Immune deficiency is one of the best characterized and strongest known risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We studied the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in integrin genes that are important components in human innate immunity and the risk of NHL in a population-based case–control study of women in Connecticut, USA. A total of 373 tag SNPs in 33 gene regions were included in the analysis of 448 cases and 525 controls. The ADAM19 rs11466782 SNP was associated with an increased risk of lymphoma (OR, 1.73; 95 % CI, 1.28–2.35; P additive = 0.0004), and the ICAM3 rs2304240 (OR, 0.67; 95 % CI, 0.52–0.86; P additive = 0.002) and the PTGDR rs708486 SNPs (OR, 0.75; 95 % CI, 0.63–0.90; P additive = 0.002) were associated with reduced risk of lymphoma. Two gene regions (ADAM19 (P=0.009) and ICAM3 (P=0.009)) displayed global associations with lymphoma risk at the P<0.01 level. While our results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in integrin genes may play a role in the genesis of lymphoma in women, they should be viewed as exploratory until they are replicated in additional populations.
lymphoma; integrin; innate immunity; single nucleotide polymorphism
Common genetic variation may play an important role in altering chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk. In Xuanwei, China, the COPD rate is more than twice the Chinese national average, and COPD is strongly associated with in-home coal use. To identify genetic variation that may be associated with COPD in a population with substantial in-home coal smoke exposures, we evaluated 1,261 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 380 candidate genes potentially relevant for cancer and other human diseases in a population-based case-control study in Xuanwei (53 cases; 107 controls). PTEN was the most significantly associated gene with COPD in a minP analysis using 20,000 permutations (P = 0.00005). SNP-based analyses found that homozygote variant carriers of PTEN rs701848 (ORTT = 0.12, 95%CI = 0.03 - 0.47) had a significant decreased risk of COPD. PTEN, or phosphatase and tensin homolog, is an important regulator of cell cycle progression and cellular survival via the AKT signaling pathway. Our exploratory analysis suggests that genetic variation in PTEN may be an important risk factor of COPD in Xuanwei. However, due to the small sample size, additional studies are needed to evaluate these associations within Xuanwei and other populations with coal smoke exposures.
COPD; cell cycle; apoptosis; AKT; PTEN
The complement system plays an important role in inflammatory and immune responses, and recent evidence has suggested that it may also play a role in lymphomagenesis. We evaluated the association between genetic variation in complement system genes and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a population-based case–control study conducted among women in Connecticut. Tag SNPs in 30 complement genes were genotyped in 432 Caucasian incident cases and 494 frequency-matched controls. A gene-based analysis that adjusted for the number of tag SNPs genotyped in each gene showed a significant association with NHL overall (P = 0.04) as well as with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (P = 0.01) for the C1RL gene. A SNP-based analysis showed that a C>T base substitution for C1RL rs3813729 (odds ratio (OR)CT = 0.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.42–0.87, Ptrend = 0.0062) was associated with a decreased risk of overall NHL, as well as for DLBCL (ORCT = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.20–0.73; Ptrend = 0.0034). Additionally, SNPs (C2 rs497309, A>C and C3 rs344550, G>C) in two complement genes were positively associated with marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and C1QG was associated with CLL/SLL, but these results were based on a limited number of cases. Our results suggest a potential role of the complement system in susceptibility to NHL; however, our results should be viewed as exploratory and further replication is needed to clarify these preliminary findings.
lymphoma; C1RL; innate immunity; SNP
Telomere length plays an important role in chromosomal stability and tumorigenesis, and its measurement in peripheral white blood cell DNA may be a predictor of the development of lung cancer.
Using a new method - monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR -which reduces measurement variability, we compared telomere length relative to standard DNA in white blood cell DNA in 229 incident male lung cancer cases and 229 matched controls within the prospective Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study of male smokers.
