Publications by authors named "Rudolf Kaaks"

741 Publications

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adherence and Dietary Composition during Intermittent vs. Continuous Calorie Restriction: Follow-Up Data from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Adults with Overweight or Obesity.

Nutrients 2021 Apr 5;13(4). Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Although intermittent calorie restriction (ICR) has become popular as an alternative weight loss strategy to continuous calorie restriction (CCR), there is insufficient evidence on diet quality during ICR and on its feasibility over longer time periods. Thus, we compared dietary composition and adherence between ICR and CCR in a follow-up analysis of a randomized trial. A total of 98 participants with overweight or obesity [BMI (kg/m) 25-39.9, 35-65 years, 49% females] were randomly assigned to ICR, operationalized as a "5:2 diet" (energy intake: ~100% on five non-restricted (NR) days, ~25% on two restricted (R) days), or CCR (daily energy intake: ~80%). The trial included a 12-week (wk) intervention phase, and follow-up assessments at wk24, wk50 and wk102. Apart from a higher proportion of energy intake from protein with ICR vs. CCR during the intervention (wk2: < 0.001; wk12: = 0.002), there were no significant differences with respect to changes in dietary composition over time between the groups, while overall adherence to the interventions appeared to be good. No significant difference between ICR and CCR regarding weight change at wk102 was observed ( = 0.63). However, self-reported adherence was worse for ICR than CCR, with 71.1% vs. 32.5% of the participants reporting not to or only rarely have followed the regimen to which they were assigned between wk50 and wk102. These results indicate that within a weight management setting, ICR and CCR were equivalent in achieving modest weight loss over two years while affecting dietary composition in a comparable manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13041195DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067073PMC
April 2021

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

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

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

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

Validation of multivariable lung cancer risk prediction models for the personalized assignment of optimal screening frequency: a retrospective analysis of data from the German Lung Cancer Screening Intervention Trial (LUSI).

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Mar;10(3):1305-1317

Division of Cancer Epidemiology (C020), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Current guidelines for lung cancer screening via low-dose computed tomography recommend annual screening for all candidates meeting basic eligibility criteria. However, lung cancer risk of eligible screening participants can vary widely, and further risk stratification could be used to individually optimize screening intervals in view of expected benefits, possible harms and financial costs. To this effect, models have been developed in the US National Lung Screening Trial based on self-reported lung cancer risk factors and imaging data. We evaluated these models using data from an independent screening trial in Germany.

Methods: We examined the Polynomial model by Schreuder , the Lung Cancer Risk Assessment Tool extended by CT characteristics (LCRAT + CT) by Robbins , and a criterion of presence absence of pulmonary nodules ≥4 mm (Patz ), applied to sub-sets of screening participants according to eligibility criteria. Discrimination was evaluated via the receiver operating characteristic curve. Delayed diagnoses and false positive results were calculated at various thresholds of predicted risk. Model calibration was assessed by comparing mean predicted risk versus observed incidence.

Results: One thousand five hundred and six participants were eligible for the validation of the LCRAT + CT model, and 1,889 for the validation of the Polynomial model and Patz criterion, yielding areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.73 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.82), 0.75 (0.67, 0.83), and 0.56 (0.53, 0.72) respectively. Skipping 50% annual screenings (participants within the 5 lowest risk deciles by LCRAT + CT in any round or by the Polynomial model; baseline screening round), would have avoided 75% (21.9%, 98.7%) and 40% (21.8%, 61.1%) false positive screen tests and delayed 10% (1.8%, 33.1%) or no (0%, 32.1%) diagnoses, respectively. Using the Patz criterion, referring 63.2% (61.0% to 65.4%) of participants to biennial screening would have avoided 4% (0.2% to 22.3%) of false positive screen tests but delayed 55% (24.6% to 81.9%) diagnoses.

Conclusions: In this German trial, the LCRAT + CT and Polynomial models showed useful discrimination of screening participants for one-year lung cancer risk following CT examination. Our results illustrate the remaining heterogeneity in risk within screening-eligible subjects and the trade-off between a low-frequency screening approach and delayed detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-1173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044498PMC
March 2021

Association of Pre-diagnostic Antibody Responses to Escherichia coli and Bacteroides fragilis Toxin Proteins with Colorectal Cancer in a European Cohort.

Gut Microbes 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-14

Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology, Umeå University, Ireland.

