Publications by authors named "Sophia Harlid"

45 Publications

Associations between dietary amino acid intakes and blood concentration levels.

Clin Nutr 2021 Jun 27;40(6):3772-3779. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, 69372, Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background And Aims: Emerging evidence suggests a role of amino acids (AAs) in the development of various diseases including renal failure, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and cancer. However, mechanistic pathways and the effects of dietary AA intakes on circulating levels and disease outcomes are unclear. We aimed to compare protein and AA intakes, with their respective blood concentrations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: Dietary protein and AA intakes were assessed via the EPIC dietary questionnaires (DQ) and 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR). A subsample of 3768 EPIC participants who were free of cancer had blood AA concentrations measured. To investigate how circulating levels relate to their respective intakes, dietary AA intake was examined in quintiles and ANOVA tests were run. Pearson correlations were examined for continous associations between intakes and blood concentrations.

Results: Dietary AA intakes (assessed with the DQ) and blood AA concentrations were not strongly correlated (-0.15 ≤ r ≤ 0.17) and the direction of the correlations depended on AA class: weak positive correlations were found for most essential AAs (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and conditionally essential AAs (arginine and tyrosine), while negative associations were found for non-essential AAs. Similar results were found when using the 24-HDR. When conducting ANOVA tests for essential AAs, higher intake quintiles were linked to higher blood AA concentrations, except for histidine and phenylalanine. For non-essential AAs and glycine, an inverse relationship was observed. Conditionally-essential AAs showed mixed results.

Conclusions: Weak positive correlations and dose responses were found between most essential and conditionally essential AA intakes, and blood concentrations, but not for the non-essential AAs. These results suggest that intake of dietary AA might be related to physiological AA status, particularly for the essential AAs. However, these results should be further evaluated and confirmed in large-scale prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.04.036DOI Listing
June 2021

Circulating Levels of Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Observational and Mendelian Randomization Analyses.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jul 20;30(7):1336-1348. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

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

Background: Epidemiologic studies evaluating associations between sex steroid hormones and colorectal cancer risk have yielded inconsistent results. To elucidate the role of circulating levels of testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in colorectal cancer risk, we conducted observational and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses.

Methods: The observational analyses included 333,530 participants enrolled in the UK Biobank with testosterone and SHBG measured. HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. For MR analyses, genetic variants robustly associated with hormone levels were identified and their association with colorectal cancer (42,866 cases/42,752 controls) was examined using two-sample MR.

Results: In the observational analysis, there was little evidence that circulating levels of total testosterone were associated with colorectal cancer risk; the MR analyses showed a greater risk for women (OR per 1-SD = 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01-1.17), although pleiotropy may have biased this result. Higher SHBG concentrations were associated with greater colorectal cancer risk for women (HR per 1-SD = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.05-1.29), but was unsupported by the MR analysis. There was little evidence of associations between free testosterone and colorectal cancer in observational and MR analyses.

Conclusions: Circulating concentrations of sex hormones are unlikely to be causally associated with colorectal cancer. Additional experimental studies are required to better understand the possible role of androgens in colorectal cancer development.

Impact: Our results from large-scale analyses provide little evidence for sex hormone pathways playing a causal role in colorectal cancer development..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1690DOI Listing
July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A two-tiered targeted proteomics approach to identify pre-diagnostic biomarkers of colorectal cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 4;11(1):5151. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden.

Colorectal cancer prognosis is dependent on stage, and measures to improve early detection are urgently needed. Using prospectively collected plasma samples from the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study, we evaluated protein biomarkers in relation to colorectal cancer risk. Applying a two-tiered approach, we analyzed 160 proteins in matched sequential samples from 58 incident colorectal cancer case-control pairs. Twenty-one proteins selected from both this discovery phase and the literature were then analyzed in a validation set of 450 case-control pairs. Odds ratios were estimated by conditional logistic regression. LASSO regression and ROC analysis were used for multi-marker analyses. In the main validation analysis, no proteins retained statistical significance. However, exploratory subgroup analyses showed associations between FGF-21 and colon cancer risk (multivariable OR per 1 SD: 1.23 95% CI 1.03-1.47) as well as between PPY and rectal cancer risk (multivariable OR per 1 SD: 1.47 95% CI 1.12-1.92). Adding protein markers to basic risk predictive models increased performance modestly. Our results highlight the challenge of developing biomarkers that are effective in the asymptomatic, prediagnostic window of opportunity for early detection of colorectal cancer. Distinguishing between cancer subtypes may improve prediction accuracy. However, single biomarkers or small panels may not be sufficient for effective precision screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83968-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933352PMC
March 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soluble Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-products (sRAGE) and Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study Nested within a European Prospective Cohort.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 01 20;30(1):182-192. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Public Health Directorate, Oviedo, Spain.

