Publications by authors named "Fergus J Couch"

419 Publications

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

Br J Cancer 2021 Aug 2. 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
August 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

Functional annotation of the 2q35 breast cancer risk locus implicates a structural variant in influencing activity of a long-range enhancer element.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 Jul 18;108(7):1190-1203. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg 69120, Germany.

A combination of genetic and functional approaches has identified three independent breast cancer risk loci at 2q35. A recent fine-scale mapping analysis to refine these associations resulted in 1 (signal 1), 5 (signal 2), and 42 (signal 3) credible causal variants at these loci. We used publicly available in silico DNase I and ChIP-seq data with in vitro reporter gene and CRISPR assays to annotate signals 2 and 3. We identified putative regulatory elements that enhanced cell-type-specific transcription from the IGFBP5 promoter at both signals (30- to 40-fold increased expression by the putative regulatory element at signal 2, 2- to 3-fold by the putative regulatory element at signal 3). We further identified one of the five credible causal variants at signal 2, a 1.4 kb deletion (esv3594306), as the likely causal variant; the deletion allele of this variant was associated with an average additional increase in IGFBP5 expression of 1.3-fold (MCF-7) and 2.2-fold (T-47D). We propose a model in which the deletion allele of esv3594306 juxtaposes two transcription factor binding regions (annotated by estrogen receptor alpha ChIP-seq peaks) to generate a single extended regulatory element. This regulatory element increases cell-type-specific expression of the tumor suppressor gene IGFBP5 and, thereby, reduces risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (odds ratio = 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.81, p = 3.1 × 10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322933PMC
July 2021

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

Genet Med 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics and spatially-defined immune (micro)landscapes of early-stage PD-L1-positive triple-negative breast cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Division of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic.

Purpose: PD-(L)1-targeted therapies have shown modest survival benefit in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). PD-L1+ microenvironments in TNBC are not well-characterized and may inform combinatorial immune therapies. Herein, we characterized clinicopathologic features, RNA-based immune signatures and spatially-defined protein-based immune microenvironments (TIME) in early-stage PD-L1+ and PD-L1- TNBC.

Experimental Design: From a large cohort of chemotherapy-naïve TNBC, clinicopathologic features, deconvoluted RNA immune signatures, and intraepithelial and stromal TIME (Nanostring GeoMX) were identified in subsets of PD-L1+ and PD-L1- TNBC, as defined by FDA-approved PD-L1 companion assays.

Results: 228/499 (46%) TNBC were PD-L1+ (SP142: {greater than or equal to}1% immune cells-positive). Using PD-L1 22C3, 46% had combined positive score (CPS) {greater than or equal to} 1 and 16% had CPS {greater than or equal to}10. PD-L1+ TNBC were higher grade with higher TILs (p <0.05). PD-L1 was not associated with improved survival following adjustment for TILs and other variables. RNA profiles of PD-L1+ TNBC had increased dendritic cell, macrophages and T/B cell subset features; and decreased myeloid-derived suppressor cells. PD-L1+ stromal and intraepithelial TIME were highly enriched in IDO-1, HLA-DR, CD40 and CD163 compared to PD-L1- TIME, with spatially-specific alterations in CTLA-4, STING, and fibronectin. Macrophage and antigen presentation-related proteins correlated most strongly with PD-L1 protein.

Conclusions: In this early-stage TNBC cohort, nearly 50% were PD-L1+ (SP142 companion assay) while 16% were PD-L1+ with the 22C3 companion assay. PD-L1+ TNBC had specific myeloid-derived and lymphoid features. Spatially-defined PD-L1+TIME were enriched in several clinically-actionable immune proteins. These data may inform future studies on combinatorial immunotherapies for patients with PD-L1+ TNBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0343DOI Listing
June 2021

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

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 8:JCO2001992. 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
June 2021

Clinical effectiveness of olaparib monotherapy in germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer in a real-world setting: phase IIIb LUCY interim analysis.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jul 1;152:68-77. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Baylor University Medical Centre, Texas Oncology and US Oncology, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: In the phase III OlympiAD trial, olaparib significantly increased progression-free survival (PFS) compared with chemotherapy of physician's choice in patients with germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm), human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer (mBC). The phase IIIb LUCY trial assessed the clinical effectiveness of olaparib in similar patients, in a setting reflecting clinical practice.

