Publications by authors named "Jonine Figueroa"

223 Publications

Raised cardiovascular disease mortality after central nervous system tumor diagnosis: analysis of 171,926 patients from UK and USA.

Neurooncol Adv 2021 Jan-Dec;3(1):vdab136. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Patients with central nervous system (CNS) tumors may be at risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD). We examined CVD mortality risk in patients with different histological subtypes of CNS tumors.

Methods: We analyzed UK(Wales)-based Secure Anonymized Information Linkage (SAIL) for 8743 CNS tumors patients diagnosed in 2000-2015, and US-based National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) for 163,183 patients in 2005-2015. We calculated age-, sex-, and calendar-year-adjusted standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for CVD comparing CNS tumor patients to Wales and US residents. We used Cox regression models to examine factors associated with CVD mortality among CNS tumor patients.

Results: CVD was the second leading cause of death for CNS tumor patients in SAIL (UK) and SEER (US). Patients with CNS tumors had higher CVD mortality than the general population (SAIL SMR = 2.64, 95% CI = 2.39-2.90, SEER SMR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.35-1.42). Malignant CNS tumor patients had over 2-fold higher mortality risk in US and UK cohorts. SMRs for nonmalignant tumors were almost 2-fold higher in SAIL than in SEER. CVD mortality risk particularly cerebrovascular disease was substantially greater in patients diagnosed at age younger than 50 years, and within the first year after their cancer diagnosis (SAIL SMR = 2.98, 95% CI = 2.39-3.66, SEER SMR = 2.14, 95% CI = 2.03-2.25). Age, sex, race/ethnicity in USA, deprivation in UK and no surgery were associated with CVD mortality.

Conclusions: Patients with CNS tumors had higher risk for CVD mortality, particularly from cerebrovascular disease compared to the general population, supporting further research to improve mortality outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdab136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8500688PMC
September 2021

Circulating tumor DNA is readily detectable among Ghanaian breast cancer patients supporting non-invasive cancer genomic studies in Africa.

NPJ Precis Oncol 2021 Sep 17;5(1):83. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

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

Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) sequencing studies could provide novel insights into the molecular pathology of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. In 15 patient plasma samples collected at the time of diagnosis as part of the Ghana Breast Health Study and unselected for tumor grade and subtype, ctDNA was detected in a majority of patients based on whole- genome sequencing at high (30×) and low (0.1×) depths. Breast cancer driver copy number alterations were observed in the majority of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41698-021-00219-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8448727PMC
September 2021

Discovery of structural deletions in breast cancer predisposition genes using whole genome sequencing data from > 2000 women of African-ancestry.

Hum Genet 2021 Oct 27;140(10):1449-1457. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, TN, 37203-1738, Nashville, USA.

Single germline nucleotide pathogenic variants have been identified in 12 breast cancer predisposition genes, but structural deletions in these genes remain poorly characterized. We conducted in-depth whole genome sequencing (WGS) in genomic DNA samples obtained from 1340 invasive breast cancer cases and 675 controls of African ancestry. We identified 25 deletions in the intragenic regions of ten established breast cancer predisposition genes based on a consensus call from six state-of-the-art SV callers. Overall, no significant case-control difference was found in the frequency of these deletions. However, 1.0% of cases and 0.3% of controls carried any of the eight putative protein-truncating rare deletions located in BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, TP53, NF1, RAD51D, RAD51C and CHEK2, resulting in an odds ratio (OR) of 3.29 (95% CI 0.74-30.16). We also identified a low-frequency deletion in NF1 associated with breast cancer risk (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.14-3.42). In addition, we detected 56 deletions, including six putative protein-truncating deletions, in suspected breast predisposition genes. This is the first large study to systematically search for structural deletions in breast cancer predisposition genes. Many of the deletions, particularly those resulting in protein truncations, are likely to be pathogenic. Results from this study, if confirmed in future large-scale studies, could have significant implications for genetic testing for this common cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-021-02342-8DOI Listing
October 2021

Cross-ancestry GWAS meta-analysis identifies six breast cancer loci in African and European ancestry women.

Nat Commun 2021 07 7;12(1):4198. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Our study describes breast cancer risk loci using a cross-ancestry GWAS approach. We first identify variants that are associated with breast cancer at P < 0.05 from African ancestry GWAS meta-analysis (9241 cases and 10193 controls), then meta-analyze with European ancestry GWAS data (122977 cases and 105974 controls) from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. The approach identifies four loci for overall breast cancer risk [1p13.3, 5q31.1, 15q24 (two independent signals), and 15q26.3] and two loci for estrogen receptor-negative disease (1q41 and 7q11.23) at genome-wide significance. Four of the index single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lie within introns of genes (KCNK2, C5orf56, SCAMP2, and SIN3A) and the other index SNPs are located close to GSTM4, AMPD2, CASTOR2, and RP11-168G16.2. Here we present risk loci with consistent direction of associations in African and European descendants. The study suggests that replication across multiple ancestry populations can help improve the understanding of breast cancer genetics and identify causal variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24327-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263739PMC
July 2021

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on breast cancer early detection and screening.

