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1.  Study protocol for the Maule Cohort (MAUCO) of chronic diseases, Chile 2014–2024 
BMC Public Health  2016;16:122.
Background
Maule Cohort (MAUCO), a Chilean cohort study, seeks to analyze the natural history of chronic diseases in the agricultural county of Molina (40,000 inhabitants) in the Maule Region, Chile. Molina´s population is of particular interest because in the last few decades it changed from being undernourished to suffering excess caloric intake, and it currently has the highest national rates of cardiovascular diseases, stomach cancer and gallbladder cancer. Between 2009 and 2011 Molina´s poverty rate dropped from 24.1 % to 13.5 % (national average 20.4 %); in this period the county went from insufficient to almost complete basic sanitation. Despite these advances, chemical pollutants in the food and air are increasing. Thus, in Molina risk factors typical of both under-developed and developed countries coexist, generating a unique profile associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and chronic diseases.
Methods/Design
MAUCO is the core project of the recently established Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS), Universidad de Chile & Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. In this study, we are enrolling and following 10,000 adults aged 38 to 74 years over 10 years. All eligible Molina residents will be enrolled. Participants were identified through a household census. Consenting individuals answer an epidemiological survey exploring risk factors (psycho-social, pesticides, diet, alcohol, and physical activity), medical history and physical and cognitive conditions; provide fasting blood, urine, and saliva samples; receive an electrocardiogram, abdominal ultrasound and bio-impedance test; and take a hand-grip strength test. These subjects will be re-interviewed after 2, 5 and 7 years. Active surveillance of health events is in place throughout the regional healthcare system. The MAUCO Bio-Bank will store 30 to 50 aliquots per subject using an NIH/NCI biorepository system for secure and anonymous linkage of samples with data.
Discussion
MAUCO´s results will help design public health interventions tailored to agricultural populations in Latin America.
doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2454-2
PMCID: PMC4743396  PMID: 26847446
Prospective studies; Cohort studies; Population surveillance; Chronic disease/epidemiology; Agricultural workers diseases; Cardiovascular diseases; Neoplasms/Epidemiology
2.  Association of seropositivity to Helicobacter species and biliary tract cancer in the ATBC study 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2014;60(6):1963-1971.
Background
Helicobacter have been detected in human bile and hepatobiliary tissue. Despite evidence that Helicobacter species promote gallstone formation and hepatobiliary tumors in laboratory studies, it remains unclear whether Helicobacter species contribute to these cancers in humans. We used a multiplex panel to assess whether seropositivity to 15 Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) proteins was associated with subsequent incidence of hepatobiliary cancers in the Finnish Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study.
Methods
We included 64 biliary cancers, 122 liver cancers, and 224 age-matched controls which occurred over the course of 22 years. H. pylori seropositivity was defined as those positive to ≥4 antigens. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were adjusted for major hepatobiliary cancer risk factors.
Results
Among the controls, 88% were seropositive to H. pylori at baseline. Among those who subsequently developed hepatobiliary cancer, the prevalence of seropositivity was higher: 100% for gallbladder cancer, 97% of extrahepatic bile duct cancer, 91% of Ampula of vater cancer, 96% of intrahepatic bile duct cancer, and 94% of hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the OR for gallbladder cancer could not be calculated, the OR for the other sites were 7.01 (0.79-62.33), 2.21 (0.19-25.52), 10.67 (0.76-150.08), and 1.20 (0.42-3.45), respectively, with an OR of 5.47 (95%CI: 1.17-25.65) observed for the biliary tract cancers combined. ORs above one were observed for many of the investigated antigens, although most of these associations were not statistically significant.
Conclusions
Seropositivity to H. pylori proteins was associated with an increased risk of biliary tract cancers in ATBC. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to determine how H. pylori might influence risk of biliary tract cancer.
doi:10.1002/hep.27193
PMCID: PMC4216769  PMID: 24797247
Helicobacter pylori; multiplex serology; liver cancer; biliary cancer
3.  Variants in motilin, somatostatin and their receptor genes and risk of biliary tract cancers and stones in Shanghai, China 
Meta gene  2014;2:418-426.
