Publications by authors named "Lisa Cannon-Albright"

231 Publications

Legal terms of use and public genealogy websites.

J Law Biosci 2020 Jan-Dec;7(1):lsaa063. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine.

Public genealogy websites, to which individuals upload family history, genealogy, and sometimes individual genetic data, have been used in an increasing number of public health, epidemiological, and genetic studies. Yet there is little awareness among researchers of the legal rules that govern the use of these online resources. We analyzed the online Terms of Use (TOU) applicable to 17 popular genealogy websites and found that none of them expressly permit scientific research, while at least 13 contain restrictions that may limit or prohibit scientific research using data obtained from those sites. In order to ensure that researchers who use genealogy and other data from these sites for public health and other scientific research purposes do not inadvertently breach applicable TOUs, we recommend that genealogy website operators consider revising their TOUs to permit this activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jlb/lsaa063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249109PMC
November 2020

Early-onset colorectal cancer risk extends to second- and third-degree relatives.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 Aug 29;73:101973. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Family history is a risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC), however whether family history also contributes to non-syndromic early-onset CRC is unknown.

Methods: We estimated risk to first-, second-, and third-degree relatives of early-onset CRC cases in the Utah Pedigree Database.

Results: We observed elevated risks beyond RR = 2.0 for early-onset CRC among first- and second-degree relatives of early-onset CRC cases, with RRs of 6.0 and 3.1, respectively.

Discussion: Relatives of early-onset CRC cases are at higher risk of both early-onset CRC and CRC at any age, and the location is not necessarily similar to the affected relative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.101973DOI Listing
August 2021

Analysis of high-risk pedigrees identifies 11 candidate variants for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 Jun 20. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Department of Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.

Introduction: Analysis of sequence data in high-risk pedigrees is a powerful approach to detect rare predisposition variants.

Methods: Rare, shared candidate predisposition variants were identified from exome sequencing 19 Alzheimer's disease (AD)-affected cousin pairs selected from high-risk pedigrees. Variants were further prioritized by risk association in various external datasets. Candidate variants emerging from these analyses were tested for co-segregation to additional affected relatives of the original sequenced pedigree members.

Results: AD-affected high-risk cousin pairs contained 564 shared rare variants. Eleven variants spanning 10 genes were prioritized in external datasets: rs201665195 (ABCA7), and rs28933981 (TTR) were previously implicated in AD pathology; rs141402160 (NOTCH3) and rs140914494 (NOTCH3) were previously reported; rs200290640 (PIDD1) and rs199752248 (PIDD1) were present in more than one cousin pair; rs61729902 (SNAP91), rs140129800 (COX6A2, AC026471), and rs191804178 (MUC16) were not present in a longevity cohort; and rs148294193 (PELI3) and rs147599881 (FCHO1) approached significance from analysis of AD-related phenotypes. Three variants were validated via evidence of co-segregation to additional relatives (PELI3, ABCA7, and SNAP91).

Discussion: These analyses support ABCA7 and TTR as AD risk genes, expand on previously reported NOTCH3 variant identification, and prioritize seven additional candidate variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12397DOI Listing
June 2021

Differential methylation of G-protein coupled receptor signaling genes in gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 10;11(1):12303. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, 2000 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112-5550, USA.

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the small intestine undergo large chromosomal and methylation changes. The objective of this study was to identify methylation differences in NETs and consider how the differentially methylated genes may impact patient survival. Genome-wide methylation and chromosomal copy number variation (CNV) of NETs from the small intestine and appendix were measured. Tumors were divided into three molecular subtypes according to CNV results: chromosome 18 loss (18LOH), Multiple CNV, and No CNV. Comparison of 18LOH tumors with MultiCNV and NoCNV tumors identified 901 differentially methylated genes. Genes from the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) pathways are statistically overrepresented in the differentially methylated genes. One of the highlighted genes from the GPCR pathway is somatostatin (SST), a clinical target for NETs. Patient survival based on low versus high methylation in all samples identified four significant genes (p < 0.05) OR2S2, SMILR, RNU6-653P, and AC010543.1. Within the 18LOH molecular subtype tumors, survival differences were identified in high versus low methylation of 24 genes. The most significant is TRHR (p < 0.01), a GPCR with multiple FDA-approved drugs. By separating NETs into different molecular subtypes based on chromosomal changes, we find that multiple GPCRs and their ligands appear to be regulated through methylation and correlated with survival. These results suggest opportunities for better treatment strategies for NETs based on molecular features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91934-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192774PMC
June 2021

A Rare Variant in (rs144812092) Predisposes to Prostate and Bladder Cancers in an Extended Pedigree.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 15;13(10). Epub 2021 May 15.

Inova Schar Cancer Institute, Inova Health System, 8081 Innovation Park Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031, USA.

