Publications by authors named "Taru A Muranen"

58 Publications

Germline variants and breast cancer survival in patients with distant metastases at primary breast cancer diagnosis.

Sci Rep 2021 Oct 5;11(1):19787. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Department of Breast Surgery, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Breast cancer metastasis accounts for most of the deaths from breast cancer. Identification of germline variants associated with survival in aggressive types of breast cancer may inform understanding of breast cancer progression and assist treatment. In this analysis, we studied the associations between germline variants and breast cancer survival for patients with distant metastases at primary breast cancer diagnosis. We used data from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) including 1062 women of European ancestry with metastatic breast cancer, 606 of whom died of breast cancer. We identified two germline variants on chromosome 1, rs138569520 and rs146023652, significantly associated with breast cancer-specific survival (P = 3.19 × 10 and 4.42 × 10). In silico analysis suggested a potential regulatory effect of the variants on the nearby target genes SDE2 and H3F3A. However, the variants showed no evidence of association in a smaller replication dataset. The validation dataset was obtained from the SNPs to Risk of Metastasis (StoRM) study and included 293 patients with metastatic primary breast cancer at diagnosis. Ultimately, larger replication studies are needed to confirm the identified associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99409-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8492709PMC
October 2021

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 08 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 Oct 2;125(8):1135-1145. 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
October 2021

Breast and Prostate Cancer Risks for Male BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Variant Carriers Using Polygenic Risk Scores.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Molecular Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Background: Recent population-based female breast cancer and prostate cancer polygenic risk scores (PRS) have been developed. We assessed the associations of these PRS with breast and prostate cancer risks for male BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers.

Methods: 483 BRCA1 and 1,318 BRCA2 European ancestry male carriers were available from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). A 147-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) prostate cancer PRS (PRSPC) and a 313-SNP breast cancer PRS were evaluated. There were three versions of the breast cancer PRS, optimized to predict overall (PRSBC), estrogen-receptor (ER) negative (PRSER-) or ER-positive (PRSER+) breast cancer risk.

Results: PRSER+ yielded the strongest association with breast cancer risk. The odds ratios (ORs) per PRSER+ standard deviation estimates were 1.40 (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.07-1.83) for BRCA1 and 1.33 (95% CI = 1.16-1.52) for BRCA2 carriers. PRSPC was associated with prostate cancer risk for both BRCA1 (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.28-2.33) and BRCA2 (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.34-1.91) carriers. The estimated breast cancer ORs were larger after adjusting for female relative breast cancer family history. By age 85 years, for BRCA2 carriers, the breast cancer risk varied from 7.7% to 18.4% and prostate cancer risk from 34.1% to 87.6% between the 5th and 95th percentiles of the PRS distributions.

Conclusions: Population-based prostate and female breast cancer PRS are associated with a wide range of absolute breast and prostate cancer risks for male BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. These findings warrant further investigation aimed at providing personalized cancer risks for male carriers and to inform clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab147DOI Listing
July 2021

A search for modifying genetic factors in CHEK2:c.1100delC breast cancer patients.

Sci Rep 2021 07 20;11(1):14763. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.

The risk of breast cancer associated with CHEK2:c.1100delC is 2-threefold but higher in carriers with a family history of breast cancer than without, suggesting that other genetic loci in combination with CHEK2:c.1100delC confer an increased risk in a polygenic model. Part of the excess familial risk has been associated with common low-penetrance variants. This study aimed to identify genetic loci that modify CHEK2:c.1100delC-associated breast cancer risk by searching for candidate risk alleles that are overrepresented in CHEK2:c.1100delC carriers with breast cancer compared with controls. We performed whole-exome sequencing in 28 breast cancer cases with germline CHEK2:c.1100delC, 28 familial breast cancer cases and 70 controls. Candidate alleles were selected for validation in larger cohorts. One recessive synonymous variant, rs16897117, was suggested, but no overrepresentation of homozygous CHEK2:c.1100delC carriers was found in the following validation. Furthermore, 11 non-synonymous candidate alleles were suggested for further testing, but no significant difference in allele frequency could be detected in the validation in CHEK2:c.1100delC cases compared with familial breast cancer, sporadic breast cancer and controls. With this method, we found no support for a CHEK2:c.1100delC-specific genetic modifier. Further studies of CHEK2:c.1100delC genetic modifiers are warranted to improve risk assessment in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93926-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8292481PMC
July 2021

High miR-30 Expression Associates with Improved Breast Cancer Patient Survival and Treatment Outcome.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jun 10;13(12). Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, 00029 Helsinki, Finland.

