Publications by authors named "Sabine Behrens"

51 Publications

Association of germline genetic variants with breast cancer-specific survival in patient subgroups defined by clinic-pathological variables related to tumor biology and type of systemic treatment.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 Aug 18;23(1):86. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Medicine, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: Given the high heterogeneity among breast tumors, associations between common germline genetic variants and survival that may exist within specific subgroups could go undetected in an unstratified set of breast cancer patients.

Methods: We performed genome-wide association analyses within 15 subgroups of breast cancer patients based on prognostic factors, including hormone receptors, tumor grade, age, and type of systemic treatment. Analyses were based on 91,686 female patients of European ancestry from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, including 7531 breast cancer-specific deaths over a median follow-up of 8.1 years. Cox regression was used to assess associations of common germline variants with 15-year and 5-year breast cancer-specific survival. We assessed the probability of these associations being true positives via the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP < 0.15).

Results: Evidence of associations with breast cancer-specific survival was observed in three patient subgroups, with variant rs5934618 in patients with grade 3 tumors (15-year-hazard ratio (HR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.32 [1.20, 1.45], P = 1.4E-08, BFDP = 0.01, per G allele); variant rs4679741 in patients with ER-positive tumors treated with endocrine therapy (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.26], P = 1.6E-07, BFDP = 0.09, per G allele); variants rs1106333 (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.68 [1.39,2.03], P = 5.6E-08, BFDP = 0.12, per A allele) and rs78754389 (5-year-HR [95% CI] 1.79 [1.46,2.20], P = 1.7E-08, BFDP = 0.07, per A allele), in patients with ER-negative tumors treated with chemotherapy.

Conclusions: We found evidence of four loci associated with breast cancer-specific survival within three patient subgroups. There was limited evidence for the existence of associations in other patient subgroups. However, the power for many subgroups is limited due to the low number of events. Even so, our results suggest that the impact of common germline genetic variants on breast cancer-specific survival might be limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01450-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8371820PMC
August 2021

Mendelian randomisation study of smoking exposure in relation to breast cancer risk.

Br J Cancer 2021 Aug 2. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Despite a modest association between tobacco smoking and breast cancer risk reported by recent epidemiological studies, it is still equivocal whether smoking is causally related to breast cancer risk.

Methods: We applied Mendelian randomisation (MR) to evaluate a potential causal effect of cigarette smoking on breast cancer risk. Both individual-level data as well as summary statistics for 164 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reported in genome-wide association studies of lifetime smoking index (LSI) or cigarette per day (CPD) were used to obtain MR effect estimates. Data from 108,420 invasive breast cancer cases and 87,681 controls were used for the LSI analysis and for the CPD analysis conducted among ever-smokers from 26,147 cancer cases and 26,072 controls. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to address pleiotropy.

Results: Genetically predicted LSI was associated with increased breast cancer risk (OR 1.18 per SD, 95% CI: 1.07-1.30, P = 0.11 × 10), but there was no evidence of association for genetically predicted CPD (OR 1.02, 95% CI: 0.78-1.19, P = 0.85). The sensitivity analyses yielded similar results and showed no strong evidence of pleiotropic effect.

Conclusion: Our MR study provides supportive evidence for a potential causal association with breast cancer risk for lifetime smoking exposure but not cigarettes per day among smokers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01432-8DOI Listing
August 2021

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

Am J Hum Genet 2021 07 18;108(7):1190-1203. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

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

A combination of genetic and functional approaches has identified three independent breast cancer risk loci at 2q35. A recent fine-scale mapping analysis to refine these associations resulted in 1 (signal 1), 5 (signal 2), and 42 (signal 3) credible causal variants at these loci. We used publicly available in silico DNase I and ChIP-seq data with in vitro reporter gene and CRISPR assays to annotate signals 2 and 3. We identified putative regulatory elements that enhanced cell-type-specific transcription from the IGFBP5 promoter at both signals (30- to 40-fold increased expression by the putative regulatory element at signal 2, 2- to 3-fold by the putative regulatory element at signal 3). We further identified one of the five credible causal variants at signal 2, a 1.4 kb deletion (esv3594306), as the likely causal variant; the deletion allele of this variant was associated with an average additional increase in IGFBP5 expression of 1.3-fold (MCF-7) and 2.2-fold (T-47D). We propose a model in which the deletion allele of esv3594306 juxtaposes two transcription factor binding regions (annotated by estrogen receptor alpha ChIP-seq peaks) to generate a single extended regulatory element. This regulatory element increases cell-type-specific expression of the tumor suppressor gene IGFBP5 and, thereby, reduces risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (odds ratio = 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.81, p = 3.1 × 10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322933PMC
July 2021

Health-Related Quality of Life in a Cohort of Breast Cancer Survivors over More Than 10 Years Post-Diagnosis and in Comparison to a Control Cohort.

