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1.  Effect of Different Human Papillomavirus Serological and DNA Criteria on Vaccine Efficacy Estimates 
Lang Kuhs, Krystle A. | Porras, Carolina | Schiller, John T. | Rodriguez, Ana Cecilia | Schiffman, Mark | Gonzalez, Paula | Wacholder, Sholom | Ghosh, Arpita | Li, Yan | Lowy, Douglas R. | Kreimer, Aimée R. | Poncelet, Sylviane | Schussler, John | Quint, Wim | van Doorn, Leen-Jan | Sherman, Mark E. | Sidawy, Mary | Herrero, Rolando | Hildesheim, Allan | Safaeian, Mahboobeh | Lang Kuhs, Krystle A. | Schiller, John T. | Schiffman, Mark | Wacholder, Sholom | Lowy, Douglas R. | Kreimer, Aimée R. | Sherman, Mark E. | Hildesheim, Allan | Safaeian, Mahboobeh | Porras, Carolina | Rodriguez, Ana Cecilia | Gonzalez, Paula | Herrero, Rolando | Gonzalez, Paula | Herrero, Rolando | Ghosh, Arpita | Li, Yan | Poncelet, Sylviane | Schussler, John | Quint, Wim | van Doorn, Leen-Jan | Sidawy, Mary | Self, Steve | Benavides, Adriana | Calzada, Luis Diego | Karron, Ruth | Nayar, Ritu | Roach, Nancy | Cain, Joanna | Davey, Diane | DeMets, David | Fuster, Francisco | Gershon, Ann | Holly, Elizabeth | Raventós, Henriette | Rida, Wasima | Rosero-Bixby, Luis | Suthers, Kristen | Lara, Silvia | Thomas, Sarah | Alfaro, Mario | Barrantes, Manuel | Concepción Bratti, M. | Cárdenas, Fernando | Cortés, Bernal | Espinoza, Albert | Estrada, Yenory | González, Paula | Guillén, Diego | Herrero, Roland | Jiménez, Silvia E. | Morales, Jorge | Villegas, Luis | Morera, Lidia Ana | Pérez, Elmer | Porras, Carolina | Rodríguez, Ana Cecilia | Rivas, Libia | Freer, Enrique | Bonilla, José | García-Piñeres, Alfanso | Silva, Sandra | Atmella, Ivannia | Ramírez, Margarita | Hildesheim, Allan | Kreimer, Aimée R. | Lowy, Douglas R. | Macklin, Nora | Schiffman, Mark | Schiller, John T. | Sherman, Mark | Solomon, Diane | Wacholder, Sholom | Pinto, Ligia | Kemp, Troy | Eklund, Claire | Hutchinson, Martha | Sidawy, Mary | Quint, Wim | van Doorn, Leen-Jan
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;180(6):599-607.
Two trials of clinically approved human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, Females United to Unilaterally Reduce Endo/Ectocervical Disease (FUTURE I/II) and the Papilloma Trial Against Cancer in Young Adults (PATRICIA), reported a 22% difference in vaccine efficacy (VE) against cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse in HPV-naïve subcohorts; however, serological testing methods and the HPV DNA criteria used to define HPV-unexposed women differed between the studies. We applied previously described methods to simulate these HPV-naïve subcohorts within the Costa Rica HPV16/18 Vaccine Trial and assessed how these criteria affect the estimation of VE. We applied 2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) thresholds for HPV16 and HPV18 seropositivity (8 and 7 ELISA units/mL, respectively, for PATRICIA; 54 and 65 ELISA units/mL, respectively, for FUTURE I/II (to approximate the competitive Luminex immunoassay)) and 2 criteria for HPV DNA positivity (12 oncogenic HPV types, plus HPV66 and 68/73 for PATRICIA; or plus HPV6 and 11 for FUTURE I/II). VE was computed in the 2 naïve subcohorts. Using the FUTURE I/II and PATRICIA criteria, VE estimates against cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse, regardless of HPV type, were 69.0% (95% confidence interval: 40.3%, 84.9%) and 80.8% (95% confidence interval: 52.6%, 93.5%), respectively (P = 0.1). Although the application of FUTURE I/II criteria to our cohort resulted in the inclusion of more sexually experienced women, methodological differences did not fully explain the VE differences.
PMCID: PMC4157699  PMID: 25139208
human papillomavirus; methodological differences; naïve population; vaccine efficacy
2.  Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Oral Human Papillomavirus Among Young Women in Costa Rica 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(10):1643-1652.
Background. Little is known about the epidemiology of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) in Latin America.
Methods. Women (N = 5838) aged 22–29 in the control and vaccine arms of an HPV-16/18 vaccine trial in Costa Rica had oral, cervical, and anal specimens collected. Samples were tested for alpha mucosal HPV types (SPF10/LiPA25 version 1); a subset of oral samples (n = 500) was tested for cutaneous HPV types in the genera alpha, beta, gamma, mu, and nu.