Deregulated miRNA expression has been suggested in several stages of breast cancer pathogenesis. We have studied the miR-30 family, in particular miR-30d, in relation to breast cancer patient survival and treatment outcomes. With tumor specimens from 1238 breast cancer patients, we analyzed the association of miR-30d expression with tumor characteristics with the 5-year occurrence of breast cancer-specific death or distant metastasis (BDDM), and with 10-year breast cancer survival (BCS). We conducted a two-stage drug-screen to investigate the impact of miR-30 family members (miR-30a-30e) on sensitivity to doxorubicin and lapatinib in six breast cancer cell lines HCC1937, HCC1954, MDA-MB-361, MCF7, MDA-MB-436 and CAL-120, using drug sensitivity scores (DSS) to compare the miR-30 family mimics to their specific inhibitors. The study was complemented with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) with the METABRIC data. We found that while high miR-30d expression is typical for aggressive tumors, it predicts better metastasis-free ( = 0.035, HR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.4-0.9) and breast cancer-specific survival ( = 0.018, HR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.4-0.9), especially in HER2-positive ( = 0.0009), ER-negative ( = 0.003), p53-positive ( = 0.011), and highly proliferating ( = 0.0004) subgroups, and after adjuvant chemotherapy ( = 0.035). MiR-30d predicted survival independently of standard prognostic markers ( = 0.0004). In the drug-screening test, the miR-30 family sensitized the HER2-positive HCC1954 cell line to lapatinib ( < 10) and HCC1937, MDA-MB-361, MDA-MB-436 and CAL120 to doxorubicin ( < 10) with an opposite impact on MCF7. According to the pathway analysis, the miR-30 family has a suppressive effect on cell motility and metastasis in breast cancer. Our results suggest prognostic and predictive potential for the miR-30 family, which warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13122907DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230388PMC
June 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

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 Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Spectrum of Protein Truncating Variants in European Breast Cancer Cases.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 01 26;12(2). Epub 2020 Jan 26.

Institute of Biochemistry and Experimental Oncology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague 12853, Czech Republic.

Germline protein truncating variants (PTVs) in the gene have been associated with a 2-4-fold increased breast cancer risk in case-control studies conducted in different European populations. However, the distribution and the frequency of PTVs in Europe have never been investigated. In the present study, we collected the data of 114 European female breast cancer cases with PTVs ascertained in 20 centers from 13 European countries. We identified 27 different PTVs. The p.Gln1701* PTV is the most common PTV in Northern Europe with a maximum frequency in Finland and a lower relative frequency in Southern Europe. On the contrary, p.Arg1931* seems to be the most common PTV in Southern Europe. We also showed that p.Arg658*, the third most common PTV, is more frequent in Central Europe, and p.Gln498Thrfs*7 is probably a founder variant from Lithuania. Of the 23 rare or unique PTVs, 15 have not been previously reported. We provide here the initial spectrum of PTVs in European breast cancer cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7073216PMC
January 2020

Fine-mapping of 150 breast cancer risk regions identifies 191 likely target genes.

Nat Genet 2020 01 7;52(1):56-73. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Genome-wide association studies have identified breast cancer risk variants in over 150 genomic regions, but the mechanisms underlying risk remain largely unknown. These regions were explored by combining association analysis with in silico genomic feature annotations. We defined 205 independent risk-associated signals with the set of credible causal variants in each one. In parallel, we used a Bayesian approach (PAINTOR) that combines genetic association, linkage disequilibrium and enriched genomic features to determine variants with high posterior probabilities of being causal. Potentially causal variants were significantly over-represented in active gene regulatory regions and transcription factor binding sites. We applied our INQUSIT pipeline for prioritizing genes as targets of those potentially causal variants, using gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci), chromatin interaction and functional annotations. Known cancer drivers, transcription factors and genes in the developmental, apoptosis, immune system and DNA integrity checkpoint gene ontology pathways were over-represented among the highest-confidence target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0537-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974400PMC
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

Recurrent moderate-risk mutations in Finnish breast and ovarian cancer patients.