Experimental evidence has implicated genotoxic () and enterotoxigenic (ETBF) in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, evidence from epidemiological studies is sparse. We therefore assessed the association of serological markers of and ETBF exposure with odds of developing CRC in the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) study.Serum samples of incident CRC cases and matched controls (n = 442 pairs) were analyzed for immunoglobulin (Ig) A and G antibody responses to seven proteins and two isoforms of the ETBF toxin via multiplex serology. Multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of sero-positivity to and ETBF with CRC.The IgA-positivity of any of the tested antigens was associated with higher odds of developing CRC (OR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.05-1.91). Dual-positivity for both IgA and IgG to and ETBF was associated with >1.7-fold higher odds of developing CRC, with a significant association only for IgG (OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.94). This association was more pronounced when restricted to the proximal colon cancers (OR: 2.62; 95% CI: 1.09, 6.29) compared to those of the distal colon (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 0.51, 3.00) (= 0.095). Sero-positivity to and ETBF was associated with CRC development, suggesting that co-infection of these bacterial species may contribute to colorectal carcinogenesis. These findings warrant further exploration in larger prospective studies and within different population groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2021.1903825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078709PMC
April 2021

Personalising lung cancer screening: An overview of risk-stratification opportunities and challenges.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jul 3;149(2):250-263. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Randomised clinical trials have shown the efficacy of computed tomography lung cancer screening, initiating discussions on whether and how to implement population-based screening programs. Due to smoking behaviour being the primary risk-factor for lung cancer and part of the criteria for determining screening eligibility, lung cancer screening is inherently risk-based. In fact, the selection of high-risk individuals has been shown to be essential in implementing lung cancer screening in a cost-effective manner. Furthermore, studies have shown that further risk-stratification may improve screening efficiency, allow personalisation of the screening interval and reduce health disparities. However, implementing risk-based lung cancer screening programs also requires overcoming a number of challenges. There are indications that risk-based approaches can negatively influence the trade-off between individual benefits and harms if not applied thoughtfully. Large-scale implementation of targeted, risk-based screening programs has been limited thus far. Consequently, questions remain on how to efficiently identify and invite high-risk individuals from the general population. Finally, while risk-based approaches may increase screening program efficiency, efficiency should be balanced with the overall impact of the screening program. In this review, we will address the opportunities and challenges in applying risk-stratification in different aspects of lung cancer screening programs, as well as the balance between screening program efficiency and impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33578DOI Listing
July 2021

Long-term weight change and risk of breast cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, UK.

Background: The role of obesity and weight change in breast-cancer development is complex and incompletely understood. We investigated long-term weight change and breast-cancer risk by body mass index (BMI) at age 20 years, menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and hormone-receptor status.

Methods: Using data on weight collected at three different time points from women who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, we investigated the association between weight change from age 20 years until middle adulthood and risk of breast cancer.

Results: In total, 150 257 women with a median age of 51 years at cohort entry were followed for an average of 14 years (standard deviation = 3.9) during which 6532 breast-cancer cases occurred. Compared with women with stable weight (±2.5 kg), long-term weight gain >10 kg was positively associated with postmenopausal breast-cancer risk in women who were lean at age 20 [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.42; 95% confidence interval 1.22-1.65] in ever HRT users (HR = 1.23; 1.04-1.44), in never HRT users (HR = 1.40; 1.16-1.68) and in oestrogen-and-progesterone-receptor-positive (ER+PR+) breast cancer (HR = 1.46; 1.15-1.85).

Conclusion: Long-term weight gain was positively associated with postmenopausal breast cancer in women who were lean at age 20, both in HRT ever users and non-users, and hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab032DOI Listing
March 2021

Tobacco Smoking and Risk of Second Primary Lung Cancer.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 Jun 17;16(6):968-979. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Quantitative Sciences Unit, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. Electronic address:

Introduction: Lung cancer survivors are at high risk of developing a second primary lung cancer (SPLC). However, SPLC risk factors have not been established and the impact of tobacco smoking remains controversial. We examined the risk factors for SPLC across multiple epidemiologic cohorts and evaluated the impact of smoking cessation on reducing SPLC risk.

Methods: We analyzed data from 7059 participants in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) diagnosed with an initial primary lung cancer (IPLC) between 1993 and 2017. Cause-specific proportional hazards models estimated SPLC risk. We conducted validation studies using the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (N = 3423 IPLC cases) and European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (N = 4731 IPLC cases) cohorts and pooled the SPLC risk estimates using random effects meta-analysis.