Prev Med 2021 10 30;151:106585. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

The Daffodil Centre, The University of Sydney, a joint venture with Cancer Council New South Wales, Australia; University of Melbourne, Australia.

The COVID-19 pandemic affects mortality and morbidity, with disruptions expected to continue for some time, with access to timely cancer-related services a concern. For breast cancer, early detection and treatment is key to improved survival and longer-term quality of life. Health services generally have been strained and in many settings with population breast mammography screening, efforts to diagnose and treat breast cancers earlier have been paused or have had reduced capacity. The resulting delays to diagnosis and treatment may lead to more intensive treatment requirements and, potentially, increased mortality. Modelled evaluations can support responses to the pandemic by estimating short- and long-term outcomes for various scenarios. Multiple calibrated and validated models exist for breast cancer screening, and some have been applied in 2020 to estimate the impact of breast screening disruptions and compare options for recovery, in a range of international settings. On behalf of the Covid and Cancer Modelling Consortium (CCGMC) Working Group 2 (Breast Cancer), we summarize and provide examples of such in a range of settings internationally, and propose priorities for future modelling exercises. International expert collaborations from the CCGMC Working Group 2 (Breast Cancer) will conduct analyses and modelling studies needed to inform key stakeholders recovery efforts in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241687PMC
October 2021

Breast cancer risk factors in relation to molecular subtypes in breast cancer patients from Kenya.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 06 26;23(1):68. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NCI/NIH) Bethesda, Maryland, Rockville, USA.

Background: Few studies have investigated risk factor heterogeneity by molecular subtypes in indigenous African populations where prevalence of traditional breast cancer (BC) risk factors, genetic background, and environmental exposures show marked differences compared to European ancestry populations.

Methods: We conducted a case-only analysis of 838 pathologically confirmed BC cases recruited from 5 groups of public, faith-based, and private institutions across Kenya between March 2012 to May 2015. Centralized pathology review and immunohistochemistry (IHC) for key markers (ER, PR, HER2, EGFR, CK5-6, and Ki67) was performed to define subtypes. Risk factor data was collected at time of diagnosis through a questionnaire. Multivariable polytomous logistic regression models were used to determine associations between BC risk factors and tumor molecular subtypes, adjusted for clinical characteristics and risk factors.

Results: The median age at menarche and first pregnancy were 14 and 21 years, median number of children was 3, and breastfeeding duration was 62 months per child. Distribution of molecular subtypes for luminal A, luminal B, HER2-enriched, and triple negative (TN) breast cancers was 34.8%, 35.8%, 10.7%, and 18.6%, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, compared to patients with ER-positive tumors, ER-negative patients were more likely to have higher parity (OR = 2.03, 95% CI = (1.11, 3.72), p = 0.021, comparing ≥ 5 to ≤ 2 children). Compared to patients with luminal A tumors, luminal B patients were more likely to have lower parity (OR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.23, 0.87, p = 0.018, comparing ≥ 5 to ≤ 2 children); HER2-enriched patients were less likely to be obese (OR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.16, 0.81, p = 0.013) or older age at menopause (OR = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.15, 0.997, p = 0.049). Body mass index (BMI), either overall or by menopausal status, did not vary significantly by ER status. Overall, cumulative or average breastfeeding duration did not vary significantly across subtypes.

Conclusions: In Kenya, we found associations between parity-related risk factors and ER status consistent with observations in European ancestry populations, but differing associations with BMI and breastfeeding. Inclusion of diverse populations in cancer etiology studies is needed to develop population and subtype-specific risk prediction/prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01446-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8235821PMC
June 2021

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

Am J Hum Genet 2021 07 18;108(7):1190-1203. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

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

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

Relation of Quantitative Histologic and Radiologic Breast Tissue Composition Metrics With Invasive Breast Cancer Risk.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Jun 6;5(3):pkab015. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

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

Background: Benign breast disease (BBD) is a strong breast cancer risk factor, but identifying patients that might develop invasive breast cancer remains a challenge.

Methods: By applying machine-learning to digitized hematoxylin and eosin-stained biopsies and computer-assisted thresholding to mammograms obtained circa BBD diagnosis, we generated quantitative tissue composition metrics and determined their association with future invasive breast cancer diagnosis. Archival breast biopsies and mammograms were obtained for women (18-86 years of age) in a case-control study, nested within a cohort of 15 395 BBD patients from Kaiser Permanente Northwest (1970-2012), followed through mid-2015. Patients who developed incident invasive breast cancer (ie, cases; n = 514) and those who did not (ie, controls; n = 514) were matched on BBD diagnosis age and plan membership duration. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Increasing epithelial area on the BBD biopsy was associated with increasing breast cancer risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.13 to 3.04; = .02). Conversely, increasing stroma was associated with decreased risk in nonproliferative, but not proliferative, BBD ( = .002). Increasing epithelium-to-stroma proportion (OR = 2.06, 95% CI =1.28 to 3.33; = .002) and percent mammographic density (MBD) (OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.20 to 4.03; = .01) were independently and strongly predictive of increased breast cancer risk. In combination, women with high epithelium-to-stroma proportion and high MBD had substantially higher risk than those with low epithelium-to-stroma proportion and low MBD (OR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.27 to 4.06; = .005), particularly among women with nonproliferative ( = .01) vs proliferative ( = .33) BBD.