Median (10th, 90th percentile) telomere length was 1.13 (0.86, 1.45) in cases and 1.08 (0.85, 1.38) in controls (P = 0.038). Telomere length was inversely associated with pack-years of smoking (Spearman correlation r = −0.16, P = 0.02) among controls. Compared to subjects with shorter telomere length (≤ median), subjects with greater telomere length (> median) had a 1.6-fold (95% CI, 1.06–2.36) increased risk of lung cancer. There was a significant linear relationship between quartiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer (odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) by quartile: 1.00, 0.98 (0.55–1.73), 1.62 (0.95–2.77), and 1.50 (0.84–2.68); Ptrend = 0.05). In addition, subgroup analysis showed that greater telomere length was associated with increased risk of lung cancer among heavy smokers (> 38 years) (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.00–3.59) but not among light smokers (≤ 38 years) (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.56–2.11) (Pinteraction = 0.01).
Our results suggest that greater telomere length may be associated with higher risk of lung cancer among male smokers.
Telomere length; lung cancer; cohort study
Background Emissions from household coal combustion associated with cooking and heating are an important public health issue, particularly in China where hundreds of millions of people are exposed. Although coal emissions are a known human carcinogen, there is still uncertainty about the level of risk for lung and other cancers.
Methods We performed a meta-analysis on 25 case–control studies (10 142 cases and 13 416 controls) to summarize the association between household coal use and lung cancer risk, and to explore the effect modification of this association by geographical location.
Results Using random-effects models, household coal use was found to be associated with lung cancer risk among all studies throughout the world [odds ratio (OR) = 2.15; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.61–2.89, Nstudies = 25], and particularly among those studies carried out in mainland China and Taiwan (OR = 2.27; 95% CI = 1.65–3.12, Nstudies = 20). Stratification by regions of mainland China and Taiwan found a variation in effects across the regions, with south/southeastern (OR = 3.27; 95% CI = 1.27–8.42, Nstudies = 3) and southwestern China (OR = 2.98; 95% CI = 1.18–7.53, Nstudies = 3) experiencing the highest risk. The elevated risk associated with coal use throughout Asia was also observed when stratifying studies by gender, smoking status, sample size, design (population vs hospital case–control) and publication language. No significant publication bias was found (pBegg’s = 0.15).
Conclusions Our results provide evidence that although the carcinogenic effect of coal use varies by location, coals from many locations exhibit elevated lung cancer risks.
China; Taiwan; India; indoor air pollution; solid fuels; cooking; heating
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B-cell lymphoid malignancy suspected to be associated with immunologic factors. Given recent findings associating single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in innate immunity genes with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, we conducted an investigation of innate immune gene variants using specimens from a population-based case-control study of MM conducted in Connecticut women. Tag SNPs (N=1,461) summarizing common variation in 149 gene regions were genotyped in non-Hispanic Caucasian subjects (103 cases, 475 controls). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating SNP associations with MM were computed using unconditional logistic regression, while the MinP test was used to investigate associations with MM at the gene level. We calculated permutation-adjusted P-values and false discovery rates (FDR) to account for the number of comparisons performed in SNP-level and gene-level tests, respectively. Three genes were associated with MM when controlling for a FDR of ≤10%: SERPINE1 (PMinP<0.0001; FDR=0.02), HGF (PMinP=0.0006; FDR=0.06) and CCR7 (PMinP=0.001; FDR=0.08). Two SNPs demonstrated robust associations: SERPINE1 rs2227667 (P=2.1×10−5, Ppermutation=0.03) and HGF rs17501108 (P=5.0×10−5, Ppermutation=0.07). Our findings suggest that genetic variants in SERPINE1 and HGF, and possibly CCR7, are associated with MM risk, and warrant further investigation in other studies.
epidemiology; myeloma; genetics
Genetic variation in immune-related genes may play a role in the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). To test the hypothesis that innate immunity polymorphisms may be associated with NHL risk, we genotyped 144 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) capturing common genetic variation within 12 innate immunity gene regions in three independent population-based case-control studies (1946 cases and 1808 controls). Gene-based analyses found IL1RN to be associated with NHL risk (minP = 0.03); specifically, IL1RN rs2637988 was associated with an increased risk of NHL (per-allele odds ratio = 1.15, 95% confidence interval = 1.05 – 1.27; ptrend = 0.003), which was consistent across study, subtype, and gender. FCGR2A was also associated with a decreased risk of the follicular lymphoma NHL subtype (minP = 0.03). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in IL1RN and FCGR2A may play a role in lymphomagenesis. Given that conflicting results have been reported regarding the association between IL1RN SNPs and NHL risk, a larger number of innate immunity genes with sufficient genomic coverage should be evaluated systematically across many studies.
