Publications by authors named "Melissa C Southey"

453 Publications

Functional annotation of the 2q35 breast cancer risk locus implicates a structural variant in influencing activity of a long-range enhancer element.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg 69120, Germany.

A combination of genetic and functional approaches has identified three independent breast cancer risk loci at 2q35. A recent fine-scale mapping analysis to refine these associations resulted in 1 (signal 1), 5 (signal 2), and 42 (signal 3) credible causal variants at these loci. We used publicly available in silico DNase I and ChIP-seq data with in vitro reporter gene and CRISPR assays to annotate signals 2 and 3. We identified putative regulatory elements that enhanced cell-type-specific transcription from the IGFBP5 promoter at both signals (30- to 40-fold increased expression by the putative regulatory element at signal 2, 2- to 3-fold by the putative regulatory element at signal 3). We further identified one of the five credible causal variants at signal 2, a 1.4 kb deletion (esv3594306), as the likely causal variant; the deletion allele of this variant was associated with an average additional increase in IGFBP5 expression of 1.3-fold (MCF-7) and 2.2-fold (T-47D). We propose a model in which the deletion allele of esv3594306 juxtaposes two transcription factor binding regions (annotated by estrogen receptor alpha ChIP-seq peaks) to generate a single extended regulatory element. This regulatory element increases cell-type-specific expression of the tumor suppressor gene IGFBP5 and, thereby, reduces risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (odds ratio = 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.81, p = 3.1 × 10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.013DOI Listing
June 2021

First international workshop of the ATM and cancer risk group (4-5 December 2019).

Fam Cancer 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, USA.

The first International Workshop of the ATM and Cancer Risk group focusing on the role of Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) gene in cancer was held on December 4 and 5, 2019 at Institut Curie in Paris, France. It was motivated by the fact that germline ATM pathogenic variants have been found to be associated with different cancer types. However, due to the lack of precise age-, sex-, and site-specific risk estimates, no consensus on management guidelines for variant carriers exists, and the clinical utility of ATM variant testing is uncertain. The meeting brought together epidemiologists, geneticists, biologists and clinicians to review current knowledge and on-going challenges related to ATM and cancer risk. This report summarizes the meeting sessions content that covered the latest results in family-based and population-based studies, the importance of accurate variant classification, the effect of radiation exposures for ATM variant carriers, and the characteristics of ATM-deficient tumors. The report concludes that ATM variant carriers outside of the context of Ataxia-Telangiectasia may benefit from effective cancer risk management and therapeutic strategies and that efforts to set up large-scale studies in the international framework to achieve this goal are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10689-021-00248-yDOI Listing
June 2021

Association of markers of inflammation, the kynurenine pathway and B vitamins with age and mortality, and a signature of inflammaging.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.

Background: Inflammation is a key feature of aging. We aimed to i) investigate the association of 34 blood markers potentially involved in inflammatory processes with age and mortality, ii) develop a signature of 'inflammaging'.

Methods: Thirty-four blood markers relating to inflammation, B vitamin status and the kynurenine pathway were measured in 976 participants in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study at baseline (median age=59 years) and follow-up (median age=70 years). Associations with age and mortality were assessed using linear and Cox regression, respectively. A parsimonious signature of inflammaging was developed and its association with mortality was compared with two marker scores calculated across all markers associated with age and mortality, respectively.

Results: The majority of markers (30/34) were associated with age, with stronger associations observed for neopterin, cystatin C, IL-6, TNF-α, several markers of the kynurenine pathway and derived indices KTR (kynurenine/tryptophan ratio), PAr index (ratio of 4-pyridoxic acid and the sum of pyridoxal 5´-phosphate and pyridoxal), and HK:XA (3-hydroxykynurenine/xanthurenic acid ratio). Many markers (17/34) showed an association with mortality, in particular IL-6, neopterin, CRP, quinolinic acid, PAr index, and KTR. The inflammaging signature included ten markers and was strongly associated of mortality (HR per SD=1.40, 95%CI:1.24-1.57, P=2x10 -8), similar to scores based on all age-associated (HR=1.38, 95%CI:1.23-1.55, P=4x10 -8) and mortality-associated markers (HR=1.43, 95%CI:1.28-1.60, P=1x10 -10), respectively. Strong evidence of replication of the inflammaging signature association with mortality was found in the Hordaland Health Study.

Conclusion: Our study highlights the key role of the kynurenine pathway and vitamin B6 catabolism in aging, along with other well-established inflammation-related markers. A signature of inflammaging based on ten markers was strongly associated with mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glab163DOI Listing
June 2021

DNA Methylation Signatures and the Contribution of Age-Associated Methylomic Drift to Carcinogenesis in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 25;13(11). Epub 2021 May 25.

Colorectal Oncogenomics Group, Department of Clinical Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne 3010, Australia.