Conclusion: Among BBD patients, increasing epithelium-to-stroma proportion on BBD biopsies and percent MBD at BBD diagnosis were independently and jointly associated with increasing breast cancer risk. These findings were particularly striking for women with nonproliferative disease (comprising approximately 70% of all BBD patients), for whom relevant predictive biomarkers are lacking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8103888PMC
June 2021

Tumor-Associated Stromal Cellular Density as a Predictor of Recurrence and Mortality in Breast Cancer: Results from Ethnically Diverse Study Populations.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jul 5;30(7):1397-1407. Epub 2021 May 5.

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

Purpose: Tumor-associated stroma is comprised of fibroblasts, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), macrophages, endothelial cells, and other cells that interactively influence tumor progression through inflammation and wound repair. Although gene-expression signatures reflecting wound repair predict breast cancer survival, it is unclear whether combined density of tumor-associated stromal cells, a morphologic proxy for inflammation and wound repair signatures on routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained sections, is of prognostic relevance.

Methods: By applying machine learning to digitized H&E-stained sections for 2,084 breast cancer patients from China ( = 596; 24-55 years), Poland ( = 810; 31-75 years), and the United States ( = 678; 55-78 years), we characterized tumor-associated stromal cellular density (SCD) as the percentage of tumor-stroma that is occupied by nucleated cells. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between SCD and clinical outcomes [recurrence (China) and mortality (Poland and the United States)] were estimated using Cox proportional hazard regression, adjusted for clinical variables.

Results: SCD was independently predictive of poor clinical outcomes in hormone receptor-positive (luminal) tumors from China [multivariable HR (95% CI) = 1.86 (1.06-3.26); = 0.03], Poland [HR (95% CI) = 1.80 (1.12-2.89); = 0.01], and the United States [HR (95% CI) = 2.42 (1.33-4.42); = 0.002]. In general, SCD provided more prognostic information than most classic clinicopathologic factors, including grade, size, PR, HER2, IHC4, and TILs, predicting clinical outcomes irrespective of menopausal or lymph nodal status. SCD was not predictive of outcomes in hormone receptor-negative tumors.

Conclusions: Our findings support the independent prognostic value of tumor-associated SCD among ethnically diverse luminal breast cancer patients.

Impact: Assessment of tumor-associated SCD on standard H&E could help refine prognostic assessment and therapeutic decision making in luminal breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254774PMC
July 2021

Evaluating Polygenic Risk Scores for Breast Cancer in Women of African Ancestry.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Sep;113(9):1168-1176

Department of Oncology, Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Background: Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) have been demonstrated to identify women of European, Asian, and Latino ancestry at elevated risk of developing breast cancer (BC). We evaluated the performance of existing PRSs trained in European ancestry populations among women of African ancestry.

Methods: We assembled genotype data for women of African ancestry, including 9241 case subjects and 10 193 control subjects. We evaluated associations of 179- and 313-variant PRSs with overall and subtype-specific BC risk. PRS discriminatory accuracy was assessed using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. We also evaluated a recalibrated PRS, replacing the index variant with variants in each region that better captured risk in women of African ancestry and estimated lifetime absolute risk of BC in African Americans by PRS category.

Results: For overall BC, the odds ratio per SD of the 313-variant PRS (PRS313) was 1.27 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.23 to 1.31), with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.571 (95% CI = 0.562 to 0.579). Compared with women with average risk (40th-60th PRS percentile), women in the top decile of PRS313 had a 1.54-fold increased risk (95% CI = 1.38-fold to 1.72-fold). By age 85 years, the absolute risk of overall BC was 19.6% for African American women in the top 1% of PRS313 and 6.7% for those in the lowest 1%. The recalibrated PRS did not improve BC risk prediction.

Conclusion: The PRSs stratify BC risk in women of African ancestry, with attenuated performance compared with that reported in European, Asian, and Latina populations. Future work is needed to improve BC risk stratification for women of African ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8418423PMC
September 2021

Risk factors for breast cancer development by tumor characteristics among women with benign breast disease.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 03 18;23(1):34. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Belfer Building, Room 1301, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.

Background: Among women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, 30% have a prior diagnosis of benign breast disease (BBD). Thus, it is important to identify factors among BBD patients that elevate invasive cancer risk. In the general population, risk factors differ in their associations by clinical pathologic features; however, whether women with BBD show etiologic heterogeneity in the types of breast cancers they develop remains unknown.

