Publications by authors named "Jeffrey A Meyerhardt"

308 Publications

Unrestrained eating behavior and risk of mortality: A prospective cohort study.

Clin Nutr 2021 Sep 17;40(11):5419-5429. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background & Aims: Unrestrained eating behavior has been thought to be a proxy for diet frequency, timing, and caloric intake. We investigated the association of unrestrained eating with mortality risk in the Nurses' Health Study prospectively.

Methods: During follow-up (1994-2016), 21,953 deaths were documented among 63,999 eligible participants in analyses of eating anything at any time, 22,120 deaths were documented among 65,839 participants in analyses of no concern with figure change. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Eating anything at any time was associated with an increased mortality from cancer (overall HR, 95%CI: 1.07, 1.00-1.13; driven by gastrointestinal tract cancer: 1.30, 1.10-1.54) and respiratory disease (1.16, 1.05-1.29), and decreased cardiovascular disease-specific mortality (0.92, 0.86-0.99), compared to those without this behavior; however, no association was observed between this behavior and all-cause mortality (1.02, 0.99-1.05). Women who reported having no concern with figure change experienced higher risk of mortality from all-cause (1.08, 1.05-1.11), cancer (1.08, 1.02-1.14), and respiratory disease (1.18, 1.08-1.30), compared to those not reporting this behavior. Their combined effect was associated with a higher all-cause (1.09, 1.04-1.14), cancer-specific (overall: 1.18, 1.09-1.28; gastrointestinal tract cancer: 1.36, 1.08-1.71; lung cancer: 1.09; 1.04-1.14), and respiratory disease-specific (1.30, 1.13-1.50) mortality, and was inversely associated with cardiovascular disease-specific mortality (0.88, 0.80-0.98), compared to those exhibiting the opposite.

Conclusions: Unrestrained eating was associated with increased risk of all-cause, cancer-specific (particularly for gastrointestinal tract cancer and lung cancer), and respiratory disease-specific mortality, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease-specific mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.09.014DOI Listing
September 2021

Survival in Young-Onset Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Findings from Cancer and Leukemia Group B (Alliance)/SWOG 80405.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

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

Background: The incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer (yoCRC) is increasing. It is unknown if there are survival differences between young and older patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

Methods: We studied the association of age with survival in 2326 mCRC patients enrolled in the CALGB/SWOG 80405 trial, a multi-center, randomized trial of first-line chemotherapy plus biologics. The primary and secondary outcomes of this study were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), respectively, which were assessed by Kaplan Meier method and compared among younger versus older patients with the log-rank test. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated based on Cox proportional hazards modeling, adjusting for known prognostic variables. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Of 2326 eligible subjects, 514 (22.1%) were younger than age 50 years at study entry (yoCRC cohort). The median age of yoCRC patients was 44.3 vs. 62.5 years in patients age 50 and over. There was no statistically significant difference in OS between yoCRC vs. older-onset patients (median = 27.07 vs. 26.12 months; adjusted HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.88-1.10, P = .78). The median PFS was also similar in yoCRC vs. older patients (10.87 vs. 10.55 months) with an adjusted HR of 1.02 (95% CI = 0.92-1.13, P = .67). Patients younger than age 35 years had the shortest OS with median OS of 21.95 vs. 26.12 months in older-onset patients with an adjusted HR of 1.08 (95% CI = 0.81-1.44, Ptrend =0.93).

Conclusion: In this large study of mCRC patients, there were no statistically significant differences in survival between patients with yoCRC and CRC patients age 50 and older.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab200DOI Listing
October 2021

Immune cell profiles in the tumor microenvironment of early-onset, intermediate-onset, and later-onset colorectal cancer.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 221 Longwood Ave., EBRC Room 404A, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Background: Despite heightened interest in early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosed before age 50, little is known on immune cell profiles of early-onset CRC. It also remains to be studied whether CRCs diagnosed at or shortly after age 50 are similar to early-onset CRC. We therefore hypothesized that immune cell infiltrates in CRC tissue might show differential heterogeneity patterns between three age groups (< 50 "early onset," 50-54 "intermediate onset,"  ≥ 55 "later onset").

Methods: We examined 1,518 incident CRC cases with available tissue data, including 35 early-onset and 73 intermediate-onset cases. To identify immune cells in tumor intraepithelial and stromal areas, we developed three multiplexed immunofluorescence assays combined with digital image analyses and machine learning algorithms, with the following markers: (1) CD3, CD4, CD8, CD45RO (PTPRC), and FOXP3 for T cells; (2) CD68, CD86, IRF5, MAF, and MRC1 (CD206) for macrophages; and (3) ARG1, CD14, CD15, CD33, and HLA-DR for myeloid cells.

Results: Although no comparisons between age groups showed statistically significant differences at the stringent two-sided α level of 0.005, compared to later-onset CRC, early-onset CRC tended to show lower levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (P = 0.013), intratumoral periglandular reaction (P = 0.025), and peritumoral lymphocytic reaction (P = 0.044). Compared to later-onset CRC, intermediate-onset CRC tended to show lower densities of overall macrophages (P = 0.050), M1-like macrophages (P = 0.062), CD14HLA-DR cells (P = 0.015), and CD3CD4FOXP3 cells (P = 0.039).

Conclusions: This hypothesis-generating study suggests possible differences in histopathologic lymphocytic reaction patterns, macrophages, and regulatory T cells in the tumor microenvironment by age at diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-021-03056-6DOI Listing
September 2021

Yoga for chronic chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy pain: a pilot, randomized controlled trial.

J Cancer Surviv 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

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

Purpose: To determine the feasibility of implementing a yoga intervention for cancer survivors with chronic CIPN pain, as well as the impact of the intervention on patient-reported outcomes.

Methods: Cancer survivors with chronic CIPN pain were recruited from the breast, gastrointestinal, and gynecological oncology centers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Participants were randomized (2:1) to receive an 8-week yoga intervention or usual care. After 21/50 of participants were enrolled, the COVID-19 pandemic required the yoga intervention to be delivered virtually (i.e., Zoom). Pre- and post-intervention, participants self-reported CIPN and co-occurring symptom severity. Adherence to the intervention was defined as practicing ≥ 12 yoga sessions over the 8-week intervention period. Changes in patient-reported outcomes between groups were compared using Wilcoxon's rank-sum tests.

