Publications by authors named "Mark H Greene"

199 Publications

Breast and Prostate Cancer Risks for Male BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Variant Carriers Using Polygenic Risk Scores.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Molecular Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Background: Recent population-based female breast cancer and prostate cancer polygenic risk scores (PRS) have been developed. We assessed the associations of these PRS with breast and prostate cancer risks for male BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers.

Methods: 483 BRCA1 and 1,318 BRCA2 European ancestry male carriers were available from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). A 147-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) prostate cancer PRS (PRSPC) and a 313-SNP breast cancer PRS were evaluated. There were three versions of the breast cancer PRS, optimized to predict overall (PRSBC), estrogen-receptor (ER) negative (PRSER-) or ER-positive (PRSER+) breast cancer risk.

Results: PRSER+ yielded the strongest association with breast cancer risk. The odds ratios (ORs) per PRSER+ standard deviation estimates were 1.40 (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.07-1.83) for BRCA1 and 1.33 (95% CI = 1.16-1.52) for BRCA2 carriers. PRSPC was associated with prostate cancer risk for both BRCA1 (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.28-2.33) and BRCA2 (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.34-1.91) carriers. The estimated breast cancer ORs were larger after adjusting for female relative breast cancer family history. By age 85 years, for BRCA2 carriers, the breast cancer risk varied from 7.7% to 18.4% and prostate cancer risk from 34.1% to 87.6% between the 5th and 95th percentiles of the PRS distributions.

Conclusions: Population-based prostate and female breast cancer PRS are associated with a wide range of absolute breast and prostate cancer risks for male BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. These findings warrant further investigation aimed at providing personalized cancer risks for male carriers and to inform clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab147DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of 22 susceptibility loci associated with testicular germ cell tumors.

Nat Commun 2021 07 23;12(1):4487. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most common tumor in young white men and have a high heritability. In this study, the international Testicular Cancer Consortium assemble 10,156 and 179,683 men with and without TGCT, respectively, for a genome-wide association study. This meta-analysis identifies 22 TGCT susceptibility loci, bringing the total to 78, which account for 44% of disease heritability. Men with a polygenic risk score (PRS) in the 95 percentile have a 6.8-fold increased risk of TGCT compared to men with median scores. Among men with independent TGCT risk factors such as cryptorchidism, the PRS may guide screening decisions with the goal of reducing treatment-related complications causing long-term morbidity in survivors. These findings emphasize the interconnected nature of two known pathways that promote TGCT susceptibility: male germ cell development within its somatic niche and regulation of chromosomal division and structure, and implicate an additional biological pathway, mRNA translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24334-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8302763PMC
July 2021

Histological Features of Sporadic and Familial Testicular Germ Cell Tumors Compared and Analysis of Age-Related Changes of Histology.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 1;13(7). Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

This study aimed to compare histological features of familial and sporadic testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) and surrounding parenchyma, since discriminating features might be etiologically relevant and clinically useful. The study of parenchyma was prompted by reports claiming a higher prevalence of testicular microlithiasis in familial cases. Histological features of TGCTs and surrounding parenchyma of 296 sporadic and 305 familial cases were compared. For each case, one representative hematoxylin and eosin-stained slide was available. Slides were independently scored by two expert pathologists using a semi-quantitative data abstract. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus. A logistic regression model was used to assess the ability to discriminate between sporadic and familial GCT. The histological composition of a tumor, amount of lymphocytic infiltration, amount of germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS), and presence of testicular microlithiasis (TM) did not discriminate between sporadic and familial GCT (area under the curve 0.56, 95%CI 0.51-0.61). Novel observations included increasing lymphocytic infiltration and decreasing GCNIS and TM with increasing age at diagnosis. The presence of tubules with infiltrating lymphocytes was mainly associated with pure seminomas and nonseminomas with a seminoma component. Among seminomas, tubules with infiltrating lymphocytes decreased with increasing age. No discernable differences between sporadic and familial TGCTs were found. The age-related changes in the tumors and surrounding parenchyma in these groups combined are consistent with a host response building up over time predominantly affecting seminomas, the seminoma-component of nonseminomas and GCNIS. TM may gradually dissolve with age. Our hypothesis that histological differences between sporadic and familial TGCT might identify genetically distinct disease subsets was not supported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071652DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037944PMC
April 2021

Genetically Inferred Telomere Length and Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Risk.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 06 18;30(6):1275-1278. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, Rockville, Maryland.

