Publications by authors named "James D McKay"

127 Publications

The PI3K/mTOR Pathway Is Targeted by Rare Germline Variants in Patients with Both Melanoma and Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 7;13(9). Epub 2021 May 7.

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

: Malignant melanoma and RCC have different embryonic origins, no common lifestyle risk factors but intriguingly share biological properties such as immune regulation and radioresistance. An excess risk of malignant melanoma is observed in RCC patients and vice versa. This bidirectional association is poorly understood, and hypothetic genetic co-susceptibility remains largely unexplored. We hereby provide a clinical and genetic description of a series of 125 cases affected by both malignant melanoma and RCC. Clinical germline mutation testing identified a pathogenic variant in a melanoma and/or RCC predisposing gene in 17/125 cases (13.6%). This included mutually exclusive variants in (p.E318K locus, N = 9 cases), (N = 3), (N = 2), (N = 2), and (N = 1). A subset of 46 early-onset cases, without underlying germline variation, was whole-exome sequenced. In this series, thirteen genes were significantly enriched in mostly exclusive rare variants predicted to be deleterious, compared to 19,751 controls of similar ancestry. The observed variation mainly consisted of novel or low-frequency variants (<0.01%) within genes displaying strong evolutionary mutational constraints along the PI3K/mTOR pathway, including , , , , and related epigenetic modifier . The screening of independently processed germline exomes from The Cancer Genome Atlas confirmed an association with melanoma and RCC but not with cancers of established differing etiology such as lung cancers. Our study highlights that an exome-wide case-control enrichment approach may better characterize the rare variant-based missing heritability of multiple primary cancers. In our series, the co-occurrence of malignant melanoma and RCC was associated with germline variation in the PI3K/mTOR signaling cascade, with potential relevance for early diagnostic and clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092243DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8125037PMC
May 2021

Genome-wide association study of more than 40,000 bipolar disorder cases provides new insights into the underlying biology.

Nat Genet 2021 06 17;53(6):817-829. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Neuroscience, Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Bipolar disorder is a heritable mental illness with complex etiology. We performed a genome-wide association study of 41,917 bipolar disorder cases and 371,549 controls of European ancestry, which identified 64 associated genomic loci. Bipolar disorder risk alleles were enriched in genes in synaptic signaling pathways and brain-expressed genes, particularly those with high specificity of expression in neurons of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Significant signal enrichment was found in genes encoding targets of antipsychotics, calcium channel blockers, antiepileptics and anesthetics. Integrating expression quantitative trait locus data implicated 15 genes robustly linked to bipolar disorder via gene expression, encoding druggable targets such as HTR6, MCHR1, DCLK3 and FURIN. Analyses of bipolar disorder subtypes indicated high but imperfect genetic correlation between bipolar disorder type I and II and identified additional associated loci. Together, these results advance our understanding of the biological etiology of bipolar disorder, identify novel therapeutic leads and prioritize genes for functional follow-up studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00857-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192451PMC
June 2021

Studying the utility of using genetics to predict smoking-related outcomes in a population-based study and a selected cohort.

Nicotine Tob Res 2021 May 15. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the predictive utility of polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for smoking behaviors.

Methods: Using summary statistics from the GWAS and Sequencing Consortium of Alcohol and Nicotine use consortium, we generated PRSs of ever smoking, age of smoking initiation, cigarettes smoked per day, and smoking cessation for participants in the population-based Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (N=8,638), and the Collaborative Genetic Study of Nicotine Dependence (COGEND) (N=1,935). The outcomes were ever smoking, age of smoking initiation, heaviness of smoking, and smoking cessation.

Results: In the European ancestry cohorts, each PRS was significantly associated with the corresponding smoking behavior outcome. In the ARIC cohort, the z-score ever smoking PRS predicted ever smoking (odds ratio [OR]: 1.37; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31, 1.43); the z-score age of smoking initiation PRS was associated with earlier age of smoking initiation (OR:0.87: 95% CI: 0.82, 0.92); the z-score cigarettes per day PRS was associated with heavier smoking (OR:1.17: 95% CI: 1.11, 1.25); and the z-score smoking cessation PRS predicted with successful cessation (OR: 1.24: 95% CI: 1.17, 1.32). In the African ancestry cohort, the PRSs did not predict smoking behaviors.

Conclusion: Smoking-related PRSs were associated with smoking-related behaviors in European ancestry populations. This improvement in prediction is greatest in the lowest and highest genetic risk categories. The lack of prediction in African ancestry populations highlights the urgent need to increase diversity in research so that scientific advances can be applied to populations other than those of European ancestry.