Methods: This open-label, single-arm trial of olaparib (300 mg, twice daily) enrolled patients with BRCAm, HER2-negative mBC who had received taxane and/or anthracycline in the (neo)adjuvant/metastatic setting and not more than two lines of prior chemotherapy for mBC. Patients with hormone receptor-positive mBC had progressed on at least one line of endocrine therapy in an adjuvant/metastatic setting and were unsuitable for further endocrine treatment. This interim analysis was planned after 160 PFS events.

Results: Of 563 patients screened, 252 patients with gBRCAm were enrolled and received at least one dose of olaparib. The median investigator-assessed PFS was 8.11 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.93-8.67; 166/252 events [65.9% maturity]). The investigator-assessed clinical response rate was 48.6%, and median time to first subsequent treatment or death was 9.66 months (95% CI, 8.67-11.14). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs; >20% patients) were nausea, anaemia, asthenia, vomiting and fatigue. Eleven patients (4.4%) discontinued treatment because of a TEAE. Grade 3 or higher TEAEs occurred in 64 patients (25.4%), including anaemia (33 patients; 13.1%).

Conclusion: Olaparib was clinically effective in patients with gBRCAm, HER2-negative mBC with safety outcomes consistent with previous findings. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03286842.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.03.029DOI Listing
July 2021

Gene-Environment Interactions Relevant to Estrogen and Risk of Breast Cancer: Can Gene-Environment Interactions Be Detected Only among Candidate SNPs from Genome-Wide Association Studies?

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 14;13(10). Epub 2021 May 14.

Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2730 Herlev, Denmark.

In this study we aim to examine gene-environment interactions (GxEs) between genes involved with estrogen metabolism and environmental factors related to estrogen exposure. GxE analyses were conducted with 1970 Korean breast cancer cases and 2052 controls in the case-control study, the Seoul Breast Cancer Study (SEBCS). A total of 11,555 SNPs from the 137 candidate genes were included in the GxE analyses with eight established environmental factors. A replication test was conducted by using an independent population from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), with 62,485 Europeans and 9047 Asians. The GxE tests were performed by using two-step methods in GxEScan software. Two interactions were found in the SEBCS. The first interaction was shown between rs13035764 of NCOA1 and age at menarche in the GE|2df model (-2df = 1.2 × 10). The age at menarche before 14 years old was associated with the high risk of breast cancer, and the risk was higher when subjects had homozygous minor allele G. The second GxE was shown between rs851998 near ESR1 and height in the GE|2df model (-2df = 1.1 × 10). Height taller than 160 cm was associated with a high risk of breast cancer, and the risk increased when the minor allele was added. The findings were not replicated in the BCAC. These results would suggest specificity in Koreans for breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102370DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156547PMC
May 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

PP2A and E3 ubiquitin ligase deficiencies: Seminal biological drivers in endometrial cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Jul 16;162(1):182-189. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States of America. Electronic address:

Objective: PI3K-AKT pathway mutations initiate a kinase cascade that characterizes endometrial cancer (EC). As kinases seldom cause oncogenic transformation without dysregulation of antagonistic phosphatases, pivotal interactions governing this pathway were explored and correlated with clinical outcomes.

Methods: After exclusion of patients with POLE mutations from The Cancer Genome Atlas EC cohort with endometrioid or serous EC, the study population was 209 patients with DNA sequencing, quantitative gene-specific RNA expression, copy number variation (CNV), and surveillance data available. Extracted data were annotated and integrated.