Background: Overexpression of the receptor for advanced glycation end-product (RAGE) has been associated with chronic inflammation, which in turn has been associated with increased colorectal cancer risk. Soluble RAGE (sRAGE) competes with RAGE to bind its ligands, thus potentially preventing RAGE-induced inflammation.

Methods: To investigate whether sRAGE and related genetic variants are associated with colorectal cancer risk, we conducted a nested case-control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Plasma sRAGE concentrations were measured by ELISA in 1,361 colorectal cancer matched case-control sets. Twenty-four SNPs encoded in the genes associated with sRAGE concentrations were available for 1,985 colorectal cancer cases and 2,220 controls. Multivariable adjusted ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using conditional and unconditional logistic regression for colorectal cancer risk and circulating sRAGE and SNPs, respectively.

Results: Higher sRAGE concentrations were inversely associated with colorectal cancer (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.59-1.00). Sex-specific analyses revealed that the observed inverse risk association was restricted to men (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.42-0.94), whereas no association was observed in women (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.68-1.48; for sex = 0.006). Participants carrying minor allele of rs653765 (promoter region of ) had lower colorectal cancer risk (C vs. T, OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.99).

Conclusions: Prediagnostic sRAGE concentrations were inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk in men, but not in women. An SNP located within gene, pertaining to RAGE shedding, was associated with colorectal cancer risk.

Impact: Further studies are needed to confirm our observed sex difference in the association and better explore the potential involvement of genetic variants of sRAGE in colorectal cancer development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0855DOI Listing
January 2021

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

Int J Cancer 2021 04 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

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

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

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

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

Metabolic perturbations prior to hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis: Findings from a prospective observational cohort study.

Int J Cancer 2021 02 28;148(3):609-625. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development entails changes in liver metabolism. Current knowledge on metabolic perturbations in HCC is derived mostly from case-control designs, with sparse information from prospective cohorts. Our objective was to apply comprehensive metabolite profiling to detect metabolites whose serum concentrations are associated with HCC development, using biological samples from within the prospective European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort (>520 000 participants), where we identified 129 HCC cases matched 1:1 to controls. We conducted high-resolution untargeted liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics on serum samples collected at recruitment prior to cancer diagnosis. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was applied controlling for dietary habits, alcohol consumption, smoking, body size, hepatitis infection and liver dysfunction. Corrections for multiple comparisons were applied. Of 9206 molecular features detected, 220 discriminated HCC cases from controls. Detailed feature annotation revealed 92 metabolites associated with HCC risk, of which 14 were unambiguously identified using pure reference standards. Positive HCC-risk associations were observed for N1-acetylspermidine, isatin, p-hydroxyphenyllactic acid, tyrosine, sphingosine, l,l-cyclo(leucylprolyl), glycochenodeoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid and 7-methylguanine. Inverse risk associations were observed for retinol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, glycerophosphocholine, γ-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman and creatine. Discernible differences for these metabolites were observed between cases and controls up to 10 years prior to diagnosis. Our observations highlight the diversity of metabolic perturbations involved in HCC development and replicate previous observations (metabolism of bile acids, amino acids and phospholipids) made in Asian and Scandinavian populations. These findings emphasize the role of metabolic pathways associated with steroid metabolism and immunity and specific dietary and environmental exposures in HCC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33236DOI Listing
February 2021

Landscape of somatic single nucleotide variants and indels in colorectal cancer and impact on survival.

Nat Commun 2020 07 20;11(1):3644. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Department of Preventive Medicine, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a biologically heterogeneous disease. To characterize its mutational profile, we conduct targeted sequencing of 205 genes for 2,105 CRC cases with survival data. Our data shows several findings in addition to enhancing the existing knowledge of CRC. We identify PRKCI, SPZ1, MUTYH, MAP2K4, FETUB, and TGFBR2 as additional genes significantly mutated in CRC. We find that among hypermutated tumors, an increased mutation burden is associated with improved CRC-specific survival (HR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.21-0.82). Mutations in TP53 are associated with poorer CRC-specific survival, which is most pronounced in cases carrying TP53 mutations with predicted 0% transcriptional activity (HR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.21-1.94). Furthermore, we observe differences in mutational frequency of several genes and pathways by tumor location, stage, and sex. Overall, this large study provides deep insights into somatic mutations in CRC, and their potential relationships with survival and tumor features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17386-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371703PMC
July 2020

Antibody Responses to and Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer in a European Cohort.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 07 24;29(7):1475-1481. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: While () is the major cause of gastric cancer, it has also been suggested to be involved in colorectal cancer development. However, prospective studies addressing and colorectal cancer are sparse and inconclusive. We assessed the association of antibody responses to proteins with colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: We applied multiplex serology to measure antibody responses to 13 proteins in prediagnostic serum samples from 485 colorectal cancer cases and 485 matched controls nested within the EPIC study. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariable conditional logistic regression to estimate the association of overall and protein-specific seropositivity with odds of developing colorectal cancer.

