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1.  Evaluation of Human Papillomavirus Antibodies and Risk of Subsequent Head and Neck Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(21):2708-2715.
Purpose
Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) infection is causing an increasing number of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States and Europe. The aim of our study was to investigate whether HPV antibodies are associated with head and neck cancer risk when measured in prediagnostic sera.
Methods
We identified 638 participants with incident head and neck cancers (patients; 180 oral cancers, 135 oropharynx cancers, and 247 hypopharynx/larynx cancers) and 300 patients with esophageal cancers as well as 1,599 comparable controls from within the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Prediagnostic plasma samples from patients (collected, on average, 6 years before diagnosis) and control participants were analyzed for antibodies against multiple proteins of HPV16 as well as HPV6, HPV11, HPV18, HPV31, HPV33, HPV45, and HPV52. Odds ratios (ORs) of cancer and 95% CIs were calculated, adjusting for potential confounders. All-cause mortality was evaluated among patients using Cox proportional hazards regression.
Results
HPV16 E6 seropositivity was present in prediagnostic samples for 34.8% of patients with oropharyngeal cancer and 0.6% of controls (OR, 274; 95% CI, 110 to 681) but was not associated with other cancer sites. The increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer among HPV16 E6 seropositive participants was independent of time between blood collection and diagnosis and was observed more than 10 years before diagnosis. The all-cause mortality ratio among patients with oropharyngeal cancer was 0.30 (95% CI, 0.13 to 0.67), for patients who were HPV16 E6 seropositive compared with seronegative.
Conclusion
HPV16 E6 seropositivity was present more than 10 years before diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancers.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2012.47.2738
PMCID: PMC3709056  PMID: 23775966
2.  Association between Class III Obesity (BMI of 40–59 kg/m2) and Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 20 Prospective Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(7):e1001673.
In a pooled analysis of 20 prospective studies, Cari Kitahara and colleagues find that class III obesity (BMI of 40–59) is associated with excess rates of total mortality, particularly due to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The prevalence of class III obesity (body mass index [BMI]≥40 kg/m2) has increased dramatically in several countries and currently affects 6% of adults in the US, with uncertain impact on the risks of illness and death. Using data from a large pooled study, we evaluated the risk of death, overall and due to a wide range of causes, and years of life expectancy lost associated with class III obesity.
Methods and Findings
In a pooled analysis of 20 prospective studies from the United States, Sweden, and Australia, we estimated sex- and age-adjusted total and cause-specific mortality rates (deaths per 100,000 persons per year) and multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for adults, aged 19–83 y at baseline, classified as obese class III (BMI 40.0–59.9 kg/m2) compared with those classified as normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.9 kg/m2). Participants reporting ever smoking cigarettes or a history of chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, stroke, or emphysema) on baseline questionnaires were excluded. Among 9,564 class III obesity participants, mortality rates were 856.0 in men and 663.0 in women during the study period (1976–2009). Among 304,011 normal-weight participants, rates were 346.7 and 280.5 in men and women, respectively. Deaths from heart disease contributed largely to the excess rates in the class III obesity group (rate differences = 238.9 and 132.8 in men and women, respectively), followed by deaths from cancer (rate differences = 36.7 and 62.3 in men and women, respectively) and diabetes (rate differences = 51.2 and 29.2 in men and women, respectively). Within the class III obesity range, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for total deaths and deaths due to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, nephritis/nephrotic syndrome/nephrosis, chronic lower respiratory disease, and influenza/pneumonia increased with increasing BMI. Compared with normal-weight BMI, a BMI of 40–44.9, 45–49.9, 50–54.9, and 55–59.9 kg/m2 was associated with an estimated 6.5 (95% CI: 5.7–7.3), 8.9 (95% CI: 7.4–10.4), 9.8 (95% CI: 7.4–12.2), and 13.7 (95% CI: 10.5–16.9) y of life lost. A limitation was that BMI was mainly ascertained by self-report.
Conclusions
Class III obesity is associated with substantially elevated rates of total mortality, with most of the excess deaths due to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and major reductions in life expectancy compared with normal weight.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The number of obese people (individuals with an excessive amount of body fat) is increasing rapidly in many countries. Worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, more than a third of all adults are now overweight or obese. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI, an indicator of body fat calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared) of more than 30 kg/m2 (a 183-cm [6-ft] tall man who weighs more than 100 kg [221 lbs] is obese). Compared to people with a healthy weight (a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2), overweight and obese individuals (who have a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 kg/m2 and a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more, respectively) have an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and tend to die younger. Because people become unhealthily fat by consuming food and drink that contains more energy (kilocalories) than they need for their daily activities, obesity can be prevented or treated by eating less food and by increasing physical activity.
Why Was This Study Done?
Class III obesity (extreme, or morbid, obesity), which is defined as a BMI of more than 40 kg/m2, is emerging as a major public health problem in several high-income countries. In the US, for example, 6% of adults are now morbidly obese. Because extreme obesity used to be relatively uncommon, little is known about the burden of disease, including total and cause-specific mortality (death) rates, among individuals with class III obesity. Before we can prevent and treat class III obesity effectively, we need a better understanding of the health risks associated with this condition. In this pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies, the researchers evaluate the risk of total and cause-specific death and the years of life lost associated with class III obesity. A pooled analysis analyzes the data from several studies as if the data came from one large study; prospective cohort studies record the characteristics of a group of participants at baseline and follow them to see which individuals develop a specific condition.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers included 20 prospective (mainly US) cohort studies from the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium (a partnership that studies cancer by undertaking large-scale collaborations) in their pooled analysis. After excluding individuals who had ever smoked and people with a history of chronic disease, the analysis included 9,564 adults who were classified as class III obese based on self-reported height and weight at baseline and 304,011 normal-weight adults. Among the participants with class III obesity, mortality rates (deaths per 100,000 persons per year) during the 30-year study period were 856.0 and 663.0 in men and women, respectively, whereas the mortality rates among normal-weight men and women were 346.7 and 280.5, respectively. Heart disease was the major contributor to the excess death rate among individuals with class III obesity, followed by cancer and diabetes. Statistical analyses of the pooled data indicate that the risk of all-cause death and death due to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and several other diseases increased with increasing BMI. Finally, compared with having a normal weight, having a BMI between 40 and 59 kg/m2 resulted in an estimated loss of 6.5 to 13.7 years of life.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that class III obesity is associated with a substantially increased rate of death. Notably, this death rate increase is similar to the increase associated with smoking among normal-weight people. The findings also suggest that heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are responsible for most of the excess deaths among people with class III obesity and that having class III obesity results in major reductions in life expectancy. Importantly, the number of years of life lost continues to increase for BMI values above 50 kg/m2, and beyond this point, the loss of life expectancy exceeds that associated with smoking among normal-weight people. The accuracy of these findings is limited by the use of self-reported height and weight measurements to calculate BMI and by the use of BMI as the sole measure of obesity. Moreover, these findings may not be generalizable to all populations. Nevertheless, these findings highlight the need to develop more effective interventions to combat the growing public health problem of class III obesity.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001673.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of overweight and obesity (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information on obesity (in several languages); Malri's story describes the health risks faced by an obese child
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about obesity, including a personal story about losing weight
The Global Burden of Disease Study website provides the latest details about global obesity trends
The US Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate.gov website provides a personal healthy eating plan; the Weight-Control Information Network is an information service provided for the general public and health professionals by the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on obesity (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001673
PMCID: PMC4087039  PMID: 25003901
3.  Lifetime alcohol use and overall and cause-specific mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC) study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(7):e005245.