Results: A PIK3CA, PTEN, or PIK3R1 mutant (-mu) was present in 83% of patients; 57% harbored more than 1 mutation without adversely impacting progression-free survival (PFS) (P = .10). PIK3CA CNV of at least 1.1 (CNV high [-H]) was detected in 26% and linked to TP53-mu and CIP2A expression (P < .001) but was not associated with PFS (P = .24). PIK3CA expression was significantly different between those with CIP2A-H and CIP2A low (-L) expression (the endogenous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A [PP2A]), when stratified by PIK3CA mutational status or by PIK3CA CNV-H and CNV-L (all P < .01). CIP2A-H or PPP2R1A-mu mitigates PP2A kinase dephosphorylation, and FBXW7-mu nullifies E3 ubiquitin ligase (E3UL) oncoprotein degradation. CIP2A-H and PPP2R1A-mu (PP2A impairment) and FBXW7-mu (E3UL impairment) were associated with compromised PFS (P < .001) and were prognostically discriminatory for PIK3CA-mu and PIK3CA CNV-H tumors (P < .001). Among documented recurrences, 84% were associated with impaired PP2A (75%) and/or E3UL (20%).

Conclusion: PP2A and E3UL deficiencies are seminal biological drivers in EC independent of PIK3CA-mu, PTEN-mu, and PIK3R1-mu and PIK3CA CNV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.04.008DOI Listing
July 2021

Genetic Predictors of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy from Paclitaxel, Carboplatin and Oxaliplatin: NCCTG/Alliance N08C1, N08CA and N08CB Study.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 3;13(5). Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common and potentially permanent adverse effect of chemotherapeutic agents including taxanes such as paclitaxel and platinum-based compounds such as oxaliplatin and carboplatin. Previous studies have suggested that genetics may impact the risk of CIPN. We conducted genome-wide association studies (GWASs) for CIPN in two independent populations who had completed European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ)-CIPN20 assessments (a CIPN-specific 20-item questionnaire which includes three scales that evaluate sensory, autonomic, and motor symptoms). The study population N08Cx included 692 participants from three clinical trials (North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) N08C1, N08CA, and N08CB) who had been treated with paclitaxel, paclitaxel plus carboplatin, or oxaliplatin. The primary endpoint for the GWAS was the change from pre-chemotherapy CIPN20 sensory score to the worse score over the following 18 weeks. Study population The Mayo Clinic Breast Disease Registry (MCBDR) consisted of 381 Mayo Clinic Breast Disease Registry enrollees who had been treated with taxane or platinum-based chemotherapy. The primary endpoint for the GWAS assessed was the earliest CIPN20 sensory score available after the completion of chemotherapy. In multivariate model analyses, chemotherapy regimen ( = 3.0 × 10) and genetic ancestry ( = 0.007) were significantly associated with CIPN in the N08Cx population. Only age ( = 0.0004) was significantly associated with CIPN in the MCBDR population. The SNP most associated with CIPN was rs56360211 near ( =7.92 × 10) in N08Cx and rs113807868 near in the MCBDR ( = 1.27 × 10). Due to a lack of replication, we cannot conclude that we identified any genetic predictors of CIPN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13051084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7959452PMC
March 2021

Mutations in and Other Panel Genes in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer -Association With Patient and Disease Characteristics and Effect on Prognosis.

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 29;39(15):1619-1630. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Purpose: Among patients with metastatic breast cancer (mBC), the frequency of germline mutations in cancer susceptibility genes and the clinical relevance of these mutations are unclear. In this study, a prospective cohort of patients with mBC was used to determine mutation rates for breast cancer (BC) predisposition genes, to evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients with mutations, and to assess the influence of mutations on patient outcome.

Patients And Methods: Germline DNA from 2,595 patients with mBC enrolled in the prospective PRAEGNANT registry was evaluated for mutations in cancer predisposition genes. The frequencies of mutations in known BC predisposition genes were compared with results from a prospective registry of patients with nonmetastatic BC sequenced using the same QIAseq method and with public reference controls. Associations between mutation status and tumor characteristics, progression-free survival, and overall survival were assessed.

Results: Germline mutations in 12 established BC predisposition genes (including and ) were detected in 271 (10.4%) patients. A mutation in or was seen in 129 patients (5.0%). mutation carriers had a higher proportion of brain metastasis (27.1%) compared with nonmutation carriers (12.8%). Mutations were significantly enriched in PRAEGNANT patients with mBC compared with patients with nonmetastatic BC (10.4% 6.6%, < .01). Mutations did not significantly modify progression-free survival or overall survival for patients with mBC.

