Publications by authors named "Gabriella Andreotti"

100 Publications

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

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pesticide use and kidney function among farmers in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture study.

Environ Res 2021 08 11;199:111276. Epub 2021 May 11.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Pesticides have been reported to be associated with malignant and non-malignant kidney disease. Few studies have examined the relationship between individual pesticides and kidney dysfunction.

Objective: We evaluated the associations of pesticide use with measured kidney function among male pesticide applicators in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture (BEEA) study, a subcohort in the Agricultural Health Study.

Methods: Serum creatinine was measured in 1545 BEEA participants and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated with the chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation. Using reported information on lifetime use of 41 pesticides, multivariable linear and logistic regression was used to examine associations with eGFR modeled continuously and with CKD (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m), respectively. Models were adjusted for possible confounding factors related to kidney function and correlated pesticides.

Results: Lower eGFR was observed among pesticide applicators who ever used the herbicides pendimethalin (-3.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.8%, -1.5%), atrazine (-3.7%, 95% CI: 6.9%, -0.4%), and dicamba (-2.8%, 95% CI: 5.3%, -0.2%) compared with never users of each pesticide. Ever use of pendimethalin (odds ratio (OR)=1.6, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.2) and atrazine (OR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.0) was also associated with elevated odds of CKD, with an exposure-response association between intensity-weighted lifetime days of pendimethalin use and CKD among active farmers (N=1302; p=0.04). Atrazine use within the last year was associated with lower eGFR and elevated odds of CKD when compared with never users, and we observed exposure-response associations with intensity-weighted lifetime days among recent users. Use of several other pesticides was associated with higher eGFR.

Discussion: These results suggest that two widely used herbicides, pendimethalin and atrazine, may be associated with altered kidney function among pesticide applicators. Our findings for these herbicides are consistent with observed associations with end-stage renal disease in the Agricultural Health Study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111276DOI Listing
August 2021

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

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

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

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

Lifetime Pesticide Use and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance in a Prospective Cohort of Male Farmers.

Environ Health Perspect 2021 01 6;129(1):17003. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Myeloma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.

Background: Farmers have a higher incidence of multiple myeloma, and there is suggestive evidence of an elevated prevalence of its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), relative to the general population. Pesticide exposures are suspected to play a role; however, the biologic plausibility for associations with multiple myeloma remains unclear.

Objectives: Our objectives were to examine the prevalence of MGUS and evaluate associations with a wide range of pesticides in a large sample of farmers.

Methods: We obtained sera and assessed MGUS among 1,638 male farmers of age in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort in Iowa and North Carolina. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed to estimate associations with MGUS for recent use (within the 12 months before phlebotomy) and cumulative intensity-weighted lifetime days of use of specific pesticides.

Results: The age-standardized MGUS prevalence was significantly elevated among AHS farmers (7.7%) compared with demographically similar men in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2.8%) or Olmsted County, Minnesota (3.8%; ). Recent use of permethrin was associated with MGUS [recent use vs. no recent use, (95% CI: 1.06, 3.13)], especially among those who had also used it in the past [recent and past use vs. never use, (95% CI: 1.32, 4.69)]. High intensity-weighted lifetime use of the organochlorine insecticides aldrin and dieldrin was associated with MGUS relative to those who never used either of these pesticides [ (95% CI: 1.29, 4.54); ]. We also observed a positive association with high lifetime use of petroleum oil/distillates as an herbicide, as well as an inverse association with fonofos use.

Discussion: This is the largest investigation of MGUS in farmers and the first to identify an association with MGUS for permethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide previously associated with multiple myeloma. Given the continued widespread use of permethrin in various residential and commercial settings, our findings may have important implications for exposed individuals in the general population. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP6960.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP6960DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787072PMC
January 2021

Pesticide exposure and incident thyroid cancer among male pesticide applicators in agricultural health study.

Environ Int 2021 01 27;146:106187. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

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

Background: Many pesticides are known to have thyroid-disrupting properties. However, few studies have evaluated the association between specific pesticide ingredients and risk of thyroid cancer. We investigated self-reported pesticide use and incident thyroid cancer in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a large cohort of occupationally-exposed male pesticide applicators.

Methods: The AHS is a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. At enrollment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1999-2005), participants reported use of 50 pesticides. We characterized exposure as ever use (44 pesticides with ≥5 exposed cases) and by cumulative intensity-weighted lifetime days (22 pesticides with ≥10 exposed cases), a metric that accounts for factors that influence exposure. We estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using Cox regression for incident thyroid (n = 85 cases) cancer among male participants using follow-up through 2014/2015.

