Little is known about the etiology of hairy cell leukemia (HCL), a rare B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder with marked male predominance. Our aim was to identify key risk factors for HCL.
A pooled analysis of individual-level data for 154 histologically confirmed HCL cases and 8834 controls from five case–control studies, conducted in Europe and Australia, was undertaken. Age-, race and/or ethnicity-, sex-, and study-adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression.
The usual patterns for age and sex in HCL were observed, with a median age of 55 years and sex ratio of 3.7 males to females. Cigarette smoking was inversely associated with HCL (OR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.37 to 0.71) with dose–response relationships observed for duration, frequency, and lifetime cigarette smoking (P
trend < .001). In contrast, occupation as a farmer was positively associated with HCL (OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.36 to 4.01), with a dose–response relationship observed for duration (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 0.85 to 3.88 for ≤10 years vs never; and OR = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.50 to 5.93 for >10 years vs never; P
trend = .025). Adult height was also positively associated with HCL (OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.39 to 5.29 for upper vs lower quartile of height). The observed associations remained consistent in multivariate analysis.
Our observations of an increased risk of HCL from farming exposures and decreased risk from smoking exposures, independent of one another, support a multifactorial origin and an etiological specificity of HCL compared with other non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes. The positive association with height is a novel finding that needs replication.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) comprises biologically and clinically heterogeneous subtypes. Previously, study size has limited the ability to compare and contrast the risk factor profiles among these heterogeneous subtypes.
We pooled individual-level data from 17 471 NHL cases and 23 096 controls in 20 case–control studies from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph). We estimated the associations, measured as odds ratios, between each of 11 NHL subtypes and self-reported medical history, family history of hematologic malignancy, lifestyle factors, and occupation. We then assessed the heterogeneity of associations by evaluating the variability (Q value) of the estimated odds ratios for a given exposure among subtypes. Finally, we organized the subtypes into a hierarchical tree to identify groups that had similar risk factor profiles. Statistical significance of tree partitions was estimated by permutation-based P values (P
Risks differed statistically significantly among NHL subtypes for medical history factors (autoimmune diseases, hepatitis C virus seropositivity, eczema, and blood transfusion), family history of leukemia and multiple myeloma, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and certain occupations, whereas generally homogeneous risks among subtypes were observed for family history of NHL, recreational sun exposure, hay fever, allergy, and socioeconomic status. Overall, the greatest difference in risk factors occurred between T-cell and B-cell lymphomas (P
NODE < 1.0×10−4), with increased risks generally restricted to T-cell lymphomas for eczema, T-cell-activating autoimmune diseases, family history of multiple myeloma, and occupation as a painter. We further observed substantial heterogeneity among B-cell lymphomas (P
NODE < 1.0×10−4). Increased risks for B-cell-activating autoimmune disease and hepatitis C virus seropositivity and decreased risks for alcohol consumption and occupation as a teacher generally were restricted to marginal zone lymphoma, Burkitt/Burkitt-like lymphoma/leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and/or lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma/Waldenström macroglobulinemia.
Using a novel approach to investigate etiologic heterogeneity among NHL subtypes, we identified risk factors that were common among subtypes as well as risk factors that appeared to be distinct among individual or a few subtypes, suggesting both subtype-specific and shared underlying mechanisms. Further research is needed to test putative mechanisms, investigate other risk factors (eg, other infections, environmental exposures, and diet), and evaluate potential joint effects with genetic susceptibility.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), comprised of nodal, extranodal, and splenic subtypes, accounts for 5%–10% of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases. A detailed evaluation of the independent effects of risk factors for MZL and its subtypes has not been conducted.
Data were pooled from 1052 MZL cases (extranodal [EMZL] = 633, nodal [NMZL] = 157, splenic [SMZL] = 140) and 13766 controls from 12 case–control studies. Adjusted unconditional logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Novel findings for MZL subtypes include increased risk for B-cell activating autoimmune conditions (EMZL OR = 6.40, 95% CI = 4.24 to 9.68; NMZL OR = 7.80, 95% CI = 3.32 to 18.33; SMZL OR = 4.25, 95% CI = 1.49 to 12.14), hepatitis C virus seropositivity (EMZL OR = 5.29, 95% CI = 2.48 to 11.28), self-reported peptic ulcers (EMZL OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.35 to 2.49), asthma without other atopy (SMZL OR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.23 to 4.23), family history of hematologic cancer (EMZL OR = 1.90, 95% CI = 1.37 to 2.62) and of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NMZL OR = 2.82, 95% CI = 1.33 to 5.98), permanent hairdye use (SMZL OR = 6.59, 95% CI = 1.54 to 28.17), and occupation as a metalworker (NMZL OR = 3.56, 95% CI = 1.67 to 7.58). Reduced risks were observed with consumption of any alcohol (EMZL fourth quartile OR = 0.48, 95% CI = 0.28 to 0.82) and lower consumption of wine (NMZL first to third quartile ORs < 0.45) compared with nondrinkers, and occupation as a teacher (EMZL OR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.37 to 0.88).
