Publications by authors named "Marc J Gunter"

323 Publications

The blood metabolome of incident kidney cancer: A case-control study nested within the MetKid consortium.

PLoS Med 2021 Sep 20;18(9):e1003786. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France.

Background: Excess bodyweight and related metabolic perturbations have been implicated in kidney cancer aetiology, but the specific molecular mechanisms underlying these relationships are poorly understood. In this study, we sought to identify circulating metabolites that predispose kidney cancer and to evaluate the extent to which they are influenced by body mass index (BMI).

Methods And Findings: We assessed the association between circulating levels of 1,416 metabolites and incident kidney cancer using pre-diagnostic blood samples from up to 1,305 kidney cancer case-control pairs from 5 prospective cohort studies. Cases were diagnosed on average 8 years after blood collection. We found 25 metabolites robustly associated with kidney cancer risk. In particular, 14 glycerophospholipids (GPLs) were inversely associated with risk, including 8 phosphatidylcholines (PCs) and 2 plasmalogens. The PC with the strongest association was PC ae C34:3 with an odds ratio (OR) for 1 standard deviation (SD) increment of 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68 to 0.83, p = 2.6 × 10-8). In contrast, 4 amino acids, including glutamate (OR for 1 SD = 1.39, 95% CI: 1.20 to 1.60, p = 1.6 × 10-5), were positively associated with risk. Adjusting for BMI partly attenuated the risk association for some-but not all-metabolites, whereas other known risk factors of kidney cancer, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, had minimal impact on the observed associations. A mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis of the influence of BMI on the blood metabolome highlighted that some metabolites associated with kidney cancer risk are influenced by BMI. Specifically, elevated BMI appeared to decrease levels of several GPLs that were also found inversely associated with kidney cancer risk (e.g., -0.17 SD change [ßBMI] in 1-(1-enyl-palmitoyl)-2-linoleoyl-GPC (P-16:0/18:2) levels per SD change in BMI, p = 3.4 × 10-5). BMI was also associated with increased levels of glutamate (ßBMI: 0.12, p = 1.5 × 10-3). While our results were robust across the participating studies, they were limited to study participants of European descent, and it will, therefore, be important to evaluate if our findings can be generalised to populations with different genetic backgrounds.

Conclusions: This study suggests a potentially important role of the blood metabolome in kidney cancer aetiology by highlighting a wide range of metabolites associated with the risk of developing kidney cancer and the extent to which changes in levels of these metabolites are driven by BMI-the principal modifiable risk factor of kidney cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003786DOI Listing
September 2021

Risk-Predictive and Diagnostic Biomarkers for Colorectal Cancer; a Systematic Review of Studies Using Pre-Diagnostic Blood Samples Collected in Prospective Cohorts and Screening Settings.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Aug 31;13(17). Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden.

This systematic review summarizes the evidence for blood-based colorectal cancer biomarkers from studies conducted in pre-diagnostic, asymptomatic settings. Of 1372 studies initially identified, the final selection included 30 studies from prospective cohorts and 23 studies from general screening settings. Overall, the investigations had high quality but considerable variability in data analysis and presentation of results, and few biomarkers demonstrated a clinically relevant discriminatory ability. One of the most promising biomarkers was the anti-p53 antibody, with consistent findings in one screening cohort and in the 3-4 years prior to diagnosis in two prospective cohort studies. Proteins were the most common type of biomarker assessed, particularly carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and C-reactive protein (CRP), with modest results. Other potentially promising biomarkers included proteins, such as AREG, MIC-1/GDF15, LRG1 and FGF-21, metabolites and/or metabolite profiles, non-coding RNAs and DNA methylation, as well as re-purposed routine lab tests, such as ferritin and the triglyceride-glucose index. Biomarker panels generally achieved higher discriminatory performance than single markers. In conclusion, this systematic review highlighted anti-p53 antibodies as a promising blood-based biomarker for use in colorectal cancer screening panels, together with other specific proteins. It also underscores the need for validation of promising biomarkers in independent pre-diagnostic settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13174406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8430893PMC
August 2021

Consumption of ultra-processed foods associated with weight gain and obesity in adults: A multi-national cohort study.

Clin Nutr 2021 Sep 21;40(9):5079-5088. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP), Granada, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Granada, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: There is a worldwide shift towards increased consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) with concurrent rising prevalence of obesity. We examined the relationship between the consumption of UPF and weight gain and risk of obesity.

Methods: This prospective cohort included 348 748 men and women aged 25-70 years. Participants were recruited between 1992 and 2000 from 9 European countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Two body weight measures were available, at baseline and after a median follow-up time of 5 years. Foods and drinks were assessed at baseline by dietary questionnaires and classified according to their degree of processing using NOVA classification. Multilevel mixed linear regression was used to estimate the association between UPF consumption and body weight change (kg/5 years). To estimate the relative risk of becoming overweight or obese after 5 years we used Poisson regression stratified according to baseline body mass index (BMI).

Results: After multivariable adjustment, higher UPF consumption (per 1 SD increment) was positively associated with weight gain (0·12 kg/5 years, 95% CI 0·09 to 0·15). Comparing highest vs. lowest quintile of UPF consumption was associated with a 15% greater risk (95% CI 1·11, 1·19) of becoming overweight or obese in normal weight participants, and with a 16% greater risk (95% CI 1·09, 1·23) of becoming obese in participants who were overweight at baseline.

Conclusions: These results are supportive of public health campaigns to substitute UPF for less processed alternatives for obesity prevention and weight management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.08.009DOI Listing
September 2021

Association Between Smoking and Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Cancer.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Aug 14;5(4):pkab056. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Departments of Cancer Biology and Genetics and Internal Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Background: Smoking is associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Previous studies suggested this association may be restricted to certain molecular subtypes of CRC, but large-scale comprehensive analysis is lacking.

Methods: A total of 9789 CRC cases and 11 231 controls of European ancestry from 11 observational studies were included. We harmonized smoking variables across studies and derived sex study-specific quartiles of pack-years of smoking for analysis. Four somatic colorectal tumor markers were assessed individually and in combination, including mutation, mutation, CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and microsatellite instability (MSI) status. A multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between smoking and risk of CRC subtypes by molecular characteristics, adjusting for age, sex, and study. All statistical tests were 2-sided and adjusted for Bonferroni correction.