Results: Overall, 163 MEC cases (2.3%) developed SPLC. Smoking pack-years (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.18 per 10 pack-years, p < 0.001) and smoking intensity (HR = 1.30 per 10 cigarettes per day, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with increased SPLC risk. Individuals who met the 2013 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's screening criteria at IPLC diagnosis also had an increased SPLC risk (HR = 1.92; p < 0.001). Validation studies with the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition revealed consistent results. Meta-analysis yielded pooled HRs of 1.16 per 10 pack-years (p < 0.001), 1.25 per 10 cigarettes per day (p < 0.001), and 1.99 (p < 0.001) for meeting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's criteria. In MEC, smoking cessation after IPLC diagnosis was associated with an 83% reduction in SPLC risk (HR = 0.17; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for SPLC. Smoking cessation may reduce the risk of SPLC. Additional strategies for SPLC surveillance and screening are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.02.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8159872PMC
June 2021

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

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 May 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
May 2021

Red Blood Cell Fatty Acids and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 May 22;30(5):874-885. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: A growing body of evidence suggests that alterations of dietary fatty acid (FA) profiles are associated with colorectal cancer risk. However, data from large-scale epidemiologic studies using circulating FA measurements to objectively assess individual FA and FA categories are scarce.

Methods: We investigate the association between red blood cell (RBC) membrane FAs and risk of colorectal cancer in a case-control study nested within a large prospective cohort. After a median follow-up of 6.4 years, 1,069 incident colorectal cancer cases were identified and matched to 1,069 controls among participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The FA composition of RBC phospholipids (in mol%) was analyzed by gas chromatography, and their association with risk of colorectal cancer was estimated by multivariable adjusted conditional logistic regression models.

Results: After correction for multiple testing, subjects with higher concentrations of RBC stearic acid were at higher risk for colorectal cancer (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.07-1.42, per 1 mol%). Conversely, colorectal cancer incidence decreased with increasing proportions of RBC n-3 PUFA, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (0.75; 0.62-0.92, per 1 mol%). The findings for the n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid were inconsistent.

Conclusions: The positive association between prediagnostic RBC stearic acid and colorectal cancer reflects putative differences in FA intake and metabolism between cancer cases and matched controls, which deserve further investigation. The inverse relationship between EPA and colorectal cancer is in line with the repeatedly reported protective effect of fish consumption on colorectal cancer risk.

Impact: These findings add to the evidence on colorectal cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1426DOI Listing
May 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

Pepper Alkaloids and Processed Meat Intake: Results from a Randomized Trial and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Cohort.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2021 04 2;65(7):e2001141. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

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

Scope: Processed meat intake has been associated with adverse health outcomes. However, little is known about the type of processed meat more particularly responsible for these effects. This study aims to identify novel biomarkers for processed meat intake.

Methods And Results: In a controlled randomized cross-over dietary intervention study, 12 healthy volunteers consume different processed and non-processed meats for 3 consecutive days each. Metabolomics analyses are applied on post-intervention fasting blood and urine samples to identify discriminating molecular features of processed meat intake. Nine and five pepper alkaloid metabolites, including piperine, are identified as major discriminants of salami intake in urine and plasma, respectively. The associations with processed meat intake are tested for replication in a cross-sectional study (n = 418) embedded within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Three of the serum metabolites including piperine are associated with habitual intake of sausages and to a lesser extent of total processed meat.

Conclusion: Pepper alkaloids are major discriminants of intake for sausages that contain high levels of pepper used as ingredient. Further work is needed to assess if pepper alkaloids in combination with other metabolites may serve as biomarkers of processed meat intake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.202001141DOI Listing
April 2021

Can autoantibody tests enhance lung cancer screening?-an evaluation of EarlyCDT-Lung in context of the German Lung Cancer Screening Intervention Trial (LUSI).

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Jan;10(1):233-242

Division of Cancer Epidemiology (C020), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Tumor-associated autoantibodies are considered promising markers for early lung cancer detection; so far, however, their capacity to detect cancer has been tested mostly in a clinical context, but not in population screening settings. This study evaluates the early detection accuracy, in terms of sensitivity and specificity, of EarlyCDT-Lung-a test panel of seven tumor-associated autoantibodies optimized for lung cancer detection-using blood samples originally collected as part of the German Lung Cancer Screening Intervention Trial.

Methods: The EarlyCDT-Lung test was performed for all participants with lung cancer detected via low-dose computed tomography and with available blood samples taken at detection, and for 180 retrospectively selected cancer-free participants at the end of follow-up: 90 randomly selected from among all cancer-free participants (baseline controls) and 90 randomly selected from among cancer-free participants with suspicious imaging findings (suspicious nodules controls). Sensitivity and specificity of lung cancer detection were estimated in the case group and the two control groups, respectively.

