Publications by authors named "Polly A Newcomb"

380 Publications

DNA methylation-based signature of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes enables evaluation of immune response and prognosis in colorectal cancer.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Sep;9(9)

Guangdong Institute of Gastroenterology, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Colorectal and Pelvic Floor Disease, The Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

Background: Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), especially CD8+ TILs, can be used for predicting immunotherapy responsiveness and survival outcome. However, the evaluation of CD8+ TILs currently relies on histopathological methodology with high variability. We therefore aimed to develop a DNA methylation signature for CD8+ TILs (CD8+ MeTIL) that could evaluate immune response and prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: A CD8+ MeTIL signature score was constructed by using CD8+ T cell-specific differentially methylated positions (DMPs) that were identified from Illumina EPIC methylation arrays. Immune cells, colon epithelial cells, and two CRC cohorts (n=282 and 335) were used to develop a PCR-based assay for quantitative analysis of DNA methylation at single-base resolution (QASM) to determine CD8 + MeTIL signature score.

Results: Three CD8+ T cell-specific DMPs were identified to construct the CD8+ MeTIL signature score, which showed a dramatic discriminability between CD8+ T cells and other cells. The QASM assay we developed for CD8+ MeTIL markers could measure CD8+ TILs distributions in a fully quantitative, accurate, and simple manner. The CD8+ MeTIL score determined by QASM assay showed a strong association with histopathology-based CD8+ TIL counts and a gene expression-based immune marker. Furthermore, the low CD8+ MeTIL score (enriched CD8+ TILs) was associated with MSI-H tumors and predicted better survival in CRC cohorts.

Conclusions: This study developed a quantitative DNA methylation-based signature that was reliable to evaluate CD8+ TILs and prognosis in CRC. This approach has the potential to be a tool for investigations on CD8+ TILs and a biomarker for therapeutic approaches, including immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8458312PMC
September 2021

A Risk Prediction Model to Identify Newborns at Risk for Missing Early Childhood Vaccinations.

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 2021 Aug 17. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Approximately 30% of US children aged 24 months have not received all recommended vaccines. This study aimed to develop a prediction model to identify newborns at high risk for missing early childhood vaccines.

Methods: A retrospective cohort included 9080 infants born weighing ≥2000 g at an academic medical center between 2008 and 2013. Electronic medical record data were linked to vaccine data from the Washington State Immunization Information System. Risk models were constructed using derivation and validation samples. K-fold cross-validation identified risk factors for model inclusion based on alpha = 0.01. For each patient in the derivation set, the total number of weighted adverse risk factors was calculated and used to establish groups at low, medium, or high risk for undervaccination. Logistic regression evaluated the likelihood of not completing the 7-vaccine series by age 19 months. The final model was tested using the validation sample.

Results: Overall, 53.6% failed to complete the 7-vaccine series by 19 months. Six risk factors were identified: race/ethnicity, maternal language, insurance status, birth hospitalization length of stay, medical service, and hepatitis B vaccine receipt. Likelihood of non-completion was greater in the high (77.1%; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5.6; 99% confidence interval [CI]: 4.2, 7.4) and medium (52.7%; AOR 1.9; 99% CI: 1.6, 2.2) vs low (38.7%) risk groups in the derivation sample. Similar results were observed in the validation sample.

Conclusions: Our prediction model using information readily available in birth hospitalization records consistently identified newborns at high risk for undervaccination. Early identification of high-risk families could be useful for initiating timely, tailored vaccine interventions.We developed a prediction model using demographic and birth hospitalization information from electronic medical records that consistently identified newborns at risk for missing future childhood vaccines. Prediction models may aide providers as they initiate early, tailored vaccine interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpids/piab073DOI Listing
August 2021

Association Between Smoking and Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Cancer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Association between post-treatment circulating biomarkers of inflammation and survival among stage II-III colorectal cancer patients.

Br J Cancer 2021 Sep 6;125(6):806-815. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

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

Background: Biomarker studies on colorectal cancer (CRC) prognosis are limited to pre-diagnostic or pre-operative measures. Post-treatment biomarkers are not well understood for their associations with CRC survival.

Methods: We included 306 eligible incident stage II-III CRC cases from the population-based Seattle Colon Cancer Family Registry. Concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), adiponectin, and leptin were measured using post-treatment plasma samples. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for all-cause and CRC-specific mortality were calculated using Cox proportional hazard models.

Results: Elevated levels of CRP, IL-6, MCP-1, and adiponectin were significantly associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality within 10 years post blood draw with HRs (95% CI) of 1.32 (1.10-2.59), 2.72 (2.07-3.56), 1.97 (1.18-3.28) and 1.71 (1.14-2.58), respectively. IL-6 and adiponectin had a dose-response effect (P < 0.0001). For CRC-specific mortality, we observed positive associations for CRP (HR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.2-2.56), IL-6 (HR = 5.02, 95% CI: 2.92-8.59), MCP-1 (HR = 3.78, 95% CI: 1.41-10.08), and adiponectin (HR = 3.16, 95% CI: 1.27-7.86), and inverse association for leptin (HR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.29-0.68) within the first year of blood draw, whereas the association for IL-6 remained statistically significant over 10 years.

Conclusion: Our results support the role of chronic inflammation in CRC progression and suggested several post-treatment inflammatory biomarkers, particularly IL-6, are promising prognostic markers for stage II-III CRC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01458-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8438064PMC
September 2021

No Difference in Penetrance between Truncating and Missense/Aberrant Splicing Pathogenic Variants in and : A Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database Study.