Results: Heavier smoking was associated with higher risk of CRC overall and stratified by individual markers ( < .001). The associations differed statistically significantly between all molecular subtypes, which was the most statistically significant for CIMP and . Compared with never-smokers, smokers in the fourth quartile of pack-years had a 90% higher risk of CIMP-positive CRC (odds ratio = 1.90, 95% confidence interval = 1.60 to 2.26) but only 35% higher risk for CIMP-negative CRC (odds ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval = 1.22 to 1.49; = 2.1 x 10). The association was also stronger in tumors that were positive, MSI high, or wild type when combined ( < .001).

Conclusion: Smoking was associated with differential risk of CRC subtypes defined by molecular characteristics. Heavier smokers had particularly higher risk of CRC subtypes that were CIMP positive and MSI high in combination, suggesting that smoking may be involved in the development of colorectal tumors via the serrated pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8346704PMC
August 2021

Testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 and endometrial cancer risk: observational and Mendelian randomization analyses.

Br J Cancer 2021 Aug 6. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: Dysregulation of endocrine pathways related to steroid and growth hormones may modify endometrial cancer risk; however, prospective data on testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 are limited. To elucidate the role of these hormones in endometrial cancer risk we conducted complementary observational and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses.

Methods: The observational analyses included 159,702 women (80% postmenopausal) enrolled in the UK Biobank. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. For MR analyses, genetic variants associated with hormone levels were identified and their association with endometrial cancer (12,906 cases/108,979 controls) was examined using two-sample MR.

Results: In the observational analysis, higher circulating concentrations of total (HR per unit inverse normal scale = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.22-1.57) and free testosterone (HR per unit log scale = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.66-2.58) were associated with higher endometrial cancer risk. An inverse association was found for SHBG (HR per unit inverse normal scale = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.67-0.86). Results for testosterone and SHBG were supported by the MR analyses. No association was found between genetically predicted IGF-1 concentration and endometrial cancer risk.

Conclusions: Our results support probable causal associations between circulating concentrations of testosterone and SHBG with endometrial cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01518-3DOI Listing
August 2021

Use of systemic glucocorticoids and risk of breast cancer in a prospective cohort of postmenopausal women.

BMC Med 2021 08 2;19(1):186. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Université Paris-Saclay, UVSQ, Inserm, Gustave Roussy, Exposome and heredity team, CESP, F-94805, Villejuif, France.

Background: Glucocorticoids could theoretically decrease breast cancer risk through their anti-inflammatory effects or increase risk through immunosuppression. However, epidemiological evidence is limited regarding the associations between glucocorticoid use and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We investigated the association between systemic glucocorticoid use and breast cancer incidence in the E3N cohort, which includes 98,995 women with information on various characteristics collected from repeated questionnaires complemented with drug reimbursement data available from 2004. Women with at least two reimbursements of systemic glucocorticoids in any previous 3-month period since January 1, 2004, were defined as exposed. We considered exposure as a time-varying parameter, and we used multivariable Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of breast cancer. We performed a competing risk analysis using a cause-specific hazard approach to study the heterogeneity by tumour subtype/stage/grade.

Results: Among 62,512 postmenopausal women (median age at inclusion of 63 years old), 2864 developed breast cancer during a median follow-up of 9 years (between years 2004 and 2014). Compared with non-exposure, glucocorticoid exposure was not associated with overall breast cancer risk [HR = 0.94 (0.85-1.05)]; however, it was associated with a higher risk of in situ breast cancer and a lower risk of invasive breast cancer [HR = 1.34 (1.01-1.78); HR = 0.86 (0.76-0.97); P = 0.01]. Regarding the risk of invasive breast cancer, glucocorticoid exposure was inversely associated with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer [HR = 0.82 (0.72-0.94); HR = 1.21 (0.88-1.66); P = 0.03]; it was also inversely associated with the risk of stage 1 or stage 2 tumours but positively associated with the risk of stage 3/4 breast cancers [HR = 0.87 (0.75-1.01); HR = 0.67 (0.52-0.86); HR = 1.49 (1.02-2.20); P = 0.01].

Conclusion: This study suggests that the association between systemic glucocorticoid use and breast cancer risk may differ by tumour subtype and stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-02004-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8330083PMC
August 2021

An umbrella review of the evidence associating diet and cancer risk at 11 anatomical sites.

Nat Commun 2021 07 28;12(1):4579. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece.

There is evidence that diet and nutrition are modifiable risk factors for several cancers, but associations may be flawed due to inherent biases. Nutritional epidemiology studies have largely relied on a single assessment of diet using food frequency questionnaires. We conduct an umbrella review of meta-analyses of observational studies to evaluate the strength and validity of the evidence for the association between food/nutrient intake and risk of developing or dying from 11 primary cancers. It is estimated that only few single food/nutrient and cancer associations are supported by strong or highly suggestive meta-analytic evidence, and future similar research is unlikely to change this evidence. Alcohol consumption is positively associated with risk of postmenopausal breast, colorectal, esophageal, head & neck and liver cancer. Consumption of dairy products, milk, calcium and wholegrains are inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk. Coffee consumption is inversely associated with risk of liver cancer and skin basal cell carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24861-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8319326PMC
July 2021

Biomarkers of mammographic density in premenopausal women.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 07 23;23(1):75. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, CEDEX 08, 69372, Lyon, France.

Background: While mammographic density is one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer, little is known about its determinants, especially in young women. We applied targeted metabolomics to identify circulating metabolites specifically associated with mammographic density in premenopausal women. Then, we aimed to identify potential correlates of these biomarkers to guide future research on potential modifiable determinants of mammographic density.

Methods: A total of 132 metabolites (acylcarnitines, amino acids, biogenic amines, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, hexose) were measured by tandem liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry in plasma samples from 573 premenopausal participants in the Mexican Teachers' Cohort. Associations between metabolites and percent mammographic density were assessed using linear regression models, adjusting for breast cancer risk factors and accounting for multiple tests. Mean concentrations of metabolites associated with percent mammographic density were estimated across levels of several lifestyle and metabolic factors.