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; immune; innate immunity; genetic variation; single nucleotide polymorphisms
Using 1996–2000 data among Connecticut women, the authors evaluated whether genetic variation in 4 metabolic genes modifies organic solvent associations with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 5 major histologic subtypes. Pinteraction values were determined from cross-product terms between dichotomous (ever/never) solvent variables and genotypes at examined loci in unconditional logistic regression models. The false discovery rate method was used to account for multiple comparisons. Overall associations between the chlorinated solvents dichloromethane (odds ratio (OR) = 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 2.69), carbon tetrachloride (OR = 2.33, 95% CI: 1.23, 4.40), and methyl chloride (OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 0.94, 2.20) and total non-Hodgkin lymphoma were increased among women TT for rs2070673 in the cytochrome P4502E1 gene, CYP2E1 (dichloromethane: OR = 4.42, 95% CI: 2.03, 9.62; Pinteraction < 0.01; carbon tetrachloride: OR = 5.08, 95% CI: 1.82, 14.15; Pinteraction = 0.04; and methyl chloride: OR = 2.37, 95% CI: 1.24, 4.51; Pinteraction = 0.03). In contrast, no effects of these solvents were observed among TA/AA women. Similar patterns were observed for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma, as well as marginal zone lymphoma for dichloromethane. The weak, nonsignificant overall association between benzene and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.84, 1.98) was increased among women AA for rs2234922 in the microsomal epoxide hydrolase gene, EPHX1 (OR = 1.77, 95% CI: 1.06, 2.97; Pinteraction = 0.06). In contrast, no effect was observed among AG/GG women. Additional studies with larger sample size are needed to replicate these findings.
genetic predisposition to disease; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; metabolism; occupational exposure; polymorphism, single nucleotide; solvents
The genetic basis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has not been elucidated to date. Although it is the most common hematological malignancy in Caucasians, it is uncommon among Asians. A recent genome-wide scan of CLL in Caucasians identified 6 variants showing strong association. We attempted to replicate these findings in 71 cases of CLL and 1273 controls in Hong Kong Chinese. Three of the 6 variants were significantly associated with CLL. The rs872071 variant (Odds Ratio (95% Confidence Interval) = 1.78 (1.25–2.53), p = 0.0013) in the IRF4 gene region showed the strongest association, similar to that reported in the United Kingdom study. Polymorphisms in SP140 and ACOXL and were also associated with risk of CLL. Further, the mean allele frequencies of the 6 variants were moderately (59%) to extremely (0.5%) lower in the Chinese population compared with Caucasians. These results suggest that variants in three loci may contribute to risk of CLL among Chinese.
genetic polymorphism; chronic lymphocytic leukemia; Chinese
In light of the relationship between immune system dysregulation and multiple myeloma (MM) risk, we investigated whether genetic variation in 92 immune function genes among 77 gene regions are associated with MM susceptibility in a population-based case-control study (108 cases and 482 controls) conducted among Caucasian women in Connecticut. Tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; N=870) were selected using a pairwise linkage-disequilibrium based algorithm. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for SNP genotypes were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Tests of association for gene regions were conducted using the minP test. We applied the false discovery rate (FDR) method to the minP test results as a means of controlling for multiple comparisons. The CD4 gene region located on 12p13-q13 (minP=0.0009), had an FDR value < 0.1. In this region, a total of six tag SNPs in two genes (CD4 and LAG3) were significantly associated with MM risk (Ptrend<0.05), with the strongest association observed for the CD4 variant rs11064392 (ORAG/GG=2.53, 95% CI=1.59–4.02). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in CD4 may influence susceptibility to MM. Additional studies are needed to replicate these findings and, more generally, to explore the manner in which genes receptors may influence the pathogenesis of this poorly understood malignancy.
