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1.  Rationale and Design of the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph) Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes Project 
Background
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), the most common hematologic malignancy, consists of numerous subtypes. The etiology of NHL is incompletely understood, and increasing evidence suggests that risk factors may vary by NHL subtype. However, small numbers of cases have made investigation of subtype-specific risks challenging. The International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium therefore undertook the NHL Subtypes Project, an international collaborative effort to investigate the etiologies of NHL subtypes. This article describes in detail the project rationale and design.
Methods
We pooled individual-level data from 20 case-control studies (17471 NHL cases, 23096 controls) from North America, Europe, and Australia. Centralized data harmonization and analysis ensured standardized definitions and approaches, with rigorous quality control.
Results
The pooled study population included 11 specified NHL subtypes with more than 100 cases: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (N = 4667), follicular lymphoma (N = 3530), chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (N = 2440), marginal zone lymphoma (N = 1052), peripheral T-cell lymphoma (N = 584), mantle cell lymphoma (N = 557), lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma/Waldenström macroglobulinemia (N = 374), mycosis fungoides/Sézary syndrome (N = 324), Burkitt/Burkitt-like lymphoma/leukemia (N = 295), hairy cell leukemia (N = 154), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (N = 152). Associations with medical history, family history, lifestyle factors, and occupation for each of these 11 subtypes are presented in separate articles in this issue, with a final article quantitatively comparing risk factor patterns among subtypes.
Conclusions
The International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium NHL Subtypes Project provides the largest and most comprehensive investigation of potential risk factors for a broad range of common and rare NHL subtypes to date. The analyses contribute to our understanding of the multifactorial nature of NHL subtype etiologies, motivate hypothesis-driven prospective investigations, provide clues for prevention, and exemplify the benefits of international consortial collaboration in cancer epidemiology.
doi:10.1093/jncimonographs/lgu005
PMCID: PMC4155460  PMID: 25174022
2.  Etiologic Heterogeneity Among Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes: The InterLymph Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes Project 
Morton, Lindsay M. | Slager, Susan L. | Cerhan, James R. | Wang, Sophia S. | Vajdic, Claire M. | Skibola, Christine F. | Bracci, Paige M. | de Sanjosé, Silvia | Smedby, Karin E. | Chiu, Brian C. H. | Zhang, Yawei | Mbulaiteye, Sam M. | Monnereau, Alain | Turner, Jennifer J. | Clavel, Jacqueline | Adami, Hans-Olov | Chang, Ellen T. | Glimelius, Bengt | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Melbye, Mads | Crosignani, Paolo | di Lollo, Simonetta | Miligi, Lucia | Nanni, Oriana | Ramazzotti, Valerio | Rodella, Stefania | Costantini, Adele Seniori | Stagnaro, Emanuele | Tumino, Rosario | Vindigni, Carla | Vineis, Paolo | Becker, Nikolaus | Benavente, Yolanda | Boffetta, Paolo | Brennan, Paul | Cocco, Pierluigi | Foretova, Lenka | Maynadié, Marc | Nieters, Alexandra | Staines, Anthony | Colt, Joanne S. | Cozen, Wendy | Davis, Scott | de Roos, Anneclaire J. | Hartge, Patricia | Rothman, Nathaniel | Severson, Richard K. | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Call, Timothy G. | Feldman, Andrew L. | Habermann, Thomas M. | Liebow, Mark | Blair, Aaron | Cantor, Kenneth P. | Kane, Eleanor V. | Lightfoot, Tracy | Roman, Eve | Smith, Alex | Brooks-Wilson, Angela | Connors, Joseph M. | Gascoyne, Randy D. | Spinelli, John J. | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Kricker, Anne | Holford, Theodore R. | Lan, Qing | Zheng, Tongzhang | Orsi, Laurent | Dal Maso, Luigino | Franceschi, Silvia | La Vecchia, Carlo | Negri, Eva | Serraino, Diego | Bernstein, Leslie | Levine, Alexandra | Friedberg, Jonathan W. | Kelly, Jennifer L. | Berndt, Sonja I. | Birmann, Brenda M. | Clarke, Christina A. | Flowers, Christopher R. | Foran, James M. | Kadin, Marshall E. | Paltiel, Ora | Weisenburger, Dennis D. | Linet, Martha S. | Sampson, Joshua N.
