion: The study establishes that PVs in , , , , and are associated with an increased risk of ILC, whereas PVs are not. The similar overall PV frequencies for ILC and IDC suggest that cancer histology should not influence the decision to proceed with genetic testing. Similar to IDC, multigene panel testing may be appropriate for women with ILC, but should be specifically discussed because of low prevalence and gastric cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00640DOI Listing
October 2021

Mendelian randomisation study of smoking exposure in relation to breast cancer risk.

Br J Cancer 2021 Oct 2;125(8):1135-1145. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Despite a modest association between tobacco smoking and breast cancer risk reported by recent epidemiological studies, it is still equivocal whether smoking is causally related to breast cancer risk.

Methods: We applied Mendelian randomisation (MR) to evaluate a potential causal effect of cigarette smoking on breast cancer risk. Both individual-level data as well as summary statistics for 164 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reported in genome-wide association studies of lifetime smoking index (LSI) or cigarette per day (CPD) were used to obtain MR effect estimates. Data from 108,420 invasive breast cancer cases and 87,681 controls were used for the LSI analysis and for the CPD analysis conducted among ever-smokers from 26,147 cancer cases and 26,072 controls. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to address pleiotropy.

Results: Genetically predicted LSI was associated with increased breast cancer risk (OR 1.18 per SD, 95% CI: 1.07-1.30, P = 0.11 × 10), but there was no evidence of association for genetically predicted CPD (OR 1.02, 95% CI: 0.78-1.19, P = 0.85). The sensitivity analyses yielded similar results and showed no strong evidence of pleiotropic effect.

Conclusion: Our MR study provides supportive evidence for a potential causal association with breast cancer risk for lifetime smoking exposure but not cigarettes per day among smokers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01432-8DOI Listing
October 2021

Breast and Prostate Cancer Risks for Male BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Variant Carriers Using Polygenic Risk Scores.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Molecular Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Background: Recent population-based female breast cancer and prostate cancer polygenic risk scores (PRS) have been developed. We assessed the associations of these PRS with breast and prostate cancer risks for male BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers.

Methods: 483 BRCA1 and 1,318 BRCA2 European ancestry male carriers were available from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). A 147-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) prostate cancer PRS (PRSPC) and a 313-SNP breast cancer PRS were evaluated. There were three versions of the breast cancer PRS, optimized to predict overall (PRSBC), estrogen-receptor (ER) negative (PRSER-) or ER-positive (PRSER+) breast cancer risk.

Results: PRSER+ yielded the strongest association with breast cancer risk. The odds ratios (ORs) per PRSER+ standard deviation estimates were 1.40 (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.07-1.83) for BRCA1 and 1.33 (95% CI = 1.16-1.52) for BRCA2 carriers. PRSPC was associated with prostate cancer risk for both BRCA1 (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.28-2.33) and BRCA2 (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.34-1.91) carriers. The estimated breast cancer ORs were larger after adjusting for female relative breast cancer family history. By age 85 years, for BRCA2 carriers, the breast cancer risk varied from 7.7% to 18.4% and prostate cancer risk from 34.1% to 87.6% between the 5th and 95th percentiles of the PRS distributions.

Conclusions: Population-based prostate and female breast cancer PRS are associated with a wide range of absolute breast and prostate cancer risks for male BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. These findings warrant further investigation aimed at providing personalized cancer risks for male carriers and to inform clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab147DOI Listing
July 2021

Risk of Late-Onset Breast Cancer in Genetically Predisposed Women.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 22:JCO2100531. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Purpose: The prevalence of germline pathogenic variants (PVs) in established breast cancer predisposition genes in women in the general population over age 65 years is not well-defined. However, testing guidelines suggest that women diagnosed with breast cancer over age 65 years might have < 2.5% likelihood of a PV in a high-penetrance gene. This study aimed to establish the frequency of PVs and remaining risks of breast cancer for each gene in women over age 65 years.

Methods: A total of 26,707 women over age 65 years from population-based studies (51.5% with breast cancer and 48.5% unaffected) were tested for PVs in germline predisposition gene. Frequencies of PVs and associations between PVs in each gene and breast cancer were assessed, and remaining lifetime breast cancer risks were estimated for non-Hispanic White women with PVs.