Results. In the control arm (n = 2926), 1.9% of women had an oral alpha mucosal HPV detected, 1.3% had carcinogenic HPV, and 0.4% had HPV-16; similar patterns for non-16/18 HPV types were observed in the vaccine arm. Independent risk factors for any oral alpha mucosal HPV among women in the control arm included marital status (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8–5.7 for single compared to married/living as married), number of sexual partners (AOR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.0–6.1 for ≥4 partners compared to 0–1 partners), chronic sinusitis (AOR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.5–6.7), and cervical HPV infection (AOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.4–4.6). Detection of beta HPV was common (18.6%) and not associated with sexual activity.
Conclusions. Unlike cutaneous HPV types, alpha mucosal HPV types were uncommon in the oral region and were predominately associated with sexual behavior.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00128661.
PMCID: PMC3805238  PMID: 24014882
human papillomavirus vaccine; HPV; oropharynx cancer; Costa Rica; Guanacaste; oral HPV DNA
3.  Performance of Self-Collected Cervical Samples in Screening for Future Precancer Using Human Papillomavirus DNA Testing 
Self-collected human papillomavirus (HPV) testing could reduce barriers to cervical cancer screening, with performance comparable to clinician-collected specimens. The ability of self-collected specimens to cross-sectionally and prospectively detect precursor lesions was investigated in an HPV vaccine randomized trial in Costa Rica.
In the trial, 7466 women age 18 to 25 years received an HPV16/18 or control vaccine and were followed at least annually for four years. In this secondary analysis, we included all women who provided a self-collected cervicovaginal specimen six months after enrollment (5109 women = full analytical cohort). A subset (615 women = restricted cohort) also had clinician-collected specimens at the six-month postenrollment visit. High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or repeat low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion prompted colposcopic referral throughout the study. HPV testing was performed with SPF10PCR/DEIA/LiPA25. Cross-sectional and prospective sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were estimated.
In the full cohort, one-time HPV testing on self-collected samples detected prevalent CIN2+ with a sensitivity of 88.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] =77.0% to 95.7%) and a specificity of 68.9% (95% CI = 67.6% to 70.1%). For predicting incident CIN2+ in the subsequent four years, sensitivity was 73.9% (95% CI = 65.8% to 81.0%) and specificity 69.4% (95% CI = 68.1% to 70.7%). In the restricted cohort, for incident CIN2+, self-collected HPV was much more sensitive than cytology (80.0% vs 10.0%); relative sensitivity was 0.1 (95% CI = 0.03% to 0.5%). Furthermore, three times more women with normal baseline cytology developed incident CIN2+ than those with negative self-collected HPV. Self-collected and clinician-collected HPV testing had comparable performance. Agreement between self- and clinician-collected samples was 89.7% (kappa = 0.78, McNemar χ2 = 0.62) for carcinogenic HPV types.
Self-collected specimens can be used for HPV-based screening, providing sensitivity and specificity comparable with clinician-collected specimens and detecting disease earlier than cytology.
PMCID: PMC4271079  PMID: 25479804
4.  Invited Commentary: How Big Is That Interaction (in My Community)—and in Which Direction? 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;180(12):1150-1158.
In an accompanying article, Turner et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(12):1145–1149) compare the joint effects of smoking and air pollution to make inferences about the reduction in lung cancer mortality achieved when reducing each exposure separately and when reducing both together. In this commentary, we use first principles to quantify the difference between the risk or mortality reduction obtained from reducing each of 2 exposures together and the sum of the risk differences obtained from reducing the 2 exposures separately. Metrics of the impact of joint effects or comparisons of joint effects presented in units of absolute risk, such as Rothman's I, can provide more meaningful quantitative measures of public health impact than unitless metrics (e.g., ratios) and standardized metrics (e.g., the population attributable fraction) of potential interventions for reducing smoking and air pollution exposure. In particular, the venerable attributable community risk metric can provide an estimate of the community impact of such interventions in units of absolute risk. A spreadsheet we provide demonstrates the calculation of the various metrics for hypothetical data similar to those reported by Turner et al. Using algebra, graphics, and examples, we show that positive interaction, or synergy, on the additive scale implies that the impact on risk reduction from a program that applies both interventions will be lesser than the sum of the impacts of the separate interventions.
PMCID: PMC4262440  PMID: 25395027
absolute risk; additive interaction; air pollution; intervention; lung cancer; public health; smoking
5.  Reduced Prevalence of Vulvar HPV16/18 Infection Among Women Who Received the HPV16/18 Bivalent Vaccine: A Nested Analysis Within the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2014;210(12):1890-1899.