Int J Cancer 2019 11 25;145(10):2692-2700. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes predispose to breast and ovarian cancer (BC/OC) with a high lifetime risk, whereas mutations in PALB2, CHEK2, ATM, FANCM, RAD51C and RAD51D genes cause a moderately elevated risk. In the Finnish population, recurrent mutations have been identified in all of these genes, the latest being CHEK2 c.319+2T>A and c.444+1G>A. By genotyping 3,156 cases and 2,089 controls, we estimated the frequencies of CHEK2 c.319+2T>A and c.444+1G>A in Finnish BC patients. CHEK2 c.319+2T>A was detected in 0.7% of the patients, and it was associated with a high risk of BC in the unselected patient group (OR = 5.40 [95% CI 1.58-18.45], p = 0.007) and similarly in the familial patient group. CHEK2 c.444+1G>A was identified in 0.1% of all patients. Additionally, we evaluated the combined prevalence of recurrent moderate-risk gene mutations in 2,487 BC patients, 556 OC patients and 261 BRCA1/2 carriers from 109 families. The overall frequency of the mutations was 13.3% in 1,141 BRCA1/2-negative familial BC patients, 7.5% in 1,727 unselected BC patients and 7.2% in 556 unselected OC patients. At least one moderate-risk gene mutation was found in 12.5% of BRCA1 families and 7.1% of BRCA1 index patients, as well as in 17.0% of BRCA2 families and 11.3% of BRCA2 index patients, and the mutations were associated with an additional risk in the BRCA1/2 index patients (OR = 2.63 [1.15-5.48], p = 0.011). These results support gene panel testing of even multiple members of BC families where several mutations may segregate in different individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767104PMC
November 2019

E-cadherin breast tumor expression, risk factors and survival: Pooled analysis of 5,933 cases from 12 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Sci Rep 2018 04 26;8(1):6574. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

E-cadherin (CDH1) is a putative tumor suppressor gene implicated in breast carcinogenesis. Yet, whether risk factors or survival differ by E-cadherin tumor expression is unclear. We evaluated E-cadherin tumor immunohistochemistry expression using tissue microarrays of 5,933 female invasive breast cancers from 12 studies from the Breast Cancer Consortium. H-scores were calculated and case-case odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression. Survival analyses were performed using Cox regression models. All analyses were stratified by estrogen receptor (ER) status and histologic subtype. E-cadherin low cases (N = 1191, 20%) were more frequently of lobular histology, low grade, >2 cm, and HER2-negative. Loss of E-cadherin expression (score < 100) was associated with menopausal hormone use among ER-positive tumors (ever compared to never users, OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.97-1.59), which was stronger when we evaluated complete loss of E-cadherin (i.e. H-score = 0), OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.06-2.33. Breast cancer specific mortality was unrelated to E-cadherin expression in multivariable models. E-cadherin low expression is associated with lobular histology, tumor characteristics and menopausal hormone use, with no evidence of an association with breast cancer specific survival. These data support loss of E-cadherin expression as an important marker of tumor subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23733-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5920115PMC
April 2018

Body mass index and breast cancer survival: a Mendelian randomization analysis.

Int J Epidemiol 2017 12;46(6):1814-1822

Academic Unit of Pathology, Department of Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

Background: There is increasing evidence that elevated body mass index (BMI) is associated with reduced survival for women with breast cancer. However, the underlying reasons remain unclear. We conducted a Mendelian randomization analysis to investigate a possible causal role of BMI in survival from breast cancer.

Methods: We used individual-level data from six large breast cancer case-cohorts including a total of 36 210 individuals (2475 events) of European ancestry. We created a BMI genetic risk score (GRS) based on genotypes at 94 known BMI-associated genetic variants. Association between the BMI genetic score and breast cancer survival was analysed by Cox regression for each study separately. Study-specific hazard ratios were pooled using fixed-effect meta-analysis.

Results: BMI genetic score was found to be associated with reduced breast cancer-specific survival for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive cases [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.11, per one-unit increment of GRS, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.22, P = 0.03). We observed no association for ER-negative cases (HR = 1.00, per one-unit increment of GRS, 95% CI 0.89-1.13, P = 0.95).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest a causal effect of increased BMI on reduced breast cancer survival for ER-positive breast cancer. There is no evidence of a causal effect of higher BMI on survival for ER-negative breast cancer cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyx131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837506PMC
December 2017

Patient survival and tumor characteristics associated with CHEK2:p.I157T - findings from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Breast Cancer Res 2016 10 3;18(1):98. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Laboratory of Cancer Genetics and Tumor Biology, Northern Finland Laboratory Centre NordLab, Oulu, Finland.

Background: P.I157T is a CHEK2 missense mutation associated with a modest increase in breast cancer risk. Previously, another CHEK2 mutation, the protein truncating c.1100delC has been associated with poor prognosis of breast cancer patients. Here, we have investigated patient survival and characteristics of breast tumors of germ line p.I157T carriers.