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

Cancer Epidemiology Group, University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany.

Breast cancer (BC) survivors often suffer from late and long-term residual symptoms of the disease and its treatment. To date, long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in breast cancer survivors has been seldom investigated and rarely compared to unaffected women (controls). This study aimed to investigate HRQoL over time using patient-reported status before diagnosis, during treatment, 1 year post-surgery, approx. 5 years and ≥10 years post-diagnosis. We also compared survivors' HRQoL with controls' still alive 10 years after recruitment. Data from the German population-based Mamma Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation (MARIE) cohort of 1123 BC patients aged 50-74 years at diagnosis (2002-2005) and of 3453 matched controls were used for analysis. HRQoL was assessed with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaire. All analyses were conducted for all ages as well as stratified according to three age groups (≤58 years, 59-64 years, ≥64 years). Differences in survivors' general HRQoL before, during, and after therapy were investigated using a t-test/Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Changes in the HRQoL of survivors stratified by age from FU1 to FU2 were assessed via repeated analysis of variance. The HRQoL of survivors compared to the controls at FU2 was analyzed using an analysis of variance. Over all ages, the general HRQoL in patients improved in the first 5 years post-diagnosis. In the subsequent years, HRQoL slightly deteriorated but was comparable to that of the controls. Younger survivors mostly improved their HRQoL from the 5 to 10-year follow-up but remained negatively affected for most functioning and symptom scales compared to controls. In older survivors, HRQoL hardly changed over time and detriments were less pronounced compared to controls, except for insomnia. Restrictions of HRQoL persist for more than 10 years and are most prominent among younger survivors. Researchers and clinicians should be aware of such potential deteriorations and age-dependent differences in order to optimize/adapt long-term cancer survivor care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13081854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069882PMC
April 2021

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

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions: The results of this study define the genes that are most clinically useful for inclusion on panels for the prediction of breast cancer risk, as well as provide estimates of the risks associated with protein-truncating variants, to guide genetic counseling. (Funded by European Union Horizon 2020 programs and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1913948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611105PMC
February 2021

The effect of family history on screening procedures and prognosis in breast cancer patients - Results of a large population-based case-control study.

Breast 2021 Feb 24;55:98-104. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Gynecology, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: The potential benefit of additional breast cancer screening examinations in moderate risk patients (patients with a history of breast cancer in one or two family members) remains unclear.

Methods: A large population-based case-control study on breast cancer in postmenopausal women in Germany recruited 2002-2005 (3813 cases and 7341 age-matched controls) was used to assess the association of family history with breast cancer risk. Analysis of family history, participation in screening procedures, and tumor size regarding prognosis in patients was based on follow-up data until 2015.

Results: A first degree family history of breast cancer was associated with higher breast cancer risk (OR 1.39, p < 0.001). Patients with a first degree family history of breast cancer were more likely to have had >10 mammograms (MG) (42.7% vs. 24.9%, p < 0.001) and showed a higher rate of imaging-detected tumors (MG or ultrasound) (45.8% vs. 31.9%, p < 0.001). A smaller tumor size at initial diagnosis (below 2 cm) was more likely in patients with a positive family history (OR 1.45, p < 0.001) and a higher number of MG (≥10 MG: OR 2.29). After accounting for tumor characteristics, mammogram regularity (HR 0.72, p < 0.001) and imaging-assisted tumor detection (HR 0.66, p < 0.001) were associated with better overall survival but not with a positive family history.

Discussion: Patients with a positive family history had a higher rate of imaging detected tumors with smaller size at initial diagnosis compared to patients without affected family members. Screening was associated with improved survival after a breast cancer diagnosis, irrespective of a positive family history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2020.12.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782318PMC
February 2021

Comorbidity burden in long-term breast cancer survivors compared with a cohort of population-based controls from the MARIE study.

Cancer 2021 Apr 1;127(7):1154-1160. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: The number of elderly cancer survivors is growing because of increasing survival rates. A high comorbidity burden in the elderly can affect their quality of life and survival. The aim of this study was to examine whether breast cancer survivors and population-based controls have a different comorbidity burden after long-term follow-up.

Methods: This study used data from a German breast cancer case-control study, which initially comprised 3813 breast cancer cases aged 50 to 74 years who were diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 and 7341 population-based controls. Participants were followed up in 2014/2016. A modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (mCCI) was calculated to quantify severe comorbidities. Negative binomial regression was performed to estimate rate ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between case-control status and mCCI (dependent variable) for the baseline population and for those who participated at follow-up, with adjustments made for relevant lifestyle factors.

Results: In total, 1925 cases and 3674 controls participated in the follow-up 12 years after recruitment. In the baseline population 35% had at least 1 comorbid condition.In long-term survivors this proportion was 52%. No difference was found in the mCCI between breast cancer cases and controls at baseline (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.98-1.11) or between long-term survivors of the 2 groups at baseline (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97-1.18) or at follow-up (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.91-1.10).

