Publications by authors named "Maria Teresa Landi"

223 Publications

Cell-type-specific meQTLs extend melanoma GWAS annotation beyond eQTLs and inform melanocyte gene-regulatory mechanisms.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Although expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) have been powerful in identifying susceptibility genes from genome-wide association study (GWAS) findings, most trait-associated loci are not explained by eQTLs alone. Alternative QTLs, including DNA methylation QTLs (meQTLs), are emerging, but cell-type-specific meQTLs using cells of disease origin have been lacking. Here, we established an meQTL dataset by using primary melanocytes from 106 individuals and identified 1,497,502 significant cis-meQTLs. Multi-QTL colocalization with meQTLs, eQTLs, and mRNA splice-junction QTLs from the same individuals together with imputed methylome-wide and transcriptome-wide association studies identified candidate susceptibility genes at 63% of melanoma GWAS loci. Among the three molecular QTLs, meQTLs were the single largest contributor. To compare melanocyte meQTLs with those from malignant melanomas, we performed meQTL analysis on skin cutaneous melanomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 444). A substantial proportion of meQTL probes (45.9%) in primary melanocytes is preserved in melanomas, while a smaller fraction of eQTL genes is preserved (12.7%). Integration of melanocyte multi-QTLs and melanoma meQTLs identified candidate susceptibility genes at 72% of melanoma GWAS loci. Beyond GWAS annotation, meQTL-eQTL colocalization in melanocytes suggested that 841 unique genes potentially share a causal variant with a nearby methylation probe in melanocytes. Finally, melanocyte trans-meQTLs identified a hotspot for rs12203592, a cis-eQTL of a transcription factor, IRF4, with 131 candidate target CpGs. Motif enrichment and IRF4 ChIP-seq analysis demonstrated that these target CpGs are enriched in IRF4 binding sites, suggesting an IRF4-mediated regulatory network. Our study highlights the utility of cell-type-specific meQTLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.06.018DOI Listing
July 2021

Novel MAPK/AKT-impairing germline NRAS variant identified in a melanoma-prone family.

Fam Cancer 2021 Jul 3. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 9609 Medical Center Drive, EPS 7106, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

While several high-penetrance melanoma risk genes are known, variation in these genes fail to explain melanoma susceptibility in a large proportion of high-risk families. As part of a melanoma family sequencing study, including 435 families from Mediterranean populations we identified a novel NRAS variant (c.170A > C, p.D57A) in an Italian melanoma-prone family. This variant is absent in exomes in gnomAD, ESP, UKBiobank, and the 1000 Genomes Project, as well as in 11,273 Mediterranean individuals and 109 melanoma-prone families from the US and Australia. This variant occurs in the GTP-binding pocket of NRAS. Differently from other RAS activating alterations, NRAS D57A expression is unable to activate MAPK-pathway both constitutively and after stimulation but enhances EGF-induced PI3K-pathway signaling in serum starved conditions in vitro. Consistent with in vitro data demonstrating that NRAS D57A does not enrich GTP binding, molecular modeling suggests that the D57A substitution would be expected to impair Mg2 + binding and decrease nucleotide-binding and GTPase activity of NRAS. While we cannot firmly establish NRAS c.170A > C (p.D57A) as a melanoma susceptibility variant, further investigation of NRAS as a familial melanoma gene is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-021-00267-9DOI Listing
July 2021

Application of two job indices for general occupational demands in a pooled analysis of case-control studies on lung cancer.

Scand J Work Environ Health 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Jan Hovanec, IPA, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789 Bochum, Germany.

Objectives: We investigated general job demands as a risk factor for lung cancer as well as their role in the association between occupational prestige and lung cancer.

Methods: In 13 case-control studies on lung cancer, as part of the international SYNERGY project, we applied indices for physical (PHI) and psychosocial (PSI) job demands - each with four categories (high to low). We estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for lung cancer by unconditional logistic regression, separately for men and women and adjusted for study centre, age, smoking behavior, and former employment in occupations with potential exposure to carcinogens. Further, we investigated, whether higher risks among men with low occupational prestige (Treiman's Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale) were affected by adjustment for the job indices.

Results: In 30 355 men and 7371 women, we found increased risks (OR) for lung cancer with high relative to low job demands in both men [PHI 1.74 (95% CI 1.56-1.93), PSI 1.33 (95% CI 1.17-1.51)] and women [PHI 1.62 (95% CI 1.24-2.11), PSI 1.31 (95% CI 1.09-1.56)]. OR for lung cancer among men with low occupational prestige were slightly reduced when adjusting for PHI [low versus high prestige OR from 1.44 (95% CI 1.32-1.58) to 1.30 (95% CI 1.17-1.45)], but not PSI.

Conclusions: Higher physical job demands were associated with increased risks of lung cancer, while associations for higher psychosocial demands were less strong. In contrast to physical demands, psychosocial demands did not contribute to clarify the association of occupational prestige and lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3967DOI Listing
May 2021

A Robust Test for Additive Gene-Environment Interaction Under the Trend Effect of Genotype Using an Empirical Bayes-Type Shrinkage Estimator.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 May 2. Epub 2021 May 2.