J Clin Med 2021 Jun 28;10(13). Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Medical Genetics, Institute for Medical Genetics and Pathology, University Hospital Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Lynch syndrome is the most common genetic predisposition for hereditary cancer. Carriers of pathogenic changes in mismatch repair (MMR) genes have an increased risk of developing colorectal (CRC), endometrial, ovarian, urinary tract, prostate, and other cancers, depending on which gene is malfunctioning. In Lynch syndrome, differences in cancer incidence (penetrance) according to the gene involved have led to the stratification of cancer surveillance. By contrast, any differences in penetrance determined by the type of pathogenic variant remain unknown.

Objective: To determine cumulative incidences of cancer in carriers of truncating and missense or aberrant splicing pathogenic variants of the and genes.

Methods: Carriers of pathogenic variants of () and () genes filed in the Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database (PLSD) were categorized as truncating or missense/aberrant splicing according to the InSiGHT criteria for pathogenicity.

Results: Among 5199 carriers, 1045 had missense or aberrant splicing variants, and 3930 had truncating variants. Prospective observation years for the two groups were 8205 and 34,141 years, respectively, after which there were no significant differences in incidences for cancer overall or for colorectal cancer or endometrial cancers separately.

Conclusion: Truncating and missense or aberrant splicing pathogenic variants were associated with similar average cumulative incidences of cancer in carriers of and .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132856DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8269121PMC
June 2021

Does margin width impact breast cancer recurrence rates in women with breast conserving surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ?

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 Sep 15;189(2):463-470. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI, 53792, USA.

Purpose: Controversy remains regarding the optimal margin width for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who undergo breast conserving surgery (BCS).

Methods: Women with a primary DCIS diagnosis were enrolled in a statewide population-based cohort from 1997 to 2006. Patients were surveyed every two years with follow-up data available through 2016. Surgical pathology reports were collected for 559 participants following breast conserving surgery. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models evaluated relationships between locoregional recurrence (LRR) and margin width in the presence or absence of adjuvant radiation therapy while controlling for age, menopausal status and duration of endocrine therapy use.

Results: The majority of women in this study were over 50yo (74%), 34% had high grade disease, and 77% underwent radiation. The overall LRR rate was 12%. A LRR occurred in 46 women who had radiation (11%) and 23 women who did not undergo radiation (19%). Univariate analysis identified smaller margin width, younger age, premenopausal status, no radiotherapy, and shorter endocrine therapy use associated with LRR. Multivariable models demonstrated that close margins (< 2 mm) were associated with an increased risk of recurrence when compared to margins ≥ 2 mm in width whether women received radiation (HR 1.98 CI 0.87-4.54) or not (HR 1.32 CI 0.27-6.49), but confidence intervals were wide.

Conclusions: In this study, patients with DCIS and close margins were less likely to experience recurrence after routine re-excision to margins greater than 2 mm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-021-06278-5DOI Listing
September 2021

Risk of Breast Cancer Among Carriers of Pathogenic Variants in Breast Cancer Predisposition Genes Varies by Polygenic Risk Score.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 8;39(23):2564-2573. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Population Health Sciences Department, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY.

Purpose: This study assessed the joint association of pathogenic variants (PVs) in breast cancer (BC) predisposition genes and polygenic risk scores (PRS) with BC in the general population.

Methods: A total of 26,798 non-Hispanic white BC cases and 26,127 controls from predominately population-based studies in the Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility consortium were evaluated for PVs in , , , , , , , , and . PRS based on 105 common variants were created using effect estimates from BC genome-wide association studies; the performance of an overall BC PRS and estrogen receptor-specific PRS were evaluated. The odds of BC based on the PVs and PRS were estimated using penalized logistic regression. The results were combined with age-specific incidence rates to estimate 5-year and lifetime absolute risks of BC across percentiles of PRS by PV status and first-degree family history of BC.

Results: The estimated lifetime risks of BC among general-population noncarriers, based on 10th and 90th percentiles of PRS, were 9.1%-23.9% and 6.7%-18.2% for women with or without first-degree relatives with BC, respectively. Taking PRS into account, more than 95% of , , and carriers had > 20% lifetime risks of BC, whereas, respectively, 52.5% and 69.7% of and carriers without first-degree relatives with BC, and 78.8% and 89.9% of those with a first-degree relative with BC had > 20% risk.

Conclusion: PRS facilitates personalization of BC risk among carriers of PVs in predisposition genes. Incorporating PRS into BC risk estimation may help identify > 30% of and nearly half of carriers below the 20% lifetime risk threshold, suggesting the addition of PRS may prevent overscreening and enable more personalized risk management approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01992DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8330969PMC
August 2021

Colorectal Cancer Anatomical Site and Sleep Quality.

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

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

Purpose: Sleep quality in relation to anatomic site among colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is not well understood, though discerning the relationship could contribute to improved survivorship care.

Methods: We ascertained sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and other personal characteristics within an ongoing population-based study of CRC patients identified through a cancer registry ( = 1453). Differences in sleep quality by CRC site were analyzed using chi-square and ANOVA tests. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of tumor site with sleep quality concerns, adjusting for patient attributes and time since diagnosis.