Methods: We included in the analyses 26,801 European female breast cancer patients from 15 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We analyzed the association between p.I157T and the clinico-pathological breast cancer characteristics by comparing the p.I157T carrier tumors to non-carrier and c.1100delC carrier tumors. Similarly, we investigated the p.I157T associated risk of early death, breast cancer-associated death, distant metastasis, locoregional relapse and second breast cancer using Cox proportional hazards models. Additionally, we explored the p.I157T-associated genomic gene expression profile using data from breast tumors of 183 Finnish female breast cancer patients (ten p.I157T carriers) (GEO: GSE24450). Differential gene expression analysis was performed using a moderated t test. Functional enrichment was investigated using the DAVID functional annotation tool and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). The tumors were classified into molecular subtypes according to the St Gallen 2013 criteria and the PAM50 gene expression signature.

Results: P.I157T was not associated with increased risk of early death, breast cancer-associated death or distant metastasis relapse, and there was a significant difference in prognosis associated with the two CHEK2 mutations, p.I157T and c.1100delC. Furthermore, p.I157T was associated with lobular histological type and clinico-pathological markers of good prognosis, such as ER and PR expression, low TP53 expression and low grade. Gene expression analysis suggested luminal A to be the most common subtype for p.I157T carriers and CDH1 (cadherin 1) target genes to be significantly enriched among genes, whose expression differed between p.I157T and non-carrier tumors.

Conclusions: Our analyses suggest that there are fundamental differences in breast tumors of CHEK2:p.I157T and c.1100delC carriers. The poor prognosis associated with c.1100delC cannot be generalized to other CHEK2 mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-016-0758-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048645PMC
October 2016

Genetic modifiers of CHEK2*1100delC-associated breast cancer risk.

Genet Med 2017 05 6;19(5):599-603. Epub 2016 Oct 6.

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Purpose: CHEK2*1100delC is a founder variant in European populations that confers a two- to threefold increased risk of breast cancer (BC). Epidemiologic and family studies have suggested that the risk associated with CHEK2*1100delC is modified by other genetic factors in a multiplicative fashion. We have investigated this empirically using data from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC).

Methods: Using genotype data from 39,139 (624 1100delC carriers) BC patients and 40,063 (224) healthy controls from 32 BCAC studies, we analyzed the combined risk effects of CHEK2*1100delC and 77 common variants in terms of a polygenic risk score (PRS) and pairwise interaction.

Results: The PRS conferred odds ratios (OR) of 1.59 (95% CI: 1.21-2.09) per standard deviation for BC for CHEK2*1100delC carriers and 1.58 (1.55-1.62) for noncarriers. No evidence of deviation from the multiplicative model was found. The OR for the highest quintile of the PRS was 2.03 (0.86-4.78) for CHEK2*1100delC carriers, placing them in the high risk category according to UK NICE guidelines. The OR for the lowest quintile was 0.52 (0.16-1.74), indicating a lifetime risk close to the population average.

Conclusion: Our results confirm the multiplicative nature of risk effects conferred by CHEK2*1100delC and the common susceptibility variants. Furthermore, the PRS could identify carriers at a high lifetime risk for clinical actions.Genet Med advance online publication 06 October 2016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/gim.2016.147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5382131PMC
May 2017

PALB2, CHEK2 and ATM rare variants and cancer risk: data from COGS.

J Med Genet 2016 12 5;53(12):800-811. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

Division of Molecular Medicine, Pathology North, Newcastle and University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Background: The rarity of mutations in PALB2, CHEK2 and ATM make it difficult to estimate precisely associated cancer risks. Population-based family studies have provided evidence that at least some of these mutations are associated with breast cancer risk as high as those associated with rare BRCA2 mutations. We aimed to estimate the relative risks associated with specific rare variants in PALB2, CHEK2 and ATM via a multicentre case-control study.

Methods: We genotyped 10 rare mutations using the custom iCOGS array: PALB2 c.1592delT, c.2816T>G and c.3113G>A, CHEK2 c.349A>G, c.538C>T, c.715G>A, c.1036C>T, c.1312G>T, and c.1343T>G and ATM c.7271T>G. We assessed associations with breast cancer risk (42 671 cases and 42 164 controls), as well as prostate (22 301 cases and 22 320 controls) and ovarian (14 542 cases and 23 491 controls) cancer risk, for each variant.