Results: Use of the fungicide metalaxyl (HR = 2.03, CI:1.16-3.52) and the organochlorine insecticide lindane (HR = 1.74, CI:1.06-2.84) was associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer. The herbicide chlorimuron-ethyl was inversely associated with risk when we restricted to papillary thyroid cancer, the most common subtype (HR = 0.52, CI:0.28-0.96). High use of the insecticide carbaryl (>median intensity-weighted days) was inversely associated with thyroid cancer (HR = 0.20, CI:0.08-0.53, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: In this large cohort study, we observed increased risk of thyroid cancer associated with use of metalaxyl and lindane, and an inverse association with carbaryl. More work is needed to understand the potential role of these chemicals in thyroid carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106187DOI Listing
January 2021

Mendelian Randomization Analysis of n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Pancreatic Cancer Risk.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 12 23;29(12):2735-2739. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

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

Background: Whether circulating polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels are associated with pancreatic cancer risk is uncertain. Mendelian randomization (MR) represents a study design using genetic instruments to better characterize the relationship between exposure and outcome.

Methods: We utilized data from genome-wide association studies within the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium, involving approximately 9,269 cases and 12,530 controls of European descent, to evaluate associations between pancreatic cancer risk and genetically predicted plasma n-6 PUFA levels. Conventional MR analyses were performed using individual-level and summary-level data.

Results: Using genetic instruments, we did not find evidence of associations between genetically predicted plasma n-6 PUFA levels and pancreatic cancer risk [estimates per one SD increase in each PUFA-specific weighted genetic score using summary statistics: linoleic acid odds ratio (OR) = 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.98-1.02; arachidonic acid OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.99-1.01; and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.87-1.02]. The OR estimates remained virtually unchanged after adjustment for covariates, using individual-level data or summary statistics, or stratification by age and sex.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that variations of genetically determined plasma n-6 PUFA levels are not associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Impact: These results suggest that modifying n-6 PUFA levels through food sources or supplementation may not influence risk of pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710600PMC
December 2020

Occupational Pesticide Use and Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma in the Agricultural Health Study.

Environ Health Perspect 2020 06 12;128(6):67011. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Background: Agricultural work and occupational pesticide use have been associated with increased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form of kidney cancer. However, few prospective studies have investigated links to specific pesticides.

Objective: We evaluated the lifetime use of individual pesticides and the incidence of RCC.

Methods: We evaluated the associations between intensity-weighted lifetime days (IWDs) of 38 pesticides and incident RCC in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. Among 55,873 applicators, 308 cases were diagnosed between enrollment (1993-1997) and the end of follow-up (2014-2015). We estimated incidence rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Poisson regression, controlling for potential confounding factors, with lagged and unlagged pesticide exposures.

Results: There was a statistically significant increased risk of RCC among the highest users of 2,4,5-T compared with never users [unlagged (95% CI: 1.65, 5.17; )], with similar risk estimates for lagged exposure [20-y lag (95% CI: 1.83, 6.22; )]. In 20-y lagged analyses, we also found exposure-response associations with chlorpyrifos [ (95% CI: 1.05, 2.70; )], chlordane [ (95% CI: 1.10, 3.87; )], atrazine [ (95% CI: 1.00, 2.03; )], cyanazine [ (95% CI: 1.03, 2.50; )], and paraquat [ (95% CI: 1.03, 3.70; )].

Conclusions: This is, to our knowledge, the first prospective study to evaluate RCC risk in relation to various pesticides. We found evidence of associations with RCC for four herbicides (2,4,5-T, atrazine, cyanazine, and paraquat) and two insecticides (chlorpyrifos and chlordane). Our findings provide insights into specific chemicals that may influence RCC risk among pesticide applicators. Confirmation of these findings and investigations of the biologic plausibility and potential mechanisms underlying the observed associations are warranted. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP6334.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP6334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292387PMC
June 2020

Genome-Wide Association Study Data Reveal Genetic Susceptibility to Chronic Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases and Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Risk.

Cancer Res 2020 09 8;80(18):4004-4013. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.

Registry-based epidemiologic studies suggest associations between chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). As genetic susceptibility contributes to a large proportion of chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases, we hypothesize that the genomic regions surrounding established genome-wide associated variants for these chronic inflammatory diseases are associated with PDAC. We examined the association between PDAC and genomic regions (±500 kb) surrounding established common susceptibility variants for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis. We analyzed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies data for 8,384 cases and 11,955 controls of European descent from two large consortium studies using the summary data-based adaptive rank truncated product method to examine the overall association of combined genomic regions for each inflammatory disease group. Combined genomic susceptibility regions for ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic pancreatitis were associated with PDAC at values < 0.05 (0.0040, 0.0057, 0.011, and 3.4 × 10, respectively). After excluding the 20 PDAC susceptibility regions (±500 kb) previously identified by GWAS, the genomic regions for ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and inflammatory bowel disease remained associated with PDAC ( = 0.0029, 0.0057, and 0.0098, respectively). Genomic regions for celiac disease ( = 0.22) and primary sclerosing cholangitis ( = 0.078) were not associated with PDAC. Our results support the hypothesis that genomic regions surrounding variants associated with inflammatory intestinal diseases, particularly, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic pancreatitis are associated with PDAC. SIGNIFICANCE: The joint effects of common variants in genomic regions containing susceptibility loci for inflammatory bowel disease and chronic pancreatitis are associated with PDAC and may provide insights to understanding pancreatic cancer etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7861352PMC
September 2020

Genome-Wide Gene-Diabetes and Gene-Obesity Interaction Scan in 8,255 Cases and 11,900 Controls from PanScan and PanC4 Consortia.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 09 16;29(9):1784-1791. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

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

Background: Obesity and diabetes are major modifiable risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Interactions between genetic variants and diabetes/obesity have not previously been comprehensively investigated in pancreatic cancer at the genome-wide level.