Results: The frequency of PVs in predisposition genes was 3.18% for women with breast cancer and 1.48% for unaffected women over age 65 years. PVs in , , and were found in 3.42% of women diagnosed with estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, 1.0% with ER-positive, and 3.01% with triple-negative breast cancer. Frequencies of PVs were lower among women with no first-degree relatives with breast cancer. PVs in , , , and were associated with increased risks (odds ratio = 2.9-4.0) of breast cancer. Remaining lifetime risks of breast cancer were ≥ 15% for those with PVs in , , and .

Conclusion: This study suggests that all women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer or ER-negative breast cancer should receive genetic testing and that women over age 65 years with and PVs and perhaps with and PVs should be considered for magnetic resonance imaging screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00531DOI Listing
July 2021

First international workshop of the ATM and cancer risk group (4-5 December 2019).

Fam Cancer 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, USA.

The first International Workshop of the ATM and Cancer Risk group focusing on the role of Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) gene in cancer was held on December 4 and 5, 2019 at Institut Curie in Paris, France. It was motivated by the fact that germline ATM pathogenic variants have been found to be associated with different cancer types. However, due to the lack of precise age-, sex-, and site-specific risk estimates, no consensus on management guidelines for variant carriers exists, and the clinical utility of ATM variant testing is uncertain. The meeting brought together epidemiologists, geneticists, biologists and clinicians to review current knowledge and on-going challenges related to ATM and cancer risk. This report summarizes the meeting sessions content that covered the latest results in family-based and population-based studies, the importance of accurate variant classification, the effect of radiation exposures for ATM variant carriers, and the characteristics of ATM-deficient tumors. The report concludes that ATM variant carriers outside of the context of Ataxia-Telangiectasia may benefit from effective cancer risk management and therapeutic strategies and that efforts to set up large-scale studies in the international framework to achieve this goal are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-021-00248-yDOI Listing
June 2021

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

Genet Med 2021 09 10;23(9):1726-1737. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

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

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

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

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

Conclusion: The PRS can be used to refine individual CBC risks for BRCA1/2 heterozygotes of European ancestry, however the PRS needs to be considered in the context of a multifactorial risk model to evaluate whether it might influence clinical decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01198-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8460445PMC
September 2021

Risk of Breast Cancer Among Carriers of Pathogenic Variants in Breast Cancer Predisposition Genes Varies by Polygenic Risk Score.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 8;39(23):2564-2573. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Population Health Sciences Department, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY.

Purpose: This study assessed the joint association of pathogenic variants (PVs) in breast cancer (BC) predisposition genes and polygenic risk scores (PRS) with BC in the general population.

Methods: A total of 26,798 non-Hispanic white BC cases and 26,127 controls from predominately population-based studies in the Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility consortium were evaluated for PVs in , , , , , , , , and . PRS based on 105 common variants were created using effect estimates from BC genome-wide association studies; the performance of an overall BC PRS and estrogen receptor-specific PRS were evaluated. The odds of BC based on the PVs and PRS were estimated using penalized logistic regression. The results were combined with age-specific incidence rates to estimate 5-year and lifetime absolute risks of BC across percentiles of PRS by PV status and first-degree family history of BC.

Results: The estimated lifetime risks of BC among general-population noncarriers, based on 10th and 90th percentiles of PRS, were 9.1%-23.9% and 6.7%-18.2% for women with or without first-degree relatives with BC, respectively. Taking PRS into account, more than 95% of , , and carriers had > 20% lifetime risks of BC, whereas, respectively, 52.5% and 69.7% of and carriers without first-degree relatives with BC, and 78.8% and 89.9% of those with a first-degree relative with BC had > 20% risk.

Conclusion: PRS facilitates personalization of BC risk among carriers of PVs in predisposition genes. Incorporating PRS into BC risk estimation may help identify > 30% of and nearly half of carriers below the 20% lifetime risk threshold, suggesting the addition of PRS may prevent overscreening and enable more personalized risk management approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01992DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8330969PMC
August 2021

Comparison of the Prevalence of Pathogenic Variants in Cancer Susceptibility Genes in Black Women and Non-Hispanic White Women With Breast Cancer in the United States.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Jul;7(7):1045-1050

Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: The prevalence of germline pathogenic variants (PVs) in cancer susceptibility genes in US Black women compared with non-Hispanic White women with breast cancer is poorly described.