Our results provide new data suggesting etiologic heterogeneity across MZL subtypes although a common risk of MZL associated with B-cell activating autoimmune conditions was found.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is the third most common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here we perform a two-stage GWAS of 1,281 MZL cases and 7,127 controls of European ancestry and identify two independent loci near BTNL2 (rs9461741, P=3.95×10−15) and HLA-B (rs2922994, P=2.43×10−9) in the HLA region significantly associated with MZL risk. This is the first evidence that genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex influences MZL susceptibility.
RAS and BRAF mutations impact treatment and prognosis of metastatic colorectal cancer patients (mCRC), but the knowledge is based on trial patients usually not representative for the general cancer population. Patient characteristics, treatment and efficacy according to KRAS, BRAF and MSI status were analyzed in a prospectively collected unselected population-based cohort of 798 non-resectable mCRC patients. The cohort contained many patients with poor performance status (39% PS 2-4) and elderly (37% age>75), groups usually not included in clinical trials. Patients without available tissue micro array (TMA) (42%) had worse prognostic factors and inferior survival (all patients; 7m vs 11m, chemotherapy-treated;12m vs 17m). The 92 patients (21%) with BRAF mutation had a poor prognosis regardless of microsatellite instability, but receipt of 1-2nd chemotherapy was similar to wildtype BRAF patients. Median survival in this cohort varied from 1 month in BRAF mutated patients not given chemotherapy to 26 months in wildtype KRAS/BRAF patients <75 years in good PS. TMA availability, BRAF mutation and KRAS mutation were all independent prognostic factors for survival. The observed 21% BRAF mutation incidence is higher than the previously and repeatedly reported incidence of 5-12% in mCRC. Screening for BRAF mutations before selection of treatment is relevant for many patients, especially outside clinical trials. A BRAF mutation only partly explained the very poor prognosis of many mCRC patients. Survival in unselected metastatic colorectal cancer patients is extremely variable and subgroups have an extremely short survival compared to trial patients. Patients without available TMA had worse prognostic factors and shorter survival, which questions the total generalizability of present TMA studies and implies that we lack information on the biologically worst mCRC cases. Lack of available tissue is an important underexposed issue which introduces sample bias, and this should be recognized more clearly when conclusions are made from translational mCRC studies.
Molecular alterations are well studied in colon cancer, however there is still need for an improved understanding of their prognostic impact. This study aims to characterize colon cancer with regard to KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutations, microsatellite instability (MSI), and average DNA copy number, in connection with tumour dissemination and recurrence in patients with colon cancer.
Disease stage II-IV colon cancer patients (n = 121) were selected. KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutation status was assessed by pyrosequencing and MSI was determined by analysis of mononucleotide repeat markers. Genome-wide average DNA copy number and allelic imbalance was evaluated by SNP array analysis.
Patients with mutated KRAS were more likely to experience disease dissemination (OR 2.75; 95% CI 1.28-6.04), whereas the opposite was observed for patients with BRAF mutation (OR 0.34; 95% 0.14-0.81) or MSI (OR 0.24; 95% 0.09-0.64). Also in the subset of patients with stage II-III disease, both MSI (OR 0.29; 95% 0.10-0.86) and BRAF mutation (OR 0.32; 95% 0.16-0.91) were related to lower risk of distant recurrence. However, average DNA copy number and PIK3CA mutations were not associated with disease dissemination.
The present study revealed that tumour dissemination is less likely to occur in colon cancer patients with MSI and BRAF mutation, whereas the presence of a KRAS mutation increases the likelihood of disseminated disease.