Conclusion: Multigene panel testing may be considered in all patients with mBC because of the high frequency of germline mutations in and other BC predisposition genes. Although the prognosis of mutation carriers and nonmutation carriers with mBC was similar, differences observed in tumor characteristics have implications for treatment and for future studies of targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274805PMC
May 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

Genetic Variations and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL): A Genome-Wide Study Approach.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Feb 10;13(4). Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important prognostic patient-reported outcome in oncology. Because prior studies suggest that HRQOL is, in part, heritable, we performed a GWAS to elucidate genetic factors associated with HRQOL in breast cancer survivors. Physical and mental HRQOL were measured via paper surveys that included the PROMIS-10 physical and mental health domain scales in 1442 breast cancer survivors participating in the Mayo Clinic Breast Disease Registry (MCBDR). In multivariable regression analyses, age and financial concerns were significantly associated with global physical health (age: = 1.6 × 10; financial concerns: = 4.8 × 10) and mental health (age: = 3.5 × 10; financial concerns: = 2.0 × 10. Chemotherapy was associated with worse global mental health ( = 0.01). In the GWAS, none of the SNPs reached the genome-wide association significance threshold of 5 × 10 for associations with either global physical or global mental health, however, a cluster of SNPs in , particularly rs112718371, appeared to be linked to worse global physical health ( = 5.21 × 10). Additionally, SNPs in and were also moderately associated with worse physical and mental health ( < 10). These biologically plausible candidate SNPs warrant further study as possible predictors of HRQOL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13040716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7916362PMC
February 2021

Salicylates enhance CRM1 inhibitor antitumor activity by induction of S-phase arrest and impairment of DNA-damage repair.

Blood 2021 01;137(4):513-523

Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine.

Chromosome region maintenance protein 1 (CRM1) mediates protein export from the nucleus and is a new target for anticancer therapeutics. Broader application of KPT-330 (selinexor), a first-in-class CRM1 inhibitor recently approved for relapsed multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, have been limited by substantial toxicity. We discovered that salicylates markedly enhance the antitumor activity of CRM1 inhibitors by extending the mechanisms of action beyond CRM1 inhibition. Using salicylates in combination enables targeting of a range of blood cancers with a much lower dose of selinexor, thereby potentially mitigating prohibitive clinical adverse effects. Choline salicylate (CS) with low-dose KPT-330 (K+CS) had potent, broad activity across high-risk hematological malignancies and solid-organ cancers ex vivo and in vivo. The K+CS combination was not toxic to nonmalignant cells as compared with malignant cells and was safe without inducing toxicity to normal organs in mice. Mechanistically, compared with KPT-330 alone, K+CS suppresses the expression of CRM1, Rad51, and thymidylate synthase proteins, leading to more efficient inhibition of CRM1-mediated nuclear export, impairment of DNA-damage repair, reduced pyrimidine synthesis, cell-cycle arrest in S-phase, and cell apoptosis. Moreover, the addition of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors further potentiates the K+CS antitumor effect. K+CS represents a new class of therapy for multiple types of blood cancers and will stimulate future investigations to exploit DNA-damage repair and nucleocytoplasmic transport for cancer therapy in general.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020009013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7845010PMC
January 2021

Association of a novel endometrial cancer biomarker panel with prognostic risk, platinum insensitivity, and targetable therapeutic options.

PLoS One 2021 27;16(1):e0245664. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, United States of America.