Vaccine efficacy (VE) against vulvar human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has not been reported and data regarding its epidemiology are sparse.
Women (n = 5404) age 22–29 present at the 4-year study visit of the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial provided vulvar and cervical samples. A subset (n = 1044) was tested for HPV DNA (SPF10/LiPA25 version 1). VE against 1-time detection of vulvar HPV16/18 among HPV vaccinated versus unvaccinated women was calculated and compared to the cervix. Prevalence of and risk factors for HPV were evaluated in the control arm (n = 536).
Vulvar HPV16/18 VE (54.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.9%–79.1%) was comparable to cervix (45.8%; 95% CI, 6.4%–69.4%). Vulvar and cervical HPV16 prevalence within the control arm was 3.0% and 4.7%, respectively. Independent risk factors for vulvar HPV were similar to cervix and included: age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.5 [95% CI, .3–.9] ≥28 vs 22–23]); marital status (aOR 2.3 [95% CI, 1.5–3.5] single vs married/living-as-married); and number of sexual partners (aOR 3.6 [95% CI, 1.9–7.0] ≥6 vs 1).
In this intention-to-treat analysis, VE against vulvar and cervical HPV16/18 were comparable 4 years following vaccination. Risk factors for HPV were similar by anatomic site.
Clinical Trials Registration
PMCID: PMC4271025  PMID: 24958910
Costa Rica; HPV; HPV vaccine; vulvar human papillomavirus vaccine
7.  Estimation of effect size distribution from genome-wide association studies and implications for future discoveries 
Nature genetics  2010;42(7):570-575.
We report a set of tools to estimate the number of susceptibility loci and the distribution of their effect sizes for a trait on the basis of discoveries from existing genome-wide association studies (GWASs). We propose statistical power calculations for future GWASs using estimated distributions of effect sizes. Using reported GWAS findings for height, Crohn’s disease and breast, prostate and colorectal (BPC) cancers, we determine that each of these traits is likely to harbor additional loci within the spectrum of low-penetrance common variants. These loci, which can be identified from sufficiently powerful GWASs, together could explain at least 15–20% of the known heritability of these traits. However, for BPC cancers, which have modest familial aggregation, our analysis suggests that risk models based on common variants alone will have modest discriminatory power (63.5% area under curve), even with new discoveries.
PMCID: PMC4615599  PMID: 20562874
8.  Tumor-based case-control studies of infection and cancer: muddling the when and where of molecular epidemiology 
We describe the “tumor-based case-control” study as a type of epidemiologic study used to evaluate associations between infectious agents and cancer. These studies assess exposure using diseased tissues from affected individuals (i.e., evaluating tumor tissue in studying cancer cases), but they must utilize non-diseased tissues to assess control subjects, who do not have the disease of interest. This approach can lead to exposure misclassification in two ways. First, concerning the “when” of exposure assessment, retrospective assessment of tissues may not accurately measure exposure at the key earlier timepoint (i.e., during the etiologic window). Second, concerning the “where” of exposure assessment, use of different tissues in cases and controls can have different accuracy for detecting the exposure (i.e., differential exposure misclassification). We present an example concerning the association of human papillomavirus with various cancers, where tumor-based case-control studies likely overestimate risk associated with infection. In another example, we illustrate how tumor-based case-control studies of Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer underestimate risk. Tumor-based case-control studies can demonstrate infection within tumor cells, providing qualitative information regarding disease etiology. However, measures of association calculated in tumor-based case-control studies are prone to over- or under-estimating the relationship between infections and subsequent cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC4184938  PMID: 25063520
infections; cancer etiology; study design; methodology
9.  Efficacy of the HPV-16/18 Vaccine: Final according to protocol results from the blinded phase of the randomized Costa Rica HPV-16/18 Vaccine Trial 
Vaccine  2014;32(39):5087-5097.
A community-based randomized trial was conducted in Costa Rica to evaluate the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine (NCT00128661). The primary objective was to evaluate efficacy of the vaccine to prevent cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or more severe disease (CIN2+) associated with incident HPV-16/18 cervical infections. Secondary objectives were to evaluate efficacy against CIN2+ associated with incident cervical infection by any oncogenic HPVs and to evaluate duration of protection against incident cervical infection with HPV-16/18. Vaccine safety and immunogenicity over the 4-year follow-up were also evaluated.
We randomized (3,727 HPV arm; 3,739 Control arm), vaccinated (HPV-16/18 or Hepatitis A) and followed (median 53.8 months) 7,466 healthy women aged 18-25 years. 5,312 women (2,635 HPV arm; 2,677 Control arm) were included in the according to protocol analysis for efficacy. The full cohort was evaluated for safety. Immunogenicity was considered on a subset of 354 (HPV-16) and 379 (HPV-18) women. HPV type was assessed by PCR on cytology specimens. Immunogenicity was assessed using ELISA and inhibition enzyme immunoassays. Disease outcomes were histologically confirmed. Vaccine efficacy and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were computed.
