Publications by authors named "Heiko Becher"

210 Publications

Germline variants and breast cancer survival in patients with distant metastases at primary breast cancer diagnosis.

Sci Rep 2021 Oct 5;11(1):19787. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Department of Breast Surgery, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Breast cancer metastasis accounts for most of the deaths from breast cancer. Identification of germline variants associated with survival in aggressive types of breast cancer may inform understanding of breast cancer progression and assist treatment. In this analysis, we studied the associations between germline variants and breast cancer survival for patients with distant metastases at primary breast cancer diagnosis. We used data from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) including 1062 women of European ancestry with metastatic breast cancer, 606 of whom died of breast cancer. We identified two germline variants on chromosome 1, rs138569520 and rs146023652, significantly associated with breast cancer-specific survival (P = 3.19 × 10 and 4.42 × 10). In silico analysis suggested a potential regulatory effect of the variants on the nearby target genes SDE2 and H3F3A. However, the variants showed no evidence of association in a smaller replication dataset. The validation dataset was obtained from the SNPs to Risk of Metastasis (StoRM) study and included 293 patients with metastatic primary breast cancer at diagnosis. Ultimately, larger replication studies are needed to confirm the identified associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99409-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8492709PMC
October 2021

Statistical model building: Background "knowledge" based on inappropriate preselection causes misspecification.

BMC Med Res Methodol 2021 Sep 29;21(1):196. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institute of Biometry and Clinical Epidemiology, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany.

Background: Statistical model building requires selection of variables for a model depending on the model's aim. In descriptive and explanatory models, a common recommendation often met in the literature is to include all variables in the model which are assumed or known to be associated with the outcome independent of their identification with data driven selection procedures. An open question is, how reliable this assumed "background knowledge" truly is. In fact, "known" predictors might be findings from preceding studies which may also have employed inappropriate model building strategies.

Methods: We conducted a simulation study assessing the influence of treating variables as "known predictors" in model building when in fact this knowledge resulting from preceding studies might be insufficient. Within randomly generated preceding study data sets, model building with variable selection was conducted. A variable was subsequently considered as a "known" predictor if a predefined number of preceding studies identified it as relevant.

Results: Even if several preceding studies identified a variable as a "true" predictor, this classification is often false positive. Moreover, variables not identified might still be truly predictive. This especially holds true if the preceding studies employed inappropriate selection methods such as univariable selection.

Conclusions: The source of "background knowledge" should be evaluated with care. Knowledge generated on preceding studies can cause misspecification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-021-01373-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8480029PMC
September 2021

Predictors of Changes in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Turkish Migrant Cohort in Germany.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 09 14;18(18). Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting response measures have led to severe limitations of people's exercise possibilities with diminished physical activity (PA) and increased sedentary behavior (SB). Since for migrant groups in Germany, no data is available, this study aimed to investigate factors associated with changes in PA and SB in a sample of Turkish descent. Participants of a prospective cohort study (adults of Turkish descent, living in Berlin, Germany) completed a questionnaire regarding COVID-19 related topics including PA and SB since February 2020. Changes in PA and SB were described, and sociodemographic, migrant-related, and health-related predictors of PA decrease and SB increase were determined using multivariable regression analyses. Of 106 participants, 69% reported a decline of PA, 36% reported an increase in SB. PA decrease and SB increase seemed to be associated with inactivity before the pandemic as well as with the female sex. SB increase appeared to be additionally associated with educational level and BMI. The COVID-19 pandemic and the response measures had persistent detrimental effects on this migrant population. Since sufficient PA before the pandemic had the strongest association with maintaining PA and SB during the crisis, the German government and public health professionals should prioritize PA promotion in this vulnerable group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189682DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8472770PMC
September 2021

Association of germline genetic variants with breast cancer-specific survival in patient subgroups defined by clinic-pathological variables related to tumor biology and type of systemic treatment.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 08 18;23(1):86. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Medicine, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: Given the high heterogeneity among breast tumors, associations between common germline genetic variants and survival that may exist within specific subgroups could go undetected in an unstratified set of breast cancer patients.

Methods: We performed genome-wide association analyses within 15 subgroups of breast cancer patients based on prognostic factors, including hormone receptors, tumor grade, age, and type of systemic treatment. Analyses were based on 91,686 female patients of European ancestry from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, including 7531 breast cancer-specific deaths over a median follow-up of 8.1 years. Cox regression was used to assess associations of common germline variants with 15-year and 5-year breast cancer-specific survival. We assessed the probability of these associations being true positives via the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP < 0.15).

Results: Evidence of associations with breast cancer-specific survival was observed in three patient subgroups, with variant rs5934618 in patients with grade 3 tumors (15-year-hazard ratio (HR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.32 [1.20, 1.45], P = 1.4E-08, BFDP = 0.01, per G allele); variant rs4679741 in patients with ER-positive tumors treated with endocrine therapy (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.26], P = 1.6E-07, BFDP = 0.09, per G allele); variants rs1106333 (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.68 [1.39,2.03], P = 5.6E-08, BFDP = 0.12, per A allele) and rs78754389 (5-year-HR [95% CI] 1.79 [1.46,2.20], P = 1.7E-08, BFDP = 0.07, per A allele), in patients with ER-negative tumors treated with chemotherapy.