During the past decade, the age-adjusted mortality rate for endometrial cancer (EC) increased 1.9% annually with TP53 mutant (TP53-mu) EC disproportionally represented in advanced disease and deaths. Therefore, we aimed to assess pivotal molecular parameters that differentiate clinical outcomes in high- and low-risk EC. Using the Cancer Genome Atlas, we analyzed EC specimens with available DNA sequences and quantitative gene-specific RNA expression data. After polymerase ɛ (POLE)-mutant specimens were excluded, differential gene-specific mutations and mRNA expressions were annotated and integrated. Consequent to TP53-mu failure to induce p21, derepression of multiple oncogenes harboring promoter p21 repressive sites was observed, including CCNA2 and FOXM1 (P < .001 compared with TP53 wild type [TP53-wt]). TP53-wt EC with high CCNA2 expression (CCNA2-H) had a targeted transcriptomic profile similar to that of TP53-mu EC, suggesting CCNA2 is a seminal determinant for both TP53-wt and TP53-mu EC. CCNA2 enhances E2F1 function, upregulating FOXM1 and CIP2A, as observed in TP53-mu and CCNA2-H TP53-wt EC (P < .001). CIP2A inhibits protein phosphatase 2A, leading to AKT inactivation of GSK3β and restricted oncoprotein degradation; PPP2R1A and FBXW7 mutations yield similar results. Upregulation of FOXM1 and failed degradation of FOXM1 is evidenced by marked upregulation of multiple homologous recombination genes (P < .001). Integrating these molecular aberrations generated a molecular biomarker panel with significant prognostic discrimination (P = 5.8×10-7); adjusting for age, histology, grade, myometrial invasion, TP53 status, and stage, only CCNA2-H/E2F1-H (P = .0003), FBXW7-mu/PPP2R1A-mu (P = .0002), and stage (P = .017) were significant. The generated prognostic molecular classification system identifies dissimilar signaling aberrations potentially amenable to targetable therapeutic options.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245664PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7840025PMC
June 2021

Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Survival by Tumor Subtype: Pooled Analyses from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Apr 26;30(4):623-642. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Gynaecology Research Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: It is not known whether modifiable lifestyle factors that predict survival after invasive breast cancer differ by subtype.

Methods: We analyzed data for 121,435 women diagnosed with breast cancer from 67 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium with 16,890 deaths (8,554 breast cancer specific) over 10 years. Cox regression was used to estimate associations between risk factors and 10-year all-cause mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality overall, by estrogen receptor (ER) status, and by intrinsic-like subtype.

Results: There was no evidence of heterogeneous associations between risk factors and mortality by subtype ( > 0.30). The strongest associations were between all-cause mortality and BMI ≥30 versus 18.5-25 kg/m [HR (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.19 (1.06-1.34)]; current versus never smoking [1.37 (1.27-1.47)], high versus low physical activity [0.43 (0.21-0.86)], age ≥30 years versus <20 years at first pregnancy [0.79 (0.72-0.86)]; >0-<5 years versus ≥10 years since last full-term birth [1.31 (1.11-1.55)]; ever versus never use of oral contraceptives [0.91 (0.87-0.96)]; ever versus never use of menopausal hormone therapy, including current estrogen-progestin therapy [0.61 (0.54-0.69)]. Similar associations with breast cancer mortality were weaker; for example, 1.11 (1.02-1.21) for current versus never smoking.

Conclusions: We confirm associations between modifiable lifestyle factors and 10-year all-cause mortality. There was no strong evidence that associations differed by ER status or intrinsic-like subtype.

Impact: Given the large dataset and lack of evidence that associations between modifiable risk factors and 10-year mortality differed by subtype, these associations could be cautiously used in prognostication models to inform patient-centered care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026532PMC
April 2021

CYP3A7*1C allele: linking premenopausal oestrone and progesterone levels with risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Br J Cancer 2021 02 26;124(4):842-854. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Epidemiological studies provide strong evidence for a role of endogenous sex hormones in the aetiology of breast cancer. The aim of this analysis was to identify genetic variants that are associated with urinary sex-hormone levels and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We carried out a genome-wide association study of urinary oestrone-3-glucuronide and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide levels in 560 premenopausal women, with additional analysis of progesterone levels in 298 premenopausal women. To test for the association with breast cancer risk, we carried out follow-up genotyping in 90,916 cases and 89,893 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. All women were of European ancestry.

Results: For pregnanediol-3-glucuronide, there were no genome-wide significant associations; for oestrone-3-glucuronide, we identified a single peak mapping to the CYP3A locus, annotated by rs45446698. The minor rs45446698-C allele was associated with lower oestrone-3-glucuronide (-49.2%, 95% CI -56.1% to -41.1%, P = 3.1 × 10); in follow-up analyses, rs45446698-C was also associated with lower progesterone (-26.7%, 95% CI -39.4% to -11.6%, P = 0.001) and reduced risk of oestrogen and progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer (OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.91, P = 6.9 × 10).