Vaccine efficacy was 89.8% (95% CI: 39.5 - 99.5; N=11 events total) against HPV-16/18 associated CIN2+, 59.9% (95% CI: 20.7 - 80.8; N=39 events total) against CIN2+ associated with non-HPV-16/18 oncogenic HPVs and 61.4% (95% CI: 29.5-79.8; N=51 events total) against CIN2+ irrespective of HPV type. The vaccine had an acceptable safety profile and induced robust and long-lasting antibody responses.
Our findings confirm the high efficacy and immunogenicity of the HPV-16/18 vaccine against incident HPV infections and cervical disease associated with HPV-16/18 and other oncogenic HPV types. These results will serve as a benchmark to which we can compare future findings from ongoing extended follow-up of participants in the Costa Rica trial.
Trial Registration
Registered with NCT00128661
PMCID: PMC4166498  PMID: 25018097
Human papillomaviruses; Cervical neoplasia; vaccination; prevention; clinical trial
10.  Prediagnostic Serum Organochlorine Concentrations and Metastatic Prostate Cancer: A Nested Case–Control Study in the Norwegian Janus Serum Bank Cohort 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2015;123(9):867-872.
Organochlorine (OC) insecticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to have estrogenic, antiestrogenic, or antiandrogenic properties; as a result, the impact of exposure to these compounds and risk of hormonal cancers, such as prostate cancer, is a concern.
We conducted a nested case–control study, using prospectively collected serum, to estimate associations between OC exposures and metastatic prostate cancer in a population-based cohort from Norway.
Sera from 150 cases and 314 controls matched on date of blood draw, age at blood draw, and region was used to determine concentrations of 11 OC pesticide metabolites and 34 PCB congeners. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for quartiles of lipid-corrected metabolite levels were calculated using conditional logistic regression.
Metastatic prostate cancer was two times as likely among men with serum concentrations of oxychlordane in the highest quartile compared with those in the lowest quartile (OR = 2.03; 95% CI: 1.03, 4.03; p-trend 0.05). Elevated but nonsignificant ORs were estimated for the highest versus lowest quartile of heptachlor epoxide, HCB, and mirex, although these exposures were correlated with oxychlordane. Findings for specific PCB congeners showed a significant inverse association between natural log–transformed lipid-adjusted PCB 44 and metastatic prostate cancer (OR = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.56, 0.97; p-trend = 0.02).
Our study highlights the importance of estimating associations with specific OC chemicals and suggests a possible role of OC insecticides and PCBs in the etiology of metastatic prostate cancer.
Koutros S, Langseth H, Grimsrud TK, Barr DB, Vermeulen R, Portengen L, Wacholder S, Beane Freeman LE, Blair A, Hayes RB, Rothman N, Engel LS. 2015. Prediagnostic serum organochlorine concentrations and metastatic prostate cancer: a nested case–control study in the Norwegian Janus Serum Bank cohort. Environ Health Perspect 123:867–872;
PMCID: PMC4559951  PMID: 25734605
11.  Time to Smoke First Morning Cigarette and Lung Cancer in a Case–Control Study 
Targeting smokers at higher lung cancer risk can improve efficiency and reduce false-positive detection in lung cancer screening. We evaluated whether time to first cigarette after waking (TTFC), a single-item measure of nicotine dependency, could improve stratification of lung cancer risk beyond standard smoking metrics (intensity, duration, and pack-years).
In 3249 ever-smokers (n = 1812 case subjects; n = 1437 control subjects) from a population-based case–control study in Italy, we examined the association between TTFC and lung cancer using logistic regression and estimated lung cancer incidence by levels of TTFC, and intensity, duration, and pack-years using absolute risk regression. Significance tests were two-sided.
Compared with smokers with TTFC greater than 60 minutes, the lung cancer odds ratios for TTFC of 31 to 60 minutes, 6 to 30 minutes, and 5 or fewer minutes (by increasing dependency) were 2.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.03 to 3.26), 2.27 (95% CI = 1.79 to 2.88), and 3.50 (95% CI = 2.64 to 4.64), respectively (P trend < .0001). The average lung cancer incidence rates for smokers of 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 30 and more than 30 cigarettes per day were consistently higher among smokers with TTFC of 60 or fewer minutes vs more than 60 minutes (64.1 vs 11.7; 125.6 vs 28.6; 130.1 vs 40.7; and 260.8 vs 108.9 per 100000 person-years, respectively). The slopes of increase in lung cancer rates with smoking duration and pack-years were statistically significantly greater among smokers with higher dependency (P interaction < .001).