Objectives
To investigate the role of factors that modulate the association between alcohol and mortality, and to provide estimates of absolute risk of death.
Design
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC).
Setting
23 centres in 10 countries.
Participants
380 395 men and women, free of cancer, diabetes, heart attack or stroke at enrolment, followed up for 12.6 years on average.
Main outcome measures
20 453 fatal events, of which 2053 alcohol-related cancers (ARC, including cancers of upper aerodigestive tract, liver, colorectal and female breast), 4187 cardiovascular diseases/coronary heart disease (CVD/CHD), 856 violent deaths and injuries. Lifetime alcohol use was assessed at recruitment.
Results
HRs comparing extreme drinkers (≥30 g/day in women and ≥60 g/day in men) to moderate drinkers (0.1–4.9 g/day) were 1.27 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.43) in women and 1.53 (1.39 to 1.68) in men. Strong associations were observed for ARC mortality, in men particularly, and for violent deaths and injuries, in men only. No associations were observed for CVD/CHD mortality among drinkers, whereby HRs were higher in never compared to moderate drinkers. Overall mortality seemed to be more strongly related to beer than wine use, particularly in men. The 10-year risks of overall death for women aged 60 years, drinking more than 30 g/day was 5% and 7%, for never and current smokers, respectively. Corresponding figures in men consuming more than 60 g/day were 11% and 18%, in never and current smokers, respectively. In competing risks analyses, mortality due to CVD/CHD was more pronounced than ARC in men, while CVD/CHD and ARC mortality were of similar magnitude in women.
Conclusions
In this large European cohort, alcohol use was positively associated with overall mortality, ARC and violent death and injuries, but marginally to CVD/CHD. Absolute risks of death observed in EPIC suggest that alcohol is an important determinant of total mortality.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005245
PMCID: PMC4091394  PMID: 24993766
Nutrition & Dietetics; Cardiology
4.  Tetrachloroethylene Exposure and Bladder Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Dry-Cleaning-Worker Studies 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2014;122(7):661-666.
Background: In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tetrachloroethylene, used in the production of chemicals and the primary solvent used in dry cleaning, as “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on limited evidence of an increased risk of bladder cancer in dry cleaners.
Objectives: We assessed the epidemiological evidence for the association between tetrachloroethylene exposure and bladder cancer from published studies estimating occupational exposure to tetrachloroethylene or in workers in the dry-cleaning industry.
Methods: Random-effects meta-analyses were carried out separately for occupational exposure to tetrachloroethylene and employment as a dry cleaner. We qualitatively summarized exposure–response data because of the limited number of studies available.
Results: The meta-relative risk (mRR) among tetrachloroethylene-exposed workers was 1.08 (95% CI: 0.82, 1.42; three studies; 463 exposed cases). For employment as a dry cleaner, the overall mRR was 1.47 (95% CI: 1.16, 1.85; seven studies; 139 exposed cases), and for smoking-adjusted studies, the mRR was 1.50 (95% CI: 0.80, 2.84; 4 case–control studies).
Conclusions: Our meta-analysis demonstrates an increased risk of bladder cancer in dry cleaners, reported in both cohort and case–control studies, and some evidence for an exposure–response relationship. Although dry cleaners incur mixed exposures, tetrachloroethylene could be responsible for the excess risk of bladder cancer because it is the primary solvent used and it is the only chemical commonly used by dry cleaners that is currently identified as a potential bladder carcinogen. Relatively crude approaches in exposure assessment in the studies of “tetrachloroethylene-exposed workers” may have attenuated the relative risks.
Citation: Vlaanderen J, Straif K, Ruder A, Blair A, Hansen J, Lynge E, Charbotel B, Loomis D, Kauppinen T, Kyyronen P, Pukkala E, Weiderpass E, Guha N. 2014. Tetrachloroethylene exposure and bladder cancer risk: a meta-analysis of dry-cleaning-worker studies. Environ Health Perspect 122:661–666; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307055
doi:10.1289/ehp.1307055
PMCID: PMC4080536  PMID: 24659585
5.  Attributable fraction of alcohol consumption on cancer using population-based nationwide cancer incidence and mortality data in the Republic of Korea 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:420.
Background
In the Republic of Korea, cancer is the most common cause of death, and cancer incidence and mortality rates are the highest in East Asia. As alcoholic beverages are carcinogenic to humans, we estimated the burden of cancer related to alcohol consumption in the Korean population.
Methods
The cancer sites studied were those for which there is convincing evidence of a positive association with alcohol consumption: oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, larynx and female breast. Sex- and cancer-specific population attributable fractions (PAF) were calculated based on: 1) the prevalence of alcohol drinkers among adults ≥20 years of age in 1989; 2) the average daily alcohol consumption (g/day) among drinkers in 1998; 3) relative risk (RR) estimates for the association between alcohol consumption and site-specific cancer incidence obtained either from a large Korean cohort study or, when more than one Korean study was available for a specific cancer site, meta-analyses were performed and the resulting meta-RRs were used; 4) national cancer incidence and mortality data from 2009.
Results
Among men, 3% (2,866 cases) of incident cancer cases and 2.8% (1,234 deaths) of cancer deaths were attributable to alcohol consumption. Among women, 0.5% (464 cancer cases) of incident cancers and 0.1% (32 deaths) of cancer deaths were attributable to alcohol consumption. In particular, the PAF for alcohol consumption in relation to oral cavity cancer incidence among Korean men was 29.3%, and the PAFs for pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer incidence were 43.3% and 25.8%, respectively. Among Korean women, the PAF for colorectal cancer incidence was the highest (4.2%) and that for breast cancer incidence was only 0.2%. Avoiding alcohol consumption, or reducing it from the median of the highest 4th quartile of consumption (56.0 g/day for men, 28.0 g/day for women) to the median of the lowest quartile (2.80 g/day for men, 0.80 g/day for women), would reduce the burden of alcohol-related cancers in Korea.