Conclusions: The CYP3A7*1C allele is associated with reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer possibly mediated via an effect on the metabolism of endogenous sex hormones in premenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01185-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884683PMC
February 2021

Real-World Experiences With Yoga on Cancer-Related Symptoms in Women With Breast Cancer.

Glob Adv Health Med 2021 8;10:2164956120984140. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Purpose: Integrative therapies such as yoga are potential treatments for many psychological and physical symptoms that occur during and/or after treatment for cancer. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the patient-perceived benefit of yoga for symptoms commonly experienced by breast cancer survivors.

Methods: 1,049 breast cancer survivors who had self-reported use of yoga on a follow up survey, in an ongoing prospective Mayo Clinic Breast Disease Registry (MCBDR), received an additional mailed yoga-focused survey asking about the impact of yoga on a variety of symptoms. Differences between pre- and post- scores were assessed using Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test.

Results: 802/1,049 (76%) of women who were approached to participate, consented and returned the survey. 507/802 (63%) reported use of yoga during and/or after their cancer diagnosis. The vast majority of respondents (89.4%) reported some symptomatic benefit from yoga. The most common symptoms that prompted the use of yoga were breast/chest wall pain, lymphedema, and anxiety. Only 9% of patients reported that they had been referred to yoga by a medical professional. While the greatest symptom improvement was reported with breast/chest wall pain and anxiety, significant improvement was also perceived in joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, quality of life, hot flashes, nausea/vomiting, depression, insomnia, lymphedema, and peripheral neuropathy, (all p-values <0.004).

Conclusion: Data supporting the use of yoga for symptom management after cancer are limited and typically focus on mental health. In this study, users of yoga often reported physical benefits as well as mental health benefits. Further prospective studies investigating the efficacy of yoga in survivorship are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2164956120984140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797571PMC
January 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

Germline BRCA1/2 mutations and severe haematological toxicities in patients with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Mar 7;145:44-52. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Erlangen, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-EMN, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: BRCA1 and BRCA2 play a central role in DNA repair. Therefore, patients harbouring germline (g) BRCA1/2 mutations (m) treated with chemotherapy might be at higher risk of haematological toxicities.

Methods: Patients from German Breast Group (GBG) and Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynäkologische Onkologie-breast group studies with early triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and known gBRCA1/2m status treated with anthracycline-taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy were analysed. Primary objective was the rate of neutropenia grade (G)III-IV in cycle 1 (C1). Secondary objectives included effects on overall and other haematological toxicities GIII-IV in C1, cumulative haematological toxicity across all cycles, relative total dose intensity, and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor prophylaxis. Haematological toxicities under taxanes, carboplatin, and cyclophosphamide were explored.

Results: Two hundred nine of 1171 (17.8%) evaluated patients had gBRCA1/2m. In C1, 37.4% gBRCA1/2m versus 35.7% wild-type patients had neutropenia GIII-IV (P = 0.683). For C1, gBRCA1/2m predicted neither for neutropenia GIII-IV (odds ratio [OR]: 1.26, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.87-1.82, P = 0.226) nor for other haematological toxicities GIII-IV (OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.64-1.31, P = 0.625) in multivariable regression models. Analyses of cumulative toxicities across all cycles yielded similar results except thrombocytopaenia GIII-IV, which was increased in gBRCA1m patients. In patients treated with taxanes, the rate of haematological toxicities GIII-IV was higher in gBRCA1/2m compared with wild-type (59.5% versus 43.1%; p < 0.001). No difference was seen under cyclophosphamide or platinum-containing chemotherapies.

Conclusions: gBRCA1/2m was not associated with higher risk of overall severe haematological toxicities in the first cycle or cumulatively across all cycles under standard chemotherapy for TNBC. Under taxane, patients with gBRCA1/2m might have a higher risk of haematological toxicities GIII-IV, requiring further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.12.007DOI Listing
March 2021

Association of mammographic density measures and breast cancer "intrinsic" molecular subtypes.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 May 4;187(1):215-224. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Purpose: We evaluated the association of percent mammographic density (PMD), absolute dense area (DA), and non-dense area (NDA) with risk of "intrinsic" molecular breast cancer (BC) subtypes.