immunoregulatory genes; multiple myeloma; single nucleotide polymorphism; CD4; LAG3
Benzene, a recognized hematotoxicant and carcinogen, can damage the human immune system. We studied the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in innate immunity and benzene hematotoxicity in a cross-sectional study of workers exposed to benzene (250 workers and 140 controls). A total of 1,236 tag SNPs in 149 gene regions of six pathways were included in the analysis. Six gene regions were significant for their association with white blood cell (WBC) counts (MBP, VCAM1, ALOX5, MPO, RAC2, and CRP) based on gene-region (P < 0.05) and SNP analyses (FDR < 0.05). VCAM1 rs3176867, ALOX5 rs7099684, and MPO rs2071409 were the three most significant SNPs. They showed similar effects on WBC subtypes, especially granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes. A 3-SNP block in ALOXE3 (rs7215658, rs9892383, and rs3027208) showed a global association (omnibus P = 0.0008) with WBCs even though the three SNPs were not significant individually. Our study suggests that polymorphisms in innate immunity genes may play a role in benzene-induced hematotoxicity; however, independent replication is necessary.
benzene; hematology; immunity, innate; polymorphism, single nucleotide; toxicity
Mitochondria are eukaryotic organelles responsible for energy production. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lack introns and protective histones, have limited DNA repair capacity and compensate for damage by increasing the number of mtDNA copies. As a consequence, mitochondria are more susceptible to reactive oxygen species, an important determinant of cancer risk, and it is hypothesized that increased mtDNA copy number may be associated with carcinogenesis. We assessed the association of mtDNA copy number and lung cancer risk in 227 prospectively collected cases and 227 matched controls from the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusting for age at randomization, smoking years and number of cigarettes smoked per day. There was suggestion of a dose-dependent relationship between mtDNA copy number and subsequent risk of lung cancer, with a prominent effect observed in the highest mtDNA copy number quartile [ORs (95% CI) by quartile: 1.0 (reference), 1.3 (0.7–2.5), 1.1 (0.6–2.2) and 2.4 (1.1–5.1); Ptrend = 0.008]. This is the first report, to the best of our knowledge, to suggest that mtDNA copy number may be positively associated with subsequent risk of lung cancer in a prospective cohort study; however, replication is needed in other studies and populations.
Background. Analysis of candidate genes in individual studies has had only limited success in identifying particular gene variants that are conclusively associated with lung cancer risk. In the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), we conducted a coordinated genotyping study of 10 common variants selected because of their prior evidence of an association with lung cancer. These variants belonged to candidate genes from different cancer-related pathways including inflammation (IL1B), folate metabolism (MTHFR), regulatory function (AKAP9 and CAMKK1), cell adhesion (SEZL6) and apoptosis (FAS, FASL, TP53, TP53BP1 and BAT3). Methods. Genotype data from 15 ILCCO case–control studies were available for a total of 8431 lung cancer cases and 11 072 controls of European descent and Asian ethnic groups. Unconditional logistic regression was used to model the association between each variant and lung cancer risk. Results. Only the association between a non-synonymous variant of TP53BP1 (rs560191) and lung cancer risk was significant (OR = 0.91, P = 0.002). This association was more striking for squamous cell carcinoma (OR = 0.86, P = 6 × 10−4). No heterogeneity by center, ethnicity, smoking status, age group or sex was observed. In order to confirm this association, we included results for this variant from a set of independent studies (9966 cases/11 722 controls) and we reported similar results. When combining all these studies together, we reported an overall OR = 0.93 (0.89–0.97) (P = 0.001). This association was significant only for squamous cell carcinoma [OR = 0.89 (0.85–0.95), P = 1 × 10−4]. Conclusion. This study suggests that rs560191 is associated to lung cancer risk and further highlights the value of consortia in replicating or refuting published genetic associations.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile chlorinated organic compound that is commonly used as a solvent for lipophilic compounds. Although recognized as an animal carcinogen, TCE’s carcinogenic potential in humans is still uncertain. We have carried out a cross-sectional study of 80 workers exposed to TCE and 96 unexposed controls matched on age and sex in Guangdong, China to study TCE’s early biologic effects. We previously reported that the total lymphocyte count and each of the major lymphocyte subsets (i.e., CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, natural killer cells, and B cells) were decreased in TCE-exposed workers compared to controls, suggesting a selective effect on lymphoid progenitors, and/or lymphocyte survival. To explore which T lymphocyte subsets are affected in the same study population, we investigated the effect of TCE exposure on the numbers of CD4+ naïve and memory T cells, CD8+ naïve and memory T cells, and regulatory T cells by FACS analysis. Linear regression of each subset was used to test for differences between exposed workers and controls adjusting for potential confounders. We observed that CD4+ and CD8+ naïve T cell counts were about 8% (p = 0.056) and 17% (p = 0.0002) lower, respectively, among exposed workers. CD4+ effector memory T cell counts were decreased by about 20% among TCE-exposed workers compared to controls (p = 0.001). The selective targeting of TCE on CD8+ naive and possibly CD4+ naive T cells, and CD4+ effector memory T cells, provide further insights into the immunosuppression-related response of human immune cells upon TCE exposure.