Conclusions: We found evidence of four loci associated with breast cancer-specific survival within three patient subgroups. There was limited evidence for the existence of associations in other patient subgroups. However, the power for many subgroups is limited due to the low number of events. Even so, our results suggest that the impact of common germline genetic variants on breast cancer-specific survival might be limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01450-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8371820PMC
August 2021

Post-Vaccination Anti-SARS-CoV-2-Antibody Response in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Correlates with Low CD19+ B-Lymphocyte Count and Anti-CD38 Treatment.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jul 28;13(15). Epub 2021 Jul 28.

University Cancer Center Hamburg, Department of Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Section of Pneumology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Few data are available regarding the efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in patients with hematological malignancies, and particular, plasma cell neoplasia. This ongoing single-center study aimed to describe the level of post-vaccination anti-SARS-CoV-2-antibodies depending on B lymphocyte count, current therapy, and remission status of patients with multiple myeloma and related plasma cell dyscrasia, after the first dose of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The 82 patients included in this study received SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (including mRNA- and vector-based vaccines) as a routine measure. After the first vaccination, a positive SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody titer (SP-AbT) was detected in 23% of assessable patients. SARS-CoV-2 SP-AbT was significantly higher in patients with higher CD19+ B lymphocyte counts. A cut-off value of ≥30 CD19+ B cells/µL was significantly positive correlating with higher SARS-CoV-2 SP-AbT. In contrast, current treatment with anti-CD38-antibodies has led to significantly reduced SP-AbT titers. Furthermore, in multivariable linear regression, higher age and insufficiently controlled disease significantly correlated negatively with SARS-CoV-2 SP-AbT. Conversely, treatment with immunomodulatory drugs did not harm the development of antibody titers. Based on our results, the majority of myeloma patients respond poorly after receiving the first dose of any anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and need booster vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345197PMC
July 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 08 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611832PMC
August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regional Deprivation, Stroke Incidence, and Stroke Care.

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021 Jun;118(23):397-402

Department of Neurology, Ludwigshafen Hospital, Ludwigshafen; Quality Assurance Agency of Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz; DRG Market, Osnabrück; Helmholtz Center Munich - German Research Center for Health and the Environment (Ltd), Institute for Health Economics and Management in Healthcare, Neuherberg; Oberwallis Hospital Center, Visp, Switzerland; Institute for Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg.

Background: Regional deprivation can increase the risk of illness and adversely affect care outcomes. In this study, we investigated for the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate whether spatial-structural disadvantages are associated with an increased frequency of ischemic stroke and with less favorable care outcomes.

Methods: We compared billing data from DRG statistics (2008-2017) and quality assurance data (2017) for acute ischemic stroke with the German Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 (GIMD 2010) for the 36 districts (Landkreise) and independent cities (i.e., cities not belonging to a district) in Rhineland-Palatinate using correlation analyses, a Poisson regression analysis, and logistic regression analyses.

Results: The age-standardized stroke rates (ASR) ranged from 122 to 209 per 100 000 inhabitants, while the GIMD 2010 ranged from 4.6 to 47.5; the two values were positively correlated (Spearman's ρ = 0.47; 95% confidence interval [0.16; 0.85]). In 2017, mechanical thrombectomies were performed more commonly (5.7%) in the first GIMD 2010 quartile of the regional areas (i.e., in the least deprived areas) than in the remaining quartiles (4.2-4.6%). The intravenous thrombolysis rates showed no differences from one GIMD 2010 quartile to another. Severe neurological deficits (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale ≥ 5) on admission to the hospital were slightly more common in the fourth quartile (i.e., in the most deprived areas), while antiplatelet drugs and statins were somewhat less commonly ordered on discharge in those areas than in the first quartile.

Conclusion: These findings document a relationship between regional deprivation and the occurrence of acute ischemic stroke. Poorer GIMD 2010 scores were associated with worse care outcomes in a number of variables, but the absolute differences were small.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8378257PMC
June 2021

Genetic Variation and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Cohort Study on Migrants from the Former Soviet Union and a Native German Population.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 06 8;18(12). Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Institute for Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Resettlers are a large migrant group of more than 2 million people in Germany who migrated mainly from the former Soviet Union to Germany after 1989. We sought to compare the distribution of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to investigate the overall genetic differences in a study population which consisted of resettlers and native (autochthone) Germans. This was a joint analysis of two cohort studies which were performed in the region of Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany, with 3363 native Germans and 363 resettlers. Data from questionnaires and physical examinations were used to compare the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases between the resettlers and native Germans. A population-based genome-wide association analysis was performed in order to identify the genetic differences between the two groups. The distribution of the major risk factors for CVD differed between the two groups. The resettlers lead a less active lifestyle. While female resettlers smoked less than their German counterparts, the men showed similar smoking behavior. SNPs from three genes (BTNL2, DGKB, TGFBR3) indicated a difference in the two populations. In other studies, these genes have been shown to be associated with CVD, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8227685PMC
June 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 07 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

Health-Related Quality of Life in a Cohort of Breast Cancer Survivors over More Than 10 Years Post-Diagnosis and in Comparison to a Control Cohort.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 13;13(8). Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Cancer Epidemiology Group, University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany.