Results: In the case group, the test panel showed a sensitivity of only 13.0% (95% CI: 4.9-26.3%). Specificity was estimated at 88.9% (95% CI: 80.5-94.5%) in the baseline control group, and 91.1% (95% CI: 83.2-96.1%) among controls presenting CT-detected nodules.

Conclusions: The test panel showed insufficient sensitivity for detecting lung cancer at an equally early stage as with low-dose computed tomography screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-727DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867751PMC
January 2021

Lifetime alcohol intake, drinking patterns over time and risk of stomach cancer: A pooled analysis of data from two prospective cohort studies.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jun 22;148(11):2759-2773. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece.

Alcohol consumption is causally linked to several cancers but the evidence for stomach cancer is inconclusive. In our study, the association between long-term alcohol intake and risk of stomach cancer and its subtypes was evaluated. We performed a pooled analysis of data collected at baseline from 491 714 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition and the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for incident stomach cancer in relation to lifetime alcohol intake and group-based life course intake trajectories, adjusted for potential confounders including Helicobacter pylori infection. In all, 1225 incident stomach cancers (78% noncardia) were diagnosed over 7 094 637 person-years; 984 in 382 957 study participants with lifetime alcohol intake data (5 455 507 person-years). Although lifetime alcohol intake was not associated with overall stomach cancer risk, we observed a weak positive association with noncardia cancer (HR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.00-1.06 per 10 g/d increment), with a HR of 1.50 (95% CI: 1.08-2.09) for ≥60 g/d compared to 0.1 to 4.9 g/d. A weak inverse association with cardia cancer (HR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.87-1.00) was also observed. HRs of 1.48 (95% CI: 1.10-1.99) for noncardia and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.26-1.03) for cardia cancer were observed for a life course trajectory characterized by heavy decreasing intake compared to light stable intake (P = .02). These associations did not differ appreciably by smoking or H pylori infection status. Limiting alcohol use during lifetime, particularly avoiding heavy use during early adulthood, might help prevent noncardia stomach cancer. Heterogeneous associations observed for cardia and noncardia cancers may indicate etiologic differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33504DOI Listing
June 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

Development and validation of a lifestyle-based model for colorectal cancer risk prediction: the LiFeCRC score.

BMC Med 2021 Jan 4;19(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Background: Nutrition and lifestyle have been long established as risk factors for colorectal cancer (CRC). Modifiable lifestyle behaviours bear potential to minimize long-term CRC risk; however, translation of lifestyle information into individualized CRC risk assessment has not been implemented. Lifestyle-based risk models may aid the identification of high-risk individuals, guide referral to screening and motivate behaviour change. We therefore developed and validated a lifestyle-based CRC risk prediction algorithm in an asymptomatic European population.

Methods: The model was based on data from 255,482 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study aged 19 to 70 years who were free of cancer at study baseline (1992-2000) and were followed up to 31 September 2010. The model was validated in a sample comprising 74,403 participants selected among five EPIC centres. Over a median follow-up time of 15 years, there were 3645 and 981 colorectal cancer cases in the derivation and validation samples, respectively. Variable selection algorithms in Cox proportional hazard regression and random survival forest (RSF) were used to identify the best predictors among plausible predictor variables. Measures of discrimination and calibration were calculated in derivation and validation samples. To facilitate model communication, a nomogram and a web-based application were developed.

Results: The final selection model included age, waist circumference, height, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, vegetables, dairy products, processed meat, and sugar and confectionary. The risk score demonstrated good discrimination overall and in sex-specific models. Harrell's C-index was 0.710 in the derivation cohort and 0.714 in the validation cohort. The model was well calibrated and showed strong agreement between predicted and observed risk. Random survival forest analysis suggested high model robustness. Beyond age, lifestyle data led to improved model performance overall (continuous net reclassification improvement = 0.307 (95% CI 0.264-0.352)), and especially for young individuals below 45 years (continuous net reclassification improvement = 0.364 (95% CI 0.084-0.575)).

Conclusions: LiFeCRC score based on age and lifestyle data accurately identifies individuals at risk for incident colorectal cancer in European populations and could contribute to improved prevention through motivating lifestyle change at an individual level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01826-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780676PMC
January 2021

Risk Prediction for Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Prospective Cohort Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Mar 17;30(3):507-512. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Early detection of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has the potential to improve disease outcomes. No screening program for sporadic RCC is in place. Given relatively low incidence, screening would need to focus on people at high risk of clinically meaningful disease so as to limit overdiagnosis and screen-detected false positives.