Results: For European women, strong evidence of association with breast cancer risk was observed for PALB2 c.1592delT OR 3.44 (95% CI 1.39 to 8.52, p=7.1×10), PALB2 c.3113G>A OR 4.21 (95% CI 1.84 to 9.60, p=6.9×10) and ATM c.7271T>G OR 11.0 (95% CI 1.42 to 85.7, p=0.0012). We also found evidence of association with breast cancer risk for three variants in CHEK2, c.349A>G OR 2.26 (95% CI 1.29 to 3.95), c.1036C>T OR 5.06 (95% CI 1.09 to 23.5) and c.538C>T OR 1.33 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.67) (p≤0.017). Evidence for prostate cancer risk was observed for CHEK2 c.1343T>G OR 3.03 (95% CI 1.53 to 6.03, p=0.0006) for African men and CHEK2 c.1312G>T OR 2.21 (95% CI 1.06 to 4.63, p=0.030) for European men. No evidence of association with ovarian cancer was found for any of these variants.

Conclusions: This report adds to accumulating evidence that at least some variants in these genes are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer that is clinically important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2016-103839DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5200636PMC
December 2016

Polygenic risk score is associated with increased disease risk in 52 Finnish breast cancer families.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2016 08 20;158(3):463-9. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 8, P.O.Box 700, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland.

The risk of developing breast cancer is increased in women with family history of breast cancer and particularly in families with multiple cases of breast or ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, many women with a positive family history never develop the disease. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) based on the risk effects of multiple common genetic variants have been proposed for individual risk assessment on a population level. We investigate the applicability of the PRS for risk prediction within breast cancer families. We studied the association between breast cancer risk and a PRS based on 75 common genetic variants in 52 Finnish breast cancer families including 427 genotyped women and pedigree information on ~4000 additional individuals by comparing the affected to healthy family members, as well as in a case-control dataset comprising 1272 healthy population controls and 1681 breast cancer cases with information on family history. Family structure was summarized using the BOADICEA risk prediction model. The PRS was associated with increased disease risk in women with family history of breast cancer as well as in women within the breast cancer families. The odds ratio (OR) for breast cancer within the family dataset was 1.55 [95 % CI 1.26-1.91] per unit increase in the PRS, similar to OR in unselected breast cancer cases of the case-control dataset (1.49 [1.38-1.62]). High PRS-values were informative for risk prediction in breast cancer families, whereas for the low PRS-categories the results were inconclusive. The PRS is informative in women with family history of breast cancer and should be incorporated within pedigree-based clinical risk assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-016-3897-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4963452PMC
August 2016

Age- and Tumor Subtype-Specific Breast Cancer Risk Estimates for CHEK2*1100delC Carriers.

J Clin Oncol 2016 08 6;34(23):2750-60. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

Marjanka K. Schmidt, Frans Hogervorst, Richard van Hien, Sten Cornelissen, Annegien Broeks, and Lizet van der Kolk, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital; Muriel A. Adank, Hanne Meijers, and Quinten Waisfisz, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam; Antoinette Hollestelle, Mieke Schutte, Maartje Hooning, and Caroline Seynaeve, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute; Ans van den Ouweland, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam; Rob A.E.M. Tollenaar, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; Irene L. Andrulis and Julia A. Knight, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital; Irene L. Andrulis and Julia A. Knight, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Hoda Anton-Culver and Argyrios Ziogas, University of California, Irvine; Peter A. Fasching, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Esther M. John, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Fremont; Esther M. John, Alice S. Whittemore, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA; Natalia N. Antonenkova, N.N. Alexandrov Research Institute of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Minsk, Belarus; Antonis C. Antoniou, Manjeet K. Bolla, Andrew Lee, Alison M. Dunning, Paul D.P. Pharoah, Qin Wang, and Douglas F. Easton, University of Cambridge, Cambridge; Angela Cox and Simon S. Cross, University of Sheffield, Sheffield; Olivia Fletcher, Michael Jones, and Anthony Swerdlow, The Institute of Cancer Research; Julian Peto, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Elinor J. Sawyer, King's College London, London; Jonine Figueroa, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh; Ian Tomlinson, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; Volker Arndt, Hiltrud Brauch, Hermann Brenner, Barbara Burwinkel, Jenny Chang-Claude, Anja Rudolph, Harold Surowy, German Cancer Research Center; Barbara Burwinkel and Harald Surowy, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg; Natalia V. Bogdanova, Peter Hillemanns, Tjoung-Won Park-Simon, and Thilo

Purpose: CHEK2*1100delC is a well-established breast cancer risk variant that is most prevalent in European populations; however, there are limited data on risk of breast cancer by age and tumor subtype, which limits its usefulness in breast cancer risk prediction. We aimed to generate tumor subtype- and age-specific risk estimates by using data from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, including 44,777 patients with breast cancer and 42,997 controls from 33 studies genotyped for CHEK2*1100delC.