Breast cancer (BC) survivors often suffer from late and long-term residual symptoms of the disease and its treatment. To date, long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in breast cancer survivors has been seldom investigated and rarely compared to unaffected women (controls). This study aimed to investigate HRQoL over time using patient-reported status before diagnosis, during treatment, 1 year post-surgery, approx. 5 years and ≥10 years post-diagnosis. We also compared survivors' HRQoL with controls' still alive 10 years after recruitment. Data from the German population-based Mamma Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation (MARIE) cohort of 1123 BC patients aged 50-74 years at diagnosis (2002-2005) and of 3453 matched controls were used for analysis. HRQoL was assessed with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaire. All analyses were conducted for all ages as well as stratified according to three age groups (≤58 years, 59-64 years, ≥64 years). Differences in survivors' general HRQoL before, during, and after therapy were investigated using a t-test/Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Changes in the HRQoL of survivors stratified by age from FU1 to FU2 were assessed via repeated analysis of variance. The HRQoL of survivors compared to the controls at FU2 was analyzed using an analysis of variance. Over all ages, the general HRQoL in patients improved in the first 5 years post-diagnosis. In the subsequent years, HRQoL slightly deteriorated but was comparable to that of the controls. Younger survivors mostly improved their HRQoL from the 5 to 10-year follow-up but remained negatively affected for most functioning and symptom scales compared to controls. In older survivors, HRQoL hardly changed over time and detriments were less pronounced compared to controls, except for insomnia. Restrictions of HRQoL persist for more than 10 years and are most prominent among younger survivors. Researchers and clinicians should be aware of such potential deteriorations and age-dependent differences in order to optimize/adapt long-term cancer survivor care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13081854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069882PMC
April 2021

Colorectal Cancer among Resettlers from the Former Soviet Union and in the General German Population: Clinical and Pathological Characteristics and Trends.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 04 25;18(9). Epub 2021 Apr 25.

Epidemiology of Transition, Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, University Hospital Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

This study examined time trends and clinical and pathological characteristics of colorectal cancer (CRC) among ethnic German migrants from the Former Soviet Union (resettlers) and the general German population. Incidence data from two population-based cancer registries were used to analyze CRC as age-standardized rates (ASRs) over time. The respective general populations and resettler cohorts were used to calculate standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) by time-period (before and after the introduction of screening colonoscopy in 2002), tumor location, histologic type, grade, and stage at diagnosis. Additionally, SIRs were modeled with Poisson regression to depict time trends. During the study period from 1990 to 2013, the general populations showed a yearly increase of ASR, but for age above 55, truncated ASR started to decline after 2002. Among resettlers, 229 CRC cases were observed, resulting in a lowered incidence for all clinical and pathological characteristics compared to the general population (overall SIR: 0.78, 95% CI 0.68-0.89). Regression analysis revealed an increasing SIR trend after 2002. Population-wide CRC incidence decreases after the introduction of screening colonoscopy. In contrast the lowered CRC incidence among resettlers is attenuating to the general population after 2002, suggesting that resettlers do not benefit equally from screening colonoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8123280PMC
April 2021

Association of Acculturation Status with Longitudinal Changes in Health-Related Quality of Life-Results from a Cohort Study of Adults with Turkish Origin in Germany.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 10;18(6). Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Prevention and Evaluation, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology-BIPS, 28359 Bremen, Germany.

Health-related quality of life (HRQL) among migrant populations can be associated with acculturation (i.e., the process of adopting, acquiring and adjusting to a new cultural environment). Since there is a lack of longitudinal studies, we aimed to describe HRQL changes among adults of Turkish descent living in Berlin and Essen, Germany, and their association with acculturation. Participants of a population-based study were recruited in 2012-2013 and reinvited six years later to complete a questionnaire. Acculturation was assessed at baseline using the Frankfurt acculturation scale (integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization). HRQL was assessed at baseline (SF-8) and at follow-up (SF-12) resulting in a physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) sum score. Associations with acculturation and HRQL were analyzed with linear regression models using a time-by-acculturation status interaction term. In the study 330 persons were included (65% women, mean age ± standard deviation 43.3 ± 11.8 years). Over the 6 years, MCS decreased, while PCS remained stable. While cross-sectional analyses showed associations of acculturation status with both MCS and PCS, temporal changes including the time interaction term did not reveal associations of baseline acculturation status with HRQL. When investigating HRQL in acculturation, more longitudinal studies are needed to take changes in both HRQL and acculturation status into account.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999343PMC
March 2021

Regional Deprivation, Stroke Incidence, and Stroke Care—An Analysis of Billing and Quality Assurance Data From the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021 06 11;118(Forthcoming). Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Background: Regional deprivation can increase the risk of illness and adversely affect care outcomes. In this study, we investigated for the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate whether spatial-structural disadvantages are associated with an increased frequency of ischemic stroke and with less favorable care outcomes.

Methods: We compared billing data from DRG statistics (2008-2017) and quality assurance data (2017) for acute ischemic stroke with the German Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 (GIMD 2010) for the 36 districts (Landkreise) and independent cities (i.e., cities not belonging to a district) in Rhineland-Palatinate using correlation analyses, a Poisson regression analysis, and logistic regression analyses.