Conclusions: The comorbidity burden of long-term breast cancer survivors and controls increased over time; however, it remained similar in both groups after 12 years of follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33363DOI Listing
April 2021

Changes in alcohol consumption, body weight and physical activity among breast cancer survivors and population-based unaffected women in a prospective study.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 02 19;70:101852. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Cancer Epidemiology Group, University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany; Department of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: It is unclear whether a breast cancer diagnosis affects health behaviour changes that occur with ageing. We aimed to compare long-term changes of alcohol consumption, body weight, and physical activity in women with breast cancer and in age-matched unaffected women.

Methods: We used data from 1,925 women with breast cancer and 3,473 unaffected women aged 50-74 years enrolled in the population-based case-control study MARIE (Mamma Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation) in 2002-2005, who also completed the follow-up in 2014-2016. Multinomial logistic regression was applied to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between breast cancer status and categories of change in alcohol consumption, weight and physical activity.

Results: After 11.6 years of follow-up, breast cancer survivors had significantly lower odds than unaffected women of increasing alcohol consumption from ≤10 to >10 g/day (adjusted OR 0.48, 95 % CI 0.35-0.65), but were more likely to experience a major weight change of ≥10 % compared to having stable weight (±<5 %) (OR for increase and decrease 1.32, 95 % CI 1.03-1.70 and 1.36, 95 % CI 1.05-1.77, resp.) and to decrease transport physical activity to below 2.5 h/week compared to maintaining the activity level (OR 1.61, 95 % CI 1.26-2.04). No significant group difference was found for changes in recreational physical activity.

Conclusion: Our data indicate that some long-term health behaviour changes can be attributed to a breast cancer diagnosis rather than ageing, suggesting that long-term medical care of breast cancer survivors could pay greater attention to weight control and sufficient physical activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101852DOI Listing
February 2021

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

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

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

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

Postdiagnosis weight change is associated with poorer survival in breast cancer survivors: A prospective population-based patient cohort study.

Int J Cancer 2021 01 10;148(1):18-27. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

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

More women are surviving after breast cancer due to early detection and modern treatment strategies. Body weight also influences survival. We aimed to characterize associations between postdiagnosis weight change and prognosis in postmenopausal long-term breast cancer survivors. We used data from a prospective population-based patient cohort study (MARIE) conducted in two geographical regions of Germany. Breast cancer patients diagnosed 50 to 74 years of age with an incident invasive breast cancer or in situ tumor were recruited from 2002 to 2005 and followed up until June 2015. Baseline weight was ascertained at an in-person interview at recruitment and follow-up weight was ascertained by telephone interview in 2009. Delayed entry Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess associations between relative weight change and all-cause mortality, breast cancer mortality, and recurrence-free survival. In total, 2216 patients were included. Compared to weight maintenance (within 5%), weight loss >10% increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR 2.50, 95% CI 1.61, 3.88), breast cancer mortality (HR 3.07, 95% CI 1.69, 5.60) and less so of recurrence-free survival (HR 1.43, 95% CI 0.87, 2.36). Large weight gain of >10% also increased all-cause mortality (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.02, 2.62) and breast cancer mortality (HR 2.25, 95% CI 1.25, 4.04). Weight maintenance for up to 5 years in long-term breast cancer survivors may help improve survival and prognosis. Postdiagnosis fluctuations in body weight of greater than 10% may lead to increased mortality. Survivors should be recommended to avoid large deviations in body weight from diagnosis onwards to maintain health and prolong life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33181DOI Listing
January 2021

Development and Validation of the Gene Expression Predictor of High-grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma Molecular SubTYPE (PrOTYPE).

Clin Cancer Res 2020 10 17;26(20):5411-5423. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Purpose: Gene expression-based molecular subtypes of high-grade serous tubo-ovarian cancer (HGSOC), demonstrated across multiple studies, may provide improved stratification for molecularly targeted trials. However, evaluation of clinical utility has been hindered by nonstandardized methods, which are not applicable in a clinical setting. We sought to generate a clinical grade minimal gene set assay for classification of individual tumor specimens into HGSOC subtypes and confirm previously reported subtype-associated features.

Experimental Design: Adopting two independent approaches, we derived and internally validated algorithms for subtype prediction using published gene expression data from 1,650 tumors. We applied resulting models to NanoString data on 3,829 HGSOCs from the Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis consortium. We further developed, confirmed, and validated a reduced, minimal gene set predictor, with methods suitable for a single-patient setting.