Objective: To determine whether US Black and non-Hispanic White women with breast cancer have a different prevalence of PVs in 12 cancer susceptibility genes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Multicenter, population-based studies in the Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility (CARRIERS) consortium. Participants were Black and non-Hispanic White women diagnosed with breast cancer, unselected for family history or age at diagnosis. Data were collected from June 1993 to June 2020; data analysis was performed between September 2020 and February 2021.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Prevalence of germline PVs in 12 established breast cancer susceptibility genes.

Results: Among 3946 Black women (mean [SD] age at diagnosis, 56.5 [12.02] y) and 25 287 non-Hispanic White women (mean [SD] age at diagnosis, 62.7 [11.14] y) with breast cancer, there was no statistically significant difference by race in the combined prevalence of PVs in the 12 breast cancer susceptibility genes evaluated (5.65% in Black vs 5.06% in non-Hispanic White women; P = .12). The prevalence of PVs in CHEK2 was higher in non-Hispanic White than Black patients (1.29% vs 0.38%; P < .001), whereas Black patients had a higher prevalence of PVs in BRCA2 (1.80% vs 1.24%; P = .005) and PALB2 (1.01% vs 0.40%; P < .001). For estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, the prevalence of PVs was not different except for PALB2, which was higher in Black women. In women diagnosed before age 50 years, there was no difference in overall prevalence of PVs in Black vs non-Hispanic White women (8.83% vs 10.04%; P = .25), and among individual genes, only CHEK2 PV prevalence differed by race. After adjustment for age at diagnosis, the standardized prevalence ratio of PVs in non-Hispanic White relative to Black women was 1.08 (95% CI, 1.02-1.14), and there was no longer a statistically significant difference in BRCA2 PV prevalence.

Conclusions And Relevance: This large population-based case-control study revealed no clinically meaningful differences in the prevalence of PVs in 12 breast cancer susceptibility genes between Black and non-Hispanic White women with breast cancer. The findings suggest that there is not sufficient evidence to make policy changes related to genetic testing based on race alone. Instead, all efforts should be made to ensure equal access to and uptake of genetic testing to minimize disparities in care and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1492DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8160931PMC
July 2021

Strong functional data for pathogenicity or neutrality classify BRCA2 DNA-binding-domain variants of uncertain significance.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 03 19;108(3):458-468. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Electronic address:

Determination of the clinical relevance of rare germline variants of uncertain significance (VUSs) in the BRCA2 cancer predisposition gene remains a challenge as a result of limited availability of data for use in classification models. However, laboratory-based functional data derived from validated functional assays of known sensitivity and specificity may influence the interpretation of VUSs. We evaluated 252 missense VUSs from the BRCA2 DNA-binding domain by using a homology-directed DNA repair (HDR) assay and identified 90 as non-functional and 162 as functional. The functional assay results were integrated with other available data sources into an ACMG/AMP rules-based classification framework used by a hereditary cancer testing laboratory. Of the 186 missense variants observed by the testing laboratory, 154 were classified as VUSs without functional data. However, after applying protein functional data, 86% (132/154) of the VUSs were reclassified as either likely pathogenic/pathogenic (39/132) or likely benign/benign (93/132), which impacted testing results for 1,900 individuals. These results indicate that validated functional assay data can have a substantial impact on VUS classification and associated clinical management for many individuals with inherited alterations in BRCA2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008494PMC
March 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Population-Based Study of Genes Previously Implicated in Breast Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2021 02 20;384(5):440-451. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

From Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (C. Hu, S.N.H., R.G., K.Y.L., J.N., J.L., S. Yadav, N.J.B., T.L., J.E.O., C.S., C.M.V., E.C.P., F.J.C.); Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health (H.H., C.G., D.J.H., P.K.), Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University (K.A.B., J.R.P., L.R.), and Brigham and Women's Hospital (H.E.) - all in Boston; Qiagen, Hilden, Germany (R.S., J.K.); Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo (C.B.A., S. Yao), and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York (R.T.) - both in New York; the University of California, Irvine (H.A.-C., A.Z.), Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte (L.B., H.M., S.N., J.N.W.), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (C. Haiman), and Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford (E.M.J., A.W.K.) - all in California; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, Milwaukee (P.A.), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison (E.S.B., I.M.O., A.T.-D.); the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick (E.V.B.); the Behavioral and Epidemiology Research Group, American Cancer Society, Atlanta (B.D.C., S.M.G., M.G., J.M.H., E.J.J., A.V.P.); the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom (D.J.H.); the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (C.K., P.A.N.) and the Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington (S.L.) - both in Seattle; the Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu (L.L.M.); the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, NC (K.M.O., D.P.S., J.A.T., C.W.); Vanderbilt University, Nashville (T.P., S.R.); the University of Utah, Salt Lake City (D.E.G.); and the Department of Medicine and the Basser Center for BRCA, Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (S.M.D., K.L.N.).