Methods: We conducted a gene-environment interaction (GxE) analysis including 8,255 cases and 11,900 controls from four pancreatic cancer genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets (Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium I-III and Pancreatic Cancer Case Control Consortium). Obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m) and diabetes (duration ≥3 years) were the environmental variables of interest. Approximately 870,000 SNPs (minor allele frequency ≥0.005, genotyped in at least one dataset) were analyzed. Case-control (CC), case-only (CO), and joint-effect test methods were used for SNP-level GxE analysis. As a complementary approach, gene-based GxE analysis was also performed. Age, sex, study site, and principal components accounting for population substructure were included as covariates. Meta-analysis was applied to combine individual GWAS summary statistics.

Results: No genome-wide significant interactions (departures from a log-additive odds model) with diabetes or obesity were detected at the SNP level by the CC or CO approaches. The joint-effect test detected numerous genome-wide significant GxE signals in the GWAS main effects top hit regions, but the significance diminished after adjusting for the GWAS top hits. In the gene-based analysis, a significant interaction of diabetes with variants in the (family with sequence similarity 63 member A) gene (significance threshold < 1.25 × 10) was observed in the meta-analysis ( = 1.2 ×10, = 4.2 ×10).

Conclusions: This analysis did not find significant GxE interactions at the SNP level but found one significant interaction with diabetes at the gene level. A larger sample size might unveil additional genetic factors via GxE scans.

Impact: This study may contribute to discovering the mechanism of diabetes-associated pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483330PMC
September 2020

Associations between reproductive factors and biliary tract cancers in women from the Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project.

J Hepatol 2020 10 11;73(4):863-872. Epub 2020 May 11.

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

Background & Aims: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is known to have a female predominance while other biliary tract cancers (BTCs) have a male predominance. However, the role of female reproductive factors in BTC etiology remains unclear.

Methods: We pooled data from 19 studies of >1.5 million women participating in the Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project to examine the associations of parity, age at menarche, reproductive years, and age at menopause with BTC. Associations for age at menarche and reproductive years with BTC were analyzed separately for Asian and non-Asian women. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by study.

Results: During 21,681,798 person-years of follow-up, 875 cases of GBC, 379 of intrahepatic bile duct cancer (IHBDC), 450 of extrahepatic bile duct cancer (EHBDC), and 261 of ampulla of Vater cancer (AVC) occurred. High parity was associated with risk of GBC (HR ≥5 vs. 0 births 1.72; 95% CI 1.25-2.38). Age at menarche (HR per year increase 1.15; 95% CI 1.06-1.24) was associated with GBC risk in Asian women while reproductive years were associated with GBC risk (HR per 5 years 1.13; 95% CI 1.04-1.22) in non-Asian women. Later age at menarche was associated with IHBDC (HR 1.19; 95% CI 1.09-1.31) and EHBDC (HR 1.11; 95% CI 1.01-1.22) in Asian women only.

Conclusion: We observed an increased risk of GBC with increasing parity. Among Asian women, older age at menarche was associated with increased risk for GBC, IHBDC, and EHBDC, while increasing reproductive years was associated with GBC in non-Asian women. These results suggest that sex hormones have distinct effects on cancers across the biliary tract that vary by geography.

Lay Summary: Our findings show that the risk of gallbladder cancer is increased among women who have given birth (especially women with 5 or more children). In women from Asian countries, later age at menarche increases the risk of gallbladder cancer, intrahepatic bile duct cancer and extrahepatic bile duct cancer. We did not see this same association in women from Western countries. Age at menopause was not associated with the risk of any biliary tract cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.04.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901003PMC
October 2020

The COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) Consortium: A Call to Action.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 07 5;29(7):1283-1289. Epub 2020 May 5.

Social & Scientific Systems, Durham, North Carolina.