Background
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) comprises biologically and clinically heterogeneous subtypes. Previously, study size has limited the ability to compare and contrast the risk factor profiles among these heterogeneous subtypes.
Methods
We pooled individual-level data from 17 471 NHL cases and 23 096 controls in 20 case–control studies from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph). We estimated the associations, measured as odds ratios, between each of 11 NHL subtypes and self-reported medical history, family history of hematologic malignancy, lifestyle factors, and occupation. We then assessed the heterogeneity of associations by evaluating the variability (Q value) of the estimated odds ratios for a given exposure among subtypes. Finally, we organized the subtypes into a hierarchical tree to identify groups that had similar risk factor profiles. Statistical significance of tree partitions was estimated by permutation-based P values (P NODE).
Results
Risks differed statistically significantly among NHL subtypes for medical history factors (autoimmune diseases, hepatitis C virus seropositivity, eczema, and blood transfusion), family history of leukemia and multiple myeloma, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and certain occupations, whereas generally homogeneous risks among subtypes were observed for family history of NHL, recreational sun exposure, hay fever, allergy, and socioeconomic status. Overall, the greatest difference in risk factors occurred between T-cell and B-cell lymphomas (P NODE < 1.0×10−4), with increased risks generally restricted to T-cell lymphomas for eczema, T-cell-activating autoimmune diseases, family history of multiple myeloma, and occupation as a painter. We further observed substantial heterogeneity among B-cell lymphomas (P NODE < 1.0×10−4). Increased risks for B-cell-activating autoimmune disease and hepatitis C virus seropositivity and decreased risks for alcohol consumption and occupation as a teacher generally were restricted to marginal zone lymphoma, Burkitt/Burkitt-like lymphoma/leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and/or lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma/Waldenström macroglobulinemia.
Conclusions
Using a novel approach to investigate etiologic heterogeneity among NHL subtypes, we identified risk factors that were common among subtypes as well as risk factors that appeared to be distinct among individual or a few subtypes, suggesting both subtype-specific and shared underlying mechanisms. Further research is needed to test putative mechanisms, investigate other risk factors (eg, other infections, environmental exposures, and diet), and evaluate potential joint effects with genetic susceptibility.
doi:10.1093/jncimonographs/lgu013
PMCID: PMC4155467  PMID: 25174034
3.  Risk factors for early mortality after AIDS in the cART era: A population-based cohort study in Italy 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:229.
Background
Despite the dramatically improved survival due to combination antiretroviral therapies (cART), life expectancy of people with HIV/AIDS remains lower than that of the general population. This study aimed to estimate, at a population level, the survival experience of Italian people with AIDS (PWA) and to quantify the prognostic role of selected factors at diagnosis in the risk of early mortality (i.e., within six months from AIDS diagnosis).
Methods
A population-based, retrospective-cohort study was conducted among Italian PWA diagnosed between 1999 and 2009 and recorded in the national AIDS registry. The vital status, up to December 2010, of 14,552 PWA was ascertained through a record linkage procedure with the Italian mortality database. Survival probabilities were estimated through Kaplan-Meier method. To identify risk factors for early mortality from any cause, odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for major confounders, were computed using multivariate logistic regression models.
Results
Of the 5,706 deaths registered among the 14,552 PWA included in the study, 2,757 (18.9 %) occurred within six months from AIDS diagnosis. The probability of surviving six months increased from 81.2 % in PWA diagnosed in 1999–2000 to 82.9 % in 2009, while the 5-year survival augmented from 60.7 % in PWA diagnosed in 1999–2000 to 65.4 % for PWA diagnosed in 2005–2006. Elevated risks of early mortality were associated to older age (OR = 5.28; 95 % CI: 4.41-6.32 for age ≥60 vs. <35 years), injecting drug use (OR = 1.71; 95 % CI: 1.53-1.91 vs. heterosexual intercourse), and CD4 count <50 cells/mm3 at AIDS diagnosis (OR = 1.87, 95 % CI: 1.55-2.27 vs. ≥350). Elevated ORs for early mortality also emerged for PWA diagnosed with primary brain lymphoma (OR = 11.66, 95 % CI: 7.32-18.57), or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (OR = 4.21, 95 % CI: 3.37-5.27).