Quantitative Sciences Unit, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Evaluating gene by environment (G$\times$E) interaction under an additive risk model (i.e. additive interaction) has gained wider attention. Recently, statistical tests have been proposed for detecting additive interaction that utilize an assumption on G-E independence to boost power, which do not rely on restrictive genetic models such as dominant or recessive models. However, a major limitation of these methods is a sharp increase in type I error when this assumption is violated. Our goal is to develop a robust test for additive G$\times$E interaction under the trend effect of genotype, applying an empirical Bayes-type shrinkage estimator of the relative excess risk due to interaction. The proposed method uses a set of constraints to impose the trend effect of genotype and builds an estimator that data-adaptively shrinks a RERI estimator obtained under a general model for G-E dependence using a retrospective likelihood framework. Numerical study under varying levels of departures from G-E independence shows that the proposed method is robust against the violation of the independence assumption while providing an adequate balance between bias and efficiency compared to existing methods. We applied the proposed method to the genetic data of Alzheimer's disease and lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab124DOI Listing
May 2021

Tracing Lung Cancer Risk Factors Through Mutational Signatures in Never-Smokers.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 06;190(6):962-976

Epidemiologic studies often rely on questionnaire data, exposure measurement tools, and/or biomarkers to identify risk factors and the underlying carcinogenic processes. An emerging and promising complementary approach to investigate cancer etiology is the study of somatic "mutational signatures" that endogenous and exogenous processes imprint on the cellular genome. These signatures can be identified from a complex web of somatic mutations thanks to advances in DNA sequencing technology and analytical algorithms. This approach is at the core of the Sherlock-Lung study (2018-ongoing), a retrospective case-only study of over 2,000 lung cancers in never-smokers (LCINS), using different patterns of mutations observed within LCINS tumors to trace back possible exposures or endogenous processes. Whole genome and transcriptome sequencing, genome-wide methylation, microbiome, and other analyses are integrated with data from histological and radiological imaging, lifestyle, demographic characteristics, environmental and occupational exposures, and medical records to classify LCINS into subtypes that could reveal distinct risk factors. To date, we have received samples and data from 1,370 LCINS cases from 17 study sites worldwide and whole-genome sequencing has been completed on 1,257 samples. Here, we present the Sherlock-Lung study design and analytical strategy, also illustrating some empirical challenges and the potential for this approach in future epidemiologic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa234DOI Listing
June 2021

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies pleiotropic risk loci for aerodigestive squamous cell cancers.

PLoS Genet 2021 03 5;17(3):e1009254. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

University of Salzburg, Department of Biosciences and Cancer Cluster Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.

Squamous cell carcinomas (SqCC) of the aerodigestive tract have similar etiological risk factors. Although genetic risk variants for individual cancers have been identified, an agnostic, genome-wide search for shared genetic susceptibility has not been performed. To identify novel and pleotropic SqCC risk variants, we performed a meta-analysis of GWAS data on lung SqCC (LuSqCC), oro/pharyngeal SqCC (OSqCC), laryngeal SqCC (LaSqCC) and esophageal SqCC (ESqCC) cancers, totaling 13,887 cases and 61,961 controls of European ancestry. We identified one novel genome-wide significant (Pmeta<5x10-8) aerodigestive SqCC susceptibility loci in the 2q33.1 region (rs56321285, TMEM273). Additionally, three previously unknown loci reached suggestive significance (Pmeta<5x10-7): 1q32.1 (rs12133735, near MDM4), 5q31.2 (rs13181561, TMEM173) and 19p13.11 (rs61494113, ABHD8). Multiple previously identified loci for aerodigestive SqCC also showed evidence of pleiotropy in at least another SqCC site, these include: 4q23 (ADH1B), 6p21.33 (STK19), 6p21.32 (HLA-DQB1), 9p21.33 (CDKN2B-AS1) and 13q13.1(BRCA2). Gene-based association and gene set enrichment identified a set of 48 SqCC-related genes rel to DNA damage and epigenetic regulation pathways. Our study highlights the importance of cross-cancer analyses to identify pleiotropic risk loci of histology-related cancers arising at distinct anatomical sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968735PMC
March 2021

Assessing Lung Cancer Absolute Risk Trajectory Based on a Polygenic Risk Model.

Cancer Res 2021 03 20;81(6):1607-1615. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Baylor Medical College, Houston, Texas.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death globally. An improved risk stratification strategy can increase efficiency of low-dose CT (LDCT) screening. Here we assessed whether individual's genetic background has clinical utility for risk stratification in the context of LDCT screening. On the basis of 13,119 patients with lung cancer and 10,008 controls with European ancestry in the International Lung Cancer Consortium, we constructed a polygenic risk score (PRS) via 10-fold cross-validation with regularized penalized regression. The performance of risk model integrating PRS, including calibration and ability to discriminate, was assessed using UK Biobank data ( = 335,931). Absolute risk was estimated on the basis of age-specific lung cancer incidence and all-cause mortality as competing risk. To evaluate its potential clinical utility, the PRS distribution was simulated in the National Lung Screening Trial ( = 50,772 participants). The lung cancer ORs for individuals at the top decile of the PRS distribution versus those at bottom 10% was 2.39 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.92-3.00; = 1.80 × 10] in the validation set ( = 5.26 × 10). The OR per SD of PRS increase was 1.26 (95% CI = 1.20-1.32; = 9.69 × 10) for overall lung cancer risk in the validation set. When considering absolute risks, individuals at different PRS deciles showed differential trajectories of 5-year and cumulative absolute risk. The age reaching the LDCT screening recommendation threshold can vary by 4 to 8 years, depending on the individual's genetic background, smoking status, and family history. Collectively, these results suggest that individual's genetic background may inform the optimal lung cancer LDCT screening strategy. SIGNIFICANCE: Three large-scale datasets reveal that, after accounting for risk factors, an individual's genetics can affect their lung cancer risk trajectory, thus may inform the optimal timing for LDCT screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7969419PMC
March 2021

Sub-multiplicative interaction between polygenic risk score and household coal use in relation to lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking women in Asia.