Methods: Using a nested case-control study of BBD and breast cancer risk conducted in a community healthcare plan (Kaiser Permanente Northwest), we assessed relationships of histologic features in BBD biopsies and patient characteristics with subsequent breast cancer risk and tested for heterogeneity of associations by estrogen receptor (ER) status, tumor grade, and size. The study included 514 invasive breast cancer cases (median follow-up of 9 years post-BBD diagnosis) and 514 matched controls, diagnosed with proliferative or non-proliferative BBD between 1971 and 2006, with follow-up through mid-2015. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained using multivariable polytomous logistic regression models.

Results: Breast cancers were predominantly ER-positive (86%), well or moderately differentiated (73%), small (74% < 20 mm), and stage I/II (91%). Compared to patients with non-proliferative BBD, proliferative BBD with atypia conferred increased risk for ER-positive cancer (OR = 5.48, 95% CI = 2.14-14.01) with only one ER-negative case, P-heterogeneity = 0.45. The presence of columnar cell lesions (CCLs) at BBD diagnosis was associated with a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of both ER-positive and ER-negative tumors, with a 2-fold increase (95% CI = 1.21-3.58) observed among postmenopausal women (56%), independent of proliferative BBD status with and without atypia. We did not identify statistically significant differences in risk factor associations by tumor grade or size.

Conclusion: Most tumors that developed after a BBD diagnosis in this cohort were highly treatable low-stage ER-positive tumors. CCL in BBD biopsies may be associated with moderately increased risk, independent of BBD histology, and irrespective of ER status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01410-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7977564PMC
March 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associations of fecal microbial profiles with breast cancer and nonmalignant breast disease in the Ghana Breast Health Study.

Int J Cancer 2021 06 26;148(11):2712-2723. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

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

The gut microbiota may play a role in breast cancer etiology by regulating hormonal, metabolic and immunologic pathways. We investigated associations of fecal bacteria with breast cancer and nonmalignant breast disease in a case-control study conducted in Ghana, a country with rising breast cancer incidence and mortality. To do this, we sequenced the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene to characterize bacteria in fecal samples collected at the time of breast biopsy (N = 379 breast cancer cases, N = 102 nonmalignant breast disease cases, N = 414 population-based controls). We estimated associations of alpha diversity (observed amplicon sequence variants [ASVs], Shannon index, and Faith's phylogenetic diversity), beta diversity (Bray-Curtis and unweighted/weighted UniFrac distance), and the presence and relative abundance of select taxa with breast cancer and nonmalignant breast disease using multivariable unconditional polytomous logistic regression. All alpha diversity metrics were strongly, inversely associated with odds of breast cancer and for those in the highest relative to lowest tertile of observed ASVs, the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) was 0.21 (0.13-0.36; P < .001). Alpha diversity associations were similar for nonmalignant breast disease and breast cancer grade/molecular subtype. All beta diversity distance matrices and multiple taxa with possible estrogen-conjugating and immune-related functions were strongly associated with breast cancer (all Ps < .001). There were no statistically significant differences between breast cancer and nonmalignant breast disease cases in any microbiota metric. In conclusion, fecal bacterial characteristics were strongly and similarly associated with breast cancer and nonmalignant breast disease. Our findings provide novel insight into potential microbially-mediated mechanisms of breast disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386185PMC
June 2021

Might changes in diagnostic practice explain increasing incidence of brain and central nervous system tumors? A population-based study in Wales (United Kingdom) and the United States.

Neuro Oncol 2021 06;23(6):979-989

Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Increasing incidence of central nervous system (CNS) tumors has been noted in some populations. However, the influence of changing surgical and imaging practices has not been consistently accounted for.

Methods: We evaluated average annual percentage change (AAPC) in age- and gender-stratified incidence of CNS tumors by tumor subtypes and histological confirmation in Wales, United Kingdom (1997-2015) and the United States (2004-2015) using joinpoint regression.

Findings: In Wales, the incidence of histologically confirmed CNS tumors increased more than all CNS tumors (AAPC 3.62% vs 1.63%), indicating an increasing proportion undergoing surgery. Grade II and III glioma incidence declined significantly (AAPC -3.09% and -1.85%, respectively) but remained stable for those with histological confirmation. Grade IV glioma incidence increased overall (AAPC 3.99%), more markedly for those with histological confirmation (AAPC 5.36%), suggesting reduced glioma subtype misclassification due to increased surgery. In the United States, the incidence of CNS tumors increased overall but was stable for histologically confirmed tumors (AAPC 1.86% vs 0.09%) indicating an increase in patients diagnosed without surgery. An increase in grade IV gliomas (AAPC 0.28%) and a decline in grade II gliomas (AAPC -3.41%) were accompanied by similar changes in those with histological confirmation, indicating the overall trends in glioma subtypes were unlikely to be caused by changing diagnostic and clinical management.