trichloroethylene; lymphocyte; CD4; CD8; naïve; memory
Genetic variation may be an important risk factor for multiple myeloma. A hallmark of tumor formation and growth is cell cycle dysregulation and apoptosis avoidance. We previously reported the association of genetic variation in caspase genes, the apoptotic-regulating family, and multiple myeloma risk. To further examine if genetic variation in key cell cycle and apoptosis genes alters multiple myeloma risk, we genotyped 276 tag SNPs in 27 gene regions in a population-based case-control study of non-Hispanic Caucasian women (108 cases; 482 controls) in Connecticut. Logistic regression assessed the effect of each SNP on multiple myeloma risk and the minP test assessed the association at the gene region level. Three gene regions were significantly associated with risk of multiple myeloma (BAX minP = 0.018, CASP9 minP = 0.025, and RIPK1 minP = 0.037). Further explorations identified the most significant variant of BAX, RIPK1, and CASP9 to be rs1042265, rs9391981, and rs751643, respectively. The A variant at rs1042265 (ORGA+AA = 0.40, 95%CI = 0.21 – 0.78) and the C variant at rs9391981 (ORGC+CC = 0.32, 95%CI = 0.12 – 0.81) were associated with a decreased risk of multiple myeloma. The G variant at rs7516435 was associated with an increased risk of multiple myeloma (ORAG = 1.48, 95%CI = 0.94 – 2.32; ORGG = 2.59, 95%CI = 1.30 – 5.15; ptrend = 0.005). Haplotype analyses supported the SNP findings. These findings suggest that genetic variation in cell cycle and apoptosis genes may play a key role in multiple myeloma and warrant further investigation through replication studies.
multiple myeloma; caspase; BAX; RIPK1; cell cycle
Telomere length plays an important role in maintaining chromosomal stability and in tumorigenesis. We hypothesized that telomere length in peripheral white blood cell DNA obtained from healthy individuals would be a predictor of future risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Using a new assay to measure relative telomere length, monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR, which strongly correlates with telomere length measured by Southern blot (Spearman r = 0.91, p < 0.0001) and has high precision (coefficient of variation = 7%), we compared telomere length in peripheral white blood cell DNA in 107 incident male NHL cases and 107 matched controls within the prospective Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study cohort.
Median (10th, 90th percentile) telomere length was 1.10 (0.79, 1.43) in cases and 1.02 (0.78, 1.26) in controls (p = 0.0017, Wilcoxon sign test). There was a strong dose-response relationship between quartiles of telomere length and risk of NHL overall [odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) by quartile: 1.0; 1.1 (0.4-2.7); 1.8 (0.7-4.9); and 3.6 (1.4-8.9); p trend = 0.003)], and this association was similar across the most common NHL subtypes present in this study.
These results suggest that longer telomere length may be a potential predictor for future risk of NHL.