Implications: This study shows that including both genetic ancestry and polygenic risk scores in a single model increases the ability to predict smoking behaviors compared to the model including only demographic characteristics. This finding is observed for every smoking-related outcome. Even though adding genetics is more predictive, the demographics alone confer substantial and meaningful predictive power. However, with increasing work in polygenic risk scores, the predictive ability will continue to improve.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntab100DOI Listing
May 2021

The Shared Genetic Architectures Between Lung Cancer and Multiple Polygenic Phenotypes in Genome-Wide Association Studies.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jun 26;30(6):1156-1164. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Section of Genetics, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: Prior genome-wide association studies have identified numerous lung cancer risk loci and reveal substantial etiologic heterogeneity across histologic subtypes. Analyzing the shared genetic architecture underlying variation in complex traits can elucidate common genetic etiologies across phenotypes. Exploring pairwise genetic correlations between lung cancer and other polygenic traits can reveal the common genetic etiology of correlated phenotypes.

Methods: Using cross-trait linkage disequilibrium score regression, we estimated the pairwise genetic correlation and heritability between lung cancer and multiple traits using publicly available summary statistics. Identified genetic relationships were also examined after excluding genomic regions known to be associated with smoking behaviors, a major risk factor for lung cancer.

Results: We observed several traits showing moderate single nucleotide polymorphism-based heritability and significant genetic correlations with lung cancer. We observed highly significant correlations between the genetic architectures of lung cancer and emphysema/chronic bronchitis across all histologic subtypes, as well as among lung cancer occurring among smokers. Our analyses revealed highly significant positive correlations between lung cancer and paternal history of lung cancer. We also observed a strong negative correlation with parental longevity. We observed consistent directions in genetic patterns after excluding genomic regions associated with smoking behaviors.

Conclusions: This study identifies numerous phenotypic traits that share genomic architecture with lung carcinogenesis and are not fully accounted for by known smoking-associated genomic loci.

Impact: These findings provide new insights into the etiology of lung cancer by identifying traits that are genetically correlated with increased risk of lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1635DOI Listing
June 2021

Sequencing at lymphoid neoplasm susceptibility loci maps six myeloma risk genes.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Jun;30(12):1142-1153

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

Inherited genetic risk factors play a role in multiple myeloma (MM), yet considerable missing heritability exists. Rare risk variants at genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci are a new avenue to explore. Pleiotropy between lymphoid neoplasms (LNs) has been suggested in family history and genetic studies, but no studies have interrogated sequencing for pleiotropic genes or rare risk variants. Sequencing genetically enriched cases can help discover rarer variants. We analyzed exome sequencing in familial or early-onset MM cases to identify rare, functionally relevant variants near GWAS loci for a range of LNs. A total of 149 distinct and significant LN GWAS loci have been published. We identified six recurrent, rare, potentially deleterious variants within 5 kb of significant GWAS single nucleotide polymorphisms in 75 MM cases. Mutations were observed in BTNL2, EOMES, TNFRSF13B, IRF8, ACOXL and TSPAN32. All six genes replicated in an independent set of 255 early-onset MM or familial MM or precursor cases. Expansion of our analyses to the full length of these six genes resulted in a list of 39 rare and deleterious variants, seven of which segregated in MM families. Three genes also had significant rare variant burden in 733 sporadic MM cases compared with 935 control individuals: IRF8 (P = 1.0 × 10-6), EOMES (P = 6.0 × 10-6) and BTNL2 (P = 2.1 × 10-3). Together, our results implicate six genes in MM risk, provide support for genetic pleiotropy between LN subtypes and demonstrate the utility of sequencing genetically enriched cases to identify functionally relevant variants near GWAS loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8188404PMC
June 2021

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies pleiotropic risk loci for aerodigestive squamous cell cancers.

PLoS Genet 2021 03 5;17(3):e1009254. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

University of Salzburg, Department of Biosciences and Cancer Cluster Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.

Squamous cell carcinomas (SqCC) of the aerodigestive tract have similar etiological risk factors. Although genetic risk variants for individual cancers have been identified, an agnostic, genome-wide search for shared genetic susceptibility has not been performed. To identify novel and pleotropic SqCC risk variants, we performed a meta-analysis of GWAS data on lung SqCC (LuSqCC), oro/pharyngeal SqCC (OSqCC), laryngeal SqCC (LaSqCC) and esophageal SqCC (ESqCC) cancers, totaling 13,887 cases and 61,961 controls of European ancestry. We identified one novel genome-wide significant (Pmeta<5x10-8) aerodigestive SqCC susceptibility loci in the 2q33.1 region (rs56321285, TMEM273). Additionally, three previously unknown loci reached suggestive significance (Pmeta<5x10-7): 1q32.1 (rs12133735, near MDM4), 5q31.2 (rs13181561, TMEM173) and 19p13.11 (rs61494113, ABHD8). Multiple previously identified loci for aerodigestive SqCC also showed evidence of pleiotropy in at least another SqCC site, these include: 4q23 (ADH1B), 6p21.33 (STK19), 6p21.32 (HLA-DQB1), 9p21.33 (CDKN2B-AS1) and 13q13.1(BRCA2). Gene-based association and gene set enrichment identified a set of 48 SqCC-related genes rel to DNA damage and epigenetic regulation pathways. Our study highlights the importance of cross-cancer analyses to identify pleiotropic risk loci of histology-related cancers arising at distinct anatomical sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968735PMC
March 2021

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

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

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

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

Assessing Lung Cancer Absolute Risk Trajectory Based on a Polygenic Risk Model.