Results: Sleeping problems were reported by 70% of CRC patients. Overall, participants with rectal (vs. colon) cancer were more likely (OR (95% CI)) to report general trouble sleeping (1.58 (1.19, 2.10)). Rectal cancer patients were also more likely than colon cancer patients to report changes in sleep patterns after cancer diagnosis (1.38 (1.05, 1.80)), and trouble sleeping specifically due to getting up to use the bathroom (1.53 (1.20, 1.96)) or pain (1.58 (1.15, 2.17)), but were less likely to report trouble sleeping specifically due to issues with breathing/coughing/snoring (0.51 (0.27, 0.99)).

Conclusion: Overall, rectal cancer patients were more likely to have sleep complications compared to colon cancer patients. This suggests sleep-focused survivorship care may be adapted according to CRC site to ensure patients receive appropriate support.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13112578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8197388PMC
May 2021

Nongenetic Determinants of Risk for Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Associations of Household Income with Health-Related Quality of Life Following a Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis Varies With Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jul 4;30(7):1366-1374. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Existing evidence indicates household income as a predictor of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) following a colorectal cancer diagnosis. This association likely varies with neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES), but evidence is limited.

Methods: We included data from 1,355 colorectal cancer survivors participating in the population-based Puget Sound Colorectal Cancer Cohort (PSCCC). Survivors reported current annual household income; we measured HRQoL via the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Colorectal (FACT-C) tool. Using neighborhood data summarized within a 1-km radial buffer of Census block group centroids, we constructed a multidimensional nSES index measure. We employed survivors' geocoded residential addresses to append nSES score for Census block group of residence. With linear generalized estimating equations clustered on survivor location, we evaluated associations of household income with differences in FACT-C mean score, overall and stratified by nSES. We used separate models to explore relationships for wellbeing subscales.

Results: We found lower household income to be associated with clinically meaningful differences in overall FACT-C scores [<$30K: -13.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): -16.8 to -10.4] and subscale wellbeing after a recent colorectal cancer diagnosis. Relationships were slightly greater in magnitude for survivors living in lower SES neighborhoods.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that recently diagnosed lower income colorectal cancer survivors are likely to report lower HRQoL, and modestly more so in lower SES neighborhoods.

Impact: The findings from this work will aid future investigators' ability to further consider the contexts in which the income of survivors can be leveraged as a means of improving HRQoL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1823DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254776PMC
July 2021

Assessment of a Polygenic Risk Score for Colorectal Cancer to Predict Risk of Lynch Syndrome Colorectal Cancer.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Apr 8;5(2):pkab022. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

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

It was not known whether the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) that predict colorectal cancer could predict colorectal cancer for people with inherited pathogenic variants in DNA mismatch repair genes-people with Lynch syndrome. We tested a PRS comprising 107 established single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with colorectal cancer in European populations for 826 European-descent carriers of pathogenic variants in DNA mismatch repair genes (293 , 314 , 126 , 71 , and 22 ) from the Colon Cancer Family Registry, of whom 504 had colorectal cancer. There was no evidence of an association between the PRS and colorectal cancer risk, irrespective of which DNA mismatch repair gene was mutated, or sex (all 2-sided >.05). The hazard ratio per standard deviation of the PRS for colorectal cancer was 0.97 (95% confidence interval = 0.88 to 1.06; 2-sided =.51). Whereas PRSs are predictive of colorectal cancer in the general population, they do not predict Lynch syndrome colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkab022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062848PMC
April 2021

Uptake of hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in carriers of pathogenic mismatch repair variants: a Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database report.

Eur J Cancer 2021 05 17;148:124-133. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Campus Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, Munich, Germany; MGZ- Medical Genetics Center, Munich, Germany; The International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSiGHT), The Polyposis Registry, St Mark's Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3UJ, UK; European Hereditary Tumour Group (EHTG), C/o Lindsays, Caledonian Exchange, 19A Canning Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8HE, United Kingdom.

Purpose: This study aimed to report the uptake of hysterectomy and/or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) to prevent gynaecological cancers (risk-reducing surgery [RRS]) in carriers of pathogenic MMR (path_MMR) variants.

Methods: The Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database (PLSD) was used to investigate RRS by a cross-sectional study in 2292 female path_MMR carriers aged 30-69 years.

Results: Overall, 144, 79, and 517 carriers underwent risk-reducing hysterectomy, BSO, or both combined, respectively. Two-thirds of procedures before 50 years of age were combined hysterectomy and BSO, and 81% of all procedures included BSO. Risk-reducing hysterectomy was performed before age 50 years in 28%, 25%, 15%, and 9%, and BSO in 26%, 25%, 14% and 13% of path_MLH1, path_MSH2, path_MSH6, and path_PMS2 carriers, respectively. Before 50 years of age, 107 of 188 (57%) BSO and 126 of 204 (62%) hysterectomies were performed in women without any prior cancer, and only 5% (20/392) were performed simultaneously with colorectal cancer (CRC) surgery.

Conclusion: Uptake of RRS before 50 years of age was low, and RRS was rarely undertaken in association with surgical treatment of CRC. Uptake of RRS aligned poorly with gene- and age-associated risk estimates for endometrial or ovarian cancer that were published recently from PLSD and did not correspond well with current clinical guidelines. The reasons should be clarified. Decision-making on opting for or against RRS and its timing should be better aligned with predicted risk and mortality for endometrial and ovarian cancer in Lynch syndrome to improve outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.022DOI Listing
May 2021

Genetically predicted circulating concentrations of micronutrients and risk of colorectal cancer among individuals of European descent: a Mendelian randomization study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 06;113(6):1490-1502

Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: The literature on associations of circulating concentrations of minerals and vitamins with risk of colorectal cancer is limited and inconsistent. Evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to support the efficacy of dietary modification or nutrient supplementation for colorectal cancer prevention is also limited.