Background: Studies evaluating the association between peripheral blood leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) risk have produced conflicting results.

Methods: Using available genotype data from the Testicular Cancer Consortium (TECAC), polygenic risk score and Mendelian randomization analyses of genetic variants previously associated with LTL were used to assess potential etiologic associations between telomere length and TGCT risk.

Results: Genetically inferred telomere length was not associated with TGCT risk among 2,049 cases and 6,921 controls with individual-level genotype data (OR, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.07). Mendelian randomization analyses using summary statistic data further indicated no evidence for an association between telomere length and TGCT risk among all available TECAC participants (3,558 cases and 13,971 controls).

Conclusions: Our analyses in the largest molecular genetic testicular cancer study to date provide no evidence for an association between genetically inferred peripheral blood LTL and TGCT risk.

Impact: The lack of evidence for an overall association indicates that peripheral blood LTL is likely not a strong biomarker for TGCT risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1775DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8172526PMC
June 2021

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

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

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

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

Lack of pathogenic germline DICER1 variants in males with testicular germ-cell tumors.

Cancer Genet 2020 10 24;248-249:49-56. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Rockville, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Several studies have reported conflicting evidence on the inclusion of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) in the DICER1 tumor-predisposition phenotype. We evaluated the relationship between DICER1 and TGCT by reviewing scrotal ultrasounds of males with pathogenic germline variants in DICER1 and queried exome data from TGCT-affected men for DICER1 variants.

Methodology: Fifty-four male DICER1-carriers and family controls (n=41) enrolled in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) DICER1 Natural History Study were offered scrotal ultrasounds. These studies were examined by a single radiologist for abnormalities. In parallel, DICER1 variants from two large exome-sequenced TGCT cohorts were extracted. We used previously published AMG-AMP criteria to characterize rare DICER1 variants.

Results: There was no observed difference in frequency of testicular cystic structures in DICER1-carriers versus controls. DICER1 variation was not associated with TGCT in the NCI DICER1-carriers. In 1,264 exome-sequenced men with TGCT, none harbored ClinVar- or InterVar-determined pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in DICER1. Three DICER1 variants of uncertain significance (one case and two controls) were predicted "damaging" based on a priori criteria.

Conclusion: Using two complementary approaches, we found no evidence of an association between pathogenic DICER1 variants and TGCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergen.2020.10.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7704203PMC
October 2020

Polygenic risk scores and breast and epithelial ovarian cancer risks for carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants.

Genet Med 2020 10 15;22(10):1653-1666. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Department of Clinical Genetics, Exeter, UK.

Purpose: We assessed the associations between population-based polygenic risk scores (PRS) for breast (BC) or epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with cancer risks for BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers.

Methods: Retrospective cohort data on 18,935 BRCA1 and 12,339 BRCA2 female pathogenic variant carriers of European ancestry were available. Three versions of a 313 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) BC PRS were evaluated based on whether they predict overall, estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, or ER-positive BC, and two PRS for overall or high-grade serous EOC. Associations were validated in a prospective cohort.

Results: The ER-negative PRS showed the strongest association with BC risk for BRCA1 carriers (hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation = 1.29 [95% CI 1.25-1.33], P = 3×10). For BRCA2, the strongest association was with overall BC PRS (HR = 1.31 [95% CI 1.27-1.36], P = 7×10). HR estimates decreased significantly with age and there was evidence for differences in associations by predicted variant effects on protein expression. The HR estimates were smaller than general population estimates. The high-grade serous PRS yielded the strongest associations with EOC risk for BRCA1 (HR = 1.32 [95% CI 1.25-1.40], P = 3×10) and BRCA2 (HR = 1.44 [95% CI 1.30-1.60], P = 4×10) carriers. The associations in the prospective cohort were similar.

Conclusion: Population-based PRS are strongly associated with BC and EOC risks for BRCA1/2 carriers and predict substantial absolute risk differences for women at PRS distribution extremes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0862-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521995PMC
October 2020

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

Characterization of the Cancer Spectrum in Men With Germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Variants: Results From the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA).