Pairs of related bladder cancer cases who belong to pedigrees with an excess of bladder cancer were sequenced to identify rare, shared variants as candidate predisposition variants. Candidate variants were tested for association with bladder cancer risk. A validated variant was assayed for segregation to other related cancer cases, and the predicted protein structure of this variant was analyzed. This study of affected bladder cancer relative pairs from high-risk pedigrees identified 152 bladder cancer predisposition candidate variants. One variant in (ETS Repressing Factor) was significantly associated with bladder cancer risk in an independent population, was observed to segregate with bladder and prostate cancer in relatives, and showed evidence for altering the function of the associated protein. This finding of a rare variant in that is strongly associated with bladder and prostate cancer risk in an extended pedigree both validates as a cancer predisposition gene and shows the continuing value of analyzing affected members of high-risk pedigrees to identify and validate rare cancer predisposition variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156789PMC
May 2021

An intronic variant in the CELF4 gene is associated with risk for colorectal cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 06 28;72:101941. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA; George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84148, USA; Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Germline predisposition variants associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) have been identified but all are not yet identified. We sought to identify the responsible predisposition germline variant in an extended high-risk CRC pedigree that exhibited evidence of linkage to the 18q12.2 region (TLOD = +2.81).

Methods: DNA from two distantly related carriers of the hypothesized predisposition haplotype on 18q12.2 was sequenced to identify candidate variants. The candidate rare variants shared by the related sequenced subjects were screened in 3,094 CRC cases and 5x population-matched controls from UKBiobank to test for association. Further segregation of the variant was tested via Taqman assay in other sampled individuals in the pedigree.

Results: Analysis of whole genome sequence data for the two related hypothesized predisposition haplotype carriers, restricted to the shared haplotype boundaries, identified multiple (n = 6) rare candidate non-coding variants that were tested for association with CRC risk in UKBiobank. A rare intronic variant ofCELF4 gene, rs568643870, was significantly associated with CRC (p = 0.004, OR = 5.0), and segregated with CRC in other members of the linked pedigree.

Conclusion: Evidence of segregation in a high-risk pedigree, case-control association in an external dataset, and identification of additional CRC-affected carriers in the linked pedigree support a role for a rareCELF4 intronic variant in CRC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.101941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8158787PMC
June 2021

KLK3 SNP-SNP interactions for prediction of prostate cancer aggressiveness.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 29;11(1):9264. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Center for Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, 90015, USA.

Risk classification for prostate cancer (PCa) aggressiveness and underlying mechanisms remain inadequate. Interactions between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may provide a solution to fill these gaps. To identify SNP-SNP interactions in the four pathways (the angiogenesis-, mitochondria-, miRNA-, and androgen metabolism-related pathways) associated with PCa aggressiveness, we tested 8587 SNPs for 20,729 cases from the PCa consortium. We identified 3 KLK3 SNPs, and 1083 (P < 3.5 × 10) and 3145 (P < 1 × 10) SNP-SNP interaction pairs significantly associated with PCa aggressiveness. These SNP pairs associated with PCa aggressiveness were more significant than each of their constituent SNP individual effects. The majority (98.6%) of the 3145 pairs involved KLK3. The 3 most common gene-gene interactions were KLK3-COL4A1:COL4A2, KLK3-CDH13, and KLK3-TGFBR3. Predictions from the SNP interaction-based polygenic risk score based on 24 SNP pairs are promising. The prevalence of PCa aggressiveness was 49.8%, 21.9%, and 7.0% for the PCa cases from our cohort with the top 1%, middle 50%, and bottom 1% risk profiles. Potential biological functions of the identified KLK3 SNP-SNP interactions were supported by gene expression and protein-protein interaction results. Our findings suggest KLK3 SNP interactions may play an important role in PCa aggressiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85169-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084951PMC
April 2021

Polygenic hazard score is associated with prostate cancer in multi-ethnic populations.

Nat Commun 2021 02 23;12(1):1236. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Division of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Radiotherapy Related Research, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.

Genetic models for cancer have been evaluated using almost exclusively European data, which could exacerbate health disparities. A polygenic hazard score (PHS) is associated with age at prostate cancer diagnosis and improves screening accuracy in Europeans. Here, we evaluate performance of PHS (PHS, adapted for OncoArray) in a multi-ethnic dataset of 80,491 men (49,916 cases, 30,575 controls). PHS is associated with age at diagnosis of any and aggressive (Gleason score ≥ 7, stage T3-T4, PSA ≥ 10 ng/mL, or nodal/distant metastasis) cancer and prostate-cancer-specific death. Associations with cancer are significant within European (n = 71,856), Asian (n = 2,382), and African (n = 6,253) genetic ancestries (p < 10). Comparing the 80/20 PHS percentiles, hazard ratios for prostate cancer, aggressive cancer, and prostate-cancer-specific death are 5.32, 5.88, and 5.68, respectively. Within European, Asian, and African ancestries, hazard ratios for prostate cancer are: 5.54, 4.49, and 2.54, respectively. PHS risk-stratifies men for any, aggressive, and fatal prostate cancer in a multi-ethnic dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21287-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902617PMC
February 2021

Rare Germline Variants in ATM Predispose to Prostate Cancer: A PRACTICAL Consortium Study.

