Publications by authors named "Kamila Czene"

346 Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

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

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

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

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

Br J Cancer 2021 Aug 2. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

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

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

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

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

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

Mammographic features are associated with cardiometabolic disease risk and mortality.

Eur Heart J 2021 Sep;42(34):3361-3370

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 12A, Stockholm 171 65, Sweden.

Aims: In recent years, microcalcifications identified in routine mammograms were found to be associated with cardiometabolic disease in women. Here, we aimed to systematically evaluate the association of microcalcifications and other mammographic features with cardiometabolic disease risk and mortality in a large screening cohort and to understand a potential genetic contribution.

Methods And Results: This study included 57 867 women from a prospective mammographic screening cohort in Sweden (KARMA) and 49 583 sisters. Cardiometabolic disease diagnoses and mortality and medication were extracted by linkage to Swedish population registries with virtually no missing data. In the cardiometabolic phenome-wide association study, we found that a higher number of microcalcifications were associated with increased risk for multiple cardiometabolic diseases, particularly in women with pre-existing cardiometabolic diseases. In contrast, dense breasts were associated with a lower incidence of cardiometabolic diseases. Importantly, we observed similar associations in sisters of KARMA women, indicating a potential genetic overlap between mammographic features and cardiometabolic traits. Finally, we observed that the presence of microcalcifications was associated with increased cardiometabolic mortality in women with pre-existing cardiometabolic diseases (hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval: 1.79 [1.24-2.58], P = 0.002) while we did not find such effects in women without cardiometabolic diseases.

Conclusions: We found that mammographic features are associated with cardiometabolic risk and mortality. Our results strengthen the notion that a combination of mammographic features and other breast cancer risk factors could be a novel and affordable tool to assess cardiometabolic health in women attending mammographic screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8423470PMC
September 2021

Characterization of Benign Breast Diseases and Association With Age, Hormonal Factors, and Family History of Breast Cancer Among Women in Sweden.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2114716. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet and University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Importance: Benign breast diseases (BBDs) are common and associated with breast cancer risk, yet the etiology and risk of BBDs have not been extensively studied.

Objective: To investigate the risk of BBDs by age, hormonal factors, and family history of breast cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective cohort study assessed 70 877 women from the population-based Karolinska Mammography Project for Risk Prediction of Breast Cancer (KARMA) who attended mammographic screening or underwent clinical mammography from January 1, 2011, to March 31, 2013, at 4 Swedish hospitals. Participants took part in a comprehensive questionnaire on recruitment. All participants had complete follow-up through high-quality Swedish national registers until December 31, 2015. Pathology medical records on breast biopsies were obtained for the participants, and BBD subtypes were classified according to the latest European guidelines. Analyses were conducted from January 1 to July 31, 2020.

Exposures: Hormonal risk factors and family history of breast cancer.

Main Outcomes And Measures: For each BBD subtype, incidence rates (events per 100 000 person-years) and multivariable Cox proportional hazards ratios (HRs) with time-varying covariates were estimated between the ages of 25 and 69 years.

Results: A total of 61 617 women within the mammographic screening age of 40 to 69 years (median age, 53 years) at recruitment with available questionnaire data were included in the study. Incidence rates and risk estimates varied by age and BBD subtype. At premenopausal ages, nulliparity (compared with parity ≥3) was associated with reduced risk of epithelial proliferation without atypia (EP; HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.46-0.85) but increased risk of cysts (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.03-1.85). Current and long (≥8 years) oral contraceptive use was associated with reduced premenopausal risk of fibroadenoma (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47-0.90), whereas hormone replacement therapy was associated with increased postmenopausal risks of epithelial proliferation with atypia (EPA; HR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.07-3.07), fibrocystic changes (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.03-2.48), and cysts (HR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.40-2.81). Furthermore, predominantly at premenopausal ages, obesity was associated with reduced risk of several BBDs (eg, EPA: HR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.17-0.56), whereas family history of breast cancer was associated with increased risk (eg, EPA: HR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.48-3.00).