Results: Fifty-one percent of colorectal cancer cases were seropositive compared with 44% of controls, resulting in an OR of 1.36 (95% CI, 1.00-1.85). Among the 13 individual proteins, the association was driven mostly by seropositivity to cysteine-rich protein C (HcpC; OR: 1.66; 95% CI, 1.19-2.30) and Vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA) (OR: 1.34; 95% CI, 0.99-1.82), the latter being nonstatistically significant only in the fully adjusted model.

Conclusions: In this prospective multicenter European study, antibody responses to proteins, specifically HcpC and VacA, were associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Impact: Biological mechanisms for a potential causal role of in colorectal carcinogenesis need to be elucidated, and subsequently whether eradication may decrease colorectal cancer incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1545DOI Listing
July 2020

C-reactive Protein and Future Risk of Clinical and Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 07 21;29(7):1482-1491. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Inflammation has been implicated in colorectal cancer etiology, but the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) and colorectal cancer risk is unclear. We aimed to investigate the association between prediagnostic plasma CRP concentrations and the risk of clinical and molecular colorectal cancer subtypes.

Methods: We used prospectively collected samples from 1,010 matched colorectal cancer case-control pairs from two population-based cohorts in Northern Sweden, including 259 with repeated samples. Conditional logistic regression and linear mixed models were used to estimate relative risks of colorectal cancer, including subtypes based on and mutations, microsatellite instability status, tumor location, stage, lag time, and (using unconditional logistic regression) body mass index.

Results: CRP was not associated with colorectal cancer risk, regardless of clinical or molecular colorectal cancer subtype. For participants with advanced tumors and blood samples <5 years before diagnosis, CRP was associated with higher risk [OR per 1 unit increase in natural logarithm (ln) transformed CRP, 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.73]. CRP levels increased over time, but average time trajectories were similar for cases and controls ( = 0.19).

Conclusions: Our results do not support intertumoral heterogeneity as an explanation for previous inconsistent findings regarding the role of CRP in colorectal cancer etiology. The possible association in the subgroup with advanced tumors and shorter follow-up likely reflects undiagnosed cancer at baseline.

Impact: Future efforts to establish the putative role of chronic, low-grade inflammation in colorectal cancer development will need to address the complex relationship between systemic inflammatory factors and tumor microenvironment, and might consider larger biomarker panels than CRP alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1339DOI Listing
July 2020

A longitudinal study of prediagnostic metabolic biomarkers and the risk of molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer.

Sci Rep 2020 03 24;10(1):5336. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Body fatness increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Insulin resistance and altered adipokines are potential mechanisms, but previous biomarker studies have been inconsistent. Intertumoral heterogeneity might provide an explanation. We investigated insulin, C-peptide, adiponectin, and leptin in relation to CRC molecular subtypes using a nested case-control design (1010 cases, 1010 matched controls, median 12.3 years from baseline to CRC diagnosis) from the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study. Repeated samples were available from 518 participants. Risks of CRC and subtypes, defined by tumor BRAF and KRAS mutations and microsatellite instability (MSI) status, were estimated using conditional logistic regression and linear mixed models. Higher C-peptide and lower adiponectin were associated with increased CRC risk (odds ratios per standard deviation increase (95% CI): 1.11 (1.01, 1.23) and 0.91 (0.83, 1.00), respectively), though weakened when adjusted for body mass index. Insulin and leptin were not associated with CRC risk. Within-individual time trajectories were similar in cases and controls, and no subtype-specific relationships were identified (all P > 0.1). Adiponectin was weakly inversely associated with the risk of KRAS-mutated (P = 0.08) but not BRAF-mutated or KRAS/BRAF-wildtype CRC, consistent with the one previous study. These findings contribute to an increased understanding of the complex role of body size in CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62129-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093429PMC
March 2020

Physical activity and risks of breast and colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomisation analysis.