Results: The age-standardized stroke rates (ASR) ranged from 122 to 209 per 100 000 inhabitants, while the GIMD 2010 ranged from 4.6 to 47.5; the two values were positively correlated (Spearman's ρ = 0.47; 95% confidence interval [0.16; 0.85]). In 2017, mechanical thrombectomies were performed more commonly (5.7%) in the first GIMD 2010 quartile of the regional areas (i.e., in the least deprived areas) than in the remaining quartiles (4.2-4.6%). The intravenous thrombolysis rates showed no differences from one GIMD 2010 quartile to another. Severe neurological deficits (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale ≥ 5) on admission to the hospital were slightly more common in the fourth quartile (i.e., in the most deprived areas), while antiplatelet drugs and statins were somewhat less commonly ordered on discharge in those areas than in the first quartile.

Conclusion: These findings document a relationship between regional deprivation and the occurrence of acute ischemic stroke. Poorer GIMD 2010 scores were associated with worse care outcomes in a number of variables, but the absolute differences were small.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0149DOI Listing
June 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

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

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 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

Breast Cancer Risk Genes - Association Analysis in More than 113,000 Women.

N Engl J Med 2021 02 20;384(5):428-439. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

The authors' affiliations are as follows: the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Departments of Public Health and Primary Care (L.D., S. Carvalho, J.A., K.A.P., Q.W., M.K.B., J.D., B.D., N. Mavaddat, K. Michailidou, A.C.A., P.D.P.P., D.F.E.) and Oncology (C.L., P.A.H., C. Baynes, D.M.C., L.F., V.R., M. Shah, P.D.P.P., A.M.D., D.F.E.), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (A. Campbell, D.J.P.), and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Department of Psychology (D.J.P.), University of Edinburgh, the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre (D.A.C., J.F.), and the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh Medical School (A. Campbell, J.F.), Edinburgh, the Divisions of Informatics, Imaging, and Data Sciences (E.F.H.), Cancer Sciences (A. Howell), Population Health, Health Services Research, and Primary Care (A. Lophatananon, K. Muir), and Evolution and Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), University of Manchester, the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Unit (E.F.H.) and the Nightingale Breast Screening Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital (E.F.H., H.I.), Academic Health Science Centre and North West Genomics Laboratory Hub, and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), Manchester, the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Guy's Campus, King's College London, London (E.J.S.), the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (I.T.), and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford (I.T.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Human Genotyping-CEGEN Unit, Human Cancer Genetic Program (A.G.-N., M.R.A., N.Á., B.H., R.N.-T.), and the Human Genetics Group (V.F., A.O., J.B.), Spanish National Cancer Research Center, Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (A.O., J.B.), Servicio de Oncología Médica, Hospital Universitario La Paz (M.P.Z.), and Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (M. de la Hoya), Madrid, the Genomic Medicine Group, Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago (A. Carracedo, M.G.-D.), and Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras y Centro Nacional de Genotipado, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (A. Carracedo), Santiago de Compostela, the Oncology and Genetics Unit, Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria Galicia Sur, Xerencia de Xestion Integrada de Vigo-Servizo Galeo de Saúde, Vigo (J.E.C.), and Servicio de Cirugía General y Especialidades, Hospital Monte Naranco, Oviedo (J.I.A.P.) - all in Spain; the Division of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund (C. Wahlström, J.V., M.L., T. Törngren, Å.B., A.K.), the Department of Oncology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro (C. Blomqvist), and the Departments of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (K.C., M.E., M.G., P. Hall, W.H., K.H.), Oncology, Södersjukhuset (P. Hall, S. Margolin), Molecular Medicine and Surgery (A. Lindblom), and Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset (S. Margolin, C. Wendt), Karolinska Institutet, and the Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital (A. Lindblom), Stockholm - all in Sweden; the Department of Genetics and Computational Biology, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD (M.T.P., C.F., G.C.-T., A.B.S.), the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), and the Department of Clinical Pathology (M.C.S.), University of Melbourne, Anatomical Pathology, Alfred Hospital (C.M.), and the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (M.C.S.), Melbourne, VIC, and Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC (G.G.G., M.C.S., R.L.M.) - all in Australia; the Division of Molecular Pathology (R.K., S. Cornelissen, M.K.S.), Family Cancer Clinic (F.B.L.H., L.E.K.), Department of Epidemiology (M.A.R.), and Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology (M.K.S.), the Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, Division Laboratories, Pharmacy and Biomedical Genetics, Department of Genetics, University Medical Center, Utrecht (M.G.E.M.A.), the Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center (J.M.C., A.M.W.O.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Family Cancer Clinic, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (B.A.M.H.-G., A. Hollestelle, M.J.H.), Rotterdam, the Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht (E.B.G.G.), the Departments of Human Genetics (I.M.M.L., M.P.G.V., P.D.), Clinical Genetics (C.J.A.), and Pathology (P.D.), Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (A.R.M.), and the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen (J.C.O.) - all in the Netherlands; the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute (B.D.), and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (T.A., S.J.C., X.R.Y., M.G.-C.), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (B.D.), and the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (R.M.V.D.), Boston; the Departments of Clinical Genetics (K.A.), Oncology (C. Blomqvist), and Obstetrics and Gynecology (H.N., M. Suvanto), Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, and the Unit of Clinical Oncology, Kuopio University Hospital (P. Auvinen), the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oncology (P. Auvinen), the Translational Cancer Research Area (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Pathology, and Forensic Medicine (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), University of Eastern Finland, and the Biobank of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital (V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), Kuopio - both in Finland; the N.N. Alexandrov Research Institute of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Minsk, Belarus (N.N.A., N.V.B.); the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Kiel (N.A.), the Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology (H. Becher) and Cancer Epidemiology Group (T.M., J.C.