Eur Urol Oncol 2021 Jan 9. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.

Background: Germline ATM mutations are suggested to contribute to predisposition to prostate cancer (PrCa). Previous studies have had inadequate power to estimate variant effect sizes.

Objective: To precisely estimate the contribution of germline ATM mutations to PrCa risk.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We analysed next-generation sequencing data from 13 PRACTICAL study groups comprising 5560 cases and 3353 controls of European ancestry.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Variant Call Format files were harmonised, annotated for rare ATM variants, and classified as tier 1 (likely pathogenic) or tier 2 (potentially deleterious). Associations with overall PrCa risk and clinical subtypes were estimated.

Results And Limitations: PrCa risk was higher in carriers of a tier 1 germline ATM variant, with an overall odds ratio (OR) of 4.4 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.0-9.5). There was also evidence that PrCa cases with younger age at diagnosis (<65 yr) had elevated tier 1 variant frequencies (p = 0.04). Tier 2 variants were also associated with PrCa risk, with an OR of 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1-1.7).

Conclusions: Carriers of pathogenic ATM variants have an elevated risk of developing PrCa and are at an increased risk for earlier-onset disease presentation. These results provide information for counselling of men and their families.

Patient Summary: In this study, we estimated that men who inherit a likely pathogenic mutation in the ATM gene had an approximately a fourfold risk of developing prostate cancer. In addition, they are likely to develop the disease earlier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.12.001DOI Listing
January 2021

Trans-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of prostate cancer identifies new susceptibility loci and informs genetic risk prediction.

Nat Genet 2021 01 4;53(1):65-75. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Prostate cancer is a highly heritable disease with large disparities in incidence rates across ancestry populations. We conducted a multiancestry meta-analysis of prostate cancer genome-wide association studies (107,247 cases and 127,006 controls) and identified 86 new genetic risk variants independently associated with prostate cancer risk, bringing the total to 269 known risk variants. The top genetic risk score (GRS) decile was associated with odds ratios that ranged from 5.06 (95% confidence interval (CI), 4.84-5.29) for men of European ancestry to 3.74 (95% CI, 3.36-4.17) for men of African ancestry. Men of African ancestry were estimated to have a mean GRS that was 2.18-times higher (95% CI, 2.14-2.22), and men of East Asian ancestry 0.73-times lower (95% CI, 0.71-0.76), than men of European ancestry. These findings support the role of germline variation contributing to population differences in prostate cancer risk, with the GRS offering an approach for personalized risk prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00748-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8148035PMC
January 2021

FANCM c5791C>T stopgain mutation (rs144567652) is a familial colorectal cancer risk factor.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 12 29;8(12):e1532. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

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

Purpose: While familial aggregation of colorectal cancer (CRC) is recognized, the majority of the germline predisposition factors remain unidentified, and many high-risk CRC pedigrees remain unexplained by known risk variants. Fanconi Anemia genes have been recognized to be associated with cancer risk. Notably, FANCM (OMIM 609644) variants have been reported to confer risk for CRC and breast cancer.

Methods: Exome sequencing of CRC-affected cousins in a set of 47 independent extended high-risk CRC pedigrees identified a candidate set of rare, shared variants. Variants were tested for association with risk in 744 Utah CRC cases and 1525 controls, and for segregation with CRC in affected relatives.

Results: A FANCM stopgain variant was observed in two CRC-affected cousin pairs, each from an independent Utah high-risk pedigree, and yielded a nonsignificant, but elevated OR = 2.05 in a set of Utah cases and controls. Segregation of the variant to other related CRC-affected cases was observed in the two extended pedigrees.

Conclusion: A rare stopgain variant in FANCM (rs144567652) that is recognized as a breast cancer predisposition variant, and that has previously been proposed, but not confirmed, as a CRC predisposition variant, is validated here as a risk factor for familial CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767553PMC
December 2020

The HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu variant observed in an extended five generation high-risk prostate cancer pedigree supports risk association for multiple cancer sites.

Cancer Epidemiol 2020 12 21;69:101834. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, United States; Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, United States.

HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu is recognized as a rare variant associated with increased risk for prostate cancer; risk association for other cancers is uncertain. This HOXB13 variant was originally reported in several 3-generation prostate cancer pedigrees and has been reported to be associated with increased risk for bladder and colorectal cancer and leukemia in GWAS. A HOXB13 pGly84Glu variant carrier was identified in a set of Utah individuals born more than 100 years ago who were members of high-risk cancer pedigrees. The proband carrier was diagnosed with colon cancer and is a member of a high-risk prostate cancer pedigree. The HOXB13 pGLY84Glu variant was assayed in other sampled relatives in the pedigree and was observed to segregate in relatives of the proband carrier in the extended pedigree; this pedigree showed significant excess of prostate cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer among descendants. Multiple additional variant carriers were identified, diagnosed with prostate, bladder, and colon cancers in the 5-generation high-risk cancer pedigree. This study shows the power and efficiency of a biorepository of samples with known genealogy from extended high-risk pedigrees for definition of cancer-associated risks. Association of HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu with risk of colon and bladder cancers in this extended pedigree confirms previous reports for risk association for both cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101834DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710531PMC
December 2020

A role for the MEGF6 gene in predisposition to osteoporosis.