Altered motility of the gallbladder can result in gallstone and cholecystitis, which are important risk factor for biliary tract cancer. Motilin (MLN) and somatostatin (SST) are known important modulators of gallbladder motility. To determine whether genetic variants in motilin, somatostatin, and their receptor genes are associated with the risk of biliary tract cancers and stones, nine tag-SNPs were determined in 439 biliary tract cancer cases (253 gallbladder, 133 extrahepatic bile duct and 53 ampulla of Vater cancer cases), 429 biliary stone cases, and 447 population controls in a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China. We found that subjects with the MLNR rs9568169 AA genotype and SSTR5 rs169068 CC genotype were significantly associated with risk of extrahepatic bile duct cancer (OR =0.49, 95% CI: 0.27-0.89; OR =2.40, 95% CI: 1.13-5.13) compared to the major genotypes. MLN rs2281820 CT and rs3793079 AT genotypes had significantly increased risks of gallstones (OR =1.52, 95% CI: 1.06-2.18; OR =1.64, 95% CI: 1.20-2.25) compared to TT genotypes. Besides, Haplotype analysis showed that MLN T-T-T haplotype (rs2281820-rs3793079-rs2281819) had a non-significantly elevated risk of gallstone (OR =1.30, 95% CI: 0.91-1.86) compared with C-A-A haplotype. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report an association between genetic polymorphisms in MLN, MLNR and their receptor genes and risk of biliary tract cancers and stones.
doi:10.1016/j.mgene.2014.04.012
PMCID: PMC4080205  PMID: 24999450
biliary tract cancer; gallstone; MLN and MLNR; SSTR2 and SSTR5; genetic susceptibility
4.  Detection of HPV DNA in paraffin-embedded cervical samples: a comparison of four genotyping methods 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:544.
Background
Identification of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in cervical tissue is important for understanding cervical carcinogenesis and for evaluating cervical cancer prevention approaches. However, HPV genotyping using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues is technically challenging. We evaluated the performance of four commonly used genotyping methods on FFPE cervical specimens conducted in different laboratories and compared to genotyping results from cytological samples.
Methods
We included 60 pairs of exfoliated-cell and FFPE specimens from women with histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial lesions grade 2 or 3. Cytology specimens were genotyped using the Linear Array assay. Four expert laboratories processed tissue specimens using different preparation methods and then genotyped the resultant sample preparations using four different HPV genotyping methods: SPF10-PCR DEIA LiPA25 (version 1), Inno-LiPA, Linear Array and the Onclarity assay. Percentage agreement, kappa statistics and McNemar’s chi-square were calculated for each comparison of different methods and specimen types.
Results
Overall agreement with respect to carcinogenic HPV status for FFPE samples between different methods was: 81.7, 86.7 and 91.7 % for Onclarity versus Inno-LiPA, Linear Array and SPF-LiPA25, respectively; 81.7 and 85.0 % for Linear Array versus Inno-LiPA and SPF-LiPA25, respectively; and 86.7 % for SPF-LiPA25 versus Inno-LiPA. Type-specific agreement was >88.3 % for all pair-wise comparisons. Comparisons with cytology specimens resulted in overall agreements from 80 to 95 % depending on the method and type-specific agreement was >90 % for most comparisons.
Conclusions
Our data demonstrate that the four genotyping methods run by expert laboratories reliably detect HPV DNA in FFPE specimens with some variation in genotype-specific detection.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-015-1281-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12879-015-1281-5
PMCID: PMC4660657  PMID: 26607224
Genotyping; Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues; Cervical intraepithelial lesions; Exfoliated-cell
5.  Risk of Hepatobiliary Cancer After Solid Organ Transplant in the United States 
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Studies of liver cancer risk in recipients of solid organ transplants have generally been small, yielding mixed results, and little is known about biliary tract cancers among transplant recipients.
METHODS
We identified incident hepatobiliary cancers among 201,549 US recipients of solid organs, from 1987 through 2008, by linking data from the US transplant registry with 15 cancer registries. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs), comparing risk relative to the general population. We also calculated incidence rate ratios (RRs), comparing risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and total (intrahepatic and extrahepatic) cholangiocarcinoma among subgroups of recipients.
RESULTS
Of transplant recipients, 165 developed hepatobiliary cancers (SIR, 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–1.4). HCC risk was increased among liver recipients (SIR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.0–2.2), especially 5 or more y after transplant (SIR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0–3.0). Cholangiocarcinoma was increased among liver (SIR, 2.9; 95% CI,1.6–4.8) and kidney recipients (SIR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3–3.1). HCC was associated with hepatitis B virus (RR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.3–6.9), hepatitis C virus (RR, 10; 95% CI, 5.9–16.9), and non-insulin-dependent diabetes (RR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.2–4.8). Cholangiocarcinoma was associated with azathioprine maintenance therapy (RR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.1–3.7). Among liver recipients, primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) was associated with increased risk of cholangiocarcinoma, compared to the general population (SIR, 21; 95% CI, 8.2–42) and compared to liver recipients without PSC (RR, 12.3; 95% CI, 4.1–36.4).