Patients And Methods: CHEK2*1100delC genotyping was mostly done by a custom Taqman assay. Breast cancer odds ratios (ORs) for CHEK2*1100delC carriers versus noncarriers were estimated by using logistic regression and adjusted for study (categorical) and age. Main analyses included patients with invasive breast cancer from population- and hospital-based studies.

Results: Proportions of heterozygous CHEK2*1100delC carriers in controls, in patients with breast cancer from population- and hospital-based studies, and in patients with breast cancer from familial- and clinical genetics center-based studies were 0.5%, 1.3%, and 3.0%, respectively. The estimated OR for invasive breast cancer was 2.26 (95%CI, 1.90 to 2.69; P = 2.3 × 10(-20)). The OR was higher for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease (2.55 [95%CI, 2.10 to 3.10; P = 4.9 × 10(-21)]) than it was for ER-negative disease (1.32 [95%CI, 0.93 to 1.88; P = .12]; P interaction = 9.9 × 10(-4)). The OR significantly declined with attained age for breast cancer overall (P = .001) and for ER-positive tumors (P = .001). Estimated cumulative risks for development of ER-positive and ER-negative tumors by age 80 in CHEK2*1100delC carriers were 20% and 3%, respectively, compared with 9% and 2%, respectively, in the general population of the United Kingdom.

Conclusion: These CHEK2*1100delC breast cancer risk estimates provide a basis for incorporating CHEK2*1100delC into breast cancer risk prediction models and into guidelines for intensified screening and follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.66.5844DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5019754PMC
August 2016

Cross-Cancer Genome-Wide Analysis of Lung, Ovary, Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Reveals Novel Pleiotropic Associations.

Cancer Res 2016 09 20;76(17):5103-14. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Service de Génétique Médicale, Nantes, France.

Identifying genetic variants with pleiotropic associations can uncover common pathways influencing multiple cancers. We took a two-stage approach to conduct genome-wide association studies for lung, ovary, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer from the GAME-ON/GECCO Network (61,851 cases, 61,820 controls) to identify pleiotropic loci. Findings were replicated in independent association studies (55,789 cases, 330,490 controls). We identified a novel pleiotropic association at 1q22 involving breast and lung squamous cell carcinoma, with eQTL analysis showing an association with ADAM15/THBS3 gene expression in lung. We also identified a known breast cancer locus CASP8/ALS2CR12 associated with prostate cancer, a known cancer locus at CDKN2B-AS1 with different variants associated with lung adenocarcinoma and prostate cancer, and confirmed the associations of a breast BRCA2 locus with lung and serous ovarian cancer. This is the largest study to date examining pleiotropy across multiple cancer-associated loci, identifying common mechanisms of cancer development and progression. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5103-14. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-2980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5010493PMC
September 2016

Identification of four novel susceptibility loci for oestrogen receptor negative breast cancer.

Nat Commun 2016 04 27;7:11375. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Dr Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, 70376 Stuttgart, Germany.

Common variants in 94 loci have been associated with breast cancer including 15 loci with genome-wide significant associations (P<5 × 10(-8)) with oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer and BRCA1-associated breast cancer risk. In this study, to identify new ER-negative susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of 11 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) consisting of 4,939 ER-negative cases and 14,352 controls, combined with 7,333 ER-negative cases and 42,468 controls and 15,252 BRCA1 mutation carriers genotyped on the iCOGS array. We identify four previously unidentified loci including two loci at 13q22 near KLF5, a 2p23.2 locus near WDR43 and a 2q33 locus near PPIL3 that display genome-wide significant associations with ER-negative breast cancer. In addition, 19 known breast cancer risk loci have genome-wide significant associations and 40 had moderate associations (P<0.05) with ER-negative disease. Using functional and eQTL studies we implicate TRMT61B and WDR43 at 2p23.2 and PPIL3 at 2q33 in ER-negative breast cancer aetiology. All ER-negative loci combined account for ∼11% of familial relative risk for ER-negative disease and may contribute to improved ER-negative and BRCA1 breast cancer risk prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4853421PMC
April 2016