Environ Int 2021 02 29;147:105975. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

We previously identified 10 lung adenocarcinoma susceptibility loci in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted in the Female Lung Cancer Consortium in Asia (FLCCA), the largest genomic study of lung cancer among never-smoking women to date. Furthermore, household coal use for cooking and heating has been linked to lung cancer in Asia, especially in Xuanwei, China. We investigated the potential interaction between genetic susceptibility and coal use in FLCCA. We analyzed GWAS-data from Taiwan, Shanghai, and Shenyang (1472 cases; 1497 controls), as well as a separate study conducted in Xuanwei (152 cases; 522 controls) for additional analyses. We summarized genetic susceptibility using a polygenic risk score (PRS), which was the weighted sum of the risk-alleles from the 10 previously identified loci. We estimated associations between a PRS, coal use (ever/never), and lung adenocarcinoma with multivariable logistic regression models, and evaluated potential gene-environment interactions using likelihood ratio tests. There was a strong association between continuous PRS and lung adenocarcinoma among never coal users (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.69 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.53, 1.87), p=1 × 10). This effect was attenuated among ever coal users (OR = 1.24 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.50), p = 0.02, p-interaction = 6 × 10). We observed similar attenuation among coal users from Xuanwei. Our study provides evidence that genetic susceptibility to lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking Asian women is weaker among coal users. These results suggest that lung cancer pathogenesis may differ, at least partially, depending on exposure to coal combustion products. Notably, these novel findings are among the few instances of sub-multiplicative gene-environment interactions in the cancer literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.105975DOI Listing
February 2021

A multifactorial score including autophagy for prognosis and care of COVID-19 patients.

Autophagy 2020 12 29;16(12):2276-2281. Epub 2020 Nov 29.

Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, INSERM, IRCAN, FHU-OncoAge, Centre Antoine Lacassagne , Nice, France.

In less than eleven months, the world was brought to a halt by the COVID-19 outbreak. With hospitals becoming overwhelmed, one of the highest priorities concerned critical care triage to ration the scarce resources of intensive care units. Which patient should be treated first? Based on what clinical and biological criteria? A global joint effort rapidly led to sequencing the genomes of tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients to determine the patients' genetic signature that causes them to be at risk of suddenly developing severe disease. In this commentary, we would like to consider some points concerning the use of a multifactorial risk score for COVID-19 severity. This score includes macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy), a critical host process that controls all steps harnessed by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. ATG5: autophagy related 5; BECN1: beclin 1; COVID-19: coronavirus infectious disease-2019; EGR1: early growth response 1; ER: endoplasmic reticulum; DMVs: double-membrane vesicles; IBV: infectious bronchitis virus; MAP1LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; LC3-I: proteolytically processed, non-lipidated MAP1LC3; LC3-II: lipidated MAP1LC3; MEFs: mouse embryonic fibroblasts; MERS-CoV: Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus; MHV: mouse hepatitis virus; NSP: non-structural protein; PEDV: porcine epidemic diarrhea virus; PLP2-TM: membrane-associated papain-like protease 2; SARS-CoV-2: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; TGEV: transmissible gastroenteritis virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1844433DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7751655PMC
December 2020

Assessment of HER2 Protein Overexpression and Gene Amplification in Renal Collecting Duct Carcinoma: Therapeutic Implication.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Nov 12;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy.

Collecting duct carcinoma (CDC) is rare and aggressive histology of kidney cancers. Although different therapeutic approaches have been tested, the 2-year survival remains very poor. Since CDC exhibits overlapping features with urothelial carcinoma, the analysis of shared molecular alterations could provide new insights into the understanding of this rare disease and also therapeutic options. We collected 26 CDC cases, and we assessed HER2 protein expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and gene amplification by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) according to 2018 ASCO/CAP HER2-testing recommendations. Six out of twenty-six (23%) tumors showed HER2 positive staining. In particular, 3+ score was present in 2/6 cases (33%), 2+ in 3/6 cases (50%) and 1+ in 1/6 cases (17%). The 6 HER2+ tumors were also analyzed by FISH to assess gene copy number. One out of six CDC with IHC 3+ was also HER2 amplified, showing an average HER2 copy number ≥4.0 (10.85) and a HER2/CEP17 ratio ≥ (5.63), while the 5/6 cases were HER2 negative. Based on the 2018 ASCO/CAP guidelines overall, 2/26 CDC cases (8%) were HER2+. The present study provides evidence for testing, in future studies, HER2 to assess its clinical value as a novel target for the treatment of this highly malignant cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113345DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7697829PMC
November 2020

Lung cancer risk in painters: results from the SYNERGY pooled case-control study consortium.

Occup Environ Med 2021 04 28;78(4):269-278. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Stony Brook Cancer Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.

Objectives: We evaluated the risk of lung cancer associated with ever working as a painter, duration of employment and type of painter by histological subtype as well as joint effects with smoking, within the SYNERGY project.

Methods: Data were pooled from 16 participating case-control studies conducted internationally. Detailed individual occupational and smoking histories were available for 19 369 lung cancer cases (684 ever employed as painters) and 23 674 age-matched and sex-matched controls (532 painters). Multivariable unconditional logistic regression models were adjusted for age, sex, centre, cigarette pack-years, time-since-smoking cessation and lifetime work in other jobs that entailed exposure to lung carcinogens.