We investigated aberrant DNA methylation (DNAm) changes and the contribution of ageing-associated methylomic drift and age acceleration to early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC) carcinogenesis. Genome-wide DNAm profiling using the Infinium HM450K on 97 EOCRC tumour and 54 normal colonic mucosa samples was compared with: (1) intermediate-onset CRC (IOCRC; diagnosed between 50-70 years; 343 tumour and 35 normal); and (2) late-onset CRC (LOCRC; >70 years; 318 tumour and 40 normal). CpGs associated with age-related methylation drift were identified using a public dataset of 231 normal mucosa samples from people without CRC. DNAm-age was estimated using epiTOC2. Common to all three age-of-onset groups, 88,385 (20% of all CpGs) CpGs were differentially methylated between tumour and normal mucosa. We identified 234 differentially methylated genes that were unique to the EOCRC group; 13 of these DMRs/genes were replicated in EOCRC compared with LOCRCs from TCGA. In normal mucosa from people without CRC, we identified 28,154 CpGs that undergo ageing-related DNAm drift, and of those, 65% were aberrantly methylated in EOCRC tumours. Based on the mitotic-based DNAm clock epiTOC2, we identified age acceleration in normal mucosa of people with EOCRC compared with normal mucosa from the IOCRC, LOCRC groups ( = 3.7 × 10) and young people without CRC ( = 5.8 × 10). EOCRC acquires unique DNAm alterations at 234 loci. CpGs associated with ageing-associated drift were widely affected in EOCRC without needing the decades-long accrual of DNAm drift as commonly seen in intermediate- and late-onset CRCs. Accelerated ageing in normal mucosa from people with EOCRC potentially underlies the earlier age of diagnosis in CRC carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13112589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8199056PMC
May 2021

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

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

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

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

Evaluation of the association of heterozygous germline variants in NTHL1 with breast cancer predisposition: an international multi-center study of 47,180 subjects.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2021 May 12;7(1):52. Epub 2021 May 12.

School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.

Bi-allelic loss-of-function (LoF) variants in the base excision repair (BER) gene NTHL1 cause a high-risk hereditary multi-tumor syndrome that includes breast cancer, but the contribution of heterozygous variants to hereditary breast cancer is unknown. An analysis of 4985 women with breast cancer, enriched for familial features, and 4786 cancer-free women revealed significant enrichment for NTHL1 LoF variants. Immunohistochemistry confirmed reduced NTHL1 expression in tumors from heterozygous carriers but the NTHL1 bi-allelic loss characteristic mutational signature (SBS 30) was not present. The analysis was extended to 27,421 breast cancer cases and 19,759 controls from 10 international studies revealing 138 cases and 93 controls with a heterozygous LoF variant (OR 1.06, 95% CI: 0.82-1.39) and 316 cases and 179 controls with a missense variant (OR 1.31, 95% CI: 1.09-1.57). Missense variants selected for deleterious features by a number of in silico bioinformatic prediction tools or located within the endonuclease III functional domain showed a stronger association with breast cancer. Somatic sequencing of breast cancers from carriers indicated that the risk associated with NTHL1 appears to operate through haploinsufficiency, consistent with other described low-penetrance breast cancer genes. Data from this very large international multicenter study suggests that heterozygous pathogenic germline coding variants in NTHL1 may be associated with low- to moderate- increased risk of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-021-00255-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8115524PMC
May 2021

Prospective Evaluation of the Addition of Polygenic Risk Scores to Breast Cancer Risk Models.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Jun 2;5(3):pkab021. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

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

Background: The Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm and the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study breast cancer risk models are used to provide advice on screening intervals and chemoprevention. We evaluated the performance of these models, which now incorporate polygenic risk scores (PRSs), using a prospective cohort study.

Methods: We used a case-cohort design, involving women in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study aged 50-75 years when surveyed in 2003-2007, of whom 408 had a first primary breast cancer diagnosed within 10 years (cases), and 2783 were from the subcohort. Ten-year risks were calculated based on lifestyle factors, family history data, and a 313-variant PRS. Discrimination was assessed using a C-statistic compared with 0.50 and calibration using the ratio of expected to observed number of cases (E/O).

Results: When the PRS was added to models with lifestyle factors and family history, the C-statistic (95% confidence interval [CI]) increased from 0.57 (0.54 to 0.60) to 0.62 (0.60 to 0.65) using IBIS and from 0.56 (0.53 to 0.59) to 0.62 (0.59 to 0.64) using BOADICEA. IBIS underpredicted risk (E/O = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.80) for women in the lowest risk category (<1.7%) and overpredicted risk (E/O = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.18 to 1.67) in the highest risk category (≥5%), using the Hosmer-Lemeshow test for calibration in quantiles of risk and a 2-sided value less than.001. BOADICEA underpredicted risk (E/O = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67 to 0.99) in the second highest risk category (3.4%-5%); the Hosmer-Lemeshow test and a 2-sided valuewas equal to .02.

Conclusions: Although the inclusion of a 313 genetic variant PRS doubles discriminatory accuracy (relative to reference 0.50), models with and without this PRS have relatively modest discrimination and might require recalibration before their clinical and wider use are promoted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099999PMC
June 2021

Epigenetic Drift Association with Cancer Risk and Survival, and Modification by Sex.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 14;13(8). Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia.