Cancer Res 2021 03 20;81(6):1607-1615. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Baylor Medical College, Houston, Texas.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death globally. An improved risk stratification strategy can increase efficiency of low-dose CT (LDCT) screening. Here we assessed whether individual's genetic background has clinical utility for risk stratification in the context of LDCT screening. On the basis of 13,119 patients with lung cancer and 10,008 controls with European ancestry in the International Lung Cancer Consortium, we constructed a polygenic risk score (PRS) via 10-fold cross-validation with regularized penalized regression. The performance of risk model integrating PRS, including calibration and ability to discriminate, was assessed using UK Biobank data ( = 335,931). Absolute risk was estimated on the basis of age-specific lung cancer incidence and all-cause mortality as competing risk. To evaluate its potential clinical utility, the PRS distribution was simulated in the National Lung Screening Trial ( = 50,772 participants). The lung cancer ORs for individuals at the top decile of the PRS distribution versus those at bottom 10% was 2.39 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.92-3.00; = 1.80 × 10] in the validation set ( = 5.26 × 10). The OR per SD of PRS increase was 1.26 (95% CI = 1.20-1.32; = 9.69 × 10) for overall lung cancer risk in the validation set. When considering absolute risks, individuals at different PRS deciles showed differential trajectories of 5-year and cumulative absolute risk. The age reaching the LDCT screening recommendation threshold can vary by 4 to 8 years, depending on the individual's genetic background, smoking status, and family history. Collectively, these results suggest that individual's genetic background may inform the optimal lung cancer LDCT screening strategy. SIGNIFICANCE: Three large-scale datasets reveal that, after accounting for risk factors, an individual's genetics can affect their lung cancer risk trajectory, thus may inform the optimal timing for LDCT screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7969419PMC
March 2021

Patterns of Human Leukocyte Antigen Class I and Class II Associations and Cancer.

Cancer Res 2021 02 3;81(4):1148-1152. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland.

Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene variation is associated with risk of cancers, particularly those with infectious etiology or hematopoietic origin, given its role in immune presentation. Previous studies focused primarily on HLA allele/haplotype-specific associations. To answer whether associations are driven by HLA class I (essential for T-cell cytotoxicity) or class II (important for T-cell helper responses) genes, we analyzed GWAS from 24 case-control studies and consortia comprising 27 cancers (totaling >71,000 individuals). Associations for most cancers with infectious etiology or of hematopoietic origin were driven by multiple HLA regions, suggesting that both cytotoxic and helper T-cell responses are important. Notable exceptions were observed for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, an EBV-associated cancer, and CLL/SLL forms of non-Hodgkin lymphomas; these cancers were associated with HLA class I region only and HLA class II region only, implying the importance of cytotoxic T-cell responses for the former and CD4 T-cell helper responses for the latter. Our findings suggest that increased understanding of the pattern of HLA associations for individual cancers could lead to better insights into specific mechanisms involved in cancer pathogenesis. SIGNIFICANCE: GWAS of >71,000 individuals across 27 cancer types suggest that patterns of HLA Class I and Class II associations may provide etiologic insights for cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2292DOI Listing
February 2021

Development of Sensitive Droplet Digital PCR Assays for Detecting Urinary Promoter Mutations as Non-Invasive Biomarkers for Detection of Urothelial Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Nov 27;12(12). Epub 2020 Nov 27.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 69372 Lyon, France.