The rapid pace of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19) pandemic presents challenges to the real-time collection of population-scale data to inform near-term public health needs as well as future investigations. We established the COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) consortium to address this unprecedented crisis on behalf of the epidemiology research community. As a central component of this initiative, we have developed a COVID Symptom Study (previously known as the COVID Symptom Tracker) mobile application as a common data collection tool for epidemiologic cohort studies with active study participants. This mobile application collects information on risk factors, daily symptoms, and outcomes through a user-friendly interface that minimizes participant burden. Combined with our efforts within the general population, data collected from nearly 3 million participants in the United States and United Kingdom are being used to address critical needs in the emergency response, including identifying potential hot spots of disease and clinically actionable risk factors. The linkage of symptom data collected in the app with information and biospecimens already collected in epidemiology cohorts will position us to address key questions related to diet, lifestyle, environmental, and socioeconomic factors on susceptibility to COVID-19, clinical outcomes related to infection, and long-term physical, mental health, and financial sequalae. We call upon additional epidemiology cohorts to join this collective effort to strengthen our impact on the current health crisis and generate a new model for a collaborative and nimble research infrastructure that will lead to more rapid translation of our work for the betterment of public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7357669PMC
July 2020

Dicamba use and cancer incidence in the agricultural health study: an updated analysis.

Int J Epidemiol 2020 08;49(4):1326-1337

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

Background: The herbicide dicamba has been commonly used agriculturally and residentially. Recent approval of genetically engineered dicamba-resistant crops is expected to lead to increased dicamba use, and there has been growing interest in potential human health effects. A prior analysis in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) suggested associations between dicamba and colon and lung cancer. We re-evaluated dicamba use in the AHS, including an additional 12 years and 2702 exposed cancers.

Methods: The AHS is a prospective cohort of pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. At enrollment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1999-2005), participants reported dicamba use. Exposure was characterized by cumulative intensity-weighted lifetime days, including exposure lags of up to 20 years. We estimated relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using multivariable Poisson regression for incident cancers diagnosed from enrollment through 2014/2015.

Results: Among 49 922 applicators, 26 412 (52.9%) used dicamba. Compared with applicators reporting no dicamba use, those in the highest quartile of exposure had elevated risk of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer (nexposed = 28, RRQ4 = 1.80, CI: 1.26-2.56, Ptrend < 0.001) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL, nexposed = 93, RRQ4 = 1.20, CI: 0.96-1.50, Ptrend = 0.01) and decreased risk of myeloid leukaemia (nexposed = 55, RRQ4 = 0.73, CI: 0.51-1.03, Ptrend = 0.01). The associations for liver cancer and myeloid leukaemia remained after lagging exposure of up to 20 years.

Conclusions: With additional follow-up and exposure information, associations with lung and colon cancer were no longer apparent. In this first evaluation of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, there was an association with increasing use of dicamba that persisted across lags of up to 20 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7660157PMC
August 2020

Characterization of inhalable endotoxin, glucan, and dust exposures in Iowa farmers.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2020 07 17;228:113525. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States. Electronic address:

Background: The observed deficit of lung cancer in farmers has been partly attributed to exposure to organic dusts and endotoxins based largely on surrogate metrics. To move beyond these surrogates for etiological studies, we characterized task-based and time-weighted average (TWA) exposure to inhalable endotoxin, (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan, and dust in Iowa farmers.

Methods: We collected 320 personal inhalable dust samples from 32 farmers during 69 sample days in 2015 and 2016. Samples were collected using Button aerosol samplers and analyzed for endotoxin using a kinetic chromogenic amebocyte lysate assay, and for (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan using a Limulus endpoint assay. We assessed relationships between bioaerosol concentrations and selected tasks and farm characteristics using linear mixed-effects models.

Results: Bedding work, hog handling, and working in barn/confinement buildings, grain bins, and grain elevators were associated with higher endotoxin exposure. We found a monotonic trend between higher endotoxin concentrations and increasing number of animals. Bedding work, cleaning, and feed/grain storage work were associated with higher (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan concentrations. The median concentrations by task spanned one order of magnitude for inhalable dust and two orders of magnitude for endotoxin and (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan. Pearson correlations between endotoxin and glucan concentrations were 0.22 for TWA exposure and 0.56 for task samples.

Conclusions: This characterization of exposure factors that influence bioaerosol concentrations can support the development of refined bioaerosol exposure metrics for future etiologic analyses of cancer and other health outcomes in farmers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2020.113525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010939PMC
July 2020

Pesticide exposure and risk of aggressive prostate cancer among private pesticide applicators.

Environ Health 2020 03 5;19(1):30. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA.

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among men in developed countries; however, little is known about modifiable risk factors. Some studies have implicated organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides as risk factors (particularly the organodithioate class) and risk of clinically significant PCa subtypes. However, few studies have evaluated other pesticides. We used data from the Agricultural Health Study, a large prospective cohort of pesticide applicators in North Carolina and Iowa, to extend our previous work and evaluate 39 additional pesticides and aggressive PCa.

Methods: We used Cox proportional hazards models, with age as the time scale, to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between ever use of individual pesticides and 883 cases of aggressive PCa (distant stage, poorly differentiated grade, Gleason score ≥ 7, or fatal prostate cancer) diagnosed between 1993 and 2015. All models adjusted for birth year, state, family history of PCa, race, and smoking status. We conducted exposure-response analyses for pesticides with reported lifetime years of use.