To investigate age- and sex-specific DNA methylation alterations related to cancer risk and survival, we used matched case-control studies of colorectal ( = 835), gastric ( = 170), kidney ( = 143), lung ( = 332), prostate ( = 869) and urothelial ( = 428) cancers, and mature B-cell lymphoma ( = 438). Linear mixed-effects models were conducted to identify age-, sex- and age-by-sex-associated methylation markers using a discovery (controls)-replication (cases) strategy. Replication was further examined using summary statistics from Generation Scotland (GS). Associations between replicated markers and risk of and survival from cancer were assessed using conditional logistic regression and Cox models (hazard ratios (HR)), respectively. We found 32,659, 23,141 and 48 CpGs with replicated associations for age, sex and age-by-sex, respectively. The replication rates for these CpGs using GS summary data were 94%, 86% and 91%, respectively. Significant associations for cancer risk and survival were identified at some individual age-related CpGs. Opposite to previous findings using epigenetic clocks, there was a strong negative trend in the association between epigenetic drift and risk of colorectal cancer. Methylation at two CpGs overlapping and genes was associated with survival of overall (HR = 0.91, = 7.7 × 10) and colorectal (HR = 1.52, = 1.8 × 10) cancer, respectively, with significant age-by-sex interaction. Our results may provide markers for cancer early detection and prognosis prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13081881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070898PMC
April 2021

Residential surrounding greenness and DNA methylation: An epigenome-wide association study.

Environ Int 2021 Sep 13;154:106556. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: DNA methylation is a potential biological mechanism through which residential greenness affects health, but little is known about its association with greenness and whether the association could be modified by genetic background. We aimed to evaluate the association between surrounding greenness and genome-wide DNA methylation and potential gene-greenness interaction effects on DNA methylation.

Methods: We measured blood-derived DNA methylation using the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (Illumina) for 479 Australian women, including 66 monozygotic, 66 dizygotic twin pairs, and 215 sisters of these twins. Surrounding greenness was represented by Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) within 300, 500, 1000 or 2000 m surrounding participants' home addresses. For each cytosine-guanine dinucleotide (CpG), the associations between its methylation level and NDVI or EVI were evaluated by generalized estimating equations, after adjusting for age, education, marital status, area-level socioeconomic status, smoking behavior, cell-type proportions, and familial clustering. We used comb-p and DMRcate to identify significant differentially methylated regions (DMRs). For each significant CpG, we evaluated the interaction effects of greenness and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within ±1 Mb window on its methylation level.

Results: We found associations between surrounding greenness and blood DNA methylation for one CpG (cg04720477, mapped to the promoter region of CNP gene) with false discovery rate [FDR] < 0.05, and for another 9 CpGs with 0.05 ≤ FDR < 0.10. For two of these CpGs, we found 33 SNPs significantly (FDR < 0.05) modified the greenness-methylation association. There were 35 significant DMRs related to surrounding greenness that were identified by both comb-p (Sidak p-value < 0.01) and DMRcate (FDR < 0.01). Those CpGs and DMRs were mapped to genes related to many human diseases, such as mental health disorders and neoplasms as well as nutritional and metabolic diseases.

Conclusions: Surrounding greenness was associated with blood DNA methylation of many loci across human genome, and this association could be modified by genetic variations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106556DOI Listing
September 2021

Rare Germline Pathogenic Variants Identified by Multigene Panel Testing and the Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 24;13(7). Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3168, Australia.

While gene panel sequencing is becoming widely used for cancer risk prediction, its clinical utility with respect to predicting aggressive prostate cancer (PrCa) is limited by our current understanding of the genetic risk factors associated with predisposition to this potentially lethal disease phenotype. This study included 837 men diagnosed with aggressive PrCa and 7261 controls (unaffected men and men who did not meet criteria for aggressive PrCa). Rare germline pathogenic variants (including likely pathogenic variants) were identified by targeted sequencing of 26 known or putative cancer predisposition genes. We found that 85 (10%) men with aggressive PrCa and 265 (4%) controls carried a pathogenic variant ( < 0.0001). Aggressive PrCa odds ratios (ORs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Increased risk of aggressive PrCa (OR (95% confidence interval)) was identified for pathogenic variants in (5.8 (2.7-12.4)), (5.5 (1.8-16.6)), and (3.8 (1.6-9.1)). Our study provides further evidence that rare germline pathogenic variants in these genes are associated with increased risk of this aggressive, clinically relevant subset of PrCa. These rare genetic variants could be incorporated into risk prediction models to improve their precision to identify men at highest risk of aggressive prostate cancer and be used to identify men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer who require urgent treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036662PMC
March 2021

Population-Based Estimates of the Age-Specific Cumulative Risk of Breast Cancer for Pathogenic Variants in : Findings from the Australian Breast Cancer Family Registry.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 18;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3168, Australia.

Case-control studies of breast cancer have consistently shown that pathogenic variants in are associated with about a 3-fold increased risk of breast cancer. Information about the recurrent protein-truncating variant c.1100delC dominates this estimate. There have been no formal estimates of age-specific cumulative risk of breast cancer for all pathogenic (including likely pathogenic) variants combined. We conducted a population-based case-control-family study of pathogenic variants (26 families, 1071 relatives) and estimated the age-specific cumulative risk of breast cancer using segregation analysis. The estimated hazard ratio for carriers of pathogenic variants (combined) was 4.9 (95% CI 2.5-9.5) relative to non-carriers. The HR for carriers of the c.1100delC variant was estimated to be 3.5 (95% CI 1.02-11.6) and the HR for carriers of all other variants combined was estimated to be 5.7 (95% CI 2.5-12.9). The age-specific cumulative risk of breast cancer was estimated to be 18% (95% CI 11-30%) and 33% (95% CI 21-48%) to age 60 and 80 years, respectively. These findings provide important information for the clinical management of breast cancer risk for women carrying pathogenic variants in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003064PMC
March 2021

: Genetic Variation, Heritable Methylation and Disease Association.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 3;22(5). Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia.

