Survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is influenced by the host immune response, yet the key genetic determinants of inflammation and immunity that impact prognosis are not known. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor family plays an important role in many immune and inflammatory responses, including the response to cancer. We studied common inherited variation in 210 genes in the NF-κB family in 10,084 patients with invasive EOC (5,248 high grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous) from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Associations between genotype and overall survival were assessed using Cox regression for all patients and by major histology, adjusting for known prognostic factors and correcting for multiple testing (threshold for statistical significance—p < 2.5×10−5). Results were statistically significant when assessed for patients of a single histology. Key associations were with CARD11 (caspase recruitment domain family, member 11) rs41324349 in patients with mucinous EOC (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.41-2.35, p=4.13×10−6) and TNFRSF13B (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 13B) rs7501462 in patients with endometrioid EOC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56-0.82, p=2.33×10−5). Other associations of note included TRAF2 (TNF receptor-associated factor 2) rs17250239 in patients with high-grade serous EOC (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.77-0.92, p=6.49×10−5) and PLCG1 (phospholipase C, gamma 1) rs11696662 in patients with clear cell EOC (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26-0.73, p=4.56×10−4). These associations highlight the potential importance of genes associated with host inflammation and immunity in modulating clinical outcomes in distinct EOC histologies.
single nucleotide polymorphism; recurrence; survival; ovarian neoplasms
Survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is influenced by the host immune response, yet the key genetic determinants of inflammation and immunity that impact prognosis are not known. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor family plays an important role in many immune and inflammatory responses, including the response to cancer. We studied common inherited variation in 210 genes in the NF-κB family in 10,084 patients with invasive EOC (5,248 high grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous) from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Associations between genotype and overall survival were assessed using Cox regression for all patients and by major histology, adjusting for known prognostic factors and correcting for multiple testing (threshold for statistical significance—p < 2.5×10−5). Results were statistically significant when assessed for patients of a single histology. Key associations were with CARD11 (caspase recruitment domain family, member 11) rs41324349 in patients with mucinous EOC (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.41–2.35, p=4.13×10−6) and TNFRSF13B (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 13B) rs7501462 in patients with endometrioid EOC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56–0.82, p=2.33×10−5). Other associations of note included TRAF2 (TNF receptor-associated factor 2) rs17250239 in patients with high-grade serous EOC (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.77–0.92, p=6.49×10−5) and PLCG1 (phospholipase C, gamma 1) rs11696662 in patients with clear cell EOC (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26–0.73, p=4.56×10−4). These associations highlight the potential importance of genes associated with host inflammation and immunity in modulating clinical outcomes in distinct EOC histologies.
single nucleotide polymorphism; recurrence; survival; ovarian neoplasms
Recent reports suggest that autoantibodies directed to aberrantly glycosylated mucins, in particular MUC1 and MUC4, are found in patients with colorectal cancer. There is, however, limited information on the autoantibody levels before clinical diagnosis, and their utility in cancer screening in the general population. In our study, we have generated O-glycosylated synthetic MUC1 and MUC4 peptides in vitro, to mimic cancer-associated glycoforms, and displayed these on microarrays. The assay’s performance was tested through an initial screening of serum samples taken from patients at the time of colorectal cancer diagnosis and healthy controls. Subsequently, the selected biomarkers were evaluated in a blinded nested case–control study using stored serum samples from among the 50,640 women randomized to the multimodal arm of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), where women gave annual blood samples for several years. Cases were 97 postmenopausal women who developed colorectal cancer after recruitment and were age-matched to 97 women without any history of cancer. MUC1-STn and MUC1-Core3 IgG autoantibodies identified cases with 8.2 and 13.4% sensitivity, respectively, at 95% specificity. IgA to MUC4 glycoforms were unable to discriminate between cases and controls in the UKCTOCS sera. Additional analysis was undertaken by combining the data of MUC1-STn and MUC1-Core3 with previously generated data on autoantibodies to p53 peptides, which increased the sensitivity to 32.0% at 95% specificity. These findings suggest that a combination of antibody signatures may have a role as part of a biomarker panel for the early detection of colorectal cancer.