JAMA Oncol 2020 08;6(8):1218-1230

Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Importance: The limited data on cancer phenotypes in men with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants (PVs) have hampered the development of evidence-based recommendations for early cancer detection and risk reduction in this population.

Objective: To compare the cancer spectrum and frequencies between male BRCA1 and BRCA2 PV carriers.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study of 6902 men, including 3651 BRCA1 and 3251 BRCA2 PV carriers, older than 18 years recruited from cancer genetics clinics from 1966 to 2017 by 53 study groups in 33 countries worldwide collaborating through the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Clinical data and pathologic characteristics were collected.

Main Outcomes And Measures: BRCA1/2 status was the outcome in a logistic regression, and cancer diagnoses were the independent predictors. All odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, country of origin, and calendar year of the first interview.

Results: Among the 6902 men in the study (median [range] age, 51.6 [18-100] years), 1634 cancers were diagnosed in 1376 men (19.9%), the majority (922 of 1,376 [67%]) being BRCA2 PV carriers. Being affected by any cancer was associated with a higher probability of being a BRCA2, rather than a BRCA1, PV carrier (OR, 3.23; 95% CI, 2.81-3.70; P < .001), as well as developing 2 (OR, 7.97; 95% CI, 5.47-11.60; P < .001) and 3 (OR, 19.60; 95% CI, 4.64-82.89; P < .001) primary tumors. A higher frequency of breast (OR, 5.47; 95% CI, 4.06-7.37; P < .001) and prostate (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.09-1.78; P = .008) cancers was associated with a higher probability of being a BRCA2 PV carrier. Among cancers other than breast and prostate, pancreatic cancer was associated with a higher probability (OR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.55-5.81; P = .001) and colorectal cancer with a lower probability (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29-0.78; P = .003) of being a BRCA2 PV carrier.

Conclusions And Relevance: Significant differences in the cancer spectrum were observed in male BRCA2, compared with BRCA1, PV carriers. These data may inform future recommendations for surveillance of BRCA1/2-associated cancers and guide future prospective studies for estimating cancer risks in men with BRCA1/2 PVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7333177PMC
August 2020

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

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

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

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

Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy and Breast Cancer Risk Reduction in the Gynecologic Oncology Group Protocol-0199 (GOG-0199).

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2020 Feb 10;4(1):pkz075. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Department of OB/GYN, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK.

Background: Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) has been associated with approximately 50% breast cancer risk reduction among women with a pathogenic variant in or (), a finding that has recently been questioned.

Methods: We estimated incidence rates of breast cancer and all cancers combined during 5 years of follow-up among participants selecting RRSO or ovarian cancer screening (OCS) among women with a pathogenic variant or strong breast and/or ovarian cancer family history. Ovarian or fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer incidence rates were estimated for the OCS group. Breast cancer hazard ratios (HRs) for time-dependent RRSO were estimated using Cox regression with age time-scale (4943 and 4990 women-years in RRSO and OCS cohorts, respectively). All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: The RRSO cohort included 925 participants, and 1453 participants were in the OCS cohort (381 underwent RRSO during follow-up), with 88 incident breast cancers diagnosed. Among pathogenic variant carriers, a non-statistically significant lower breast cancer incidence was observed in the RRSO compared with the OCS cohort (HR = 0.86, 95% confidence interval  = 0.45 to 1.67;  = .67). No difference was observed in the overall population or among subgroups stratified by prior breast cancer history or menopausal status. Seven fallopian tube and four ovarian cancers were prospectively diagnosed in the OCS cohort, and one primary peritoneal carcinoma occurred in the RRSO cohort.

Conclusions: These data suggest that RRSO might be associated with reduced breast cancer incidence among women with a pathogenic variant, although the effect, if present, is small. This evolving evidence warrants a thorough discussion regarding the impact of RRSO on breast cancer risk with women considering this intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkz075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7050151PMC
February 2020

Waiting and "weighted down": the challenge of anticipatory loss for individuals and families with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.