-C.), University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (M.W.B., P.A.F., L.H.) and Institute of Human Genetics (A.B.E.), University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, Erlangen, the Division of Cancer Epidemiology (S.B., A. Jung, P.M.K., J.C.-C.), Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080 (B. Burwinkel, H.S.), Division of Pediatric Neurooncology (A.F.), and Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer (U.H., M.M., M.U.R., D.T.), German Cancer Research Center, Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer, University Women's Clinic Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg (B. Burwinkel, A.S., H.S.), Hopp Children's Cancer Center (A.F.), Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg (P.M.K.), and National Center for Tumor Diseases, University Hospital and German Cancer Research Center (A.S., C.S.), Heidelberg, the Department of Radiation Oncology (N.V.B., M. Bremer, H.C.) and the Gynecology Research Unit (N.V.B., T.D., P. Hillemanns, T.-W.P.-S., P.S.), Hannover Medical School, Hannover, the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Münster, Münster (N.B.-M.), Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart (H. Brauch, W.-Y.L.), iFIT-Cluster of Excellence, University of Tübingen, and the German Cancer Consortium, German Cancer Research Center, Partner Site Tübingen (H. Brauch), and the University of Tübingen (W.-Y.L.), Tübingen, Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum (T.B.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics, and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig (C.E.), Center for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (E.H., R.K.S.) and Center for Integrated Oncology (E.H., R.K.S.), Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, the Department of Internal Medicine, Evangelische Kliniken Bonn, Johanniter Krankenhaus, Bonn (Y.-D.K.), the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Munich, Campus Großhadern, Munich (A. Meindl), and the Institute of Pathology, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (T.R.) - all in Germany; the Gynecological Cancer Registry, Centre Georges-François Leclerc, Dijon (P. Arveux), and the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Team Exposome and Heredity, INSERM, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif (E.C.-D., P.G., T. Truong) - both in France; the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (M. Bermisheva, E.K.), the Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine, Bashkir State University (E.K., D.P., Y.V.), and the Ufa Research Institute of Occupational Health and Human Ecology (Y.V.), Ufa, Russia; the Department of Genetics and Pathology (K.B., A. Jakubowska, J. Lubiński, K.P.) and the Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetic Diagnostics (A. Jakubowska), Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland; the Copenhagen General Population Study, the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (S.E.B., B.G.N.), and the Department of Breast Surgery (H.F.), Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (S.E.B., B.G.N.) - both in Denmark; the Division of Cancer Prevention and Genetics, European Institute of Oncology Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) (B. Bonanni), the Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano (S. Manoukian), the Genome Diagnostics Program, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (P.P.), and the Unit of Molecular Bases of Genetic Risk and Genetic Testing, Department of Research, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (P.R.), Milan; the Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Radiumhospitalet (A.-L.B.-D., G.I.G.A., V.N.K.), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo (A.-L.B.-D., V.N.K.), Oslo; Medical Faculty, Universidad de La Sabana (I.B.), and the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (F.G.) and Institute of Human Genetics (D.T.), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia; the Department of Internal Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah (N.J.C., M.J.M., J.A.W.), and the Intermountain Healthcare Biorepository and Department of Pathology, Intermountain Healthcare (M.H.C.), Salt Lake City; the David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles (P.A.F.), and Moores Cancer Center (M.G.-D., M.E.M.) and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (M.E.M.), University of California San Diego, La Jolla; the Departments of Medical Oncology (V.G., D.M.) and Pathology (M.T.), University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, and the Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa (E.S.) - both in Greece; the Fred A. Litwin Center for Cancer Genetics, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital (G.G., I.L.A.), the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (A.M.M.) and Molecular Genetics (I.L.A.), University of Toronto, and the Laboratory Medicine Program, University Health Network (A.M.M.), Toronto, and the Genomics Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Québec City, QC (J.S.) - both in Canada; the Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L.), the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L., K. Michailidou), and the Biostatistics Unit (K. Michailidou), Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus; the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (M. Hartman, R.M.V.D.) and the Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (R.M.V.D.), National University of Singapore, the Department of Surgery, National University Health System (M. Hartman, J. Li), and the Human Genetics Division, Genome Institute of Singapore (J. Li), Singapore; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia (W.K.H.), and the Breast Cancer Research Programme, Cancer Research Malaysia (W.K.H., P.S.N., S.-Y.Y., S.H.T.), Selangor, and the Breast Cancer Research Unit, Cancer Research Institute (N.A.M.T.), and the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine (N.A.M.T., P.S.N., S.H.T.), University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur - both in Malaysia; Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway (M.J.K., N. Miller); the Department of Surgery, Daerim Saint Mary's Hospital (S.-W.K.), the Department of Surgery, Ulsan University College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center (J.W.L.), the Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine and Soonchunhyang University Hospital (M.H.L.), Integrated Major in Innovative Medical Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine (S.K.P.), and the Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University (S.K.P.), Seoul, South Korea; the Department of Basic Sciences, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Lahore, Pakistan (M.U.R.); and the National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand (S.T.).

Background: Genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility is widely used, but for many genes, evidence of an association with breast cancer is weak, underlying risk estimates are imprecise, and reliable subtype-specific risk estimates are lacking.