Nat Commun 2020 01 30;11(1):597. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

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

Physical activity has been associated with lower risks of breast and colorectal cancer in epidemiological studies; however, it is unknown if these associations are causal or confounded. In two-sample Mendelian randomisation analyses, using summary genetic data from the UK Biobank and GWA consortia, we found that a one standard deviation increment in average acceleration was associated with lower risks of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR]: 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.27 to 0.98, P-value = 0.04) and colorectal cancer (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.48 to 0.90, P-value = 0.01). We found similar magnitude inverse associations for estrogen positive (ER) breast cancer and for colon cancer. Our results support a potentially causal relationship between higher physical activity levels and lower risks of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Based on these data, the promotion of physical activity is probably an effective strategy in the primary prevention of these commonly diagnosed cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14389-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6992637PMC
January 2020

Cumulative Burden of Colorectal Cancer-Associated Genetic Variants Is More Strongly Associated With Early-Onset vs Late-Onset Cancer.

Gastroenterology 2020 04 19;158(5):1274-1286.e12. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington; Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, Washington.

Background & Aims: Early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC, in persons younger than 50 years old) is increasing in incidence; yet, in the absence of a family history of CRC, this population lacks harmonized recommendations for prevention. We aimed to determine whether a polygenic risk score (PRS) developed from 95 CRC-associated common genetic risk variants was associated with risk for early-onset CRC.

Methods: We studied risk for CRC associated with a weighted PRS in 12,197 participants younger than 50 years old vs 95,865 participants 50 years or older. PRS was calculated based on single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with CRC in a large-scale genome-wide association study as of January 2019. Participants were pooled from 3 large consortia that provided clinical and genotyping data: the Colon Cancer Family Registry, the Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study, and the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium and were all of genetically defined European descent. Findings were replicated in an independent cohort of 72,573 participants.

Results: Overall associations with CRC per standard deviation of PRS were significant for early-onset cancer, and were stronger compared with late-onset cancer (P for interaction = .01); when we compared the highest PRS quartile with the lowest, risk increased 3.7-fold for early-onset CRC (95% CI 3.28-4.24) vs 2.9-fold for late-onset CRC (95% CI 2.80-3.04). This association was strongest for participants without a first-degree family history of CRC (P for interaction = 5.61 × 10). When we compared the highest with the lowest quartiles in this group, risk increased 4.3-fold for early-onset CRC (95% CI 3.61-5.01) vs 2.9-fold for late-onset CRC (95% CI 2.70-3.00). Sensitivity analyses were consistent with these findings.

Conclusions: In an analysis of associations with CRC per standard deviation of PRS, we found the cumulative burden of CRC-associated common genetic variants to associate with early-onset cancer, and to be more strongly associated with early-onset than late-onset cancer, particularly in the absence of CRC family history. Analyses of PRS, along with environmental and lifestyle risk factors, might identify younger individuals who would benefit from preventive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103489PMC
April 2020

BMI and weight changes and risk of obesity-related cancers: a pooled European cohort study.

Int J Epidemiol 2019 12;48(6):1872-1885

Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Background: Obesity is an established risk factor for several cancers. Adult weight gain has been associated with increased cancer risk, but studies on timing and duration of adult weight gain are relatively scarce. We examined the impact of BMI (body mass index) and weight changes over time, as well as the timing and duration of excess weight, on obesity- and non-obesity-related cancers.

Methods: We pooled health data from six European cohorts and included 221 274 individuals with two or more height and weight measurements during 1972-2014. Several BMI and weight measures were constructed. Cancer cases were identified through linkage with national cancer registries. Hazard ratios (HRs) of cancer with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were derived from time-dependent Cox-regression models.

Results: During follow-up, 27 881 cancer cases were diagnosed; 9761 were obesity-related. The HR of all obesity-related cancers increased with increasing BMI at first and last measurement, maximum BMI and longer duration of overweight (men only) and obesity. Participants who were overweight before age 40 years had an HR of obesity-related cancers of 1.16 (95% CI 1.02, 1.32) and 1.15 (95% CI 1.04, 1.27) in men and women, respectively, compared with those who were not overweight. The risk increase was particularly high for endometrial (70%), male renal-cell (58%) and male colon cancer (29%). No positive associations were seen for cancers not regarded as obesity-related.

Conclusions: Adult weight gain was associated with increased risk of several major cancers. The degree, timing and duration of overweight and obesity also seemed to be important. Preventing weight gain may reduce the cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz188DOI Listing
December 2019

Antibody Responses to Proteins in Prediagnostic Blood Samples are not Associated with Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2019 09;28(9):1552-1555

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: There is a lack of prospective data on the potential association of () and colorectal cancer risk. In this study, we assessed whether antibody responses to are associated with colorectal cancer risk in prediagnostic serum samples in the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: We applied a multiplex serology assay to simultaneously measure antibody responses to 11 antigens in prediagnostic serum samples from 485 colorectal cancer cases and 485 matched controls. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: We observed neither a statistically significant colorectal cancer risk association for antibodies to individual proteins nor for combined positivity to any of the 11 proteins (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.62-1.06).