Telomere length; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; cohort
Domestic fuel combustion from cooking and heating is an important public health issue because roughly 3 billion people are exposed worldwide. Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified indoor emissions from household coal combustion as a human carcinogen (group 1) and from biomass fuel (primarily wood) as a probable human carcinogen (group 2A).
We pooled seven studies from the International Lung Cancer Consortium (5,105 cases and 6,535 controls) to provide further epidemiological evaluation of the association between in-home solid-fuel use, particularly wood, and lung cancer risk.
Using questionnaire data, we classified subjects as predominant solid-fuel users (e.g., coal, wood) or nonsolid-fuel users (e.g., oil, gas, electricity). Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and to compute 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusting for age, sex, education, smoking status, race/ethnicity, and study center.
Compared with nonsolid-fuel users, predominant coal users (OR = 1.64; 95% CI, 1.49–1.81), particularly coal users in Asia (OR = 4.93; 95% CI, 3.73–6.52), and predominant wood users in North American and European countries (OR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1.06–1.38) experienced higher risk of lung cancer. The results were similar in never-smoking women and other subgroups.
Our results are consistent with previous observations pertaining to in-home coal use and lung cancer risk, support the hypothesis of a carcinogenic potential of in-home wood use, and point to the need for more detailed study of factors affecting these associations.
coal; lung cancer; pooled; risk factor; wood
Lung cancer rates in Xuanwei County have been among the highest in China for both males and females, and have been causally associated with exposure to indoor smoky (bituminous) coal emissions that contain very high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. There are numerous coal mines across the County. Although lung cancer risk is strongly associated with use of smoky coal as a whole, variation in risk by smoky coal subtype has not been characterized as yet. We conducted a population-based case-control study of 498 lung cancer cases and 498 controls, individually matched to case subjects on age (±2 years) and sex, to examine risk by coal subtype. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for coal subtype were calculated by conditional logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders. Overall, smoky coal use was statistically significantly associated with lung cancer risk, as compared to use of smokeless coal or wood (OR=7.7, 95% CI=4.5 to 13.3). Furthermore, there was marked heterogeneity in risk estimates for specific subtypes of smoky coal (test for heterogeneity: p=5.17 × 10−10). Estimates were highest for coal from the Laibin (OR=24.8, 95% CI=12.4 to 49.6) and Longtan (OR=11.6, 95% CI = 5.0 to 27.2) coal types, and lower for coal from other types. These findings strongly suggest that in Xuanwei and elsewhere, the carcinogenic potential of coal combustion products can exhibit substantial local variation by specific coal source.
Coal; lung cancer; indoor air pollution; Xuanwei; China
Telomeres are responsible for the protection of the chromosome ends and shortened telomere length has been associated with risk of multiple cancers. Genetic variation in telomere related genes may alter cancer risk associated with telomere length. Using lung cancer cases (n = 120) and population-based controls (n = 110) from Xuanwei, China, we analyzed telomere length separately and in conjunction with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the telomere maintenance genes POT1, TERT, and TERF2, which we have previously reported were associated with risk of lung cancer in this study. POT1 rs10244817, TERT rs2075786, and TERF2 rs251796 were significantly associated with lung cancer (ptrend ≤ 0.05). The shortest tertile of telomere length was not significantly associated with risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.58; 95% CI = 0.79 – 3.18) when compared to the longest tertile of telomere length. When stratified by genotype, there was a suggestion of a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer among the POT1 rs10244817 common variant carriers (OR (95%CI) = 1.33 (0.47 – 3.75), 3.30 (1.14 – 9.56), respectively) but not among variant genotype carriers (pinteraction = 0.05). Our findings provide evidence that telomere length and genetic variation in telomere maintenance genes may be associated with risk of lung cancer susceptibility and warrant replication in larger studies.