Methods: We used a panel of 34 putative susceptibility genes to perform sequencing on samples from 60,466 women with breast cancer and 53,461 controls. In separate analyses for protein-truncating variants and rare missense variants in these genes, we estimated odds ratios for breast cancer overall and tumor subtypes. We evaluated missense-variant associations according to domain and classification of pathogenicity.

Results: Protein-truncating variants in 5 genes (, , , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.0001. Protein-truncating variants in 4 other genes (, , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.05 and a Bayesian false-discovery probability of less than 0.05. For protein-truncating variants in 19 of the remaining 25 genes, the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the odds ratio for breast cancer overall was less than 2.0. For protein-truncating variants in and , odds ratios were higher for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease than for ER-negative disease; for protein-truncating variants in , , , , , and , odds ratios were higher for ER-negative disease than for ER-positive disease. Rare missense variants (in aggregate) in , , and were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.001. For , , and , missense variants (in aggregate) that would be classified as pathogenic according to standard criteria were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall, with the risk being similar to that of protein-truncating variants.

Conclusions: The results of this study define the genes that are most clinically useful for inclusion on panels for the prediction of breast cancer risk, as well as provide estimates of the risks associated with protein-truncating variants, to guide genetic counseling. (Funded by European Union Horizon 2020 programs and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1913948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611105PMC
February 2021

The effect of family history on screening procedures and prognosis in breast cancer patients - Results of a large population-based case-control study.

Breast 2021 Feb 24;55:98-104. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Gynecology, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: The potential benefit of additional breast cancer screening examinations in moderate risk patients (patients with a history of breast cancer in one or two family members) remains unclear.

Methods: A large population-based case-control study on breast cancer in postmenopausal women in Germany recruited 2002-2005 (3813 cases and 7341 age-matched controls) was used to assess the association of family history with breast cancer risk. Analysis of family history, participation in screening procedures, and tumor size regarding prognosis in patients was based on follow-up data until 2015.

Results: A first degree family history of breast cancer was associated with higher breast cancer risk (OR 1.39, p < 0.001). Patients with a first degree family history of breast cancer were more likely to have had >10 mammograms (MG) (42.7% vs. 24.9%, p < 0.001) and showed a higher rate of imaging-detected tumors (MG or ultrasound) (45.8% vs. 31.9%, p < 0.001). A smaller tumor size at initial diagnosis (below 2 cm) was more likely in patients with a positive family history (OR 1.45, p < 0.001) and a higher number of MG (≥10 MG: OR 2.29). After accounting for tumor characteristics, mammogram regularity (HR 0.72, p < 0.001) and imaging-assisted tumor detection (HR 0.66, p < 0.001) were associated with better overall survival but not with a positive family history.

Discussion: Patients with a positive family history had a higher rate of imaging detected tumors with smaller size at initial diagnosis compared to patients without affected family members. Screening was associated with improved survival after a breast cancer diagnosis, irrespective of a positive family history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2020.12.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782318PMC
February 2021

The Incidence of Intestinal Gastric Cancer among Resettlers in Germany-Do Resettlers Remain at an Elevated Risk in Comparison to the General Population?

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 9;17(24). Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, University Hospital Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Objective: Previous studies have shown that the incidence of gastric cancer (GC), and particularly intestinal GC, is higher among resettlers from the former Soviet Union (FSU) than in the general German population. Our aim was to investigate if the higher risk remains over time.

Methods: GC cases between 1994 and 2013, in a cohort of 32,972 resettlers, were identified by the respective federal cancer registry. Age-standardized rates (ASRs) and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were analyzed in comparison to the general population for GC subtypes according to the Laurén classification. Additionally, the cohort was pooled with data from a second resettler cohort from Saarland to investigate time trends using negative binomial regression.

Results: The incidence of intestinal GC was elevated among resettlers in comparison to the general population (SIR (men) 1.64, 95% CI: 1.09-2.37; SIR (women) 1.91, 95% CI: 1.15-2.98). The analysis with the pooled data confirmed an elevated SIR, which was stable over time.

Conclusion: Resettlers' higher risk of developing intestinal GC does not attenuate towards the incidence in the general German population. Dietary and lifestyle patterns might amplify the risk of GC, and we believe that further investigation of risk behaviors is needed to better understand the development of disease pattern among migrants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763658PMC
December 2020

Comorbidity burden in long-term breast cancer survivors compared with a cohort of population-based controls from the MARIE study.

Cancer 2021 Apr 1;127(7):1154-1160. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: The number of elderly cancer survivors is growing because of increasing survival rates. A high comorbidity burden in the elderly can affect their quality of life and survival. The aim of this study was to examine whether breast cancer survivors and population-based controls have a different comorbidity burden after long-term follow-up.

Methods: This study used data from a German breast cancer case-control study, which initially comprised 3813 breast cancer cases aged 50 to 74 years who were diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 and 7341 population-based controls. Participants were followed up in 2014/2016. A modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (mCCI) was calculated to quantify severe comorbidities. Negative binomial regression was performed to estimate rate ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between case-control status and mCCI (dependent variable) for the baseline population and for those who participated at follow-up, with adjustments made for relevant lifestyle factors.

Results: In total, 1925 cases and 3674 controls participated in the follow-up 12 years after recruitment. In the baseline population 35% had at least 1 comorbid condition.In long-term survivors this proportion was 52%. No difference was found in the mCCI between breast cancer cases and controls at baseline (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.98-1.11) or between long-term survivors of the 2 groups at baseline (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97-1.18) or at follow-up (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.91-1.10).