CONCLUSIONS
Risks for liver and biliary tract cancer are increased among organ transplant recipients. Risk factors for these cancers include medical conditions and medications taken by recipients.
doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.12.018
PMCID: PMC4064001  PMID: 24362053
liver disease; transplantation; epidemiology; HBV; HCV
6.  HPV-associated lung cancers: an international pooled analysis 
Carcinogenesis  2014;35(6):1267-1275.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the etiologic risk factor for cervical cancer. Some studies have suggested an association with a subset of lung tumors, but the etiologic link has not been firmly established. We performed an international pooled analysis of cross-sectional studies (27 datasets, n = 3249 patients) to evaluate HPV DNA prevalence in lung cancer and to investigate viral presence according to clinical and demographic characteristics. HPV16/18 were the most commonly detected, but with substantial variation in viral prevalence between geographic regions. The highest prevalence of HPV16/18 was observed in South and Central America, followed by Asia, North America and Europe (adjusted prevalence rates = 22, 5, 4 and 3%, respectively). Higher HPV16 prevalence was noted in each geographic region compared with HPV18, except in North America. HPV16/18-positive lung cancer was less likely observed among White race (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.12–0.90), whereas no associations were observed with gender, smoking history, age, histology or stage. Comparisons between tumor and normal lung tissue show that HPV was more likely to be present in lung cancer rather than normal lung tissues (OR = 3.86, 95% CI = 2.87–5.19). Among a subset of patients with HPV16-positive tumors, integration was primarily among female patients (93%, 13/14), while the physical status in male cases (N = 14) was inconsistent. Our findings confirm that HPV DNA is present in a small fraction of lung tumors, with large geographic variations. Further comprehensive analysis is needed to assess whether this association reflects a causal relationship.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgu038
PMCID: PMC4043241  PMID: 24523449
7.  Evaluation of a multiplex panel of immune-related markers in cervical secretions: a methodologic study 
While persistent carcinogenic human papillomvirus (HPV) infection is necessary for cervical carcinogenesis, the co-factors involved in HPV persistence and disease progression are poorly understood. Chronic cervical inflammation may increase risk, but few studies have measured immune markers (cytokines/chemokines/soluble receptors) in cervical secretions. We evaluated the performance of 74 multiplexed, bead-based immune markers in cervical secretions from three groups of women with biopsy evaluation of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN): 1) 25% detectability and >80% interclass correlation coefficients (ICC) acceptable for epidemiologic studies. Within-batch coefficients of variation (CV) of ≥25% indicated room for assay improvement. Secondarily, we explored associations between marker levels and CIN/HPV status adjusted for matching variables, assay batch, age, and number of sexual partners. Sixty-two markers (84%) had >25% detectability and ICCs>80%. Of those, 53 (85%) had CVs<25%. Using these preliminary data, we found that HPV-positivity was associated with increased eotaxin-1 (OR: 15.63, 95% CI: 1.26–200.00) and G-CSF (OR: 12.99, 95% CI: 1.10–142.86) among CIN-negative women. There was suggestive evidence that higher chemoattractant marker levels were associated with CIN2/3 (e.g., MIP-1delta, OR: 4.48, 95% CI: 0.87–23.04 versus
doi:10.1002/ijc.28354
PMCID: PMC3872247  PMID: 23824624
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114633.
Background
Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancers, and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been associated with reduced risk of several cancers. To further refine the magnitude of NSAID-related associations, in particular for cancers related to inflammation, such as alcohol-, infection-, obesity-, and smoking-related cancers, as well as for less common cancers, we evaluated the use of NSAIDs and cancer risk in a very large cohort. We used propensity scores to account for potential selection bias and hypothesized that NSAID use is associated with decreased cancer incidence.
Methods
We conducted a prospective study among 314,522 participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Individuals who completed the lifestyle questionnaire, which included NSAID use, in 1996–1997 were followed through 2006. Information on cancer incidence was ascertained by linking to cancer registries and vital status databases.
Findings
During 2,715,994 person-years of follow-up (median 10.1 person-years), there were 51,894 incident cancers. Compared with non-users of NSAIDs, individuals who reported use in the 12 months prior to interview had a significantly lower risk of all inflammation-related cancer, alcohol-related, infection-related, obesity-related, and smoking-related cancers [hazard ratio (HR) (95% CI)) 0.90 (0.87–0.93), 0.80 (0.74–0.85), 0.82 (0.78–0.87), 0.88 (0.84–0.92), and 0.88 (0.85–0.92) respectively)].