Results: Sphingomyelin (SM) C16:1 and phosphatidylcholine (PC) ae C30:2 were inversely associated with percent mammographic density after correction for multiple tests. Linear trends with percent mammographic density were observed for SM C16:1 only in women with body mass index (BMI) below the median (27.4) and for PC ae C30:2 in women with a BMI over the median. SM C16:1 and PC ae C30:2 concentrations were positively associated with cholesterol (total and HDL) and inversely associated with number of metabolic syndrome components.

Conclusions: We identified new biomarkers associated with mammographic density in young women. The association of these biomarkers with mammographic density and metabolic parameters may provide new perspectives to support future preventive actions for breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01454-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305592PMC
July 2021

Obesity is Associated With Increased Risk of Crohn's disease, but not Ulcerative Colitis: A Pooled Analysis of Five Prospective Cohort Studies.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Background And Aims: It is unclear whether obesity is associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease despite compelling data from basic science studies. We therefore examined the association between obesity and risk of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Methods: We conducted pooled analyses of 5 prospective cohorts with validated anthropometric measurements for body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio and other lifestyle factors. Diagnoses of CD and UC were confirmed through medical records or ascertained using validated definitions. We used Cox proportional hazards modeling to calculate pooled multivariable-adjusted HRs (aHRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Among 601,009 participants (age range, 18-98 years) with 10,110,018 person-years of follow-up, we confirmed 563 incident cases of CD and 1047 incident cases of UC. Obesity (baseline BMI ≥30 kg/m) was associated with an increased risk of CD (pooled aHR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.05-1.71, I = 0%) compared with normal BMI (18.5 to <25 kg/m). Each 5 kg/m increment in baseline BMI was associated with a 16% increase in risk of CD (pooled aHR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.05-1.22; I = 0%). Similarly, with each 5 kg/m increment in early adulthood BMI (age, 18-20 years), there was a 22% increase in risk of CD (pooled aHR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.05-1.40; I = 13.6%). An increase in waist-hip ratio was associated with an increased risk of CD that did not reach statistical significance (pooled aHR across quartiles, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.97-1.19; I = 0%). No associations were observed between measures of obesity and risk of UC.

Conclusions: In an adult population, obesity as measured by BMI was associated with an increased risk of older-onset CD but not UC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.06.049DOI Listing
July 2021

Longitudinal associations of physical activity with plasma metabolites among colorectal cancer survivors up to 2 years after treatment.

Sci Rep 2021 Jul 2;11(1):13738. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Epidemiology, GROW School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

We investigated longitudinal associations of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and light-intensity physical activity (LPA) with plasma concentrations of 138 metabolites after colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment. Self-reported physical activity data and blood samples were obtained at 6 weeks, and 6, 12 and 24 months post-treatment in stage I-III CRC survivors (n = 252). Metabolite concentrations were measured by tandem mass spectrometry (BIOCRATES AbsoluteIDQp180 kit). Linear mixed models were used to evaluate confounder-adjusted longitudinal associations. Inter-individual (between-participant differences) and intra-individual associations (within-participant changes over time) were assessed as percentage difference in metabolite concentration per 5 h/week of MVPA or LPA. At 6 weeks post-treatment, participants reported a median of 6.5 h/week of MVPA (interquartile range:2.3,13.5) and 7.5 h/week of LPA (2.0,15.8). Inter-individual associations were observed with more MVPA being related (FDR-adjusted q-value < 0.05) to higher concentrations of arginine, citrulline and histidine, eight lysophosphatidylcholines, nine diacylphosphatidylcholines, 13 acyl-alkylphosphatidylcholines, two sphingomyelins, and acylcarnitine C10:1. No intra-individual associations were found. LPA was not associated with any metabolite. More MVPA was associated with higher concentrations of several lipids and three amino acids, which have been linked to anti-inflammatory processes and improved metabolic health. Mechanistic studies are needed to investigate whether these metabolites may affect prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92279-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253824PMC
July 2021

Associations between Prediagnostic Circulating Bilirubin Levels and Risk of Gastrointestinal Cancers in the UK Biobank.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jun 1;13(11). Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), 150 Cours Albert Thomas, CEDEX 08, 69372 Lyon, France.

We investigated associations between serum levels of bilirubin, an endogenous antioxidant, and gastrointestinal cancer risk. In the UK Biobank, prediagnostic serum levels of total bilirubin were measured in blood samples collected from 440,948 participants. In multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard regression, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between bilirubin levels and gastrointestinal cancer risk (colorectum, esophagus, stomach, mouth, pancreas, and liver). After a median follow-up of 7.1 years (interquartile range: 1.4), 5033 incident gastrointestinal cancer cases were recorded. In multivariable-adjusted models, bilirubin levels were negatively associated with risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC, HR per 1-SD increment in log-total bilirubin levels 0.72, 95%CI 0.56-0.92, = 0.01). Weak and less robust negative associations were observed for colorectal cancer (CRC, HR per 1-SD increment in log-total bilirubin levels 0.95, 95%CI 0.88-1.02, = 0.14). Bilirubin levels were positively associated with risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, HR per 1-SD increment in log-total bilirubin levels 2.07, 95%CI 1.15-3.73, = 0.02) and intrahepatic bile duct (IBD) cancer (HR per 1-SD increment 1.67, 95%CI 1.07-2.62, = 0.03). We found no associations with risks of stomach, oral, and pancreatic cancers. Prediagnostic serum levels of bilirubin were negatively associated with risk of EAC and positively associated with HCC and IBD cancer. Further studies are warranted to replicate our findings for specific GI cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13112749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8198711PMC
June 2021

Circulating tryptophan metabolites and risk of colon cancer: Results from case-control and prospective cohort studies.