Conclusions: Antibody responses to proteins in prediagnostic serum samples from a subset of colorectal cancer cases and matched controls within the EPIC study were not associated with colorectal cancer risk.

Impact: Our findings in prospectively ascertained serum samples contradict the existing literature on the association of with colorectal cancer risk. Future prospective studies, specifically detecting in stool or tissue biopsies, are needed to complement our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0313DOI Listing
September 2019

Vitamin D-Related Genes, Blood Vitamin D Levels and Colorectal Cancer Risk in Western European Populations.

Nutrients 2019 08 20;11(8). Epub 2019 Aug 20.

CIBER Epidemiology and Public Healh (CIBERESP), Madrid 28029, Spain.

Higher circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (25(OH)D) have been found to be associated with lower risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) in prospective studies. Whether this association is modified by genetic variation in genes related to vitamin D metabolism and action has not been well studied in humans. We investigated 1307 functional and tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; individually, and by gene/pathway) in 86 vitamin D-related genes in 1420 incident CRC cases matched to controls from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. We also evaluated the association between these SNPs and circulating 25(OH)D in a subset of controls. We confirmed previously reported CRC risk associations between SNPs in the , , and genes. We also identified additional associations with 25(OH)D, as well as CRC risk, and several potentially novel SNPs in genes related to vitamin D transport and action (, and ). However, none of these SNPs were statistically significant after Benjamini-Hochberg (BH) multiple testing correction. When assessed by a priori defined functional pathways, tumor growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling was associated with CRC risk ( ≤ 0.001), with most statistically significant genes being = 0.008) and = 0.008), and 18 SNPs in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) binding sites ( = 0.036). The 25(OH)D-gene pathway analysis suggested that genetic variants in the genes related to VDR complex formation and transcriptional activity are associated with CRC depending on 25(OH)D levels (interaction = 0.041). Additional studies in large populations and consortia, especially with measured circulating 25(OH)D, are needed to confirm our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11081954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722852PMC
August 2019

Blood pressure and risk of cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Int J Cancer 2020 05 20;146(10):2680-2693. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, BioDonostia Research Institute, San Sebastian, Spain.

Several studies have reported associations of hypertension with cancer, but not all results were conclusive. We examined the association of systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure with the development of incident cancer at all anatomical sites in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence intervals) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by EPIC-participating center and age at recruitment, and adjusted for sex, education, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diabetes and dietary (in women also reproductive) factors. The study included 307,318 men and women, with an average follow-up of 13.7 (standard deviation 4.4) years and 39,298 incident cancers. We confirmed the expected positive association with renal cell carcinoma: HR = 1.12 (1.08-1.17) per 10 mm Hg higher SBP and HR = 1.23 (1.14-1.32) for DBP. We additionally found positive associations for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): HR = 1.16 (1.07-1.26) (SBP), HR = 1.31 (1.13-1.51) (DBP), weaker for head and neck cancers: HR = 1.08 (1.04-1.12) (SBP), HR = 1.09 (1.01-1.17) (DBP) and, similarly, for skin SCC, colon cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer and uterine adenocarcinoma (AC), but not for esophageal AC, lung SCC, lung AC or uterine endometroid cancer. We observed weak inverse associations of SBP with cervical SCC: HR = 0.91 (0.82-1.00) and lymphomas: HR = 0.97 (0.93-1.00). There were no consistent associations with cancers in other locations. Our results are largely compatible with published studies and support weak associations of blood pressure with cancers in specific locations and morphologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32576DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7115826PMC
May 2020

Circulating levels of inflammatory markers and DNA methylation, an analysis of repeated samples from a population based cohort.

Epigenetics 2019 07 29;14(7):649-659. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

a Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology , Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden.

DNA methylation in blood may adapt to conditions affecting our health, such as inflammation, and multiple studies have identified differential DNA methylation related to smoking, obesity and various diseases. The purpose of this study was to evaluate previously reported, and explore possible new, associations between levels of inflammatory markers and DNA methylation in blood. We used a well-characterized study population consisting of 127 individuals, all of whom were participants in the population-based Västerbotten Intervention Programme cohort and had provided two blood samples, ten years apart. Levels of CRP and 160 other proteins were measured in plasma, and DNA methylation levels (assessed using the 850K Illumina Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip) were measured in white blood cell DNA. Associations between CpG methylation and protein levels were estimated using linear mixed models. In the study we were able to confirm the direction for 85 of 102 previously reported protein-methylation associations. Depicting associations in a network allowed us to identify CpG sites with associations to multiple proteins, and ten CpG sites were each associated with three or more inflammatory markers. Furthermore, two genetic regions included nine additional unreported CpG sites that may represent trans-acting methylation sites. Our study supports a complex interaction between DNA methylation and circulating proteins involved in the inflammatory response. The notion of trans-acting methylation sites affecting, or being affected by, the expression of genes on completely different chromosomes should be taken into account when interpreting results from epigenome-wide association studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592294.2019.1603962DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557598PMC
July 2019

Association of Selenoprotein and Selenium Pathway Genotypes with Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Interaction with Selenium Status.