is a metastable epiallele with accumulating evidence that methylation at this region is heritable, modifiable and associated with disease including risk and progression of cancer. This study investigated the influence of genetic variation and other factors such as age and adult lifestyle on blood DNA methylation in this region. We first sequenced the gene region in multiple-case breast cancer families in which methylation was identified as heritable and associated with breast cancer risk. Methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTL) were investigated using a prospective cohort study (4500 participants with genotyping and methylation data). The -mQTL analysis (334 variants ± 50 kb of the most heritable CpG site) identified 43 variants associated with methylation ( < 1.5 × 10); however, these explained little of the methylation variation (R < 0.5% for each of these variants). No genetic variants elsewhere in the genome were found to strongly influence methylation. SNP-based heritability estimates were consistent with the mQTL findings (h = 0, 95%CI: -0.14 to 0.14). We found no evidence that age, sex, country of birth, smoking, body mass index, alcohol consumption or diet influenced blood DNA methylation at . Genetic factors and adult lifestyle play a minimal role in explaining methylation variability at the heritable cluster.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961504PMC
March 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CYP3A7*1C allele: linking premenopausal oestrone and progesterone levels with risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Br J Cancer 2021 02 26;124(4):842-854. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Epidemiological studies provide strong evidence for a role of endogenous sex hormones in the aetiology of breast cancer. The aim of this analysis was to identify genetic variants that are associated with urinary sex-hormone levels and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We carried out a genome-wide association study of urinary oestrone-3-glucuronide and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide levels in 560 premenopausal women, with additional analysis of progesterone levels in 298 premenopausal women. To test for the association with breast cancer risk, we carried out follow-up genotyping in 90,916 cases and 89,893 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. All women were of European ancestry.

Results: For pregnanediol-3-glucuronide, there were no genome-wide significant associations; for oestrone-3-glucuronide, we identified a single peak mapping to the CYP3A locus, annotated by rs45446698. The minor rs45446698-C allele was associated with lower oestrone-3-glucuronide (-49.2%, 95% CI -56.1% to -41.1%, P = 3.1 × 10); in follow-up analyses, rs45446698-C was also associated with lower progesterone (-26.7%, 95% CI -39.4% to -11.6%, P = 0.001) and reduced risk of oestrogen and progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer (OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.91, P = 6.9 × 10).

Conclusions: The CYP3A7*1C allele is associated with reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer possibly mediated via an effect on the metabolism of endogenous sex hormones in premenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01185-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884683PMC
February 2021

Breast Cancer Risk Genes - Association Analysis in More than 113,000 Women.

N Engl J Med 2021 02 20;384(5):428-439. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