Ann Hum Genet 2021 03 7;85(2):58-72. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Osteoporosis is a common skeletal disorder characterized by deterioration of bone tissue. The set of genetic factors contributing to osteoporosis is not completely specified. High-risk osteoporosis pedigrees were analyzed to identify genes that may confer susceptibility to disease. Candidate predisposition variants were identified initially by whole exome sequencing of affected-relative pairs, approximately cousins, from 10 pedigrees. Variants were filtered on the basis of population frequency, concordance between pairs of cousins, affecting a gene associated with osteoporosis, and likelihood to have functionally damaging, pathogenic consequences. Subsequently, variants were tested for segregation in 68 additional relatives of the index carriers. A rare variant in MEGF6 (rs755467862) showed strong evidence of segregation with the disease phenotype. Predicted protein folding indicated the variant (Cys200Tyr) may disrupt structure of an EGF-like calcium-binding domain of MEGF6. Functional analyses demonstrated that complete loss of the paralogous genes megf6a and megf6b in zebrafish resulted in significant delay of cartilage and bone formation. Segregation analyses, in silico protein structure modeling, and functional assays support a role for MEGF6 in predisposition to osteoporosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ahg.12408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274237PMC
March 2021

Pathogenic Germline DNA Repair Gene and Mutations in Men With Metastatic Prostate Cancer.

JCO Precis Oncol 2020 4;4. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Department of Medicine and the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

Purpose: Germline mutations in DNA repair (DR) genes and susceptibility genes and have previously been associated with prostate cancer (PC) incidence and/or progression. However, the role and prevalence of this class of mutations in metastatic PC (mPC) are not fully understood.

Patients And Methods: To evaluate the frequency of pathogenic/likely pathogenic germline variants (PVs/LPVs) in men with mPC, this study sequenced 38 DR genes, , and in a predominantly white cohort of 317 patients with mPC. A PC registry at the University of Utah was used for patient sample acquisition and retrospective clinical data collection. Deep target sequencing allowed for germline and copy number variant analyses. Validated PVs/LPVs were integrated with clinical and demographic data for statistical correlation analyses.

Results: All pathogenic variants were found in men self-reported as white, with a carrier frequency of 8.5% (DR genes, 7.3%; /, 1.2%). Consistent with previous reports, mutations were most frequently identified in the breast cancer susceptibility gene . It was also found that 50% of identified PVs/LPVs were categorized as founder mutations with European origins. Correlation analyses did not support a trend toward more advanced or earlier-onset disease in comparisons between carriers and noncarriers of deleterious DR or G84E mutations.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate a lower prevalence of germline PVs/LPVs in an unselected, predominantly white mPC cohort than previously reported, which may have implications for the design of clinical trials testing targeted therapies. Larger studies in broad and diverse populations are needed to more accurately define the prevalence of germline mutations in men with mPC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.19.00284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7446531PMC
March 2020

Two-stage Study of Familial Prostate Cancer by Whole-exome Sequencing and Custom Capture Identifies 10 Novel Genes Associated with the Risk of Prostate Cancer.

Eur Urol 2021 Mar 14;79(3):353-361. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

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

Background: Family history of prostate cancer (PCa) is a well-known risk factor, and both common and rare genetic variants are associated with the disease.

Objective: To detect new genetic variants associated with PCa, capitalizing on the role of family history and more aggressive PCa.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A two-stage design was used. In stage one, whole-exome sequencing was used to identify potential risk alleles among affected men with a strong family history of disease or with more aggressive disease (491 cases and 429 controls). Aggressive disease was based on a sum of scores for Gleason score, node status, metastasis, tumor stage, prostate-specific antigen at diagnosis, systemic recurrence, and time to PCa death. Genes identified in stage one were screened in stage two using a custom-capture design in an independent set of 2917 cases and 1899 controls.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Frequencies of genetic variants (singly or jointly in a gene) were compared between cases and controls.

Results And Limitations: Eleven genes previously reported to be associated with PCa were detected (ATM, BRCA2, HOXB13, FAM111A, EMSY, HNF1B, KLK3, MSMB, PCAT1, PRSS3, and TERT), as well as an additional 10 novel genes (PABPC1, QK1, FAM114A1, MUC6, MYCBP2, RAPGEF4, RNASEH2B, ULK4, XPO7, and THAP3). Of these 10 novel genes, all but PABPC1 and ULK4 were primarily associated with the risk of aggressive PCa.

Conclusions: Our approach demonstrates the advantage of gene sequencing in the search for genetic variants associated with PCa and the benefits of sampling patients with a strong family history of disease or an aggressive form of disease.