Somatic mutations in the () promoter regions are frequent events in urothelial cancer (UC) and their detection in urine (supernatant cell-free DNA or DNA from exfoliated cells) could serve as putative non-invasive biomarkers for UC detection and monitoring. However, detecting these tumor-borne mutations in urine requires highly sensitive methods, capable of measuring low-level mutations. In this study, we developed sensitive droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays for detecting promoter mutations (C228T, C228A, CC242-243TT, and C250T). We tested the C228T and C250T ddPCR assays on all samples with sufficient quantity of urinary DNA (urine supernatant cell-free DNA (US cfDNA) or urine pellet cellular DNA (UP cellDNA)) from the DIAGURO ( = 89/93 cases and = 92/94 controls) and from the IPO-PORTO ( = 49/50 cases and = 50/50 controls) series that were previously screened with the UroMuTERT assay and compared the performance of the two approaches. In the DIAGURO series, the sensitivity and specificity of the ddPCR assays for detecting UC using either US cfDNA or UP cellDNA were 86.8% and 92.4%. The sensitivity was slightly higher than that of the UroMuTERT assay in the IPO-PORTO series (67.4% vs. 65.3%, respectively), but not in the DIAGURO series (86.8% vs. 90.7%). The specificity was 100% in the IPO-PORTO controls for both the UroMuTERT and ddPCR assays, whereas in the DIAGURO series, the specificity dropped for ddPCR (92.4% versus 95.6%). Overall, an almost perfect agreement between the two methods was observed for both US cfDNA ( = 164; kappa coefficient of 0.91) and UP cellDNA ( = 280; kappa coefficient of 0.94). In a large independent series of serial urine samples from DIAGURO follow-up BC cases ( = 394), the agreement between ddPCR and UroMuTERT was (i) strong (kappa coefficient of 0.87), regardless of urine DNA types (kappa coefficient 0.89 for US cfDNA and 0.85 for UP cellDNA), (ii) the highest for samples with mutant allelic fractions (MAFs) > 2% (kappa coefficient of 0.99) and (iii) only minimal for the samples with the lowest MAFs (< 0.5%; kappa coefficient 0.32). Altogether, our results indicate that the two methods (ddPCR and UroMuTERT) for detecting urinary promoter mutations are comparable and that the discrepancies relate to the detection of low-allelic fraction mutations. The simplicity of the ddPCR assays makes them suitable for implementation in clinical settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123541DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761513PMC
November 2020

Association between anthropometry and lifestyle factors and risk of B-cell lymphoma: An exposome-wide analysis.

Int J Cancer 2021 May 12;148(9):2115-2128. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Oncology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

To better understand the role of individual and lifestyle factors in human disease, an exposome-wide association study was performed to investigate within a single-study anthropometry measures and lifestyle factors previously associated with B-cell lymphoma (BCL). Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study, 2402 incident BCL cases were diagnosed from 475 426 participants that were followed-up on average 14 years. Standard and penalized Cox regression models as well as principal component analysis (PCA) were used to evaluate 84 exposures in relation to BCL risk. Standard and penalized Cox regression models showed a positive association between anthropometric measures and BCL and multiple myeloma/plasma cell neoplasm (MM). The penalized Cox models additionally showed the association between several exposures from categories of physical activity, smoking status, medical history, socioeconomic position, diet and BCL and/or the subtypes. PCAs confirmed the individual associations but also showed additional observations. The PC5 including anthropometry, was positively associated with BCL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and MM. There was a significant positive association between consumption of sugar and confectionary (PC11) and follicular lymphoma risk, and an inverse association between fish and shellfish and Vitamin D (PC15) and DLBCL risk. The PC1 including features of the Mediterranean diet and diet with lower inflammatory score showed an inverse association with BCL risk, while the PC7, including dairy, was positively associated with BCL and DLBCL risk. Physical activity (PC10) was positively associated with DLBCL risk among women. This study provided informative insights on the etiology of BCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048490PMC
May 2021

A molecular map of lung neuroendocrine neoplasms.

Gigascience 2020 10;9(11)

Section of Genetics, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background: Lung neuroendocrine neoplasms (LNENs) are rare solid cancers, with most genomic studies including a limited number of samples. Recently, generating the first multi-omic dataset for atypical pulmonary carcinoids and the first methylation dataset for large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas led us to the discovery of clinically relevant molecular groups, as well as a new entity of pulmonary carcinoids (supra-carcinoids).

Results: To promote the integration of LNENs molecular data, we provide here detailed information on data generation and quality control for whole-genome/exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and EPIC 850K methylation arrays for a total of 84 patients with LNENs. We integrate the transcriptomic data with other previously published data and generate the first comprehensive molecular map of LNENs using the Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection (UMAP) dimension reduction technique. We show that this map captures the main biological findings of previous studies and can be used as reference to integrate datasets for which RNA sequencing is available. The generated map can be interactively explored and interrogated on the UCSC TumorMap portal (https://tumormap.ucsc.edu/?p=RCG_lungNENomics/LNEN). The data, source code, and compute environments used to generate and evaluate the map as well as the raw data are available, respectively, in a Nextjournal interactive notebook (https://nextjournal.com/rarecancersgenomics/a-molecular-map-of-lung-neuroendocrine-neoplasms/) and at the EMBL-EBI European Genome-phenome Archive and Gene Expression Omnibus data repositories.