Objectives: To complement observational and RCT findings, we investigated associations of genetically predicted concentrations of 11 micronutrients (β-carotene, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and zinc) with colorectal cancer risk using Mendelian randomization (MR).

Methods: Two-sample MR was conducted using 58,221 individuals with colorectal cancer and 67,694 controls from the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, Colorectal Cancer Transdisciplinary Study, and Colon Cancer Family Registry. Inverse variance-weighted MR analyses were performed with sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of potential violations of MR assumptions.

Results: Nominally significant associations were noted for genetically predicted iron concentration and higher risk of colon cancer [ORs per SD (ORSD): 1.08; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.17; P value = 0.05] and similarly for proximal colon cancer, and for vitamin B-12 concentration and higher risk of colorectal cancer (ORSD: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.21; P value = 0.01) and similarly for colon cancer. A nominally significant association was also noted for genetically predicted selenium concentration and lower risk of colon cancer (ORSD: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96, 1.00; P value = 0.05) and similarly for distal colon cancer. These associations were robust to sensitivity analyses. Nominally significant inverse associations were observed for zinc and risk of colorectal and distal colon cancers, but sensitivity analyses could not be performed. None of these findings survived correction for multiple testing. Genetically predicted concentrations of β-carotene, calcium, copper, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B-6 were not associated with disease risk.

Conclusions: These results suggest possible causal associations of circulating iron and vitamin B-12 (positively) and selenium (inversely) with risk of colon cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168352PMC
June 2021

Causal Effects of Lifetime Smoking on Breast and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Mendelian Randomization Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 05 2;30(5):953-964. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

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

Background: Observational evidence has shown that smoking is a risk factor for breast and colorectal cancer. We used Mendelian randomization (MR) to examine causal associations between smoking and risks of breast and colorectal cancer.

Methods: Genome-Wide Association Study summary data were used to identify genetic variants associated with lifetime amount of smoking ( = 126 variants) and ever having smoked regularly ( = 112 variants). Using two-sample MR, we examined these variants in relation to incident breast (122,977 cases/105,974 controls) and colorectal cancer (52,775 cases/45,940 controls).

Results: In inverse-variance weighted models, a genetic predisposition to higher lifetime amount of smoking was positively associated with breast cancer risk [OR per 1-SD increment: 1.13; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.26; = 0.04]; although heterogeneity was observed. Similar associations were found for estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tumors. Higher lifetime amount of smoking was positively associated with colorectal cancer (OR per 1-SD increment, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.04-1.40; = 0.01), colon cancer (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.11-1.55; < 0.01), and rectal cancer (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.07-1.73; = 0.01). Ever having smoked regularly was not associated with risks of breast (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.90-1.14; = 0.85) or colorectal cancer (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.86-1.10; = 0.68).

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with prior observational evidence and support a causal role of higher lifetime smoking amount in the development of breast and colorectal cancer.

Impact: The results from this comprehensive MR analysis indicate that lifetime smoking is a causal risk factor for these common malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1218DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611442PMC
May 2021

Genetic architectures of proximal and distal colorectal cancer are partly distinct.

Gut 2021 Jul 25;70(7):1325-1334. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology - IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: An understanding of the etiologic heterogeneity of colorectal cancer (CRC) is critical for improving precision prevention, including individualized screening recommendations and the discovery of novel drug targets and repurposable drug candidates for chemoprevention. Known differences in molecular characteristics and environmental risk factors among tumors arising in different locations of the colorectum suggest partly distinct mechanisms of carcinogenesis. The extent to which the contribution of inherited genetic risk factors for CRC differs by anatomical subsite of the primary tumor has not been examined.

Design: To identify new anatomical subsite-specific risk loci, we performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses including data of 48 214 CRC cases and 64 159 controls of European ancestry. We characterised effect heterogeneity at CRC risk loci using multinomial modelling.

Results: We identified 13 loci that reached genome-wide significance (p<5×10) and that were not reported by previous GWASs for overall CRC risk. Multiple lines of evidence support candidate genes at several of these loci. We detected substantial heterogeneity between anatomical subsites. Just over half (61) of 109 known and new risk variants showed no evidence for heterogeneity. In contrast, 22 variants showed association with distal CRC (including rectal cancer), but no evidence for association or an attenuated association with proximal CRC. For two loci, there was strong evidence for effects confined to proximal colon cancer.

Conclusion: Genetic architectures of proximal and distal CRC are partly distinct. Studies of risk factors and mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and precision prevention strategies should take into consideration the anatomical subsite of the tumour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223655PMC
July 2021

Associations of Height With the Risks of Colorectal and Endometrial Cancer in Persons With Lynch Syndrome.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 02;190(2):230-238

People with Lynch syndrome (LS), who carry a pathogenic mutation in a DNA mismatch repair gene, have increased risks of colorectal cancer (CRC) and endometrial cancer (EC). A high reported variability in cancer risk suggests the existence of factors that modify cancer risk for persons with LS. We aimed to investigate the associations between height and CRC and EC risk for persons with LS using data from 2 large studies. Information on 1,115 men and 1,553 women with LS from the Colon Cancer Family Registry (1998-2007) and the GEOLynch Cohort Study (2006-2017) was harmonized. We used weighted Cox proportional hazards regression models with age on the time axis to estimate adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for each 5-cm increment in self-reported height. CRC was diagnosed in 947 persons during 65,369 person-years of observation, and 171 women were diagnosed with EC during 39,227 person-years. Height was not associated with CRC for either men (per 5-cm increment, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.91, 1.11) or women (per 5-cm increment, HR = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.92, 1.11), nor was height associated with EC (per 5-cm increment, HR = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.24). Hence, we observed no evidence for an association of height with either CRC or EC among persons with LS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8210745PMC
February 2021