Lung cancer risk increases with shorter TTFC; this simple nicotine dependency measure increases lung cancer risk stratification beyond standard smoking measures. Assessing TTFC may improve lung cancer risk prediction and could be useful in lung cancer screening and smoking cessation programs.
PMCID: PMC4072901  PMID: 24948709
12.  Time to First Morning Cigarette and Risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Smokers in the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125973.
Time to first cigarette (TTFC) after waking is an indicator of nicotine dependence. The association between TTFC and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death in the United States, has not yet been reported.
We investigated the cross-sectional association between TTFC and prevalent COPD among 6,108 current smokers in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. COPD was defined as a self-reported diagnosis of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or both. Current smokers in PLCO reported TTFC, the amount of time they typically waited before smoking their first cigarette of the day after waking, in four categories: ≤5, 6-30, 31-60, or >60 minutes. We used logistic regression models to investigate the association between TTFC and prevalent COPD with adjustments for age, gender, race, education, and smoking (cigarettes/day, years smoked during lifetime, pack-years, age at smoking initiation), and prior lung cancer diagnosis.
COPD was reported by 19% of these 6,108 smokers. Individuals with the shortest TTFC had the greatest risk of COPD; compared to those with the longest TTFC (>60 minutes) the adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for COPD were 1.48 (95% CI, 1.15-1.91), 1.64 (95% CI, 1.29-2.08), 2.18 (95% CI, 1.65-2.87) for those with TTFC 31-60 minutes, 6-30 minutes, and ≤5 minutes, respectively (P-trend <0.0001). The association between TTFC and emphysema was similar to that for bronchitis, albeit the ORs were slightly stronger for chronic bronchitis; comparing TTFC ≤5 minutes to >60 minutes, the adjusted OR (95% CI) was 2.29 (1.69-3.12) for emphysema and 2.99 (1.95-4.59) for chronic bronchitis.
Current smokers with shorter TTFC have increased risk of COPD compared to those with longer TTFC, even after comprehensive adjustment for established smoking covariates. Future epidemiologic studies, including prospective designs, should incorporate TTFC to better assess disease risk and evaluate the potential utility of TTFC as a COPD screening tool for smokers in the clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC4436174  PMID: 25985429
15.  Impact of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination on Cervical Cytology Screening, Colposcopy, and Treatment 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(5):752-760.
The impact of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on cervical screening, colposcopy, and treatment is incompletely understood. In 2004–2005, investigators in the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial randomized 7,466 women aged 18–25 years, 1:1, to receive HPV vaccination or hepatitis A vaccination. The worst-ever cytology diagnosis and the 4-year cumulative proportions of colposcopy referral and treatment by vaccination arm were compared for 2 cohorts. The total vaccinated cohort included 6,844 women who provided cervical samples. The naive cohort included 2,284 women with no evidence of previous HPV exposure. In the total vaccinated cohort, HPV-vaccinated women had a significant (P = 0.01) reduction in cytological abnormalities: 12.4% for high-grade lesions and 5.9% for minor lesions. Colposcopy referral was reduced by 7.9% (P = 0.03) and treatment by 11.3% (P = 0.24). Greater relative reductions in abnormal cytology (P < 0.001) were observed for HPV-vaccinated women in the naive cohort: 49.2% for high-grade lesions and 18.1% for minor lesions. Colposcopy referral and treatment were reduced by 21.3% (P = 0.01) and 45.6% (P = 0.08), respectively, in the naive cohort. The overall impact on health services will be modest in the first years after vaccine introduction among young adult women, even in regions with high coverage.
PMCID: PMC3755646  PMID: 23843026
cervical cancer; HPV; HPV vaccination; human papillomavirus; screening
16.  Cross-protective vaccine efficacy of the bivalent HPV vaccine against HPV31 is associated with humoral immune responses 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2013;9(7):1399-1406.
Background: We investigated the role of antibody responses as potential mechanism for the cross-protective vaccine-efficacies (VE) observed from randomized clinical trials of the HPV16/18 bivalent vaccine.
Results: HPV31 cases had lower HPV16 antibody levels than controls (OR4th quartile compared with 1st quartile = 0.63; 95%CI: 0.36–1.08; p-trend = 0.03). HPV31 cases were also less likely to have detectable HPV31 neutralization, and HPV16 avidity than controls. No statistically significant differences by HPV18 antibody or HPV45 neutralization were observed among HPV45 cases and controls. Protection against HPV58 was not associated with any of the markers, confirming the specificity of our findings.