Methods: Among 192,172 participants from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort (including 588 incident RCC cases), we evaluated a published RCC risk prediction model (including age, sex, BMI, and smoking status) in terms of discrimination (C-statistic) and calibration (observed probability as a function of predicted probability). We used a flexible parametric survival model to develop an expanded model including age, sex, BMI, and smoking status, with the addition of self-reported history of hypertension and measured blood pressure.

Results: The previously published model yielded well-calibrated probabilities and good discrimination (C-statistic [95% CI]: 0.699 [0.679-0.721]). Our model had slightly improved discrimination (0.714 [0.694-0.735], bootstrap optimism-corrected C-statistic: 0.709). Despite this good performance, predicted risk was low for the vast majority of participants, with 70% of participants having 10-year risk less than 0.0025.

Conclusions: Although the models performed well for the prediction of incident RCC, they are currently insufficiently powerful to identify individuals at substantial risk of RCC in a general population.

Impact: Despite the promising performance of the EPIC RCC risk prediction model, further development of the model, possibly including biomarkers of risk, is required to enable risk stratification of RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1438DOI Listing
March 2021

Oral contraceptive use by formulation and endometrial cancer risk among women born in 1947-1964: The Nurses' Health Study II, a prospective cohort study.

Eur J Epidemiol 2020 Dec 17. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

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

Oral contraceptives (OCs) have been associated with long-term lower endometrial cancer risk; relatively little is known about associations with more recent OC formulations and associations with longer-term risk. A total of 107,069 women from the Nurses' Health Study II recalled OC use from age 13 to baseline (1989); biennial questionnaires updated data on OC use until 2009. OCs were classified by estrogen and progestin type, dose, and potency based on reported brand. 864 incident endometrial cancer cases were identified through 2017. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals [95% CI] for the association of OC use with endometrial cancer risk. OC use was associated with lower endometrial cancer risk (ever use, HR 0.77 [95% CI 0.65-0.91]; >10 years of use, 0.43 [0.32-0.58] vs. never OC use). Inverse associations for duration were evident regardless of time since last use. Longer durations (> 5 years) of ethinyl estradiol (0.52 [0.41-0.67]) and second-generation progestins (0.43 [0.30-0.61]), both versus never use, were more strongly associated with lower risk than mestranol (0.66 [0.50-0.88], p-het = 0.01) and first-generation progestins (0.62 [0.49-0.78], p-het = 0.03). Inverse associations were generally observed for cross-classified cumulative average estrogen and progestin dose and potency (< vs. ≥ median; ever use vs. never OC use), with the exception of high estrogen and low progestin dose. OCs were associated with lower endometrial cancer risk, independent of time since last use. Use of ethinyl estradiol and second-generation progestins were more strongly inversely associated with risk compared with older formulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00705-5DOI Listing
December 2020

Lung Cancer Screening by Low-Dose Computed Tomography - Part 1: Expected Benefits, Possible Harms, and Criteria for Eligibility and Population Targeting.

Rofo 2021 May 19;193(5):527-536. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Division of Radiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background:  Trials in the USA and Europe have convincingly demonstrated the efficacy of screening by low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) as a means to lower lung cancer mortality, but also document potential harms related to radiation, psychosocial stress, and invasive examinations triggered by false-positive screening tests and overdiagnosis. To ensure that benefits (lung cancer deaths averted; life years gained) outweigh the risk of harm, lung cancer screening should be targeted exclusively to individuals who have an elevated risk of lung cancer, plus sufficient residual life expectancy.

Methods And Conclusions:  Overall, randomized screening trials show an approximate 20 % reduction in lung cancer mortality by LDCT screening. In view of declining residual life expectancy, especially among continuing long-term smokers, risk of being over-diagnosed is likely to increase rapidly above the age of 75. In contrast, before age 50, the incidence of LC may be generally too low for screening to provide a positive balance of benefits to harms and financial costs. Concise criteria as used in the NLST or NELSON trials may provide a basic guideline for screening eligibility. An alternative would be the use of risk prediction models based on smoking history, sex, and age as a continuous risk factor. Compared to concise criteria, such models have been found to identify a 10 % to 20 % larger number of LC patients for an equivalent number of individuals to be screened, and additionally may help provide security that screening participants will all have a high-enough LC risk to balance out harm potentially caused by radiation or false-positive screening tests.