A Population-Based Study of Genes Previously Implicated in Breast Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2021 02 20;384(5):440-451. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

From Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (C. Hu, S.N.H., R.G., K.Y.L., J.N., J.L., S. Yadav, N.J.B., T.L., J.E.O., C.S., C.M.V., E.C.P., F.J.C.); Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health (H.H., C.G., D.J.H., P.K.), Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University (K.A.B., J.R.P., L.R.), and Brigham and Women's Hospital (H.E.) - all in Boston; Qiagen, Hilden, Germany (R.S., J.K.); Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo (C.B.A., S. Yao), and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York (R.T.) - both in New York; the University of California, Irvine (H.A.-C., A.Z.), Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte (L.B., H.M., S.N., J.N.W.), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (C. Haiman), and Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford (E.M.J., A.W.K.) - all in California; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, Milwaukee (P.A.), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison (E.S.B., I.M.O., A.T.-D.); the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick (E.V.B.); the Behavioral and Epidemiology Research Group, American Cancer Society, Atlanta (B.D.C., S.M.G., M.G., J.M.H., E.J.J., A.V.P.); the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom (D.J.H.); the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (C.K., P.A.N.) and the Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington (S.L.) - both in Seattle; the Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu (L.L.M.); the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, NC (K.M.O., D.P.S., J.A.T., C.W.); Vanderbilt University, Nashville (T.P., S.R.); the University of Utah, Salt Lake City (D.E.G.); and the Department of Medicine and the Basser Center for BRCA, Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (S.M.D., K.L.N.).

Background: Population-based estimates of the risk of breast cancer associated with germline pathogenic variants in cancer-predisposition genes are critically needed for risk assessment and management in women with inherited pathogenic variants.

Methods: In a population-based case-control study, we performed sequencing using a custom multigene amplicon-based panel to identify germline pathogenic variants in 28 cancer-predisposition genes among 32,247 women with breast cancer (case patients) and 32,544 unaffected women (controls) from population-based studies in the Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility (CARRIERS) consortium. Associations between pathogenic variants in each gene and the risk of breast cancer were assessed.

Results: Pathogenic variants in 12 established breast cancer-predisposition genes were detected in 5.03% of case patients and in 1.63% of controls. Pathogenic variants in and were associated with a high risk of breast cancer, with odds ratios of 7.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.33 to 11.27) and 5.23 (95% CI, 4.09 to 6.77), respectively. Pathogenic variants in were associated with a moderate risk (odds ratio, 3.83; 95% CI, 2.68 to 5.63). Pathogenic variants in , , and were associated with increased risks of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer, whereas pathogenic variants in , , and were associated with an increased risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Pathogenic variants in 16 candidate breast cancer-predisposition genes, including the c.657_661del5 founder pathogenic variant in , were not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Conclusions: This study provides estimates of the prevalence and risk of breast cancer associated with pathogenic variants in known breast cancer-predisposition genes in the U.S. population. These estimates can inform cancer testing and screening and improve clinical management strategies for women in the general population with inherited pathogenic variants in these genes. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2005936DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127622PMC
February 2021

Adiposity, metabolites, and colorectal cancer risk: Mendelian randomization study.

BMC Med 2020 12 17;18(1):396. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Higher adiposity increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but whether this relationship varies by anatomical sub-site or by sex is unclear. Further, the metabolic alterations mediating the effects of adiposity on CRC are not fully understood.

Methods: We examined sex- and site-specific associations of adiposity with CRC risk and whether adiposity-associated metabolites explain the associations of adiposity with CRC. Genetic variants from genome-wide association studies of body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR, unadjusted for BMI; N = 806,810), and 123 metabolites from targeted nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics (N = 24,925), were used as instruments. Sex-combined and sex-specific Mendelian randomization (MR) was conducted for BMI and WHR with CRC risk (58,221 cases and 67,694 controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, Colorectal Cancer Transdisciplinary Study, and Colon Cancer Family Registry). Sex-combined MR was conducted for BMI and WHR with metabolites, for metabolites with CRC, and for BMI and WHR with CRC adjusted for metabolite classes in multivariable models.

Results: In sex-specific MR analyses, higher BMI (per 4.2 kg/m) was associated with 1.23 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08, 1.38) times higher CRC odds among men (inverse-variance-weighted (IVW) model); among women, higher BMI (per 5.2 kg/m) was associated with 1.09 (95% CI = 0.97, 1.22) times higher CRC odds. WHR (per 0.07 higher) was more strongly associated with CRC risk among women (IVW OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.08, 1.43) than men (IVW OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.81, 1.36). BMI or WHR was associated with 104/123 metabolites at false discovery rate-corrected P ≤ 0.05; several metabolites were associated with CRC, but not in directions that were consistent with the mediation of positive adiposity-CRC relations. In multivariable MR analyses, associations of BMI and WHR with CRC were not attenuated following adjustment for representative metabolite classes, e.g., the univariable IVW OR for BMI with CRC was 1.12 (95% CI = 1.00, 1.26), and this became 1.11 (95% CI = 0.99, 1.26) when adjusting for cholesterol in low-density lipoprotein particles.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that higher BMI more greatly raises CRC risk among men, whereas higher WHR more greatly raises CRC risk among women. Adiposity was associated with numerous metabolic alterations, but none of these explained associations between adiposity and CRC. More detailed metabolomic measures are likely needed to clarify the mechanistic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01855-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745469PMC
December 2020