Patient Summary: Multiple genes are associated with prostate cancer (PCa) among men with a strong family history of this disease or among men with an aggressive form of PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.07.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881048PMC
March 2021

Colorectal cancer risk based on extended family history and body mass index.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 10 16;44(7):778-784. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Family history and body mass index (BMI) are well-known risk factors for colorectal cancer (CRC), however, their joint effects are not well described. Using linked data for genealogy, self-reported height and weight from driver's licenses, and the Utah Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results cancer registry, we found that an increasing number of first-degree relatives (FDR) with CRC is associated with higher standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for overweight/obese probands but not for under/normal weight probands. For probands with two CRC-affected FDRs, the SIR = 1.91 (95% CI [0.52, 4.89]) for under/normal weight probands and SIR = 4.31 (95% CI [2.46, 7.00]) for overweight/obese probands. In the absence of CRC-affected FDRs, any number of CRC-affected SDRs did not significantly increase CRC risk for under/normal weight probands, but for overweight/obese probands with at least three CRC-affected SDRs the SIR = 2.68 (95% CI [1.29, 4.93]). In the absence of CRC-affected FDRs and SDRs, any number of CRC-affected third-degree relatives (TDRs) did not increase risk in under/normal weight probands, but significantly elevated risk for overweight/obese probands with at least two CRC-affected TDRs was observed; SIR = 1.32 (95% CI [1.04, 1.65]). For nonsyndromic CRC, maximum midlife BMI affects risk based on family history and should be taken into account for CRC risk communication when possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722108PMC
October 2020

Genome-wide analysis of high-risk primary brain cancer pedigrees identifies PDXDC1 as a candidate brain cancer predisposition gene.

Neuro Oncol 2021 02;23(2):277-283

Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Background: There is evidence for an inherited contribution to primary brain cancer. Linkage analysis of high-risk brain cancer pedigrees has identified candidate regions of interest in which brain cancer predisposition genes are likely to reside.

Methods: Genome-wide linkage analysis was performed in a unique set of 11 informative, extended, high-risk primary brain cancer pedigrees identified in a population genealogy database, which include from 2 to 6 sampled, related primary brain cancer cases. Access to formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue samples archived in a biorepository allowed analysis of extended pedigrees.

Results: Individual high-risk pedigrees were singly informative for linkage at multiple regions. Suggestive evidence for linkage was observed on chromosomes 2, 3, 14, and 16. The chromosome 16 region in particular contains a promising candidate gene, pyridoxal-dependent decarboxylase domain-containing 1 (PDXDC1), with prior evidence for involvement with glioblastoma from other previously reported experimental settings, and contains the lead single nucleotide polymorphism (rs3198697) from the linkage analysis of the chromosome 16 region.

Conclusions: Pedigrees with a statistical excess of primary brain cancers have been identified in a unique genealogy resource representing the homogeneous Utah population. Genome-wide linkage analysis of these pedigrees has identified a potential candidate predisposition gene, as well as multiple candidate regions that could harbor predisposition loci, and for which further analysis is suggested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906047PMC
February 2021

A Genetic Risk Score to Personalize Prostate Cancer Screening, Applied to Population Data.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 09 24;29(9):1731-1738. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Background: A polygenic hazard score (PHS), the weighted sum of 54 SNP genotypes, was previously validated for association with clinically significant prostate cancer and for improved prostate cancer screening accuracy. Here, we assess the potential impact of PHS-informed screening.

Methods: United Kingdom population incidence data (Cancer Research United Kingdom) and data from the Cluster Randomized Trial of PSA Testing for Prostate Cancer were combined to estimate age-specific clinically significant prostate cancer incidence (Gleason score ≥7, stage T3-T4, PSA ≥10, or nodal/distant metastases). Using HRs estimated from the ProtecT prostate cancer trial, age-specific incidence rates were calculated for various PHS risk percentiles. Risk-equivalent age, when someone with a given PHS percentile has prostate cancer risk equivalent to an average 50-year-old man (50-year-standard risk), was derived from PHS and incidence data. Positive predictive value (PPV) of PSA testing for clinically significant prostate cancer was calculated using PHS-adjusted age groups.

Results: The expected age at diagnosis of clinically significant prostate cancer differs by 19 years between the 1st and 99th PHS percentiles: men with PHS in the 1st and 99th percentiles reach the 50-year-standard risk level at ages 60 and 41, respectively. PPV of PSA was higher for men with higher PHS-adjusted age.

Conclusions: PHS provides individualized estimates of risk-equivalent age for clinically significant prostate cancer. Screening initiation could be adjusted by a man's PHS.

Impact: Personalized genetic risk assessments could inform prostate cancer screening decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483627PMC
September 2020

Identification and genomic analysis of pedigrees with exceptional longevity identifies candidate rare variants.

Neurobiol Dis 2020 09 21;143:104972. Epub 2020 Jun 21.