Conclusions
After accounting for potential selection bias, our data showed an inverse association between NSAID use and alcohol-related, infection-related, obesity-related, and smoking-related cancers and support the hypothesis that inflammation is related to an increased risk of certain cancers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114633
PMCID: PMC4281259  PMID: 25551641
Background
Despite growing recognition of an etiologic role for inflammation in lung carcinogenesis, few prospective epidemiologic studies have comprehensively investigated the association of circulating inflammation markers with lung cancer.
Methods
We conducted a nested case–control study (n = 526 lung cancer patients and n = 592 control subjects) within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Control subjects were matched to lung cancer case patients on age, sex, follow-up time (median = 2.9 years), randomization year, and smoking (pack-years and time since quitting). Serum levels of 77 inflammation markers were measured using a Luminex bead-based assay. Conditional logistic regression and weighted Cox models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and cumulative risks, respectively.
Results
Of 68 evaluable markers, 11 were statistically significantly associated with lung cancer risk (P trend across marker categories < .05), including acute-phase proteins (C-reactive protein [CRP], serum amyloid A [SAA]), proinflammatory cytokines (soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 [sTNFRII]), anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 1 receptor antagonist [IL-1RA]), lymphoid differentiation cytokines (interleukin 7 [IL-7]), growth factors (transforming growth factor alpha [TGF-A]), and chemokines (epithelial neutrophil-activating peptide 78 [ENA 78/CXCL5], monokine induced by gamma interferon [MIG/CXCL9], B cell–attracting chemokine 1 [BCA-1/CXCL13], thymus activation regulated chemokine [TARC/CCL17], macrophage-derived chemokine [MDC/CCL22]). Elevated marker levels were associated with increased lung cancer risk, with odds ratios comparing the highest vs the lowest group ranging from 1.47 (IL-7) to 2.27 (CRP). For IL-1RA, elevated levels were associated with decreased lung cancer risk (OR = 0.71; 95% confidence interval = 0.51 to 1.00). Associations did not differ by smoking, lung cancer histology, or latency. A cross-validated inflammation score using four independent markers (CRP, BCA-1/CXCL13, MDC/CCL22, and IL-1RA) provided good separation in 10-year lung cancer cumulative risks among former smokers (quartile [Q] 1 = 1.1% vs Q4 = 3.1%) and current smokers (Q1 = 2.3% vs Q4 = 7.9%) even after adjustment for smoking.
Conclusions
Some circulating inflammation marker levels are associated with prospective lung cancer risk.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djt309
PMCID: PMC3888091  PMID: 24249745
We evaluated incidence patterns of biliary tract cancers (gallbladder, extrahepatic bile duct, ampulla of Vater, and not otherwise specified) to provide potential insight into the etiology of these cancers. Data were obtained from the population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. Rates for cases diagnosed during 1992–2009 were calculated by racial/ethnic, gender, and age groups. Temporal trends during 1974–2009 and annual percentage changes (APC) during 1992–2009 were estimated. Age-adjusted rates by site were higher among American Indian/Alaska Natives, Hispanics (white) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (Asian/PI) and lower among whites and blacks. Gallbladder cancer was more common among women in all ethnic groups (female-to-male incidence rate ratio [IRR] ranged from 1.24 to 2.86), but bile duct and ampulla of Vater cancers were more common among men (female-to-male IRR 0.57 to 0.82). Gallbladder cancer rates declined among all racial/ethnic and gender groups except blacks (APC −0.4% to −3.9%). In contrast, extrahepatic bile duct cancer rates rose significantly in most female racial/ethnic groups; the APCs among whites were 0.8 among females and 1.3 among males, both significant. Rates for ampulla of Vater cancer decreased among Asian/PI females (APC −2.7%) but remained stable for the other groups. In addition to confirming that biliary tract cancer incidence patterns differ by gender and site, and that the gallbladder cancer incidence rates have been declining, this study provides novel evidence that extrahepatic bile duct cancer rates are rising. These observations may help guide future etiologic studies.