Conclusions
A reduction in alcohol consumption would decrease the cancer burden and a significant impact is anticipated specifically for the cancers oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx among men in the Republic of Korea.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-420
PMCID: PMC4065076  PMID: 24917392
Risk factor; Population attributable fraction; Lifestyle; Asia
6.  Nutrient Patterns and Their Food Sources in an International Study Setting: Report from the EPIC Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98647.
Background
Compared to food patterns, nutrient patterns have been rarely used particularly at international level. We studied, in the context of a multi-center study with heterogeneous data, the methodological challenges regarding pattern analyses.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We identified nutrient patterns from food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study and used 24-hour dietary recall (24-HDR) data to validate and describe the nutrient patterns and their related food sources. Associations between lifestyle factors and the nutrient patterns were also examined. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied on 23 nutrients derived from country-specific FFQ combining data from all EPIC centers (N = 477,312). Harmonized 24-HDRs available for a representative sample of the EPIC populations (N = 34,436) provided accurate mean group estimates of nutrients and foods by quintiles of pattern scores, presented graphically. An overall PCA combining all data captured a good proportion of the variance explained in each EPIC center. Four nutrient patterns were identified explaining 67% of the total variance: Principle component (PC) 1 was characterized by a high contribution of nutrients from plant food sources and a low contribution of nutrients from animal food sources; PC2 by a high contribution of micro-nutrients and proteins; PC3 was characterized by polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D; PC4 was characterized by calcium, proteins, riboflavin, and phosphorus. The nutrients with high loadings on a particular pattern as derived from country-specific FFQ also showed high deviations in their mean EPIC intakes by quintiles of pattern scores when estimated from 24-HDR. Center and energy intake explained most of the variability in pattern scores.
Conclusion/Significance
The use of 24-HDR enabled internal validation and facilitated the interpretation of the nutrient patterns derived from FFQs in term of food sources. These outcomes open research opportunities and perspectives of using nutrient patterns in future studies particularly at international level.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098647
PMCID: PMC4047062  PMID: 24901309
7.  Hemochromatosis (HFE) gene mutations and risk of gastric cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(6):1244-1250.
Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a strong risk factor for hepatocellular cancer, and mutations in the HFE gene associated with HH and iron overload may be related to other tumors, but no studies have been reported for gastric cancer (GC). A nested case–control study was conducted within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), including 365 incident gastric adenocarcinoma and 1284 controls matched by center, sex, age and date of blood collection. Genotype analysis was performed for two functional polymorphisms (C282Y/rs1800562 and H63D/rs1799945) and seven tagSNPs of the HFE genomic region. Association with all gastric adenocarcinoma, and according to anatomical localization and histological subtype, was assessed by means of the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) estimated by unconditional logistic regression adjusted for the matching variables. We observed a significant association for H63D with OR (per rare allele) of 1.32 (CI = 1.03–1.69). In subgroup analyses, the association was stronger for non-cardia anatomical subsite (OR = 1.60, CI = 1.16–2.21) and intestinal histological subtype (OR = 1.82, CI = 1.27–2.62). Among intestinal cases, two tagSNPs (rs1572982 and rs6918586) also showed a significant association that disappeared after adjustment for H63D. No association with tumors located in the cardia or with diffuse subtype was found for any of the nine SNPs analyzed. Our results suggest that H63D variant in HFE gene seems to be associated with GC risk of the non-cardia region and intestinal type, possibly due to its association with iron overload although a role for other mechanisms cannot be entirely ruled out.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgt045
PMCID: PMC3670256  PMID: 23389292
8.  Smoking increases rectal cancer risk to the same extent in women as in men: results from a Norwegian cohort study 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:321.
Background
Smoking has recently been established as a risk factor for rectal cancer. We examined whether the smoking-related increase in rectal cancer differed by gender.
Methods
We followed 602,242 participants (49% men), aged 19 to 67 years at enrollment from four Norwegian health surveys carried out between 1972 and 2003, by linkage to Norwegian national registries through December 2007. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by fitting Cox proportional hazard models and adjusting for relevant confounders. Heterogeneity by gender in the effect of smoking and risk of rectal cancer was tested with Wald χ2.
Results
During a mean follow-up of 14 years, 1,336 men and 840 women developed invasive rectal cancer. Ever smokers had a significantly increased risk of rectal cancer of more than 25% for both men (HR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.11-1.45) and women (HR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.11-1.48) compared with gender-specific never smokers. Men smoking ≥20 pack-years had a significantly increased risk of rectal cancer of 35% (HR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.14-1.58), whereas for women, it was 47% (HR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.13-1.91) compared with gender-specific never smokers. For both men and women, we observed significant dose–response associations between the risk of rectal cancer for four variables [Age at smoking initiation in years (both ptrend <0.05), number of cigarettes smoked per day (both ptrend <0.0001), smoking duration in years (ptrend <0.05, <0.0001) and number of pack-years smoked (both ptrend <0.0001)]. The test for heterogeneity by gender was not significant between smoking status and the risk of rectal cancer (Wald χ2, p -value; current smokers = 0.85; former smokers = 0.87; ever smokers = 1.00).
Conclusions
Smoking increases the risk of rectal cancer to the same extent in women as in men.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-321
PMCID: PMC4024272  PMID: 24884601
CONOR; Cigarette smoking; Rectal cancer; Cohort; Norway
9.  Cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer mortality among 602,242 Norwegian males and females 
Clinical Epidemiology  2014;6:137-145.
Background
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the main cancer types, with high incidence and mortality in Norway. We examined the association between different measures of smoking exposure and CRC mortality overall and by subsite in a large Norwegian cohort.
Methods
We followed 602,242 participants from four Norwegian health surveys, aged 19–67 years at enrollment between 1972 and 2003 by linkage to the national registries through December 2007. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by smoking categories for different CRC endpoints.
Results
During a mean follow-up of 14 years, 2,333 Norwegian males and females died of CRC (60% men). Male and female ever smokers had a 20% (HR 1.23, CI 1.08–1.40 and HR 1.22, 95% CI 1.06–1.40, respectively) increased risk of death from CRC compared with sex-specific never smokers. For proximal colon cancer mortality, female ever smokers had a 50% (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.20–1.87) increased risk compared with female never smokers. The increased risk of rectal cancer mortality was about 40% higher for male ever smokers (HR 1.43, 95% CI 1.14–1.81) compared with male never smokers. A test for heterogeneity by sex showed an increased risk of rectal cancer mortality among men which was significant for former smokers (Wald χ2=0.02) and an increased risk of proximal colon cancer mortality among women which was significant for ever and former smokers (Wald χ2=0.02 and χ2=0.04, respectively).