Int J Cancer 2021 Nov 12;149(9):1659-1669. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Dysregulation of tryptophan metabolism has been linked to colorectal tumorigenesis; however, epidemiological studies investigating tryptophan metabolites in relation to colorectal cancer risk are limited. We studied associations of plasma tryptophan, serotonin and kynurenine with colon cancer risk in two studies with cancer patients and controls, and in one prospective cohort: ColoCare Study (110 patients/153 controls), the Colorectal Cancer Study of Austria (CORSA; 46 patients/390 controls) and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC; 456 matched case-control pairs). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for colon cancer risk. Tryptophan was inversely associated with colon cancer risk in ColoCare (OR per 1-SD = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.31-0.64) and EPIC (OR per 1-SD = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-0.99). Comparing detectable vs nondetectable levels, serotonin was positively associated with colon cancer in CORSA (OR = 6.39; 95% CI, 3.61-11.3) and EPIC (OR = 2.03; 95% CI, 1.20-3.40). Kynurenine was inversely associated with colon cancer in ColoCare (OR per 1-SD = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55-0.98), positively associated in CORSA (OR per 1-SD = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.27-2.52), while no association was observed in EPIC. The kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio was positively associated with colon cancer in ColoCare (OR per 1-SD = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.03-1.84) and CORSA (OR per 1-SD = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.06-1.96), but not in EPIC. These results suggest that higher plasma tryptophan may be associated with lower colon cancer risk, while increased serotonin may be associated with a higher risk of colon cancer. The kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio may also reflect altered tryptophan catabolism during colon cancer development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8429124PMC
November 2021

Associations between dietary amino acid intakes and blood concentration levels.

Clin Nutr 2021 06 27;40(6):3772-3779. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, 69372, Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background And Aims: Emerging evidence suggests a role of amino acids (AAs) in the development of various diseases including renal failure, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and cancer. However, mechanistic pathways and the effects of dietary AA intakes on circulating levels and disease outcomes are unclear. We aimed to compare protein and AA intakes, with their respective blood concentrations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: Dietary protein and AA intakes were assessed via the EPIC dietary questionnaires (DQ) and 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR). A subsample of 3768 EPIC participants who were free of cancer had blood AA concentrations measured. To investigate how circulating levels relate to their respective intakes, dietary AA intake was examined in quintiles and ANOVA tests were run. Pearson correlations were examined for continous associations between intakes and blood concentrations.

Results: Dietary AA intakes (assessed with the DQ) and blood AA concentrations were not strongly correlated (-0.15 ≤ r ≤ 0.17) and the direction of the correlations depended on AA class: weak positive correlations were found for most essential AAs (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and conditionally essential AAs (arginine and tyrosine), while negative associations were found for non-essential AAs. Similar results were found when using the 24-HDR. When conducting ANOVA tests for essential AAs, higher intake quintiles were linked to higher blood AA concentrations, except for histidine and phenylalanine. For non-essential AAs and glycine, an inverse relationship was observed. Conditionally-essential AAs showed mixed results.

Conclusions: Weak positive correlations and dose responses were found between most essential and conditionally essential AA intakes, and blood concentrations, but not for the non-essential AAs. These results suggest that intake of dietary AA might be related to physiological AA status, particularly for the essential AAs. However, these results should be further evaluated and confirmed in large-scale prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.04.036DOI Listing
June 2021

Markers of metabolic health and gut microbiome diversity: findings from two population-based cohort studies.

Diabetologia 2021 Aug 10;64(8):1749-1759. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, International Agency for Research on Cancer-WHO, Lyon, France.

Aims/hypothesis: The gut microbiome is hypothesised to be related to insulin resistance and other metabolic variables. However, data from population-based studies are limited. We investigated associations between serologic measures of metabolic health and the gut microbiome in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966) and the TwinsUK cohort.

Methods: Among 506 individuals from the NFBC1966 with available faecal microbiome (16S rRNA gene sequence) data, we estimated associations between gut microbiome diversity metrics and serologic levels of HOMA for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), HbA and C-reactive protein (CRP) using multivariable linear regression models adjusted for sex, smoking status and BMI. Associations between gut microbiome diversity measures and HOMA-IR and CRP were replicated in 1140 adult participants from TwinsUK, with available faecal microbiome (16S rRNA gene sequence) data. For both cohorts, we used general linear models with a quasi-Poisson distribution and Microbiome Regression-based Kernel Association Test (MiRKAT) to estimate associations of metabolic variables with alpha- and beta diversity metrics, respectively, and generalised additive models for location scale and shape (GAMLSS) fitted with the zero-inflated beta distribution to identify taxa associated with the metabolic markers.

Results: In NFBC1966, alpha diversity was lower in individuals with higher HOMA-IR with a mean of 74.4 (95% CI 70.7, 78.3) amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) for the first quartile of HOMA-IR and 66.6 (95% CI 62.9, 70.4) for the fourth quartile of HOMA-IR. Alpha diversity was also lower with higher HbA (number of ASVs and Shannon's diversity, p < 0.001 and p = 0.003, respectively) and higher CRP (number of ASVs, p = 0.025), even after adjustment for BMI and other potential confounders. In TwinsUK, alpha diversity measures were also lower among participants with higher measures of HOMA-IR and CRP. When considering beta diversity measures, we found that microbial community profiles were associated with HOMA-IR in NFBC1966 and TwinsUK, using multivariate MiRKAT models, with binomial deviance dissimilarity p values of <0.001. In GAMLSS models, the relative abundances of individual genera Prevotella and Blautia were associated with HOMA-IR in both cohorts.

Conclusions/interpretation: Overall, higher levels of HOMA-IR, CRP and HbA were associated with lower microbiome diversity in both the NFBC1966 and TwinsUK cohorts, even after adjustment for BMI and other variables. These results from two distinct population-based cohorts provide evidence for an association between metabolic variables and gut microbial diversity. Further experimental and mechanistic insights are now needed to provide understanding of the potential causal mechanisms that may link the gut microbiota with metabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-021-05464-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8245388PMC
August 2021

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Aug 5;162(2):475-481. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Endometrial cancer is strongly associated with obesity and dysregulation of metabolic factors such as estrogen and insulin signaling are causal risk factors for this malignancy. To identify additional novel metabolic pathways associated with endometrial cancer we performed metabolomic analyses on pre-diagnostic plasma samples from 853 case-control pairs from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: A total of 129 metabolites (acylcarnitines, amino acids, biogenic amines, glycerophospholipids, hexoses, and sphingolipids) were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Conditional logistic regression estimated the associations of metabolites with endometrial cancer risk. An analysis focusing on clusters of metabolites using the bootstrap lasso method was also employed.