Methods: We pooled 3492 invasive BC and 10,148 controls across six studies with density measures from prediagnostic, digitized film-screen mammograms. We classified BC tumors into subtypes [63% Luminal A, 21% Luminal B, 5% HER2 expressing, and 11% as triple negative (TN)] using information on estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and tumor grade. We used polytomous logistic regression to calculate odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for density measures (per SD) across the subtypes compared to controls, adjusting for age, body mass index and study, and examined differences by age group.

Results: All density measures were similarly associated with BC risk across subtypes. Significant interaction of PMD by age (P = 0.001) was observed for Luminal A tumors, with stronger effect sizes seen for younger women < 45 years (OR = 1.69 per SD PMD) relative to women of older ages (OR = 1.53, ages 65-74, OR = 1.44 ages 75 +). Similar but opposite trends were seen for NDA by age for risk of Luminal A: risk for women: < 45 years (OR = 0.71 per SD NDA) was lower than older women (OR = 0.83 and OR = 0.84 for ages 65-74 and 75 + , respectively) (P < 0.001). Although not significant, similar patterns of associations were seen by age for TN cancers.

Conclusions: Mammographic density measures were associated with risk of all "intrinsic" molecular subtypes. However, findings of significant interactions between age and density measures may have implications for subtype-specific risk models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-06049-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216504PMC
May 2021

Whole-exome sequencing of non-BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carrier cases at high-risk for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer.

Hum Mutat 2021 Mar 28;42(3):290-299. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Molecular Oncology Research Center, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos, Brazil.

The current study aimed to identify new breast and/or ovarian cancer predisposition genes. For that, whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed in the germline DNA of 52 non-BRCA1/BRCA2/TP53 mutation carrier women at high-risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). All variants were classified using information from population and disease specific databases, in silico prediction tools and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) criteria. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of tumor samples and segregation analyses were performed whenever possible. The variants identified were investigated in a second, independent cohort of 17 BC cases. Pathogenic/Likely Pathogenic variants were identified in known cancer genes such as CHEK2, MUTYH, PMS2, and RAD51C. Rare and potentially pathogenic variants were identified in DNA repair genes (FAN1, POLQ, and RAD54L) and other cancer-related genes such as DROSHA and SLC34A2. Interestingly, the variant c.149T>G in the FAN1 gene was identified in two unrelated families, and exhibited LOH in the tumor tissue of one of them. In conclusion, this is the largest Brazilian WES study involving families at high-risk for HBOC which has brought novel insights into the role of potentially new genetic risk factors for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7898723PMC
March 2021

Antimullerian Hormone as a Serum Biomarker for Risk of Chemotherapy-Induced Amenorrhea.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Aug;113(8):1105-1108

Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, NRG Oncology, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Antimullerian hormone (AMH) is a promising biomarker for ovarian reserve. In this study, we assessed AMH before and 1 year after initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy on National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)/NRG Oncology B-47 in female participants aged 42 years and younger (median age = 39 years). At baseline, median AMH was 1.2 ng/mL; 13 (4.7%) values were less than 0.1 ng/mL (the threshold for detectable levels, in the perimenopause and menopause range), and 57 values (20.6%) were less than 0.5 ng/mL. At 1 year, 215 (77.6%) were less than 0.1 ng/mL, and 264 (95.3%) were less than 0.5 ng/mL. Postchemotherapy menses were reported by 46.2% of participants. Multivariable logistic regression found that the odds of having postchemotherapy menses increased with younger age, higher body mass index, and higher prechemotherapy AMH, but not by trastuzumab administration or by the choice of chemotherapy (doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel vs docetaxel-cyclophosphamide). We conclude that higher prechemotherapy AMH predicts a lower risk of chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea and that AMH 1 year after chemotherapy initiation is not informative in this setting because it is likely to be very low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328977PMC
August 2021

Germline genetic testing in breast cancer: Rationale for the testing of all women diagnosed by the age of 60 years and for risk-based testing of those older than 60 years.