A Combined Proteomics and Mendelian Randomization Approach to Investigate the Effects of Aspirin-Targeted Proteins on Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 03 14;30(3):564-575. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Nutrition and Metabolism Section, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: Evidence for aspirin's chemopreventative properties on colorectal cancer (CRC) is substantial, but its mechanism of action is not well-understood. We combined a proteomic approach with Mendelian randomization (MR) to identify possible new aspirin targets that decrease CRC risk.

Methods: Human colorectal adenoma cells (RG/C2) were treated with aspirin (24 hours) and a stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) based proteomics approach identified altered protein expression. Protein quantitative trait loci (pQTLs) from INTERVAL ( = 3,301) and expression QTLs (eQTLs) from the eQTLGen Consortium ( = 31,684) were used as genetic proxies for protein and mRNA expression levels. Two-sample MR of mRNA/protein expression on CRC risk was performed using eQTL/pQTL data combined with CRC genetic summary data from the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), Colorectal Transdisciplinary (CORECT), Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer (GECCO) consortia and UK Biobank (55,168 cases and 65,160 controls).

Results: Altered expression was detected for 125/5886 proteins. Of these, aspirin decreased MCM6, RRM2, and ARFIP2 expression, and MR analysis showed that a standard deviation increase in mRNA/protein expression was associated with increased CRC risk (OR: 1.08, 95% CI, 1.03-1.13; OR: 3.33, 95% CI, 2.46-4.50; and OR: 1.15, 95% CI, 1.02-1.29, respectively).

Conclusions: MCM6 and RRM2 are involved in DNA repair whereby reduced expression may lead to increased DNA aberrations and ultimately cancer cell death, whereas ARFIP2 is involved in actin cytoskeletal regulation, indicating a possible role in aspirin's reduction of metastasis.

Impact: Our approach has shown how laboratory experiments and population-based approaches can combine to identify aspirin-targeted proteins possibly affecting CRC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086774PMC
March 2021

Risk-reducing hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in female heterozygotes of pathogenic mismatch repair variants: a Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database report.

Genet Med 2021 04 1;23(4):705-712. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Campus Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Purpose: To determine impact of risk-reducing hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) on gynecological cancer incidence and death in heterozygotes of pathogenic MMR (path_MMR) variants.

Methods: The Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database was used to investigate the effects of gynecological risk-reducing surgery (RRS) at different ages.

Results: Risk-reducing hysterectomy at 25 years of age prevents endometrial cancer before 50 years in 15%, 18%, 13%, and 0% of path_MLH1, path_MSH2, path_MSH6, and path_PMS2 heterozygotes and death in 2%, 2%, 1%, and 0%, respectively. Risk-reducing BSO at 25 years of age prevents ovarian cancer before 50 years in 6%, 11%, 2%, and 0% and death in 1%, 2%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. Risk-reducing hysterectomy at 40 years prevents endometrial cancer by 50 years in 13%, 16%, 11%, and 0% and death in 1%, 2%, 1%, and 0%, respectively. BSO at 40 years prevents ovarian cancer before 50 years in 4%, 8%, 0%, and 0%, and death in 1%, 1%, 0%, and 0%, respectively.

Conclusion: Little benefit is gained by performing RRS before 40 years of age and premenopausal BSO in path_MSH6 and path_PMS2 heterozygotes has no measurable benefit for mortality. These findings may aid decision making for women with LS who are considering RRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-01029-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026395PMC
April 2021

Genetic Predictors of Severe Skin Toxicity in Patients with Stage III Colon Cancer Treated with Cetuximab: NCCTG N0147 (Alliance).

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 02 17;30(2):404-411. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

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

Background: Cetuximab, an EGFR inhibitor used to treat multiple cancer types, including colon cancer, causes severe skin toxicity in 5%-20% of patients, leading to decreased quality of life and treatment delays. Our understanding of which patients have an increased risk of severe toxicities is limited. We conducted a genome-wide association study to identify germline variants predictive of cetuximab-induced severe skin toxicity.

Methods: Our study included 1,209 patients with stage III colon cancer randomized to receive cetuximab plus 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin as part of the NCCTG N0147 (Alliance) clinical trial. Skin toxicity outcomes were collected using the Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. We performed genotyping, evaluating approximately 10 million genetic variants. We used logistic regression to evaluate the association of each genetic variant and severe (grade ≥ 3) skin toxicity, adjusting for age, sex, and genetic ancestry. Genome-wide significance was defined as < 5 × 10.

Results: Participants were predominantly middle-aged white men; 20% ( = 243) experienced severe skin toxicity. Two genetic variants in the retinoic acid receptor alpha () gene were significantly associated with severe skin toxicity [OR, 3.93; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.47-6.25; < 7.8 × 10]. Functional annotations indicate these variants are in the promoter. Additional significantly associated variants were identified in chromosome 2 intergenic regions.

Conclusions: Identified variants could represent a potential target for risk stratification of patients with colon cancer receiving cetuximab.