Results: After adjustment for body mass index, sphingomyelin [SM] C18:0 was positively (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.05-1.33), and glycine, serine, and free carnitine (C0) were inversely (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.80-0.99; OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-1.00 and OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.81-1.00, respectively) associated with endometrial cancer risk. Serine, C0 and two sphingomyelins were selected by the lasso method in >90% of the bootstrap samples. The ratio of esterified to free carnitine (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.02-1.28) and that of short chain to free acylcarnitines (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.00-1.25) were positively associated with endometrial cancer risk. Further adjustment for C-peptide or other endometrial cancer risk factors only minimally altered the results.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that variation in levels of glycine, serine, SM C18:0 and free carnitine may represent specific pathways linked to endometrial cancer development. If causal, these pathways may offer novel targets for endometrial cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336647PMC
August 2021

Dietary Methyl-Group Donor Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Nutrients 2021 May 28;13(6). Epub 2021 May 28.

Office of the Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer, CEDEX 08, 69372 Lyon, France.

(1) Background: Methyl-group donors (MGDs), including folate, choline, betaine, and methionine, may influence breast cancer (BC) risk through their role in one-carbon metabolism; (2) Methods: We studied the relationship between dietary intakes of MGDs and BC risk, adopting data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort; (3) Results: 318,686 pre- and postmenopausal women were followed between enrolment in 1992-2000 and December 2013-December 2015. Dietary MGD intakes were estimated at baseline through food-frequency questionnaires. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify the association between dietary intake of MGDs, measured both as a calculated score based on their sum and individually, and BC risk. Subgroup analyses were performed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, and level of alcohol intake. During a mean follow-up time of 14.1 years, 13,320 women with malignant BC were identified. No associations were found between dietary intakes of the MGD score or individual MGDs and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped relationship was observed between dietary folate intake and overall BC risk, suggesting an inverse association for intakes up to 350 µg/day compared to a reference intake of 205 µg/day. No statistically significant differences in the associations were observed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, or level of alcohol intake; (4) Conclusions: There was no strong evidence for an association between MGDs involved in one-carbon metabolism and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped trend was suggested for dietary folate intake and BC risk. Further research is needed to clarify this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13061843DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228096PMC
May 2021

The association between obesity and weight loss after bariatric surgery on the vaginal microbiota.

Microbiome 2021 05 28;9(1):124. Epub 2021 May 28.

IRDB, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction - Surgery and Cancer, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, W12 0NN, London, UK.

Background: Obesity and vaginal microbiome (VMB) dysbiosis are each risk factors for adverse reproductive and oncological health outcomes in women. Here, we investigated the relationship between obesity, vaginal bacterial composition, local inflammation and bariatric surgery.

Methods: Vaginal bacterial composition assessed by high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and local cytokine levels measured using a multiplexed Magnetic Luminex Screening Assay were compared between 67 obese and 42 non-obese women. We further assessed temporal changes in the microbiota and cytokines in a subset of 27 women who underwent bariatric surgery.

Results: The bacterial component of the vaginal microbiota in obese women was characterised by a lower prevalence of a Lactobacillus-dominant VMB and higher prevalence of a high diversity (Lactobacillus spp., and Gardnerella- spp. depleted) VMB, compared with non-obese subjects (p<0.001). Obese women had higher relative abundance of Dialister species (p<0.001), Anaerococcus vaginalis (p=0.021), and Prevotella timonensis (p=0.020) and decreased relative abundance of Lactobacillus crispatus (p=0.014). Local vaginal IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IFNγ, MIP-1α and TNFα levels were all higher among obese women, however, only IL-1β and IL-8 correlated with VMB species diversity. In a subset of obese women undergoing bariatric surgery, there were no significant overall differences in VMB following surgery; however, 75% of these women remained obese at 6 months. Prior to surgery, there was no relationship between body mass index (BMI) and VMB structure; however, post-surgery women with a Lactobacillus-dominant VMB had a significantly lower BMI than those with a high diversity VMB.

Conclusions: Obese women have a significantly different vaginal microbiota composition with increased levels of local inflammation compared to non-obese women. Bariatric surgery does not change the VMB; however, those with the greatest weight loss 6-month post-surgery are most likely to have a Lactobacillus-dominant VMB. Video abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-021-01011-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164250PMC
May 2021

Nongenetic Determinants of Risk for Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Jun 20;5(3):pkab029. Epub 2021 May 20.

Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: Incidence of early-onset (younger than 50 years of age) colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing in many countries. Thus, elucidating the role of traditional CRC risk factors in early-onset CRC is a high priority. We sought to determine whether risk factors associated with late-onset CRC were also linked to early-onset CRC and whether association patterns differed by anatomic subsite.

Methods: Using data pooled from 13 population-based studies, we studied 3767 CRC cases and 4049 controls aged younger than 50 years and 23 437 CRC cases and 35 311 controls aged 50 years and older. Using multivariable and multinomial logistic regression, we estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the association between risk factors and early-onset CRC and by anatomic subsite.

Results: Early-onset CRC was associated with not regularly using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.21 to 1.68), greater red meat intake (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.16), lower educational attainment (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.16), alcohol abstinence (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.08 to 1.39), and heavier alcohol use (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.50). No factors exhibited a greater excess in early-onset compared with late-onset CRC. Evaluating risks by anatomic subsite, we found that lower total fiber intake was linked more strongly to rectal (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.48) than colon cancer (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.27;  = .04).