Conclusion
Smoking is associated with increased CRC mortality in both sexes. The risk of rectal and proximal colon cancer mortality was most pronounced among male and female smokers respectively.
doi:10.2147/CLEP.S58722
PMCID: PMC3984060  PMID: 24741327
colorectal cancer; mortality; cigarette smoking; sex; cohort study; Norway
10.  Genome-wide association studies identify four ER negative–specific breast cancer risk loci 
Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | Couch, Fergus J | Lindstrom, Sara | Michailidou, Kyriaki | Schmidt, Marjanka K | Brook, Mark N | orr, Nick | Rhie, Suhn Kyong | Riboli, Elio | Feigelson, Heather s | Le Marchand, Loic | Buring, Julie E | Eccles, Diana | Miron, Penelope | Fasching, Peter A | Brauch, Hiltrud | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Carpenter, Jane | Godwin, Andrew K | Nevanlinna, Heli | Giles, Graham G | Cox, Angela | Hopper, John L | Bolla, Manjeet K | Wang, Qin | Dennis, Joe | Dicks, Ed | Howat, Will J | Schoof, Nils | Bojesen, Stig E | Lambrechts, Diether | Broeks, Annegien | Andrulis, Irene L | Guénel, Pascal | Burwinkel, Barbara | Sawyer, Elinor J | Hollestelle, Antoinette | Fletcher, Olivia | Winqvist, Robert | Brenner, Hermann | Mannermaa, Arto | Hamann, Ute | Meindl, Alfons | Lindblom, Annika | Zheng, Wei | Devillee, Peter | Goldberg, Mark S | Lubinski, Jan | Kristensen, Vessela | Swerdlow, Anthony | Anton-Culver, Hoda | Dörk, Thilo | Muir, Kenneth | Matsuo, Keitaro | Wu, Anna 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Tuomas | Ito, Hidemi | Iwata, Hiroji | Yatabe, Yasushi | Antonenkova, Natalia N | Margolin, Sara | Kataja, Vesa | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Hartikainen, Jaana M | Balleine, Rosemary | Tseng, Chiu-Chen | Van Den Berg, David | Stram, Daniel O | Neven, Patrick | Dieudonné, Anne-Sophie | Leunen, Karin | Rudolph, Anja | Nickels, Stefan | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Peterlongo, Paolo | Peissel, Bernard | Bernard, Loris | Olson, Janet E | Wang, Xianshu | Stevens, Kristen | Severi, Gianluca | Baglietto, Laura | Mclean, Catriona | Coetzee, Gerhard A | Feng, Ye | Henderson, Brian E | Schumacher, Fredrick | Bogdanova, Natalia V | Labrèche, France | Dumont, Martine | Yip, Cheng Har | Taib, Nur Aishah Mohd | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Shrubsole, Martha | Long, Jirong | Pylkäs, Katri | Jukkola-Vuorinen, Arja | Kauppila, Saila | knight, Julia A | Glendon, Gord | Mulligan, Anna Marie | Tollenaar, Robertus A E M | Seynaeve, Caroline M | Kriege, Mieke | Hooning, Maartje J | Van den Ouweland, Ans M W | Van Deurzen, Carolien H M | Lu, Wei | Gao, Yu-Tang | Cai, Hui | Balasubramanian, Sabapathy P | Cross, Simon S | Reed, Malcolm W R | Signorello, Lisa | Cai, Qiuyin | Shah, Mitul | Miao, Hui | Chan, Ching Wan | Chia, Kee Seng | Jakubowska, Anna | Jaworska, Katarzyna | Durda, Katarzyna | Hsiung, Chia-Ni | Wu, Pei-Ei | Yu, Jyh-Cherng | Ashworth, Alan | Jones, Michael | Tessier, Daniel C | González-Neira, Anna | Pita, Guillermo | Alonso, M Rosario | Vincent, Daniel | Bacot, Francois | Ambrosone, Christine B | Bandera, Elisa V | John, Esther M | Chen, Gary K | Hu, Jennifer J | Rodriguez-gil, Jorge L | Bernstein, Leslie | Press, Michael F | Ziegler, Regina G | Millikan, Robert M | Deming-Halverson, Sandra L | Nyante, Sarah | Ingles, Sue A | Waisfisz, Quinten | Tsimiklis, Helen | Makalic, Enes | Schmidt, Daniel | Bui, Minh | Gibson, Lorna | Müller-Myhsok, Bertram | Schmutzler, Rita K | Hein, Rebecca | Dahmen, Norbert | Beckmann, Lars | Aaltonen, Kirsimari | Czene, Kamila | Irwanto, Astrid | Liu, Jianjun | Turnbull, Clare | Rahman, Nazneen | Meijers-Heijboer, Hanne | Uitterlinden, Andre G | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Olswold, Curtis | Slager, Susan | Pilarski, Robert | Ademuyiwa, Foluso | Konstantopoulou, Irene | Martin, Nicholas G | Montgomery, Grant W | Slamon, Dennis J | Rauh, Claudia | Lux, Michael P | Jud, Sebastian M | Bruning, Thomas | Weaver, Joellen | Sharma, Priyanka | Pathak, Harsh | Tapper, Will | Gerty, Sue | Durcan, Lorraine | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Tumino, Rosario | Peeters, Petra H | Kaaks, Rudolf | Campa, Daniele | Canzian, Federico | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Johansson, Mattias | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Travis, Ruth | Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise | Kolonel, Laurence N | Chen, Constance | Beck, Andy | Hankinson, Susan E | Berg, Christine D | Hoover, Robert N | Lissowska, Jolanta | Figueroa, Jonine D | Chasman, Daniel I | Gaudet, Mia M | Diver, W Ryan | Willett, Walter C | Hunter, David J | Simard, Jacques | Benitez, Javier | Dunning, Alison M | Sherman, Mark E | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Chanock, Stephen J | Hall, Per | Pharoah, Paul D P | Vachon, Celine | Easton, Douglas F | Haiman, Christopher A | Kraft, Peter
Nature genetics  2013;45(4):392-398e2.
Estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors represent 20–30% of all breast cancers, with a higher proportion occurring in younger women and women of African ancestry1. The etiology2 and clinical behavior3 of ER-negative tumors are different from those of tumors expressing ER (ER positive), including differences in genetic predisposition4. To identify susceptibility loci specific to ER-negative disease, we combined in a meta-analysis 3 genome-wide association studies of 4,193 ER-negative breast cancer cases and 35,194 controls with a series of 40 follow-up studies (6,514 cases and 41,455 controls), genotyped using a custom Illumina array, iCOGS, developed by the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). SNPs at four loci, 1q32.1 (MDM4, P = 2.1 × 10−12 and LGR6, P = 1.4 × 10−8), 2p24.1 (P = 4.6 × 10−8) and 16q12.2 (FTO, P = 4.0 × 10−8), were associated with ER-negative but not ER-positive breast cancer (P > 0.05). These findings provide further evidence for distinct etiological pathways associated with invasive ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers.
doi:10.1038/ng.2561
PMCID: PMC3771695  PMID: 23535733
11.  High coffee consumption and different brewing methods in relation to postmenopausal endometrial cancer risk in the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study: a population-based prospective study 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:48.