Fam Cancer 2020 07;19(3):259-268

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

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) is characterized by risk of multiple primary malignancies in diverse sites, pediatric onset, near complete penetrance by age 70 years, limited options for prevention, and substantial uncertainty regarding disease manifestation and prognosis. Forty-five families, including 117 individuals aged 13-81 years, enrolled in the US National Cancer Institute's Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Study completed 66 interviews regarding their LFS experiences. An interdisciplinary team used modified grounded theory to examine family distress regarding expectations of loss and change due to likely cancer diagnoses, and the consequences of this likelihood across physical, social, and emotional domains. Disease-free periods were characterized by fearful anticipation of diagnosis or recurrence, uncertainty regarding post-treatment quality of life, and planning for shifts in family dynamics to enable caregiving. The chronicity of waiting for these changes incited dread and inhibited effective coping with the pragmatic, emotional, and existential challenges of the syndrome. Consequently, families reported high burden on roles and resources and limited guidance to prepare for, or achieve resolution with, grief. Anticipatory loss, the experience of bereavement prior to an expected change, distinguishes hereditary cancer risk from a sporadic diagnosis. Such grief is often incomplete in impact or meaning, subjected to rapid or profound change as conditions worsen, and poorly understood. In this study, losses were compounded by profound uncertainty, a chronic feature of LFS, which compromised mourning. Long-term engagement of mental health providers with bereavement training, in partnership with genetics providers, can provide invaluable educational and psychological support to families as they navigate these implacable challenges.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-020-00173-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7440840PMC
July 2020

Transcriptome-wide association study of breast cancer risk by estrogen-receptor status.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 07 1;44(5):442-468. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Previous transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) have identified breast cancer risk genes by integrating data from expression quantitative loci and genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but analyses of breast cancer subtype-specific associations have been limited. In this study, we conducted a TWAS using gene expression data from GTEx and summary statistics from the hitherto largest GWAS meta-analysis conducted for breast cancer overall, and by estrogen receptor subtypes (ER+ and ER-). We further compared associations with ER+ and ER- subtypes, using a case-only TWAS approach. We also conducted multigene conditional analyses in regions with multiple TWAS associations. Two genes, STXBP4 and HIST2H2BA, were specifically associated with ER+ but not with ER- breast cancer. We further identified 30 TWAS-significant genes associated with overall breast cancer risk, including four that were not identified in previous studies. Conditional analyses identified single independent breast-cancer gene in three of six regions harboring multiple TWAS-significant genes. Our study provides new information on breast cancer genetics and biology, particularly about genomic differences between ER+ and ER- breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987299PMC
July 2020

Fine-mapping of 150 breast cancer risk regions identifies 191 likely target genes.

Nat Genet 2020 01 7;52(1):56-73. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Genome-wide association studies have identified breast cancer risk variants in over 150 genomic regions, but the mechanisms underlying risk remain largely unknown. These regions were explored by combining association analysis with in silico genomic feature annotations. We defined 205 independent risk-associated signals with the set of credible causal variants in each one. In parallel, we used a Bayesian approach (PAINTOR) that combines genetic association, linkage disequilibrium and enriched genomic features to determine variants with high posterior probabilities of being causal. Potentially causal variants were significantly over-represented in active gene regulatory regions and transcription factor binding sites. We applied our INQUSIT pipeline for prioritizing genes as targets of those potentially causal variants, using gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci), chromatin interaction and functional annotations. Known cancer drivers, transcription factors and genes in the developmental, apoptosis, immune system and DNA integrity checkpoint gene ontology pathways were over-represented among the highest-confidence target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0537-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974400PMC
January 2020

Leukocyte telomere length in patients with myotonic dystrophy type I: a pilot study.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 01 5;7(1):126-131. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

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

Myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1) is an autosomal dominant disease of which clinical manifestations resemble premature aging. We evaluated the contribution of telomere length in pathogenesis in 361 DM1 patients (12 with serial measurements) and 223 unaffected relative controls using qPCR assay. While no differences in baseline leukocyte relative telomere length (RTL) was noted, the data suggested an accelerated RTL attrition in DM1 (discovery cohort: T/S change/year = -0.013 in DM1 vs. -0.005 in controls, P = 0.04); similar trend was noted in validation cohort. Further investigations are needed to examine the role of TL in the pathophysiology of DM1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.50954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6952307PMC
January 2020

Prospective follow-up of quality of life for participants undergoing risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy or ovarian cancer screening in GOG-0199: An NRG Oncology/GOG study.