Conclusions: We provide data and all resources needed to integrate them with future LNENs transcriptomic studies, allowing meaningful conclusions to be drawn that will eventually lead to a better understanding of this rare understudied disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giaa112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596803PMC
October 2020

Dissecting the genetic overlap of smoking behaviors, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A focus on nicotinic receptors and nicotine metabolizing enzyme.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 10 16;44(7):748-758. Epub 2020 Aug 16.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Smoking is a major contributor to lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Two of the strongest genetic associations of smoking-related phenotypes are the chromosomal regions 15q25.1, encompassing the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4, and 19q13.2, encompassing the nicotine metabolizing gene CYP2A6. In this study, we examined genetic relations between cigarettes smoked per day, smoking cessation, lung cancer, and COPD. Data consisted of genome-wide association study summary results. Genetic correlations were estimated using linkage disequilibrium score regression software. For each pair of outcomes, z-score-z-score (ZZ) plots were generated. Overall, heavier smoking and decreased smoking cessation showed positive genetic associations with increased lung cancer and COPD risk. The chromosomal region 19q13.2, however, showed a different correlational pattern. For example, the effect allele-C of the sentinel SNP (rs56113850) within CYP2A6 was associated with an increased risk of heavier smoking (z-score = 19.2; p = 1.10 × 10 ), lung cancer (z-score = 8.91; p = 5.02 × 10 ), and COPD (z-score = 4.04; p = 5.40 × 10 ). Surprisingly, this allele-C (rs56113850) was associated with increased smoking cessation (z-score = -8.17; p = 2.52 × 10 ). This inverse relationship highlights the need for additional investigation to determine how CYP2A6 variation could increase smoking cessation while also increasing the risk of lung cancer and COPD likely through increased cigarettes smoked per day.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7793026PMC
October 2020

Mediating effect of soluble B-cell activation immune markers on the association between anthropometric and lifestyle factors and lymphoma development.

Sci Rep 2020 08 14;10(1):13814. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80178, 3508 TD, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Sustained B-cell activation is an important mechanism contributing to B-cell lymphoma (BCL). We aimed to validate four previously reported B-cell activation markers predictive of BCL risk (sCD23, sCD27, sCD30, and CXCL13) and to examine their possible mediating effects on the association between anthropometric and lifestyle factors and major BCL subtypes. Pre-diagnostic serum levels were measured for 517 BCL cases and 525 controls in a nested case-control study. The odds ratios of BCL were 6.2 in the highest versus lowest quartile for sCD23, 2.6 for sCD30, 4.2 for sCD27, and 2.6 for CXCL13. Higher levels of all markers were associated with increased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), follicular lymphoma (FL), and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Following mutual adjustment for the other immune markers, sCD23 remained associated with all subtypes and CXCL13 with FL and DLBCL. The associations of sCD23 with CLL and DLBCL and CXCL13 with DLBCL persisted among cases sampled > 9 years before diagnosis. sCD23 showed a good predictive ability (area under the curve = 0.80) for CLL, in particular among older, male participants. sCD23 and CXCL13 showed a mediating effect between body mass index (positive) and DLBCL risk, while CXCL13 contributed to the association between physical activity (inverse) and DLBCL. Our data suggest a role of B-cell activation in BCL development and a mediating role of the immune system for lifestyle factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70790-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429856PMC
August 2020

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

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

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

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

Needlestack: an ultra-sensitive variant caller for multi-sample next generation sequencing data.

NAR Genom Bioinform 2020 Jun 20;2(2):lqaa021. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Genetic Cancer Susceptibility Group, Section of Genetics, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France.

The emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized the way of reaching a genome sequence, with the promise of potentially providing a comprehensive characterization of DNA variations. Nevertheless, detecting somatic mutations is still a difficult problem, in particular when trying to identify low abundance mutations, such as subclonal mutations, tumour-derived alterations in body fluids or somatic mutations from histological normal tissue. The main challenge is to precisely distinguish between sequencing artefacts and true mutations, particularly when the latter are so rare they reach similar abundance levels as artefacts. Here, we present needlestack, a highly sensitive variant caller, which directly learns from the data the level of systematic sequencing errors to accurately call mutations. Needlestack is based on the idea that the sequencing error rate can be dynamically estimated from analysing multiple samples together. We show that the sequencing error rate varies across alterations, illustrating the need to precisely estimate it. We evaluate the performance of needlestack for various types of variations, and we show that needlestack is robust among positions and outperforms existing state-of-the-art method for low abundance mutations. Needlestack, along with its source code is freely available on the GitHub platform: https://github.com/IARCbioinfo/needlestack.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nargab/lqaa021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7182099PMC
June 2020

Circulating tumour-derived KRAS mutations in pancreatic cancer cases are predominantly carried by very short fragments of cell-free DNA.

EBioMedicine 2020 May 3;55:102462. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Genetic Cancer Susceptibility group, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Background: The DNA released into the bloodstream by malignant tumours· called circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), is often a small fraction of total cell-free DNA shed predominantly by hematopoietic cells and is therefore challenging to detect. Understanding the biological properties of ctDNA is key to the investigation of its clinical relevance as a non-invasive marker for cancer detection and monitoring.

Methods: We selected 40 plasma DNA samples of pancreatic cancer cases previously reported to carry a KRAS mutation at the 'hotspot' codon 12 and re-screened the cell-free DNA using a 4-size amplicons strategy (57 bp, 79 bp, 167 bp and 218 bp) combined with ultra-deep sequencing in order to investigate whether amplicon lengths could impact on the capacity of detection of ctDNA, which in turn could provide inference of ctDNA and non-malignant cell-free DNA size distribution.