Results: Participants (n = 28 yoga, n = 16 control) were mainly female (96%) and diagnosed with stage III/IV disease (66%). Overall, 19/28 (67.8%) of yoga group participants were adherent to the yoga protocol. Yoga group participants experienced significant within-group improvements in all patient-reported outcomes, including worst CIPN pain (median change =  - 1.7, p < 0.0001) and sensory CIPN (median change =  - 14.8, p < 0.0001), but only improvements in fatigue (p = 0.05) and depression (p = 0.04) were significant compared to the control. There were no differences (p > 0.05) in changes in patient-reported outcomes between in-person (n = 6) or virtual (n = 15) yoga group participants.

Conclusions: Yoga is a feasible non-pharmacological modality for cancer survivors with CIPN, but more information is needed regarding its impact on CIPN and other symptoms.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03824860 IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Oncology clinicians may consider referring cancer survivors to yoga for chronic CIPN pain, but yoga cannot be currently recommended as an efficacious treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11764-021-01081-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8442518PMC
September 2021

Abdominal adipose tissue radiodensity is associated with survival after colorectal cancer.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Sep 12. Epub 2021 Sep 12.

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

Background: Adipose tissue radiodensity may have prognostic importance for colorectal cancer (CRC) survival. Lower radiodensity is indicative of larger adipocytes, while higher radiodensity may represent adipocyte atrophy, inflammation, or edema.

Objectives: We investigated associations of adipose tissue radiodensity and longitudinal changes in adipose tissue radiodensity with mortality among patients with nonmetastatic CRC.

Methods: In 3023 patients with stage I-III CRC, radiodensities of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were quantified from diagnostic computed tomography (CT) images. There were 1775 patients with follow-up images available. Cox proportional hazards models and restricted cubic splines were used to examine associations of at-diagnosis values and of longitudinal changes in VAT and SAT radiodensities with risks of death after adjusting for potential confounders, including body size and comorbidities.

Results: VAT and SAT radiodensities were linearly associated with all-cause mortality: the HRs for death per SD increase were 1.21 (95% CI, 1.11-1.32) for VAT radiodensity and 1.18 (95% CI, 1.11-1.26) for SAT radiodensity. Changes in adipose tissue radiodensity had curvilinear associations with risks of death. The HR for an increase in VAT radiodensity of at least 1 SD was 1.53 (95% CI, 1.23-1.90), while the HR for a decrease of at least 1 SD was nonsignificant at 1.11 (95% CI, 0.84-1.47) compared with maintaining radiodensity within 1 SD of baseline. Similarly, increases (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.48-2.40) but not decreases (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.94-1.54) in SAT radiodensity significantly increased the risk of death compared with no change in radiodensity.

Conclusions: In patients with nonmetastatic CRC, adipose tissue radiodensity is a novel risk factor for total mortality that is independent of BMI and changes in body weight.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab285DOI Listing
September 2021

Association of mutation and PTEN loss with expression of CD274 (PD-L1) in colorectal carcinoma.

Oncoimmunology 2021 2;10(1):1956173. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Immunotherapy targeting the CD274 (PD-L1)/PDCD1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint axis has emerged as a promising treatment strategy for various cancers. Experimental evidence suggests that phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphonate 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling may upregulate CD274 expression. Thus, we hypothesized that mutation, PTEN loss, or their combined status might be associated with CD274 overexpression in colorectal carcinoma. We assessed tumor CD274 and PTEN expression by immunohistochemistry and assessed mutation by pyrosequencing in 753 patients among 4,465 incident rectal and colon cancer cases that had occurred in two U.S.-wide prospective cohort studies. To adjust for potential confounders and selection bias due to tissue availability, inverse probability weighted multivariable ordinal logistic regression analyses used the 4,465 cases and tumoral data including microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype, and mutations. mutation and loss of PTEN expression were detected in 111 of 753 cases (15%) and 342 of 585 cases (58%), respectively. Tumor CD274 expression was negative in 306 (41%), low in 195 (26%), and high in 252 (33%) of 753 cases. PTEN loss was associated with CD274 overexpression [multivariable odds ratio (OR) 1.83; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22-2.75; = .004]. mutation was statistically-insignificantly ( = .036 with the stringent alpha level of 0.005) associated with CD274 overexpression (multivariable OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.03-2.31). -mutated PTEN-lost tumors (n = 33) showed higher prevalence of CD274-positivity (82%) than -wild-type PTEN-lost tumors (n = 204; 70% CD274-positivity) and PTEN-expressed tumors (n = 147; 50% CD274-positivity) ( = .003). Our findings support the role of PI3K signaling in the CD274/PDCD1 pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2021.1956173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8331006PMC
October 2021

Unrestrained eating behavior and risk of digestive system cancers: a prospective cohort study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Unrestrained eating behavior, as a potential proxy for diet frequency, timing, and caloric intake, has been questioned as a plausible risk factor for digestive system cancers, but epidemiological evidence remains sparse.

Objectives: We investigated prospectively the associations between unrestrained eating behavior and digestive system cancer risk.

Methods: Participants in the Nurses' Health Study who were free of cancer and reported dietary information in 1994 were followed for ≤18 y. Cox models were used to estimate HRs and 95% CIs for unrestrained eating (eating anything at any time, no concern with figure change, or both) and risk of digestive system cancers.

Results: During follow-up, 2064 digestive system cancer cases were documented among 70,450 eligible participants in analyses of eating anything at any time, In total, 2081 digestive system cancer cases were documented among 72,468 eligible participants in analyses of no concern with figure change. In fully adjusted analyses, women with the behavior of eating anything at any time had a higher risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.35), overall gastrointestinal tract cancer ((HR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.18, 1.50), buccal cavity and pharynx cancer (HR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.21), esophageal cancer (HR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.62), small intestine cancer (HR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.02,3. 59), and colorectal cancer (HR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.38), and a non-statistically significant increased risk of stomach cancer (HR: 1.54; 95% CI: 0.96,2.48), compared with women without this behavior. No statistically significant association was observed for pancreatic cancer and liver and gallbladder cancer. The combined effect of eating anything at any time and having no concern with figure change was associated with a significantly increased risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.46), overall gastrointestinal tract cancer (HR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.23, 1.71), and colorectal cancer (HR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.63), compared with women exhibiting the opposite.

Conclusions: Unrestrained eating behavior was independently associated with increased risk of gastrointestinal tract cancers. The potential importance of unrestrained eating behavior modification in preventing gastrointestinal tract cancers should be noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab235DOI Listing
July 2021

Sugar-sweetened beverage, artificially sweetened beverage and sugar intake and colorectal cancer survival.