POT1; TERT; TERF2
Genome-wide association studies of lung cancer reported in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5p15.33, 6p21.33, and 15q25 that have achieved genome-wide significance with p-values of 10−7 or lower. These studies have been performed primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the observed associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a genome-wide association study of lung adenocarcinoma in never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) among Han Chinese in Taiwan and found that the most significant association was for rs2736100 on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 1.30×10−11). This finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls (p = 5.38×10−11). A pooled analysis achieved genome-wide significance for rs2736100. This SNP marker localizes to the CLPTM1L-TERT locus on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 2.60×10−20, allelic risk = 1.54, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.41–1.68). Risks for heterozygote and homozygote carriers of the minor allele were 1.62 (95% CI; 1.40–1.87), and 2.35 (95% CI: 1.95–2.83), respectively. In summary, our results show that genetic variation in the CLPTM1L-TERT locus of chromosome 5p15.33 is directly associated with the risk of lung cancer, most notably adenocarcinoma.
Worldwide, approximately 15% of lung cancer cases occur among nonsmokers. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of lung cancer conducted in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5, 6, and 15 that harbor genetic variants that confer risk for lung cancer. Prior studies were conducted primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. A GWAS of lung cancer among never-smokers is an optimal setting to discover effects that are independent of smoking. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a GWAS of lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) in Taiwan, and observed a region on chromosome 5 significantly associated with risk for lung cancer in never-smoking women. The finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls. To our knowledge, this study is the first reported GWAS of lung cancer in East Asian women, and together with the replication studies represents the largest genetic association study in this population. The findings provide insight into the genetic contribution of common variants to lung carcinogenesis.
Common genetic variation may play an important role in altering lung cancer risk. We conducted a pathway-based candidate gene evaluation to identify genetic variations that may be associated with lung cancer in a population-based case–control study in Xuan Wei, China (122 cases and 111 controls). A total of 1260 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 380 candidate genes for lung cancer were successfully genotyped and assigned to one of 10 pathways based on gene ontology. Logistic regression was used to assess the marginal effect of each SNP on lung cancer susceptibility. The minP test was used to identify statistically significant associations at the gene level. Important pathways were identified using a test of proportions and the rank truncated product methods. The cell cycle pathway was found as the most important pathway (P = 0.044) with four genes significantly associated with lung cancer (PLA2G6 minP = 0.001, CCNA2 minP = 0.006, GSK3β minP = 0.007 and EGF minP = 0.013), after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Interestingly, most cell cycle genes that were associated with lung cancer in this analysis were concentrated in the AKT signaling pathway, which is essential for regulation of cell cycle progression and cellular survival, and may be important in lung cancer etiology in Xuan Wei. These results should be viewed as exploratory until they are replicated in a larger study.
Multiple myeloma is a haematological malignency, characterized by clonal expansion of plasma cells. However, little is known about the cause of multiple myeloma. Cancer cells must avoid apoptosis to ensure unregulated tumour formation and growth. The highly conserved caspase cascade is essential to the regulation of the apoptotic pathway. To examine if five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four caspase genes [CASP3 Ex8-280 C >A (rs6948), CASP3 Ex8 + 567 T >C (rs1049216), CASP8 Ex14-271 A >T (rs13113), CASP9 Ex5 + 32 G >A (rs1052576), CASP10 Ex3-171 A >G (rs39001150)] alter multiple myeloma risk, we conducted a population-based case-control study of women (128 cases; 516 controls) in Connecticut. Compared to individuals with the TT genotype of CASP3 Ex8 + 567 T >C, subjects with the CC genotype had a five-fold decreased risk of multiple myeloma (odds ratio (OR)CC = 0.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.0–1.0). Further, individuals with the AG and AA genotypes of CASP9 Ex5 + 32 G >A also experienced a decreased risk of multiple myeloma (ORAG = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.5–1.3; ORAA = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3–0.9; p-trend = 0.02). While no previous study has evaluated the association between caspase genes and multiple myeloma, studies have found associations with lung, breast, esophageal, gastric, colorectal and cervical cancers. Our parallel study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which utilized the same controls, found strong evidence that caspase genes play a key role in lymphogenesis. The protective associations observed in two key caspase genes suggest that genetic variation in CASP genes may play an important role in the aetiology of multiple myeloma.