doi:10.1002/ijc.28161
PMCID: PMC3713194  PMID: 23504585
biliary tract cancer; gallbladder cancer; extrahepatic bile duct cancer; ampulla of Vater cancer; Klatskin tumors; incidence
Persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection is the strongest risk factor for high-grade cervical precancer. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of HPV persistence patterns worldwide. Medline and ISI Web of Science were searched through January 1, 2010 for articles estimating HPV persistence or duration of detection. Descriptive and meta-regression techniques were used to summarize variability and the influence of study definitions and characteristics on duration and persistence of cervical HPV infections in women. Among 86 studies providing data on over 100,000 women, 73% defined persistence as HPV positivity at a minimum of two time points. Persistence varied notably across studies and was largely mediated by study region and HPV type, with HPV-16, 31, 33 and 52 being most persistent. Weighted median duration of any-HPV detection was 9.8 months. HR-HPV (9.3 months) persisted longer than low-risk HPV (8.4 months), and HPV-16 (12.4 months) persisted longer than HPV-18 (9.8 months). Among populations of HPV positive women with normal cytology, the median duration of any-HPV detection was 11.5 and HR-HPV detection was10.9 months. In conclusion, we estimated that approximately half of HPV infections persist past 6–12 months. Repeat HPV testing at 12 month intervals could identify women at increased risk of high-grade cervical precancer due to persistent HPV infections.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27828
PMCID: PMC3707974  PMID: 22961444
human papillomavirus; HPV; duration; persistence; clearance; natural history; repeat testing; literature review; screening; cervical cancer; meta-analysis
Meta Gene  2014;2:418-426.
Altered motility of the gallbladder can result in gallstone and cholecystitis, which are important risk factors for biliary tract cancer. Motilin (MLN) and somatostatin (SST) are known important modulators of gallbladder motility. To determine whether genetic variants in motilin, somatostatin, and their receptor genes are associated with the risk of biliary tract cancers and stones, nine tag-SNPs were determined in 439 biliary tract cancer cases (253 gallbladder, 133 extrahepatic bile duct and 53 ampulla of Vater cancer cases), 429 biliary stone cases, and 447 population controls in a population-based case–control study in Shanghai, China. We found that subjects with the MLNR rs9568169 AA genotype and SSTR5 rs169068 CC genotype were significantly associated with risk of extrahepatic bile duct cancer (OR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.27–0.89; OR = 2.40, 95% CI: 1.13–5.13) compared to the major genotypes. MLN rs2281820 CT and rs3793079 AT genotypes had significantly increased risks of gallstones (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.06–2.18; OR = 1.64, 95% CI: 1.20–2.25) compared to TT genotypes. Besides, haplotype analysis showed that MLN T-T-T haplotype (rs2281820–rs3793079–rs2281819) had a non-significantly elevated risk of gallstone (OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 0.91–1.86) compared with C-A-A haplotype. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report an association between genetic polymorphisms in MLN, MLNR and their receptor genes and risk of biliary tract cancers and stones.
Highlights
•We conduct a population-based case–control study of biliary tract diseases in China.•We examine nine TagSNPs in gallbladder motility genes in this study.•MLNR rs9568169 and SSTR5 rs169068 are related to extrahepatic bile duct cancer risk.•MLN rs2281820 and rs3793079 are associated with gallstone risk.
doi:10.1016/j.mgene.2014.04.012
PMCID: PMC4080205  PMID: 24999450
Biliary tract cancer; Gallstone; MLN and MLNR; SSTR2 and SSTR5; Genetic susceptibility
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83208.
Melatonin, a marker for the circadian rhythm with serum levels peaking between 2AM and 5AM, is hypothesized to possess anti-cancer properties, making it a mechanistic candidate for the probable carcinogenic effect of circadian rhythm disruption. In order to weigh epidemiologic evidence on the association of melatonin with cancer, we must first understand the laboratory and biological sources of variability in melatonin levels measured in samples. Participants for this methodological study were men enrolled in the Prostate Lung Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). We measured serum melatonin levels over a five year period in 97 individuals to test if melatonin levels are steady over time. The Pearson correlation coefficient between two measures separated by 1 year was 0.87, while the correlation between two measures separated by 5 years was to 0.70. In an additional cross-sectional study of 292 individuals, we used Analysis of Variance to identify differences in melatonin levels between different lifestyle and environmental characteristics. Serum melatonin levels were slightly higher in samples collected from 130 individuals during the winter, (6.36±0.59 pg/ml) than in samples collected from 119 individuals during the summer (4.83±0.62 pg/ml). Serum melatonin levels were lowest in current smokers (3.02±1.25 pg/ml, p = 0.007) compared to never (6.66±0.66 pg/ml) and former (5.59±0.50 pg/ml) smokers whereas BMI did not significantly affect serum melatonin levels in this study. In conclusion, the high 5 year correlation of melatonin levels implies that single measurements may be used to detect population level associations between melatonin and risk of cancer. Furthermore, our results reiterate the need to record season of sample collection, and individual characteristics in order to maximize study power and prevent confounding.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083208
PMCID: PMC3871612  PMID: 24376664
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(2):625-628.