Results: Gene expression data were used to derive the predictor of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma molecular subtype (PrOTYPE) assay. We established a standard as a consensus of two parallel approaches. PrOTYPE subtypes are significantly associated with age, stage, residual disease, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and outcome. The locked-down clinical grade PrOTYPE test includes a model with 55 genes that predicted gene expression subtype with >95% accuracy that was maintained in all analytic and biological validations.

Conclusions: We validated the PrOTYPE assay following the Institute of Medicine guidelines for the development of omics-based tests. This fully defined and locked-down clinical grade assay will enable trial design with molecular subtype stratification and allow for objective assessment of the predictive value of HGSOC molecular subtypes in precision medicine applications..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572656PMC
October 2020

Germline HOXB13 mutations p.G84E and p.R217C do not confer an increased breast cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2020 06 16;10(1):9688. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

In breast cancer, high levels of homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) have been associated with disease progression of ER-positive breast cancer patients and resistance to tamoxifen treatment. Since HOXB13 p.G84E is a prostate cancer risk allele, we evaluated the association between HOXB13 germline mutations and breast cancer risk in a previous study consisting of 3,270 familial non-BRCA1/2 breast cancer cases and 2,327 controls from the Netherlands. Although both recurrent HOXB13 mutations p.G84E and p.R217C were not associated with breast cancer risk, the risk estimation for p.R217C was not very precise. To provide more conclusive evidence regarding the role of HOXB13 in breast cancer susceptibility, we here evaluated the association between HOXB13 mutations and increased breast cancer risk within 81 studies of the international Breast Cancer Association Consortium containing 68,521 invasive breast cancer patients and 54,865 controls. Both HOXB13 p.G84E and p.R217C did not associate with the development of breast cancer in European women, neither in the overall analysis (OR = 1.035, 95% CI = 0.859-1.246, P = 0.718 and OR = 0.798, 95% CI = 0.482-1.322, P = 0.381 respectively), nor in specific high-risk subgroups or breast cancer subtypes. Thus, although involved in breast cancer progression, HOXB13 is not a material breast cancer susceptibility gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65665-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297796PMC
June 2020

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

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

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

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

Combined Associations of a Polygenic Risk Score and Classical Risk Factors With Breast Cancer Risk.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 03;113(3):329-337

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

We evaluated the joint associations between a new 313-variant PRS (PRS313) and questionnaire-based breast cancer risk factors for women of European ancestry, using 72 284 cases and 80 354 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Interactions were evaluated using standard logistic regression and a newly developed case-only method for breast cancer risk overall and by estrogen receptor status. After accounting for multiple testing, we did not find evidence that per-standard deviation PRS313 odds ratio differed across strata defined by individual risk factors. Goodness-of-fit tests did not reject the assumption of a multiplicative model between PRS313 and each risk factor. Variation in projected absolute lifetime risk of breast cancer associated with classical risk factors was greater for women with higher genetic risk (PRS313 and family history) and, on average, 17.5% higher in the highest vs lowest deciles of genetic risk. These findings have implications for risk prevention for women at increased risk of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936056PMC
March 2021

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

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

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

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

A network analysis to identify mediators of germline-driven differences in breast cancer prognosis.

Nat Commun 2020 01 16;11(1):312. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

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

Identifying the underlying genetic drivers of the heritability of breast cancer prognosis remains elusive. We adapt a network-based approach to handle underpowered complex datasets to provide new insights into the potential function of germline variants in breast cancer prognosis. This network-based analysis studies ~7.3 million variants in 84,457 breast cancer patients in relation to breast cancer survival and confirms the results on 12,381 independent patients. Aggregating the prognostic effects of genetic variants across multiple genes, we identify four gene modules associated with survival in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative and one in ER-positive disease. The modules show biological enrichment for cancer-related processes such as G-alpha signaling, circadian clock, angiogenesis, and Rho-GTPases in apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14100-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965101PMC
January 2020

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

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

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

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

Pre- to postdiagnosis leisure-time physical activity and prognosis in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors.

Breast Cancer Res 2019 11 7;21(1):117. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

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

Background: Physical activity (PA) before and after breast cancer diagnosis has been reported to be associated with lower mortality. However, whether changes in the activity after diagnosis impact prognosis is unclear and has not received much attention. This study aimed to examine pre- to postdiagnosis leisure-time PA and breast cancer prognosis.

Methods: We used data from the MARIE study, a prospective population-based patient cohort study of 3813 postmenopausal breast cancer patients, aged 50-74 at diagnosis, recruited from 2002 to 2005, re-interviewed in 2009, and followed up until June 2015. Prediagnosis PA was assessed at recruitment; postdiagnosis PA was assessed at re-interview in 2009. To examine pre- to postdiagnosis change in PA, women were categorized by pre- and postdiagnosis PA using a cut-off of 7.5 MET-h/week for meeting PA recommendations and combined into four groups: insufficiently active, increasingly active, decreasingly active, and sufficiently active. Cox regression models with delayed entry were used to assess associations between pre- to postdiagnosis patterns of PA and overall mortality (OM), breast cancer mortality (BCM), and recurrence-free survival (RFS). Additional analyses of pre- and postdiagnosis PA (no activity (reference), low activity, sufficient activity) with cancer outcomes, such as using a time-dependent model, were performed. In total, 2042 patients were included in the analyses.