Background
Coffee and its compounds have been proposed to inhibit endometrial carcinogenesis. Studies in the Norwegian population can be especially interesting due to the high coffee consumption and increasing incidence of endometrial cancer in the country.
Methods
A total of 97 926 postmenopausal Norwegian women from the population-based prospective Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) Study, were included in the present analysis. We evaluated the general association between total coffee consumption and endometrial cancer risk as well as the possible impact of brewing method. Multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to estimate risks, and heterogeneity tests were performed to compare brewing methods.
Results
During an average of 10.9 years of follow-up, 462 incident endometrial cancer cases were identified. After multivariate adjustment, significant risk reduction was found among participants who drank ≥8 cups/day of coffee with a hazard ratio of 0.52 (95% confidence interval, CI 0.34-0.79). However, we did not observe a significant dose-response relationship. No significant heterogeneity in risk was found when comparing filtered and boiled coffee brewing methods. A reduction in endometrial cancer risk was observed in subgroup analyses among participants who drank ≥8 cups/day and had a body mass index ≥25 kg/m2, and in current smokers.
Conclusions
These data suggest that in this population with high coffee consumption, endometrial cancer risk decreases in women consuming ≥8 cups/day, independent of brewing method.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-48
PMCID: PMC3986939  PMID: 24666820
Coffee; Brewing method; Endometrial cancer risk; Norway; High coffee consumption; Prospective cohort study
12.  Physical activity and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer - the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study 
Background
The relationship between physical activity (PA) throughout life and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer overall and by estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status, has been reported, but without consistent results. The present study aimed to investigate PA from young age to adulthood in participants of the Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) Study, in order to determine whether changes in PA level affect the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
Methods
1767 invasive breast cancer cases were identified among 80,202 postmenopausal participants of the NOWAC Study during 8.2 years of median follow-up. PA levels at age 14 years, 30 years and at cohort enrollment were obtained via a self-administered questionnaire. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate relative risks and 95% confidence intervals of the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer overall and by ER/PR status.
Results
Risk of postmenopausal breast cancer overall and by ER/PR status was not associated with physical activity level at enrollment. Women with a low PA level at age 30 had an increased risk of ER+/PR + breast tumors (P for trend = 0.04) compared to women with a moderate physical activity level at age 30. Women with a low physical activity level at all three periods of life had a 20% significantly reduced risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, as well as a reduced risk of ER+/PR + and ER+/PR- breast tumors, compared with women who maintained a moderate physical activity level. However, when analyses were corrected for multiple tests, the result was no longer statistically significant. The findings were consistent over strata of age, body mass index and use of hormone replacement therapy.
Conclusions
The study results from this large Norwegian cohort do not support an association between physical activity at different periods of life and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1477-5751-13-3
PMCID: PMC3996028  PMID: 24580799
Physical activity; Breast cancer; Hormone receptor status; Norway; Women
13.  Triage of HR-HPV Positive Women with Minor Cytological Abnormalities: A Comparison of mRNA Testing, HPV DNA Testing, and Repeat Cytology Using a 4-Year Follow-Up of a Population-Based Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e90023.
Objective
Expression of the viral E6/E7 oncogenes of high-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPV) is necessary for malignant conversion and maintenance in cervical tissue. In order to determine whether HR-HPV E6/E7 mRNA testing more effectively predicts precancerous lesions and invasive cervical cancer than HR-HPV DNA testing, we aimed to compare triage using HR-HPV E6/E7 mRNA testing by APTIMA HPV Assay (APTIMA) to HPV16 DNA testing, HPV16/18 DNA testing, and repeat cytology.
Methods
Liquid-based (PreservCyt) cell samples were obtained from HR-HPV-positive women diagnosed with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) within the framework of the population-based cervical cancer screening program in Stockholm, Sweden. Samples were tested for HR-HPV E6/E7 mRNA by APTIMA (Gene-Probe Inc., San Diego, CA, USA). Women were followed up for 4 years after the index cytology via medical and laboratory records, and the Stockholm Oncology Center.
Results
Nine of 25 (36%) women in the ASCUS group, and 64 of 180 (36%) women in the LSIL group developed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 or worse during 4 years of follow-up. 162 (74%) women were APTIMA-positive, and APTIMA had the highest sensitivity to predict CIN2 or worse and CIN3 or worse in the ASCUS (77.8% and 100%) and LSIL (78.1 and 75.8%) groups, although specificity was insufficient (<50%). HPV16 DNA testing and repeat cytology were more specific than APTIMA.
Conclusion
The results of this population-based study with comprehensive follow-up support the use of APTIMA as a triage test for women with ASCUS. More focused investigation is required for women with LSIL.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090023
PMCID: PMC3936009  PMID: 24587193
14.  A Genome-Wide “Pleiotropy Scan” Does Not Identify New Susceptibility Loci for Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e85955.
Approximately 15–30% of all breast cancer tumors are estrogen receptor negative (ER−). Compared with ER-positive (ER+) disease they have an earlier age at onset and worse prognosis. Despite the vast number of risk variants identified for numerous cancer types, only seven loci have been unambiguously identified for ER-negative breast cancer. With the aim of identifying new susceptibility SNPs for this disease we performed a pleiotropic genome-wide association study (GWAS). We selected 3079 SNPs associated with a human complex trait or disease at genome-wide significance level (P<5×10−8) to perform a secondary analysis of an ER-negative GWAS from the National Cancer Institute's Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3), including 1998 cases and 2305 controls from prospective studies. We then tested the top ten associations (i.e. with the lowest P-values) using three additional populations with a total sample size of 3509 ER+ cases, 2543 ER− cases and 7031 healthy controls. None of the 3079 selected variants in the BPC3 ER-GWAS were significant at the adjusted threshold. 186 variants were associated with ER− breast cancer risk at a conventional threshold of P<0.05, with P-values ranging from 0.049 to 2.3×10−4. None of the variants reached statistical significance in the replication phase. In conclusion, this study did not identify any novel susceptibility loci for ER-breast cancer using a “pleiotropic approach”.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085955
PMCID: PMC3921107  PMID: 24523857
15.  Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Breast Cancer by Hormone Receptor Status 
Background
Estrogen receptor–negative (ER−) breast cancer has few known or modifiable risk factors. Because ER− tumors account for only 15% to 20% of breast cancers, large pooled analyses are necessary to evaluate precisely the suspected inverse association between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of ER− breast cancer.