We conducted a Linear Array test/retest analysis using cytologic specimens from 198 women. A total of 67.2% of samples had the same human papillomavirus (HPV) types detected in both tests (type-specific positive agreement was 83.3% overall [Kappa = 0.9] and 86.8% for carcinogenic types [Kappa = 0.92]). Discordance was highest with a low hybridization signal strength. Overall, Linear Array was highly reproducible.
doi:10.1128/JCM.03036-12
PMCID: PMC3553882  PMID: 23196360
Annals of epidemiology  2012;22(7):520-530.
Increasing evidence suggests that altered immunity and chronic inflammation play a key role in the etiology of many malignancies, but the underlying biological mechanisms involved remain unclear. Systemic markers of immunity may not represent the clinically relevant, site-specific immune response, whereas tissue-based markers may more accurately reflect the local immunologic mechanisms by which precursor lesions develop into cancer. Tissues are often only available in individuals with disease. Previous studies have measured tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to predict prognosis and survival, but it can be challenging to use tissue-based markers to study the natural history of cancer due to limitations with regard to temporality, the availability of appropriate comparison groups, and other epidemiologic issues. In this commentary, we discuss several epidemiologic study design and study population considerations to address these issues, including the strengths and limitations of using tissue-based markers to study immune response and cancer development. We also discuss how the use of tissue-based immune markers fits into the greater context of molecular epidemiology, which encompasses multiple technologies and techniques, and how implementation of tissue-based immune markers will provide an increased understanding of site-specific biological mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.03.001
PMCID: PMC3596808  PMID: 22481034
BMC Cancer  2012;12:468.
Background
Genetic variants in inflammation-related genes have been associated with biliary stones and biliary tract cancers in previous studies.
Methods
To follow-up on these findings, we examined 35 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in 5 genes related to inflammation (IL8, NFKBIL, RNASEL, TNF, and VEGFA) in 456 participants with incident biliary tract cancer cases (262 gallbladder, 141 extrahepatic bile duct, 53 ampulla of Vater), 982 participants with biliary stones, and 860 healthy controls in a population–based case–control study in Shanghai, China.
Results
Suggestive associations were observed for SNPs in VEGFA with biliary stones, IL8 with gallbladder and ampulla of Vater cancers, and RNASEL with ampulla of Vater cancer (false discovery rate≤0.2).
Conclusion
These findings provide additional support for the role of inflammation in biliary stones and biliary tract cancer risk and need further validation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-468
PMCID: PMC3524039  PMID: 23057767
Biliary tract cancer; Biliary stones; Inflammation; Genetic susceptibility
Vaccine  2011;29(25):4238-4243.
Background
If women who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are unduly reassured about the cancer prevention benefits of vaccination, they may choose not to participate in screening, thereby increasing their risk for cervical cancer. This study assesses adult women’s knowledge of the need to continue cervical cancer screening after HPV vaccination, describes Pap test intentions of vaccinated young adult women, and evaluates whether knowledge and intentions differ across groups at greatest risk for cervical cancer.
Methods
Data were from the 2008 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) and the 2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which initiated data collection approximately 18 months after the first FDA approval of an HPV vaccine. We calculated associations between independent variables and the outcomes using chi-square tests.
Results
Of 1,586 female HINTS respondents ages 18 through 74, 95.6% knew that HPV-vaccinated women should continue to receive Pap tests. This knowledge did not vary significantly by race/ethnicity, education, income, or healthcare access. Among 1,101 female NHIS respondents ages 18 to 26 who had ever received a Pap test, the proportion (12.7%; n = 139) who reported receipt of the HPV vaccine were more likely than those not vaccinated to plan to receive a Pap test within three years (98.1% vs. 92.5%, p<0.001).