The authors' affiliations are as follows: the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Departments of Public Health and Primary Care (L.D., S. Carvalho, J.A., K.A.P., Q.W., M.K.B., J.D., B.D., N. Mavaddat, K. Michailidou, A.C.A., P.D.P.P., D.F.E.) and Oncology (C.L., P.A.H., C. Baynes, D.M.C., L.F., V.R., M. Shah, P.D.P.P., A.M.D., D.F.E.), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (A. Campbell, D.J.P.), and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Department of Psychology (D.J.P.), University of Edinburgh, the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre (D.A.C., J.F.), and the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh Medical School (A. Campbell, J.F.), Edinburgh, the Divisions of Informatics, Imaging, and Data Sciences (E.F.H.), Cancer Sciences (A. Howell), Population Health, Health Services Research, and Primary Care (A. Lophatananon, K. Muir), and Evolution and Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), University of Manchester, the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Unit (E.F.H.) and the Nightingale Breast Screening Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital (E.F.H., H.I.), Academic Health Science Centre and North West Genomics Laboratory Hub, and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), Manchester, the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Guy's Campus, King's College London, London (E.J.S.), the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (I.T.), and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford (I.T.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Human Genotyping-CEGEN Unit, Human Cancer Genetic Program (A.G.-N., M.R.A., N.Á., B.H., R.N.-T.), and the Human Genetics Group (V.F., A.O., J.B.), Spanish National Cancer Research Center, Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (A.O., J.B.), Servicio de Oncología Médica, Hospital Universitario La Paz (M.P.Z.), and Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (M. de la Hoya), Madrid, the Genomic Medicine Group, Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago (A. Carracedo, M.G.-D.), and Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras y Centro Nacional de Genotipado, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (A. Carracedo), Santiago de Compostela, the Oncology and Genetics Unit, Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria Galicia Sur, Xerencia de Xestion Integrada de Vigo-Servizo Galeo de Saúde, Vigo (J.E.C.), and Servicio de Cirugía General y Especialidades, Hospital Monte Naranco, Oviedo (J.I.A.P.) - all in Spain; the Division of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund (C. Wahlström, J.V., M.L., T. Törngren, Å.B., A.K.), the Department of Oncology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro (C. Blomqvist), and the Departments of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (K.C., M.E., M.G., P. Hall, W.H., K.H.), Oncology, Södersjukhuset (P. Hall, S. Margolin), Molecular Medicine and Surgery (A. Lindblom), and Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset (S. Margolin, C. Wendt), Karolinska Institutet, and the Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital (A. Lindblom), Stockholm - all in Sweden; the Department of Genetics and Computational Biology, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD (M.T.P., C.F., G.C.-T., A.B.S.), the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), and the Department of Clinical Pathology (M.C.S.), University of Melbourne, Anatomical Pathology, Alfred Hospital (C.M.), and the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (M.C.S.), Melbourne, VIC, and Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC (G.G.G., M.C.S., R.L.M.) - all in Australia; the Division of Molecular Pathology (R.K., S. Cornelissen, M.K.S.), Family Cancer Clinic (F.B.L.H., L.E.K.), Department of Epidemiology (M.A.R.), and Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology (M.K.S.), the Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, Division Laboratories, Pharmacy and Biomedical Genetics, Department of Genetics, University Medical Center, Utrecht (M.G.E.M.A.), the Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center (J.M.C., A.M.W.O.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Family Cancer Clinic, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (B.A.M.H.-G., A. Hollestelle, M.J.H.), Rotterdam, the Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht (E.B.G.G.), the Departments of Human Genetics (I.M.M.L., M.P.G.V., P.D.), Clinical Genetics (C.J.A.), and Pathology (P.D.), Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (A.R.M.), and the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen (J.C.O.) - all in the Netherlands; the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute (B.D.), and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (T.A., S.J.C., X.R.Y., M.G.-C.), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (B.D.), and the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (R.M.V.D.), Boston; the Departments of Clinical Genetics (K.A.), Oncology (C. Blomqvist), and Obstetrics and Gynecology (H.N., M. Suvanto), Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, and the Unit of Clinical Oncology, Kuopio University Hospital (P. Auvinen), the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oncology (P. Auvinen), the Translational Cancer Research Area (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Pathology, and Forensic Medicine (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), University of Eastern Finland, and the Biobank of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital (V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), Kuopio - both in Finland; the N.N. Alexandrov Research Institute of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Minsk, Belarus (N.N.A., N.V.B.); the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Kiel (N.A.), the Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology (H. Becher) and Cancer Epidemiology Group (T.M., J.C.-C.), University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (M.W.B., P.A.F., L.H.) and Institute of Human Genetics (A.B.E.), University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, Erlangen, the Division of Cancer Epidemiology (S.B., A. Jung, P.M.K., J.C.-C.), Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080 (B. Burwinkel, H.S.), Division of Pediatric Neurooncology (A.F.), and Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer (U.H., M.M., M.U.R., D.T.), German Cancer Research Center, Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer, University Women's Clinic Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg (B. Burwinkel, A.S., H.S.), Hopp Children's Cancer Center (A.F.), Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg (P.M.K.), and National Center for Tumor Diseases, University Hospital and German Cancer Research Center (A.S., C.S.), Heidelberg, the Department of Radiation Oncology (N.V.B., M. Bremer, H.C.) and the Gynecology Research Unit (N.V.B., T.D., P. Hillemanns, T.-W.P.-S., P.S.), Hannover Medical School, Hannover, the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Münster, Münster (N.B.-M.), Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart (H. Brauch, W.-Y.L.), iFIT-Cluster of Excellence, University of Tübingen, and the German Cancer Consortium, German Cancer Research Center, Partner Site Tübingen (H. Brauch), and the University of Tübingen (W.-Y.L.), Tübingen, Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum (T.B.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics, and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig (C.E.), Center for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (E.H., R.K.S.) and Center for Integrated Oncology (E.H., R.K.S.), Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, the Department of Internal Medicine, Evangelische Kliniken Bonn, Johanniter Krankenhaus, Bonn (Y.-D.K.), the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Munich, Campus Großhadern, Munich (A. Meindl), and the Institute of Pathology, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (T.R.) - all in Germany; the Gynecological Cancer Registry, Centre Georges-François Leclerc, Dijon (P. Arveux), and the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Team Exposome and Heredity, INSERM, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif (E.C.-D., P.G., T. Truong) - both in France; the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (M. Bermisheva, E.K.), the Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine, Bashkir State University (E.K., D.P., Y.V.), and the Ufa Research Institute of Occupational Health and Human Ecology (Y.V.), Ufa, Russia; the Department of Genetics and Pathology (K.B., A. Jakubowska, J. Lubiński, K.P.) and the Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetic Diagnostics (A. Jakubowska), Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland; the Copenhagen General Population Study, the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (S.E.B., B.G.N.), and the Department of Breast Surgery (H.F.), Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (S.E.B., B.G.N.) - both in Denmark; the Division of Cancer Prevention and Genetics, European Institute of Oncology Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) (B. Bonanni), the Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano (S. Manoukian), the Genome Diagnostics Program, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (P.P.), and the Unit of Molecular Bases of Genetic Risk and Genetic Testing, Department of Research, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (P.R.), Milan; the Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Radiumhospitalet (A.-L.B.-D., G.I.G.A., V.N.K.), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo (A.-L.B.-D., V.N.K.), Oslo; Medical Faculty, Universidad de La Sabana (I.B.), and the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (F.G.) and Institute of Human Genetics (D.T.), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia; the Department of Internal Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah (N.J.C., M.J.M., J.A.W.), and the Intermountain Healthcare Biorepository and Department of Pathology, Intermountain Healthcare (M.H.C.), Salt Lake City; the David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles (P.A.F.), and Moores Cancer Center (M.G.-D., M.E.M.) and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (M.E.M.), University of California San Diego, La Jolla; the Departments of Medical Oncology (V.G., D.M.) and Pathology (M.T.), University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, and the Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa (E.S.) - both in Greece; the Fred A. Litwin Center for Cancer Genetics, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital (G.G., I.L.A.), the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (A.M.M.) and Molecular Genetics (I.L.A.), University of Toronto, and the Laboratory Medicine Program, University Health Network (A.M.M.), Toronto, and the Genomics Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Québec City, QC (J.S.) - both in Canada; the Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L.), the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L., K. Michailidou), and the Biostatistics Unit (K. Michailidou), Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus; the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (M. Hartman, R.M.V.D.) and the Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (R.M.V.D.), National University of Singapore, the Department of Surgery, National University Health System (M. Hartman, J. Li), and the Human Genetics Division, Genome Institute of Singapore (J. Li), Singapore; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia (W.K.H.), and the Breast Cancer Research Programme, Cancer Research Malaysia (W.K.H., P.S.N., S.-Y.Y., S.H.T.), Selangor, and the Breast Cancer Research Unit, Cancer Research Institute (N.A.M.T.), and the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine (N.A.M.T., P.S.N., S.H.T.), University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur - both in Malaysia; Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway (M.J.K., N. Miller); the Department of Surgery, Daerim Saint Mary's Hospital (S.-W.K.), the Department of Surgery, Ulsan University College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center (J.W.L.), the Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine and Soonchunhyang University Hospital (M.H.L.), Integrated Major in Innovative Medical Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine (S.K.P.), and the Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University (S.K.P.), Seoul, South Korea; the Department of Basic Sciences, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Lahore, Pakistan (M.U.R.); and the National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand (S.T.).