Conclusions And Relevance: These results suggest that the risk of BBDs varies by subtype, hormonal factors, and family history of breast cancer and is influenced by age. Better understanding of BBDs is important to improve the understanding of benign and malignant breast diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.14716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233703PMC
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

Mammographic microcalcifications and risk of breast cancer.

Br J Cancer 2021 Aug 14;125(5):759-765. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Mammographic microcalcifications are considered early signs of breast cancer (BC). We examined the association between microcalcification clusters and the risk of overall and subtype-specific BC. Furthermore, we studied how mammographic density (MD) influences the association between microcalcification clusters and BC risk.

Methods: We used a prospective cohort (n = 53,273) of Swedish women with comprehensive information on BC risk factors and mammograms. The total number of microcalcification clusters and MD were measured using a computer-aided detection system and the STRATUS method, respectively. Cox regressions and logistic regressions were used to analyse the data.

Results: Overall, 676 women were diagnosed with BC. Women with ≥3 microcalcification clusters had a hazard ratio [HR] of 2.17 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.57-3.01) compared to women with no clusters. The estimated risk was more pronounced in premenopausal women (HR = 2.93; 95% CI = 1.67-5.16). For postmenopausal women, microcalcification clusters and MD had a similar influence on BC risk. No interaction was observed between microcalcification clusters and MD. Microcalcification clusters were significantly associated with in situ breast cancer (odds ratio: 2.03; 95% CI = 1.13-3.63).

Conclusions: Microcalcification clusters are an independent risk factor for BC, with a higher estimated risk in premenopausal women. In postmenopausal women, microcalcification clusters have a similar association with BC as baseline MD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01459-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405644PMC
August 2021

Reply to T. Suemasu et al.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 14;39(26):2966-2968. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Mikael Eriksson, PhD, Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Kamila Czene, PhD, Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Per Hall, PhD, MD, Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, Department of Oncology, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.01166DOI Listing
September 2021

Lymph node metastases in breast cancer: Investigating associations with tumor characteristics, molecular subtypes and polygenic risk score using a continuous growth model.

Int J Cancer 2021 09 21;149(6):1348-1357. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

We investigate the association between rate of breast cancer lymph node spread and grade, estrogen receptor (ER) status, progesteron receptor status, decision tree derived PAM50 molecular subtype and a polygenic risk score (PRS), using data on 10 950 women included from two different data sources. Lymph node spread was analyzed using a novel continuous tumor progression model that adjusts for tumor volume in a biologically motivated way and that incorporates covariates of interest. Grades 2 and 3 tumors, respectively, were associated with 1.63 and 2.17 times faster rates of lymph node spread than Grade 1 tumors (P < 10 ). ER/PR negative breast cancer was associated with a 1.25/1.19 times faster spread than ER/PR positive breast cancer, respectively (P = .0011 and .0012). Among the molecular subtypes luminal A, luminal B, Her2-enriched and basal-like, Her2-enriched breast cancer was associated with 1.53 times faster spread than luminal A cancer (P = .00072). PRS was not associated with the rate of lymph node spread. Continuous growth models are useful for quantifying associations between lymph node spread and tumor characteristics. These may be useful for building realistic progression models for microsimulation studies used to design individualized screening programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33704DOI Listing
September 2021

Gene-Environment Interactions Relevant to Estrogen and Risk of Breast Cancer: Can Gene-Environment Interactions Be Detected Only among Candidate SNPs from Genome-Wide Association Studies?

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 14;13(10). Epub 2021 May 14.

Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2730 Herlev, Denmark.