MUC1; MUC4; glycosylation; early diagnosis; microarray; seromic profiling; biomarkers; cancer; autoantibodies; rectum; colon
The presence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in solid tumors is known to play a role in patient survival in ovarian cancer and other malignancies. We assessed inherited genetic variations via 749 tag SNPs in 25 Treg-associated genes (CD28, CTLA4, FOXP3, IDO1, IL10, IL10RA, IL15, 1L17RA, IL23A, IL23R, IL2RA, IL6, IL6R, IL8, LGALS1, LGALS9, MAP3K8, STAT5A, STAT5B, TGFB1, TGFB2, TGFB3, TGFBR1, TGRBR2, and TGFBR3) in relation to ovarian cancer survival. We analyzed genotype and overall survival in 10,084 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, including 5,248 high-grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous carcinoma cases of European descent across 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). The strongest associations were found for endometrioid carcinoma and IL2RA SNPs rs11256497 [HR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.22-1.64; p=5.7 × 10−6], rs791587 [HR=1.36, 95% CI:1.17-1.57; p=6.2 × 10−5], rs2476491 [HR=1.40, 95% CI: 1.19-1.64; p=5.6 × 10−5], and rs10795763 [HR=1.35, 95% CI: 1.17-1.57; p=7.9 × 10−5], and for clear cell carcinoma and CTLA4 SNP rs231775 [HR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.54-0.82; p=9.3 × 10−5] after adjustment for age, study site, population stratification, stage, grade, and oral contraceptive use. The rs231775 allele associated with improved survival in our study also results in an amino acid change in CTLA4 and previously has been reported to be associated with autoimmune conditions. Thus, we found evidence that SNPs in genes related to Tregs appear to play a role in ovarian cancer survival, particularly in patients with clear cell and endometrioid EOC.
clear cell; endometrioid; gynecologic neoplasms; single nucleotide polymorphism
The presence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in solid tumors is known to play a role in patient survival in ovarian cancer and other malignancies. We assessed inherited genetic variations via 749 tag SNPs in 25 Treg-associated genes (CD28, CTLA4, FOXP3, IDO1, IL10, IL10RA, IL15, 1L17RA, IL23A, IL23R, IL2RA, IL6, IL6R, IL8, LGALS1, LGALS9, MAP3K8, STAT5A, STAT5B, TGFB1, TGFB2, TGFB3, TGFBR1, TGRBR2, and TGFBR3) in relation to ovarian cancer survival. We analyzed genotype and overall survival in 10,084 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, including 5,248 high-grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous carcinoma cases of European descent across 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). The strongest associations were found for endometrioid carcinoma and IL2RA SNPs rs11256497 [HR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.22–1.64; p=5.7 × 10−6], rs791587 [HR=1.36, 95% CI:1.17–1.57; p=6.2 × 10−5], rs2476491 [HR=1.40, 95% CI: 1.191.64; p=5.6 × 10−5], and rs10795763 [HR=1.35, 95% CI: 1.17–1.57; p=7.9 × 10−5], and for clear cell carcinoma and CTLA4 SNP rs231775 [HR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.54–0.82; p=9.3 × 10−5] after adjustment for age, study site, population stratification, stage, grade, and oral contraceptive use. The rs231775 allele associated with improved survival in our study also results in an amino acid change in CTLA4 and previously has been reported to be associated with autoimmune conditions. Thus, we found evidence that SNPs in genes related to Tregs appear to play a role in ovarian cancer survival, particularly in patients with clear cell and endometrioid EOC.
clear cell; endometrioid; gynecologic neoplasms; single nucleotide polymorphism
Ovarian carcinoma is composed of five major histological types which associate with outcome and predict therapeutic response. Our aim was to evaluate histological type assessments across centres participating in the Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis (OTTA) consortium using an immunohistochemical (IHC) prediction model.
Tissue microarrays (TMAs) and clinical data were available for 524 pathologically confirmed ovarian carcinomas. Centralized IHC was performed for ARID1A, CDKN2A, DKK1, HNF1B, MDM2, PGR, TP53, TFF3, VIM, and WT1, and three histological type assessments were compared: the original pathologic type, an IHC-based calculated type (termed TB_COSPv2), and a WT1-assisted TMA core review.