Results: Ever having worked as a painter was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in men (OR 1.30; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.50). The association was strongest for construction and repair painters and the risk was elevated for all histological subtypes, although more evident for small cell and squamous cell lung cancer than for adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. There was evidence of interaction on the additive scale between smoking and employment as a painter (relative excess risk due to interaction >0).

Conclusions: Our results by type/industry of painter may aid future identification of causative agents or exposure scenarios to develop evidence-based practices for reducing harmful exposures in painters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2020-106770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7958079PMC
April 2021

Causal relationships between body mass index, smoking and lung cancer: Univariable and multivariable Mendelian randomization.

Int J Cancer 2021 03 23;148(5):1077-1086. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

The National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Norway.

At the time of cancer diagnosis, body mass index (BMI) is inversely correlated with lung cancer risk, which may reflect reverse causality and confounding due to smoking behavior. We used two-sample univariable and multivariable Mendelian randomization (MR) to estimate causal relationships of BMI and smoking behaviors on lung cancer and histological subtypes based on an aggregated genome-wide association studies (GWASs) analysis of lung cancer in 29 266 cases and 56 450 controls. We observed a positive causal effect for high BMI on occurrence of small-cell lung cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.24-2.06, P = 2.70 × 10 ). After adjustment of smoking behaviors using multivariable Mendelian randomization (MVMR), a direct causal effect on small cell lung cancer (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.06-1.55, P = .011), and an inverse effect on lung adenocarcinoma (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.77-0.96, P = .008) were observed. A weak increased risk of lung squamous cell carcinoma was observed for higher BMI in univariable Mendelian randomization (UVMR) analysis (OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.01-1.40, P = .036), but this effect disappeared after adjustment of smoking (OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.90-1.16, P = .746). These results highlight the histology-specific impact of BMI on lung carcinogenesis and imply mediator role of smoking behaviors in the association between BMI and lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7845289PMC
March 2021

MC1R variants and cutaneous melanoma risk according to histological type, body site, and Breslow thickness: a pooled analysis from the M-SKIP project.

Melanoma Res 2020 10;30(5):500-510

Departments of Dermatology.

Little is known on whether melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) associated cutaneous melanoma (CM) risk varies depending on histological subtype and body site, and whether tumour thickness at diagnosis (the most important prognostic factor for CM patients) differs between MC1R variant carriers and wild-type individuals. We studied the association between MC1R variants and CM risk by histological subtype, body site, and Breslow thickness, using the database of the M-SKIP project. We pooled individual data from 15 case-control studies conducted during 2005-2015 in Europe and the USA. Study-specific, multi-adjusted odds ratios were pooled into summary odds ratios (SOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using random-effects models. Six thousand eight hundred ninety-one CM cases and 5555 controls were included. CM risk was increased among MC1R variant carriers vs. wild-type individuals. The increase in risk was comparable across histological subtypes (SOR for any variant vs. wild-type ranged between 1.57 and 1.70, always statistical significant) except acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), for which no association emerged; and slightly greater on chronically (1.74, 95% CI 1.47-2.07) than intermittently (1.55, 95% CI 1.34-1.78) sun-exposed skin. CM risk was greater for those carrying 'R' vs. 'r' variants; correlated with the number of variants; and was more evident among individuals not showing the red hair colour phenotype. Breslow thickness was not associated with MC1R status. MC1R variants were associated with an increased risk of CM of any histological subtype (except ALM) and occurring on both chronically and intermittently sun-exposed skin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7479262PMC
October 2020

Comprehensive functional annotation of susceptibility variants identifies genetic heterogeneity between lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Front Med 2021 Apr 5;15(2):275-291. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Pb 5330, Norway.

Although genome-wide association studies have identified more than eighty genetic variants associated with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) risk, biological mechanisms of these variants remain largely unknown. By integrating a large-scale genotype data of 15 581 lung adenocarcinoma (AD) cases, 8350 squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) cases, and 27 355 controls, as well as multiple transcriptome and epigenomic databases, we conducted histology-specific meta-analyses and functional annotations of both reported and novel susceptibility variants. We identified 3064 credible risk variants for NSCLC, which were overrepresented in enhancer-like and promoter-like histone modification peaks as well as DNase I hypersensitive sites. Transcription factor enrichment analysis revealed that USF1 was AD-specific while CREB1 was SqCC-specific. Functional annotation and gene-based analysis implicated 894 target genes, including 274 specifics for AD and 123 for SqCC, which were overrepresented in somatic driver genes (ER = 1.95, P = 0.005). Pathway enrichment analysis and Gene-Set Enrichment Analysis revealed that AD genes were primarily involved in immune-related pathways, while SqCC genes were homologous recombination deficiency related. Our results illustrate the molecular basis of both well-studied and new susceptibility loci of NSCLC, providing not only novel insights into the genetic heterogeneity between AD and SqCC but also a set of plausible gene targets for post-GWAS functional experiments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0779-4DOI Listing
April 2021

Assessment of polygenic architecture and risk prediction based on common variants across fourteen cancers.