Conclusions: Changes in clinical practice have influenced the incidence of CNS tumors in the United Kingdom and the United States. These should be considered when evaluating trends and in epidemiological studies of putative risk factors for CNS tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168824PMC
June 2021

Monitoring indirect impact of COVID-19 pandemic on services for cardiovascular diseases in the UK.

Heart 2020 12 5;106(24):1890-1897. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

The University of Edinburgh Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, Edinburgh, UK

Objective: To monitor hospital activity for presentation, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases during the COVID-19) pandemic to inform on indirect effects.

Methods: Retrospective serial cross-sectional study in nine UK hospitals using hospital activity data from 28 October 2019 (pre-COVID-19) to 10 May 2020 (pre-easing of lockdown) and for the same weeks during 2018-2019. We analysed aggregate data for selected cardiovascular diseases before and during the epidemic. We produced an online visualisation tool to enable near real-time monitoring of trends.

Results: Across nine hospitals, total admissions and emergency department (ED) attendances decreased after lockdown (23 March 2020) by 57.9% (57.1%-58.6%) and 52.9% (52.2%-53.5%), respectively, compared with the previous year. Activity for cardiac, cerebrovascular and other vascular conditions started to decline 1-2 weeks before lockdown and fell by 31%-88% after lockdown, with the greatest reductions observed for coronary artery bypass grafts, carotid endarterectomy, aortic aneurysm repair and peripheral arterial disease procedures. Compared with before the first UK COVID-19 (31 January 2020), activity declined across diseases and specialties between the first case and lockdown (total ED attendances relative reduction (RR) 0.94, 0.93-0.95; total hospital admissions RR 0.96, 0.95-0.97) and after lockdown (attendances RR 0.63, 0.62-0.64; admissions RR 0.59, 0.57-0.60). There was limited recovery towards usual levels of some activities from mid-April 2020.

Conclusions: Substantial reductions in total and cardiovascular activities are likely to contribute to a major burden of indirect effects of the pandemic, suggesting they should be monitored and mitigated urgently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2020-317870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536637PMC
December 2020

Polygenic risk score for the prediction of breast cancer is related to lesser terminal duct lobular unit involution of the breast.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2020 7;6:41. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

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

Terminal duct lobular units (TDLUs) are the predominant anatomical structures where breast cancers originate. Having lesser degrees of age-related TDLU involution, measured as higher TDLUs counts or more epithelial TDLU substructures (acini), is related to increased breast cancer risk among women with benign breast disease (BBD). We evaluated whether a recently developed polygenic risk score (PRS) based on 313-common variants for breast cancer prediction is related to TDLU involution in the background, normal breast tissue, as this could provide mechanistic clues on the genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Among 1398 women without breast cancer, higher values of the PRS were significantly associated with higher TDLU counts ( = 0.004), but not with acini counts ( = 0.808), in histologically normal tissue samples from donors and diagnostic BBD biopsies. Mediation analysis indicated that TDLU counts may explain a modest proportion (≤10%) of the association of the 313-variant PRS with breast cancer risk. These findings suggest that TDLU involution might be an intermediate step in the association between common genetic variation and breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-020-00184-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477555PMC
September 2020

Breast cancer gene expression datasets do not reflect the disease at the population level.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2020 25;6:39. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Applied Bioinformatics of Cancer, University of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh, UK.

Publicly available tumor gene expression datasets are widely reanalyzed, but it is unclear how representative they are of clinical populations. Estimations of molecular subtype classification and prognostic gene signatures were calculated for 16,130 patients from 70 breast cancer datasets. Collated patient demographics and clinical characteristics were sparse for many studies. Considerable variations were observed in dataset size, patient/tumor characteristics, and molecular composition. Results were compared with Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) figures. The proportion of basal subtype tumors ranged from 4 to 59%. Date of diagnosis ranged from 1977 to 2013, originating from 20 countries across five continents although European ancestry dominated. Publicly available breast cancer gene expression datasets are a great resource, but caution is required as they tend to be enriched for high grade, ER-negative tumors from European-ancestry patients. These results emphasize the need to derive more representative and annotated molecular datasets from diverse populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-020-00180-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447772PMC
August 2020