The concordance between TB_COSPv2 type and original type was 73%. Applying WT1-assisted core review, the remaining 27% discordant cases subdivided into unclassifiable (6%), TB_COSPv2 error (6%), and original type error (15%). The largest discordant subgroup was classified as endometrioid carcinoma (EC) by original type and as high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) by TB_COSPv2. When TB_COSPv2 classification was used, the difference in overall survival of EC compared to HGSC became significant (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.37–0.93, p=0.021), consistent with previous reports. In addition, 71 cases with unclear original type could be histologically classified by TB_COSPv2.
Research cohorts, particularly those across different centres within consortia, show significant variability in original histological type diagnosis. Our IHC-based reclassification produced more homogeneous types with respect to outcome than original type.
Biomarker-based classification of ovarian carcinomas is feasible, improves comparability of results across research studies, and can reclassify cases which lack reliable original pathology.
ovarian cancer; type; biomarker; immunohistochemistry; typing
Several studies suggest that overall and central-obesity are associated with increased breast cancer (BC) risk in postmenopausal-women. However, there are no studies investigating changes of central obesity and BC. We report on the association of BC risk with self-reported skirt size (SS; waist-circumference proxy) changes between 20s and postmenopausal-age.
UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) involving the nine trial centres in England.
Postmenopausal-women aged >50 with no known history of BC prior to or on the day of completion of the study-entry questionnaire.
At recruitment and at study entry, women were asked to complete a questionnaire. Women were followed-up via ‘flagging’ at the NHS Information Centre in England and the Hospital Episode Statistics.
Time to initial BC diagnosis.
Between 2 January 2005 and 1 July 2010, 92 834 UKCTOCS participants (median age 64.0) completed the study-entry questionnaire. During median follow-up of 3.19 years (25th–75th centile: 2.46–3.78), 1090 women developed BC. Model adjusted analysis for potential confounders showed body mass index (BMI) at recruitment to UKCTOCS (HR for a 5 unit change=1.076, 95% CI 1.012 to 1.136), current SS at study entry (HR=1.051; 95% CI 1.014 to 1.089) and change in SS per 10 years (CSS) (HR=1.330; 95% CI 1.121 to 1.579) were associated with increased BC risk but not SS at 25 (HR=1.006; 95% CI 0.958 to 1.056). CSS was the most predictive singe adiposity measure and further analysis including both CSS and BMI in the model revealed CSS remained significant (HR=1.266; 95% CI 1.041 to 1.538) but not BMI (HR=1.037; 95% CI 0.970 to 1.109).
CSS is associated with BC risk independent of BMI. A unit increase in UK SS (eg, 12–14) every 10-years between 25 and postmenopausal-age is associated with postmenopausal BC risk by 33%. Validation of these results could provide women with a simple and easy to understand message.
Trial registration number
BRCA1 mutation carriers have an 85% risk of developing breast cancer but the risk of developing non-hereditary breast cancer is difficult to assess. Our objective is to test whether a DNA methylation (DNAme) signature derived from BRCA1 mutation carriers is able to predict non-hereditary breast cancer.
In a case/control setting (72 BRCA1 mutation carriers and 72 BRCA1/2 wild type controls) blood cell DNA samples were profiled on the Illumina 27 k methylation array. Using the Elastic Net classification algorithm, a BRCA1-mutation DNAme signature was derived and tested in two cohorts: (1) The NSHD (19 breast cancers developed within 12 years after sample donation and 77 controls) and (2) the UKCTOCS trial (119 oestrogen receptor positive breast cancers developed within 5 years after sample donation and 122 controls).
We found that our blood-based BRCA1-mutation DNAme signature applied to blood cell DNA from women in the NSHD resulted in a receiver operating characteristics (ROC) area under the curve (AUC) of 0.65 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.78, P = 0.02) which did not validate in buccal cells from the same individuals. Applying the signature in blood DNA from UKCTOCS volunteers resulted in AUC of 0.57 (95% CI 0.50 to 0.64; P = 0.03) and is independent of family history or any other known risk factors. Importantly the BRCA1-mutation DNAme signature was able to predict breast cancer mortality (AUC = 0.67; 95% CI 0.51 to 0.83; P = 0.02). We also found that the 1,074 CpGs which are hypermethylated in BRCA1 mutation carriers are significantly enriched for stem cell polycomb group target genes (P <10-20).