Conclusion: In this large study, we identified several nongenetic risk factors associated with early-onset CRC, providing a basis for targeted identification of those most at risk, which is imperative in mitigating the rising burden of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8134523PMC
June 2021

The association between meat and fish consumption and bladder cancer risk: a pooled analysis of 11 cohort studies.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Aug 25;36(8):781-792. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Complex Genetics and Epidemiology, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, Universiteitssingel40 (RoomC5.570), 6229 ER, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Evidence on the effects of meat consumption from different sources on the risk of bladder cancer (BC) is limited and controversial. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the associations between meat consumption and BC risk using a pooled data approach. Individual data from 11 prospective cohorts comprising 2848 BC cases and 515,697 non-cases with a total of 5,498,025 person-years of follow-up was pooled and analysed to investigate the potential associations between total red meat and products, red meat, processed meat, poultry and total fish and BC risk. Hazard ratios (HRs), with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs), were estimated using Cox regression models stratified on cohort. Overall, an increased BC risk was found for high intake of organ meat (HR comparing highest with lowest tertile: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.36, p-trend = 0.03). On the contrary, a marginally inverse association was observed for total fish intake and BC risk among men (HR comparing highest with lowest tertile: 0.79, 95% CI 0.65, 0.97, p-trend = 0.04). No associations were observed for other meat sources. Results of this prospective study suggest that organ meat consumption may be associated with BC development. Replication in large-scale prospective studies and investigation of possible causal mechanisms is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00762-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416827PMC
August 2021

Are sugar-sweetened beverages contributing to the rising occurrence of colorectal cancer in young adults?

Gut 2021 May 20. Epub 2021 May 20.

Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2021-324614DOI Listing
May 2021

Novel Biomarkers of Habitual Alcohol Intake and Associations with Risk of Pancreatic and Liver Cancers and Liver Disease Mortality.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: Alcohol is an established risk factor for several cancers, but modest alcohol-cancer associations may be missed due to measurement error in self-reported assessments. Biomarkers of habitual alcohol intake may provide novel insight into the relationship between alcohol and cancer risk.

Methods: Untargeted metabolomics was used to identify metabolites correlated with self-reported habitual alcohol intake in a discovery dataset from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC; n = 454). Statistically significant correlations were tested in independent datasets of controls from case-control studies nested within EPIC (n = 280) and the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC; n = 438) study. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations of alcohol-associated metabolites and self-reported alcohol intake with risk of pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer, and liver disease mortality in the contributing studies.

Results: Two metabolites displayed a dose-response association with self-reported alcohol intake 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid and an unidentified compound. A 1-SD (log2) increase in levels of 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid was associated with risk of HCC (OR = 2.54; 95% CI = 1.51-4.27) and pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.03-1.99) in EPIC and liver cancer (OR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.44-2.77) and liver disease mortality (OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.63-2.86) in ATBC. Conversely, a 1-SD (log2) increase in questionnaire-derived alcohol intake was not associated with HCC or pancreatic cancer in EPIC or liver cancer in ATBC but was associated with liver disease mortality (OR = 2.19; 95% CI = 1.60-2.98) in ATBC.

Conclusions: 2-Hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid is a candidate biomarker of habitual alcohol intake that may advance the study of alcohol and cancer risk in population-based studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab078DOI Listing
May 2021

Adherence to cancer prevention recommendations is associated with a lower breast cancer risk in black urban South African women.

Br J Nutr 2021 May 14:1-12. Epub 2021 May 14.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon, France.

Breast cancer prevention is of great importance to reduce high incidence in South Africa. This study aimed to investigate adherence to the 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) Cancer Prevention Recommendations and the association with breast cancer risk in black urban women from Soweto, South Africa. A total of 396 breast cancer cases and 396 population-based controls from the South African Breast Cancer study (SABC) matched on age and demographic settings were included. Validated questionnaires were used to collect dietary and epidemiological data. To assess adherence to these recommendations, an eight-point adherence score was developed, using tertiles among controls for scoring each recommendation (0, 0·5 and 1) with zero indicating the lowest adherence to the recommendations. OR and 95 % CI were estimated using multivariate logistic regression models to analyse associations between the WCRF/AICR score and breast cancer risk. Greater adherence (>4·5 v. <3·25) to the 2018 WCRF/AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations was associated with a significant inverse association with breast cancer risk overall (OR = 0·54, 95 % CI 0·35, 0·91) and specifically in postmenopausal women (OR = 0·55, 95 % CI 0·34, 0·95), in cases with oestrogen positive and progesterone positive breast cancer subtypes (OR = 0·54, 95 % CI 0·39, 0·89 and OR = 0·68, 95 % CI 0·43, 0·89, respectively) and in obese women (OR = 0·52, 95 % CI 0·35, 0·81). No significant association with breast cancer risk was observed in premenopausal women. Greater adherence to the 2018 WCRF/AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations may reduce breast cancer risk in this black urban population of Soweto. Adherence thereof should be encouraged and form a part of cost-effective breast cancer prevention guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114521001598DOI Listing
May 2021

Genetically Predicted Circulating C-Reactive Protein Concentration and Colorectal Cancer Survival: A Mendelian Randomization Consortium Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jul 10;30(7):1349-1358. Epub 2021 May 10.

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

Background: A positive association between circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) and colorectal cancer survival was reported in observational studies, which are susceptible to unmeasured confounding and reverse causality. We used a Mendelian randomization approach to evaluate the association between genetically predicted CRP concentrations and colorectal cancer-specific survival.

Methods: We used individual-level data for 16,918 eligible colorectal cancer cases of European ancestry from 15 studies within the International Survival Analysis of Colorectal Cancer Consortium. We calculated a genetic-risk score based on 52 CRP-associated genetic variants identified from genome-wide association studies. Because of the non-collapsibility of hazard ratios from Cox proportional hazards models, we used the additive hazards model to calculate hazard differences (HD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between genetically predicted CRP concentrations and colorectal cancer-specific survival, overall and by stage at diagnosis and tumor location. Analyses were adjusted for age at diagnosis, sex, body mass index, genotyping platform, study, and principal components.

Results: Of the 5,395 (32%) deaths accrued over up to 10 years of follow-up, 3,808 (23%) were due to colorectal cancer. Genetically predicted CRP concentration was not associated with colorectal cancer-specific survival (HD, -1.15; 95% CI, -2.76 to 0.47 per 100,000 person-years; = 0.16). Similarly, no associations were observed in subgroup analyses by stage at diagnosis or tumor location.

Conclusions: Despite adequate power to detect moderate associations, our results did not support a causal effect of circulating CRP concentrations on colorectal cancer-specific survival.