Impact: Retinoids have shown promise in the treatment of cetuximab-induced skin toxicity, so follow-up work could evaluate whether individuals with the variant would benefit from retinoid therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1274DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7909617PMC
February 2021

Identifying Novel Susceptibility Genes for Colorectal Cancer Risk From a Transcriptome-Wide Association Study of 125,478 Subjects.

Gastroenterology 2021 03 12;160(4):1164-1178.e6. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Background And Aims: Susceptibility genes and the underlying mechanisms for the majority of risk loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for colorectal cancer (CRC) risk remain largely unknown. We conducted a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) to identify putative susceptibility genes.

Methods: Gene-expression prediction models were built using transcriptome and genetic data from the 284 normal transverse colon tissues of European descendants from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx), and model performance was evaluated using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 355). We applied the gene-expression prediction models and GWAS data to evaluate associations of genetically predicted gene-expression with CRC risk in 58,131 CRC cases and 67,347 controls of European ancestry. Dual-luciferase reporter assays and knockdown experiments in CRC cells and tumor xenografts were conducted.

Results: We identified 25 genes associated with CRC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P < 9.1 × 10, including genes in 4 novel loci, PYGL (14q22.1), RPL28 (19q13.42), CAPN12 (19q13.2), MYH7B (20q11.22), and MAP1L3CA (20q11.22). In 9 known GWAS-identified loci, we uncovered 9 genes that have not been reported previously, whereas 4 genes remained statistically significant after adjusting for the lead risk variant of the locus. Through colocalization analysis in GWAS loci, we additionally identified 12 putative susceptibility genes that were supported by TWAS analysis at P < .01. We showed that risk allele of the lead risk variant rs1741640 affected the promoter activity of CABLES2. Knockdown experiments confirmed that CABLES2 plays a vital role in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Conclusions: Our study reveals new putative susceptibility genes and provides new insight into the biological mechanisms underlying CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.08.062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7956223PMC
March 2021

Genetic Variants in the Regulatory T cell-Related Pathway and Colorectal Cancer Prognosis.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 12 2;29(12):2719-2728. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

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

Background: High numbers of lymphocytes in tumor tissue, including T regulatory cells (Treg), have been associated with better colorectal cancer survival. Tregs, a subset of CD4 T lymphocytes, are mediators of immunosuppression in cancer, and therefore variants in genes related to Treg differentiation and function could be associated with colorectal cancer prognosis.

Methods: In a prospective German cohort of 3,593 colorectal cancer patients, we assessed the association of 771 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 58 Treg-related genes with overall and colorectal cancer-specific survival using Cox regression models. Effect modification by microsatellite instability (MSI) status was also investigated because tumors with MSI show greater lymphocytic infiltration and have been associated with better prognosis. Replication of significant results was attempted in 2,047 colorectal cancer patients of the International Survival Analysis in Colorectal Cancer Consortium (ISACC).

Results: A significant association of the SNP rs7524066 with more favorable colorectal cancer-specific survival [hazard ratio (HR) per minor allele: 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.74-0.94; value: 0.0033] was replicated in ISACC (HR: 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68-0.98; value: 0.03). Suggestive evidence for association was found with two SNPs, rs16906568 and rs7845577. Thirteen SNPs with differential associations with overall survival according to MSI in the discovery analysis were not confirmed.

Conclusions: Common genetic variation in the Treg pathway implicating genes such as and was shown to be associated with prognosis of colorectal cancer patients.

Impact: The implicated genes warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0714DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7976673PMC
December 2020

Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy and Colorectal Cancer Risk by Molecularly Defined Subtypes and Tumor Location.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2020 Aug 19;4(5):pkaa042. Epub 2020 May 19.

Division of Laboratory Genetics, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: Postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) is associated with a decreased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. As CRC is a heterogeneous disease, we evaluated whether the association of HT and CRC differs across etiologically relevant, molecularly defined tumor subtypes and tumor location.

Methods: We pooled data on tumor subtypes (microsatellite instability status, CpG island methylator phenotype status, and mutations, pathway: adenoma-carcinoma, alternate, serrated), tumor location (proximal colon, distal colon, rectum), and HT use among 8220 postmenopausal women (3898 CRC cases and 4322 controls) from 8 observational studies. We used multinomial logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of ever vs never HT use with each tumor subtype compared with controls. Models were adjusted for study, age, body mass index, smoking status, and CRC family history. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Among postmenopausal women, ever HT use was associated with a 38% reduction in overall CRC risk (OR =0.62, 95% CI = 0.56 to 0.69). This association was similar according to microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype and or status. However, the association was attenuated for tumors arising through the serrated pathway (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.66 to 1.01) compared with the adenoma-carcinoma pathway (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.55 to 0.73; =.04) and alternate pathway (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.51 to 0.72). Additionally, proximal colon tumors had a weaker association (OR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.62 to 0.80) compared with rectal (OR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.46 to 0.63) and distal colon (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.49 to 0.66; =.01) tumors.

Conclusions: We observed a strong inverse association between HT use and overall CRC risk, which may predominantly reflect a benefit of HT use for tumors arising through the adenoma-carcinoma and alternate pathways as well as distal colon and rectal tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477374PMC
August 2020

Circulating bilirubin levels and risk of colorectal cancer: serological and Mendelian randomization analyses.