A DNAme signature derived from BRCA1 carriers is able to predict breast cancer risk and death years in advance of diagnosis. Future studies may need to focus on DNAme profiles in epithelial cells in order to reach the AUC thresholds required of preventative measures or early detection strategies.
The majority of previous studies have observed an increased risk of mucinous ovarian tumors associated with cigarette smoking, but the association with other histological types is unclear. In a large pooled analysis, we examined the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer associated with multiple measures of cigarette smoking with a focus on characterizing risks according to tumor behavior and histology.
We used data from 21 case–control studies of ovarian cancer (19,066 controls, 11,972 invasive and 2,752 borderline cases). Study-specific odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were obtained from logistic regression models and combined into a pooled odds ratio using a random effects model.
Current cigarette smoking increased the risk of invasive mucinous (OR = 1.31; 95 % CI: 1.03–1.65) and borderline mucinous ovarian tumors (OR = 1.83; 95 % CI: 1.39–2.41), while former smoking increased the risk of borderline serous ovarian tumors (OR = 1.30; 95 % CI: 1.12–1.50). For these histological types, consistent dose– response associations were observed. No convincing associations between smoking and risk of invasive serous and endometrioid ovarian cancer were observed, while our results provided some evidence of a decreased risk of invasive clear cell ovarian cancer.
Our results revealed marked differences in the risk profiles of histological types of ovarian cancer with regard to cigarette smoking, although the magnitude of the observed associations was modest. Our findings, which may reflect different etiologies of the histological types, add to the fact that ovarian cancer is a heterogeneous disease.
Case–control studies; Histological type; Ovarian neoplasms; Smoking
Ovarian cancer is a lethal disease comprised of distinct histopathological types. There are few established biomarkers of ovarian cancer prognosis, in part because subtype-specific associations may have been obscured in studies combining all subtypes. We examined whether progesterone receptor (PR) and estrogen receptor (ER) protein expression were associated with subtype-specific survival in the international Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis (OTTA) consortium.
PR and ER were assessed by central immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays for 2933 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer from 12 study sites. Negative, weak, and strong expression were defined as positive staining in <1%, 1–50%, and ≥50% of tumor cell nuclei, respectively. Hazard ratios (HRs) for ovarian cancer death were estimated using Cox regression stratified by site and adjusted for age, stage, and grade.
PR expression was associated with improved survival for endometrioid (EC; p<0·0001) and high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC; p=0·0006), and ER expression was associated with improved EC survival (p<0·0001); no significant associations were found for mucinous, clear cell, or low-grade serous carcinoma. EC patients with hormone receptor (PR and/or ER) positive (weak or strong) versus negative tumors had significantly reduced risk of dying from their disease, independent of clinical factors (HR, 0·33; 95% CI, 0·21–0·51; p<0·0001). HGSC patients with strong versus weak or negative tumor PR expression had significantly reduced risk of dying from their disease, independent of clinical factors (HR, 0·71; 95% CI, 0·55–0·91; p=0·0061).
PR and ER are prognostic biomarkers for endometrioid and high-grade serous ovarian cancers. Clinical trials, stratified by subtype and biomarker status, are needed to determine whether hormone receptor status predicts response to endocrine therapy, and can guide personalized treatment for ovarian cancer.
Carraressi Foundation, US National Institutes of Health, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, UK National Institute for Health Research, and others.
To evaluate the validity of self-reported hysterectomy against the gold standard of uterine visualisation using pelvic ultrasound.
Prospective cohort study.
UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) based in 13 National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Between April 2001 and October 2005, 48 215 postmenopausal women aged 50–74 randomised to the ultrasound screening arm of UKCTOCS underwent the first (initial) scan on the trial.
At recruitment, the women completed a recruitment questionnaire (RQ) which included previous hysterectomy. The sonographer asked each woman regarding previous hysterectomy (interview format, IF) prior to the scan. At the scan, in addition to ovarian morphology, endometrial thickness (ET)/endometrial abnormality were captured if the uterus was visualised at the scan.