Impact: Future research evaluating genetically determined levels of other circulating inflammatory biomarkers (i.e., IL6) with colorectal cancer survival outcomes is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1848DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254760PMC
July 2021

Metabolic signatures of greater body size and their associations with risk of colorectal and endometrial cancers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

BMC Med 2021 04 30;19(1):101. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

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

Background: The mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer relationship are incompletely understood. This study aimed to characterise metabolic signatures of greater body size and to investigate their association with two obesity-related malignancies, endometrial and colorectal cancers, and with weight loss within the context of an intervention study.

Methods: Targeted mass spectrometry metabolomics data from 4326 participants enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort and 17 individuals from a single-arm pilot weight loss intervention (Intercept) were used in this analysis. Metabolic signatures of body size were first determined in discovery (N = 3029) and replication (N = 1297) sets among EPIC participants by testing the associations between 129 metabolites and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) using linear regression models followed by partial least squares analyses. Conditional logistic regression models assessed the associations between the metabolic signatures with endometrial (N = 635 cases and 648 controls) and colorectal (N = 423 cases and 423 controls) cancer risk using nested case-control studies in EPIC. Pearson correlation between changes in the metabolic signatures and weight loss was tested among Intercept participants.

Results: After adjustment for multiple comparisons, greater BMI, WC, and WHR were associated with higher levels of valine, isoleucine, glutamate, PC aa C38:3, and PC aa C38:4 and with lower levels of asparagine, glutamine, glycine, serine, lysoPC C17:0, lysoPC C18:1, lysoPC C18:2, PC aa C42:0, PC ae C34:3, PC ae C40:5, and PC ae C42:5. The metabolic signature of BMI (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.30-1.74), WC (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.27-1.69), and WHR (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.33-1.79) were each associated with endometrial cancer risk. Risk of colorectal cancer was positively associated with the metabolic signature of WHR (OR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.07-1.49). In the Intercept study, a positive correlation was observed between weight loss and changes in the metabolic signatures of BMI (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.06-0.94, p = 0.03), WC (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.05-0.94, p = 0.03), and WHR (r = 0.6, 95% CI 0.32-0.87, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Obesity is associated with a distinct metabolic signature comprising changes in levels of specific amino acids and lipids which is positively associated with both colorectal and endometrial cancer and is potentially reversible following weight loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01970-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086283PMC
April 2021

Dietary intake and plasma phospholipid concentrations of saturated, monounsaturated and trans fatty acids and colorectal cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Epidemiologic studies examining the association between specific fatty acids and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk are inconclusive. We investigated the association between dietary estimates and plasma levels of individual and total saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), industrial-processed trans (iTFA), and ruminant-sourced trans (rTFA) fatty acids, and CRC risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Baseline fatty acid intakes were estimated in 450 112 participants (6162 developed CRC, median follow-up = 15 years). In a nested case-control study, plasma phospholipid fatty acids were determined by gas chromatography in 433 colon cancer cases and 433 matched controls. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using Cox and conditional logistic regression, respectively. Dietary total SFA (highest vs lowest quintile, HR  = 0.80; 95%CI:0.69-0.92), myristic acid (HR  = 0.83, 95%CI:0.74-0.93) and palmitic acid (HR  = 0.81, 95%CI:0.70-0.93) were inversely associated with CRC risk. Plasma myristic acid was also inversely associated with colon cancer risk (highest vs lowest quartile, OR  = 0.51; 95%CI:0.32-0.83), whereas a borderline positive association was found for plasma stearic acid (OR  = 1.63; 95%CI:1.00-2.64). Dietary total MUFA was inversely associated with colon cancer (per 1-SD increment, HR  = 0.92, 95%CI: 0.85-0.98), but not rectal cancer (HR  = 1.04, 95%CI:0.95-1.15, P  = 0.027). Dietary iTFA, and particularly elaidic acid, was positively associated with rectal cancer (HR  = 1.07, 95%CI:1.02-1.13). Our results suggest that total and individual saturated fatty acids and fatty acids of industrial origin may be relevant to the aetiology of CRC. Both dietary and plasma myristic acid levels were inversely associated with colon cancer risk, which warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33615DOI Listing
April 2021

A Prospective Diet-Wide Association Study for Risk of Colorectal Cancer in EPIC.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Apr 24. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Epidemiology and Prevention Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background & Aims: Evidence regarding the association of dietary exposures with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk is not consistent with a few exceptions. Therefore, we conducted a diet-wide association study (DWAS) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) to evaluate the associations between several dietary exposures with CRC risk.

Methods: The association of 92 food and nutrient intakes with CRC risk was assessed in 386,792 participants, 5069 of whom developed incident CRC. Correction for multiple comparisons was performed using the false discovery rate, and emerging associations were examined in the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS). Multiplicative gene-nutrient interactions were also tested in EPIC based on known CRC-associated loci.

Results: In EPIC, alcohol, liquor/spirits, wine, beer/cider, soft drinks, and pork were positively associated with CRC, whereas milk, cheese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, beta carotene, fruit, fiber, nonwhite bread, banana, and total protein intakes were inversely associated. Of these 20 associations, 13 were replicated in the NLCS, for which a meta-analysis was performed, namely alcohol (summary hazard ratio [HR] per 1-SD increment in intake: 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.09), liquor/spirits (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06), wine (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07), beer/cider (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.08), milk (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), cheese (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), calcium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95), phosphorus (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90-0.95), magnesium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.98), potassium (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), riboflavin (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97), beta carotene (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), and total protein (HR per 1-SD increment in intake, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97). None of the gene-nutrient interactions were significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm a positive association for alcohol and an inverse association for dairy products and calcium with CRC risk, and also suggest a lower risk at higher dietary intakes of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, beta carotene, and total protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.04.028DOI Listing
April 2021

Circulating Levels of Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Observational and Mendelian Randomization Analyses.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jul 20;30(7):1336-1348. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Section of Nutrition and Metabolism, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: Epidemiologic studies evaluating associations between sex steroid hormones and colorectal cancer risk have yielded inconsistent results. To elucidate the role of circulating levels of testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in colorectal cancer risk, we conducted observational and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses.

Methods: The observational analyses included 333,530 participants enrolled in the UK Biobank with testosterone and SHBG measured. HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. For MR analyses, genetic variants robustly associated with hormone levels were identified and their association with colorectal cancer (42,866 cases/42,752 controls) was examined using two-sample MR.