Conclusions
US adult women possess high knowledge and intention to participate in Pap testing after HPV vaccination. The vast majority of young adult women who received the HPV vaccine within its first two years on the market intend to participate in cervical cancer screening in the near future. Future studies are needed to examine whether those vaccinated in adolescence will become aware of, and adhere to, screening guidelines as they become eligible.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.03.076
PMCID: PMC3105777  PMID: 21473953
human papillomavirus (HPV); cervical cancer; cancer screening; disparities
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32106.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a risk factor for distal stomach cancer, and a few small studies have suggested that H. pylori may be a potential risk factor for lung cancer. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a study of 350 lung adenocarcinoma cases, 350 squamous cell carcinoma cases, and 700 controls nested within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC) cohort of male Finnish smokers. Controls were one-to-one matched by age and date of baseline serum draw. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to detect immunoglobulin G antibodies against H. pylori whole-cell and cytotoxin-associated gene (CagA) antigens, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for associations between H. pylori seropositivity and lung cancer risk using conditional logistic regression. H. pylori seropositivity was detected in 79.7% of cases and 78.5% of controls. After adjusting for pack-years and cigarettes smoked per day, H. pylori seropositivity was not associated with either adenocarcinoma (OR: 1.1, 95% CI: 0.75–1.6) or squamous cell carcinoma (OR: 1.1, 95% CI: 0.77–1.7). Results were similar for CagA-negative and CagA-positive H. pylori seropositivity. Despite earlier small studies suggesting that H. pylori may contribute to lung carcinogenesis, H. pylori seropositivity does not appear to be associated with lung cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032106
PMCID: PMC3286451  PMID: 22384154
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;29(4):378-385.
Purpose
To examine underlying etiologic factors that may explain the racial disparity in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) incidence patterns.
Patients and Methods
We assessed immune-related conditions and risk of developing NHL among more than 4 million hospitalized US veterans including 9,496 patients with NHL (7,999 white patients and 1,497 black patients) with up to 26 years of follow-up. We used time-dependent Poisson regression to estimate rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs for NHL risk among patients with a history of specific autoimmune diseases, infections, and allergies compared with patients without such history, adjusting for attained age, calendar year, race, number of hospital visits, and time between study entry and exit.
Results
Patients with infectious conditions had an increased risk of developing NHL (RR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.2), particularly for gastrohepatic, genital, and systemic infectious conditions. Patients with autoimmune disease were generally more likely to develop NHL than patients without autoimmune disease, especially for conditions that typically present with detectable autoantibodies with systemic involvement (RR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.2). Allergies were also associated with increased risk (RR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3 to 1.5). Although the risk of NHL was lower for blacks than whites (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.82 to 0.92), blacks had a slightly higher risk of NHL associated with infections than whites (likelihood ratio test, P = .002) and a tendency toward higher risk associated with allergies (likelihood ratio test, P = .05). Risks associated with autoimmune conditions were similar by race (likelihood ratio test, P = .5).
Conclusion
The observed difference in NHL risk by race supports a role for race-related differences in genes regulating immune/inflammatory response.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.30.1515
PMCID: PMC3058284  PMID: 21172877
Purpose
The molecular drivers that determine histology in lung cancer are largely unknown. We investigated whether microRNA (miR) expression profiles can differentiate histological subtypes and predict survival for non-small cell lung cancer.
Experimental design
We analyzed miR expression in 165 adenocarcinoma (AD) and 125 squamous cell carcinoma (SQ) tissue samples from the Environmental And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study using a custom oligo array with 440 human mature antisense miRs. We compared miR expression profiles using t-tests and F-tests and accounted for multiple testing using global permutation tests. We assessed the association of miR expression with tobacco smoking using Spearman correlation coefficients and linear regression models, and with clinical outcome using log-rank tests, Cox proportional hazards and survival risk prediction models, accounting for demographic and tumor characteristics.
Results
MiR expression profiles strongly differed between AD and SQ (global p<0.0001), particularly in the early stages, and included miRs located on chromosome loci most often altered in lung cancer (e.g., 3p21-22). Most miRs, including all members of the let-7 family, were down-regulated in SQ. Major findings were confirmed by QRT-PCR in EAGLE samples and in an independent set of lung cancer cases. In SQ, low expression of miRs down-regulated in the histology comparison was associated with 1.2 to 3.6-fold increased mortality risk. A 5-miR signature significantly predicted survival for SQ.