Gynecol Oncol 2020 01 21;156(1):131-139. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Gynecologic Medical Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, 10065, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) and ovarian cancer screening (OCS) are management options for women at increased risk of ovarian cancer. Long-term effects of these interventions on quality of life (QOL) are not well understood.

Methods: GOG-0199 is a prospective cohort study of women at increased ovarian cancer risk who chose either RRSO or OCS as their risk management intervention. At study entry, 6, 12, 24 and 60 months of follow-up, participants completed the QOL questionnaire, which included the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36, the Impact of Events Scales, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Endocrine Subscale, and the Sexual Activity Questionnaire. QOL measures were compared between the RRSO and OCS cohort at baseline and over time.

Results: Five-hundred-sixty-two participants in the RRSO cohort and 1,010 in the OCS completed the baseline and at least one follow-up questionnaire. At baseline, participants selecting RRSO reported lower health-related QOL (HRQOL), greater ovarian cancer-related stress, greater anxiety, and more depressive symptomatology, which improved during follow-up, especially for ovarian cancer-related stress. Screening was not found to adversely impact HRQOL. Hormone-related menopausal symptoms worsened and sexual functioning declined during follow-up in both cohorts, but more so among participants who underwent RRSO.

Conclusions: HRQOL improved after surgery among women who chose RRSO and remained stable among participants undergoing screening. The adverse effects of RRSO and screening on short-term and long-term sexual activity and sexual functioning warrant consideration in the decision-making process for high-risk women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.10.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6980744PMC
January 2020

Diabetes, metformin and cancer risk in myotonic dystrophy type I.

Int J Cancer 2020 08 19;147(3):785-792. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

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

Myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1) is an autosomal dominant multisystem disorder characterized by myotonia and muscle weakness. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cancer have been shown to be part of the DM1 phenotype. Metformin, a well-established agent for the management of T2D, is thought to have cancer-preventive effects in the general population. In our study, we aimed to assess the association between T2D, metformin use and the risk of cancer in DM1 patients. We identified a cohort of 913 DM1 patients and an age-, sex- and clinic-matched cohort of 12,318 DM1-free controls from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, a large primary care records database. We used Cox regression models to assess cancer risk in T2D patients who were metformin users or nonusers compared to patients without T2D. Separate analyses were conducted for DM1 patients and controls. T2D was more prevalent in DM1 than in controls (8% vs. 3%, p < 0.0001). DM1 patients with T2D, compared to those without T2D, were more likely to develop cancer (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18-10.97; p = 0.02), but not if they were treated with metformin (HR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.06-3.35; p = 0.42). Among controls, we observed no significant associations between T2D and cancer risk in either users or nonusers of Metformin (HR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.91-1.79; p = 0.16 and HR = 1.13, 95% CI = 0.72-1.79; p = 0.59, respectively). These results show an association between T2D and cancer risk in DM1 patients and may provide new insights into the possible benefits of Metformin use in DM1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32801DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336337PMC
August 2020

Association of Genomic Domains in and with Prostate Cancer Risk and Aggressiveness.

Cancer Res 2020 02 13;80(3):624-638. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Unité de Prévention et d'Epidémiologie Génétique, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Pathogenic sequence variants (PSV) in or () are associated with increased risk and severity of prostate cancer. We evaluated whether PSVs in were associated with risk of overall prostate cancer or high grade (Gleason 8+) prostate cancer using an international sample of 65 and 171 male PSV carriers with prostate cancer, and 3,388 and 2,880 male PSV carriers without prostate cancer. PSVs in the 3' region of (c.7914+) were significantly associated with elevated risk of prostate cancer compared with reference bin c.1001-c.7913 [HR = 1.78; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25-2.52; = 0.001], as well as elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 3.11; 95% CI, 1.63-5.95; = 0.001). c.756-c.1000 was also associated with elevated prostate cancer risk (HR = 2.83; 95% CI, 1.71-4.68; = 0.00004) and elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 4.95; 95% CI, 2.12-11.54; = 0.0002). No genotype-phenotype associations were detected for PSVs in . These results demonstrate that specific PSVs may be associated with elevated risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: Aggressive prostate cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers may vary according to the specific BRCA2 mutation inherited by the at-risk individual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-1840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7553241PMC
February 2020

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

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

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

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

Reproductive Cancer Risk Factors in Women With Myotonic Dystrophy (DM): Survey Data From the US and UK DM Registries.