Conclusions: The comorbidity burden of long-term breast cancer survivors and controls increased over time; however, it remained similar in both groups after 12 years of follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33363DOI Listing
April 2021

Changes in alcohol consumption, body weight and physical activity among breast cancer survivors and population-based unaffected women in a prospective study.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 02 19;70:101852. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Cancer Epidemiology Group, University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany; Department of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: It is unclear whether a breast cancer diagnosis affects health behaviour changes that occur with ageing. We aimed to compare long-term changes of alcohol consumption, body weight, and physical activity in women with breast cancer and in age-matched unaffected women.

Methods: We used data from 1,925 women with breast cancer and 3,473 unaffected women aged 50-74 years enrolled in the population-based case-control study MARIE (Mamma Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation) in 2002-2005, who also completed the follow-up in 2014-2016. Multinomial logistic regression was applied to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between breast cancer status and categories of change in alcohol consumption, weight and physical activity.

Results: After 11.6 years of follow-up, breast cancer survivors had significantly lower odds than unaffected women of increasing alcohol consumption from ≤10 to >10 g/day (adjusted OR 0.48, 95 % CI 0.35-0.65), but were more likely to experience a major weight change of ≥10 % compared to having stable weight (±<5 %) (OR for increase and decrease 1.32, 95 % CI 1.03-1.70 and 1.36, 95 % CI 1.05-1.77, resp.) and to decrease transport physical activity to below 2.5 h/week compared to maintaining the activity level (OR 1.61, 95 % CI 1.26-2.04). No significant group difference was found for changes in recreational physical activity.

Conclusion: Our data indicate that some long-term health behaviour changes can be attributed to a breast cancer diagnosis rather than ageing, suggesting that long-term medical care of breast cancer survivors could pay greater attention to weight control and sufficient physical activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101852DOI Listing
February 2021

Methods to estimate proportion and number of nonexposed cases in a population.

Biom J 2021 03 5;63(3):514-527. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institut für Biometrie und klinische Epidemiologie, Berlin, Germany.

National mortality statistics commonly provide disease-specific absolute and relative frequencies of death by sex and age, but not by exposure status. However, it is often of interest to know how many of the diseased individuals, that is the cases, were exposed or not exposed to a specific risk factor. We present two methods to estimate the proportion and the number of exposed and nonexposed cases, both of which require an estimate of the exposure prevalence in the nondiseased population. Method I additionally requires an estimate of the relative effect of exposure, that is a relative risk function if the exposure has a continuous distribution, or a relative risk estimate for each category if the exposure is categorical. Method II additionally requires an estimate of the disease rate among the nonexposed. We provide theoretical justifications, discuss practical limitations, and provide an R script to calculate the probability for nonexposure among the diseased, and compare the approaches. Both methods are subsequently applied to the estimation of the number of never smokers among lung cancer deaths. The two suggested methods rely on the availability of specific data sources and might therefore be applicable in different research settings. Both methods yield unbiased estimates of the number of nonexposed cases, given that the respective underlying assumptions are fulfilled.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bimj.201900190DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Related Contact Restrictions in Germany, March to May 2020, on the Mobility and Relation to Infection Patterns.

Front Public Health 2020 8;8:568287. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, Germany has gradually implemented mobility restrictions culminating in a partial lockdown and contact restrictions on 22 March. The easing of the restrictions began 1 month later, on 20 April. Analysis of the consequences of these measures for mobility and infection incidence is of public health interest. A dynamic cohort of about 2,000 individuals in Germany aged 16-89 years provided individual information on demographic variables, and their continuous geolocation via a smartphone app. Using interrupted time series analysis, we investigated mobility by age, sex, and previous mobility habits from 13 January until 17 May 2020, measured as median daily distance traveled before and after restrictions were introduced. Furthermore, we have investigated the association of mobility with the number of new cases and the reproduction number. Median daily distance traveled decreased substantially in total and homogeneously across all subgroups considered. The decrease was strongest in the last week of March followed by a slight increase. Relative reduction of mobility developed parallel with number of new cases and the daily estimated reproduction number in the weeks after contact restrictions were implemented. The increase in mobility from mid-April onwards, however, did not result in increased case numbers but in further decrease. Other behavioral changes, e.g., wearing masks, individual distancing, or general awareness of the COVID-19 hazards may have contributed to the observed further reduction in case numbers and constant reproduction numbers below one until mid-July.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.568287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578371PMC
May 2021

Prospective Sero-epidemiological Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 among Health Care Workers in a German Secondary Care Hospital.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Jan 16;102:136-143. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Institut für Laboratoriums- und Transfusionsmedizin, Herz- und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen, Universitätsklinik der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Georgstrasse 11, 32545, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.

Objectives: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the pulmonary disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19, which has challenged health care facilities worldwide. The sustainability of health care systems is largely reliant on the health status of their health care workers (HCW). This study aimed to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus and specific antibodies among HCWs in a German hospital as a model system for the potential spread of the pandemic.

Methods: Between March and June 2020, we used a combination of RT-PCR testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies among HCWs in a German hospital based on repetitive oropharyngeal swabs (OPSs) and blood samples.