Results: There were 206 deaths (114 from breast cancer) after a median follow-up time of 6.0 years after the 2009 interview. Compared to insufficiently active women, increasingly active women were at lower risk of OM, BCM, and RFS (HR (95%CI) of 0.50 (0.31-0.82), 0.54 (0.30-1.00), 0.58 (0.40-0.84), respectively). In sufficiently active women, associations for OM (0.75 (0.48-1.15)), BCM (0.61 (0.33-1.13)), and RFS 0.80 (0.57-1.14)) were similar to increasingly active women but attenuated, and decreasingly active women were not at lower risk for OM (0.91 (0.61-1.36)), BCM (0.80 (0.45-1.42)), and RFS (1.04 (0.76-1.43)). In time-dependent analyses, sufficient activity vs. no activity was associated with better OM (0.73 (0.57-0.93)), BCM (0.64 (0.46-0.89)), and RFS (0.82 (0.68-0.99)). Low activity was not significantly associated with prognosis.

Conclusion: Our data support benefits for breast cancer prognosis in being physically active pre- and postdiagnosis particularly for women who were insufficiently active prediagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-019-1206-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836389PMC
November 2019

Prognostic associations of circulating phytoestrogens and biomarker changes in long-term survivors of postmenopausal breast cancer.

Nutr Cancer 2020 16;72(7):1155-1169. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

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

Lignans are associated with improved postmenopausal breast cancer (BC) survival, but whether these associations, particularly with enterolactone (major lignan metabolite), persist over time is unclear. Little is known about other phytoestrogens on prognosis in long-term survivors. The study examines associations of prognosis with 1) circulating postdiagnosis enterolactone, 2) eight circulating phytoestrogen metabolites, and 3) changes in enterolactone and genistein. In a German cohort of 2,105 postmenopausal BC patients with blood samples collected at recruitment 2002-2005 (baseline) and re-interview in 2009 (follow-up), delay-entry Cox proportional hazards regression was used. Landmark analysis showed that circulating enterolactone (log2) associations with 5-year survival changed over time, with strongest hazard ratios of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.80-0.99) at blood draw (BD) and 0.86 (0.77-0.97) at 2 years post-BD for BC mortality, and 0.87 (0.80-0.95) at BD and 0.84 (0.76-0.92) at 3 years post-BD for all-cause mortality, which attenuated thereafter. In long-term survivors, increasing concentrations of genistein (1.17, 1.01-1.36), resveratrol (1.19, 1.02-1.40), and luteolin (1.96, 1.07-3.58) measured in follow-up blood samples were associated with poorer subsequent prognosis. Neither enterolactone at follow-up nor changes in enterolactone/genistein were associated with prognosis. Large long-term longitudinal studies with multiple phytoestrogen measurements are required to understand long-term effects of phytoestrogens after BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2019.1672762DOI Listing
May 2021

Assessment of interactions between 205 breast cancer susceptibility loci and 13 established risk factors in relation to breast cancer risk, in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Int J Epidemiol 2020 02;49(1):216-232

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

Background: Previous gene-environment interaction studies of breast cancer risk have provided sparse evidence of interactions. Using the largest available dataset to date, we performed a comprehensive assessment of potential effect modification of 205 common susceptibility variants by 13 established breast cancer risk factors, including replication of previously reported interactions.

Methods: Analyses were performed using 28 176 cases and 32 209 controls genotyped with iCOGS array and 44 109 cases and 48 145 controls genotyped using OncoArray from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Gene-environment interactions were assessed using unconditional logistic regression and likelihood ratio tests for breast cancer risk overall and by estrogen-receptor (ER) status. Bayesian false discovery probability was used to assess the noteworthiness of the meta-analysed array-specific interactions.

Results: Noteworthy evidence of interaction at ≤1% prior probability was observed for three single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-risk factor pairs. SNP rs4442975 was associated with a greater reduction of risk of ER-positive breast cancer [odds ratio (OR)int = 0.85 (0.78-0.93), Pint = 2.8 x 10-4] and overall breast cancer [ORint = 0.85 (0.78-0.92), Pint = 7.4 x 10-5) in current users of estrogen-progesterone therapy compared with non-users. This finding was supported by replication using OncoArray data of the previously reported interaction between rs13387042 (r2 = 0.93 with rs4442975) and current estrogen-progesterone therapy for overall disease (Pint = 0.004). The two other interactions suggested stronger associations between SNP rs6596100 and ER-negative breast cancer with increasing parity and younger age at first birth.