Background: Population-based estimates of the risk of breast cancer associated with germline pathogenic variants in cancer-predisposition genes are critically needed for risk assessment and management in women with inherited pathogenic variants.

Methods: In a population-based case-control study, we performed sequencing using a custom multigene amplicon-based panel to identify germline pathogenic variants in 28 cancer-predisposition genes among 32,247 women with breast cancer (case patients) and 32,544 unaffected women (controls) from population-based studies in the Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility (CARRIERS) consortium. Associations between pathogenic variants in each gene and the risk of breast cancer were assessed.

Results: Pathogenic variants in 12 established breast cancer-predisposition genes were detected in 5.03% of case patients and in 1.63% of controls. Pathogenic variants in and were associated with a high risk of breast cancer, with odds ratios of 7.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.33 to 11.27) and 5.23 (95% CI, 4.09 to 6.77), respectively. Pathogenic variants in were associated with a moderate risk (odds ratio, 3.83; 95% CI, 2.68 to 5.63). Pathogenic variants in , , and were associated with increased risks of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer, whereas pathogenic variants in , , and were associated with an increased risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Pathogenic variants in 16 candidate breast cancer-predisposition genes, including the c.657_661del5 founder pathogenic variant in , were not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Conclusions: This study provides estimates of the prevalence and risk of breast cancer associated with pathogenic variants in known breast cancer-predisposition genes in the U.S. population. These estimates can inform cancer testing and screening and improve clinical management strategies for women in the general population with inherited pathogenic variants in these genes. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2005936DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127622PMC
February 2021

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Multigene Hereditary Cancer Panel Test Results for Women With Breast Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Oct;113(10):1429-1433

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

To evaluate the racial and ethnic differences in prevalence of germline pathogenic variants (PVs) and the effect of race and ethnicity on breast cancer (BC) risk among carriers, results of multigene testing of 77 900 women with BC (non-Hispanic White [NHW] = 57 003; Ashkenazi-Jewish = 4798; Black = 6722; Hispanic = 5194; and Asian = 4183) were analyzed, and the frequency of PVs in each gene were compared between BC patients (cases) and race- and ethnicity-matched gnomAD reference controls. Compared with NHWs, BRCA1 PVs were enriched in Ashkenazi-Jews and Hispanics, whereas CHEK2 PVs were statistically significantly lower in Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians (all 2-sided P < .05). In case-control studies, BARD1 PVs were associated with high risks (odds ratio > 4.00) of BC in Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians; ATM PVs were associated with increased risk of BC among all races and ethnicities except Asians, whereas CHEK2 and BRIP1 PVs were associated with increased risk of BC among NHWs and Hispanics only. These findings suggest a need for personalized management of BC risk in PV carriers based on race and ethnicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa167DOI Listing
October 2021

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

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

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

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

Considerations in assessing germline variant pathogenicity using cosegregation analysis.

Genet Med 2020 12 10;22(12):2052-2059. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Purpose: The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) have developed guidelines for classifying germline variants as pathogenic or benign to interpret genetic testing results. Cosegregation analysis is an important component of the guidelines. There are two main approaches for cosegregation analysis: meiosis counting and Bayes factor-based quantitative methods. Of these, the ACMG/AMP guidelines employ only meiosis counting. The accuracy of either approach has not been sufficiently addressed in previous works.

Methods: We analyzed hypothetical, simulated, and real-life data to evaluate the accuracy of each approach for cancer-associated genes.

Results: We demonstrate that meiosis counting can provide incorrect classifications when the underlying genetic basis of the disease departs from simple Mendelian situations. Some Bayes factor approaches are currently implemented with inappropriate penetrance. We propose an improved penetrance model and describe several critical considerations, including the accuracy of cosegregation for moderate-risk genes and the impact of pleiotropy, population, and birth year. We highlight a webserver, COOL (Co-segregation Online, http://BJFengLab.org/ ), that implements an accurate Bayes factor cosegregation analysis.