Methods
Among 993 466 women followed for 11 to 20 years in 20 cohort studies, we documented 19 869 estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and 4821 ER− breast cancers. We calculated study-specific multivariable relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox proportional hazards regression analyses and then combined them using a random-effects model. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
Total fruit and vegetable intake was statistically significantly inversely associated with risk of ER− breast cancer but not with risk of breast cancer overall or of ER+ tumors. The inverse association for ER− tumors was observed primarily for vegetable consumption. The pooled relative risks comparing the highest vs lowest quintile of total vegetable consumption were 0.82 (95% CI = 0.74 to 0.90) for ER− breast cancer and 1.04 (95% CI = 0.97 to 1.11) for ER+ breast cancer (P common-effects by ER status < .001). Total fruit consumption was non-statistically significantly associated with risk of ER− breast cancer (pooled multivariable RR comparing the highest vs lowest quintile = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.85 to 1.04).
Conclusions
We observed no association between total fruit and vegetable intake and risk of overall breast cancer. However, vegetable consumption was inversely associated with risk of ER− breast cancer in our large pooled analyses.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djs635
PMCID: PMC3593764  PMID: 23349252
16.  Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Multiple Risk Loci for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 
Berndt, Sonja I. | Skibola, Christine F. | Joseph, Vijai | Camp, Nicola J. | Nieters, Alexandra | Wang, Zhaoming | Cozen, Wendy | Monnereau, Alain | Wang, Sophia S. | Kelly, Rachel S. | Lan, Qing | Teras, Lauren R. | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Chung, Charles C. | Yeager, Meredith | Brooks-Wilson, Angela R. | Hartge, Patricia | Purdue, Mark P. | Birmann, Brenda M. | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Cocco, Pierluigi | Zhang, Yawei | Severi, Gianluca | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Lawrence, Charles | Burdette, Laurie | Yuenger, Jeffrey | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Call, Timothy G. | Shanafelt, Tait D. | Novak, Anne J. | Kay, Neil E. | Liebow, Mark | Wang, Alice H. | Smedby, Karin E | Adami, Hans-Olov | Melbye, Mads | Glimelius, Bengt | Chang, Ellen T. | Glenn, Martha | Curtin, Karen | Cannon-Albright, Lisa A. | Jones, Brandt | Diver, W. Ryan | Link, Brian K. | Weiner, George J. | Conde, Lucia | Bracci, Paige M. | Riby, Jacques | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Smith, Martyn T. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Tinker, Lesley F. | Benavente, Yolanda | Becker, Nikolaus | Boffetta, Paolo | Brennan, Paul | Foretova, Lenka | Maynadie, Marc | McKay, James | Staines, Anthony | Rabe, Kari G. | Achenbach, Sara J. | Vachon, Celine M. | Goldin, Lynn R | Strom, Sara S. | Lanasa, Mark C. | Spector, Logan G. | Leis, Jose F. | Cunningham, Julie M. | Weinberg, J. Brice | Morrison, Vicki A. | Caporaso, Neil E. | Norman, Aaron D. | Linet, Martha S. | De Roos, Anneclaire J. | Morton, Lindsay M. | Severson, Richard K. | Riboli, Elio | Vineis, Paolo | Kaaks, Rudolph | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Masala, Giovanna | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Chirlaque, María-Dolores | Vermeulen, Roel C H | Travis, Ruth C. | Giles, Graham G. | Albanes, Demetrius | Virtamo, Jarmo | Weinstein, Stephanie | Clavel, Jacqueline | Zheng, Tongzhang | Holford, Theodore R | Offit, Kenneth | Zelenetz, Andrew | Klein, Robert J. | Spinelli, John J. | Bertrand, Kimberly A. | Laden, Francine | Giovannucci, Edward | Kraft, Peter | Kricker, Anne | Turner, Jenny | Vajdic, Claire M. | Ennas, Maria Grazia | Ferri, Giovanni M. | Miligi, Lucia | Liang, Liming | Sampson, Joshua | Crouch, Simon | Park, Ju-hyun | North, Kari E. | Cox, Angela | Snowden, John A. | Wright, Josh | Carracedo, Angel | Lopez-Otin, Carlos | Bea, Silvia | Salaverria, Itziar | Martin, David | Campo, Elias | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | de Sanjose, Silvia | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Cerhan, James R. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Rothman, Nathaniel | Slager, Susan L.
Nature genetics  2013;45(8):868-876.
doi:10.1038/ng.2652
PMCID: PMC3729927  PMID: 23770605
17.  Reproductive factors and risk of hormone receptor positive and negative breast cancer: a cohort study 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:584.
Background
The association of reproductive factors with hormone receptor (HR)-negative breast tumors remains uncertain.
Methods
Within the EPIC cohort, Cox proportional hazards models were used to describe the relationships of reproductive factors (menarcheal age, time between menarche and first pregnancy, parity, number of children, age at first and last pregnancies, time since last full-term childbirth, breastfeeding, age at menopause, ever having an abortion and use of oral contraceptives [OC]) with risk of ER-PR- (n = 998) and ER+PR+ (n = 3,567) breast tumors.
Results
A later first full-term childbirth was associated with increased risk of ER+PR+ tumors but not with risk of ER-PR- tumors (≥35 vs. ≤19 years HR: 1.47 [95% CI 1.15-1.88] ptrend < 0.001 for ER+PR+ tumors; ≥35 vs. ≤19 years HR: 0.93 [95% CI 0.53-1.65] ptrend = 0.96 for ER-PR- tumors; P het = 0.03). The risk associations of menarcheal age, and time period between menarche and first full-term childbirth with ER-PR-tumors were in the similar direction with risk of ER+PR+ tumors (phet = 0.50), although weaker in magnitude and statistically only borderline significant. Other parity related factors such as ever a full-term birth, number of births, age- and time since last birth were associated only with ER+PR+ malignancies, however no statistical heterogeneity between breast cancer subtypes was observed. Breastfeeding and OC use were generally not associated with breast cancer subtype risk.
Conclusion
Our study provides possible evidence that age at menarche, and time between menarche and first full-term childbirth may be associated with the etiology of both HR-negative and HR-positive malignancies, although the associations with HR-negative breast cancer were only borderline significant.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-584
PMCID: PMC3866571  PMID: 24321460
ER-receptor; PR-receptor; Reproductive factors; Risk factors; Menopause; Parity; Oral contraceptive; Breast cancer
18.  Plasma Alkylresorcinols, Biomarkers of Whole-Grain Wheat and Rye Intake, and Incidence of Colorectal Cancer 
Background
Few studies have investigated the association between whole-grain intake and colorectal cancer. Because whole-grain intake estimation might be prone to measurement errors, more objective measures (eg, biomarkers) could assist in investigating such associations.
Methods
The association between alkylresorcinols, biomarkers of whole-grain rye and wheat intake, and colorectal cancer incidence were investigated using prediagnostic plasma samples from colorectal cancer case patients and matched control subjects nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. We included 1372 incident colorectal cancer case patients and 1372 individual matched control subjects and calculated the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for overall and anatomical subsites of colorectal cancer using conditional logistic regression adjusted for potential confounders. Regional differences (Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Central Europe) were also explored.