Front Neurol 2019 11;10:1071. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Clinical Genetics Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States.

Recent evidence demonstrates that women with myotonic dystrophy type 1 are at increased risk of reproductive organ tumors. However, studies of reproductive cancer risk factors in those patients are lacking. Using questionnaires, we collected and analyzed personal history information related to cancer risk factors from women enrolled in a UK and US registry for myotonic dystrophy (; DM) patients. The survey was completed by 242 DM type 1 (DM1) and 44 DM type 2 (DM2) women enrolled in the UK Registry ( = 124) and the US National Registry ( = 162). The mean age at DM1 diagnosis was 33.8 years (standard deviation, = 13.2) and for DM2 was 49.2 ( = 13.0). Mean age at survey was 48.7 ( = 12.8) and 59.1 years ( = 12.8) for DM1 and DM2, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between DM1 and DM2 regarding menstrual history or fertility-related factors. Yet, women with DM2 were more likely to have used menopausal hormone therapy (HT) than women with DM1 (52.3 vs. 22.1%, < 0.0001), and more women with DM2 had a hysterectomy (53.5 vs. 29.5%, < 0.01). These differences were not statistically significant after age adjustment ( = 2.00, = 0.08, and = 1.40, = 0.38, respectively). The frequency of self-reported reproductive organ tumors was not significantly different comparing DM1 to DM2 ( = 0.28). However, the data suggested that women with DM2 appear to have a lower risk of malignant tumors compared to those with DM1 ( = 0.72, = 0.69). Our study is the first to characterize a wide range of reproductive risk factors in women with DM. We observed no significant differences between DM1 and DM2 in the factors that were evaluated, which suggests that the known excesses of ovarian and endometrial cancer previously reported in women with DM1 cannot be attributed to greater prevalence of standard cancer-related reproductive risk factors. Larger studies evaluating the possible link between reproductive cancer risk factors and risk of tumors in women with DM are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.01071DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6797599PMC
October 2019

Family Health Leaders: Lessons on Living with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome across Generations.

Fam Process 2020 12 24;59(4):1648-1663. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) is a hereditary disorder that confers an approximately 90% lifetime risk of cancer and requires comprehensive lifetime cancer screening. We explored healthcare roles for managing LFS-related cancer risks and treatments that were assumed by parents, adolescents, and adult children. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 families. Family groupings were comprised of 2-5 members, with the younger generation in each family ranging in age from 7 to 40 years. Using grounded theory methods, we conducted open and focused coding of interview transcript content. Family members described how the role of health leader was implemented in their family, as well as factors such as maturation of a child or death of a member that determined who assumed particular roles and how these roles shifted over time. They often expressed collective responsibility for helping relatives understand LFS and implement appropriate cancer risk management. Members demonstrated their health role by attending others' medical appointments for support or information gathering. The health leader role was intergenerational and provided the family necessary support in navigating complicated healthcare decisions. Our findings provide insight into healthcare providers regarding how LFS patients and their relatives develop unique medical decision-making and caring roles influenced by the hereditary nature of LFS, and how these roles change over time. Providers who are attuned to family role dynamics may be better able to meet relatives' psychosocial and medical needs by understanding how living with LFS influences the family system's functioning and facilitating members' support for each other.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/famp.12497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7434614PMC
December 2020

Benign tumors in myotonic dystrophy type I target disease-related cancer sites.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2019 08 26;6(8):1510-1518. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

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

Objectives: Recent evidence showed that myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1) patients are at increased risk of certain cancers, but the risk of benign tumors is unknown. We compared the risk of benign tumors in DM1 patients with matched DM1-free individuals and assessed the association between benign tumors and subsequent cancers.