Conclusion: An appropriate penetrance model improves the accuracy of Bayes factor cosegregation analysis for high-penetrant variants, and is a better choice than meiosis counting whenever feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0920-4DOI Listing
December 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Germline HOXB13 mutations p.G84E and p.R217C do not confer an increased breast cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2020 06 16;10(1):9688. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

In breast cancer, high levels of homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) have been associated with disease progression of ER-positive breast cancer patients and resistance to tamoxifen treatment. Since HOXB13 p.G84E is a prostate cancer risk allele, we evaluated the association between HOXB13 germline mutations and breast cancer risk in a previous study consisting of 3,270 familial non-BRCA1/2 breast cancer cases and 2,327 controls from the Netherlands. Although both recurrent HOXB13 mutations p.G84E and p.R217C were not associated with breast cancer risk, the risk estimation for p.R217C was not very precise. To provide more conclusive evidence regarding the role of HOXB13 in breast cancer susceptibility, we here evaluated the association between HOXB13 mutations and increased breast cancer risk within 81 studies of the international Breast Cancer Association Consortium containing 68,521 invasive breast cancer patients and 54,865 controls. Both HOXB13 p.G84E and p.R217C did not associate with the development of breast cancer in European women, neither in the overall analysis (OR = 1.035, 95% CI = 0.859-1.246, P = 0.718 and OR = 0.798, 95% CI = 0.482-1.322, P = 0.381 respectively), nor in specific high-risk subgroups or breast cancer subtypes. Thus, although involved in breast cancer progression, HOXB13 is not a material breast cancer susceptibility gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65665-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297796PMC
June 2020

Mutation prevalence tables for hereditary cancer derived from multigene panel testing.

Hum Mutat 2020 08 9;41(8):e1-e6. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Ambry Genetics, Aliso Viejo, California.

Multigene panel testing for cancer predisposition mutations is becoming routine in clinical care. However, the gene content of panels offered by testing laboratories vary significantly, and data on mutation detection rates by gene and by the panel is limited, causing confusion among clinicians on which test to order. Using results from 147,994 multigene panel tests conducted at Ambry Genetics, we built an interactive prevalence tool to explore how differences in ethnicity, age of onset, and personal and family history of different cancers affect the prevalence of pathogenic mutations in 31 cancer predisposition genes, across various clinically available hereditary cancer gene panels. Over 13,000 mutation carriers were identified in this high-risk population. Most were non-Hispanic white (74%, n = 109,537), but also Black (n  = 10,875), Ashkenazi Jewish (n  = 10,464), Hispanic (n  = 10,028), and Asian (n  = 7,090). The most prevalent cancer types were breast (50%), ovarian (6.6%), and colorectal (4.7%), which is expected based on genetic testing guidelines and clinician referral for testing. The Hereditary Cancer Multi-Gene Panel Prevalence Tool presented here can be used to provide insight into the prevalence of mutations on a per-gene and per-multigene panel basis, while conditioning on multiple custom phenotypic variables to include race and cancer type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7418063PMC
August 2020

Contribution of Germline Predisposition Gene Mutations to Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 12;112(12):1213-1221

Departments of Health Sciences Research, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55902, USA.

Background: The risks of breast cancer in African American (AA) women associated with inherited mutations in breast cancer predisposition genes are not well defined. Thus, whether multigene germline hereditary cancer testing panels are applicable to this population is unknown. We assessed associations between mutations in panel-based genes and breast cancer risk in 5054 AA women with breast cancer and 4993 unaffected AA women drawn from 10 epidemiologic studies.

Methods: Germline DNA samples were sequenced for mutations in 23 cancer predisposition genes using a QIAseq multiplex amplicon panel. Prevalence of mutations and odds ratios (ORs) for associations with breast cancer risk were estimated with adjustment for study design, age, and family history of breast cancer.

Results: Pathogenic mutations were identified in 10.3% of women with estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer, 5.2% of women with ER-positive breast cancer, and 2.3% of unaffected women. Mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 were associated with high risks of breast cancer (OR = 47.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 10.43 to >100; OR = 7.25, 95% CI = 4.07 to 14.12; OR = 8.54, 95% CI = 3.67 to 24.95, respectively). RAD51D mutations were associated with high risk of ER-negative disease (OR = 7.82, 95% CI = 1.61 to 57.42). Moderate risks were observed for CHEK2, ATM, ERCC3, and FANCC mutations with ER-positive cancer, and RECQL mutations with all breast cancer.