In this study we aim to examine gene-environment interactions (GxEs) between genes involved with estrogen metabolism and environmental factors related to estrogen exposure. GxE analyses were conducted with 1970 Korean breast cancer cases and 2052 controls in the case-control study, the Seoul Breast Cancer Study (SEBCS). A total of 11,555 SNPs from the 137 candidate genes were included in the GxE analyses with eight established environmental factors. A replication test was conducted by using an independent population from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), with 62,485 Europeans and 9047 Asians. The GxE tests were performed by using two-step methods in GxEScan software. Two interactions were found in the SEBCS. The first interaction was shown between rs13035764 of NCOA1 and age at menarche in the GE|2df model (-2df = 1.2 × 10). The age at menarche before 14 years old was associated with the high risk of breast cancer, and the risk was higher when subjects had homozygous minor allele G. The second GxE was shown between rs851998 near ESR1 and height in the GE|2df model (-2df = 1.1 × 10). Height taller than 160 cm was associated with a high risk of breast cancer, and the risk increased when the minor allele was added. The findings were not replicated in the BCAC. These results would suggest specificity in Koreans for breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102370DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156547PMC
May 2021

Low-Dose Tamoxifen for Mammographic Density Reduction: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 18;39(17):1899-1908. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Purpose: Tamoxifen prevents breast cancer in high-risk women and reduces mortality in the adjuvant setting. Mammographic density change is a proxy for tamoxifen therapy response. We tested whether lower doses of tamoxifen were noninferior to reduce mammographic density and associated with fewer symptoms.

Patients And Methods: Women, 40-74 years of age, participating in the Swedish mammography screening program were invited to the 6-month double-blind six-arm randomized placebo-controlled noninferiority dose-determination KARISMA phase II trial stratified by menopausal status (EudraCT 2016-000882-22). In all, 1,439 women were accrued with 1,230 participants accessible for intention-to-treat analysis. The primary outcome was proportion of women treated with placebo, 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg whose mammographic density decreased at least as much as the median reduction in the 20 mg arm. The noninferior margin was 17%. Secondary outcome was reduction of symptoms. Post hoc analyses were performed by menopausal status. Per-protocol population and full population were analyzed in sensitivity analysis.

Results: The 1,439 participants, 566 and 873 pre- and postmenopausal women, respectively, were recruited between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2019. The participants had noninferior mammographic density reduction following 2.5, 5, and 10 mg tamoxifen compared with the median 10.1% decrease observed in the 20 mg group, a reduction confined to premenopausal women. Severe vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, cold sweats, and night sweats) were reduced by approximately 50% in the 2.5, 5, and 10 mg groups compared with the 20 mg group.

Conclusion: Premenopausal women showed noninferior magnitude of breast density decrease at 2.5 mg of tamoxifen, but fewer side effects compared with the standard dose of 20 mg. Future studies should test whether 2.5 mg of tamoxifen reduces the risk of primary breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8189632PMC
June 2021

A case-only study to identify genetic modifiers of breast cancer risk for BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Nat Commun 2021 02 17;12(1):1078. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Breast cancer (BC) risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers varies by genetic and familial factors. About 50 common variants have been shown to modify BC risk for mutation carriers. All but three, were identified in general population studies. Other mutation carrier-specific susceptibility variants may exist but studies of mutation carriers have so far been underpowered. We conduct a novel case-only genome-wide association study comparing genotype frequencies between 60,212 general population BC cases and 13,007 cases with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. We identify robust novel associations for 2 variants with BC for BRCA1 and 3 for BRCA2 mutation carriers, P < 10, at 5 loci, which are not associated with risk in the general population. They include rs60882887 at 11p11.2 where MADD, SP11 and EIF1, genes previously implicated in BC biology, are predicted as potential targets. These findings will contribute towards customising BC polygenic risk scores for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20496-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890067PMC
February 2021

Correction to: Deciphering the genetic and epidemiological landscape of mitochondrial DNA abundance.

Hum Genet 2021 Jun;140(6):863

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 12A, 171 65, Stockholm, Sweden.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-021-02258-3DOI Listing
June 2021

Random effects models of lymph node metastases in breast cancer: quantifying the roles of covariates and screening using a continuous growth model.