Nutrients 2019 Apr 25;11(4). Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO-IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08908 Barcelona, Spain.

Selenoprotein genetic variations and suboptimal selenium (Se) levels may contribute to the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) development. We examined the association between CRC risk and genotype for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in selenoprotein and Se metabolic pathway genes. assays were designed and resulted in the genotyping of 1040 variants in 154 genes from 1420 cases and 1421 controls within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Multivariable logistic regression revealed an association of 144 individual SNPs from 63 Se pathway genes with CRC risk. However, regarding the selenoprotein genes, only rs11111979 retained borderline statistical significance after adjustment for correlated tests ( = 0.10; significance threshold was < 0.1). SNPs in Wingless/Integrated (Wnt) and Transforming growth factor (TGF) beta-signaling genes (, , ) from pathways affected by Se intake were also associated with CRC risk after multiple testing adjustments. Interactions with Se status (using existing serum Se and Selenoprotein P data) were tested at the SNP, gene, and pathway levels. Pathway analyses using the modified Adaptive Rank Truncated Product method suggested that genes and gene x Se status interactions in antioxidant, apoptosis, and TGF-beta signaling pathways may be associated with CRC risk. This study suggests that SNPs in the Se pathway alone or in combination with suboptimal Se status may contribute to CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11040935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520820PMC
April 2019

The inflammatory potential of diet in determining cancer risk; A prospective investigation of two dietary pattern scores.

PLoS One 2019 12;14(4):e0214551. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Sustainable Health/Nutritional Research, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Purpose: Inflammation-related mechanisms may contribute to the link between diet and cancer. We sought to investigate the inflammatory impact of diet on cancer risk using the Dietary inflammatory index (DII) and an adapted Mediterranean diet score (MDS).

Methods: This population-based, prospective cohort study used self-reported dietary data from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme, including 100,881 participants, of whom 35,393 had repeated measures. Associations between dietary patterns and cancer risk were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression. We also used restricted cubic splines to test for potential non-linear associations.

Results: A total of 9,250 incident cancer cases were diagnosed during a median follow-up of 15 years. The two dietary patterns were moderately correlated to each other and had similar associations with cancer risk, predominantly lung cancer in men (DII per tertile decrease: Hazard ratio (HR) 0.81 (0.66-0.99), MDS per tertile increase: HR 0.86 (0.72-1.03)), and gastric cancer in men (DII: 0.73 (0.53-0.99), MDS: 0.73 (0.56-0.96)). Associations were, in general, found to be linear. We found no longitudinal association between 10-year change in diet and cancer risk.

Conclusion: We confirm small, but consistent and statistically significant associations between a more anti-inflammatory or healthier diet and reduced risk of cancer, including a lower risk of lung and gastric cancer in men. The dietary indexes produced similar associations with respect to the risk of cancer.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0214551PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6461253PMC
December 2019

Alcohol and DNA Methylation: An Epigenome-Wide Association Study in Blood and Normal Breast Tissue.

Am J Epidemiol 2019 06;188(6):1055-1065

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The biological mechanisms driving associations between alcohol consumption and chronic diseases might include epigenetic modification of DNA methylation. We explored the hypothesis that alcohol consumption is associated with methylation in an epigenome-wide association study of blood and normal breast tissue DNA. Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (Illumina Inc., San Diego, California) array data on blood DNA methylation was examined in a discovery set of 2,878 non-Hispanic white women from the Sister Study (United States, 2004-2015) who provided detailed questionnaire information on lifetime alcohol use. Robust linear regression modeling was used to identify significant associations (false discovery rate of Q < 0.05) between the number of alcoholic drinks per week and DNA methylation at 5,458 cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites. Associations were replicated (P < 0.05) for 677 CpGs in an independent set of 187 blood DNA samples from the Sister Study and for 628 CpGs in an independent set of 171 normal breast DNA samples; 1,207 CpGs were replicated in either blood or normal breast, with 98 CpGs replicated in both tissues. Individual gene effects were notable for phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGHDH), peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIF), solute carrier 15 (SLC15), solute carrier family 43 member 1 (SLC43A1), and solute carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11). We also found that high alcohol consumption was associated with significantly lower global methylation as measured by the average of CpGs on the entire array.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwz032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6545285PMC
June 2019

Hormone therapy use and breast tissue DNA methylation: analysis of epigenome wide data from the normal breast study.