Br J Cancer 2021 Sep 15;125(7):1016-1024. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The influence of a high sugar diet on colorectal cancer (CRC) survival is unclear.

Methods: Among 1463 stage I-III CRC patients from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CRC-specific and all-cause mortality in relation to intake of post-diagnosis sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), artificially sweetened beverages (ASB), fruit juice, fructose and other sugars.

Results: Over a median 8.0 years, 781 cases died (173 CRC-specific deaths). Multivariable-adjusted HRs for post-diagnosis intake and CRC-specific mortality were 1.21 (95% CI: 0.87-1.68) per 1 serving SSBs per day (serving/day) and 1.24 (95% CI: 0.95-1.63) per 20 grams fructose per day. Significant positive associations for CRC-specific mortality were primarily observed ≤5 years from diagnosis (HR per 1 serving/day of SSBs = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.06-2.38). Significant inverse associations were observed between ASBs and CRC-specific and all-cause mortality (HR for ≥5 versus <1 serving/week = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.26-0.75 and 0.70, 95% CI: 0.55-0.89, respectively).

Conclusions: Higher post-diagnosis intake of SSBs and sugars may be associated with higher CRC-specific mortality, but only up to 5 years from diagnosis, when more deaths were due to CRC. The inverse association between ASBs and CRC-specific mortality warrants further examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01487-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8476625PMC
September 2021

Smoking and Incidence of Colorectal Cancer Subclassified by Tumor-Associated Macrophage Infiltrates.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Biological evidence indicates that smoking can influence macrophage functions and polarization, thereby promoting tumor evolution. We hypothesized that the association of smoking with colorectal cancer incidence might differ by macrophage infiltrates.

Methods: Utilizing the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we examined the association of smoking with incidence of colorectal cancer subclassified by macrophage counts. Multiplexed immunofluorescence [for CD68, CD86, IRF5, MAF, and MRC1 (CD206)] combined with digital image analysis and machine learning was used to identify overall, M1-polarized, and M2-polarized macrophages in tumor. We used inverse-probability-weighted multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models to control for potential confounders and selection bias due to tissue data availability. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: During follow-up of 131,144 participants (3,648,370 person-years), we documented 3,092 incident colorectal cancer cases including 871 cases with available macrophage data. The association of pack-years smoked with colorectal cancer incidence differed by stromal macrophage densities (Pheterogeneity=.003). Compared to never smoking, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for tumors with low macrophage densities were 1.32 (0.97 to 1.79) for 1-19 pack-years, 1.31 (0.92 to 1.85) for 20-39 pack-years, and 1.74 (1.26 to 2.41) for ≥40 pack-years (Ptrend=.004). In contrast, pack-years smoked were not statistically significantly associated with the incidence of tumors having intermediate or high macrophage densities (Ptrend>.009, with the α level of 0.005). No statistically significant differential association was found for colorectal cancer subclassified by M1-like or M2-like macrophages.

Conclusions: The association of smoking with colorectal cancer incidence is stronger for tumors with lower stromal macrophage counts. Our findings suggest an interplay of smoking and macrophages in colorectal carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab142DOI Listing
July 2021

Discovery and Features of an Alkylating Signature in Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Discov 2021 Oct 17;11(10):2446-2455. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

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

Several risk factors have been established for colorectal cancer, yet their direct mutagenic effects in patients' tumors remain to be elucidated. Here, we leveraged whole-exome sequencing data from 900 colorectal cancer cases that had occurred in three U.S.-wide prospective studies with extensive dietary and lifestyle information. We found an alkylating signature that was previously undescribed in colorectal cancer and then showed the existence of a similar mutational process in normal colonic crypts. This alkylating signature is associated with high intakes of processed and unprocessed red meat prior to diagnosis. In addition, this signature was more abundant in the distal colorectum, predicted to target cancer driver mutations p.G12D, p.G13D, and p.E545K, and associated with poor survival. Together, these results link for the first time a colorectal mutational signature to a component of diet and further implicate the role of red meat in colorectal cancer initiation and progression. SIGNIFICANCE: Colorectal cancer has several lifestyle risk factors, but the underlying mutations for most have not been observed directly in tumors. Analysis of 900 colorectal cancers with whole-exome sequencing and epidemiologic annotations revealed an alkylating mutational signature that was associated with red meat consumption and distal tumor location, as well as predicted to target p.G12D/p.G13D..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8487940PMC
October 2021

Analysis of Survival Among Adults With Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer in the National Cancer Database.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2112539. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.

Importance: While increased adherence to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening guidelines in the US has been associated with significant reductions in cancer incidence in US individuals aged 50 years and older, the incidence of CRC among those aged younger than 50 years has been steadily increasing. Understanding the survival among individuals with early-onset CRC compared with those aged 50 years and older is fundamental to informing treatment approaches and understanding the unique biological distinctiveness within early-onset CRC.

Objective: To characterize the overall survival for individuals with early-onset CRC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study used data from the National Cancer Database. Included individuals were ages 0 to 90 years and diagnosed with primary CRC from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2015. Individuals diagnosed at ages 51 through 55 years were selected as the reference group and defined as later-onset CRC for this study. Individuals diagnosed at age 50 years were excluded to minimize an apparent screening detection bias at that age in our population, given that these individuals disproportionately presented with earlier stage. All statistical analyses were conducted from January 4, 2020, through December 26, 2020.

Exposures: Early-onset CRC was defined as age younger than 50 years at diagnosis.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Overall survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: Among 769 871 individuals with CRC (377 890 [49.1%] women; 636 791 White individuals [82.7%]), 353 989 individuals (46.0%) died (median [range] follow-up: 2.9 [0-14.0] years), 102 168 individuals (13.3%) had early-onset CRC, and 78 812 individuals (10.2%) had later-onset CRC. Individuals with early-onset CRC, compared with those diagnosed with CRC at ages 51 through 55 years, had a lower 10-year survival rate (53.6% [95% CI, 53.2%-54.0%] vs 54.3% [95% CI, 53.8%-54.8%]; P < .001) in unadjusted analysis. However, after adjustment for other factors associated with mortality, most notably stage, individuals with early-onset CRC had a lower risk of death compared with individuals diagnosed from ages 51 through 55 years (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.95 [95% CI, 0.93-0.96]; P < .001). In the model adjusted for stage, the HR for individuals with early-onset CRC was 0.89 (95% CI, 0.88-0.90; P < .001). The survival advantage was greatest for individuals diagnosed at ages 35 through 39 years (adjusted HR, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.84-0.92]; P < .001) and stages I (adjusted HR, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.81-0.93]; P < .001) and II (adjusted HR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.82-0.90]; P < .001) and was absent among those diagnosed at ages 25 years or younger and stages III through IV.