Key Points:   · LDCT screening can significantly reduce lung cancer mortality. · Screening until the age of 80 was shown to be efficient in terms of cancer deaths averted; in terms of LYG relative to overdiagnosis, stopping at a younger age (e. g. 75) may have greater efficiency. · Risk models may improve the overall net benefit of lung cancer screening.

Citation Format: · Kaaks R, Delorme S. Lung Cancer Screening by Low-Dose Computed Tomography - Part 1: Expected Benefits, Possible Harms, and Criteria for Eligibility and Population Targeting. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2021; 193: 527 - 536.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1290-7926DOI Listing
May 2021

Lung Cancer Screening by Low-Dose Computed Tomography: Part 2 - Key Elements for Programmatic Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening.

Rofo 2021 Jun 19;193(6):644-651. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose:  For screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) to be effective, the benefits must outweigh the potential risks. In large lung cancer screening studies, a mortality reduction of approx. 20 % has been reported, which requires several organizational elements to be achieved in practice.

Materials And Methods:  The elements to be set up are an effective invitation strategy, uniform and quality-assured assessment criteria, and computer-assisted evaluation tools resulting in a nodule management algorithm to assign each nodule the needed workup intensity. For patients with confirmed lung cancer, immediate counseling and guideline-compliant treatment in tightly integrated regional expert centers with expert skills are required. First, pulmonology contacts as well as CT facilities should be available in the participant's neighborhood. IT infrastructure, linkage to clinical cancer registries, quality management as well as epidemiologic surveillance are also required.

Results:  An effective organization of screening will result in an articulated structure of both widely distributed pulmonology offices as the participants' primary contacts and CT facilities as well as central expert facilities for supervision of screening activities, individual clarification of suspicious findings, and treatment of proven cancer.

Conclusion:  In order to ensure that the benefits of screening more than outweigh the potential harms and that it will be accepted by the public, a tightly organized structure is needed to ensure wide availability of pulmonologists as first contacts and CT facilities with expert skills and high-level equipment concentrated in central facilities.

Key Points:   · For lung cancer screening, elements must function optimally and be tightly organized.. · Lung cancer screening requires a network of expert centers and collaborating facilities.. · IT infrastructure, QM, epidemiological surveillance, and linkage to cancer registries are essential..

Citation Format: · Delorme S, Kaaks R: Lung Cancer Screening by Low-Dose Computed Tomography: Part 2 - Key Elements for Programmatic Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2021; 193: 644 - 651.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1290-7817DOI Listing
June 2021

Plasma Vitamin C and Type 2 Diabetes: Genome-Wide Association Study and Mendelian Randomization Analysis in European Populations.

Diabetes Care 2021 Jan 17;44(1):98-106. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Cancer Epidemiology Research Program and Translational Research Laboratory; Catalan Institute of Oncology - ICO, Group of Research on Nutrition and Cancer, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet of Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: Higher plasma vitamin C levels are associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk, but whether this association is causal is uncertain. To investigate this, we studied the association of genetically predicted plasma vitamin C with type 2 diabetes.

Research Design And Methods: We conducted genome-wide association studies of plasma vitamin C among 52,018 individuals of European ancestry to discover novel genetic variants. We performed Mendelian randomization analyses to estimate the association of genetically predicted differences in plasma vitamin C with type 2 diabetes in up to 80,983 case participants and 842,909 noncase participants. We compared this estimate with the observational association between plasma vitamin C and incident type 2 diabetes, including 8,133 case participants and 11,073 noncase participants.

Results: We identified 11 genomic regions associated with plasma vitamin C ( < 5 × 10), with the strongest signal at , and 10 novel genetic loci including , , , , , , , , , and . Plasma vitamin C was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio per SD 0.88; 95% CI 0.82, 0.94), but there was no association between genetically predicted plasma vitamin C (excluding variant due to its apparent pleiotropic effect) and type 2 diabetes (1.03; 95% CI 0.96, 1.10).

Conclusions: These findings indicate discordance between biochemically measured and genetically predicted plasma vitamin C levels in the association with type 2 diabetes among European populations. The null Mendelian randomization findings provide no strong evidence to suggest the use of vitamin C supplementation for type 2 diabetes prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-1328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783939PMC
January 2021

Genome-wide association analysis of type 2 diabetes in the EPIC-InterAct study.