Biometrics 2021 Jan 26. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

We recently described a joint model of breast cancer tumor size and number of affected lymph nodes, which conditions on screening history, mammographic density, and mode of detection, and can be used to infer growth rates, time to symptomatic detection, screening sensitivity, and rates of lymph node spread. The model of lymph node spread can be estimated in isolation from measurements of tumor volume and number of affected lymph nodes, giving inference identical to the joint model. Here, we extend our model to include covariate effects. We also derive theoretical results in order to study the role of screening on lymph node metastases at diagnosis. We analyze the association between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer lymph node spread, using data from a case-control study designed specifically to study the effects of HRT on breast cancer. Using our method, we estimate that women using HRT at time of diagnosis have a 36% lower rate of lymph node spread than nonusers (95% confidence interval [CI] =(8%,58%)). This can be contrasted with the effect of HRT on the tumor growth rate, estimated here to be 15% slower in HRT users (95% CI = (-34%,+7%)). For screen-detected cancers, we illustrate how lead time can relate to lymph node spread; and using symptomatic cancers, we illustrate the potential consequences of false negative screens in terms of lymph node spread.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/biom.13430DOI Listing
January 2021

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

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 26;30(4):623-642. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Gynaecology Research Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: It is not known whether modifiable lifestyle factors that predict survival after invasive breast cancer differ by subtype.

Methods: We analyzed data for 121,435 women diagnosed with breast cancer from 67 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium with 16,890 deaths (8,554 breast cancer specific) over 10 years. Cox regression was used to estimate associations between risk factors and 10-year all-cause mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality overall, by estrogen receptor (ER) status, and by intrinsic-like subtype.

Results: There was no evidence of heterogeneous associations between risk factors and mortality by subtype ( > 0.30). The strongest associations were between all-cause mortality and BMI ≥30 versus 18.5-25 kg/m [HR (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.19 (1.06-1.34)]; current versus never smoking [1.37 (1.27-1.47)], high versus low physical activity [0.43 (0.21-0.86)], age ≥30 years versus <20 years at first pregnancy [0.79 (0.72-0.86)]; >0-<5 years versus ≥10 years since last full-term birth [1.31 (1.11-1.55)]; ever versus never use of oral contraceptives [0.91 (0.87-0.96)]; ever versus never use of menopausal hormone therapy, including current estrogen-progestin therapy [0.61 (0.54-0.69)]. Similar associations with breast cancer mortality were weaker; for example, 1.11 (1.02-1.21) for current versus never smoking.

Conclusions: We confirm associations between modifiable lifestyle factors and 10-year all-cause mortality. There was no strong evidence that associations differed by ER status or intrinsic-like subtype.

Impact: Given the large dataset and lack of evidence that associations between modifiable risk factors and 10-year mortality differed by subtype, these associations could be cautiously used in prognostication models to inform patient-centered care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026532PMC
April 2021

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

Use of Low-Dose Tamoxifen to Increase Mammographic Screening Sensitivity in Premenopausal Women.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 15;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.

Increased breast density decreases mammographic sensitivity due to masking of cancers by dense tissue. Tamoxifen exposure reduces mammographic density and, therefore, should improve screening sensitivity. We modelled how low-dose tamoxifen exposure could be used to increase mammographic sensitivity. Mammographic sensitivity was calculated using the KARMA prospective screening cohort. Two models were fitted to estimate screening sensitivity and detected tumor size based on baseline mammographic density. BI-RADS-dependent sensitivity was estimated. The results of the 2.5 mg tamoxifen arm of the KARISMA trial were used to define expected changes in mammographic density after six months exposure and to predict changes in mammographic screening sensitivity and detected tumor size. Rates of interval cancers and detection of invasive tumors were estimated for women with mammographic density relative decreases by 10-50%. In all, 517 cancers in premenopausal women were diagnosed in KARMA: 287 (56%) screen-detected and 230 (44%) interval cancers. Screening sensitivities prior to tamoxifen, were 76%, 69%, 53%, and 46% for BI-RADS density categories A, B, C, and D, respectively. After exposure to tamoxifen, modelled screening sensitivities were estimated to increase by 0% ( = 0.35), 2% ( < 0.01), 5% ( < 0.01), and 5% ( < 0.01), respectively. An estimated relative density decrease by ≥20% resulted in an estimated reduction of interval cancers by 24% ( < 0.01) and reduction in tumors >20 mm at detection by 4% ( < 0.01). Low-dose tamoxifen has the potential to increase mammographic screening sensitivity and thereby reduce the proportion of interval cancers and larger screen-detected cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13020302DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7830894PMC
January 2021