Department of Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Longevity as a phenotype entails living longer than average and typically includes living without chronic age-related diseases. Recently, several common genetic components to longevity have been identified. This study aims to identify additional genetic variants associated with longevity using unique and powerful analyses of pedigrees with a statistical excess of healthy elderly individuals identified in the Utah Population Database (UPDB).

Methods: From an existing biorepository of Utah pedigrees, six independent cousin pairs were selected from four extended pedigrees that exhibited an excess of healthy elderly individuals; whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed on two elderly individuals from each pedigree who were either first cousins or first cousins once removed. Rare (<.01 population frequency) variants shared by at least one elderly cousin pair in a region likely to be identical by descent were identified as candidates. Ingenuity Variant Analysis was used to prioritize putative causal variants based on quality control, frequency, and gain or loss of function. The variant frequency was compared in healthy cohorts and in an Alzheimer's disease cohort. Remaining variants were filtered based on their presence in genes reported to have an effect on the aging process, aging of cells, or the longevity process. Validation of these candidate variants included tests of segregation on other elderly relatives.

Results: Fifteen rare candidate genetic variants spanning 17 genes shared within cousins were identified as having passed prioritization criteria. Of those variants, six were present in genes that are known or predicted to affect the aging process: rs78408340 (PAM), rs112892337 (ZFAT), rs61737629 (ESPL1), rs141903485 (CEBPE), rs144369314 (UTP4), and rs61753103 (NUP88 and RABEP1). ESPL1 rs61737629 and CEBPE rs141903485 show additional evidence of segregation with longevity in expanded pedigree analyses (p-values = .001 and .0001, respectively).

Discussion: This unique pedigree analysis efficiently identified several novel rare candidate variants that may affect the aging process and added support to seven genes that likely contribute to longevity. Further analyses showed evidence for segregation for two rare variants, ESPL1 rs61737629 and CEBPE rs141903485, in the original longevity pedigrees in which they were initially observed. These candidate genes and variants warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2020.104972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7461696PMC
September 2020

The effect of sample size on polygenic hazard models for prostate cancer.

Eur J Hum Genet 2020 10 8;28(10):1467-1475. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Humangenetik Tuebingen, Paul-Ehrlich-Str 23, D-72076, Tuebingen, Germany.

We determined the effect of sample size on performance of polygenic hazard score (PHS) models in prostate cancer. Age and genotypes were obtained for 40,861 men from the PRACTICAL consortium. The dataset included 201,590 SNPs per subject, and was split into training and testing sets. Established-SNP models considered 65 SNPs that had been previously associated with prostate cancer. Discovery-SNP models used stepwise selection to identify new SNPs. The performance of each PHS model was calculated for random sizes of the training set. The performance of a representative Established-SNP model was estimated for random sizes of the testing set. Mean HR (hazard ratio of top 2% to average in test set) of the Established-SNP model increased from 1.73 [95% CI: 1.69-1.77] to 2.41 [2.40-2.43] when the number of training samples was increased from 1 thousand to 30 thousand. Corresponding HR of the Discovery-SNP model increased from 1.05 [0.93-1.18] to 2.19 [2.16-2.23]. HR of a representative Established-SNP model using testing set sample sizes of 0.6 thousand and 6 thousand observations were 1.78 [1.70-1.85] and 1.73 [1.71-1.76], respectively. We estimate that a study population of 20 thousand men is required to develop Discovery-SNP PHS models while 10 thousand men should be sufficient for Established-SNP models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-0664-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608255PMC
October 2020

Childhood central nervous system tumors and leukemia: Incidence and familial risk. A comparative population-based study in Utah and Norway.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 08 21;67(8):e28408. Epub 2020 May 21.

Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Background: In this study, we aimed to evaluate incidence rates and family risk of the most common childhood cancers, tumors in the central nervous system (CNS), and leukemia among individuals from Norway and individuals with Scandinavian ancestry living in Utah.

Methods: We used the Utah Population Database and the Norwegian National Population Register linked to Cancer registries to identify cancers in children born between 1966 and 2015 and their first-degree relatives. We calculated incidence rates and hazards ratios.

Results: The overall incidence of CNS tumors increased with consecutive birth cohorts similarly in Utah and Norway (both P < 0.001). Incidence rates of leukemia were more stable and similar in both Utah and in Norway with 4.6/100 000 person-years among children (<15 years) born in the last cohort. A family history of CNS tumors was significantly associated with risk of childhood CNS tumors in Utah HR = 3.05 (95% CI 1.80-5.16) and Norway HR = 2.87 (95% CI 2.20-3.74). In Norway, children with a first-degree relative diagnosed with leukemia had high risk of leukemia (HR = 2.39, 95% CI 1.61-3.55).

Conclusion: Despite geographical distance and assumed large lifestyle differences, two genetically linked pediatric populations show similar incidences of CNS tumors and leukemia in the period 1966-2015. CNS tumors and leukemia aggregated in families in both countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7313725PMC
August 2020

Early life exposures associated with risk of small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(4):e0231991. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America.