Sci Data 2020 11 13;7(1):393. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a global public health challenge. Whilst the advent of genome-wide association studies has identified >400 genetic variants associated with T2D, our understanding of its biological mechanisms and translational insights is still limited. The EPIC-InterAct project, centred in 8 countries in the European Prospective Investigations into Cancer and Nutrition study, is one of the largest prospective studies of T2D. Established as a nested case-cohort study to investigate the interplay between genetic and lifestyle behavioural factors on the risk of T2D, a total of 12,403 individuals were identified as incident T2D cases, and a representative sub-cohort of 16,154 individuals was selected from a larger cohort of 340,234 participants with a follow-up time of 3.99 million person-years. We describe the results from a genome-wide association analysis between more than 8.9 million SNPs and T2D risk among 22,326 individuals (9,978 cases and 12,348 non-cases) from the EPIC-InterAct study. The summary statistics to be shared provide a valuable resource to facilitate further investigations into the genetics of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-00716-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666191PMC
November 2020

Association between anthropometry and lifestyle factors and risk of B-cell lymphoma: An exposome-wide analysis.

Int J Cancer 2021 May 12;148(9):2115-2128. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Oncology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

To better understand the role of individual and lifestyle factors in human disease, an exposome-wide association study was performed to investigate within a single-study anthropometry measures and lifestyle factors previously associated with B-cell lymphoma (BCL). Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study, 2402 incident BCL cases were diagnosed from 475 426 participants that were followed-up on average 14 years. Standard and penalized Cox regression models as well as principal component analysis (PCA) were used to evaluate 84 exposures in relation to BCL risk. Standard and penalized Cox regression models showed a positive association between anthropometric measures and BCL and multiple myeloma/plasma cell neoplasm (MM). The penalized Cox models additionally showed the association between several exposures from categories of physical activity, smoking status, medical history, socioeconomic position, diet and BCL and/or the subtypes. PCAs confirmed the individual associations but also showed additional observations. The PC5 including anthropometry, was positively associated with BCL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and MM. There was a significant positive association between consumption of sugar and confectionary (PC11) and follicular lymphoma risk, and an inverse association between fish and shellfish and Vitamin D (PC15) and DLBCL risk. The PC1 including features of the Mediterranean diet and diet with lower inflammatory score showed an inverse association with BCL risk, while the PC7, including dairy, was positively associated with BCL and DLBCL risk. Physical activity (PC10) was positively associated with DLBCL risk among women. This study provided informative insights on the etiology of BCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048490PMC
May 2021

The association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D metabolites and type 2 diabetes in European populations: A meta-analysis and Mendelian randomisation analysis.

PLoS Med 2020 10 16;17(10):e1003394. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: Prior research suggested a differential association of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) metabolites with type 2 diabetes (T2D), with total 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 inversely associated with T2D, but the epimeric form (C3-epi-25(OH)D3) positively associated with T2D. Whether or not these observational associations are causal remains uncertain. We aimed to examine the potential causality of these associations using Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis.

Methods And Findings: We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for total 25(OH)D (N = 120,618), 25(OH)D3 (N = 40,562), and C3-epi-25(OH)D3 (N = 40,562) in participants of European descent (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition [EPIC]-InterAct study, EPIC-Norfolk study, EPIC-CVD study, Ely study, and the SUNLIGHT consortium). We identified genetic variants for MR analysis to investigate the causal association of the 25(OH)D metabolites with T2D (including 80,983 T2D cases and 842,909 non-cases). We also estimated the observational association of 25(OH)D metabolites with T2D by performing random effects meta-analysis of results from previous studies and results from the EPIC-InterAct study. We identified 10 genetic loci associated with total 25(OH)D, 7 loci associated with 25(OH)D3 and 3 loci associated with C3-epi-25(OH)D3. Based on the meta-analysis of observational studies, each 1-standard deviation (SD) higher level of 25(OH)D was associated with a 20% lower risk of T2D (relative risk [RR]: 0.80; 95% CI 0.77, 0.84; p < 0.001), but a genetically predicted 1-SD increase in 25(OH)D was not significantly associated with T2D (odds ratio [OR]: 0.96; 95% CI 0.89, 1.03; p = 0.23); this result was consistent across sensitivity analyses. In EPIC-InterAct, 25(OH)D3 (per 1-SD) was associated with a lower risk of T2D (RR: 0.81; 95% CI 0.77, 0.86; p < 0.001), while C3-epi-25(OH)D3 (above versus below lower limit of quantification) was positively associated with T2D (RR: 1.12; 95% CI 1.03, 1.22; p = 0.006), but neither 25(OH)D3 (OR: 0.97; 95% CI 0.93, 1.01; p = 0.14) nor C3-epi-25(OH)D3 (OR: 0.98; 95% CI 0.93, 1.04; p = 0.53) was causally associated with T2D risk in the MR analysis. Main limitations include the lack of a non-linear MR analysis and of the generalisability of the current findings from European populations to other populations of different ethnicities.