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings suggest that there is a survival benefit for individuals with early-onset CRC compared with those diagnosed with CRC at later ages. Further study is needed to understand the underlying heterogeneity of survival among individuals with early-onset CRC by age and stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.12539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209612PMC
June 2021

Race, Income, and Survival in Stage III Colon Cancer: CALGB 89803 (Alliance).

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Jun 12;5(3):pkab034. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: Disparities in colon cancer outcomes have been reported across race and socioeconomic status, which may reflect, in part, access to care. We sought to assess the influences of race and median household income (MHI) on outcomes among colon cancer patients with similar access to care.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, observational study of 1206 stage III colon cancer patients enrolled in the CALGB 89803 randomized adjuvant chemotherapy trial. Race was self-reported by 1116 White and 90 Black patients at study enrollment; MHI was determined by matching 973 patients' home zip codes with publicly available US Census 2000 data. Multivariate analyses were adjusted for baseline sociodemographic, clinical, dietary, and lifestyle factors. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 7.7 years, the adjusted hazard ratios for Blacks (compared with Whites) were 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.66 to 1.35, =.75) for disease-free survival, 0.91 (95% CI = 0.62 to 1.35, =.65) for recurrence-free survival, and 1.07 (95% CI = 0.73 to 1.57, =.73) for overall survival. Relative to patients in the highest MHI quartile, the adjusted hazard ratios for patients in the lowest quartile were 0.90 (95% CI = 0.67 to 1.19, = .18) for disease-free survival, 0.89 (95% CI = 0.66 to 1.22, =.14) for recurrence-free survival, and 0.87 (95% CI = 0.63 to 1.19, = .23) for overall survival.

Conclusions: In this study of patients with similar health-care access, no statistically significant differences in outcomes were found by race or MHI. The substantial gaps in outcomes previously observed by race and MHI may not be rooted in differences in tumor biology but rather in access to quality care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8178799PMC
June 2021

Randomized Phase II Study of PET Response-Adapted Combined Modality Therapy for Esophageal Cancer: Mature Results of the CALGB 80803 (Alliance) Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 2;39(25):2803-2815. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: To evaluate the use of early assessment of chemotherapy responsiveness by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to tailor therapy in patients with esophageal and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma.

Methods: After baseline PET, patients were randomly assigned to an induction chemotherapy regimen: modified oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and fluorouracil (FOLFOX) or carboplatin-paclitaxel (CP). Repeat PET was performed after induction; change in maximum standardized uptake value (SUV) from baseline was assessed. PET nonresponders (< 35% decrease in SUV) crossed over to the alternative chemotherapy during chemoradiation (50.4 Gy/28 fractions). PET responders (≥ 35% decrease in SUV) continued on the same chemotherapy during chemoradiation. Patients underwent surgery at 6 weeks postchemoradiation. Primary end point was pathologic complete response (pCR) rate in nonresponders after switching chemotherapy.

Results: Two hundred forty-one eligible patients received Protocol treatment, of whom 225 had an evaluable repeat PET. The pCR rates for PET nonresponders after induction FOLFOX who crossed over to CP (n = 39) or after induction CP who changed to FOLFOX (n = 50) was 18.0% (95% CI, 7.5 to 33.5) and 20% (95% CI, 10 to 33.7), respectively. The pCR rate in responders who received induction FOLFOX was 40.3% (95% CI, 28.9 to 52.5) and 14.1% (95% CI, 6.6 to 25.0) in responders to CP. With a median follow-up of 5.2 years, median overall survival was 48.8 months (95% CI, 33.2 months to not estimable) for PET responders and 27.4 months (95% CI, 19.4 months to not estimable) for nonresponders. For induction FOLFOX patients who were PET responders, median survival was not reached.

Conclusion: Early response assessment using PET imaging as a biomarker to individualize therapy for patients with esophageal and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma was effective, improving pCR rates in PET nonresponders. PET responders to induction FOLFOX who continued on FOLFOX during chemoradiation achieved a promising 5-year overall survival of 53%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03611DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8407649PMC
September 2021

Association of bowel movement frequency and laxative use with risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in US women and men.

Int J Cancer 2021 10 4;149(8):1529-1535. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abnormal bowel movements have been related to a variety of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk factors such as dyslipidemia, diabetes and altered metabolism of bile acids and gut microbiota. However, little is known about whether bowel movement frequency affects the risk of developing HCC. We followed 88 123 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 28 824 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) for up to 24 years. The Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to calculate multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (95%CI). We documented 101 incident HCC cases. Compared to those with daily bowel movements, participants with bowel movement more than once per day had a multivariable HR of 1.93 (95%CI: 1.18 to 3.16) in the pooled cohorts. For the same comparison, the positive association appeared stronger for men (2.72, 95% CI: 1.14 to 6.44) than for women (1.63, 95% CI: 0.87 to 3.06) but there was no statistically significant heterogeneity by sex (P-value = .31). We found null associations between bowel movement every 2 days or less and the risk of HCC (HR = 1.05, 95%CI: 0.62 to 1.79). The HR (95%CI) for participants who used laxatives regularly relative to those who never used laxatives was 1.00 (0.64 to 1.55). Our results suggest participants with bowel movement more than once daily is associated with a higher risk of developing HCC compared to those with daily bowel movements. These findings need to be confirmed and potential mechanisms underlying this association need to be elucidated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33699DOI Listing
October 2021

Determining the optimal duration of adjuvant therapy in colon cancer.

Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 2021 04;19(4):220-222

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

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April 2021

Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in adulthood and adolescence and risk of early-onset colorectal cancer among women.

Gut 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

Objective: Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption had substantially increased across successive US birth cohorts until 2000, and adolescents and young adults under age 50 years have the highest consumption. However, the link between SSBs and early-onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC) remains unexamined.

Design: In the Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2015), we prospectively investigated the association of SSB intake in adulthood and adolescence with EO-CRC risk among 95 464 women who had reported adulthood beverage intake using validated food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) every 4 years. A subset of 41 272 participants reported beverage intake at age 13-18 years using a validated high school-FFQ in 1998. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) with 95% CIs.