Conclusions: The study identifies genes that predispose to breast cancer in the AA population, demonstrates the validity of current breast cancer testing panels for use in AA women, and provides a basis for increased referral of AA patients for cancer genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735769PMC
December 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Contribution of Germline Predisposition Gene Mutations to Clinical Subtypes of Invasive Breast Cancer From a Clinical Genetic Testing Cohort.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 12;112(12):1231-1241

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

Background: The germline cancer predisposition genes associated with increased risk of each clinical subtype of breast cancer, defined by estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2, are not well defined.

Methods: A total of 54 555 invasive breast cancer patients with 56 480 breast tumors were subjected to clinical hereditary cancer multigene panel testing. Heterogeneity for predisposition genes across clinical breast cancer subtypes was assessed by comparing mutation frequencies by gene among tumor subtypes and by association studies between each tumor subtype and reference controls.

Results: Mutations in 15 cancer predisposition genes were detected in 8.6% of patients with ER+/HER2-; 8.9% with ER+/HER2+; 7.7% with ER-/HER2+; and 14.4% of ER-/PR-/HER2- tumors. BRCA1, BRCA2, BARD1, and PALB2 mutations were enriched in ER- and HER2- tumors; RAD51C and RAD51D mutations were enriched in ER- tumors only; TP53 mutations were enriched in HER2+ tumors, and ATM and CHEK2 mutations were enriched in both ER+ and/or HER2+ tumors. All genes were associated with moderate (odds ratio > 2.00) or strong (odds ratio > 5.00) risks of at least one subtype of breast cancer in case-control analyses. Mutations in ATM, BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, PALB2, RAD51C, RAD51D, and TP53 had predicted lifetime absolute risks of at least 20.0% for breast cancer.

Conclusions: Germline mutations in hereditary cancer panel genes confer subtype-specific risks of breast cancer. Combined tumor subtype, age at breast cancer diagnosis, and family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer information provides refined categorical estimates of mutation prevalence for women considering genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735776PMC
December 2020

A network analysis to identify mediators of germline-driven differences in breast cancer prognosis.

Nat Commun 2020 01 16;11(1):312. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

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

Identifying the underlying genetic drivers of the heritability of breast cancer prognosis remains elusive. We adapt a network-based approach to handle underpowered complex datasets to provide new insights into the potential function of germline variants in breast cancer prognosis. This network-based analysis studies ~7.3 million variants in 84,457 breast cancer patients in relation to breast cancer survival and confirms the results on 12,381 independent patients. Aggregating the prognostic effects of genetic variants across multiple genes, we identify four gene modules associated with survival in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative and one in ER-positive disease. The modules show biological enrichment for cancer-related processes such as G-alpha signaling, circadian clock, angiogenesis, and Rho-GTPases in apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14100-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965101PMC
January 2020

Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy, natural menopause, and breast cancer risk: an international prospective cohort of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Breast Cancer Res 2020 01 16;22(1). Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, 3010, Australia.

Background: The effect of risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) on breast cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers is uncertain. Retrospective analyses have suggested a protective effect but may be substantially biased. Prospective studies have had limited power, particularly for BRCA2 mutation carriers. Further, previous studies have not considered the effect of RRSO in the context of natural menopause.

Methods: A multi-centre prospective cohort of 2272 BRCA1 and 1605 BRCA2 mutation carriers was followed for a mean of 5.4 and 4.9 years, respectively; 426 women developed incident breast cancer. RRSO was modelled as a time-dependent covariate in Cox regression, and its effect assessed in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Results: There was no association between RRSO and breast cancer for BRCA1 (HR = 1.23; 95% CI 0.94-1.61) or BRCA2 (HR = 0.88; 95% CI 0.62-1.24) mutation carriers. For BRCA2 mutation carriers, HRs were 0.68 (95% CI 0.40-1.15) and 1.07 (95% CI 0.69-1.64) for RRSO carried out before or after age 45 years, respectively. The HR for BRCA2 mutation carriers decreased with increasing time since RRSO (HR = 0.51; 95% CI 0.26-0.99 for 5 years or longer after RRSO). Estimates for premenopausal women were similar.