Results
High plasma total alkylresorcinol concentration was associated with lower incidence of distal colon cancer; the adjusted incidence rate ratio of distal colon cancer for the highest vs lowest quartile of plasma total alkylresorcinols was 0.48 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.28 to 0.83). An inverse association between plasma total alkylresorcinol concentrations and colon cancer was found for Scandinavian participants (IRR per doubling = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.70 to 0.98). However, plasma total alkylresorcinol concentrations were not associated with overall colorectal cancer, proximal colon cancer, or rectal cancer. Plasma alkylresorcinols concentrations were associated with colon and distal colon cancer only in Central Europe and Scandinavia (ie, areas where alkylresorcinol levels were higher).
Conclusions
High concentrations of plasma alkylresorcinols were associated with a lower incidence of distal colon cancer but not with overall colorectal cancer, proximal colon cancer, and rectal cancer.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djt352
PMCID: PMC3906988  PMID: 24317181
19.  Vitamin C transporter gene (SLC23A1 and SLC23A2) polymorphisms, plasma vitamin C levels, and gastric cancer risk in the EPIC cohort 
Genes & Nutrition  2013;8(6):549-560.
Vitamin C is known to protect mucosal tissues from oxidative stress and inhibit nitrosamine formation in the stomach. High consumption of fruits, particularly citrus, and higher circulating vitamin C concentrations may be inversely associated with gastric cancer (GC) risk. We investigated 20 polymorphisms in vitamin C transporter genes SCL23A1 and SCL23A2 and GC risk in 365 cases and 1,284 controls nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. We also evaluated the association between these polymorphisms and baseline plasma vitamin C levels in a subset of participants. Four SNPs were predictors of plasma vitamin C levels (SLC23A1 rs11950646 and rs33972313; SLC23A2 rs6053005 and rs6133175) in multivariable linear regression models. One SNP (SLC23A2 rs6116569) was associated with GC risk, in particular non-cardia GC (OR = 1.63, 95 % CI = 1.11–2.39, based on 178 non-cardia cases), but this association was attenuated when plasma vitamin C was included in the logistic regression model. Haplotype analysis of SLC23A1 yielded no associations with GC. In SLC23A2, one haplotype was associated with both overall and non-cardia GC, another haplotype was associated with GC overall, and a third was associated with intestinal-type GC. Common variants in SLC23A1 and SLC23A2 may influence plasma vitamin C concentration independent of dietary intake, and variation in SLC23A2 may influence GC risk. Additional prospective studies in large populations and consortia are recommended. Investigation of variation in vitamin C transporter genes may shed light on the preventative properties of vitamin C in gastric carcinogenesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-013-0346-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s12263-013-0346-6
PMCID: PMC3824828  PMID: 23737080
Gastric cancer; Vitamin C; Antioxidants; Genetic susceptibility; SLC23A1; SLC23A2
20.  The hazards of death by smoking in middle-aged women 
Recent studies have found that the risk of death continues to increase among female smokers, as compared with women who have never smoked. We wanted to examine the effect of smoking on all-cause and cause-specific mortality and calculate the corresponding population attributable fraction (PAF) of mortality in the Norwegian women and cancer study; a nationally representative prospective cohort study. We followed 85,320 women, aged 31–70 years, who completed a questionnaire in 1991–1997, through linkages to national registries through December 2008. Questionnaire data included information on lifestyle factors, including lifetime history of smoking. Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate relative risks (RRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) adjusting for age, birth cohort, education, postmenopausal status, alcohol consumption and body mass index, all at enrollment. During a mean follow-up time of 14 years 2,842 deaths occurred. Compared with that of never smokers, current smokers had a mortality rate that was double (RR = 2.34; 95 % CI 2.13–2.62) from deaths overall, triple (RR = 3.30; 95 % CI 2.21–4.82) from cerebrovascular disease and myocardial infarction (RR = 3.65; 95 % CI 2.18–6.15), 12 times (RR = 12.16; 95 % CI 7.80–19.00) from lung cancer and seventeen times (RR = 17.00; 95 % CI 5.90–48.78) from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. The PAF of mortality due to smoking was 34 % (CI 30–39). In summary, one in three deaths among middle aged women in Norway could have been prevented if the women did not smoke. More middle-aged women, than ever before, are dying prematurely due to smoking in Norway.
doi:10.1007/s10654-013-9851-6
PMCID: PMC3824303  PMID: 24078008
Smoking; Cause-specific mortality; Population attributable fraction; NOWAC study; Norway; Women
21.  Consumption of Dairy Products and Colorectal Cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72715.
Background
Prospective studies have consistently reported lower colorectal cancer risks associated with higher intakes of total dairy products, total milk and dietary calcium. However, less is known about whether the inverse associations vary for individual dairy products with differing fat contents.
Materials and Methods
In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), we investigated the associations between intakes of total milk and milk subtypes (whole-fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed), yoghurt, cheese, and dietary calcium with colorectal cancer risk amongst 477,122 men and women. Dietary questionnaires were administered at baseline. Multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for relevant confounding variables.
Results
During the mean 11 years of follow-up, 4,513 incident cases of colorectal cancer occurred. After multivariable adjustments, total milk consumption was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk (HR per 200 g/day 0.93, 95% CI: 0.89–0.98). Similar inverse associations were observed for whole-fat (HR per 200 g/day 0.90, 95% CI: 0.82–0.99) and skimmed milk (HR per 200 g/day 0.90, 95% CI: 0.79–1.02) in the multivariable models. Inverse associations were observed for cheese and yoghurt in the categorical models; although in the linear models, these associations were non-significant. Dietary calcium was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk (HR per 200 mg/day 0.95, 95% CI: 0.91–0.99); this association was limited to dairy sources of calcium only (HR per 200 mg/day 0.95, 95% CI: 0.91–0.99), with no association observed for non-dairy calcium sources (HR per 200 mg/day 1.00, 95% CI: 0.81–1.24).
Conclusions
Our results strengthen the evidence for a possible protective role of dairy products on colorectal cancer risk. The inverse associations we observed did not differ by the fat content of the dairy products considered.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072715
PMCID: PMC3759377  PMID: 24023767
22.  Prediagnostic body fat and risk of death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
Neurology  2013;80(9):829-838.
Objectives:
The aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the association between body fat and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with an appropriate prospective study design.
Methods:
The EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study included 518,108 individuals recruited from the general population across 10 Western European countries. At recruitment, information on lifestyle was collected and anthropometric characteristics were measured. Cox hazard models were fitted to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures and ALS mortality.