Results: There was an increased aggressive PCa risk among ever users of the organodithioate insecticide dimethoate (n = 54 exposed cases, HR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.04, 1.80) compared to never users. We observed an inverse association between aggressive PCa and the herbicide triclopyr (n = 35 exposed cases, HR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.48, 0.95), with the strongest inverse association for those reporting durations of use above the median (≥ 4 years; n = 13 exposed cases, HR=0.44, 95% CI=0.26, 0.77).

Conclusion: Few additional pesticides were associated with prostate cancer risk after evaluation of extended data from this large cohort of private pesticide applicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-020-00583-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059337PMC
March 2020

2,4-D exposure and urinary markers of oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation: a longitudinal study.

Occup Environ Med 2020 04 29;77(4):276-280. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Objective: 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is a herbicide that is commonly used commercially, agriculturally and residentially worldwide. There is concern about its potential for carcinogenicity based on studies in laboratory animals demonstrating the potential for induction of oxidative stress. We conducted a longitudinal biomarker study of 31 pesticide applicators in Kansas who heavily applied 2,4-D and 34 non-applicator controls.

Methods: We used multivariable generalised linear mixed-effect models to evaluate the association between urinary 2,4-D and natural log-transformed 8-iso prostaglandin F (8-isoprostane) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), adjusting for urinary creatinine, age, tobacco use and concomitant use of the herbicide picloram.

Results: Compared with non-applicator controls, urinary 2,4-D in the third quartile of exposure was associated with elevated 8-isoprostane ( =1.38, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.84). There was no association among the highest exposed and no exposure-response trend. 2,4-D exposure was not associated with 8-OHdG. Results were unchanged when restricted to participants who only applied 2,4-D (no picloram use).

Conclusions: We did not find evidence that increasing 2,4-D exposure was associated with 8-isoprostane or 8-OHdG. Future work should carefully evaluate potential confounders of this association, such as diet and physical activity, as well as additional biological markers of oxidative stress and damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2019-106267DOI Listing
April 2020

A Transcriptome-Wide Association Study Identifies Novel Candidate Susceptibility Genes for Pancreatic Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 10;112(10):1003-1012

Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: Although 20 pancreatic cancer susceptibility loci have been identified through genome-wide association studies in individuals of European ancestry, much of its heritability remains unexplained and the genes responsible largely unknown.

Methods: To discover novel pancreatic cancer risk loci and possible causal genes, we performed a pancreatic cancer transcriptome-wide association study in Europeans using three approaches: FUSION, MetaXcan, and Summary-MulTiXcan. We integrated genome-wide association studies summary statistics from 9040 pancreatic cancer cases and 12 496 controls, with gene expression prediction models built using transcriptome data from histologically normal pancreatic tissue samples (NCI Laboratory of Translational Genomics [n = 95] and Genotype-Tissue Expression v7 [n = 174] datasets) and data from 48 different tissues (Genotype-Tissue Expression v7, n = 74-421 samples).

Results: We identified 25 genes whose genetically predicted expression was statistically significantly associated with pancreatic cancer risk (false discovery rate < .05), including 14 candidate genes at 11 novel loci (1p36.12: CELA3B; 9q31.1: SMC2, SMC2-AS1; 10q23.31: RP11-80H5.9; 12q13.13: SMUG1; 14q32.33: BTBD6; 15q23: HEXA; 15q26.1: RCCD1; 17q12: PNMT, CDK12, PGAP3; 17q22: SUPT4H1; 18q11.22: RP11-888D10.3; and 19p13.11: PGPEP1) and 11 at six known risk loci (5p15.33: TERT, CLPTM1L, ZDHHC11B; 7p14.1: INHBA; 9q34.2: ABO; 13q12.2: PDX1; 13q22.1: KLF5; and 16q23.1: WDR59, CFDP1, BCAR1, TMEM170A). The association for 12 of these genes (CELA3B, SMC2, and PNMT at novel risk loci and TERT, CLPTM1L, INHBA, ABO, PDX1, KLF5, WDR59, CFDP1, and BCAR1 at known loci) remained statistically significant after Bonferroni correction.

Conclusions: By integrating gene expression and genotype data, we identified novel pancreatic cancer risk loci and candidate functional genes that warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djz246DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7566474PMC
October 2020

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

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

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

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

Smoking, Alcohol, and Biliary Tract Cancer Risk: A Pooling Project of 26 Prospective Studies.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2019 12;111(12):1263-1278

Background: Tobacco and alcohol are well-established risk factors for numerous cancers, yet their relationship to biliary tract cancers remains unclear.