Cancer 2021 Mar 4;127(6):828-833. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Approximately 5% to 10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will have a pathogenic variant (PV) in a hereditary cancer susceptibility gene, and this has significant implications for the management of these patients and their relatives. Despite the benefits of genetic testing, many eligible patients with breast cancer never undergo testing because of various barriers, including complicated testing criteria such as those from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). In 2019, the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) proposed germline genetic testing for all patients with breast cancer to increase the identification of PV carriers. In 2020, a Mayo Clinic study highlighted the limitations of these 2 genetic testing guidelines (NCCN and ASBrS) and proposed a hybrid approach of testing all women diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 65 years and using NCCN criteria for older patients. This commentary presents an updated analysis of the Mayo Clinic data and discusses the rationale for using the age of 60 years rather than 65 years as the cutoff for this hybrid approach. Using an age at diagnosis of ≤60 or ≤65 years for the universal testing of patients with breast cancer detected more PVs (11.9% [16 of 134] and 15.7% [21 of 134], respectively) in comparison with using the NCCN criteria. Lowering the age for universal testing from 65 to 60 years maintained the sensitivity of detecting a PV at >90% while sparing testing for an additional 10% of women. Compared with the testing of all patients, the hybrid approach would allow 31% of all women with breast cancer to forgo testing and result in fewer variants of uncertain significance identified and, therefore, would decrease the chance of harm from misinterpretation of these variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33305DOI Listing
March 2021

Racial and ethnic differences in multigene hereditary cancer panel test results for women with breast cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 Nov 4. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

To evaluate the racial/ethnic differences in prevalence of germline pathogenic variants (PVs) and the effect of race/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 = 4,798; Black = 6,722; Hispanic = 5,194; and Asian = 4,183) were analyzed and the frequency of PVs in each gene were compared between BC cases and race/ethnicity-matched gnomAD reference controls. Compared to NHWs, BRCA1 PVs were enriched in Ashkenazi-Jews and Hispanics while CHEK2 PVs were statistically significantly lower in Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians (all two-sided P< 0.05). 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/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/ethnicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa167DOI Listing
November 2020

Impact of Personalized Genetic Breast Cancer Risk Estimation With Polygenic Risk Scores on Preventive Endocrine Therapy Intention and Uptake.

Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2021 Feb 23;14(2):175-184. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Breast Diagnostic Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Endocrine therapy is underutilized to reduce breast cancer incidence among women at increased risk. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) assessing 77 breast cancer genetic susceptibility loci personalizes risk estimates. We examined effect of personalized PRS breast cancer risk prediction on intention to take and endocrine therapy uptake among women at increased risk. Eligible participants had a 10-year breast cancer risk ≥5% by Tyrer-Cuzick model [International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS)] or ≥3.0 % 5-year Gail Model risk with no breast cancer history or hereditary breast cancer syndrome. Breast cancer risk was estimated, endocrine therapy options were discussed, and endocrine therapy intent was assessed at baseline. After genotyping, PRS-updated breast cancer risk estimates, endocrine therapy options, and intent to take endocrine therapy were reassessed; endocrine therapy uptake was assessed during follow-up. From March 2016 to October 2017, 151 patients were enrolled [median (range) age, 56.1 (36.0-76.4 years)]. Median 10-year and lifetime IBIS risks were 7.9% and 25.3%. Inclusion of PRS increased lifetime IBIS breast cancer risk estimates for 81 patients (53.6%) and reduced risk for 70 (46.4%). Of participants with increased breast cancer risk by PRS, 39 (41.9%) had greater intent to take endocrine therapy; of those with decreased breast cancer risk by PRS, 28 (46.7%) had less intent to take endocrine therapy ( < 0.001). On multivariable regression, increased breast cancer risk by PRS was associated with greater intent to take endocrine therapy ( < 0.001). Endocrine therapy uptake was greater among participants with increased breast cancer risk by PRS (53.4%) than with decreased risk (20.9%; < 0.001). PRS testing influenced intent to take and endocrine therapy uptake. Assessing PRS effect on endocrine therapy adherence is needed. Counseling women at increased breast cancer risk using polygenic risk score (PRS) risk estimates can significantly impact preventive endocrine therapy uptake. Further development of PRS testing to personalize breast cancer risk assessments and endocrine therapy counselling may serve to potentially reduce the incidence of breast cancer in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-20-0154DOI Listing
February 2021
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