Methods: Samples are from three-dose HPV vaccine recipients from the Costa Rica HPV16/18 vaccine trial. Women with a new HPV31, HPV45, or HPV58 infections over four years of follow-up were compared with randomly selected control women—with no new infection with HPV31/45/58—with respect to HPV16 and HPV18 antibody, HPV31, HPV45, and HPV58 neutralization, and HPV16 avidity.
Conclusions: High HPV16 levels and avidity, and the ability to neutralize HPV31 were associated with protection against newly detected HPV31 infections, suggesting that the partial VE demonstrated for HPV31 is likely to be mediated at least in part through antibodies induced by HPV16/18 vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3974884  PMID: 23571174
HPV vaccine; humoral; immune response; cross-protection; mechanisms for protection
17.  Reproductive and hormonal factors and the risk of lung cancer: the EAGLE Study 
Evidence about the role for reproductive and hormonal factors in the etiology of lung cancer in women is conflicting. To clarify this question, we examined 407 female cases and 499 female controls from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) population-based case-control study. Subjects were interviewed in person using a computer-assisted personal interview to assess demographics, education, smoking history, medical history, occupational history, reproductive and hormonal factors. Associations of interest were investigated using logistic regression models, adjusted for catchment area and age (matching variables), cigarette smoking (status, pack-years, and time since quitting). Additional confounding variables were investigated but did not substantially affect the results. We observed a reduced risk of lung cancer among women with later age at first live birth (≥31 years: OR=0.57, 95%CI=0.31–1.06, p-trend=0.05), later age at menopause (≥51 years: OR=0.49, 95%CI=0.31–0.79, p-trend=0.003), and longer reproductive periods (≥41 years: OR=0.44, 95%CI=0.25–0.79, p-trend=0.01). A reduced risk was also observed for Hormone Replacement Therapy (OR=0.63, 95%CI=0.42–0.95, p=0.03) and oral contraceptive use (OR=0.67, 95%CI=0.45–1.00, p=0.05), but no trend with duration of use was detected. Menopausal status (both natural and induced) was associated with an augmented risk. No additional associations were identified for other reproductive variables. This study suggests that women who continue to produce estrogens have a lower lung cancer risk. Large studies with great number of never smoking women, biomarkers of estrogen and molecular classification of lung cancer are needed for a more comprehensive view of the association between reproductive factors and lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3609937  PMID: 23129166
case-control study; lung cancer; reproductive factors
18.  An investigation of risk factors for renal cell carcinoma by histologic subtype in two case-control studies 
To investigate whether renal cell carcinoma (RCC) histologic subtypes possess different etiologies, we conducted analyses of established RCC risk factors by subtype (clear cell, papillary, chromophobe) in two case-control studies conducted in the United States (1,217 cases, 1,235 controls) and Europe (1,097 cases, 1,476 controls). Histology was ascertained for 706 U.S. cases (58% of total) and 917 European cases (84%) through a central slide review conducted by a single pathologist. For the remaining cases, histology was abstracted from the original diagnostic pathology report. Case-only analyses were performed to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) summarizing subtype differences by age, sex, and race. Case-control analyses were performed to compute subtype-specific ORs for other risk factors using polytomous regression. In case-only analyses, papillary cases (N=237) were older (OR=1.2, 95% CI=1.1–1.4 per 10-year increase), less likely to be female (OR=0.5, 95 % CI=0.4- 0.8) and more likely to be black (OR=2.6, 95% CI=1.8–3.9) compared to clear cell cases (N=1,524). In case-control analyses, BMI was associated with clear cell (OR=1.2, 95% CI=1.1–1.3 per 5kg/m2 increase) and chromophobe RCC (N=80; OR=1.2, 95% CI=1.1- 1.4), but not papillary RCC (OR=1.1, 95% CI=1.0–1.2; test vs. clear cell, P=0.006). No subtype differences were observed for associations with smoking, hypertension or family history of kidney cancer. Our findings support the existence of distinct age, sex and racial distributions for RCC subtypes, and suggest that the obesity-RCC association differs by histology.
PMCID: PMC3717609  PMID: 23150424
Renal cell carcinoma; histology; case-control studies; body mass index
19.  A general binomial regression model to estimate standardized risk differences from binary response data 
Statistics in medicine  2012;32(5):808-821.
Estimates of absolute risks and risk differences are necessary for evaluating the clinical and population impact of biomedical research findings. We have developed a linear-expit regression model (LEXPIT) to incorporate linear and nonlinear risk effects to estimate absolute risk from studies of a binary outcome. The LEXPIT is a generalization of both the binomial linear and logistic regression models. The coefficients of the LEXPIT linear terms estimate adjusted risk differences, while the exponentiated nonlinear terms estimate residual odds ratios. The LEXPIT could be particularly useful for epidemiological studies of risk association, where adjustment for multiple confounding variables is common. We present a constrained maximum likelihood estimation algorithm that ensures the feasibility of risk estimates of the LEXPIT model and describe procedures for defining the feasible region of the parameter space, judging convergence, and evaluating boundary cases. Simulations demonstrate that the methodology is computationally robust and yields feasible, consistent estimators. We applied the LEXPIT model to estimate the absolute five-year risk of cervical precancer or cancer associated with different Pap and human papillomavirus test results in 167,171 women undergoing screening at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The LEXPIT model found an increased risk due to abnormal Pap test in HPV-negative that was not detected with logistic regression. Our R package blm provides free and easy-to-use software for fitting the LEXPIT model.