Nat Commun 2020 07 3;11(1):3353. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have led to the identification of hundreds of susceptibility loci across cancers, but the impact of further studies remains uncertain. Here we analyse summary-level data from GWAS of European ancestry across fourteen cancer sites to estimate the number of common susceptibility variants (polygenicity) and underlying effect-size distribution. All cancers show a high degree of polygenicity, involving at a minimum of thousands of loci. We project that sample sizes required to explain 80% of GWAS heritability vary from 60,000 cases for testicular to over 1,000,000 cases for lung cancer. The maximum relative risk achievable for subjects at the 99th risk percentile of underlying polygenic risk scores (PRS), compared to average risk, ranges from 12 for testicular to 2.5 for ovarian cancer. We show that PRS have potential for risk stratification for cancers of breast, colon and prostate, but less so for others because of modest heritability and lower incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16483-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7335068PMC
July 2020

The genomic and epigenomic evolutionary history of papillary renal cell carcinomas.

Nat Commun 2020 06 18;11(1):3096. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

Intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) and tumor evolution have been well described for clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC), but they are less studied for other kidney cancer subtypes. Here we investigate ITH and clonal evolution of papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) and rarer kidney cancer subtypes, integrating whole-genome sequencing and DNA methylation data. In 29 tumors, up to 10 samples from the center to the periphery of each tumor, and metastatic samples in 2 cases, enable phylogenetic analysis of spatial features of clonal expansion, which shows congruent patterns of genomic and epigenomic evolution. In contrast to previous studies of ccRCC, in pRCC, driver gene mutations and most arm-level somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs) are clonal. These findings suggest that a single biopsy would be sufficient to identify the important genetic drivers and that targeting large-scale SCNAs may improve pRCC treatment, which is currently poor. While type 1 pRCC displays near absence of structural variants (SVs), the more aggressive type 2 pRCC and the rarer subtypes have numerous SVs, which should be pursued for prognostic significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16546-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303129PMC
June 2020

Genetic and epigenetic intratumor heterogeneity impacts prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma.

Nat Commun 2020 05 18;11(1):2459. Epub 2020 May 18.

Integrative Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) of genomic alterations may impact prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Here, we investigate ITH of somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs), DNA methylation, and point mutations in lung cancer driver genes in 292 tumor samples from 84 patients with LUAD. LUAD samples show substantial SCNA and methylation ITH, and clonal architecture analyses present congruent evolutionary trajectories for SCNAs and DNA methylation aberrations. Methylation ITH mapping to gene promoter areas or tumor suppressor genes is low. Moreover, ITH composed of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms altering the same cancer driver genes is shown in several tumors. To quantify ITH for valid statistical association analyses, we develope an average pairwise ITH index (APITH), which does not depend on the number of samples per tumor. Both APITH indexes for SCNAs and methylation aberrations show significant associations with poor prognosis. This study further establishes the important clinical implications of genetic and epigenetic ITH in LUAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16295-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235245PMC
May 2020

Protein-altering germline mutations implicate novel genes related to lung cancer development.

Nat Commun 2020 05 11;11(1):2220. Epub 2020 May 11.

Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Few germline mutations are known to affect lung cancer risk. We performed analyses of rare variants from 39,146 individuals of European ancestry and investigated gene expression levels in 7,773 samples. We find a large-effect association with an ATM L2307F (rs56009889) mutation in adenocarcinoma for discovery (adjusted Odds Ratio = 8.82, P = 1.18 × 10) and replication (adjusted OR = 2.93, P = 2.22 × 10) that is more pronounced in females (adjusted OR = 6.81 and 3.19 and for discovery and replication). We observe an excess loss of heterozygosity in lung tumors among ATM L2307F allele carriers. L2307F is more frequent (4%) among Ashkenazi Jewish populations. We also observe an association in discovery (adjusted OR = 2.61, P = 7.98 × 10) and replication datasets (adjusted OR = 1.55, P = 0.06) with a loss-of-function mutation, Q4X (rs150665432) of an uncharacterized gene, KIAA0930. Our findings implicate germline genetic variants in ATM with lung cancer susceptibility and suggest KIAA0930 as a novel candidate gene for lung cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15905-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214407PMC
May 2020

Genome-wide association meta-analyses combining multiple risk phenotypes provide insights into the genetic architecture of cutaneous melanoma susceptibility.

Nat Genet 2020 05 27;52(5):494-504. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Department of Dermatology, Instituto Valenciano de Oncología, Valencia, Spain.

Most genetic susceptibility to cutaneous melanoma remains to be discovered. Meta-analysis genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 36,760 cases of melanoma (67% newly genotyped) and 375,188 controls identified 54 significant (P < 5 × 10) loci with 68 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms. Analysis of risk estimates across geographical regions and host factors suggests the acral melanoma subtype is uniquely unrelated to pigmentation. Combining this meta-analysis with GWAS of nevus count and hair color, and transcriptome association approaches, uncovered 31 potential secondary loci for a total of 85 cutaneous melanoma susceptibility loci. These findings provide insights into cutaneous melanoma genetic architecture, reinforcing the importance of nevogenesis, pigmentation and telomere maintenance, together with identifying potential new pathways for cutaneous melanoma pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0611-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7255059PMC
May 2020

Diesel Engine Exhaust Exposure, Smoking, and Lung Cancer Subtype Risks. A Pooled Exposure-Response Analysis of 14 Case-Control Studies.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 08;202(3):402-411

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin and ll Centro di Riferimento per l'Epidemiologia e la Prevenzione Oncologica in Piemonte (CPO-Piemonte), Torino, Italy.