Concordance of Immunohistochemistry-Based and Gene Expression-Based Subtyping in Breast Cancer.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Feb 7;5(1):pkaa087. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Use of immunohistochemistry-based surrogates of molecular breast cancer subtypes is common in research and clinical practice, but information on their comparative validity and prognostic capacity is scarce.

Methods: Data from 2 PAM50-subtyped Swedish breast cancer cohorts were used: Stockholm tamoxifen trial-3 with 561 patients diagnosed 1976-1990 and Clinseq with 237 patients diagnosed 2005-2012. We evaluated 3 surrogate classifications; the immunohistochemistry-3 surrogate classifier based on estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 and the St. Gallen and Prolif surrogate classifiers also including Ki-67. Accuracy, kappa, sensitivity, and specificity were computed as compared with PAM50. Alluvial diagrams of misclassification patterns were plotted. Distant recurrence-free survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier plots, and tamoxifen treatment benefit for luminal subtypes was modeled using flexible parametric survival models.

Results: The concordance with PAM50 ranged from poor to moderate (kappa = 0.36-0.57, accuracy = 0.54-0.75), with best performance for the Prolif surrogate classification in both cohorts. Good concordance was only achieved when luminal subgroups were collapsed (kappa = 0.71-0.69, accuracy = 0.90-0.91). The St. Gallen surrogate classification misclassified luminal A into luminal B; the reverse pattern was seen with the others. In distant recurrence-free survival, surrogates were more similar to each other than PAM50. The difference in tamoxifen treatment benefit between luminal A and B for PAM50 was not replicated with any surrogate classifier.

Conclusions: All surrogate classifiers had limited ability to distinguish between PAM50 luminal A and B, but patterns of misclassifications differed. PAM50 subtyping appeared to yield larger separation of survival between luminal subtypes than any of the surrogate classifications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791620PMC
February 2021

Deciphering the genetic and epidemiological landscape of mitochondrial DNA abundance.

Hum Genet 2021 Jun 31;140(6):849-861. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 12A, 171 65, Stockholm, Sweden.

Mitochondrial (MT) dysfunction is a hallmark of aging and has been associated with most aging-related diseases as well as immunological processes. However, little is known about aging, lifestyle and genetic factors influencing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) abundance. In this study, mtDNA abundance was estimated from the weighted intensities of probes mapping to the MT genome in 295,150 participants from the UK Biobank. We found that the abundance of mtDNA was significantly elevated in women compared to men, was negatively correlated with advanced age, higher smoking exposure, greater body-mass index, higher frailty index as well as elevated red and white blood cell count and lower mortality. In addition, several biochemistry markers in blood-related to cholesterol metabolism, ion homeostasis and kidney function were found to be significantly associated with mtDNA abundance. By performing a genome-wide association study, we identified 50 independent regions genome-wide significantly associated with mtDNA abundance which harbour multiple genes involved in the immune system, cancer as well as mitochondrial function. Using mixed effects models, we estimated the SNP-heritability of mtDNA abundance to be around 8%. To investigate the consequence of altered mtDNA abundance, we performed a phenome-wide association study and found that mtDNA abundance is involved in risk for leukaemia, hematologic diseases as well as hypertension. Thus, estimating mtDNA abundance from genotyping arrays has the potential to provide novel insights into age- and disease-relevant processes, particularly those related to immunity and established mitochondrial functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-020-02249-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099832PMC
June 2021

Sense of coherence and risk of breast cancer.