Results: In the observational analysis, there was little evidence that circulating levels of total testosterone were associated with colorectal cancer risk; the MR analyses showed a greater risk for women (OR per 1-SD = 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01-1.17), although pleiotropy may have biased this result. Higher SHBG concentrations were associated with greater colorectal cancer risk for women (HR per 1-SD = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.05-1.29), but was unsupported by the MR analysis. There was little evidence of associations between free testosterone and colorectal cancer in observational and MR analyses.

Conclusions: Circulating concentrations of sex hormones are unlikely to be causally associated with colorectal cancer. Additional experimental studies are required to better understand the possible role of androgens in colorectal cancer development.

Impact: Our results from large-scale analyses provide little evidence for sex hormone pathways playing a causal role in colorectal cancer development..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1690DOI Listing
July 2021

Association of the Age at Menarche with Site-Specific Cancer Risks in Pooled Data from Nine Cohorts.

Cancer Res 2021 04 5;81(8):2246-2255. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

The average age at menarche declined in European and U.S. populations during the 19th and 20th centuries. The timing of pubertal events may have broad implications for chronic disease risks in aging women. Here we tested for associations of recalled menarcheal age with risks of 19 cancers in 536,450 women [median age, 60 years (range, 31-39 years)] in nine prospective U.S. and European cohorts that enrolled participants from 1981 to 1998. Cox regression estimated multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations of the age at menarche with risk of each cancer in each cohort and random-effects meta-analysis was used to generate summary estimates for each cancer. Over a median 10 years of follow-up, 60,968 women were diagnosed with a first primary incident cancer. Inverse linear associations were observed for seven of 19 cancers studied. Each additional year in the age at menarche was associated with reduced risks of endometrial cancer (HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.89-0.94), liver cancer (HR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85-0.99), melanoma (HR = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), bladder cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99), and cancers of the colon (HR = 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), lung (HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), and breast (HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99). All but one of these associations remained statistically significant following adjustment for baseline body mass index. Similarities in the observed associations between menarche and seven cancers suggest shared underlying causes rooted early in life. We propose as a testable hypothesis that early exposure to sex hormones increases mid-life cancer risks by altering functional capacities of stem cells with roles in systemic energy balance and tissue homeostasis. SIGNIFICANCE: Age at menarche is associated with risk for seven cancers in middle-aged women, and understanding the shared underlying causal pathways across these cancers may suggest new avenues for cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-3093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137527PMC
April 2021

Dietary intake of trans fatty acids and breast cancer risk in 9 European countries.

BMC Med 2021 03 30;19(1):81. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Clinical Sciences Lund, Oncology, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Background: Trans fatty acids (TFAs) have been hypothesised to influence breast cancer risk. However, relatively few prospective studies have examined this relationship, and well-powered analyses according to hormone receptor-defined molecular subtypes, menopausal status, and body size have rarely been conducted.

Methods: In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), we investigated the associations between dietary intakes of TFAs (industrial trans fatty acids [ITFAs] and ruminant trans fatty acids [RTFAs]) and breast cancer risk among 318,607 women. Multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for other breast cancer risk factors.

Results: After a median follow-up of 8.1 years, 13,241 breast cancer cases occurred. In the multivariable-adjusted model, higher total ITFA intake was associated with elevated breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.23; P trend = 0.001). A similar positive association was found between intake of elaidic acid, the predominant ITFA, and breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.23; P trend = 0.001). Intake of total RTFAs was also associated with higher breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.17; P trend = 0.015). For individual RTFAs, we found positive associations with breast cancer risk for dietary intakes of two strongly correlated fatty acids (Spearman correlation r = 0.77), conjugated linoleic acid (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.11, 95% CI 1.03-1.20; P trend = 0.001) and palmitelaidic acid (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.08, 95% CI 1.01-1.16; P trend = 0.028). Similar associations were found for total ITFAs and RTFAs with breast cancer risk according to menopausal status, body mass index, and breast cancer subtypes.

Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that higher dietary intakes of ITFAs, in particular elaidic acid, are associated with elevated breast cancer risk. Due to the high correlation between conjugated linoleic acid and palmitelaidic acid, we were unable to disentangle the positive associations found for these fatty acids with breast cancer risk. Further mechanistic studies are needed to identify biological pathways that may underlie these associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01952-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008592PMC
March 2021

Plasma concentrations of advanced glycation end-products and colorectal cancer risk in the EPIC study.

Carcinogenesis 2021 05;42(5):705-713

Office of the Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France.

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are a heterogeneous group of compounds formed by the non-enzymatic reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars, or dicarbonyls as intermediate compounds. Experimental studies suggest that AGEs may promote colorectal cancer, but prospective epidemiologic studies are inconclusive. We conducted a case-control study nested within a large European cohort. Plasma concentrations of three protein-bound AGEs-Nε-(carboxy-methyl)lysine (CML), Nε-(carboxy-ethyl)lysine (CEL) and Nδ-(5-hydro-5-methyl-4-imidazolon-2-yl)-ornithine (MG-H1)-were measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in baseline samples collected from 1378 incident primary colorectal cancer cases and 1378 matched controls. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using conditional logistic regression for colorectal cancer risk associated with CML, CEL, MG-H1, total AGEs, and [CEL+MG-H1: CML] and [CEL:MG-H1] ratios. Inverse colorectal cancer risk associations were observed for CML (OR comparing highest to lowest quintile, ORQ5 versus Q1 = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.27-0.59), MG-H1 (ORQ5 versus Q1 = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.53-1.00) and total AGEs (OR Q5 versus Q1 = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.37-0.73), whereas no association was observed for CEL. A higher [CEL+MG-H1: CML] ratio was associated with colorectal cancer risk (ORQ5 versus Q1 = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.31-2.79). The associations observed did not differ by sex, or by tumour anatomical sub-site. Although individual AGEs concentrations appear to be inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk, a higher ratio of methylglyoxal-derived AGEs versus those derived from glyoxal (calculated by [CEL+MG-H1: CML] ratio) showed a strong positive risk association. Further insight on the metabolism of AGEs and their dicarbonyls precursors, and their roles in colorectal cancer development is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgab026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8162627PMC
May 2021
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