Although the carcinogenicity of diesel engine exhaust has been demonstrated in multiple studies, little is known regarding exposure-response relationships associated with different exposure subgroups and different lung cancer subtypes. We expanded on a previous pooled case-control analysis on diesel engine exhaust and lung cancer by including three additional studies and quantitative exposure assessment to evaluate lung cancer and subtype risks associated with occupational exposure to diesel exhaust characterized by elemental carbon (EC) concentrations. We used a quantitative EC job-exposure matrix for exposure assessment. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate lung cancer odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with various metrics of EC exposure. Lung cancer excess lifetime risks (ELR) were calculated using life tables accounting for all-cause mortality. Additional stratified analyses by smoking history and lung cancer subtypes were performed in men. Our study included 16,901 lung cancer cases and 20,965 control subjects. In men, exposure response between EC and lung cancer was observed: odds ratios ranged from 1.09 (95% CI, 1.00-1.18) to 1.41 (95% CI, 1.30-1.52) for the lowest and highest cumulative exposure groups, respectively. EC-exposed men had elevated risks in all lung cancer subtypes investigated; associations were strongest for squamous and small cell carcinomas and weaker for adenocarcinoma. EC lung cancer exposure response was observed in men regardless of smoking history, including in never-smokers. ELR associated with 45 years of EC exposure at 50, 20, and 1 μg/m were 3.0%, 0.99%, and 0.04%, respectively, for both sexes combined. We observed a consistent exposure-response relationship between EC exposure and lung cancer in men. Reduction of workplace EC levels to background environmental levels will further reduce lung cancer ELR in exposed workers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201911-2101OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465091PMC
August 2020

Respirable Crystalline Silica Exposure, Smoking, and Lung Cancer Subtype Risks. A Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 08;202(3):412-421

The M. Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland.

Millions of workers around the world are exposed to respirable crystalline silica. Although silica is a confirmed human lung carcinogen, little is known regarding the cancer risks associated with low levels of exposure and risks by cancer subtype. However, little is known regarding the disease risks associated with low levels of exposure and risks by cancer subtype. We aimed to address current knowledge gaps in lung cancer risks associated with low levels of occupational silica exposure and the joint effects of smoking and silica exposure on lung cancer risks. Subjects from 14 case-control studies from Europe and Canada with detailed smoking and occupational histories were pooled. A quantitative job-exposure matrix was used to estimate silica exposure by occupation, time period, and geographical region. Logistic regression models were used to estimate exposure-disease associations and the joint effects of silica exposure and smoking on risk of lung cancer. Stratified analyses by smoking history and cancer subtypes were also performed. Our study included 16,901 cases and 20,965 control subjects. Lung cancer odds ratios ranged from 1.15 (95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.27) to 1.45 (95% confidence interval, 1.31-1.60) for groups with the lowest and highest cumulative exposure, respectively. Increasing cumulative silica exposure was associated ( trend < 0.01) with increasing lung cancer risks in nonsilicotics and in current, former, and never-smokers. Increasing exposure was also associated ( trend ≤ 0.01) with increasing risks of lung adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and small cell carcinoma. Supermultiplicative interaction of silica exposure and smoking was observed on overall lung cancer risks; superadditive effects were observed in risks of lung cancer and all three included subtypes. Silica exposure is associated with lung cancer at low exposure levels. An exposure-response relationship was robust and present regardless of smoking, silicosis status, and cancer subtype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201910-1926OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465090PMC
August 2020

Histologic features of melanoma associated with germline mutations of CDKN2A, CDK4, and POT1 in melanoma-prone families from the United States, Italy, and Spain.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 Sep 10;83(3):860-869. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

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

Background: CDKN2A, CDK4, and POT1 are well-established melanoma-susceptibility genes.

Objective: We evaluated melanoma histopathology for individuals with germline mutations of CDKN2A, CDK4, and POT1.

Methods: We assessed histopathology for melanomas diagnosed in melanoma-prone families (≥2 individuals with melanoma) from the United States, Italy, and Spain. Comparisons between mutation carriers and noncarriers (no mutation) were adjusted for age, sex, Breslow depth, and correlations among individuals within the same family.

Results: Histologic slides were evaluated for 290 melanomas (139 from 132 noncarriers, 122 from 68 CDKN2A carriers, 10 from 6 CDK4 carriers, and 19 from 16 POT1 carriers). Superficial spreading was the predominant subtype for all groups. Spitzoid morphology (>25% of tumor) was observed in 10 of 15 invasive melanomas (67%) from POT1 carriers (P < .0001 vs noncarriers). This finding was independently confirmed by 3 expert melanoma dermatopathologists in 9 of 15 invasive melanomas (60%). In situ and invasive melanomas from CDKN2A and CDK4 carriers were histologically similar to melanomas from noncarriers.

Limitations: Limited sample sizes for rare melanoma-susceptibility syndromes (CDK4, POT1).

Conclusion: Spitzoid morphology was associated with POT1 mutations suggesting that telomere dysfunction (POT1 mutations) may contribute to spitzoid differentiation in melanocytic tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.03.100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7505133PMC
September 2020

Association Analysis of Driver Gene-Related Genetic Variants Identified Novel Lung Cancer Susceptibility Loci with 20,871 Lung Cancer Cases and 15,971 Controls.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 07 10;29(7):1423-1429. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Norway.

Background: A substantial proportion of cancer driver genes (CDG) are also cancer predisposition genes. However, the associations between genetic variants in lung CDGs and the susceptibility to lung cancer have rarely been investigated.

Methods: We selected expression-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (eSNP) and nonsynonymous variants of lung CDGs, and tested their associations with lung cancer risk in two large-scale genome-wide association studies (20,871 cases and 15,971 controls of European descent). Conditional and joint association analysis was performed to identify independent risk variants. The associations of independent risk variants with somatic alterations in lung CDGs or recurrently altered pathways were investigated using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project.