Small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors (SINT) are rare with incidence increasing over the past 40 years. The purpose of this work is to examine the role of environmental exposures in the rise of SINT incidence using the Utah Population Database, a resource of linked records including life events, cancer diagnoses and residential histories. SINT cases born in Utah were identified through the Utah Cancer Registry with: diagnosis years of 1948 to 2014 and age at diagnosis of 23 to 88 years. Controls were matched to cases 10:1 based on sex, birth year and residence time in Utah. Cases and controls were geocoded to their birth locale. An isotonic spatial scan statistic was used to test for the occurrence and location(s) of SINT clusters. Potential environmental exposures and economic conditions in the birth locales at the time of the birth (1883-1982) were generated using historical references. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odd ratios. We report a spatial cluster central to historic coal mining communities, associated with a 2.86 relative risk (p = 0.016) of SINT. Aspatial analyses of industry and mining exposures further suggest elevated risk for early life exposure near areas involved in the construction industry (OR 1.98 p = 0.024). Other exposures approached significance including coal, uranium and hard rock mining during the earliest period (1883-1929) when safety from exposures was not considered. We do observe a lower risk (OR 0.58 p = 0.033) associated with individuals born in rural areas in the most recent period (1945-1982). Environmental exposures early in life, especially those from industries such as mining, may confer an elevated risk of SINT.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231991PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7179894PMC
July 2020

A population-based study of testicular cancer risk among children and young adults from Norway and Utah, USA.

Int J Cancer 2020 09 7;147(6):1604-1611. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Similar family-based cancer and genealogy data from Norway and Utah allowed comparisons of the incidence of testicular cancer (TC), and exploration of the role of Scandinavian ancestry and family history of TC in TC risk. Our study utilizes data from the Utah Population Database and Norwegian Population Registers. All males born during 1951-2015 were followed for TC until the age of 29 years. A total of 1,974,287 and 832,836 males were born in Norway and Utah, respectively, of whom 2,686 individuals were diagnosed with TC in Norway and 531 in Utah. The incidence per year of TC in Norway (10.6) was twice that observed in Utah (5.1) for males born in the last period (1980-1984). The incidence rates of TC in Utah did not differ according to the presence or absence of Scandinavian ancestry (p = 0.669). Having a brother diagnosed with TC was a strong risk factor for TC among children born in Norway and Utah, with HR = 9.87 (95% CI 5.68-17.16) and 6.02 (95% CI 4.80-7.55), respectively; with even higher HR observed among the subset of children in Utah with Scandinavian ancestry (HR = 12.30, 95% CI 6.78-22.31). A clear difference in TC incidence among individuals born in Norway and descendants of Scandinavian people born in Utah was observed. These differences in TC rates point to the possibility of environmental influence. Family history of TC is a strong risk factor for developing TC in both populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32949DOI Listing
September 2020

Risk of pelvic organ prolapse treatment based on extended family history.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2020 07 15;223(1):105.e1-105.e8. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT.

Background: Family history of pelvic organ prolapse among first-degree relatives is an established risk factor for pelvic organ prolapse; however, consideration of the constellation of family history that extends to distant relationships allows for more accurate determination of risk and may improve pelvic organ prolapse risk prediction estimates.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess risk for pelvic organ prolapse treatment based on varying family histories of pelvic organ prolapse and included number and types of affected relatives, ages of relatives at pelvic organ prolapse treatment, and whether the family history is of maternal or paternal origin.

Study Design: This was a retrospective, population-based study that involved the Utah Population Database, which is a population resource that includes extensive genealogy information linked to medical records. The study population included 453,522 total women: 4628 women with a diagnosis of treated (surgical or pessary) pelvic organ prolapse and their 15,530 first-degree relatives; 33,782 second-degree relatives, and 66,469 third-degree relatives. We estimated relative risk of treated pelvic organ prolapse based on specific family history constellations.

Results: Relative risk estimates increased with a family history of increasing numbers of treated first-degree relatives with pelvic organ prolapse (first-degree relatives, ≥1 [relative risk, 2.36; 95% confidence interval, 2.15-2.58], first-degree relatives, ≥2 [relative risk, 3.79; 95% confidence interval, 2.65-5.24], and first-degree relatives, ≥3 [relative risk, 6.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.29-18.30]). Having a family history of ≥3 affected third-degree relatives (eg, first cousins) and no affected first- or second-degree relatives was similar in risk to having 1 affected first-degree relative. Relative risk estimates decreased with increasing age of treatment for first-degree family members. Risks in individuals with a positive maternal family history for pelvic organ prolapse were consistently higher than risks in individuals with equivalent paternal family history, but paternal inheritance still played a role. Approximately 4% of the total studied female population was found to have a >2-fold risk of being treated for pelvic organ prolapse and is considered high-risk based on their family history.