Conclusions: Overall, our study does not suggest strong effect modification of common breast cancer susceptibility variants by established risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7426027PMC
February 2020

Two truncating variants in FANCC and breast cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2019 08 29;9(1):12524. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Westmead Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder with 22 disease-causing genes reported to date. In some FA genes, monoallelic mutations have been found to be associated with breast cancer risk, while the risk associations of others remain unknown. The gene for FA type C, FANCC, has been proposed as a breast cancer susceptibility gene based on epidemiological and sequencing studies. We used the Oncoarray project to genotype two truncating FANCC variants (p.R185X and p.R548X) in 64,760 breast cancer cases and 49,793 controls of European descent. FANCC mutations were observed in 25 cases (14 with p.R185X, 11 with p.R548X) and 26 controls (18 with p.R185X, 8 with p.R548X). There was no evidence of an association with the risk of breast cancer, neither overall (odds ratio 0.77, 95%CI 0.44-1.33, p = 0.4) nor by histology, hormone receptor status, age or family history. We conclude that the breast cancer risk association of these two FANCC variants, if any, is much smaller than for BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2 mutations. If this applies to all truncating variants in FANCC it would suggest there are differences between FA genes in their roles on breast cancer risk and demonstrates the merit of large consortia for clarifying risk associations of rare variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48804-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715680PMC
August 2019

A combination of the immunohistochemical markers CK7 and SATB2 is highly sensitive and specific for distinguishing primary ovarian mucinous tumors from colorectal and appendiceal metastases.

Mod Pathol 2019 12 25;32(12):1834-1846. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Inst Clinical Scienses, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Primary ovarian mucinous tumors can be difficult to distinguish from metastatic gastrointestinal neoplasms by histology alone. The expected immunoprofile of a suspected metastatic lower gastrointestinal tumor is CK7/CK20/CDX2/PAX8. This study assesses the addition of a novel marker SATB2, to improve the diagnostic algorithm. A test cohort included 155 ovarian mucinous tumors (105 carcinomas and 50 borderline tumors) and 230 primary lower gastrointestinal neoplasms (123 colorectal adenocarcinomas and 107 appendiceal neoplasms). All cases were assessed for SATB2, PAX8 CK7, CK20, and CDX2 expression on tissue microarrays. Expression was scored in a 3-tier system as absent, focal (1-50% of tumor cells) and diffuse ( >50% of tumor cells) and then categorized into either absent/present or nondiffuse/diffuse. SATB2 and PAX8 expression was further evaluated in ovarian tumors from an international cohort of 2876 patients (expansion cohort, including 159 mucinous carcinomas and 46 borderline mucinous tumors). The highest accuracy of an individual marker in distinguishing lower gastrointestinal from ovarian mucinous tumors was CK7 (91.7%, nondiffuse/diffuse cut-off) followed by SATB2 (88.8%, present/absent cut-off). The most effective combination was CK7 and SATB2 with accuracy of 95.3% using the 3-tier interpretation, absent/focal/diffuse. This combination outperformed the standard clinical set of CK7, CK20 and CDX2 (87.5%). Re-evaluation of outlier cases confirmed ovarian origin for all but one case. The accuracy of SATB2 was confirmed in the expansion cohort (91.5%). SATB2 expression was also detected in 15% of ovarian endometrioid carcinoma but less than 5% of other ovarian histotypes. A simple two marker combination of CK7 and SATB2 can distinguish lower gastrointestinal from ovarian primary mucinous tumors with greater than 95% accuracy. PAX8 and CDX2 have value as second-line markers. The utility of CK20 in this setting is low and this warrants replacement of this marker with SATB2 in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0302-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8207534PMC
December 2019

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

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

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

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

Genome-wide association study of germline variants and breast cancer-specific mortality.

Br J Cancer 2019 03 21;120(6):647-657. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Lund University, Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Clinical Sciences, Lund, Sweden.

Background: We examined the associations between germline variants and breast cancer mortality using a large meta-analysis of women of European ancestry.

Methods: Meta-analyses included summary estimates based on Cox models of twelve datasets using ~10.4 million variants for 96,661 women with breast cancer and 7697 events (breast cancer-specific deaths). Oestrogen receptor (ER)-specific analyses were based on 64,171 ER-positive (4116) and 16,172 ER-negative (2125) patients. We evaluated the probability of a signal to be a true positive using the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP).

Results: We did not find any variant associated with breast cancer-specific mortality at P < 5 × 10. For ER-positive disease, the most significantly associated variant was chr7:rs4717568 (BFDP = 7%, P = 1.28 × 10, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.84-0.92); the closest gene is AUTS2. For ER-negative disease, the most significant variant was chr7:rs67918676 (BFDP = 11%, P = 1.38 × 10, HR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.16-1.39); located within a long intergenic non-coding RNA gene (AC004009.3), close to the HOXA gene cluster.