Results: We identified seven independent SNPs in five lung CDGs that were consistently associated with lung cancer risk in discovery ( < 0.001) and validation ( < 0.05) stages. Among these loci, rs78062588 in (1q21.3) was a new lung cancer susceptibility locus (OR = 0.86, = 1.65 × 10). Subgroup analysis by histologic types further identified nine lung CDGs. Analysis of somatic alterations found that in lung adenocarcinomas, rs78062588[C] allele ( in 1q21.3) was associated with elevated somatic copy number of (OR = 1.16, = 0.02). In lung adenocarcinomas, rs1611182 ( in 6p22.1) was associated with truncation mutations of the transcriptional misregulation in cancer pathway (OR = 0.66, = 1.76 × 10).

Conclusions: Genetic variants can regulate functions of lung CDGs and influence lung cancer susceptibility.

Impact: Our findings might help unravel biological mechanisms underlying lung cancer susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8120681PMC
July 2020

Immune-mediated genetic pathways resulting in pulmonary function impairment increase lung cancer susceptibility.

Nat Commun 2020 01 7;11(1):27. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Impaired lung function is often caused by cigarette smoking, making it challenging to disentangle its role in lung cancer susceptibility. Investigation of the shared genetic basis of these phenotypes in the UK Biobank and International Lung Cancer Consortium (29,266 cases, 56,450 controls) shows that lung cancer is genetically correlated with reduced forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV: r = 0.098, p = 2.3 × 10) and the ratio of FEV to forced vital capacity (FEV/FVC: r = 0.137, p = 2.0 × 10). Mendelian randomization analyses demonstrate that reduced FEV increases squamous cell carcinoma risk (odds ratio (OR) = 1.51, 95% confidence intervals: 1.21-1.88), while reduced FEV/FVC increases the risk of adenocarcinoma (OR = 1.17, 1.01-1.35) and lung cancer in never smokers (OR = 1.56, 1.05-2.30). These findings support a causal role of pulmonary impairment in lung cancer etiology. Integrative analyses reveal that pulmonary function instruments, including 73 novel variants, influence lung tissue gene expression and implicate immune-related pathways in mediating the observed effects on lung carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13855-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946810PMC
January 2020

Contribution of Common Genetic Variants to Familial Aggregation of Disease and Implications for Sequencing Studies.

PLoS Genet 2019 11 15;15(11):e1008490. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Biostatistics Branch: Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.

Despite genetics being accepted as the primary cause of familial aggregation for most diseases, it is still unclear whether afflicted families are likely to share a single highly penetrant rare variant, many minimally penetrant common variants, or a combination of the two types of variants. We therefore use recent estimates of SNP heritability and the liability threshold model to estimate the proportion of afflicted families likely to carry a rare, causal variant. We then show that Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) may be useful for identifying families likely to carry such a rare variant and therefore for prioritizing families to include in sequencing studies with that aim. Specifically, we introduce a new statistic that estimates the proportion of individuals carrying causal rare variants based on the family structure, disease pattern, and PRS of genotyped individuals. Finally, we consider data from the MelaNostrum consortium and show that, despite an estimated PRS heritability of only 0.05 for melanoma, families carrying putative causal variants had a statistically significantly lower PRS, supporting the idea that PRS prioritization may be a useful future tool. However, it will be important to evaluate whether the presence of rare mendelian variants are generally associated with the proposed test statistic or lower PRS in future and larger studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6881075PMC
November 2019

Genome-wide association study of INDELs identified four novel susceptibility loci associated with lung cancer risk.

Int J Cancer 2020 05 31;146(10):2855-2864. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Genetic Epidemiology, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 45 susceptibility loci associated with lung cancer. Only less than SNPs, small insertions and deletions (INDELs) are the second most abundant genetic polymorphisms in the human genome. INDELs are highly associated with multiple human diseases, including lung cancer. However, limited studies with large-scale samples have been available to systematically evaluate the effects of INDELs on lung cancer risk. Here, we performed a large-scale meta-analysis to evaluate INDELs and their risk for lung cancer in 23,202 cases and 19,048 controls. Functional annotations were performed to further explore the potential function of lung cancer risk INDELs. Conditional analysis was used to clarify the relationship between INDELs and SNPs. Four new risk loci were identified in genome-wide INDEL analysis (1p13.2: rs5777156, Insertion, OR = 0.92, p = 9.10 × 10 ; 4q28.2: rs58404727, Deletion, OR = 1.19, p = 5.25 × 10 ; 12p13.31: rs71450133, Deletion, OR = 1.09, p = 8.83 × 10 ; and 14q22.3: rs34057993, Deletion, OR = 0.90, p = 7.64 × 10 ). The eQTL analysis and functional annotation suggested that INDELs might affect lung cancer susceptibility by regulating the expression of target genes. After conducting conditional analysis on potential causal SNPs, the INDELs in the new loci were still nominally significant. Our findings indicate that INDELs could be potentially functional genetic variants for lung cancer risk. Further functional experiments are needed to better understand INDEL mechanisms in carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7101262PMC
May 2020

Peritoneal mesothelioma and asbestos exposure: a population-based case-control study in Lombardy, Italy.

Occup Environ Med 2019 08 8;76(8):545-553. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Occupational Health Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda - Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Objectives: Asbestos is the main risk factor for peritoneal mesothelioma (PeM). However, due to its rarity, PeM has rarely been investigated in community-based studies. We examined the association between asbestos exposure and PeM risk in a general population in Lombardy, Italy.