Conclusions
Our study documented, among Italian PWA, the high - though slightly decreasing - frequency of early mortality in the full cART era. These findings indicate the need for enduring and ameliorating preventive actions aimed at timely HIV testing among all individuals at risk for HIV infection and/or those who present diseases known to be related with HIV infection.
doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0960-6
PMCID: PMC4464724  PMID: 26067992
AIDS; Early mortality; Survival; Italy, cART
4.  Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe Smoking and the Risk of Head and Neck Cancers: Pooled Analysis in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(5):679-690.
Cigar and pipe smoking are considered risk factors for head and neck cancers, but the magnitude of effect estimates for these products has been imprecisely estimated. By using pooled data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium (comprising 13,935 cases and 18,691 controls in 19 studies from 1981 to 2007), we applied hierarchical logistic regression to more precisely estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking separately, compared with reference groups of those who had never smoked each single product. Odds ratios for cigar and pipe smoking were stratified by ever cigarette smoking. We also considered effect estimates of smoking a single product exclusively versus never having smoked any product (reference group). Among never cigarette smokers, the odds ratio for ever cigar smoking was 2.54 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.93, 3.34), and the odds ratio for ever pipe smoking was 2.08 (95% CI: 1.55, 2.81). These odds ratios increased with increasing frequency and duration of smoking (Ptrend ≤ 0.0001). Odds ratios for cigar and pipe smoking were not elevated among ever cigarette smokers. Head and neck cancer risk was elevated for those who reported exclusive cigar smoking (odds ratio = 3.49, 95% CI: 2.58, 4.73) or exclusive pipe smoking (odds ratio = 3.71, 95% CI: 2.59, 5.33). These results suggest that cigar and pipe smoking are independently associated with increased risk of head and neck cancers.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt029
PMCID: PMC3755640  PMID: 23817919
head and neck neoplasms; smoking
5.  Diet and the Risk of Head and Neck Cancer: A Pooled Analysis in the INHANCE Consortium 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;23(1):69-88.
We investigated the association between diet and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk using data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium. The INHANCE pooled data included 22 case-control studies with 14,520 cases and 22,737 controls. Center-specific quartiles among the controls were used for food groups and frequencies per week were used for single food items. A dietary pattern score combining high fruit and vegetable intake and low red meat intake, was created. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the dietary items on the risk of HNC were estimated with a two-stage random effects logistic regression model. An inverse association was observed for higher frequency intake of fruit (4th vs. 1st quartile OR=0.52, 95% CI=0.43–0.62, ptrend<0.01) and vegetables (OR=0.66, 95% CI=0.49–0.90, ptrend=0.01). Intake of red meat (OR=1.40, 95% CI=1.13–1.74, ptrend=0.13) and processed meat (OR=1.37, 95% CI=1.14–1.65, ptrend<0.01) were positively associated with HNC risk. Higher dietary pattern scores, reflecting high fruit/vegetable and low red meat intake, were associated with reduced HNC risk (per score increment OR=0.90, 95% CI=0.84–0.97).
doi:10.1007/s10552-011-9857-x
PMCID: PMC3654401  PMID: 22037906
Diet; head and neck cancer; fruit and vegetable; red meat; processed meat
6.  Body mass index and risk of head and neck cancer in a pooled analysis of case–control studies in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium 
Background Head and neck cancer (HNC) risk is elevated among lean people and reduced among overweight or obese people in some studies; however, it is unknown whether these associations differ for certain subgroups or are influenced by residual confounding from the effects of alcohol and tobacco use or by other sources of biases.
Methods We pooled data from 17 case–control studies including 12 716 cases and the 17 438 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for associations between body mass index (BMI) at different ages and HNC risk, adjusted for age, sex, centre, race, education, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption.