Conclusions: We uncovered germline variants on chromosome 7 at BFDP < 15% close to genes for which there is biological evidence related to breast cancer outcome. However, the paucity of variants associated with mortality at genome-wide significance underpins the challenge in providing genetic-based individualised prognostic information for breast cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0393-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6461853PMC
March 2019

Antioxidant supplementation and breast cancer prognosis in postmenopausal women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Am J Clin Nutr 2019 01;109(1):69-78

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

Background: There is a paucity of information on the prevalence of dietary supplement use in breast cancer survivors. Only a few studies have examined the impact of dietary supplements, particularly antioxidants, on breast cancer prognosis and the results are inconclusive.

Objective: We examined pre- and postdiagnosis use of supplements in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors in Germany and investigated associations between postdiagnosis use of antioxidants and other supplements, and prognosis (total and breast cancer mortality, and recurrence-free survival) both overall and in women who received chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Design: Data from 2223 postmenopausal women diagnosed with nonmetastatic breast cancer from the population-based Mamma Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation (MARIE) study were used. Women were interviewed at recruitment in 2002-2005 and again in 2009 and followed-up until 30 June 2015. Multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to estimate HRs and corresponding 95% CIs.

Results: Pre- and postdiagnosis supplement use was reported by 36% and 45% of the women, respectively. There were 240 deaths (134 from breast cancer) and 200 breast cancer recurrences after a median follow-up time of 6.0 y after the 2009 re-interview. After adjusting for relevant confounders, concurrent antioxidant use with chemotherapy or radiation therapy among 1940 women was associated with increased risk of total mortality (HR: 1.64; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.66) and worsened recurrence-free survival (HR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.26, 2.68). Overall postdiagnosis supplement use was not associated with breast cancer prognosis.

Conclusions: Antioxidant use during chemotherapy or radiation therapy was associated with worsened breast cancer prognosis in postmenopausal women. There was no overall association between postdiagnosis supplement use and breast cancer prognosis. Results from our study align with the current recommendation to possibly avoid the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy223DOI Listing
January 2019

Polygenic Risk Scores for Prediction of Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Subtypes.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 01 13;104(1):21-34. Epub 2018 Dec 13.

Department of Oncology, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00290, Finland; Department of Oncology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro 70185, Sweden.

Stratification of women according to their risk of breast cancer based on polygenic risk scores (PRSs) could improve screening and prevention strategies. Our aim was to develop PRSs, optimized for prediction of estrogen receptor (ER)-specific disease, from the largest available genome-wide association dataset and to empirically validate the PRSs in prospective studies. The development dataset comprised 94,075 case subjects and 75,017 control subjects of European ancestry from 69 studies, divided into training and validation sets. Samples were genotyped using genome-wide arrays, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected by stepwise regression or lasso penalized regression. The best performing PRSs were validated in an independent test set comprising 11,428 case subjects and 18,323 control subjects from 10 prospective studies and 190,040 women from UK Biobank (3,215 incident breast cancers). For the best PRSs (313 SNPs), the odds ratio for overall disease per 1 standard deviation in ten prospective studies was 1.61 (95%CI: 1.57-1.65) with area under receiver-operator curve (AUC) = 0.630 (95%CI: 0.628-0.651). The lifetime risk of overall breast cancer in the top centile of the PRSs was 32.6%. Compared with women in the middle quintile, those in the highest 1% of risk had 4.37- and 2.78-fold risks, and those in the lowest 1% of risk had 0.16- and 0.27-fold risks, of developing ER-positive and ER-negative disease, respectively. Goodness-of-fit tests indicated that this PRS was well calibrated and predicts disease risk accurately in the tails of the distribution. This PRS is a powerful and reliable predictor of breast cancer risk that may improve breast cancer prevention programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.11.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323553PMC
January 2019

Association of CD4 Radiation-Induced Lymphocyte Apoptosis with Fibrosis and Telangiectasia after Radiotherapy in 272 Breast Cancer Patients with >10-Year Follow-up.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 01 16;25(2):562-572. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Purpose: Radiation-induced lymphocyte apoptosis (RILA) has been suggested as a predictive assay for adverse late reactions after radiotherapy. Thus, low RILA values of T-lymphocyte subpopulations have been associated with increased risk for various endpoints at 2 to 3 years of follow-up. The purpose was to test if such associations persist for specific endpoints (subcutaneous fibrosis, telangiectasia) in breast cancer patients with at least 10 years of follow-up. Two hundred and seventy-two female patients who had received breast-conserving therapy within the German ISE study were included (median follow-up: 11.6 years). Radiotherapy-induced side effects were scored according to the Late Effects in Normal Tissues-Subjective, Objective, Management, and Analytic (LENT-SOMA) classification system. RILA in the CD4, CD8, and natural killer (NK) subpopulations from peripheral blood was analyzed by flow cytometry. Multivariate predictive modeling was performed including relevant clinical risk factors.