Background: Genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility is widely used, but for many genes, evidence of an association with breast cancer is weak, underlying risk estimates are imprecise, and reliable subtype-specific risk estimates are lacking.

Methods: We used a panel of 34 putative susceptibility genes to perform sequencing on samples from 60,466 women with breast cancer and 53,461 controls. In separate analyses for protein-truncating variants and rare missense variants in these genes, we estimated odds ratios for breast cancer overall and tumor subtypes. We evaluated missense-variant associations according to domain and classification of pathogenicity.

Results: Protein-truncating variants in 5 genes (, , , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.0001. Protein-truncating variants in 4 other genes (, , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.05 and a Bayesian false-discovery probability of less than 0.05. For protein-truncating variants in 19 of the remaining 25 genes, the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the odds ratio for breast cancer overall was less than 2.0. For protein-truncating variants in and , odds ratios were higher for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease than for ER-negative disease; for protein-truncating variants in , , , , , and , odds ratios were higher for ER-negative disease than for ER-positive disease. Rare missense variants (in aggregate) in , , and were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.001. For , , and , missense variants (in aggregate) that would be classified as pathogenic according to standard criteria were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall, with the risk being similar to that of protein-truncating variants.

Conclusions: The results of this study define the genes that are most clinically useful for inclusion on panels for the prediction of breast cancer risk, as well as provide estimates of the risks associated with protein-truncating variants, to guide genetic counseling. (Funded by European Union Horizon 2020 programs and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1913948DOI Listing
February 2021

Association of variably methylated tumour DNA regions with overall survival for invasive lobular breast cancer.

Clin Epigenetics 2021 Jan 18;13(1):11. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Department of Clinical Pathology, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, 3010, Australia.

Background: Tumour DNA methylation profiling has shown potential to refine disease subtyping and improve the diagnosis and prognosis prediction of breast cancer. However, limited data exist regarding invasive lobular breast cancer (ILBC). Here, we investigated the genome-wide variability of DNA methylation levels across ILBC tumours and assessed the association between methylation levels at the variably methylated regions and overall survival in women with ILBC.

Methods: Tumour-enriched DNA was prepared by macrodissecting formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumour tissue from 130 ILBCs diagnosed in the participants of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS). Genome-wide tumour DNA methylation was measured using the HumanMethylation 450K (HM450K) BeadChip array. Variably methylated regions (VMRs) were identified using the DMRcate package in R. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess the association between methylation levels at the ten most significant VMRs and overall survival. Gene set enrichment analyses were undertaken using the web-based tool Metaspace. Replication of the VMR and survival analysis findings was examined using data retrieved from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) for 168 ILBC cases. We also examined the correlation between methylation and gene expression for the ten VMRs of interest using TCGA data.

Results: We identified 2771 VMRs (P < 10) in ILBC tumours. The ten most variably methylated clusters were predominantly located in the promoter region of the genes: ISM1, APC, TMEM101, ASCL2, NKX6, HIST3H2A/HIST3H2BB, HCG4P3, HES5, CELF2 and EFCAB4B. Higher methylation level at several of these VMRs showed an association with reduced overall survival in the MCCS. In TCGA, all associations were in the same direction, however stronger than in the MCCS. The pooled analysis of the MCCS and TCGA data showed that methylation at four of the ten genes was associated with reduced overall survival, independently of age and tumour stage; APC: Hazard Ratio (95% Confidence interval) per one-unit M-value increase: 1.18 (1.02-1.36), TMEM101: 1.23 (1.02-1.48), HCG4P3: 1.37 (1.05-1.79) and CELF2: 1.21 (1.02-1.43). A negative correlation was observed between methylation and gene expression for CELF2 (R = - 0.25, P = 0.001), but not for TMEM101 and APC.

Conclusions: Our study identified regions showing greatest variability across the ILBC tumour genome and found methylation at several genes to potentially serve as a biomarker of survival for women with ILBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-020-00975-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7814464PMC
January 2021

Biological Aging Measures Based on Blood DNA Methylation and Risk of Cancer: A Prospective Study.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Feb 16;5(1):pkaa109. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

Background: We previously investigated the association between 5 "first-generation" measures of epigenetic aging and cancer risk in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. This study assessed cancer risk associations for 3 recently developed methylation-based biomarkers of aging: , , and predicted telomere length.