Findings: Higher KRAS amplicon size (167 bp and 218 bp) was associated with lower detectable cell-free DNA mutant allelic fractions (p < 0·0001), with up to 4·6-fold (95% CI: 2·6-8·1) difference on average when comparing the 218bp- and the 57bp-amplicons. The proportion of cases with detectable KRAS mutations was also hampered with increased amplicon lengths, with only half of the cases having detectable ctDNA using the 218 bp assay relative to those detected with amplicons less than 80 bp.

Interpretation: Tumour-derived mutations are carried by shorter cell-free DNA fragments than fragments of wild-type allele. Targeting short amplicons increases the sensitivity of cell-free DNA assays for pancreatic cancer and should be taken into account for optimized assay design and for evaluating their clinical performance.

Funding: IARC; MH CZ - DRO; MH SK; exchange program between IARC and Sao Paulo medical Sciences; French Cancer League.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.09.042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251242PMC
May 2020

Lipid Trait Variants and the Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes: A Mendelian Randomization Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 05 27;29(5):1074-1078. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Lipid traits have been inconsistently linked to risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We examined the association of genetically predicted lipid traits with risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), follicular lymphoma (FL), and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) using Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis.

Methods: Genome-wide association study data from the InterLymph Consortium were available for 2,661 DLBCLs, 2,179 CLLs, 2,142 FLs, 824 MZLs, and 6,221 controls. SNPs associated ( < 5 × 10) with high-density lipoprotein (HDL, = 164), low-density lipoprotein (LDL, = 137), total cholesterol (TC, = 161), and triglycerides (TG, = 123) were used as instrumental variables (IV), explaining 14.6%, 27.7%, 16.8%, and 12.8% of phenotypic variation, respectively. Associations between each lipid trait and NHL subtype were calculated using the MR inverse variance-weighted method, estimating odds ratios (OR) per standard deviation and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: HDL was positively associated with DLBCL (OR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.00-1.30) and MZL (OR = 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01-1.18), while TG was inversely associated with MZL risk (OR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83-0.99), all at nominal significance ( < 0.05). A positive trend was observed for HDL with FL risk (OR = 1.08; 95% CI, 0.99-1.19; = 0.087). No associations were noteworthy after adjusting for multiple testing.

Conclusions: We did not find evidence of a clear or strong association of these lipid traits with the most common NHL subtypes. While these IVs have been previously linked to other cancers, our findings do not support any causal associations with these NHL subtypes.

Impact: Our results suggest that prior reported inverse associations of lipid traits are not likely to be causal and could represent reverse causality or confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0803DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196490PMC
May 2020

Immune-mediated genetic pathways resulting in pulmonary function impairment increase lung cancer susceptibility.

Nat Commun 2020 01 7;11(1):27. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Impaired lung function is often caused by cigarette smoking, making it challenging to disentangle its role in lung cancer susceptibility. Investigation of the shared genetic basis of these phenotypes in the UK Biobank and International Lung Cancer Consortium (29,266 cases, 56,450 controls) shows that lung cancer is genetically correlated with reduced forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV: r = 0.098, p = 2.3 × 10) and the ratio of FEV to forced vital capacity (FEV/FVC: r = 0.137, p = 2.0 × 10). Mendelian randomization analyses demonstrate that reduced FEV increases squamous cell carcinoma risk (odds ratio (OR) = 1.51, 95% confidence intervals: 1.21-1.88), while reduced FEV/FVC increases the risk of adenocarcinoma (OR = 1.17, 1.01-1.35) and lung cancer in never smokers (OR = 1.56, 1.05-2.30). These findings support a causal role of pulmonary impairment in lung cancer etiology. Integrative analyses reveal that pulmonary function instruments, including 73 novel variants, influence lung tissue gene expression and implicate immune-related pathways in mediating the observed effects on lung carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13855-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946810PMC
January 2020

Transcriptome-wide association study reveals candidate causal genes for lung cancer.

Int J Cancer 2020 04 9;146(7):1862-1878. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Epidemiology Division, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Toronto, ON, Canada.