PMCID: PMC3982929  PMID: 22865328
Absolute risk; Binomial regression; Constrained maximization; Logistic regression; Risk difference
20.  Are Women Who Smoke at Higher Risk for Lung Cancer Than Men Who Smoke? 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(7):601-612.
Worldwide lung cancer incidence is decreasing or leveling off among men, but rising among women. Sex differences in associations of tobacco carcinogens with lung cancer risk have been hypothesized, but the epidemiologic evidence is conflicting. We tested sex-smoking interaction in association with lung cancer risk within a population-based case-control study, the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study (Lombardy, Italy, 2002–2005). Detailed lifetime smoking histories were collected by personal interview in 2,100 cases with incident lung cancer and 2,120 controls. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for pack-years of cigarette smoking were estimated by logistic regression, adjusted for age, residence area, and time since quitting smoking. To assess sex-smoking interaction, we compared the slopes of odds ratios for logarithm of pack-years in a model for men and women combined. Overall, the slope for pack-years was steeper in men (odds ratio for female-smoking interaction = 0.39, 95% confidence interval: 0.24, 0.62; P < 0.0001); after restriction to ever smokers, the difference in slopes was much smaller (odds ratio for interaction = 0.63, 95% confidence interval: 0.29, 1.37; P = 0.24). Similar results were found by histological type. Results were unchanged when additional confounders were evaluated (e.g., tobacco type, inhalation depth, Fagerström-assessed nicotine dependence). These findings do not support a higher female susceptibility to tobacco-related lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3657535  PMID: 23425629
case-control studies; lung cancer; sex differences; smoking
21.  Precursors in cancer epidemiology: aligning definition and function 
A precursor of a disease is a definable pathologic state that progresses directly to disease without a known intermediate step, and whose presence substantially increases the likelihood of disease. Precancers, or precursors of cancer, can help provide detail about the dynamic pathogenesis process before clinical disease. Thereby, ascertainment of properly defined precancers can increase precision of estimates and power in epidemiologic and clinical studies. Besides providing targets for direct treatment and improving tools for risk assessment in screening programs, precancers can help establish temporal ordering of cause and effect; can identify relatively homogeneous subsets of cancer that have passed through a given precancer state; and provide a basis for choosing high-risk individuals for detailed longitudinal study. Although the most appropriate definition of the precancer will vary with its function in particular research or clinical applications, the proportion of cancers that progress from the precancer and risk of cancer progressing from the precancer can be important measures of the value of a precancer in translational efforts.
PMCID: PMC3738010  PMID: 23549395
22.  High load for most high risk human papillomavirus genotypes is associated with prevalent cervical cancer precursors but only HPV16 load predicts the development of incident disease 
Cervicovaginal human papillomavirus (HPV) viral load has been purported as a potential marker for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or cancer (≥CIN2). To examine disease association with type-specific viral load for the full-range of anogenital HPV infections, we conducted cross-sectional and prospective analyses of ∼2,000 HPV-infected women from a 10,000-woman population-based study in Guanacaste, Costa Rica with 7 years of follow-up. Cervical specimens were tested for >40 HPV types using a MY09/MY11 L1 consensus primer PCR method with type-specific dot blot hybridization and PCR signal intensity as a measure of viral load. A positive association was observed between prevalent ≥CIN2 and high viral load compared to low viral load for women with baseline single HPV16 infections (OR = 19.2, 95% CI = 4.4–83.2) and single non-16 carcinogenic infections (OR = 9.2, 95% CI = 2.1–39.9). Inclusion of women with multiple HPV types did not substantially change these associations. In prospective follow-up, only women infected with HPV16 alone (OR = 27.2, 95% = 3.5-213.5) had a strong association between high viral load and incident ≥CIN2; non-16 carcinogenic high viral load was not associated with incident ≥CIN2 (OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.2–1.9). Single noncarcinogenic type viral load was not associated with increased risk of prevalent or incident ≥CIN2 (OR = 1.2 and 1.1, respectively). In conclusion, carcinogenic high viral load was associated with prevalent ≥CIN2; however HPV16 was uniquely associated with incident ≥CIN2. The extent to which these observations can be translated into clinical practice must be rigorously examined in the context of the method of viral load measurement and the type-specific differences observed for incident ≥CIN2.