Height and Breast Cancer Risk: Evidence From Prospective Studies and Mendelian Randomization.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2015 Nov 20;107(11). Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (BZ, XOS, RJD, CZ, WW, JL, WZ) and Department of Biostatistics (CL), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN; Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care(KM, MKB, QW, JD, PDPP, DFE) and Department of Oncology (AMD, MS, BJP, CL, CB, SA, MM, CSH, PDPP, DFE), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (KC, HD, ME); Copenhagen General Population Study (SEB, BGN, SFN), Department of Clinical Biochemistry (SEB, BGN, SFN), and Department of Breast Surgery (HF), Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (SEB, BGN); Vesalius Research Center (VRC), VIB, Leuven, Belgium (DL); Laboratory for Translational Genetics, Department of Oncology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (DL); University Hospitals Leuven and Department of Oncology, Leuven, Belgium (PN, HW, GF); Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (MKS, MAR); Division Research, Department of Donor Studies, Sanquin Blood Supply, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (KVDH, WLAMDK); Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (FJC) and Department of Health Sciences Research (JEO, EH, CV, SS), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany (JCC, AR, PS); Department of Cancer Epidemiology/Clinical Cancer Registry and Institute for Medical Biometrics and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany (DFJ); Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK (JP, IDSS); Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK (OF, NJ); Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (HN, TAM), D

Background: Epidemiological studies have linked adult height with breast cancer risk in women. However, the magnitude of the association, particularly by subtypes of breast cancer, has not been established. Furthermore, the mechanisms of the association remain unclear.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis to investigate associations between height and breast cancer risk using data from 159 prospective cohorts totaling 5216302 women, including 113178 events. In a consortium with individual-level data from 46325 case patients and 42482 control patients, we conducted a Mendelian randomization analysis using a genetic score that comprised 168 height-associated variants as an instrument. This association was further evaluated in a second consortium using summary statistics data from 16003 case patients and 41335 control patients.

Results: The pooled relative risk of breast cancer was 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15 to 1.19) per 10cm increase in height in the meta-analysis of prospective studies. In Mendelian randomization analysis, the odds ratio of breast cancer per 10cm increase in genetically predicted height was 1.22 (95% CI = 1.13 to 1.32) in the first consortium and 1.21 (95% CI = 1.05 to 1.39) in the second consortium. The association was found in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women but restricted to hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Analyses of height-associated variants identified eight new loci associated with breast cancer risk after adjusting for multiple comparisons, including three loci at 1q21.2, DNAJC27, and CCDC91 at genome-wide significance level P < 5×10(-8).

Conclusions: Our study provides strong evidence that adult height is a risk factor for breast cancer in women and certain genetic factors and biological pathways affecting adult height have an important role in the etiology of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djv219DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4643630PMC
November 2015

No clinical utility of KRAS variant rs61764370 for ovarian or breast cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2016 05 2;141(2):386-401. Epub 2015 May 2.

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Objective: Clinical genetic testing is commercially available for rs61764370, an inherited variant residing in a KRAS 3' UTR microRNA binding site, based on suggested associations with increased ovarian and breast cancer risk as well as with survival time. However, prior studies, emphasizing particular subgroups, were relatively small. Therefore, we comprehensively evaluated ovarian and breast cancer risks as well as clinical outcome associated with rs61764370.

Methods: Centralized genotyping and analysis were performed for 140,012 women enrolled in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (15,357 ovarian cancer patients; 30,816 controls), the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (33,530 breast cancer patients; 37,640 controls), and the Consortium of Modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (14,765 BRCA1 and 7904 BRCA2 mutation carriers).

Results: We found no association with risk of ovarian cancer (OR=0.99, 95% CI 0.94-1.04, p=0.74) or breast cancer (OR=0.98, 95% CI 0.94-1.01, p=0.19) and results were consistent among mutation carriers (BRCA1, ovarian cancer HR=1.09, 95% CI 0.97-1.23, p=0.14, breast cancer HR=1.04, 95% CI 0.97-1.12, p=0.27; BRCA2, ovarian cancer HR=0.89, 95% CI 0.71-1.13, p=0.34, breast cancer HR=1.06, 95% CI 0.94-1.19, p=0.35). Null results were also obtained for associations with overall survival following ovarian cancer (HR=0.94, 95% CI 0.83-1.07, p=0.38), breast cancer (HR=0.96, 95% CI 0.87-1.06, p=0.38), and all other previously-reported associations.