Methods: We identified 927 DM1 patients and 13,085 DM1-free individuals matched on gender, birth-year, clinic, and clinic-registration year from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, a primary care records database. We used Cox regression models for statistical analyses.

Results: DM1 patients had elevated risks of thyroid nodules (Hazard Ratio [HR] = 10.4; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 3.91-27.52; P < 0.001), benign tumors of the brain or nervous system (HR = 8.4; 95% CI = 2.48-28.47; P < 0.001), colorectal polyps (HR = 4.3; 95% CI = 1.76-10.41; P = 0.001), and possibly uterine fibroids (HR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.22-5.88; P = 0.01). Pilomatricomas and salivary gland adenomas occurred almost exclusively in DM1 patients (Fisher's exact P < 0.001). The HR for colorectal polyps was elevated in DM1 males but not in females (HR = 8.2 vs. 1.3, respectively; P-heterogeneity < 0.001), whereas endocrine and brain tumors occurred exclusively in females. The data suggested an association between benign tumors and subsequent cancer in classic DM1 patients (HR = 2.7; 95% CI = 0.93-7.59; P = 0.07).

Interpretation: Our study showed a similar site-specific benign tumor profile to that previously reported for DM1-associated cancers. The possible association between benign tumors and subsequent cancer in classic DM1 patients warrants further investigation as it may guide identifying patients at elevated risk of cancer. Our findings underscore the importance of following population-based screening recommendations in DM1 patients, for example, for colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.50856DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6689687PMC
August 2019

Mendelian randomisation study of height and body mass index as modifiers of ovarian cancer risk in 22,588 BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Br J Cancer 2019 07 19;121(2):180-192. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse and The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.

Background: Height and body mass index (BMI) are associated with higher ovarian cancer risk in the general population, but whether such associations exist among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is unknown.

Methods: We applied a Mendelian randomisation approach to examine height/BMI with ovarian cancer risk using the Consortium of Investigators for the Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) data set, comprising 14,676 BRCA1 and 7912 BRCA2 mutation carriers, with 2923 ovarian cancer cases. We created a height genetic score (height-GS) using 586 height-associated variants and a BMI genetic score (BMI-GS) using 93 BMI-associated variants. Associations were assessed using weighted Cox models.

Results: Observed height was not associated with ovarian cancer risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.07 per 10-cm increase in height, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.94-1.23). Height-GS showed similar results (HR = 1.02, 95% CI: 0.85-1.23). Higher BMI was significantly associated with increased risk in premenopausal women with HR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.06-1.48) and HR = 1.59 (95% CI: 1.08-2.33) per 5-kg/m increase in observed and genetically determined BMI, respectively. No association was found for postmenopausal women. Interaction between menopausal status and BMI was significant (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Our observation of a positive association between BMI and ovarian cancer risk in premenopausal BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is consistent with findings in the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0492-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6738050PMC
July 2019

BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic sequence variants in women of African origin or ancestry.

Hum Mutat 2019 10 3;40(10):1781-1796. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Department of Medical Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) pathogenic sequence variants (PSVs) confer elevated risks of multiple cancers. However, most BRCA1/2 PSVs reports focus on European ancestry individuals. Knowledge of the PSV distribution in African descent individuals is poorly understood. We undertook a systematic review of the published literature and publicly available databases reporting BRCA1/2 PSVs also accessed the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) database to identify African or African descent individuals. Using these data, we inferred which of the BRCA PSVs were likely to be of African continental origin. Of the 43,817 BRCA1/2 PSV carriers in the CIMBA database, 469 (1%) were of African descent. Additional African descent individuals were identified in public databases (n = 291) and the literature (n = 601). We identified 164 unique BRCA1 and 173 unique BRCA2 PSVs in individuals of African ancestry. Of these, 83 BRCA1 and 91 BRCA2 PSVs are of likely or possible African origin. We observed numerous differences in the distribution of PSV type and function in African origin versus non-African origin PSVs. Research in populations of African ancestry with BRCA1/2 PSVs is needed to provide the information needed for clinical management and decision-making in African descent individuals worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6764847PMC
October 2019

Genome-wide association and transcriptome studies identify target genes and risk loci for breast cancer.