PMCID: PMC3962984  PMID: 17722112
human papillomavirus; viral load; genotype; screening
23.  Elevated methylation of HPV16 DNA is associated with the development of high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
We explored the association of HPV16 DNA methylation with age, viral load, viral persistence, and risk of incident and prevalent high grade CIN (CIN2+) in serially collected specimens from the Guanacaste, Costa Rica cohort. 273 exfoliated cervical cell specimens (diagnostic and pre-diagnostic) were selected: 1) 92 with HPV16 DNA clearance (controls), 2) 72 with HPV16 DNA persistence (without CIN2+), and 3) 109 with CIN2+. DNA was extracted, bisulfite converted and methylation was quantified using pyrosequencing assays at 66 CpGs across the HPV genome. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to determine significant differences among groups, and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to evaluate how well methylation identified women with CIN2+. In diagnostic specimens, 88% of CpG sites had significantly higher methylation levels in CIN2+ after correction for multiple tests compared with controls. The highest AUC was 0.82 for CpG site 6457 in L1, and a diagnostic sensitivity of 91% corresponded to a specificity of 60% for CIN2+. Prospectively, 17% of CpG sites had significantly higher methylation in pre-diagnostic CIN2+ specimens (median time of 3 years before diagnosis) vs. controls. The strongest pre-diagnostic CpG site was 6367 in L1 with an AUC of 0.76. Age-stratified analyses suggested that women older than the median age of 28 years have an increased risk of precancer associated with high methylation. Higher methylation in CIN2+ cases was not explained by higher viral load. We conclude that elevated levels of HPV16 DNA methylation may be useful to predict concurrently diagnosed as well as future CIN2+.
PMCID: PMC3493709  PMID: 22847263
HPV16; methylation; epidemiology; receiver operating curve; biomarker
24.  Glutathione S-transferase L1 multiplex serology as a measure of cumulative infection with human papillomavirus 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:120.
Several assays are used to measure type-specific serological responses to human papillomavirus (HPV), including the bead-based glutathione S-transferase (GST)-L1 multiplex serology assay and virus-like particle (VLP)-based ELISA. We evaluated the high-throughput GST-L1, which is increasingly used in epidemiologic research, as a measure of cumulative HPV infection and future immune protection among HPV-unvaccinated women.
We tested enrollment sera from participants in the control arm of the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial (n = 488) for HPV16 and HPV18 using GST-L1, VLP-ELISA, and two assays that measure neutralizing antibodies (cLIA and SEAP-NA). With statistical adjustment for sampling, we compared GST-L1 serostatus to established HPV seropositivity correlates and incident cervical HPV infection using odds ratios. We further compared GST-L1 to VLP-ELISA using pair-wise agreement statistics and by defining alternate assay cutoffs.
Odds of HPV16 GST-L1 seropositivity increased with enrollment age (OR = 1.20 per year, 95%CI 1.03-1.40) and lifetime number of sexual partners (OR = 2.06 per partner, 95%CI 1.49-2.83), with similar results for HPV18. GST-L1 seropositivity did not indicate protection from incident infection over 4 years of follow-up (HPV16 adjusted OR = 1.72, 95%CI 0.95-3.13; HPV18 adjusted OR = 0.38, 95%CI 0.12-1.23). Seroprevalence by GST-L1 (HPV16 and HPV18, respectively) was 5.0% and 5.2%, compared to 19.4% and 23.8% by VLP-ELISA, giving positive agreement of 39.2% and 20.8%. Lowering GST-L1 seropositivity cutoffs improved GST-L1/VLP-ELISA positive agreement to 68.6% (HPV16) and 61.5% (HPV18).
Our data support GST-L1 as a marker of cumulative HPV infection, but not immune protection. At lower seropositivity cutoffs, GST-L1 better approximates VLP-ELISA.
PMCID: PMC3973893  PMID: 24588945
25.  Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Two Susceptibility Loci for Osteosarcoma 
Nature genetics  2013;45(7):799-803.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone malignancy of adolescents and young adults. In order to better understand the genetic etiology of osteosarcoma, we performed a multi-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) consisting of 941 cases and 3,291 cancer-free adult controls of European ancestry. Two loci achieved genome-wide significance: rs1906953 at 6p21.3, in the glutamate receptor metabotropic 4 [GRM4] gene (P = 8.1 ×10-9), and rs7591996 and rs10208273 in a gene desert on 2p25.2 (P = 1.0 ×10-8 and 2.9 ×10-7). These two susceptibility loci warrant further exploration to uncover the biological mechanisms underlying susceptibility to osteosarcoma.
PMCID: PMC3910497  PMID: 23727862

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