Longer-term (≥ 2 years) survival in patients with glioblastoma in population-based studies pre- and post-2005: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Sci Rep 2020 07 15;10(1):11622. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence, Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Translation of survival benefits observed in glioblastoma clinical trials to populations and to longer-term survival remains uncertain. We aimed to assess if ≥ 2-year survival has changed in relation to the trial of radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide published in 2005. We searched MEDLINE and Embase for population-based studies with ≥ 50 patients published after 2002 reporting survival at ≥ 2 years following glioblastoma diagnosis. Primary endpoints were survival at 2-, 3- and 5-years stratified by recruitment period. We meta-analysed survival estimates using a random effects model stratified according to whether recruitment ended before 2005 (earlier) or started during or after 2005 (later). PROSPERO registration number CRD42019130035. Twenty-three populations from 63 potentially eligible studies contributed to the meta-analyses. Pooled 2-year overall survival estimates for the earlier and later study periods were 9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 6-12%; n/N = 1,488/17,507) and 18% (95% CI 14-22%; n/N = 5,670/32,390), respectively. Similarly, pooled 3-year survival estimates increased from 4% (95% CI 2-6%; n/N = 325/10,556) to 11% (95% CI 9-14%; n/N = 1900/16,397). One study with a within-population comparison showed similar improvement in survival among the older population. Pooled 5-year survival estimates were 3% (95% CI 1-5%; n/N = 401/14,919) and 4% (95% CI 2-5%; n/N = 1,291/28,748) for the earlier and later periods, respectively. Meta-analyses of real-world data suggested a doubling of 2- and 3-year survival in glioblastoma patients since 2005. However, 5-year survival remains poor with no apparent improvement. Detailed clinically annotated population-based data and further molecular characterization of longer-term survivors may explain the unchanged survival beyond 5 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68011-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363854PMC
July 2020

Distinct temporal trends in breast cancer incidence from 1997 to 2016 by molecular subtypes: a population-based study of Scottish cancer registry data.

Br J Cancer 2020 09 19;123(5):852-859. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Usher Institute, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: We describe temporal trends in breast cancer incidence by molecular subtypes in Scotland because public health prevention programmes, diagnostic and therapeutic services are shaped by differences in tumour biology.

Methods: Population-based cancer registry data on 72,217 women diagnosed with incident primary breast cancer from 1997 to 2016 were analysed. Age-standardised rates (ASR) and age-specific incidence were estimated by tumour subtype after imputing the 8% of missing oestrogen receptor (ER) status. Joinpoint regression and age-period-cohort models were used to assess whether significant differences were observed in incidence trends by ER status.

Results: Overall, ER-positive tumour incidence increased by 0.4%/year (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.1, 1.0). Among routinely screened women aged 50-69 years, we observed an increase in ASR from 1997 to 2011 (1.6%/year, 95% CI: 1.2-2.1). ER-negative tumour incidence decreased among all ages by 2.5%/year (95% CI: -3.9 to -1.1%) over the study period. Compared with the 1941-1959 birth cohort, women born in 1912-1940 had lower incidence rate ratios (IRR) for ER+ tumours and women born in 1960-1986 had lower IRR for ER- tumours.

Conclusions: Future incidence and survival reporting should be monitored by molecular subtypes to inform clinical planning and cancer control programmes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-0938-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463252PMC
September 2020

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

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

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

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

Genome-wide association study identifies 32 novel breast cancer susceptibility loci from overall and subtype-specific analyses.

Nat Genet 2020 06 18;52(6):572-581. Epub 2020 May 18.

Molecular Medicine Unit, Fundación Pública Galega de Medicina Xenómica, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Breast cancer susceptibility variants frequently show heterogeneity in associations by tumor subtype. To identify novel loci, we performed a genome-wide association study including 133,384 breast cancer cases and 113,789 controls, plus 18,908 BRCA1 mutation carriers (9,414 with breast cancer) of European ancestry, using both standard and novel methodologies that account for underlying tumor heterogeneity by estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status and tumor grade. We identified 32 novel susceptibility loci (P < 5.0 × 10), 15 of which showed evidence for associations with at least one tumor feature (false discovery rate < 0.05). Five loci showed associations (P < 0.05) in opposite directions between luminal and non-luminal subtypes. In silico analyses showed that these five loci contained cell-specific enhancers that differed between normal luminal and basal mammary cells. The genetic correlations between five intrinsic-like subtypes ranged from 0.35 to 0.80. The proportion of genome-wide chip heritability explained by all known susceptibility loci was 54.2% for luminal A-like disease and 37.6% for triple-negative disease. The odds ratios of polygenic risk scores, which included 330 variants, for the highest 1% of quantiles compared with middle quantiles were 5.63 and 3.02 for luminal A-like and triple-negative disease, respectively. These findings provide an improved understanding of genetic predisposition to breast cancer subtypes and will inform the development of subtype-specific polygenic risk scores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0609-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808397PMC
June 2020

Combined Associations of a Polygenic Risk Score and Classical Risk Factors With Breast Cancer Risk.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 03;113(3):329-337

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

We evaluated the joint associations between a new 313-variant PRS (PRS313) and questionnaire-based breast cancer risk factors for women of European ancestry, using 72 284 cases and 80 354 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Interactions were evaluated using standard logistic regression and a newly developed case-only method for breast cancer risk overall and by estrogen receptor status. After accounting for multiple testing, we did not find evidence that per-standard deviation PRS313 odds ratio differed across strata defined by individual risk factors. Goodness-of-fit tests did not reject the assumption of a multiplicative model between PRS313 and each risk factor. Variation in projected absolute lifetime risk of breast cancer associated with classical risk factors was greater for women with higher genetic risk (PRS313 and family history) and, on average, 17.5% higher in the highest vs lowest deciles of genetic risk. These findings have implications for risk prevention for women at increased risk of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936056PMC
March 2021

Prediction of contralateral breast cancer: external validation of risk calculators in 20 international cohorts.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2020 Jun 11;181(2):423-434. Epub 2020 Apr 11.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Three tools are currently available to predict the risk of contralateral breast cancer (CBC). We aimed to compare the performance of the Manchester formula, CBCrisk, and PredictCBC in patients with invasive breast cancer (BC).