Epigenetics 2019 02 1;14(2):146-157. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

a Epigenetics & Stem Cell Biology Laboratory , National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH , Research Triangle Park , NC , USA.

Hormone therapy (HT) is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, strongly dependent on type, duration, and recency of use. HT use could affect cancer risk by changing breast tissue transcriptional programs. We hypothesize that these changes are preceded by changes in DNA methylation. To explore this hypothesis we used histologically normal-appearing breast tissue from the Normal Breast Study (NBS). DNA methylation β-values were obtained using the Illumina HumanMethylation 450 BeadChips for 90 samples including all NBS-participants who used HT within 5 y before surgery. Data were analyzed using the reference-free cell mixture method. Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) mRNA-Seq data were used to assess correlation between DNA methylation and gene expression. We identified 527 CpG sites in 403 genes that were associated with ever using HT at genome wide significance (FDR q < 0.05), of these, 68 sites were also significantly associated with duration of use or recency of use. Twelve sites reached significance in all analyses one of which was cg01382688 in ARHGEF4 (p < 1.2x10). Mutations in ARHGEF4 have been reported in breast tumors, but this is the first report of possible breast cancer-related DNA methylation changes. In addition, 22 genes included more than one significant CpG site and a majority of these sites were significantly correlated with gene expression. Although based on small numbers, these findings support the hypothesis that HT is associated with epigenetic alterations in breast tissue, and identifies genes with altered DNA methylation states which could be linked to breast cancer development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592294.2019.1580111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557608PMC
February 2019

Discovery of common and rare genetic risk variants for colorectal cancer.

Nat Genet 2019 01 3;51(1):76-87. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Germany.

To further dissect the genetic architecture of colorectal cancer (CRC), we performed whole-genome sequencing of 1,439 cases and 720 controls, imputed discovered sequence variants and Haplotype Reference Consortium panel variants into genome-wide association study data, and tested for association in 34,869 cases and 29,051 controls. Findings were followed up in an additional 23,262 cases and 38,296 controls. We discovered a strongly protective 0.3% frequency variant signal at CHD1. In a combined meta-analysis of 125,478 individuals, we identified 40 new independent signals at P < 5 × 10, bringing the number of known independent signals for CRC to ~100. New signals implicate lower-frequency variants, Krüppel-like factors, Hedgehog signaling, Hippo-YAP signaling, long noncoding RNAs and somatic drivers, and support a role for immune function. Heritability analyses suggest that CRC risk is highly polygenic, and larger, more comprehensive studies enabling rare variant analysis will improve understanding of biology underlying this risk and influence personalized screening strategies and drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0286-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358437PMC
January 2019

Reproductive Factors, Exogenous Hormone Use, and Risk of B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in a Cohort of Women From the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition.

Am J Epidemiol 2019 02;188(2):274-281

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

The role of hormonal factors in the etiology of lymphoid neoplasms remains unclear. Previous studies have yielded conflicting results, have lacked sufficient statistical power to assess many lymphoma subtypes, or have lacked detailed information on relevant exposures. Within the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition cohort, we analyzed comprehensive data on reproductive factors and exogenous hormone use collected at baseline (1992-2000) among 343,458 women, including data on 1,427 incident cases of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and its major subtypes identified after a mean follow-up period of 14 years (through 2015). We estimated hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals using multivariable proportional hazards modeling. Overall, we observed no statistically significant associations between parity, age at first birth, breastfeeding, oral contraceptive use, or ever use of postmenopausal hormone therapy and risk of B-cell NHL or its subtypes. Women who had undergone surgical menopause had a 51% higher risk of B-cell NHL (based on 67 cases) than women with natural menopause (hazard ratio = 1.51, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 1.94). Given that this result may have been due to chance, our results provide little support for the hypothesis that sex hormones play a role in lymphomagenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwy259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357796PMC
February 2019

Novel Common Genetic Susceptibility Loci for Colorectal Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2019 02;111(2):146-157

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California, Oakland, CA.

Background: Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 42 loci (P < 5 × 10-8) associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Expanded consortium efforts facilitating the discovery of additional susceptibility loci may capture unexplained familial risk.