Conclusion: We found no evidence that RRSO reduces breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers. A potentially beneficial effect for BRCA2 mutation carriers was observed, particularly after 5 years following RRSO. These results may inform counselling and management of carriers with respect to RRSO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-020-1247-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966793PMC
January 2020

Fine-mapping of 150 breast cancer risk regions identifies 191 likely target genes.

Nat Genet 2020 01 7;52(1):56-73. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Genome-wide association studies have identified breast cancer risk variants in over 150 genomic regions, but the mechanisms underlying risk remain largely unknown. These regions were explored by combining association analysis with in silico genomic feature annotations. We defined 205 independent risk-associated signals with the set of credible causal variants in each one. In parallel, we used a Bayesian approach (PAINTOR) that combines genetic association, linkage disequilibrium and enriched genomic features to determine variants with high posterior probabilities of being causal. Potentially causal variants were significantly over-represented in active gene regulatory regions and transcription factor binding sites. We applied our INQUSIT pipeline for prioritizing genes as targets of those potentially causal variants, using gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci), chromatin interaction and functional annotations. Known cancer drivers, transcription factors and genes in the developmental, apoptosis, immune system and DNA integrity checkpoint gene ontology pathways were over-represented among the highest-confidence target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0537-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974400PMC
January 2020

Classification of variants of uncertain significance in BRCA1 and BRCA2 using personal and family history of cancer from individuals in a large hereditary cancer multigene panel testing cohort.

Genet Med 2020 04 19;22(4):701-708. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Purpose: Genetic testing of individuals often results in identification of genomic variants of unknown significance (VUS). Multiple lines of evidence are used to help determine the clinical significance of these variants.

Methods: We analyzed ~138,000 individuals tested by multigene panel testing (MGPT). We used logistic regression to predict carrier status based on personal and family history of cancer. This was applied to 4644 tested individuals carrying 2383 BRCA1/2 variants to calculate likelihood ratios informing pathogenicity for each. Heterogeneity tests were performed for specific classes of variants defined by in silico predictions.

Results: Twenty-two variants labeled as VUS had odds of >10:1 in favor of pathogenicity. The heterogeneity analysis found that among variants in functional domains that were predicted to be benign by in silico tools, a significantly higher proportion of variants were estimated to be pathogenic than previously indicated; that missense variants outside of functional domains should be considered benign; and that variants predicted to create de novo donor sites were also largely benign.

Conclusion: The evidence presented here supports the use of personal and family history from MGPT in the classification of VUS and will be integrated into ongoing efforts to provide large-scale multifactorial classification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0729-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7118020PMC
April 2020

Alcohol Consumption, Cigarette Smoking, and Risk of Breast Cancer for and Mutation Carriers: Results from The BRCA1 and BRCA2 Cohort Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 02 2;29(2):368-378. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Background: Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption have been intensively studied in the general population to assess their effects on the risk of breast cancer, but very few studies have examined these effects in and mutation carriers. Given the high breast cancer risk for mutation carriers and the importance of and in DNA repair, better evidence on the associations of these lifestyle factors with breast cancer risk is essential.

Methods: Using a large international pooled cohort of and mutation carriers, we conducted retrospective (5,707 mutation carriers and 3,525 mutation carriers) and prospective (2,276 mutation carriers and 1,610 mutation carriers) analyses of alcohol and tobacco consumption using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: For both and mutation carriers, none of the smoking-related variables was associated with breast cancer risk, except smoking for more than 5 years before a first full-term pregnancy (FFTP) when compared with parous women who never smoked. For mutation carriers, the HR from retrospective analysis (HR) was 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.39] and the HR from prospective analysis (HR) was 1.36 (95% CI, 0.99-1.87). For mutation carriers, smoking for more than 5 years before an FFTP showed an association of a similar magnitude, but the confidence limits were wider (HR = 1.25; 95% CI, 1.01-1.55 and HR = 1.30; 95% CI, 0.83-2.01). For both carrier groups, alcohol consumption was not associated with breast cancer risk.

Conclusions: The finding that smoking during the prereproductive years increases breast cancer risk for mutation carriers warrants further investigation.

Impact: This is the largest prospective study of mutation carriers to assess these important risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611162PMC
February 2020
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