Results: We documented 109 EO-CRC cases. Compared with individuals who consumed <1 serving/week of SSBs in adulthood, women who consumed ≥2 servings/day had a more than doubled risk of EO-CRC (RR 2.18; 95% CI 1.10 to 4.35; p=0.02), with a 16% higher risk (RR 1.16; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.36) per serving/day increase. Each serving/day increment of SSB intake at age 13-18 years was associated with a 32% higher risk of EO-CRC (RR 1.32; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.75). Replacing each serving/day of adulthood SSB intake with that of artificially sweetened beverages, coffee, reduced fat milk or total milk was associated with a 17%-36% lower risk of EO-CRC.

Conclusion: Higher SSB intake in adulthood and adolescence was associated with a higher risk of EO-CRC among women. Reduction of SSB consumption among adolescents and young adults may serve as a potential strategy to alleviate the growing burden of EO-CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323450DOI Listing
May 2021

Prognostic significance of myeloid immune cells and their spatial distribution in the colorectal cancer microenvironment.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 04;9(4)

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Background: Myeloid cells represent an abundant yet heterogeneous cell population in the colorectal cancer microenvironment, and their roles remain poorly understood.

Methods: We used multiplexed immunofluorescence combined with digital image analysis to identify CD14 monocytic and CD15 granulocytic cells and to evaluate their maturity (HLA-DR and CD33), immunosuppressive potential (ARG1) and proximity to cytokeratin (KRT)-positive tumor cells in 913 colorectal carcinomas. Using covariate data of 4465 incident colorectal cancers in two prospective cohort studies, the inverse probability weighting method was used with multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to assess cancer-specific mortality according to ordinal quartiles (Q1-Q4) of myeloid cell densities. Immune cell-tumor cell proximity was measured with the nearest neighbor method and the G-cross function, which determines the likelihood of any tumor cell having at least one immune cell of the specified type within a certain radius.

Results: Higher intraepithelial ( =0.0002; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 0.48, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.76) and stromal ( <0.0001; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 0.42, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.63) densities of CD14HLA-DR cells were associated with lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality while, conversely, higher intraepithelial densities of CD14HLA-DR cells were associated with higher colorectal cancer-specific mortality ( =0.0003; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 1.78, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.55). Spatial analyses indicated that CD15 cells were located closer to tumor cells than CD14 cells, and CD14HLA-DR cells were closer to tumor than CD14HLA-DR cells (p<0.0001). The G-cross proximity measurement, evaluating the difference in the likelihood of any tumor cell being colocated with at least one CD14HLA-DR cell versus CD14HLA-DR cell within a 20 µm radius, was associated with lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality ( <0.0001; HR for Q4 (vs Q1), 0.37, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.57).

Conclusions: Myeloid cell populations occur in spatially distinct distributions and exhibit divergent, subset-specific prognostic significance in colorectal cancer, with mature CD14HLA-DR and immature CD14HLA-DR monocytic phenotypes most notably showing opposite associations. These results highlight the prognostic utility of multimarker evaluation of myeloid cell infiltrates and reveal a previously unrecognized degree of spatial organization for myeloid cells in the immune microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-002297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098931PMC
April 2021

Tumor Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element-1 (LINE-1) Hypomethylation in Relation to Age of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 22;13(9). Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Evidence indicates the pathogenic role of epigenetic alterations in early-onset colorectal cancers diagnosed before age 50. However, features of colorectal cancers diagnosed at age 50-54 (hereafter referred to as "intermediate-onset") remain less known. We hypothesized that tumor long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) hypomethylation might be increasingly more common with decreasing age of colorectal cancer diagnosis. In 1356 colorectal cancers, including 28 early-onset and 66 intermediate-onset cases, the tumor LINE-1 methylation level measured by bisulfite-PCR-pyrosequencing (scaled 0 to 100) showed a mean of 63.6 (standard deviation (SD) 10.1). The mean tumor LINE-1 methylation level decreased with decreasing age (mean 64.7 (SD 10.4) in age ≥70, 62.8 (SD 9.4) in age 55-69, 61.0 (SD 10.2) in age 50-54, and 58.9 (SD 12.0) in age <50; < 0.0001). In linear regression analysis, the multivariable-adjusted β coefficient (95% confidence interval (CI)) (vs. age ≥70) was -1.38 (-2.47 to -0.30) for age 55-69, -2.82 (-5.29 to -0.34) for age 50-54, and -4.54 (-8.24 to -0.85) for age <50 ( = 0.0003). Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for LINE-1 methylation levels of ≤45, 45-55, and 55-65 (vs. >65) were 2.33 (1.49-3.64), 1.39 (1.05-1.85), and 1.29 (1.02-1.63), respectively ( = 0.0005). In conclusion, tumor LINE-1 hypomethylation is increasingly more common with decreasing age of colorectal cancer diagnosis, suggesting a role of global DNA hypomethylation in colorectal cancer arising in younger adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8122644PMC
April 2021

Postdiagnostic dairy products intake and colorectal cancer survival in US males and females.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 06;113(6):1636-1646

Department of Nutrition, T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: To evaluate the association between postdiagnostic dairy intake and survival among patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: This study analyzed data from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). Postdiagnostic dairy intake and other dietary and lifestyle factors were obtained from validated questionnaires. Individual dairy items including milk, cheese, yogurt, and so on were reported, and total, high-fat, and low-fat dairy intakes were derived.

Results: A total of 1753 eligible CRC cases were identified until 2012, from which 703 deaths were documented after a median follow-up time of 8.2 y, and 242 were due to CRC. Overall, when comparing those who consumed 21+ servings/wk with <7 servings/wk, postdiagnostic total dairy intake did not show significant associations with CRC-specific mortality (HR: 1.35; 95% CI: 0.85, 2.13) or overall mortality (HR: 1.28; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.67). However, high-fat dairy, including whole milk and cream cheese, was positively associated with overall mortality (HR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.65) but not significantly with CRC-specific mortality (HR: 1.31; 95% CI: 0.91, 1.90) when comparing those who consumed 10.5+ servings/wk with <3.5 servings/wk. For the same comparison, low-fat dairy, including skim or nonfat milk and cottage cheese, was inversely associated with overall mortality (HR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.59, 0.92) but not CRC-specific mortality (HR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.63, 1.29).

Conclusions: Total dairy products intake did not show significant association with CRC-specific or overall mortality. However, high intake of high-fat dairy products was associated with increased mortality, whereas low-fat dairy was associated with lower risk of overall mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244033PMC
June 2021

Effect of Celecoxib vs Placebo Added to Standard Adjuvant Therapy on Disease-Free Survival Among Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer: The CALGB/SWOG 80702 (Alliance) Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2021 04;325(13):1277-1286

Department of Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Importance: Aspirin and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors have been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal polyps and cancer in observational and randomized studies. The effect of celecoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor, as treatment for nonmetastatic colon cancer is unknown.