We have recently completed the largest GWAS on lung cancer including 29,266 cases and 56,450 controls of European descent. The goal of our study has been to integrate the complete GWAS results with a large-scale expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping study in human lung tissues (n = 1,038) to identify candidate causal genes for lung cancer. We performed transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) for lung cancer overall, by histology (adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and small cell lung cancer) and smoking subgroups (never- and ever-smokers). We performed replication analysis using lung data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project. DNA damage assays were performed in human lung fibroblasts for selected TWAS genes. As expected, the main TWAS signal for all histological subtypes and ever-smokers was on chromosome 15q25. The gene most strongly associated with lung cancer at this locus using the TWAS approach was IREB2 (p = 1.09E-99), where lower predicted expression increased lung cancer risk. A new lung adenocarcinoma susceptibility locus was revealed on 9p13.3 and associated with higher predicted expression of AQP3 (p = 3.72E-6). Among the 45 previously described lung cancer GWAS loci, we mapped candidate target gene for 17 of them. The association AQP3-adenocarcinoma on 9p13.3 was replicated using GTEx (p = 6.55E-5). Consistent with the effect of risk alleles on gene expression levels, IREB2 knockdown and AQP3 overproduction promote endogenous DNA damage. These findings indicate genes whose expression in lung tissue directly influences lung cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7008463PMC
April 2020

Redefining malignant pleural mesothelioma types as a continuum uncovers immune-vascular interactions.

EBioMedicine 2019 Oct 21;48:191-202. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Toulouse University Hospital, Toulouse, France.

Background: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive disease related to asbestos exposure, with no effective therapeutic options.

Methods: We undertook unsupervised analyses of RNA-sequencing data of 284 MPMs, with no assumption of discreteness. Using immunohistochemistry, we performed an orthogonal validation on a subset of 103 samples and a biological replication in an independent series of 77 samples.

Findings: A continuum of molecular profiles explained the prognosis of the disease better than any discrete model. The immune and vascular pathways were the major sources of molecular variation, with strong differences in the expression of immune checkpoints and pro-angiogenic genes; the extrema of this continuum had specific molecular profiles: a "hot" bad-prognosis profile, with high lymphocyte infiltration and high expression of immune checkpoints and pro-angiogenic genes; a "cold" bad-prognosis profile, with low lymphocyte infiltration and high expression of pro-angiogenic genes; and a "VEGFR2+/VISTA+" better-prognosis profile, with high expression of immune checkpoint VISTA and pro-angiogenic gene VEGFR2. We validated the gene expression levels at the protein level for a subset of five selected genes belonging to the immune and vascular pathways (CD8A, PDL1, VEGFR3, VEGFR2, and VISTA), in the validation series, and replicated the molecular profiles as well as their prognostic value in the replication series.

Interpretation: The prognosis of MPM is best explained by a continuous model, which extremes show specific expression patterns of genes involved in angiogenesis and immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.09.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6838392PMC
October 2019

Genetic overlap between autoimmune diseases and non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes.

Genet Epidemiol 2019 10 13;43(7):844-863. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Medicina Traslazionale, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli, Italy.

Epidemiologic studies show an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in patients with autoimmune disease (AD), due to a combination of shared environmental factors and/or genetic factors, or a causative cascade: chronic inflammation/antigen-stimulation in one disease leads to another. Here we assess shared genetic risk in genome-wide-association-studies (GWAS). Secondary analysis of GWAS of NHL subtypes (chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and marginal zone lymphoma) and ADs (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and multiple sclerosis). Shared genetic risk was assessed by (a) description of regional genetic of overlap, (b) polygenic risk score (PRS), (c)"diseasome", (d)meta-analysis. Descriptive analysis revealed few shared genetic factors between each AD and each NHL subtype. The PRS of ADs were not increased in NHL patients (nor vice versa). In the diseasome, NHLs shared more genetic etiology with ADs than solid cancers (p = .0041). A meta-analysis (combing AD with NHL) implicated genes of apoptosis and telomere length. This GWAS-based analysis four NHL subtypes and three ADs revealed few weakly-associated shared loci, explaining little total risk. This suggests common genetic variation, as assessed by GWAS in these sample sizes, may not be the primary explanation for the link between these ADs and NHLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6763347PMC
October 2019

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

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

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

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

Genome-wide association study identifies 30 loci associated with bipolar disorder.

Nat Genet 2019 05 1;51(5):793-803. Epub 2019 May 1.

Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.

Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable psychiatric disorder. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) including 20,352 cases and 31,358 controls of European descent, with follow-up analysis of 822 variants with P < 1 × 10 in an additional 9,412 cases and 137,760 controls. Eight of the 19 variants that were genome-wide significant (P < 5 × 10) in the discovery GWAS were not genome-wide significant in the combined analysis, consistent with small effect sizes and limited power but also with genetic heterogeneity. In the combined analysis, 30 loci were genome-wide significant, including 20 newly identified loci. The significant loci contain genes encoding ion channels, neurotransmitter transporters and synaptic components. Pathway analysis revealed nine significantly enriched gene sets, including regulation of insulin secretion and endocannabinoid signaling. Bipolar I disorder is strongly genetically correlated with schizophrenia, driven by psychosis, whereas bipolar II disorder is more strongly correlated with major depressive disorder. These findings address key clinical questions and provide potential biological mechanisms for bipolar disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0397-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956732PMC
May 2019

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

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

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

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

Safety and Efficacy of Belimumab Plus Standard Therapy for Up to Thirteen Years in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2019 07 5;71(7):1125-1134. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

GlaxoSmithKline, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Objective: To investigate the long-term safety and efficacy of intravenous (IV) belimumab plus standard of care (SOC) therapy for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in patients with active, autoantibody-positive SLE.