Conclusions: Our study found discordant associations of biochemically measured and genetically predicted differences in blood 25(OH)D with T2D risk. The findings based on MR analysis in a large sample of European ancestry do not support a causal association of total 25(OH)D or 25(OH)D metabolites with T2D and argue against the use of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7567390PMC
October 2020

Weight change in middle adulthood and risk of cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 9;148(7):1637-1651. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Città della Salute e della Scienza University-Hospital and Center for Cancer Prevention (CPO), Turin, Italy.

Obesity is a risk factor for several major cancers. Associations of weight change in middle adulthood with cancer risk, however, are less clear. We examined the association of change in weight and body mass index (BMI) category during middle adulthood with 42 cancers, using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Of 241 323 participants (31% men), 20% lost and 32% gained weight (>0.4 to 5.0 kg/year) during 6.9 years (average). During 8.0 years of follow-up after the second weight assessment, 20 960 incident cancers were ascertained. Independent of baseline BMI, weight gain (per one kg/year increment) was positively associated with cancer of the corpus uteri (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval: 1.05-1.23). Compared to stable weight (±0.4 kg/year), weight gain (>0.4 to 5.0 kg/year) was positively associated with cancers of the gallbladder and bile ducts (HR = 1.41; 1.01-1.96), postmenopausal breast (HR = 1.08; 1.00-1.16) and thyroid (HR = 1.40; 1.04-1.90). Compared to maintaining normal weight, maintaining overweight or obese BMI (World Health Organisation categories) was positively associated with most obesity-related cancers. Compared to maintaining the baseline BMI category, weight gain to a higher BMI category was positively associated with cancers of the postmenopausal breast (HR = 1.19; 1.06-1.33), ovary (HR = 1.40; 1.04-1.91), corpus uteri (HR = 1.42; 1.06-1.91), kidney (HR = 1.80; 1.20-2.68) and pancreas in men (HR = 1.81; 1.11-2.95). Losing weight to a lower BMI category, however, was inversely associated with cancers of the corpus uteri (HR = 0.40; 0.23-0.69) and colon (HR = 0.69; 0.52-0.92). Our findings support avoiding weight gain and encouraging weight loss in middle adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33339DOI Listing
April 2021

Adiposity and Endometrial Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women: A Sequential Causal Mediation Analysis.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jan 2;30(1):104-113. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: Adiposity increases endometrial cancer risk, possibly through inflammation, hyperinsulinemia, and increasing estrogens. We aimed to quantify the mediating effects of adiponectin (anti-inflammatory adipocytokine); IL6, IL1-receptor antagonist, TNF receptor 1 and 2, and C-reactive protein (inflammatory status biomarkers); C-peptide (hyperinsulinemia biomarker); and free estradiol and estrone (estrogen biomarkers) in the adiposity-endometrial cancer link in postmenopausal women.

Methods: We used data from a case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Eligible women did not have cancer, hysterectomy, and diabetes; did not use oral contraceptives or hormone therapy; and were postmenopausal at recruitment. Mediating pathways from adiposity to endometrial cancer were investigated by estimating natural indirect (NIE) and direct (NDE) effects using sequential mediation analysis.

Results: The study included 163 cases and 306 controls. The adjusted OR for endometrial cancer for body mass index (BMI) ≥30 versus ≥18.5-<25 kg/m was 2.51 (95% confidence interval, 1.26-5.02). The ORs were 1.95 (1.01-3.74) through all biomarkers [72% proportion mediated (PM)] decomposed as: 1.35 (1.06-1.73) through pathways originating with adiponectin (33% PM); 1.13 (0.71-1.80) through inflammation beyond (the potential influence of) adiponectin (13% PM); 1.05 (0.88-1.24) through C-peptide beyond adiponectin and inflammation (5% PM); and 1.22 (0.89-1.67) through estrogens beyond preceding biomarkers (21% PM). The OR not through biomarkers was 1.29 (0.54-3.09). Waist circumference gave similar results.

Conclusions: Reduced adiponectin and increased inflammatory biomarkers, C-peptide, and estrogens mediated approximately 70% of increased odds of endometrial cancer in women with obesity versus normal weight.

Impact: If replicated, these results could have implications for identifying targets for intervention to reduce endometrial cancer risk in women with obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0965DOI Listing
January 2021