Elife 2020 11 23;9. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Unit of Integrative Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Sense of coherence (SoC) is the origin of health according to Antonovsky. The link between SoC and risk of cancer has however rarely been assessed. We performed a cohort study of 46,436 women from the Karolinska Mammography Project for Risk Prediction of Breast Cancer (Karma). Participants answered a SoC-13 questionnaire at recruitment to Karma and were subsequently followed up for incident breast cancer. Multivariate Cox models were used to assess the hazard ratios (HRs) of breast cancer in relation to SoC. We identified 771 incident cases of breast cancer during follow-up (median time: 5.2 years). No association was found between SoC, either as a categorical (strong vs. weak SoC, HR: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.90-1.29) or continuous (HR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.00-1.17 per standard deviation increase of SoC) variable, and risk of breast cancer. In summary, we found little evidence to support an association between SoC and risk of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.61469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7717898PMC
November 2020

A systems genomics approach to uncover the molecular properties of cancer genes.

Sci Rep 2020 10 27;10(1):18392. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 12A, 171 65, Stockholm, Sweden.

Genes involved in cancer are under constant evolutionary pressure, potentially resulting in diverse molecular properties. In this study, we explore 23 omic features from publicly available databases to define the molecular profile of different classes of cancer genes. Cancer genes were grouped according to mutational landscape (germline and somatically mutated genes), role in cancer initiation (cancer driver genes) or cancer survival (survival genes), as well as being implicated by genome-wide association studies (GWAS genes). For each gene, we also computed feature scores based on all omic features, effectively summarizing how closely a gene resembles cancer genes of the respective class. In general, cancer genes are longer, have a lower GC content, have more isoforms with shorter exons, are expressed in more tissues and have more transcription factor binding sites than non-cancer genes. We found that germline genes more closely resemble single tissue GWAS genes while somatic genes are more similar to pleiotropic cancer GWAS genes. As a proof-of-principle, we utilized aggregated feature scores to prioritize genes in breast cancer GWAS loci and found that top ranking genes were enriched in cancer related pathways. In conclusion, we have identified multiple omic features associated with different classes of cancer genes, which can assist prioritization of genes in cancer gene discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75400-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7591476PMC
October 2020

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

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

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

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

Mammography features for early markers of aggressive breast cancer subtypes and tumor characteristics: A population-based cohort study.

Int J Cancer 2021 03 6;148(6):1351-1359. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute, Solna, Sweden.

Current breast cancer risk models identify mostly less aggressive tumors, although only women developing fatal breast cancer will greatly benefit from early identification. Here, we evaluated the use of mammography features (microcalcification clusters, computer-generated Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System [cBIRADS] density and lack of breast density reduction) as early markers of aggressive subtypes and tumor characteristics. Mammograms were retrieved from a population-based cohort of women that were diagnosed with breast cancer from 2001 to 2008 in Stockholm-Gotland County, Sweden. Tumor and patient characteristics were obtained from Stockholm Breast Cancer Quality Register and the Swedish Cancer Registry. Multinomial logistic regression was used to individually model each mammographic feature as a function of molecular subtypes, tumor characteristics and detection mode. A total of 4546 women with invasive breast cancer were included in the study. Women with microcalcification clusters in the affected breast were more likely to have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 subtype (odds ratio [OR] 1.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.24-2.54) and potentially less likely to have basal subtype (OR 0.54; 0.30-0.96) compared to Luminal A subtype. High mammographic cBIRADS showed association with larger tumor size and interval vs screen-detected cancers. Lack of density reduction was associated with interval vs screen-detected cancers (OR 1.43; 1.11-1.83) and potentially of Luminal B subtype vs Luminal A subtype (OR 1.76; 1.04-2.99). In conclusion, microcalcification clusters, cBIRADS density and lack of breast density reduction could serve as early markers of particular subtypes and tumor characteristics of breast cancer. This information has the potential to be integrated into risk models to identify women at risk for developing aggressive breast cancer in need of supplemental screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7891615PMC
March 2021

Predictors of mammographic microcalcifications.