Methods: We analyzed data of 132,756 patients (4682 CBC) from 20 international studies with a median follow-up of 8.8 years. Prediction performance included discrimination, quantified as a time-dependent Area-Under-the-Curve (AUC) at 5 and 10 years after diagnosis of primary BC, and calibration, quantified as the expected-observed (E/O) ratio at 5 and 10 years and the calibration slope.

Results: The AUC at 10 years was: 0.58 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.57-0.59) for CBCrisk; 0.60 (95% CI 0.59-0.61) for the Manchester formula; 0.63 (95% CI 0.59-0.66) and 0.59 (95% CI 0.56-0.62) for PredictCBC-1A (for settings where BRCA1/2 mutation status is available) and PredictCBC-1B (for the general population), respectively. The E/O at 10 years: 0.82 (95% CI 0.51-1.32) for CBCrisk; 1.53 (95% CI 0.63-3.73) for the Manchester formula; 1.28 (95% CI 0.63-2.58) for PredictCBC-1A and 1.35 (95% CI 0.65-2.77) for PredictCBC-1B. The calibration slope was 1.26 (95% CI 1.01-1.50) for CBCrisk; 0.90 (95% CI 0.79-1.02) for PredictCBC-1A; 0.81 (95% CI 0.63-0.99) for PredictCBC-1B, and 0.39 (95% CI 0.34-0.43) for the Manchester formula.

Conclusions: Current CBC risk prediction tools provide only moderate discrimination and the Manchester formula was poorly calibrated. Better predictors and re-calibration are needed to improve CBC prediction and to identify low- and high-CBC risk patients for clinical decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-05611-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8380991PMC
June 2020

Reproductive factors and risk of breast cancer by tumor subtypes among Ghanaian women: A population-based case-control study.

Int J Cancer 2020 09 13;147(6):1535-1547. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

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

Higher proportions of early-onset and estrogen receptor (ER) negative cancers are observed in women of African ancestry than in women of European ancestry. Differences in risk factor distributions and associations by age at diagnosis and ER status may explain this disparity. We analyzed data from 1,126 cases (aged 18-74 years) with invasive breast cancer and 2,106 controls recruited from a population-based case-control study in Ghana. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for menstrual and reproductive factors using polytomous logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders. Among controls, medians for age at menarche, parity, age at first birth, and breastfeeding/pregnancy were 15 years, 4 births, 20 years and 18 months, respectively. For women ≥50 years, parity and extended breastfeeding were associated with decreased risks: >5 births vs. nulliparous, OR 0.40 (95% CI 0.20-0.83) and 0.71 (95% CI 0.51-0.98) for ≥19 vs. <13 breastfeeding months/pregnancy, which did not differ by ER. In contrast, for earlier onset cases (<50 years) parity was associated with increased risk for ER-negative tumors (p-heterogeneity by ER = 0.02), which was offset by extended breastfeeding. Similar associations were observed by intrinsic-like subtypes. Less consistent relationships were observed with ages at menarche and first birth. Reproductive risk factor distributions are different from European populations but exhibited etiologic heterogeneity by age at diagnosis and ER status similar to other populations. Differences in reproductive patterns and subtype heterogeneity are consistent with racial disparities in subtype distributions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8380990PMC
September 2020

Unlocking the transcriptomic potential of formalin-fixed paraffin embedded clinical tissues: comparison of gene expression profiling approaches.

BMC Bioinformatics 2020 Jan 28;21(1):30. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Applied Bioinformatics of Cancer, Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: High-throughput transcriptomics has matured into a very well established and widely utilised research tool over the last two decades. Clinical datasets generated on a range of different platforms continue to be deposited in public repositories provide an ever-growing, valuable resource for reanalysis. Cost and tissue availability normally preclude processing samples across multiple technologies, making it challenging to directly evaluate performance and whether data from different platforms can be reliably compared or integrated.

Methods: This study describes our experiences of nine new and established mRNA profiling techniques including Lexogen QuantSeq, Qiagen QiaSeq, BioSpyder TempO-Seq, Ion AmpliSeq, Nanostring, Affymetrix Clariom S or U133A, Illumina BeadChip and RNA-seq of formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) and fresh frozen (FF) sequential patient-matched breast tumour samples.

Results: The number of genes represented and reliability varied between the platforms, but overall all methods provided data which were largely comparable. Crucially we found that it is possible to integrate data for combined analyses across FFPE/FF and platforms using established batch correction methods as required to increase cohort sizes. However, some platforms appear to be better suited to FFPE samples, particularly archival material.