Self-reported hysterectomy at RQ or IF was compared to ultrasound data on ET/endometrial abnormality (as surrogate uterine visualisation markers) on the first (initial) scan.
Of 48 215 women, 3 had congenital uterine agenesis and 218 inconclusive results. The uterus was visualised in 39 121 women. 8871 self-reported hysterectomy at RQ, 8641 at IF and 8487 at both. The uterus was visualised in 39 123, 39 353 and 38 969 women not self-reporting hysterectomy at RQ, IF or both. Validity, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of using RQ alone, IF or both RQ/IF were 99.6%, 98.9%, 99.7%, 98.9% and 99.7%; 98.9%, 98.4%, 99.1%, 95.9% and 99.7%; 99.8%, 99.6%, 99.9%, 99.4% and 99.9%, respectively.
Self-reported hysterectomy is a highly accurate and valid source for studying long-term associations of hysterectomy with disease onset.
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN)—22488978
Gynaecology; Epidemiology; Oncology
Evidence of a mortality benefit continues to elude ovarian cancer (OC) screening. Data from the US Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial which used a screening strategy incorporating CA125 cut-off and transvaginal ultrasound has not shown mortality benefit. The United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) is using the Risk of Ovarian Cancer (ROC) time series algorithm to interpret CA125, which has shown an encouraging sensitivity and specificity however the mortality data will only be available in 2015. The article explores the impact of growing insights into disease aetiology and evolution and biomarker discovery on future screening strategies. A better understanding of the target lesion, improved design of biomarker discovery studies, a focus on detecting low volume disease using cancer specific markers, novel biospecimens such as cervical cytology and targeted imaging and use of time series algorithms for interpreting markers profile suggests that a new era in screening is underway.
•Ovarian cancer screening using CA125 cut-off has shown no mortality benefit.•Initial results using a time-series algorithm have been encouraging.•Cancer-specific biomarkers, novel biospecimens, targeted imaging to detect precursor lesion/low-volume disease are likely to be central to future screening strategies.
Ovarian cancer; Screening; Biomarkers; Imaging; UKCTOCS
Whilst previous studies have reported that higher body-mass index (BMI)
increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, associations for
the different histological subtypes have not been well defined. As the
prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, and classification of ovarian
histology has improved in the last decade, we sought to examine the association
in a pooled analysis of recent studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer
Association Consortium. We evaluated the association between BMI (recent,
maximum, and in young adulthood) and ovarian cancer risk using original data
from 15 case-control studies (13,548 cases, 17,913 controls). We combined
study-specific adjusted odds ratios (ORs) using a random–effects model.
We further examined the associations by histological subtype, menopausal status
and post-menopausal hormone use. High BMI (all time-points) was associated with
increased risk. This was most pronounced for borderline serous (recent BMI:
pooled OR=1.24 per 5kg/m2; 95%CI 1.18–1.30),
invasive endometrioid (1.17; 1.11–1.23) and invasive mucinous (1.19;
1.06–1.32) tumours. There was no association with serous invasive cancer
overall (0.98; 0.94–1.02), but increased risks for low grade serous
invasive tumours (1.13, 1.03–1.25) and in pre-menopausal women (1.11;
1.04–1.18). Among post–menopausal women, the associations did
not differ between HRT users and non–users. Whilst obesity appears to
increase risk of the less common histological subtypes of ovarian cancer, it
does not increase risk of high grade invasive serous cancers, and reducing BMI
is therefore unlikely to prevent the majority of ovarian cancer deaths. Other
modifiable factors must be identified to control this disease.
ovarian cancer; obesity; body mass index
HNF1B is overexpressed in clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer, and we observed epigenetic silencing in serous epithelial ovarian cancer, leading us to hypothesize that variation in this gene differentially associates with epithelial ovarian cancer risk according to histological subtype. Here we comprehensively map variation in HNF1B with respect to epithelial ovarian cancer risk and analyse DNA methylation and expression profiles across histological subtypes. Different single-nucleotide polymorphisms associate with invasive serous (rs7405776 odds ratio (OR) = 1.13, P = 3.1 × 10−10) and clear cell (rs11651755 OR = 0.77, P = 1.6 × 10−8) epithelial ovarian cancer. Risk alleles for the serous subtype associate with higher HNF1B-promoter methylation in these tumours. Unmethylated, expressed HNF1B, primarily present in clear cell tumours, coincides with a CpG island methylator phenotype affecting numerous other promoters throughout the genome. Different variants in HNF1B associate with risk of serous and clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer; DNA methylation and expression patterns are also notably distinct between these subtypes. These findings underscore distinct mechanisms driving different epithelial ovarian cancer histological subtypes.
Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death among women. In an effort to understand contributors to disease outcome, we evaluated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with ovarian cancer recurrence or survival, specifically in angiogenesis, inflammation, mitosis, and drug disposition genes.
Twenty-seven SNPs in VHL, HGF, IL18, PRKACB, ABCB1, CYP2C8, ERCC2, and ERCC1 previously associated with ovarian cancer outcome were genotyped in 10,084 invasive cases from 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium with over 37,000 observed person-years and 4,478 deaths. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between candidate SNPs and ovarian cancer recurrence or survival with and without adjustment for key covariates.
We observed no association between genotype and ovarian cancer recurrence or survival for any of the SNPs examined.
These results refute prior associations between these SNPs and ovarian cancer outcome and underscore the importance of maximally powered genetic association studies.
These variants should not be used in prognostic models. Alternate approaches to uncovering inherited prognostic factors, if they exist, are needed.
TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified four susceptibility loci for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with another two loci being close to genome-wide significance. We pooled data from a GWAS conducted in North America with another GWAS from the United Kingdom. We selected the top 24,551 SNPs for inclusion on the iCOGS custom genotyping array. Follow-up genotyping was carried out in 18,174 cases and 26,134 controls from 43 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We validated the two loci at 3q25 and 17q21 previously near genome-wide significance and identified three novel loci associated with risk; two loci associated with all EOC subtypes, at 8q21 (rs11782652, P=5.5×10-9) and 10p12 (rs1243180; P=1.8×10-8), and another locus specific to the serous subtype at 17q12 (rs757210; P=8.1×10-10). An integrated molecular analysis of genes and regulatory regions at these loci provided evidence for functional mechanisms underlying susceptibility that implicates CHMP4C in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) has a heritable component that remains to be fully characterized. Most identified common susceptibility variants lie in non-protein-coding sequences. We hypothesized that variants in the 3′ untranslated region at putative microRNA (miRNA) binding sites represent functional targets that influence EOC susceptibility. Here, we evaluate the association between 767 miRNA binding site single nucleotide polymorphisms (miRSNPs) and EOC risk in 18,174 EOC cases and 26,134 controls from 43 studies genotyped through the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study. We identify several miRSNPs associated with invasive serous EOC risk (OR=1.12, P=10−8) mapping to an inversion polymorphism at 17q21.31. Additional genotyping of non-miRSNPs at 17q21.31 reveals stronger signals outside the inversion (P=10−10). Variation at 17q21.31 associates with neurological diseases, and our collaboration is the first to report an association with EOC susceptibility. An integrated molecular analysis in this region provides evidence for ARHGAP27 and PLEKHM1 as candidate EOC susceptibility genes.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), the most lethal gynecologic malignancy, have identified novel susceptibility loci. GWAS for survival after EOC have had more limited success. The association of each single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) individually may not be well-suited to detect small effects of multiple SNPs, such as those operating within the same biological pathway. Gene set analysis (GSA) overcomes this limitation by assessing overall evidence for association of a phenotype with all measured variation in a set of genes.
To determine gene sets associated with EOC overall survival, we conducted GSA using data from two large GWASes (N cases = 2,813, N deaths = 1,116), with a novel Principal Component – Gamma GSA method. Analysis was completed for all cases and then separately for high grade serous (HGS) histological subtype.