Int J Cancer 2021 03 25;148(5):1132-1143. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

We examined the association between established risk factors for breast cancer and microcalcification clusters and their asymmetry. A cohort study of 53 273 Swedish women aged 30 to 80 years, with comprehensive information on breast cancer risk factors and mammograms, was conducted. Total number of microcalcification clusters and the average mammographic density area were measured using a Computer Aided Detection system and the STRATUS method, respectively. A polygenic risk score for breast cancer, including 313 single nucleotide polymorphisms, was calculated for those women genotyped (N = 7387). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), with adjustment for potential confounders, were estimated. Age was strongly associated with microcalcification clusters. Both high mammographic density (>40 cm ), and high polygenic risk score (80-100 percentile) were associated with microcalcification clusters, OR = 2.08 (95% CI = 1.93-2.25) and OR = 1.22 (95% CI = 1.06-1.48), respectively. Among reproductive risk factors, life-time breastfeeding duration >1 year was associated with microcalcification clusters OR = 1.22 (95% CI = 1.03-1.46). The association was confined to postmenopausal women. Among lifestyle risk factors, women with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m had the lowest risk of microcalcification clusters OR = 0.79 (95% CI = 0.73-0.85) and the association was stronger among premenopausal women. Our results suggest that age, mammographic density, genetic predictors of breast cancer, having more than two children, longer duration of breast-feeding are significantly associated with increased risk of microcalcification clusters. However, most lifestyle risk factors for breast cancer seem to protect against presence of microcalcification clusters. More research is needed to study biological mechanisms behind microcalcifications formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33302DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821182PMC
March 2021

A shared genetic contribution to breast cancer and schizophrenia.

Nat Commun 2020 09 15;11(1):4637. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 12A, 17177, Stockholm, Sweden.

An association between schizophrenia and subsequent breast cancer has been suggested; however the risk of schizophrenia following a breast cancer is unknown. Moreover, the driving forces of the link are largely unclear. Here, we report the phenotypic and genetic positive associations of schizophrenia with breast cancer and vice versa, based on a Swedish population-based cohort and GWAS data from international consortia. We observe a genetic correlation of 0.14 (95% CI 0.09-0.19) and identify a shared locus at 19p13 (GATAD2A) associated with risks of breast cancer and schizophrenia. The epidemiological bidirectional association between breast cancer and schizophrenia may partly be explained by the genetic overlap between the two phenotypes and, hence, shared biological mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18492-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7492262PMC
September 2020

Identification of Women at High Risk of Breast Cancer Who Need Supplemental Screening.

Radiology 2020 11 8;297(2):327-333. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

From the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (M.E., K.C., P.H.) and Department of Oncology-Pathology (F.S.), Karolinska Institutet, Nobelsv 12A, Stockholm 171 77, Sweden; Department of Breast Radiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (F.S.); Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, Sweden (S.Z., K.L., D.F., H.S.); Department of Thoracic Radiology, Imaging and Physiology and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (P.L.); Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care (N.M., D.E.) and Department of Oncology (D.E.), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England; and Department of Oncology, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden (P.H.).

Background Mammography screening reduces breast cancer mortality, but a proportion of breast cancers are missed and are detected at later stages or develop during between-screening intervals. Purpose To develop a risk model based on negative mammograms that identifies women likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer before or at the next screening examination. Materials and Methods This study was based on the prospective screening cohort Karolinska Mammography Project for Risk Prediction of Breast Cancer (KARMA), 2011-2017. An image-based risk model was developed by using the Stratus method and computer-aided detection mammographic features (density, masses, microcalcifications), differences in the left and right breasts, and age. The lifestyle extended model included menopausal status, family history of breast cancer, body mass index, hormone replacement therapy, and use of tobacco and alcohol. The genetic extended model included a polygenic risk score with 313 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Age-adjusted relative risks and tumor subtype specific risks were estimated by using logistic regression, and absolute risks were calculated. Results Of 70 877 participants in the KARMA cohort, 974 incident cancers were sampled from 9376 healthy women (mean age, 54 years ± 10 [standard deviation]). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the image-based model was 0.73 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.71, 0.74). The AUCs for the lifestyle and genetic extended models were 0.74 (95% CI: 0.72, 0.75) and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.75, 0.79), respectively. There was a relative eightfold difference in risk between women at high risk and those at general risk. High-risk women were more likely to be diagnosed with stage II cancers and with tumors 20 mm or larger and were less likely to have stage I and estrogen receptor-positive tumors. The image-based model was validated in three external cohorts. Conclusion By combining three mammographic features, differences in the left and right breasts, and optionally lifestyle factors and family history and a polygenic risk score, the model identified women at high likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer within 2 years of a negative screening examination and in possible need of supplemental screening. © RSNA, 2020
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2020201620DOI Listing
November 2020