Methods: We estimated rate ratios (RRs) for the association between these 3 age-adjusted measures and risk of colorectal (N = 813), gastric (N = 165), kidney (N = 139), lung (N = 327), mature B-cell (N = 423), prostate (N = 846), and urothelial (N = 404) cancer using conditional logistic regression models. We also assessed associations by time since blood draw and by cancer subtype, and we investigated potential nonlinearity.

Results: We observed relatively strong associations of age-adjusted with risk of colorectal, kidney, lung, mature B-cell, and urothelial cancers (RR per SD was approximately 1.2-1.3). Similar findings were obtained for age-adjusted , but the association with lung cancer risk was much larger (RR per SD = 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.44 to 2.30), after adjustment for smoking status, pack-years, starting age, time since quitting, and other cancer risk factors. Most associations appeared linear, larger than for the first-generation measures, and were virtually unchanged after adjustment for a large set of sociodemographic, lifestyle, and anthropometric variables. For cancer overall, the comprehensively adjusted rate ratio per SD was 1.13 (95% CI = 1.07 to 1.19) for and 1.12 (95% CI = 1.05 to 1.20) for and appeared larger within 5 years of blood draw (RR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.44 and 1.19, 95% CI = 1.06 to 1.33, respectively).

Conclusions: The methylation-based measures and may provide insights into the relationship between biological aging and cancer and be useful to predict cancer risk, particularly for lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791618PMC
February 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comparing 5-Year and Lifetime Risks of Breast Cancer using the Prospective Family Study Cohort.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jun;113(6):785-791

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Clinical guidelines often use predicted lifetime risk from birth to define criteria for making decisions regarding breast cancer screening rather than thresholds based on absolute 5-year risk from current age.

Methods: We used the Prospective Family Cohort Study of 14 657 women without breast cancer at baseline in which, during a median follow-up of 10 years, 482 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. We examined the performances of the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS) and Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA) risk models when using the alternative thresholds by comparing predictions based on 5-year risk with those based on lifetime risk from birth and remaining lifetime risk. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Using IBIS, the areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curves were 0.66 (95% confidence interval = 0.63 to 0.68) and 0.56 (95% confidence interval = 0.54 to 0.59) for 5-year and lifetime risks, respectively (Pdiff < .001). For equivalent sensitivities, the 5-year incidence almost always had higher specificities than lifetime risk from birth. For women aged 20-39 years, 5-year risk performed better than lifetime risk from birth. For women aged 40 years or older, receiver-operating characteristic curves were similar for 5-year and lifetime IBIS risk from birth. Classifications based on remaining lifetime risk were inferior to 5-year risk estimates. Results were similar using BOADICEA.

Conclusions: Our analysis shows that risk stratification using clinical models will likely be more accurate when based on predicted 5-year risk compared with risks based on predicted lifetime and remaining lifetime, particularly for women aged 20-39 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa178DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168075PMC
June 2021

Novel mammogram-based measures improve breast cancer risk prediction beyond an established mammographic density measure.

Int J Cancer 2021 May 4;148(9):2193-2202. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Mammograms contain information that predicts breast cancer risk. We developed two novel mammogram-based breast cancer risk measures based on image brightness (Cirrocumulus) and texture (Cirrus). Their risk prediction when fitted together, and with an established measure of conventional mammographic density (Cumulus), is not known. We used three studies consisting of: 168 interval cases and 498 matched controls; 422 screen-detected cases and 1197 matched controls; and 354 younger-diagnosis cases and 944 controls frequency-matched for age at mammogram. We conducted conditional and unconditional logistic regression analyses of individually- and frequency-matched studies, respectively. We estimated measure-specific risk gradients as the change in odds per standard deviation of controls after adjusting for age and body mass index (OPERA) and calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). For interval, screen-detected and younger-diagnosis cancer risks, the best fitting models (OPERAs [95% confidence intervals]) involved: Cumulus (1.81 [1.41-2.31]) and Cirrus (1.72 [1.38-2.14]); Cirrus (1.49 [1.32-1.67]) and Cirrocumulus (1.16 [1.03 to 1.31]); and Cirrus (1.70 [1.48 to 1.94]) and Cirrocumulus (1.46 [1.27-1.68]), respectively. The AUCs were: 0.73 [0.68-0.77], 0.63 [0.60-0.66], and 0.72 [0.69-0.75], respectively. Combined, our new mammogram-based measures have twice the risk gradient for screen-detected and younger-diagnosis breast cancer (P ≤ 10 ), have at least the same discriminatory power as the current polygenic risk score, and are more correlated with causal factors than conventional mammographic density. Discovering more information about breast cancer risk from mammograms could help enable risk-based personalised breast screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33396DOI Listing
May 2021

Methylation marks of prenatal exposure to maternal smoking and risk of cancer in adulthood.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 03;50(1):105-115

Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.

Background: Prenatal exposure to maternal smoking is detrimental to child health but its association with risk of cancer has seldom been investigated. Maternal smoking induces widespread and long-lasting DNA methylation changes, which we study here for association with risk of cancer in adulthood.