Conclusions
We identified a miR expression profile that strongly differentiated AD from SQ and had prognostic implications. These findings may lead to histology-based therapeutic approaches.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-1736
PMCID: PMC3163170  PMID: 20068076
Certain regions of China have high rates of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Previous studies of human papillomavirus (HPV), a proposed causal factor, have produced highly variable results. We attempted to evaluate HPV and ESCC more definitively using extreme care to prevent DNA contamination. We collected tissue and serum in China from 272 histopathologically-confirmed ESCC cases with rigorous attention to good molecular biology technique. We tested for HPV DNA in fresh-frozen tumor tissue using PCR with PGMY L1 consensus primers and HPV16 and 18 type-specific E6 and E7 primers, and in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue using SPF10 L1 primers. In HPV-positive cases, we evaluated p16INK4a overexpression and HPV E6/E7 seropositivity as evidence of carcinogenic HPV activity. β-globin, and thus DNA, was adequate in 98.2% of the frozen tumor tissues (267/272). Of these, 99.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 97.9–100.0%) were negative for HPV DNA by PGMY, and 100% (95% CI = 98.6–100%) were negative by HPV16/18 E6/E7 PCR. In the corresponding formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor specimens, 99.3% (95% CI = 97.3–99.9%) were HPV negative by SPF10. By PGMY, 1 case tested weakly positive for HPV89, a noncancer causing HPV type. By SPF10, 2 cases tested weakly positive: 1 for HPV16 and 1 for HPV31. No HPV DNA-positive case had evidence of HPV oncogene activity as measured by p16INK4a overexpression or E6/E7 seropositivity. This study provides the most definitive evidence to date that HPV is not involved in ESCC carcinogenesis in China. HPV DNA contamination cannot be ruled out as an explanation for high HPV prevalence in ESCC tissue studies with less stringent tissue procurement and processing protocols.
doi:10.1002/ijc.25023
PMCID: PMC3069961  PMID: 19918949
human papillomavirus; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
Background
Chronic immune stimulation appears to be associated with lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL)-Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM); however, available information is sparse. We conducted, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive study to date to evaluate associations between a personal or family history of many immune-related and/or inflammatory disorders and the subsequent risk of LPL-WM.
Methods
We used Swedish population-based registries to identify 2470 case patients with LPL-WM, 9698 matched control subjects, and almost 30 000 first-degree relatives of either case patients or control subjects. We evaluated a wide range of autoimmune, infectious, allergic, and inflammatory conditions. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each condition by use of logistic regression.
Results
An increased risk of LPL-WM was associated with a personal history of the following autoimmune diseases: systemic sclerosis (OR = 4.7, 95% CI = 1.4 to 15.3), Sjögren syndrome (OR = 12.1, 95% CI = 3.3 to 45.0), autoimmune hemolytic anemia (OR = 24.2, 95% CI = 5.4 to 108.2), polymyalgia rheumatica (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.6 to 5.2), and giant cell arteritis (OR = 8.3, 95% CI = 2.1 to 33.1). An increased risk of LPL-WM was associated with a personal history of the following infectious diseases: pneumonia (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1 to 1.7), septicemia (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.2 to 4.3), pyelonephritis (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.1 to 2.5), sinusitis (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.4 to 4.9), herpes zoster (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 2.0 to 5.6), and influenza (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.7 to 5.0). An increased risk of LPL-WM was associated with a family history of the following autoimmune or infectious diseases: Sjögren syndrome (OR = 5.0, 95% CI = 2.1 to 12.0), autoimmune hemolytic anemia (OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.1 to 13.2), Guillain–Barré syndrome (OR = 4.1, 95% CI = 1.8 to 9.4), cytomegalovirus (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.4 to 5.3), gingivitis and periodontitis (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.3 to 2.7), and chronic prostatitis (OR = 4.3, 95% CI = 1.7 to 11.1).
Conclusions
Personal history of certain immune-related and/or infectious conditions was strongly associated with increased risk of LPL-WM. The association of both personal and family history of Sjögren syndrome and autoimmune hemolytic anemia with risk of LPL-WM indicates the potential for shared susceptibility for these conditions.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djq043
PMCID: PMC2857799  PMID: 20181958
Background
Thousands of people in central Asia die every year from gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA). GCA arises in the transformation zone between the esophagus and the stomach, similar to cervical and oropharyngeal carcinoma, which arise in areas with transformation zone characteristics. The analogous biology of the gastric cardia to the cervix and oropharynx, where human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to cause cancer, raises the possibility that GCA could be an HPV-associated cancer. Given the availability of an effective HPV vaccine and its potential to prevent HPV-associated cancer, we decided to evaluate the prevalence of HPV DNA in GCA.
Methods
We collected tumor tissue from 144 histopathologically-confirmed GCA patients at Yaocun Commune Hospital, Linxian, China, with rigorous attention to prevent DNA contamination. We tested for the presence of HPV DNA in fresh-frozen tumor specimens using PCR with sensitive L1, E6, and E7-based primers.
Results
DNA was adequate, as indicated by β-globin positivity, in 108 cases. Of these, all (100%, 95% confidence interval: 97%–100%) were negative for HPV DNA
Conclusions
These results suggest that HPV does not contribute to gastric cardia carcinogenesis in north central China.
Impact
Since GCA does not appear to be an HPV-associated cancer, prophylactic HPV vaccination is unlikely to affect rates of GCA in China.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0089
PMCID: PMC2852466  PMID: 20332262

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