Methods: We conducted a GWAS in European descent CRC cases and control subjects using a discovery-replication design, followed by examination of novel findings in a multiethnic sample (cumulative n = 163 315). In the discovery stage (36 948 case subjects/30 864 control subjects), we identified genetic variants with a minor allele frequency of 1% or greater associated with risk of CRC using logistic regression followed by a fixed-effects inverse variance weighted meta-analysis. All novel independent variants reaching genome-wide statistical significance (two-sided P < 5 × 10-8) were tested for replication in separate European ancestry samples (12 952 case subjects/48 383 control subjects). Next, we examined the generalizability of discovered variants in East Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics (12 085 case subjects/22 083 control subjects). Finally, we examined the contributions of novel risk variants to familial relative risk and examined the prediction capabilities of a polygenic risk score. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: The discovery GWAS identified 11 variants associated with CRC at P < 5 × 10-8, of which nine (at 4q22.2/5p15.33/5p13.1/6p21.31/6p12.1/10q11.23/12q24.21/16q24.1/20q13.13) independently replicated at a P value of less than .05. Multiethnic follow-up supported the generalizability of discovery findings. These results demonstrated a 14.7% increase in familial relative risk explained by common risk alleles from 10.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.9% to 13.7%; known variants) to 11.9% (95% CI = 9.2% to 15.5%; known and novel variants). A polygenic risk score identified 4.3% of the population at an odds ratio for developing CRC of at least 2.0.

Conclusions: This study provides insight into the architecture of common genetic variation contributing to CRC etiology and improves risk prediction for individualized screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djy099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6555904PMC
February 2019

Comparison of prognostic models to predict the occurrence of colorectal cancer in asymptomatic individuals: a systematic literature review and external validation in the EPIC and UK Biobank prospective cohort studies.

Gut 2019 04 3;68(4):672-683. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromso, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway.

Objective: To systematically identify and validate published colorectal cancer risk prediction models that do not require invasive testing in two large population-based prospective cohorts.

Design: Models were identified through an update of a published systematic review and validated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and the UK Biobank. The performance of the models to predict the occurrence of colorectal cancer within 5 or 10 years after study enrolment was assessed by discrimination (C-statistic) and calibration (plots of observed vs predicted probability).

Results: The systematic review and its update identified 16 models from 8 publications (8 colorectal, 5 colon and 3 rectal). The number of participants included in each model validation ranged from 41 587 to 396 515, and the number of cases ranged from 115 to 1781. Eligible and ineligible participants across the models were largely comparable. Calibration of the models, where assessable, was very good and further improved by recalibration. The C-statistics of the models were largely similar between validation cohorts with the highest values achieved being 0.70 (95% CI 0.68 to 0.72) in the UK Biobank and 0.71 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.74) in EPIC.

Conclusion: Several of these non-invasive models exhibited good calibration and discrimination within both external validation populations and are therefore potentially suitable candidates for the facilitation of risk stratification in population-based colorectal screening programmes. Future work should both evaluate this potential, through modelling and impact studies, and ascertain if further enhancement in their performance can be obtained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6580880PMC
April 2019

Identifying and correcting epigenetics measurements for systematic sources of variation.

Clin Epigenetics 2018 21;10:38. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

1Nutritional Methodology and Biostatistics Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), World Health Organization, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background: Methylation measures quantified by microarray techniques can be affected by systematic variation due to the technical processing of samples, which may compromise the accuracy of the measurement process and contribute to bias the estimate of the association under investigation. The quantification of the contribution of the systematic source of variation is challenging in datasets characterized by hundreds of thousands of features.In this study, we introduce a method previously developed for the analysis of metabolomics data to evaluate the performance of existing normalizing techniques to correct for unwanted variation. Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450K was used to acquire methylation levels in over 421,000 CpG sites for 902 study participants of a case-control study on breast cancer nested within the EPIC cohort. The principal component partial R-square (PC-PR2) analysis was used to identify and quantify the variability attributable to potential systematic sources of variation. Three correcting techniques, namely ComBat, surrogate variables analysis (SVA) and a linear regression model to compute residuals were applied. The impact of each correcting method on the association between smoking status and DNA methylation levels was evaluated, and results were compared with findings from a large meta-analysis.

Results: A sizeable proportion of systematic variability due to variables expressing 'batch' and 'sample position' within 'chip' was identified, with values of the partial R statistics equal to 9.5 and 11.4% of total variation, respectively. After application of ComBat or the residuals' methods, the contribution was 1.3 and 0.2%, respectively. The SVA technique resulted in a reduced variability due to 'batch' (1.3%) and 'sample position' (0.6%), and in a diminished variability attributable to 'chip' within a batch (0.9%). After ComBat or the residuals' corrections, a larger number of significant sites ( = 600 and  = 427, respectively) were associated to smoking status than the SVA correction ( = 96).

Conclusions: The three correction methods removed systematic variation in DNA methylation data, as assessed by the PC-PR2, which lent itself as a useful tool to explore variability in large dimension data. SVA produced more conservative findings than ComBat in the association between smoking and DNA methylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-018-0471-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5863487PMC
February 2019