Objective: To determine if the addition of celecoxib to adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) improves disease-free survival in patients with stage III colon cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Cancer and Leukemia Group B (Alliance)/Southwest Oncology Group 80702 was a 2 × 2 factorial design, phase 3 trial conducted at 654 community and academic centers throughout the United States and Canada. A total of 2526 patients with stage III colon cancer were enrolled between June 2010 and November 2015 and were followed up through August 10, 2020.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive adjuvant FOLFOX (every 2 weeks) for 3 vs 6 months with or without 3 years of celecoxib (400 mg orally daily; n = 1263) vs placebo (n = 1261). This report focuses on the results of the celecoxib randomization.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was disease-free survival, measured from the time of randomization until documented recurrence or death from any cause. Secondary end points included overall survival, adverse events, and cardiovascular-specific events.

Results: Of the 2526 patients who were randomized (mean [SD] age, 61.0 years [11 years]; 1134 women [44.9%]), 2524 were included in the primary analysis. Adherence with protocol treatment, defined as receiving celecoxib or placebo for more than 2.75 years or continuing treatment until recurrence, death, or unacceptable adverse events, was 70.8% for patients treated with celecoxib and 69.9% for patients treated with placebo. A total of 337 patients randomized to celecoxib and 363 to placebo experienced disease recurrence or died, and with 6 years' median follow-up, the 3-year disease-free survival was 76.3% for celecoxib-treated patients vs 73.4% for placebo-treated patients (hazard ratio [HR] for disease recurrence or death, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.76-1.03; P = .12). The effect of celecoxib treatment on disease-free survival did not vary significantly according to assigned duration of adjuvant chemotherapy (P for interaction = .61). Five-year overall survival was 84.3% for celecoxib vs 81.6% for placebo (HR for death, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.72-1.04; P = .13). Hypertension (any grade) occurred while treated with FOLFOX in 14.6% of patients in the celecoxib group vs 10.9% of patients in the placebo group, and a grade 2 or higher increase in creatinine levels occurred after completion of FOLFOX in 1.7% vs 0.5% of patients, respectively.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with stage III colon cancer, the addition of celecoxib for 3 years, compared with placebo, to standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not significantly improve disease-free survival.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01150045.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.2454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025124PMC
April 2021

Simple Sugar and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake During Adolescence and Risk of Colorectal Cancer Precursors.

Gastroenterology 2021 07 19;161(1):128-142.e20. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background & Aims: Recent increasing trends in early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) strongly supports that early-life diet is involved in CRC development. However, data are lacking on the relationship with high sugar intake during early life.

Methods: We prospectively investigated the association of adolescent simple sugar (fructose, glucose, added sugar, total sugar) and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake with CRC precursor risk in 33,106 participants of the Nurses' Health Study II who provided adolescent dietary information in 1998 and subsequently underwent lower gastrointestinal endoscopy between 1999 and 2015. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression for clustered data.

Results: During follow-up, 2909 conventional adenomas (758 high-risk) and 2355 serrated lesions were identified (mean age at diagnoses, 52.2 ± 4.3 years). High sugar and SSB intake during adolescence was positively associated with risk of adenoma, but not serrated lesions. Per each increment of 5% of calories from total fructose intake, multivariable ORs were 1.17 (95% CI, 1.05-1.31) for total and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.06-1.60) for high-risk adenoma. By subsite, ORs were 1.12 (95% CI, 0.96-1.30) for proximal, 1.24 (95% CI, 1.05-1.47) for distal, and 1.43 (95% CI, 1.10-1.86) for rectal adenoma. Per 1 serving/day increment in SSB intake, ORs were 1.11 (95% CI, 1.02-1.20) for total and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.08-1.55) for rectal adenoma. Contrary to adolescent intake, sugar and SSB intake during adulthood was not associated with adenoma risk.

Conclusions: High intake of simple sugars and SSBs during adolescence was associated with increased risk of conventional adenoma, especially rectal adenoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.03.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238879PMC
July 2021

Weight stability masks changes in body composition in colorectal cancer: a retrospective cohort study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 06;113(6):1482-1489

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: There is an emerging viewpoint that change in body weight is not sufficiently sensitive to promptly identify clinically meaningful change in body composition, such as skeletal muscle depletion.

Objectives: We aimed to determine whether body weight stability is associated with skeletal muscle depletion and whether skeletal muscle depletion is prognostic of death independently of change in body weight.

Methods: This retrospective cohort included 1921 patients with stage I-III colorectal cancer. Computed tomography (CT)-based skeletal muscle characteristics and body weight were measured at diagnosis and after a mean 15.0-mo follow-up. Body weight stability was defined as weight change less than ±5% during follow-up. Sarcopenia and myosteatosis were defined using established thresholds for patients with cancer. Multivariable-adjusted logistic and flexible parametric proportional hazards survival models were used to quantify statistical associations.

Results: At follow-up, 1026 (53.3%) patients were weight stable. Among patients with weight stability, incident sarcopenia and myosteatosis occurred in 8.5% (95% CI: 6.3%, 10.6%) and 13.5% (95% CI: 11.1%, 15.9%), respectively. Men were more likely to be weight stable than were women (56.7% compared with 49.9%; P = 0.04). Weight-stable men were less likely to develop incident sarcopenia (5.4% compared with 15.4%; P = 0.003) and myosteatosis (9.3% compared with 20.8%; P = 0.001) than weight-stable women. Among all patients, the development of incident sarcopenia (HR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.91) and of myosteatosis (HR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.90) were associated with a higher risk of death, independently of change in body weight. Patient sex did not modify the relation between skeletal muscle depletion and death.

Conclusions: Body weight stability masks clinically meaningful skeletal muscle depletion. Body composition quantified using clinically acquired CT images may provide a vital sign to identify patients at increased risk of death. These data may inform the design of future cachexia trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168363PMC
June 2021

Association of with Specific T-cell Subsets in the Colorectal Carcinoma Microenvironment.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 May 25;27(10):2816-2826. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: While evidence indicates that () may promote colorectal carcinogenesis through its suppressive effect on T-cell-mediated antitumor immunity, the specific T-cell subsets involved remain uncertain.