multiple myeloma; caspase; variant; polymorphism; snp; risk factors
About half of the world’s population is exposed to smoke from heating or cooking with coal, wood, or biomass. These exposures, and fumes from cooking oil use, have been associated with increased lung cancer risk. Glutathione S-transferases play an important role in the detoxification of a wide range of human carcinogens in these exposures. Functional polymorphisms have been identified in the GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genes, which may alter the risk of lung cancer among individuals exposed to coal, wood and biomass smoke and cooking oil fumes. We performed a meta-analysis of six published studies (912 cases; 1063 controls) from regions in Asia where indoor air pollution makes a substantial contribution to lung cancer risk, and evaluated the association between the GSTM1 null, GSTT1 null, and GSTP1 105Val polymorphisms and lung cancer risk. Using a random effects model, we found that carriers of the GSTM1 null genotype had a borderline significant increased lung cancer risk (odds ratio (OR), 1.31; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.95–1.79; p=0.100), which was particularly evident in the summary risk estimate for the four studies carried out in regions of Asia that use coal for heating and cooking (OR, 1.64; 95%CI, 1.25–2.14; p=0.0003). The GSTT1 null genotype was also associated with an increased lung cancer risk (OR, 1.49; 95%CI, 1.17–1.89; p=0.001), but no association was observed for the GSTP1 105Val allele. Previous meta- and pooled-analyses suggest at most a small association between the GSTM1 null genotype and lung cancer risk carried out in populations where the vast majority of lung cancer is attributed to tobacco, and where indoor air pollution from domestic heating and cooking is much less than in developing Asian countries. Our results suggest that the GSTM1 null genotype may be associated with a more substantial risk of lung cancer in populations with coal exposure.
coal; heating and cooking; nonsmoking lung cancer; GSTM1; GSTT1; GSTP1
A recent genome-wide association study of lung cancer among never-smoking females in Asia demonstrated that the rs2736100 polymorphism in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus on chromosome 5p15.33 was strongly and significantly associated with risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung. The telomerase gene TERT is a reverse transcriptase that is critical for telomere replication and stabilization by controlling telomere length. We previously found that longer telomere length measured in peripheral white blood cell DNA was associated with increased risk of lung cancer in a prospective cohort study of smoking males in Finland. To follow up on this finding, we carried out a nested case-control study of 215 female lung cancer cases and 215 female controls, 94% of whom were never-smokers, in the prospective Shanghai Women’s Health Study cohort. There was a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 1.4 [0.8–2.5], and 2.2 [1.2–4.0], respectively; P trend = 0.003). Further, the association was unchanged by the length of time from blood collection to case diagnosis. In addition, the rs2736100 G allele, which we previously have shown to be associated with risk of lung cancer in this cohort, was significantly associated with longer telomere length in these same study subjects (P trend = 0.030). Our findings suggest that individuals with longer telomere length in peripheral white blood cells may have an increased risk of lung cancer, but require replication in additional prospective cohorts and populations.
Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability, and telomere shortening is involved in initiation and progression of malignancies. A series of epidemiological studies have examined the association between shortened telomeres and risk of cancers, but the findings remain conflicting.
A dataset composed of 11,255 cases and 13,101 controls from 21 publications was included in a meta-analysis to evaluate the association between overall cancer risk or cancer-specific risk and the relative telomere length. Heterogeneity among studies and their publication bias were further assessed by the χ2-based Q statistic test and Egger's test, respectively.
The results showed that shorter telomeres were significantly associated with cancer risk (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.14–1.60), compared with longer telomeres. In the stratified analysis by tumor type, the association remained significant in subgroups of bladder cancer (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.38–2.44), lung cancer (OR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.18–4.88), smoking-related cancers (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 1.83–2.78), cancers in the digestive system (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.53–1.87) and the urogenital system (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.12–2.67). Furthermore, the results also indicated that the association between the relative telomere length and overall cancer risk was statistically significant in studies of Caucasian subjects, Asian subjects, retrospective designs, hospital-based controls and smaller sample sizes. Funnel plot and Egger's test suggested that there was no publication bias in the current meta-analysis (P = 0.532).
The results of this meta-analysis suggest that the presence of shortened telomeres may be a marker for susceptibility to human cancer, but single larger, well-design prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.