Methods: The study was designed as a multicenter, open-label, continuation study of IV belimumab given every 4 weeks in conjunction with SOC therapy in patients with SLE who completed a phase II, double-blind study. Adverse events (AEs) and laboratory data were monitored from the first belimumab dose (in either study) until 24 weeks after the final dose. Efficacy assessments included SLE Responder Index (SRI) and flare index scores (each assessed at 16-week intervals) and glucocorticoid use (assessed at 4-week intervals).

Results: Of the 476 patients in the parent study, 298 (62.6%) entered the continuation study, of whom 96 (32.2%) remained in the study. Patients received belimumab for up to 13 years (median duration of exposure 3,334.0 days [range 260-4,332 days], total belimumab exposure 2,294 patient-years, median number of infusions 115.5 [range 7-155]). The percentage of patients with AEs each year remained stable or decreased. Normal serum IgG levels were maintained in the majority of patients over the study, and the rate of infections remained stable. The percentage of patients who achieved an SRI response increased from 32.8% (year 1) to 75.6% of those remaining on treatment at year 12. The glucocorticoid dose was decreased in patients who had been receiving >7.5 mg/day at baseline.

Conclusion: This study is the longest to date to assess belimumab treatment in patients with SLE in clinical trials. Belimumab was well tolerated with no new safety concerns, and efficacy was maintained in patients who continued the study. For patients who initially exhibited a satisfactory response to belimumab, the treatment continues to be well tolerated and provides long-term disease control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.40861DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617785PMC
July 2019

Elevated Platelet Count Appears to Be Causally Associated with Increased Risk of Lung Cancer: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2019 05 30;28(5):935-942. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Research Unit of Molecular Epidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology II, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.

Background: Platelets are a critical element in coagulation and inflammation, and activated platelets are linked to cancer risk through diverse mechanisms. However, a causal relationship between platelets and risk of lung cancer remains unclear.

Methods: We performed single and combined multiple instrumental variable Mendelian randomization analysis by an inverse-weighted method, in addition to a series of sensitivity analyses. Summary data for associations between SNPs and platelet count are from a recent publication that included 48,666 Caucasian Europeans, and the International Lung Cancer Consortium and Transdisciplinary Research in Cancer of the Lung data consisting of 29,266 cases and 56,450 controls to analyze associations between candidate SNPs and lung cancer risk.

Results: Multiple instrumental variable analysis incorporating six SNPs showed a 62% increased risk of overall non-small cell lung cancer [NSCLC; OR, 1.62; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.15-2.27; = 0.005] and a 200% increased risk for small-cell lung cancer (OR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.27-7.06; = 0.01). Results showed only a trending association with NSCLC histologic subtypes, which may be due to insufficient sample size and/or weak effect size. A series of sensitivity analysis retained these findings.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest a causal relationship between elevated platelet count and increased risk of lung cancer and provide evidence of possible antiplatelet interventions for lung cancer prevention.

Impact: These findings provide a better understanding of lung cancer etiology and potential evidence for antiplatelet interventions for lung cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075698PMC
May 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

Systematic analyses of regulatory variants in DNase I hypersensitive sites identified two novel lung cancer susceptibility loci.

Carcinogenesis 2019 05;40(3):432-440

Department of Radiation Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHS) are abundant in regulatory elements, such as promoter, enhancer and transcription factor binding sites. Many studies have revealed that disease-associated variants were concentrated in DHS-related regions. However, limited studies are available on the roles of DHS-related variants in lung cancer. In this study, we performed a large-scale case-control study with 20 871 lung cancer cases and 15 971 controls to evaluate the associations between regulatory genetic variants in DHS and lung cancer susceptibility. The expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and pathway-enrichment analysis were performed to identify the possible target genes and pathways. In addition, we performed motif-based analysis to explore the lung-cancer-related motifs using sequence kernel association test. Two novel variants, rs186332 in 20q13.3 (C>T, odds ratio [OR] = 1.17, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.10-1.24, P = 8.45 × 10-7) and rs4839323 in 1p13.2 (T>C, OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.89-0.95, P = 1.02 × 10-6) showed significant association with lung cancer risk. The eQTL analysis suggested that these two SNPs might regulate the expression of MRGBP and SLC16A1, respectively. What's more, the expression of both MRGBP and SLC16A1 was aberrantly elevated in lung tumor tissues. The motif-based analysis identified 10 motifs related to the risk of lung cancer (P < 1.71 × 10-4). Our findings suggested that variants in DHS might modify lung cancer susceptibility through regulating the expression of surrounding genes. This study provided us a deeper insight into the roles of DHS-related genetic variants for lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgy187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6783905PMC
May 2019
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