Experimental Design: We measured DNA within tumor tissue by quantitative PCR on 933 cases (including 128 -positive cases) among 4,465 incident colorectal carcinoma cases in two prospective cohorts. Multiplex immunofluorescence combined with digital image analysis and machine learning algorithms for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD45RO (PTPRC isoform), and FOXP3 measured various T-cell subsets. We leveraged data on , microsatellite instability (MSI), tumor whole-exome sequencing, and M1/M2-type tumor-associated macrophages [TAM; by CD68, CD86, IRF5, MAF, and MRC1 (CD206) multimarker assay]. Using the 4,465 cancer cases and inverse probability weighting method to control for selection bias due to tissue availability, multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analysis assessed the association between and T-cell subsets.

Results: The amount of was inversely associated with tumor stromal CD3 lymphocytes [multivariable OR, 0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.28-0.79, for -high vs. -negative category; = 0.0004] and specifically stromal CD3CD4CD45RO cells (corresponding multivariable OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.85; = 0.003). These relationships did not substantially differ by MSI status, neoantigen load, or exome-wide tumor mutational burden. was not significantly associated with tumor intraepithelial T cells or with M1 or M2 TAMs.

Conclusions: The amount of tissue is associated with lower density of stromal memory helper T cells. Our findings provide evidence for the interactive pathogenic roles of microbiota and specific immune cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127352PMC
May 2021

A Modified Tumor-Node-Metastasis Classification for Primary Operable Colorectal Cancer.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Feb 16;5(1):pkaa093. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Program in MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 8th tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) classification for colorectal cancer (CRC) has limited ability to predict prognosis.

Methods: We included 45 379 eligible stage I-III CRC patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Patients were randomly assigned individually to a training (n=31 772) or an internal validation cohort (n=13 607). External validation was performed in 10 902 additional patients. Patients were divided according to T and N stage permutations. Survival analyses were conducted by a Cox proportional hazard model and Kaplan-Meier analysis, with T1N0 as the reference. Area under receiver operating characteristic curve and Akaike information criteria were applied for prognostic discrimination and model fitting, respectively. Clinical benefits were further assessed by decision curve analyses.

Results: We created a modified TNM (mTNM) classification: stages I (T1-2N0-1a); IIA (T1N1b, T2N1b, T3N0); IIB (T1-2N2a-2b, T3N1a-1b, T4aN0); IIC (T3N2a, T4aN1a-2a, T4bN0); IIIA (T3N2b, T4bN1a); IIIB (T4aN2b, T4bN1b); and IIIC (T4bN2a-2b). In the internal validation cohort, compared with the AJCC 8th TNM classification, the mTNM classification showed superior prognostic discrimination (area under receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.675 vs 0.667, respectively; 2-sided <.001) and better model fitting (Akaike information criteria = 70 937 vs 71 238, respectively). Similar findings were obtained in the external validation cohort. Decision curve analyses revealed that the mTNM had superior net benefits over the AJCC 8th TNM classification in the internal and external validation cohorts.

Conclusions: The mTNM classification provides better prognostic discrimination than AJCC 8th TNM classification, with good applicability in various populations and settings, to help better stratify stage I-III CRC patients into prognostic groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7853182PMC
February 2021

Preexisting Type 2 Diabetes and Survival among Patients with Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 2;30(4):757-764. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

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

Background: Type 2 diabetes increases risk of developing colorectal cancer, but the association of preexisting diabetes with colorectal cancer survival remains unclear.

Methods: We analyzed survival by diabetes status at cancer diagnosis among 4,038 patients with colorectal cancer from two prospective U.S. cohorts. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for overall and cause-specific mortality, with adjustment for tumor characteristics and lifestyle factors.

Results: In the first 5 years after colorectal cancer diagnosis, diabetes was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality in women (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.00-1.49), but not in men (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.62-1.12; heterogeneity by sex = 0.04). Beyond 5 years, diabetes was associated with substantially increased overall mortality with no evidence of sex heterogeneity; in women and men combined, the HRs were 1.45 (95% CI, 1.09-1.93) during >5-10 years and 2.58 (95% CI, 1.91-3.50) during >10 years. Compared with those without diabetes, patients with colorectal cancer and diabetes had increased mortality from other malignancies (HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.18-2.67) and cardiovascular disease (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.29-2.91). Only women with diabetes for more than 10 years had increased mortality from colorectal cancer (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.76).

Conclusions: Among patients with colorectal cancer, preexisting diabetes was associated with increased risk of long-term mortality, particularly from other malignancies and cardiovascular disease.

Impact: Our findings highlight the importance of cardioprotection and cancer prevention to colorectal cancer survivors with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026573PMC
April 2021

Timing of Aspirin Use in Colorectal Cancer Chemoprevention: A Prospective Cohort Study.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul;113(7):841-851

Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Prior epidemiological and intervention studies have not been able to separate independent effects of dose, timing, and duration of aspirin use in colorectal cancer (CRC) chemoprevention. We examined aspirin-based CRC chemoprevention according to timing in the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Methods: The exposures include cumulative average dose and total duration of aspirin use in more than 10 years before follow-up started (remote period) and in the immediate 10 years before follow-up started (recent period). Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for exposures and CRC risk.

Results: Aspirin use of longer than 10 years before follow-up started (HR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.83 to 0.94) per 5-year increment and the immediate 10 years before follow-up started (HR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.84 to 0.96) were similarly important in CRC chemoprevention, though a 5-year lag was required for a clear benefit in the recent period. In the remote period, the association was not dose dependent; compared with less than 0.5 standard-dose (325 mg) tablets per week; hazard ratios were 0.78 (95% CI = 0.63 to 0.98), 0.81 (95% CI = 0.72 to 0.91), and 0.74 (95% CI = 0.64 to 0.86) for doses of 0.5 to less than 1.5, 1.5 to less than 5, and 5 and more tablets per week, respectively. However, there was dose dependency in the recent period (with respective HR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.79 to 1.06; HR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.77 to 0.98; and HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.64 to 0.91).

Conclusions: A suggestive benefit necessitates at least 6-10 years and most clearly after approximately 10 years since initiation of aspirin. Remote use and use within the previous 10 years both contribute independently to decrease risk, though a lower dose may be required for a benefit with longer term use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246825PMC
July 2021

Association of Inflammatory and Insulinemic Potential of Diet and Lifestyle with Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 29;30(4):789-796. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: We prospectively examined the extent to which greater inflammatory and insulinemic potential of diet and lifestyle are associated with the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in two nationwide cohorts.