Results: In total, 871/1081 employees participated in this prospective longitudinal study. During the study period of 9 weeks, 5329 OPSs and 2136 blood samples were analyzed. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in three participants (0.34%). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were detected in 38 (4.36%) participants.

Conclusion: Our study determined a low prevalence of COVID-19 in HCW, which may reflect the effectiveness of hygiene protocols. However, it could also indicate a low prevalence of SARS CoV-2 in hospital employees. Our study protocol may serve as an instructive example for future pandemic containment protocols in hospitals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.10.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7566663PMC
January 2021

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

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

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

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

Physical Activity Trajectories among Persons of Turkish Descent Living in Germany-A Cohort Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 08 31;17(17). Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

Physical activity (PA) behavior is increasingly described as trajectories taking changes over a longer period into account. Little is known, however, about predictors of those trajectories among migrant populations. Therefore, the aim of the present cohort study was to describe changes of PA over six years and to explore migration-related and other predictors for different PA trajectories in adults of Turkish descent living in Berlin. At baseline (2011/2012) and after six years, sociodemographics, health behavior, and medical information were assessed. Four PA trajectories were defined using data of weekly PA from baseline and follow-up: "inactive", "decreasing", "increasing", and "stable active". Multivariable regression analyses were performed in order to determine predictors for the "stable active" trajectory, and results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). In this analysis, 197 people (60.9% women, mean age ± standard deviation 49.9 ± 12.8 years) were included. A total of 77.7% were first-generation migrants, and 50.5% had Turkish citizenship. The four PA trajectories differed regarding citizenship, preferred questionnaire language, and marital status. "Stable active" trajectory membership was predicted by educational level (high vs. low: aOR 4.20, 95%CI [1.10; 16.00]), citizenship (German or dual vs. Turkish only: 3.60 [1.20; 10.86]), preferred questionnaire language (German vs. Turkish: 3.35 [1.05; 10.66]), and BMI (overweight vs. normal weight: 0.28 [0.08; 0.99]). In our study, migration-related factors only partially predicted trajectory membership, however, persons with citizenship of their country of origin and/or with poor language skills should be particularly considered when planning PA prevention programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176349DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7504423PMC
August 2020

Postdiagnosis weight change is associated with poorer survival in breast cancer survivors: A prospective population-based patient cohort study.

Int J Cancer 2021 01 10;148(1):18-27. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

More women are surviving after breast cancer due to early detection and modern treatment strategies. Body weight also influences survival. We aimed to characterize associations between postdiagnosis weight change and prognosis in postmenopausal long-term breast cancer survivors. We used data from a prospective population-based patient cohort study (MARIE) conducted in two geographical regions of Germany. Breast cancer patients diagnosed 50 to 74 years of age with an incident invasive breast cancer or in situ tumor were recruited from 2002 to 2005 and followed up until June 2015. Baseline weight was ascertained at an in-person interview at recruitment and follow-up weight was ascertained by telephone interview in 2009. Delayed entry Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess associations between relative weight change and all-cause mortality, breast cancer mortality, and recurrence-free survival. In total, 2216 patients were included. Compared to weight maintenance (within 5%), weight loss >10% increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR 2.50, 95% CI 1.61, 3.88), breast cancer mortality (HR 3.07, 95% CI 1.69, 5.60) and less so of recurrence-free survival (HR 1.43, 95% CI 0.87, 2.36). Large weight gain of >10% also increased all-cause mortality (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.02, 2.62) and breast cancer mortality (HR 2.25, 95% CI 1.25, 4.04). Weight maintenance for up to 5 years in long-term breast cancer survivors may help improve survival and prognosis. Postdiagnosis fluctuations in body weight of greater than 10% may lead to increased mortality. Survivors should be recommended to avoid large deviations in body weight from diagnosis onwards to maintain health and prolong life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33181DOI Listing
January 2021

Histologic and Clinical Effects of Different Topical Corticosteroids for Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Lessons from an Updated Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trials.

Digestion 2021 1;102(3):377-385. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Topical corticosteroids (TS) have become standard therapy for eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). However, a variety of drug formulations have been used for which results of histological and clinical responses may be different. We aimed at determining the short-term histologic efficacy of TS for EoE based on randomized placebo-controlled trials and to review clinical response.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, and clinicaltrials.gov for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on TS versus placebo for active EoE published until June 2019. Treatment effects were calculated as risk ratios (RRs) comparing histologic remission between groups.

Results: Nine RCTs (6 budesonide and 3 fluticasone) involving a total of 483 participants were included. A substantial overall effect of TS on acute histologic remission (RR 12.5, 95% confidence interval 6.0-25.9) was found despite varying definitions of histologic response. Indirect comparisons between drug and formulation types showed a trend for a better histologic efficacy of budesonide (RR 13.5 vs. 10.4 fluticasone) and for the orodispersible tablet (RR 46.2 vs. 11.5 suspension, and 10.4 nebulized formula/spray), but only based on small patient numbers. Scores used for clinical response assessment were different between studies, and short-term clinical results were less impressive: significant differences favoring TS were found in 4/9 RCTs (4/6 budesonide, 0/3 fluticasone).

Conclusions: TS are effective for short-term induction of histological remission in EoE with less impressive clinical response rates. The mode of drug delivery to the esophagus may be a relevant factor for the degree of histologic remission. Further trials should use uniform assessment criteria and long-term patient-centered outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000507571DOI Listing
August 2021

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

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

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

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