Conclusion: We provide estimates for treated pelvic organ prolapse based on an extensive family history of pelvic organ prolapse using a large population-based sample. Risk for treated pelvic organ prolapse increased with increasing numbers of affected close and distant female relatives, earlier age of pelvic organ prolapse treatment in relatives, and maternal inheritance. These risk estimates may be useful for genetic studies and investigation of risk reduction strategies in those at highest risk for pelvic organ prolapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2019.12.271DOI Listing
July 2020

Increased risk for other cancers in individuals with Ewing sarcoma and their relatives.

Cancer Med 2019 12 31;8(18):7924-7930. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: There are few reports of the association of other cancers with Ewing sarcoma in patients and their relatives. We use a resource combining statewide genealogy and cancer reporting to provide unbiased risks.

Methods: Using a combined genealogy of 2.3 million Utah individuals and the Utah Cancer Registry (UCR), relative risks (RRs) for cancers of other sites were estimated in 143 Ewing sarcoma patients using a Cox proportional hazards model with matched controls; however, risks in relatives were estimated using internal cohort-specific cancer rates in first-, second-, and third-degree relatives.

Results: Cancers of three sites (breast, brain, complex genotype/karyotype sarcoma) were observed in excess in Ewing sarcoma patients. No Ewing sarcoma patients were identified among first-, second-, or third-degree relatives of Ewing sarcoma patients. Significantly increased risk for brain, lung/bronchus, female genital, and prostate cancer was observed in first-degree relatives. Significantly increased risks were observed in second-degree relatives for breast cancer, nonmelanoma eye cancer, malignant peripheral nerve sheath cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and translocation sarcomas. Significantly increased risks for stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and acute lymphocytic leukemia were observed in third-degree relatives.

Conclusions: This analysis of risk for cancer among Ewing sarcoma patients and their relatives indicates evidence for some increased cancer predisposition in this population which can be used to individualize consideration of potential treatment of patients and screening of patients and relatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912049PMC
December 2019

Targeted germline sequencing of patients with three or more primary melanomas reveals high rate of pathogenic variants.

Melanoma Res 2020 06;30(3):247-251

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

Individuals with multiple primary melanomas have rates of germline CDKN2A pathogenic variants of 3%-18%, and are also frequent carriers of variants in the melanocortin-1 receptor. Few patients with numerous (≥3) primary melanomas have been studied with respect to these or other potential germline pathogenic variants. We investigated 46 patients with ≥3 primary melanomas (3, n = 17; 4, n = 14; 5-14, n = 15) to determine if higher rates of germline pathogenic variants of CDKN2A, MC1R, or other cancer genes could explain their extreme melanoma phenotype. Most (43/46, 93%) patients had variants in MC1R and 11/46 (24%) had CDKN2A pathogenic variants, but only male sex and having two variants in MC1R correlated with increasing number of melanomas. Panel screening of 56 other cancer predisposition genes did not reveal other germline pathogenic variants associated with melanoma (CDK4, BAP1, POT1), although pathogenic variants in TP53, CHEK2, and BRCA2 were present in three separate patients and some patients had variants of uncertain significance. In summary, targeted germline sequencing of patients with ≥3 primary melanomas revealed a high rate of pathogenic variants in CDKN2A and other known cancer genes. Although further investigation of these pathogenic variants and variants of uncertain significance is needed, these results support cancer gene panel testing in individuals diagnosed with ≥3 melanomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000645DOI Listing
June 2020

Associations of Tobacco and Alcohol Use with Risk of Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Small Intestine in Utah.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2019 12 26;28(12):1998-2004. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Background: Incidence of small-intestine neuroendocrine tumors (SINT) has been increasing in the United States over the past 40 years, with higher incidence in Utah than elsewhere. As information about how these tumors arise is limited, elucidating lifestyle factors associated with SINT in a statewide cohort could potentially identify those at risk to help mitigate their effects.

Methods: Cases of SINT with a carcinoid histology (8240 or 8241) diagnosed in Utah from 1996 to 2014 with no prior history of cancer within 5 years ( = 433) were matched to population controls (1:10 ratio). Tobacco and alcohol exposures before case diagnosis were identified from International Classification of Diseases codes in statewide medical records and from self-reported data captured at patient encounters beginning in 1996. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate risk of SINT associated with tobacco and alcohol in cases compared with controls.

Results: An increased risk of SINT was observed in tobacco-exposed individuals compared with unexposed [OR, 1.44; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11-1.86; = 0.006]. Those who were exposed to alcohol exhibited an increased risk of SINT (OR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.05-2.49; = 0.03).

Conclusions: This study supports tobacco and alcohol use as risk factors for SINT, independent of family history. However, low rates of smoking and alcohol use in Utah coupled with higher rates of SINT suggest other factors may contribute to development of these tumors.

Impact: Although tobacco and alcohol modestly contribute to risk, our study suggests in addition to greater detection of tumors, other as-of-yet undefined exposures may drive rising SINT incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0465DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6961822PMC
December 2019
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