Results: Low CD4 RILA was associated with increased risk for both fibrosis ( = 0.011) and telangiectasia ( < 0.001). For fibrosis, the association was stronger outside the surgical area (Fib; = 0.004) than within (Fib; = 0.17). Predictive multivariate modeling including clinical risk factors yielded OR of 3.48 (95% confidence interval, 1.84-6.58) for any fibrosis and 8.60 (2.71-27.3) for telangiectasia. Addition of CD4 RILA to the clinical variables improved discrimination (c statistics) from 0.62 to 0.68 for any fibrosis, 0.62 to 0.66 for Fib, 0.61 to 0.69 for Fib, and from 0.65 to 0.76 for telangiectasia. CD8 and NK RILA were not significantly associated with radiotherapy-related late reactions.

Conclusions: The results provide first evidence that low CD4 RILA is associated with increased subcutaneous fibrosis and telangiectasia even after 10 years. This supports the potential usefulness for predicting individual clinical risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-0777DOI Listing
January 2019

rs495139 in the TYMS-ENOSF1 Region and Risk of Ovarian Carcinoma of Mucinous Histology.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 Aug 21;19(9). Epub 2018 Aug 21.

Department of Gynecology, Jena University Hospital-Friedrich Schiller University, Jena 07743, Germany.

Thymidylate synthase (TYMS) is a crucial enzyme for DNA synthesis. TYMS expression is regulated by its antisense mRNA, ENOSF1. Disrupted regulation may promote uncontrolled DNA synthesis and tumor growth. We sought to replicate our previously reported association between rs495139 in the 3' gene region and increased risk of mucinous ovarian carcinoma (MOC) in an independent sample. Genotypes from 24,351 controls to 15,000 women with invasive OC, including 665 MOC, were available. We estimated per-allele odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using unconditional logistic regression, and meta-analysis when combining these data with our previous report. The association between rs495139 and MOC was not significant in the independent sample (OR = 1.09; 95% CI = 0.97⁻1.22; = 0.15; N = 665 cases). Meta-analysis suggested a weak association (OR = 1.13; 95% CI = 1.03⁻1.24; = 0.01; N = 1019 cases). No significant association with risk of other OC histologic types was observed ( = 0.05 for tumor heterogeneity). In expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis, the rs495139 allele was positively associated with ENOSF1 mRNA expression in normal tissues of the gastrointestinal system, particularly esophageal mucosa ( = 0.51, = 1.7 × 10), and nonsignificantly in five MOC tumors. The association results, along with inconclusive tumor eQTL findings, suggest that a true effect of rs495139 might be small.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163881PMC
August 2018

Association of p16 expression with prognosis varies across ovarian carcinoma histotypes: an Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis consortium study.

J Pathol Clin Res 2018 10 21;4(4):250-261. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC, USA.

We aimed to validate the prognostic association of p16 expression in ovarian high-grade serous carcinomas (HGSC) and to explore it in other ovarian carcinoma histotypes. p16 protein expression was assessed by clinical-grade immunohistochemistry in 6525 ovarian carcinomas including 4334 HGSC using tissue microarrays from 24 studies participating in the Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis consortium. p16 expression patterns were interpreted as abnormal (either overexpression referred to as block expression or absence) or normal (heterogeneous). CDKN2A (which encodes p16) mRNA expression was also analyzed in a subset (n = 2280) mostly representing HGSC (n = 2010). Association of p16 expression with overall survival (OS) was determined within histotypes as was CDKN2A expression for HGSC only. p16 block expression was most frequent in HGSC (56%) but neither protein nor mRNA expression was associated with OS. However, relative to heterogeneous expression, block expression was associated with shorter OS in endometriosis-associated carcinomas, clear cell [hazard ratio (HR): 2.02, 95% confidence (CI) 1.47-2.77, p < 0.001] and endometrioid (HR: 1.88, 95% CI 1.30-2.75, p = 0.004), while absence was associated with shorter OS in low-grade serous carcinomas (HR: 2.95, 95% CI 1.61-5.38, p = 0.001). Absence was most frequent in mucinous carcinoma (50%), and was not associated with OS in this histotype. The prognostic value of p16 expression is histotype-specific and pattern dependent. We provide definitive evidence against an association of p16 expression with survival in ovarian HGSC as previously suggested. Block expression of p16 in clear cell and endometrioid carcinoma should be further validated as a prognostic marker, and absence in low-grade serous carcinoma justifies CDK4 inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cjp2.109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6174617PMC
October 2018
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