Methods: From the regional mesothelioma registry, we selected PeM cases diagnosed in 2000-2015. Population controls (matched by area, gender and age) came from two case-control studies in Lombardy on lung cancer (2002-2004) and pleural mesothelioma (2014). Assessment of exposure to asbestos was performed through a quantitative job-exposure matrix (SYN-JEM) and expert evaluation based on a standardised questionnaire. We calculated period-specific and gender-specific OR and 90% CI using conditional logistic regression adjusted for age, province of residence and education.

Results: We selected 68 cases and 2116 controls (2000-2007) and 159 cases and 205 controls (2008-2015). The ORs for ever asbestos exposure (expert-based, 2008-2015 only) were 5.78 (90% CI 3.03 to 11.0) in men and 8.00 (2.56 to 25.0) in women; the ORs for definite occupational exposure were 12.3 (5.62 to 26.7) in men and 14.3 (3.16 to 65.0) in women. The ORs for ever versus never occupational asbestos exposure based on SYN-JEM (both periods) were 2.05 (90% CI 1.39 to 3.01) in men and 1.62 (0.79 to 3.27) in women. In men, clear positive associations were found for duration, cumulative exposure (OR 1.33 (1.19 to 1.48) per fibres/mL-years) and latency.

Conclusions: Using two different methods of exposure assessment we provided evidence of a clear association between asbestos exposure and PeM risk in the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2019-105826DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6703122PMC
August 2019

Lung Cancer Risk in Never-Smokers of European Descent is Associated With Genetic Variation in the 515.33 TERT-CLPTM1Ll Region.

J Thorac Oncol 2019 08 19;14(8):1360-1369. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Norway.

Introduction: Inherited susceptibility to lung cancer risk in never-smokers is poorly understood. The major reason for this gap in knowledge is that this disease is relatively uncommon (except in Asians), making it difficult to assemble an adequate study sample. In this study we conducted a genome-wide association study on the largest, to date, set of European-descent never-smokers with lung cancer.

Methods: We conducted a two-phase (discovery and replication) genome-wide association study in never-smokers of European descent. We further augmented the sample by performing a meta-analysis with never-smokers from the recent OncoArray study, which resulted in a total of 3636 cases and 6295 controls. We also compare our findings with those in smokers with lung cancer.

Results: We detected three genome-wide statistically significant single nucleotide polymorphisms rs31490 (odds ratio [OR]: 0.769, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.722-0.820; p value 5.31 × 10), rs380286 (OR: 0.770, 95% CI: 0.723-0.820; p value 4.32 × 10), and rs4975616 (OR: 0.778, 95% CI: 0.730-0.829; p value 1.04 × 10). All three mapped to Chromosome 5 CLPTM1L-TERT region, previously shown to be associated with lung cancer risk in smokers and in never-smoker Asian women, and risk of other cancers including breast, ovarian, colorectal, and prostate.

Conclusions: We found that genetic susceptibility to lung cancer in never-smokers is associated to genetic variants with pan-cancer risk effects. The comparison with smokers shows that top variants previously shown to be associated with lung cancer risk only confer risk in the presence of tobacco exposure, underscoring the importance of gene-environment interactions in the etiology of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.04.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6833942PMC
August 2019

MC1R variants in childhood and adolescent melanoma: a retrospective pooled analysis of a multicentre cohort.

Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2019 05 12;3(5):332-342. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Background: Germline variants in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene (MC1R) might increase the risk of childhood and adolescent melanoma, but a clear conclusion is challenging because of the low number of studies and cases. We assessed the association of MC1R variants with childhood and adolescent melanoma in a large study comparing the prevalence of MC1R variants in child or adolescent patients with melanoma to that in adult patients with melanoma and in healthy adult controls.

Methods: In this retrospective pooled analysis, we used the M-SKIP Project, the Italian Melanoma Intergroup, and other European groups (with participants from Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the USA) to assemble an international multicentre cohort. We gathered phenotypic and genetic data from children or adolescents diagnosed with sporadic single-primary cutaneous melanoma at age 20 years or younger, adult patients with sporadic single-primary cutaneous melanoma diagnosed at age 35 years or older, and healthy adult individuals as controls. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for childhood and adolescent melanoma associated with MC1R variants by multivariable logistic regression. Subgroup analysis was done for children aged 18 or younger and 14 years or younger.

Findings: We analysed data from 233 young patients, 932 adult patients, and 932 healthy adult controls. Children and adolescents had higher odds of carrying MC1R r variants than did adult patients (OR 1·54, 95% CI 1·02-2·33), including when analysis was restricted to patients aged 18 years or younger (1·80, 1·06-3·07). All investigated variants, except Arg160Trp, tended, to varying degrees, to have higher frequencies in young patients than in adult patients, with significantly higher frequencies found for Val60Leu (OR 1·60, 95% CI 1·05-2·44; p=0·04) and Asp294His (2·15, 1·05-4·40; p=0·04). Compared with those of healthy controls, young patients with melanoma had significantly higher frequencies of any MC1R variants.

Interpretation: Our pooled analysis of MC1R genetic data of young patients with melanoma showed that MC1R r variants were more prevalent in childhood and adolescent melanoma than in adult melanoma, especially in patients aged 18 years or younger. Our findings support the role of MC1R in childhood and adolescent melanoma susceptibility, with a potential clinical relevance for developing early melanoma detection and preventive strategies.

Funding: SPD-Pilot/Project-Award-2015; AIRC-MFAG-11831.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(19)30005-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942319PMC
May 2019