Methods: Five kinds of pattern scores, including the empirical dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP), empirical dietary index for hyperinsulinemia (EDIH) and insulin resistance (EDIR), empirical lifestyle pattern score for hyperinsulinemia (ELIH) and insulin resistance (ELIR) were calculated. Multivariable hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox regression.

Results: After an average follow-up of 25.6 years among 119,316 participants, 142 incident HCC cases were documented. Higher adherence to EDIP (HR by comparing extreme tertiles: 2.03; 95% CI, 1.31-3.16; = 0.001), EDIH (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.06-2.43; = 0.02), and EDIR (HR, 1.62; 95% CI: 1.08-2.42; = 0.02) was associated with increased risk of HCC. Likewise, participants with higher scores of ELIH (HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.25-2.87; = 0.001) and ELIR (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.34-3.14, = 0.0004) had higher risk of developing HCC. Additional adjustment for diabetes mellitus and/or body mass index attenuated the magnitude of the associations, indicating that diabetes and/or adiposity may partly mediate the association of these patterns with HCC risk.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that inflammation and insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia are potential mechanisms linking dietary or lifestyle factors and HCC development.

Impact: Inflammation and insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia may partly mediate the association of diet and other lifestyles with HCC development, and interventions to reduce the adverse effect of pro-inflammatory and hyperinsulinemic diet and lifestyle may reduce HCC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026660PMC
April 2021

Aspirin Use and Risk of Colorectal Cancer Among Older Adults.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Mar;7(3):428-435

Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Importance: Although aspirin is recommended for the prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC) among adults aged 50 to 59 years, recent data from a randomized clinical trial suggest a lack of benefit and even possible harm among older adults.

Objective: To examine the association between aspirin use and the risk of incident CRC among older adults.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A pooled analysis was conducted of 2 large US cohort studies, the Nurses' Health Study (June 1, 1980-June 30, 2014) and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (January 1, 1986-January 31, 2014). A total of 94 540 participants aged 70 years or older were included and followed up to June 30, 2014, for women or January 31, 2014, for men. Participants with a diagnosis of any cancer, except nonmelanoma skin cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease were excluded. Statistical analyses were conducted from December 2019 to October 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for incident CRC.

Results: Among the 94 540 participants (mean [SD] age, 76.4 [4.9] years for women, 77.7 [5.6] years for men; 67 223 women [71.1%]; 65 259 White women [97.1%], 24 915 White men [96.0%]) aged 70 years or older, 1431 incident cases of CRC were documented over 996 463 person-years of follow-up. After adjustment for other risk factors, regular use of aspirin was associated with a significantly lower risk of CRC at or after age 70 years compared with nonregular use (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.72-0.90). However, the inverse association was evident only among aspirin users who initiated aspirin use before age 70 years (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67-0.95). In contrast, initiating aspirin use at or after 70 years was not significantly associated with a lower risk of CRC (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.76-1.11).

Conclusions And Relevance: Initiating aspirin at an older age was not associated with a lower risk of CRC in this pooled analysis of 2 cohort studies. In contrast, those who used aspirin before age 70 years and continued into their 70s or later had a reduced risk of CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.7338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821085PMC
March 2021

Risk Factors and Incidence of Colorectal Cancer According to Major Molecular Subtypes.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Feb 7;5(1):pkaa089. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous disease that can develop via 3 major pathways: conventional, serrated, and alternate. We aimed to examine whether the risk factor profiles differ according to pathway-related molecular subtypes.

Methods: We examined the association of 24 risk factors with 4 CRC molecular subtypes based on a combinatorial status of microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and and mutations by collecting data from 2 large US cohorts. We used inverse probability weighted duplication-method Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate differential associations across subtypes.

Results: We documented 1175 CRC patients with molecular subtype data: subtype 1 (n = 498; conventional pathway; non-MSI-high, CIMP-low or negative, -wild-type, -wild-type), subtype 2 (n = 138; serrated pathway; any MSI status, CIMP-high, -mutated, -wild-type), subtype 3 (n = 367; alternate pathway; non-MSI-high, CIMP-low or negative, -wild-type, -mutated), and subtype 4 (n = 172; other marker combinations). Statistically significant heterogeneity in associations with CRC subtypes was found for age, sex, and smoking, with a higher hazard ratio (HR) observed for the subtype 2 (HR per 10 years of age = 2.64, 95% CI = 2.13 to 3.26; HR for female = 2.65, 95% CI = 1.60 to 4.39; HR per 20-pack-year of smoking = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.45) than other CRC subtypes (all < .005). A stronger association was found for adiposity measures with subtype 1 CRC in men and subtype 3 CRC in women and for several dietary factors with subtype 1 CRC, although these differences did not achieve statistical significance at α  level of .005.

Conclusions: Risk factor profiles may differ for CRC arising from different molecular pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791624PMC
February 2021

IGF-Binding Proteins, Adiponectin, and Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Results From CALGB (Alliance)/SWOG 80405.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Feb 27;5(1):pkaa074. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Energy balance-related biomarkers are associated with risk and prognosis of various malignancies. Their relationship to survival in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) requires further study.

Methods: Baseline plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-3, IGFBP-7, C-peptide, and adiponectin were measured at time of trial registration in a prospective cohort of patients with mCRC participating in a National Cancer Institute-sponsored trial of first-line systemic therapy. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to adjust for confounders and examine associations of each biomarker with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). values are 2-sided.

Results: Median follow-up for 1086 patients was 6.2 years. Compared with patients in the lowest IGFBP-3 quintile, patients in the highest IGFBP-3 quintile experienced an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for OS of 0.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.42 to 0.78; < .001) and for PFS of 0.61 (95% CI = 0.45 to 0.82; = .003). Compared with patients in the lowest IGFBP-7 quintile, patients in the highest IGFBP-7 quintile experienced an adjusted hazard ratio for OS of 1.60 (95% CI = 1.30 to 1.97; < .001) and for PFS of 1.38 (95% CI = 1.13 to 1.69; < .001). Plasma C-peptide and IGF-1 were not associated with patient outcomes. Adiponectin was not associated with OS; there was a nonlinear U-shaped association between adiponectin and PFS ( = .03).

Conclusions: Among patients with mCRC, high plasma IGFBP-3 and low IGFBP-7 were associated with longer OS and PFS. Extreme levels of adiponectin were associated with shorter PFS. These findings suggest potential avenues for prognostic and therapeutic innovation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785047PMC
February 2021
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