Results Adjusted ORs (95% CIs) were elevated for people with BMI at reference (date of diagnosis for cases and date of selection for controls) ≤18.5 kg/m2 (2.13, 1.75–2.58) and reduced for BMI >25.0–30.0 kg/m2 (0.52, 0.44–0.60) and BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (0.43, 0.33–0.57), compared with BMI >18.5–25.0 kg/m2. These associations did not differ by age, sex, tumour site or control source. Although the increased risk among people with BMI ≤18.5 kg/m2 was not modified by tobacco smoking or alcohol drinking, the inverse association for people with BMI > 25 kg/m2 was present only in smokers and drinkers.
Conclusions In our large pooled analysis, leanness was associated with increased HNC risk regardless of smoking and drinking status, although reverse causality cannot be excluded. The reduced risk among overweight or obese people may indicate body size is a modifier of the risk associated with smoking and drinking. Further clarification may be provided by analyses of prospective cohort and mechanistic studies.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyp380
PMCID: PMC2929351  PMID: 20123951
BMI; head and neck cancer; smoking
9.  Self-reported history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women in Northern Italy: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:310.
Background
The incidence of invasive cervical cancer in HIV-positive women is higher than in the general population. There is evidence that HIV-positive women do not participate sufficiently in cervical cancer screening in Italy, where cervical cancer is more than 10-fold higher in women with AIDS than in the general population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women in Italy in recent years. We also examined the sociodemographic, clinical, and organizational factors associated with adherence to cervical cancer screening.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted between July 2006 and June 2007 in Emilia-Romagna region (Northern Italy). All HIV-positive women who received a follow-up visit in one of the 10 regional infectivology units were invited to participate. History of Pap-smear, including abnormal smears and subsequent treatment, was investigated through a self-administered anonymous questionnaire. The association between lack of Pap-smear in the year preceding the interview and selected characteristics was assessed by means of odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for study centre and age.
Results
A total of 1,002 HIV-positive women were interviewed. Nine percent reported no history of Pap-smear, and 39% had no Pap-smear in the year prior to the date of questionnaire (last year). The lack of Pap-smear in the last year was significantly associated with age <35 years (OR = 1.4, compared to age ≥45 years), lower education level (OR = 1.3), first HIV-positive test in the last 2 years (OR = 1.4), and CD4 count <200 cells/μl (OR = 1.6). Conversely, when women were advised by a gynecologist rather than other health workers to undergo screening, it significantly increased adherence. Non-significantly higher proportions of lack of Pap-smear in the last year were found in women born in Central-Eastern Europe (OR = 1.8) and Africa (OR = 1.3). No difference in history of Pap-smear emerged by mode of HIV-acquisition or AIDS status.
Three hundred five (34%) women reported a previous abnormal Pap-smear, and of the 178 (58%) referred for treatment, 97% complied.
Conclusions
In recent years the self-reported history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women, in some public clinics in Italy, is higher than previously reported, but further efforts are required to make sure cervical cancer screening is accessible to all HIV-positive women.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-310
PMCID: PMC2904281  PMID: 20565935
10.  Elevated risks of death for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases in Italian AIDS cases 
After the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART), an increased incidence of insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus (DM), and cardiovascular diseases has been described. The impact of such conditions on mortality in the post-HAART era has been also assessed in various modes in the literature. In this paper, we report on the death risks for DM, myocardial infarction, and chronic ischemic heart diseases that were investigated among 9662 Italian AIDS cases diagnosed between 1999 and 2005. Death certificates reporting DM, myocardial infarction, and chronic ischemic heart diseases were reviewed to identify the underlying cause of death, and to compare the observed numbers of deaths with the expected ones from the sex- and age-matched, general population of Italy. Person-years at risk of death were computed from date of AIDS diagnosis up to date of death or to December 31, 2006. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. DM and cardiovascular diseases were the cause of death for 43 out of 3101 deceased AIDS cases (i.e., 1.4% of all deaths). In comparison with the general population, the risks of death were 6.4-fold higher for DM (95% CI:3.5-10.8), 2.3-fold higher for myocardial infarction (95% CI:1.4-3.7) and 3.0 for chronic ischemic heart diseases (95% CI: 1.5-5.2).
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-7-11
PMCID: PMC2881872  PMID: 20497520

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