Results:
Two hundred twenty-two ALS deaths (79 men and 143 women) occurred during the follow-up period (mean follow-up = 13 years). There was a statistically significant interaction between categories of body mass index and sex regarding ALS risk (p = 0.009): in men, a significant linear decrease of risk per unit of body mass index was observed (hazard ratio = 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.86–0.99 per kg/m2); among women, the risk was more than 3-fold increased for underweight compared with normal-weight women. Among women, a significant risk reduction increasing the waist/hip ratio was also evident: women in the top quartile had less than half the risk of ALS compared with those in the bottom quartile (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.93) with a borderline significant p value for trend across quartiles (p = 0.056).
Conclusion:
Increased prediagnostic body fat is associated with a decreased risk of ALS mortality.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182840689
PMCID: PMC3598455  PMID: 23390184
23.  Smoking duration before first childbirth: an emerging risk factor for breast cancer? Results from 302,865 Norwegian women 
Cancer Causes & Control  2013;24(7):1347-1356.
Purpose
Recently, The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cigarette smoking as possibly carcinogenic to the human breast. Since some new cohort studies have suggested that this risk is confined to women who started to smoke before first childbirth, we wanted to examine the association between smoking and breast cancer, with a focus on time of smoking initiation in relation to the first childbirth.
Methods
We followed 302,865 Norwegian women born between 1899 and 1975, recruited from 1974 to 2003, by linkage to national registries through December 2007. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI).
Results
During more than 4.1 million person-years of follow-up, we ascertained 7,490 cases of primary invasive breast cancer. Compared with never smokers, ever smokers had a 15 % (HR = 1.15, 95 % CI 1.10–1.21) increased risk of breast cancer overall and also a significantly increased risk of breast cancer in the three most exposed categories of age at smoking initiation (parous women), number of cigarettes smoked per day, years of smoking duration and number of pack-years. Ever smokers who started to smoke more than 1 year after the first childbirth had not an increased risk (HR = 0.93, 95 % CI 0.86–1.02), while those who initiated smoking more than 10 years before their first childbirth had a 60 % (HR = 1.60, 95 % CI 1.42–1.80) increased risk of breast cancer, compared with never smokers.
Conclusion
Smoking initiation before the first childbirth increases the risk of breast cancer.
doi:10.1007/s10552-013-0213-1
PMCID: PMC3675272  PMID: 23633026
Breast cancer; Smoking; Childbirth; Cohort study; CONOR
24.  Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Risk of Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55374.
Background
A Mediterranean diet has a recognized beneficial effect on health and longevity, with a protective influence on several cancers. However, its association with breast cancer risk remains unclear.
Objective
We aimed to investigate whether adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern influences breast cancer risk.
Design
The Swedish Women’s Lifestyle and Health cohort study includes 49,258 women aged 30 to 49 years at recruitment in 1991–1992. Consumption of foods and beverages was measured at enrollment using a food frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score was constructed based on the consumption of alcohol, vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish, the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat, and dairy and meat products. Relative risks (RR) for breast cancer and specific tumor characteristics (invasiveness, histological type, estrogen/progesterone receptor status, malignancy grade and stage) associated with this score were estimated using Cox regression controlling for potential confounders.
Results
1,278 incident breast cancers were diagnosed. Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern was not statistically significantly associated with reduced risk of breast cancer overall, or with specific breast tumor characteristics. A RR (95% confidence interval) for breast cancer associated with a two-point increment in the Mediterranean diet score was 1.08 (1.00–1.15) in all women, and 1.10 (1.01–1.21) and 1.02 (0.91–1.15) in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively. When alcohol was excluded from the Mediterranean diet score, results became not statistically significant.
Conclusions
Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern did not decrease breast cancer risk in this cohort of relatively young women.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055374
PMCID: PMC3563544  PMID: 23390532
25.  Human endogenous retroviruses and cancer prevention: evidence and prospects 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:4.
Background
Cancer is a significant and growing problem worldwide. While this increase may, in part, be attributed to increasing longevity, improved case notifications and risk-enhancing lifestyle (such as smoking, diet and obesity), hygiene-related factors resulting in immuno-regulatory failure may also play a major role and call for a revision of vaccination strategies to protect against a range of cancers in addition to infections.
Discussion
Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are a significant component of a wider family of retroelements that constitutes part of the human genome. They were originated by the integration of exogenous retroviruses into the human genome millions of years ago. HERVs are estimated to comprise about 8% of human DNA and are ubiquitous in somatic and germinal tissues.
Physiologic and pathologic processes are influenced by some biologically active HERV families. HERV antigens are only expressed at low levels by the host, but in circumstances of inappropriate control their genes may initiate or maintain pathological processes. Although the precise mechanism leading to abnormal HERVs gene expression has yet to be clearly elucidated, environmental factors seem to be involved by influencing the human immune system.
HERV-K expression has been detected in different types of tumors.
Among the various human endogenous retroviral families, the K series was the latest acquired by the human species. Probably because of its relatively recent origin, the HERV-K is the most complete and biologically active family.
The abnormal expression of HERV-K seemingly triggers pathological processes leading to melanoma onset, but also contributes to the morphological and functional cellular modifications implicated in melanoma maintenance and progression.
The HERV-K-MEL antigen is encoded by a pseudo-gene incorporated in the HERV-K env-gene. HERV-K-MEL is significantly expressed in the majority of dysplastic and normal naevi, as well as other tumors like sarcoma, lymphoma, bladder and breast cancer. An amino acid sequence similar to HERV-K-MEL, recognized to cause a significant protective effect against melanoma, is shared by the antigenic determinants expressed by some vaccines such as BCG, vaccinia virus and the yellow fever virus.
HERV-K are also reactivated in the majority of human breast cancers. Monoclonal and single-chain antibodies against the HERV-K Env protein recently proved capable of blocking the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro, inhibiting tumor growth in mice bearing xenograft tumors.
Summary
A recent epidemiological study provided provisional evidence of how melanoma risk could possibly be reduced if the yellow fever virus vaccine (YFV) were received at least 10 years before, possibly preventing tumor initiation rather than culling melanoma cells already compromised. Further research is recommended to confirm the temporal pattern of this protection and eliminate/attenuate the potential role of relevant confounders as socio-economic status and other vaccinations.
It appears also appropriate to examine the potential protective effect of YFV against other malignancies expressing high levels of HERV-K antigens, namely breast cancer, sarcoma, lymphoma and bladder cancer.
Tumor immune-therapy, as described for the monoclonal antibodies against breast cancer, is indeed considered more complex and less advantageous than immune-prevention. Cellular immunity possibly triggered by vaccines as for YFV might also be involved in anti-cancer response, in addition to humoral immunity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-4
PMCID: PMC3557136  PMID: 23282240
HERV-K; Cancer prevention; Melanoma; Breast cancer; Ovarian cancer; BCG; Vaccinia; Yellow fever virus vaccine; Epidemiology

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