Methods: Eight prospective case-control studies nested within the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study were used to assess associations between maternal-smoking-associated methylation marks in blood and risk of several cancers: breast (n = 406 cases), colorectal (n = 814), gastric (n = 166), kidney (n = 139), lung (n = 327), prostate (n = 847) and urothelial (n = 404) cancer and B-cell lymphoma (n = 426). We used conditional logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between cancer and five methylation scores calculated as weighted averages for 568, 19, 15, 28 and 17 CpG sites. Models were adjusted for confounders, including personal smoking history (smoking status, pack-years, age at starting and quitting) and methylation scores for personal smoking.

Results: All methylation scores for maternal smoking were strongly positively associated with risk of urothelial cancer. Risk estimates were only slightly attenuated after adjustment for smoking history, other potential confounders and methylation scores for personal smoking. Potential negative associations were observed with risk of lung cancer and B-cell lymphoma. No associations were observed for other cancers.

Conclusions: We found that methylation marks of prenatal exposure to maternal smoking are associated with increased risk of urothelial cancer. Our study demonstrates the potential for using DNA methylation to investigate the impact of early-life, unmeasured exposures on later-life cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa210DOI Listing
March 2021

The Variant C.349A>G Is Associated with Prostate Cancer Risk and Carriers Share a Common Ancestor.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Nov 4;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.

The identification of recurrent founder variants in cancer predisposing genes may have important implications for implementing cost-effective targeted genetic screening strategies. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence and relative risk of the recurrent variant c.349A>G in a series of 462 Portuguese patients with early-onset and/or familial/hereditary prostate cancer (PrCa), as well as in the large multicentre PRACTICAL case-control study comprising 55,162 prostate cancer cases and 36,147 controls. Additionally, we investigated the potential shared ancestry of the carriers by performing identity-by-descent, haplotype and age estimation analyses using high-density SNP data from 70 variant carriers belonging to 11 different populations included in the PRACTICAL consortium. The missense variant c.349A>G was found significantly associated with an increased risk for PrCa (OR 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1-3.2). A shared haplotype flanking the variant in all carriers was identified, strongly suggesting a common founder of European origin. Additionally, using two independent statistical algorithms, implemented by DMLE+2.3 and ESTIAGE, we were able to estimate the age of the variant between 2300 and 3125 years. By extending the haplotype analysis to 14 additional carrier families, a shared core haplotype was revealed among all carriers matching the conserved region previously identified in the high-density SNP analysis. These findings are consistent with c.349A>G being a founder variant associated with increased PrCa risk, suggesting its potential usefulness for cost-effective targeted genetic screening in PrCa families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694218PMC
November 2020

Genetic and environmental causes of variation in epigenetic aging across the lifespan.

Clin Epigenetics 2020 10 22;12(1):158. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3051, Australia.

Background: DNA methylation-based biological age (DNAm age) is an important biomarker for adult health. Studies in specific age ranges have found widely varying results about its genetic and environmental causes of variation. However, these studies are not able to provide a comprehensive view of the causes of variation over the lifespan.

Results: In order to investigate the genetic and environmental causes of DNAm age variation across the lifespan, we pooled genome-wide DNA methylation data for 4217 people aged 0-92 years from 1871 families. DNAm age was calculated using the Horvath epigenetic clock. We estimated familial correlations in DNAm age for monozygotic (MZ) twin, dizygotic (DZ) twin, sibling, parent-offspring, and spouse pairs by cohabitation status. Genetic and environmental variance components models were fitted and compared. We found that twin pair correlations were - 0.12 to 0.18 around birth, not different from zero (all P > 0.29). For all pairs of relatives, their correlations increased with time spent living together (all P < 0.02) at different rates (MZ > DZ and siblings > parent-offspring; P < 0.001) and decreased with time spent living apart (P = 0.02) at similar rates. These correlation patterns were best explained by cohabitation-dependent shared environmental factors, the effects of which were 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16 to 1.66) times greater for MZ pairs than for DZ and sibling pairs, and the latter were 2.03 (95% CI 1.13 to 9.47) times greater than for parent-offspring pairs. Genetic factors explained 13% (95% CI - 10 to 35%) of variation (P = 0.27). Similar results were found for another two epigenetic clocks, suggesting that our observations are robust to how DNAm age is measured. In addition, results for the other clocks were consistent with there also being a role for prenatal environmental factors in determining their variation.

Conclusions: Variation in DNAm age is mostly caused by environmental factors, including those shared to different extents by relatives while living together and whose effects persist into old age. The equal environment assumption of the classic twin study might not hold for epigenetic aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-020-00950-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7583207PMC
October 2020

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

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

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

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

Association of germline variation with the survival of women with pathogenic variants and breast cancer.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2020 10;6:44. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Fred A. Litwin Center for Cancer Genetics, Toronto, ON Canada.

Germline genetic variation has been suggested to influence the survival of breast cancer patients independently of tumor pathology. We have studied survival associations of genetic variants in two etiologically unique groups of breast cancer patients, the carriers of germline pathogenic variants in or genes. We found that rs57025206 was significantly associated with the overall survival, predicting higher mortality of carrier patients with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, with a hazard ratio 4.37 (95% confidence interval 3.03-6.30,  = 3.1 × 10). Multivariable analysis adjusted for tumor characteristics suggested that rs57025206 was an independent survival marker. In addition, our exploratory analyses suggest that the associations between genetic variants and breast cancer patient survival may depend on tumor biological subgroup and clinical patient characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-020-00185-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483417PMC
September 2020