Methods: We pooled data from 26 prospective studies to evaluate associations of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with biliary tract cancer risk. Study-specific hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations with smoking and alcohol consumption were calculated. Random-effects meta-analysis produced summary estimates. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: Over a period of 38 369 156 person-years of follow-up, 1391 gallbladder, 758 intrahepatic bile duct, 1208 extrahepatic bile duct, and 623 ampulla of Vater cancer cases were identified. Ever, former, and current smoking were associated with increased extrahepatic bile duct and ampulla of Vater cancers risk (eg, current vs never smokers HR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.34 to 2.13 and 2.22, 95% CI = 1.69 to 2.92, respectively), with dose-response effects for smoking pack-years, duration, and intensity (all Ptrend < .01). Current smoking and smoking intensity were also associated with intrahepatic bile duct cancer (eg, >40 cigarettes per day vs never smokers HR = 2.15, 95 % CI = 1.15 to 4.00; Ptrend = .001). No convincing association was observed between smoking and gallbladder cancer. Alcohol consumption was only associated with intrahepatic bile duct cancer, with increased risk for individuals consuming five or more vs zero drinks per day (HR = 2.35, 95%CI = 1.46 to 3.78; Ptrend = .04). There was evidence of statistical heterogeneity among several cancer sites, particularly between gallbladder cancer and the other biliary tract cancers.

Conclusions: Smoking appears to increase the risk of developing all biliary tract cancers except gallbladder cancer. Alcohol may increase the risk of intrahepatic bile duct cancer. Findings highlight etiologic heterogeneity across the biliary tract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djz103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6910180PMC
December 2019

Anthropometric Risk Factors for Cancers of the Biliary Tract in the Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project.

Cancer Res 2019 08 21;79(15):3973-3982. Epub 2019 May 21.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana.

Biliary tract cancers are rare but highly fatal with poorly understood etiology. Identifying potentially modifiable risk factors for these cancers is essential for prevention. Here we estimated the relationship between adiposity and cancer across the biliary tract, including cancers of the gallbladder (GBC), intrahepatic bile ducts (IHBDC), extrahepatic bile ducts (EHBDC), and the ampulla of Vater (AVC). We pooled data from 27 prospective cohorts with over 2.7 million adults. Adiposity was measured using baseline body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip, and waist-to-height ratios. HRs and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for sex, education, race, smoking, and alcohol consumption with age as the time metric and the baseline hazard stratified by study. During 37,883,648 person-years of follow-up, 1,343 GBC cases, 1,194 EHBDC cases, 784 IHBDC cases, and 623 AVC cases occurred. For each 5 kg/m increase in BMI, there were risk increases for GBC (HR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.19-1.36), IHBDC (HR = 1.32; 95% CI, 1.21-1.45), and EHBDC (HR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03-1.23), but not AVC (HR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.88-1.11). Increasing waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio were associated with GBC and IHBDC but not EHBDC or AVC. These results indicate that adult adiposity is associated with an increased risk of biliary tract cancer, particularly GBC and IHBDC. Moreover, they provide evidence for recommending weight maintenance programs to reduce the risk of developing these cancers. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings identify a correlation between adiposity and biliary tract cancers, indicating that weight management programs may help minimize the risk of these diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6759233PMC
August 2019

Longitudinal investigation of haematological alterations among permethrin-exposed pesticide applicators in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture study.

Occup Environ Med 2019 07 8;76(7):467-470. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Objectives: Permethrin use has been associated with an increased risk of multiple myeloma (MM) among pesticide applicators. However, the biological plausibility and mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to assess whether exposure to permethrin is related to haematological alterations among occupationally exposed pesticide applicators.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study among 33 pesticide applicators in the Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture study comparing haematological parameters in the offseason with the day after permethrin exposure and, for 27 participants, approximately 3 weeks postexposure. Complete blood counts with white blood cell differential and lymphocyte subsets were measured at each visit. Multivariate linear mixed effects models were used to assess the relationship between natural log-transformed haematological parameters and exposure to permethrin.

Results: The adjusted geometric mean immature granulocyte count was elevated among pesticide applicators following permethrin exposure compared with their offseason levels (37% increase, 95% CI 6% to 76%). Modest but statistically significant (p<0.05) alterations in red blood cell (RBC) parameters (eg, decreased RBC count and haemoglobin and increased mean corpuscular volume and RBC distribution width-SD) were also observed the day after permethrin use compared with offseason levels; decreases in RBC count and haemoglobin and increases in RBC distribution width-SD persisted approximately 3 weeks after permethrin use.

Conclusions: Altered haematological parameters could be indicative of disrupted haematopoiesis, providing insights into the biological plausibility of the observed association between permethrin use and MM risk among pesticide applicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2018-105559DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359816PMC
July 2019

Cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study after 20 years of follow-up.

Cancer Causes Control 2019 Apr 25;30(4):311-322. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 6E116, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA.

Purpose: To evaluate cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a cohort of private pesticide applicators, their spouses, and commercial applicators, based on 12,420 cancers, adding 5,989 cancers, and 9 years of follow-up since last evaluation.

Methods: We calculated age, year, sex, and race-adjusted standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for cancer sites in the AHS relative to the general population.