Association between breast cancer risk and disease aggressiveness: Characterizing underlying gene expression patterns.

Int J Cancer 2021 02 5;148(4):884-894. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The association between breast cancer risk defined by the Tyrer-Cuzick score (TC) and disease prognosis is not well established. Here, we investigated the relationship between 5-year TC and disease aggressiveness and then characterized underlying molecular processes. In a case-only study (n = 2474), we studied the association of TC with molecular subtypes and tumor characteristics. In a subset of patients (n = 672), we correlated gene expression to TC and computed a low-risk TC gene expression (TC-Gx) profile, that is, a profile expected to be negatively associated with risk, which we used to test for association with disease aggressiveness. We performed enrichment analysis to pinpoint molecular processes likely to be altered in low-risk tumors. A higher TC was found to be inversely associated with more aggressive surrogate molecular subtypes and tumor characteristics (P < .05) including Ki-67 proliferation status (P < 5 × 10 ). Our low-risk TC-Gx, based on the weighted sum of 37 expression values of genes strongly correlated with TC, was associated with basal-like (P < 5 × 10 ), HER2-enriched subtype (P < 5 × 10 ) and worse 10-year breast cancer-specific survival (log-rank P < 5 × 10 ). Associations between low-risk TC-Gx and more aggressive molecular subtypes were replicated in an independent cohort from The Cancer Genome Atlas database (n = 975). Gene expression that correlated with low TC was enriched in proliferation and oncogenic signaling pathways (FDR < 0.05). Moreover, higher proliferation was a key factor explaining the association with worse survival. Women who developed breast cancer despite having a low risk were diagnosed with more aggressive tumors and had a worse prognosis, most likely driven by increased proliferation. Our findings imply the need to establish risk factors associated with more aggressive breast cancer subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818270PMC
February 2021

Mendelian randomization analyses suggest a role for cholesterol in the development of endometrial cancer.

Int J Cancer 2021 01 7;148(2):307-319. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Behavioral and Epidemiology Research Group, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Blood lipids have been associated with the development of a range of cancers, including breast, lung and colorectal cancer. For endometrial cancer, observational studies have reported inconsistent associations between blood lipids and cancer risk. To reduce biases from unmeasured confounding, we performed a bidirectional, two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis to investigate the relationship between levels of three blood lipids (low-density lipoprotein [LDL] and high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol, and triglycerides) and endometrial cancer risk. Genetic variants associated with each of these blood lipid levels (P < 5 × 10 ) were identified as instrumental variables, and assessed using genome-wide association study data from the Endometrial Cancer Association Consortium (12 906 cases and 108 979 controls) and the Global Lipids Genetic Consortium (n = 188 578). Mendelian randomization analyses found genetically raised LDL cholesterol levels to be associated with lower risks of endometrial cancer of all histologies combined, and of endometrioid and non-endometrioid subtypes. Conversely, higher genetically predicted HDL cholesterol levels were associated with increased risk of non-endometrioid endometrial cancer. After accounting for the potential confounding role of obesity (as measured by genetic variants associated with body mass index), the association between genetically predicted increased LDL cholesterol levels and lower endometrial cancer risk remained significant, especially for non-endometrioid endometrial cancer. There was no evidence to support a role for triglycerides in endometrial cancer development. Our study supports a role for LDL and HDL cholesterol in the development of non-endometrioid endometrial cancer. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms underlying these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7757859PMC
January 2021
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