Conclusions: Overall, we illustrate that technology selection is a balance between required resolution, sample quality, availability and cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12859-020-3365-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6988223PMC
January 2020

A network analysis to identify mediators of germline-driven differences in breast cancer prognosis.

Nat Commun 2020 01 16;11(1):312. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Identifying the underlying genetic drivers of the heritability of breast cancer prognosis remains elusive. We adapt a network-based approach to handle underpowered complex datasets to provide new insights into the potential function of germline variants in breast cancer prognosis. This network-based analysis studies ~7.3 million variants in 84,457 breast cancer patients in relation to breast cancer survival and confirms the results on 12,381 independent patients. Aggregating the prognostic effects of genetic variants across multiple genes, we identify four gene modules associated with survival in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative and one in ER-positive disease. The modules show biological enrichment for cancer-related processes such as G-alpha signaling, circadian clock, angiogenesis, and Rho-GTPases in apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14100-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965101PMC
January 2020

Prediction and clinical utility of a contralateral breast cancer risk model.

Breast Cancer Res 2019 12 17;21(1):144. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

VIB Center for Cancer Biology, VIB, Leuven, Belgium.

Background: Breast cancer survivors are at risk for contralateral breast cancer (CBC), with the consequent burden of further treatment and potentially less favorable prognosis. We aimed to develop and validate a CBC risk prediction model and evaluate its applicability for clinical decision-making.

Methods: We included data of 132,756 invasive non-metastatic breast cancer patients from 20 studies with 4682 CBC events and a median follow-up of 8.8 years. We developed a multivariable Fine and Gray prediction model (PredictCBC-1A) including patient, primary tumor, and treatment characteristics and BRCA1/2 germline mutation status, accounting for the competing risks of death and distant metastasis. We also developed a model without BRCA1/2 mutation status (PredictCBC-1B) since this information was available for only 6% of patients and is routinely unavailable in the general breast cancer population. Prediction performance was evaluated using calibration and discrimination, calculated by a time-dependent area under the curve (AUC) at 5 and 10 years after diagnosis of primary breast cancer, and an internal-external cross-validation procedure. Decision curve analysis was performed to evaluate the net benefit of the model to quantify clinical utility.

Results: In the multivariable model, BRCA1/2 germline mutation status, family history, and systemic adjuvant treatment showed the strongest associations with CBC risk. The AUC of PredictCBC-1A was 0.63 (95% prediction interval (PI) at 5 years, 0.52-0.74; at 10 years, 0.53-0.72). Calibration-in-the-large was -0.13 (95% PI: -1.62-1.37), and the calibration slope was 0.90 (95% PI: 0.73-1.08). The AUC of Predict-1B at 10 years was 0.59 (95% PI: 0.52-0.66); calibration was slightly lower. Decision curve analysis for preventive contralateral mastectomy showed potential clinical utility of PredictCBC-1A between thresholds of 4-10% 10-year CBC risk for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and non-carriers.

Conclusions: We developed a reasonably calibrated model to predict the risk of CBC in women of European-descent; however, prediction accuracy was moderate. Our model shows potential for improved risk counseling, but decision-making regarding contralateral preventive mastectomy, especially in the general breast cancer population where limited information of the mutation status in BRCA1/2 is available, remains challenging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-019-1221-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6918633PMC
December 2019

The :p.Arg658* truncating variant is associated with risk of triple-negative breast cancer.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2019 1;5:38. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

25University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Houston, TX USA.

Breast cancer is a common disease partially caused by genetic risk factors. Germline pathogenic variants in DNA repair genes , , , , and are associated with breast cancer risk. , which encodes for a DNA translocase, has been proposed as a breast cancer predisposition gene, with greater effects for the ER-negative and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtypes. We tested the three recurrent protein-truncating variants :p.Arg658*, p.Gln1701*, and p.Arg1931* for association with breast cancer risk in 67,112 cases, 53,766 controls, and 26,662 carriers of pathogenic variants of or . These three variants were also studied functionally by measuring survival and chromosome fragility in patient-derived immortalized fibroblasts treated with diepoxybutane or olaparib. We observed that :p.Arg658* was associated with increased risk of ER-negative disease and TNBC (OR = 2.44,  = 0.034 and OR = 3.79;  = 0.009, respectively). In a country-restricted analysis, we confirmed the associations detected for :p.Arg658* and found that also :p.Arg1931* was associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk (OR = 1.96;  = 0.006). The functional results indicated that all three variants were deleterious affecting cell survival and chromosome stability with :p.Arg658* causing more severe phenotypes. In conclusion, we confirmed that the two rare deleterious variants p.Arg658* and p.Arg1931* are risk factors for ER-negative and TNBC subtypes. Overall our data suggest that the effect of truncating variants on breast cancer risk may depend on their position in the gene. Cell sensitivity to olaparib exposure, identifies a possible therapeutic option to treat -associated tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-019-0127-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825205PMC
November 2019
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