Analysis of the HGS subjects resulted in 43 gene sets with p<0.005 (1.7%); of these, 21 gene sets had p < 0.10 in both GWASes, including intracellular signaling pathway (p = 7.3 × 10−5) and macrolide binding (p = 6.2 ×10−4) gene sets. The top gene sets in analysis of all cases were meiotic mismatch repair (p=6.3 ×10−4) and macrolide binding (p=1.0×10−3). Of 18 gene sets with p<0.005 (0.7%), eight had p < 0.10 in both GWASes.
This research detected novel gene sets associated with EOC survival.
Novel gene sets associated with EOC survival might lead to new insights and avenues for development of novel therapies for EOC and pharmacogenomic studies.
pathway analysis; genetic association; GWAS; SNPs; gynecologic neoplasm
The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling axis plays an important role in cancer biology. We hypothesized that genetic variation in this pathway may influence risk of ovarian cancer. A three-center study of non-Hispanic whites including 1880 control women, 1135 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer and 321 women with borderline epithelial ovarian tumors was carried out to test the association between tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) (n=58) in this pathway and risk of ovarian cancer. We found no association between variation in IGF1, IGFBP1 or IGFBP3 and risk of invasive disease, whereas five tSNPs in IGF2 were associated with risk of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer at P<0.05 and followed-up one of the associated SNPs. We conducted genotyping in 3216 additional non-Hispanic white cases and 5382 additional controls and were able to independently replicate our initial findings. In the combined set of studies, rs4320932 was associated with a 13% decreased risk of ovarian cancer per copy of the minor allele carried (95% confidence interval 0.81–0.93, P-trend=7.4 × 10−5). No heterogeneity of effect across study centers was observed (phet=0.25). IGF2 is emerging as an important gene for ovarian cancer; additional genotyping is warranted to further confirm these associations with IGF2 and to narrow down the region harboring the causal SNP.
We previously reported an association between rs2660753, a prostate cancer susceptibility polymorphism, and invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) [odds ratio (OR)=1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.0-1.4, Ptrend=0.01] that showed a stronger association with the serous histological subtype (OR=1.3, 95% CI=1.1-1.5, Ptrend=0.003).
We sought to replicate this association in 12 other studies comprising 4,482 cases and 6,894 controls of white non-Hispanic ancestry in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium.
No evidence for an association with all cancers or serous cancers was observed in a combined analysis of data from the replication studies (all: OR=1.0, 95% CI=0.9-1.1, Ptrend=0.61; serous: OR=1.0, 95% CI=0.9-1.1, Ptrend=0.85) or from the combined analysis of discovery and replication studies (all: OR=1.0, 95% CI=1.0-1.1, Ptrend= 0.28; serous: OR=1.1, 95% CI=1.0-1.2, Ptrend=0.11). There was no evidence for statistical heterogeneity in ORs across the studies.
Although rs2660753 is a strong a prostate cancer susceptibility polymorphism, the association with another hormonally related cancer, invasive EOC, is not supported by this replication study.
Our findings, based on a larger sample size, emphasize the importance of replicating potentially promising genetic risk associations.
chromosome 3p; SNP; ovarian cancer; risk factors
Postmenopausal women with elevated serum sex steroids have an increased risk of breast cancer. Most of this risk is believed to be exerted through binding of the sex steroids to their receptors. For the first time, we investigate the association of estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR) serum bioactivity (SB) in addition to hormone levels in samples from women with breast cancer collected before diagnosis. Two hundred postmenopausal women participating in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening who developed ER-positive breast cancer 0.6–5 years after sample donation were identified and matched to 400 controls. ER and AR bioassays were used to measure ERα, ERβ, and AR SB. Androgen and estrogen levels were measured with immunoassays. Subjects were classified according to quintiles of the respective marker among controls and the associations between SB and hormones with breast cancer risk were determined by logistic regression analysis. ERα and ERβ SB were significantly higher before diagnosis compared with controls, while estrogens showed no difference. Women had a twofold increased breast cancer risk if ERα SB (odds ratio (OR), 2.114; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.050–4.425; P=0.040) was in the top quintile >2 years before diagnosis or estrone (OR, 2.205; 95% CI, 1.104–4.586; P=0.029) was in the top quintile <2 years before diagnosis. AR showed no significant association with breast cancer while androstenedione (OR, 3.187; 95% CI, 1.738–6.044; P=0.0003) and testosterone (OR, 2.145; 95% CI, 1.256–3.712; P=0.006) were significantly higher compared with controls and showed a strong association with an almost threefold increased breast cancer risk independent of time to diagnosis. This study provides further evidence on the association of androgens and estrogens with breast cancer. In addition, it reports that high ER but not AR SB is associated with increased breast risk >2 years before diagnosis.