Conclusions: rs61764370 is not associated with risk of ovarian or breast cancer nor with clinical outcome for patients with these cancers. Therefore, genotyping this variant has no clinical utility related to the prediction or management of these cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.04.034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630206PMC
May 2016

Common germline polymorphisms associated with breast cancer-specific survival.

Breast Cancer Res 2015 Apr 22;17:58. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Department of Cancer Epidemiology/Clinical Cancer Registry and Institute for Medical Biometrics and Epidemiology, University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

Introduction: Previous studies have identified common germline variants nominally associated with breast cancer survival. These associations have not been widely replicated in further studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of previously reported SNPs with breast cancer-specific survival using data from a pooled analysis of eight breast cancer survival genome-wide association studies (GWAS) from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Methods: A literature review was conducted of all previously published associations between common germline variants and three survival outcomes: breast cancer-specific survival, overall survival and disease-free survival. All associations that reached the nominal significance level of P value <0.05 were included. Single nucleotide polymorphisms that had been previously reported as nominally associated with at least one survival outcome were evaluated in the pooled analysis of over 37,000 breast cancer cases for association with breast cancer-specific survival. Previous associations were evaluated using a one-sided test based on the reported direction of effect.

Results: Fifty-six variants from 45 previous publications were evaluated in the meta-analysis. Fifty-four of these were evaluated in the full set of 37,954 breast cancer cases with 2,900 events and the two additional variants were evaluated in a reduced sample size of 30,000 samples in order to ensure independence from the previously published studies. Five variants reached nominal significance (P <0.05) in the pooled GWAS data compared to 2.8 expected under the null hypothesis. Seven additional variants were associated (P <0.05) with ER-positive disease.

Conclusions: Although no variants reached genome-wide significance (P <5 x 10(-8)), these results suggest that there is some evidence of association between candidate common germline variants and breast cancer prognosis. Larger studies from multinational collaborations are necessary to increase the power to detect associations, between common variants and prognosis, at more stringent significance levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-015-0570-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484708PMC
April 2015

Identification of novel genetic markers of breast cancer survival.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2015 May 18;107(5). Epub 2015 Apr 18.

Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, UK (QG, JT, AMD, MS, JEA, DFE, PDPP); Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (MKS, SC, AB, FBH); Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (PK, SH, DJH, SL); Program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (PK, CCh, DJH, SL); Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland (SK, RF, TAM, HN); Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (MKB, QW, JD, KM, ML, SK, DFE, PDPP); Department of Genetics, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia (JBee, GCT); Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm 17177, Sweden (KC, HD, ME, JiL, JBr, KH, PH); Laboratory for Translational Genetics, Department of Oncology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (DL); Vesalius Research Center, VIB, Leuven, Belgium (DL); Oncology Department, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium (CW, KL); Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark (SEB, BGN, SFN); Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark (SEB, BGN, SFN); Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (SEB, BGN); Department of Breast Surgery, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark (HF); Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum), Heidelberg, Germany (JCC, AR, PS, DC, AHü, RK, MB); Department of Cancer Epidemiology/Clinical Cancer Registry and Institute for Medical Biometrics and Epidemiology, University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany (DFJ); Department of Oncology

Background: Survival after a diagnosis of breast cancer varies considerably between patients, and some of this variation may be because of germline genetic variation. We aimed to identify genetic markers associated with breast cancer-specific survival.

Methods: We conducted a large meta-analysis of studies in populations of European ancestry, including 37954 patients with 2900 deaths from breast cancer. Each study had been genotyped for between 200000 and 900000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome; genotypes for nine million common variants were imputed using a common reference panel from the 1000 Genomes Project. We also carried out subtype-specific analyses based on 6881 estrogen receptor (ER)-negative patients (920 events) and 23059 ER-positive patients (1333 events). All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: We identified one new locus (rs2059614 at 11q24.2) associated with survival in ER-negative breast cancer cases (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.55 to 2.47, P = 1.91 x 10(-8)). Genotyping a subset of 2113 case patients, of which 300 were ER negative, provided supporting evidence for the quality of the imputation. The association in this set of case patients was stronger for the observed genotypes than for the imputed genotypes. A second locus (rs148760487 at 2q24.2) was associated at genome-wide statistical significance in initial analyses; the association was similar in ER-positive and ER-negative case patients. Here the results of genotyping suggested that the finding was less robust.

Conclusions: This is currently the largest study investigating genetic variation associated with breast cancer survival. Our results have potential clinical implications, as they confirm that germline genotype can provide prognostic information in addition to standard tumor prognostic factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djv081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555642PMC
May 2015
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