BMC Med 2020 09 3;18(1):229. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Background: Bilirubin, a byproduct of hemoglobin breakdown and purported anti-oxidant, is thought to be cancer preventive. We conducted complementary serological and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses to investigate whether alterations in circulating levels of bilirubin are associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). We decided a priori to perform analyses separately in men and women based on suggestive evidence that associations may differ by sex.

Methods: In a case-control study nested in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), pre-diagnostic unconjugated bilirubin (UCB, the main component of total bilirubin) concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in plasma samples of 1386 CRC cases and their individually matched controls. Additionally, 115 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) robustly associated (P < 5 × 10) with circulating total bilirubin were instrumented in a 2-sample MR to test for a potential causal effect of bilirubin on CRC risk in 52,775 CRC cases and 45,940 matched controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO), the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), and the Colorectal Transdisciplinary (CORECT) study.

Results: The associations between circulating UCB levels and CRC risk differed by sex (P = 0.008). Among men, higher levels of UCB were positively associated with CRC risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.04-1.36; per 1-SD increment of log-UCB). In women, an inverse association was observed (OR = 0.86 (0.76-0.97)). In the MR analysis of the main UGT1A1 SNP (rs6431625), genetically predicted higher levels of total bilirubin were associated with a 7% increase in CRC risk in men (OR = 1.07 (1.02-1.12); P = 0.006; per 1-SD increment of total bilirubin), while there was no association in women (OR = 1.01 (0.96-1.06); P = 0.73). Raised bilirubin levels, predicted by instrumental variables excluding rs6431625, were suggestive of an inverse association with CRC in men, but not in women. These differences by sex did not reach formal statistical significance (P ≥ 0.2).

Conclusions: Additional insight into the relationship between circulating bilirubin and CRC is needed in order to conclude on a potential causal role of bilirubin in CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01703-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7469292PMC
September 2020

Intake of Dietary Fruit, Vegetables, and Fiber and Risk of Colorectal Cancer According to Molecular Subtypes: A Pooled Analysis of 9 Studies.

Cancer Res 2020 10 14;80(20):4578-4590. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

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

Protective associations of fruits, vegetables, and fiber intake with colorectal cancer risk have been shown in many, but not all epidemiologic studies. One possible reason for study heterogeneity is that dietary factors may have distinct effects by colorectal cancer molecular subtypes. Here, we investigate the association of fruit, vegetables, and fiber intake with four well-established colorectal cancer molecular subtypes separately and in combination. Nine observational studies including 9,592 cases with molecular subtypes for microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and somatic mutations in and genes, and 7,869 controls were analyzed. Both case-only logistic regression analyses and polytomous logistic regression analyses (with one control set and multiple case groups) were used. Higher fruit intake was associated with a trend toward decreased risk of -mutated tumors [OR 4th vs. 1st quartile = 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.65-1.04)] but not -wildtype tumors [1.09 (0.97-1.22); difference as shown in case-only analysis = 0.02]. This difference was observed in case-control studies and not in cohort studies. Compared with controls, higher fiber intake showed negative association with colorectal cancer risk for cases with microsatellite stable/MSI-low, CIMP-negative, -wildtype, and -wildtype tumors ( range from 0.03 to 3.4e-03), which is consistent with the traditional adenoma-colorectal cancer pathway. These negative associations were stronger compared with MSI-high, CIMP-positive, -mutated, or -mutated tumors, but the differences were not statistically significant. These inverse associations for fruit and fiber intake may explain, in part, inconsistent findings between fruit or fiber intake and colorectal cancer risk that have previously been reported. SIGNIFICANCE: These analyses by colorectal cancer molecular subtypes potentially explain the inconsistent findings between dietary fruit or fiber intake and overall colorectal cancer risk that have previously been reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572895PMC
October 2020

Genome-wide Modeling of Polygenic Risk Score in Colorectal Cancer Risk.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 09 5;107(3):432-444. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Accurate colorectal cancer (CRC) risk prediction models are critical for identifying individuals at low and high risk of developing CRC, as they can then be offered targeted screening and interventions to address their risks of developing disease (if they are in a high-risk group) and avoid unnecessary screening and interventions (if they are in a low-risk group). As it is likely that thousands of genetic variants contribute to CRC risk, it is clinically important to investigate whether these genetic variants can be used jointly for CRC risk prediction. In this paper, we derived and compared different approaches to generating predictive polygenic risk scores (PRS) from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) including 55,105 CRC-affected case subjects and 65,079 control subjects of European ancestry. We built the PRS in three ways, using (1) 140 previously identified and validated CRC loci; (2) SNP selection based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) clumping followed by machine-learning approaches; and (3) LDpred, a Bayesian approach for genome-wide risk prediction. We tested the PRS in an independent cohort of 101,987 individuals with 1,699 CRC-affected case subjects. The discriminatory accuracy, calculated by the age- and sex-adjusted area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), was highest for the LDpred-derived PRS (AUC = 0.654) including nearly 1.2 M genetic variants (the proportion of causal genetic variants for CRC assumed to be 0.003), whereas the PRS of the 140 known variants identified from GWASs had the lowest AUC (AUC = 0.629). Based on the LDpred-derived PRS, we are able to identify 30% of individuals without a family history as having risk for CRC similar to those with a family history of CRC, whereas the PRS based on known GWAS variants identified only top 10% as having a similar relative risk. About 90% of these individuals have no family history and would have been considered average risk under current screening guidelines, but might benefit from earlier screening. The developed PRS offers a way for risk-stratified CRC screening and other targeted interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.07.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477007PMC
September 2020
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