The association of invasive ovarian carcinoma risk with the functional polymorphism rs2228570 (aka rs10735810; FokI polymorphism) in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene was examined in 1820 white non-Hispanic cases and 3479 controls in a pooled analysis of five population-based case-control studies within the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Carriers of the rare T allele were at increased risk of ovarian carcinoma compared to women with the CC genotype in all studies combined; each copy of the T allele was associated with a modest 9% increased risk (OR=1.09; 95% CI:1.01–1.19; p=0.04). No significant heterogeneity among studies was observed (p=0.37) and, after excluding the dataset from the Hawaii study, the risk association for rs2228570 among replication studies was unchanged (OR=1.09; 95% CI: 1.00–1.19; p=0.06). A stronger association of rs2228570 with risk was observed among younger women (aged < 50 years versus 50 years or older) (p=0.04). In all studies combined, the increased risk per copy of the T allele among younger women was 24% (OR=1.24; 95% CI: 1.04–1.47; p=0.02). This association remained statistically significant after excluding the Hawaii data (OR= 1.20; 95% CI: 1.01–1.43; p=0.04). No heterogeneity of the association was observed by stage (p= 0.46), tumor histology (p=0.98), or time between diagnosis and interview (p=0.94). This pooled analysis provides further evidence that the VDR rs2228570 polymorphism might influence ovarian cancer susceptibility.
invasive ovarian carcinoma; vitamin D receptor gene (VDR); single nucleotide polymorphism; pooled analysis; case-control study
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNA-related genes have been associated with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk in two reports, yet associated alleles may be inconsistent across studies.
We conducted a pooled analysis of previously-identified SNPs by combining genotype data from 3,973 invasive EOC cases and 3,276 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We also conducted imputation to obtain dense coverage of genes and comparable genotype data for all studies. In total, 226 SNPs within 15 kilobases of 4 miRNA biogenesis genes (DDX20, DROSHA, GEMIN4, and XPO5) and 23 SNPs located within putative miRNA binding sites of 6 genes (CAV1, COL18A1, E2F2, IL1R1, KRAS, and UGT2A3) were genotyped or imputed and analyzed in the entire dataset.
After adjustment for European ancestry, no overall association was observed between any of the analyzed SNPs and EOC risk.
Common variants in these evaluated genes do not appear to be strongly associated with EOC risk.
This analysis suggests earlier associations between EOC risk and SNPs in these genes may have been chance findings, possibly confounded by population admixture. To more adequately evaluate the relationship between genetic variants and cancer risk, large sample sizes are needed, adjustment for population stratification should be performed, and use of imputed SNP data should be considered.
miRNA processing; binding sites; inherited susceptibility; ovarian cancer; genetic variants
To investigate the association between self-reported endometriosis and the putative functional promoter +331C/T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and the PROGINS allele.
Control subjects from ovarian cancer case-control studies participating in the international Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. The majority of controls are drawn from population-based studies.
An international ovarian cancer consortium including studies from the Australia, Europe and the United States,
5,812 White female controls, of whom 348 had endometriosis, from eight ovarian cancer case-control studies.
Main Outcome Measures
Genotypes for the +331C/T SNP and PROGINS allele and a history of endometriosis.
The occurrence of endometriosis was reduced in women carrying one or more copies of the +331 T allele (OR=0.65; 95% CI: 0.43–0.98, p=0.042), whereas there was no association between the PROGINS allele and endometriosis (OR=0.94, 95% CI 0.76, 1.16).
Additional studies of the +331C/T variant are warranted given the current finding and the equivocal results of previous studies. The +331 T allele has been shown to result in a reduced PR-A to PR-B ratio and if the observed association with endometriosis is confirmed it would suggest that this ratio is important for this disease.
Endometriosis; progesterone receptor; ovarian cancer; PROGINS