Nat Commun 2019 04 15;10(1):1741. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Molecular Oncology Laboratory, CIBERONC, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, IdISSC (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos), 28040, Madrid, Spain.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 170 breast cancer susceptibility loci. Here we hypothesize that some risk-associated variants might act in non-breast tissues, specifically adipose tissue and immune cells from blood and spleen. Using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) reported in these tissues, we identify 26 previously unreported, likely target genes of overall breast cancer risk variants, and 17 for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer, several with a known immune function. We determine the directional effect of gene expression on disease risk measured based on single and multiple eQTL. In addition, using a gene-based test of association that considers eQTL from multiple tissues, we identify seven (and four) regions with variants associated with overall (and ER-negative) breast cancer risk, which were not reported in previous GWAS. Further investigation of the function of the implicated genes in breast and immune cells may provide insights into the etiology of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08053-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465407PMC
April 2019

A Pragmatic Testing-Eligibility Framework for Population Mutation Screening: The Example of .

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2019 02 28;28(2):293-302. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland.

Background: Eligibility guidelines for genetic testing may be revisited, given technological advances, plummeting costs, and proposals for population mutation screening. A key property of eligibility criteria is the tradeoff between the number of mutation carriers identified versus population members tested. We assess the fractions of mutation carriers identified, versus women undergoing mutation testing, for founder mutation screening in U.S. Ashkenazi-Jewish women.

Methods: carrier probabilities, based on personal/family history, were calculated using the risk-prediction tool BRCAPRO for 4,589 volunteers (102 mutation carriers) in the population-based Washington Ashkenazi Study. For each carrier-probability threshold between 0% and 10%, we compared the percentage of founder mutations detected versus the percentage of women requiring mutation testing. PCR mutation testing was conducted at the NIH for the 3 Ashkenazi-Jewish founder mutations (5382insC and 185delAG in , and 6174delT in ).

Results: Identifying 90% of founder mutations required testing the 60% of Ashkenazi-Jewish women with carrier probabilities exceeding 0.56%, potentially avoiding mutation testing for approximately 0.7 to 1.1 million U.S. Ashkenazi-Jewish women. Alternatively, testing the 44% whose carrier probability exceeded 0.78% identified 80% of mutation carriers, increasing to 89% of mutation carriers when accounting for cascade testing triggered after mutation-positive daughters were identified by screening. We present data on all carrier-probability thresholds, e.g., a 5% threshold identified 46% of mutation carriers while testing 10% of women.

Conclusions: Different carrier-probability thresholds offered diverse tradeoffs between numbers of identified mutation carriers versus women tested. Low carrier-probability thresholds identified 90% of founder mutation carriers, without testing approximately 1 million U.S. Ashkenazi-Jewish women with lowest carrier probabilities.

Impact: In general, this risk-based framework could provide useful new options to consider during eligibility-criteria development for population mutation screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0584DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7451358PMC
February 2019

Shared heritability and functional enrichment across six solid cancers.

Nat Commun 2019 01 25;10(1):431. Epub 2019 Jan 25.

Human Cancer Genetics Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Calle de Melchor Fernández Almagro, 3, 28029, Madrid, Spain.

Quantifying the genetic correlation between cancers can provide important insights into the mechanisms driving cancer etiology. Using genome-wide association study summary statistics across six cancer types based on a total of 296,215 cases and 301,319 controls of European ancestry, here we estimate the pair-wise genetic correlations between breast, colorectal, head/neck, lung, ovary and prostate cancer, and between cancers and 38 other diseases. We observed statistically significant genetic correlations between lung and head/neck cancer (r = 0.57, p = 4.6 × 10), breast and ovarian cancer (r = 0.24, p = 7 × 10), breast and lung cancer (r = 0.18, p =1.5 × 10) and breast and colorectal cancer (r = 0.15, p = 1.1 × 10). We also found that multiple cancers are genetically correlated with non-cancer traits including smoking, psychiatric diseases and metabolic characteristics. Functional enrichment analysis revealed a significant excess contribution of conserved and regulatory regions to cancer heritability. Our comprehensive analysis of cross-cancer heritability suggests that solid tumors arising across tissues share in part a common germline genetic basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08054-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6347624PMC
January 2019
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