Results: Overall AHS cancer incidence was lower than the general population (SIR = 0.91, CI 0.89-0.93; SIR = 0.89, CI 0.86-0.92; SIR = 0.83, CI 0.76-0.92), with notable deficits across applicators and spouses for oral cavity, pancreas, and lung cancers. Cancer excesses included prostate cancer, lip cancer, certain B-cell lymphomas (e.g., multiple myeloma), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, and peritoneal cancer. The lung cancer deficit was strongest among applicators reporting potential exposure to endotoxin at study enrollment (tasks such as raising animals and handling stored grain).

Conclusions: Although an overall deficit in cancer was observed, there were notable exceptions, including newly observed excesses for AML, thyroid, testicular, and peritoneal cancers. Furthermore, endotoxin exposure may, in part, account for observed lung cancer incidence deficits. Cancer incidence patterns in the AHS suggest farm exposures' relevance to cancer etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10552-019-01140-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6459699PMC
April 2019

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

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

National Institute of Public Health, Bucharest, Romania.

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

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

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

Agnostic Pathway/Gene Set Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Data Identifies Associations for Pancreatic Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2019 Jun;111(6):557-567

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA.

Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identify associations of individual single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with cancer risk but usually only explain a fraction of the inherited variability. Pathway analysis of genetic variants is a powerful tool to identify networks of susceptibility genes.

Methods: We conducted a large agnostic pathway-based meta-analysis of GWAS data using the summary-based adaptive rank truncated product method to identify gene sets and pathways associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in 9040 cases and 12 496 controls. We performed expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and functional annotation of the top SNPs in genes contributing to the top associated pathways and gene sets. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: We identified 14 pathways and gene sets associated with PDAC at a false discovery rate of less than 0.05. After Bonferroni correction (P ≤ 1.3 × 10-5), the strongest associations were detected in five pathways and gene sets, including maturity-onset diabetes of the young, regulation of beta-cell development, role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor transactivation by G protein-coupled receptors in cardiac hypertrophy pathways, and the Nikolsky breast cancer chr17q11-q21 amplicon and Pujana ATM Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) network gene sets. We identified and validated rs876493 and three correlating SNPs (PGAP3) and rs3124737 (CASP7) from the Pujana ATM PCC gene set as eQTLs in two normal derived pancreas tissue datasets.

Conclusion: Our agnostic pathway and gene set analysis integrated with functional annotation and eQTL analysis provides insight into genes and pathways that may be biologically relevant for risk of PDAC, including those not previously identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djy155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6579744PMC
June 2019

An algorithm for quantitatively estimating non-occupational pesticide exposure intensity for spouses in the Agricultural Health Study.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2019 04 30;29(3):344-357. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

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

Residents of agricultural areas experience pesticide exposures from sources other than direct agricultural work. We developed a quantitative, active ingredient-specific algorithm for cumulative (adult, married lifetime) non-occupational pesticide exposure intensity for spouses of farmers who applied pesticides in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS). The algorithm addressed three exposure pathways: take-home, agricultural drift, and residential pesticide use. Pathway-specific equations combined (i) weights derived from previous meta-analyses of published pesticide exposure data and (ii) information from the questionnaire on frequency and duration of pesticide use by applicators, home proximity to treated fields, residential pesticide usage (e.g., termite treatments), and spouse's off-farm employment (proxy for time at home). The residential use equation also incorporated a published probability matrix that documented the likelihood active ingredients were used in home pest treatment products. We illustrate use of these equations by calculating exposure intensities for the insecticide chlorpyrifos and herbicide atrazine for 19,959 spouses. Non-zero estimates for ≥1 pathway were found for 78% and 77% of spouses for chlorpyrifos and atrazine, respectively. Variability in exposed spouses' intensity estimates was observed for both pesticides, with 75th to 25th percentile ratios ranging from 7.1 to 7.3 for take-home, 6.5 to 8.5 for drift, 2.4 to 2.8 for residential use, and 3.8 to 7.0 for the summed pathways. Take-home and drift estimates were highly correlated (≥0.98), but were not correlated with residential use (0.01‒0.02). This algorithm represents an important advancement in quantifying non-occupational pesticide relative exposure differences and will facilitate improved etiologic analyses in the AHS spouses. The algorithm could be adapted to studies with similar information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41370-018-0088-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470005PMC
April 2019

Alcohol consumption and risk of multiple myeloma in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Int J Cancer 2019 01 30;144(1):43-48. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

The epidemiologic evidence regarding the relationship between alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma (MM) risk remains limited and inconsistent, although recent studies suggest a potential protective effect. We prospectively investigated the risk of MM in relation to alcohol consumption frequency among 499,292 participants enrolled in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study in 1995-1996. A total of 1,312 MM cases were identified during follow-up through December 2011. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for categories of alcohol consumption relative to those defined as light drinkers (<1 drink/week) were estimated using multivariate Cox proportional hazard models. Overall, increasing frequency of alcohol consumption was inversely associated with MM (p-trend = 0.01), with a statistically significant association among those who consumed 2 drinks per day (HR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.50, 0.98); similar but not statistically significant associations were observed for greater frequency of alcohol consumption. Among women, risk of MM was reduced among those who consumed less than one drink per day (HR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.97) and associations with greater frequency of alcohol consumption were inverse although not statistically significant. The findings of this large prospective investigation suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with reduced future risk of MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31648DOI Listing
January 2019

Tobacco, alcohol use and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: The Liver Cancer Pooling Project.

Br J Cancer 2018 04 9;118(7):1005-1012. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Background: While tobacco and alcohol are established risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer, it is unknown whether they also increase the risk of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). Thus, we examined the association between tobacco and alcohol use by primary liver cancer type.

Methods: The Liver Cancer Pooling Project is a consortium of 14 US-based prospective cohort studies that includes data from 1,518,741 individuals (HCC n = 1423, ICC n = 410). Multivariable-adjusted hazards ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using proportional hazards regression.

Results: Current smokers at baseline had an increased risk of HCC (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.86, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.57-2.20) and ICC (HR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07-2.02). Among individuals who quit smoking >30 years ago, HCC risk was almost equivalent to never smokers (HR = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.74-1.61). Compared to non-drinkers, heavy alcohol consumption was associated with an 87% increased HCC risk (HR = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.41-2.47) and a 68% increased ICC risk (HR = 1.68, 95% CI: 0.99-2.86). However, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption of <3 drinks/day appeared to be inversely associated with HCC risk (HR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67-0.89; HR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.44-0.73; HR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.58-0.87), but not ICC.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that, in this relatively healthy population, smoking cessation and light-to-moderate drinking may reduce the risk of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0007-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931109PMC
April 2018

Pesticide use and LINE-1 methylation among male private pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.

Environ Epigenet 2017 May 3;3(2):dvx005. Epub 2017 May 3.

Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Cancer risk may be associated with DNA methylation (DNAm) levels in Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element 1 (LINE-1), a surrogate for global DNAm. Exposure to certain pesticides may increase risk of particular cancers, perhaps mediated in part through global DNAm alterations. To date, human data on pesticide exposure and global DNAm alterations are limited. The goal of this study was to evaluate alterations of LINE-1 DNAm by pesticides in a variety of classes. Data from 596 cancer-free male participants enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) were used to examine associations between use of 57 pesticides and LINE-1 DNAm measured via Pyrosequencing in peripheral blood leucocytes. Participants provided information on pesticide use at three contacts between 1993 and 2010. Associations of ever/never pesticide use and lifetime days of application (years of use × days per year) and LINE-1 DNAm level were assessed using linear regression, adjusting for potential confounders (race, age at blood draw, and frequency of drinking alcohol) and other moderately correlated pesticides. After adjustment, ever application of 10 pesticides was positively associated and ever application of eight pesticides was negatively associated with LINE-1 DNAm. In dose-response analyses, increases in five pesticides (imazethapyr, fenthion, EPTC, butylate, and heptachlor) were associated with increasing LINE-1 DNAm ( < 0.05) and increases in three pesticides (carbaryl, chlordane, and paraquat) were associated with decreasing LINE-1 DNAm ( < 0.05). This study provides some mechanistic insight into the pesticide-cancer relationship, which may be mediated in part by epigenetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eep/dvx005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5804545PMC
May 2017

Alachlor Use and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study: An Updated Analysis.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2018 09;110(9):950-958

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD.

Background: The herbicide alachlor has been widely used in US agriculture since its introduction in 1969. Experimental animal studies show that alachlor causes tumors in vivo; however, few epidemiologic studies have examined associations with human cancer risk. We evaluated alachlor use and cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study, updating an earlier analysis that suggested associations with lymphohematopoietic cancers with an additional 540 142 person-years of follow-up and 5113 cancer cases.

Methods: Pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina reported lifetime alachlor use at enrollment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1999-2005). Exposure was characterized by cumulative intensity-weighted days. We estimated relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Poisson regression for incident cancers from enrollment through 2012(NC)/2013(IA). Models adjusted for age, tobacco, alcohol, and other pesticides. All statistical tests are two-sided.

Results: Among 49 685 applicators, 25 640 (51.6%) used alachlor, with 3534 alachlor-exposed cancers. The relative risks of laryngeal cancer (nexposed = 34) increased in the second (RR = 4.68, 95% CI = 1.95 to 11.23), third (RR = 6.04, 95% CI = 2.44 to 14.99), and fourth quartiles (RR = 7.10, 95% CI = 2.58 to 19.53) of intensity-weighted days of use compared with no use (Ptrend = .001). Risk of myeloid leukemia was elevated, though not statistically significantly so, in the fourth quartile of intensity-weighted days of use (RR = 1.82, 95% CI = 0.85 to 3.87, Ptrend = .17).

Conclusions: We observed a strong positive association with use of alachlor and laryngeal cancer and a weaker association with myeloid leukemia. The strength and robustness of the association with laryngeal cancer suggests that long-term occupational exposure to alachlor may be a risk factor for laryngeal cancer. This first report requires confirmation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djy005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136926PMC
September 2018
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