Electronic supplementary material
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Colon cancer; MSI; BRAF; KRAS; PIK3CA; DNA copy number; Prognosis
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is the third most common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here we perform a two-stage GWAS of 1,281 MZL cases and 7,127 controls of European ancestry and identify two independent loci near BTNL2 (rs9461741, P=3.95 × 10−15) and HLA-B (rs2922994, P=2.43 × 10−9) in the HLA region significantly associated with MZL risk. This is the first evidence that genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex influences MZL susceptibility.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here the authors carry out a two-stage genome-wide association study in over 8,000 Europeans and identify two new MZL risk loci at chromosome 6p, implicating the major histocompatibility complex in the disease for the first time.
To identify predisposition loci for classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) we conducted a genome-wide association study of 589 cHL cases and 5,199 controls with validation in 4 independent samples totaling 2,057 cases and 3,416 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 2p16.1 (rs1432295, REL; odds ratio [OR]=1.22, Pcombined=1.91×10−8), 8q24.21 (rs2019960, PVT1; OR=1.33, Pcombined=1.26×10−13) and 10p14 (rs501764, GATA3; OR=1.25, Pcombined=7.05×10−8). Furthermore, we confirmed the role of the MHC in disease etiology by revealing a strong HLA association (rs6903608; OR=1.70, Pcombined=2.84×10−50). These data provide new insight into the pathogenesis of cHL.
The value of adjuvant chemotherapy in colorectal cancer is well studied, and guidelines have been established. Little is known about how treatment guidelines are implemented in the everyday clinical setting.
This national population-based study on nearly 34,000 patients with colorectal cancer evaluates the adherence to present clinical guidelines for adjuvant chemotherapy. Virtually all patients with colorectal cancer in Sweden during the years 2007–2012 and data from the Swedish Colorectal Cancer Registry were included.
In colon cancer stage III, adherence to national guidelines was associated with lower age, presence of multidisciplinary team (MDT) conference, low co-morbidity, and worse N stage. The MDT forum also affected whether or not high-risk stage II colon cancer patients were considered for adjuvant chemotherapy. Rectal cancer patients both in stage II and III were considered for adjuvant chemotherapy less often than colon cancer patients, but the same factors influenced the decision. Adjuvant chemotherapy was started later than eight weeks after surgery in 30% of colon cancer patients and in 38% of rectal cancer patients.
In Sweden, the adherence to national guidelines for adjuvant chemotherapy in colon cancer stage III is acceptable in younger and healthier patients. MDT conferences are of major importance and affect whether patients are recommended for adjuvant chemotherapy. Special consideration needs to be given to certain subgroups of patients, particularly older patients and patients with poorly differentiated tumors. There is a need to shorten the waiting time until start of chemotherapy.
Electronic supplementary material
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Registries; Chemotherapy adjuvant; Colonic neoplasms; Rectal neoplasms; Practice guidelines
The clinical behaviour of colon cancer is heterogeneous. Five-year overall survival is 50-65% with all stages included. Recurring somatic chromosomal alterations have been identified and some have shown potential as markers for dissemination of the tumour, which is responsible for most colon cancer deaths. We investigated 115 selected stage II-IV primary colon cancers for associations between chromosomal alterations and tumour dissemination.
Follow-up was at least 5 years for stage II-III patients without distant recurrence. Affymetrix SNP 6.0 microarrays and allele-specific copy number analysis were used to identify chromosomal alterations. Fisher’s exact test was used to associate alterations with tumour dissemination, detected at diagnosis (stage IV) or later as recurrent disease (stage II-III).
Loss of 1p36.11-21 was associated with tumour dissemination in microsatellite stable tumours of stage II-IV (odds ratio = 5.5). It was enriched to a similar extent in tumours with distant recurrence within stage II and stage III subgroups, and may therefore be used as a prognostic marker at diagnosis. Loss of 1p36.11-21 relative to average copy number of the genome showed similar prognostic value compared to absolute loss of copies. Therefore, the use of relative loss as a prognostic marker would benefit more patients by applying also to hyperploid cancer genomes. The association with tumour dissemination was supported by independent data from the The Cancer Genome Atlas.
Deletions on 1p36 may be used to guide adjuvant treatment decisions in microsatellite stable colon cancer of stages II and III.
Electronic supplementary material
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Colon cancer; Prognostic marker; Allele-specific copy number analysis; Genome duplication; 1p36; Metastasis; Tumour dissemination
The study aimed to investigate the meaning patients assign to two measures of quality of life: the Schedule for Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW) and the SEIQoL-DW Disease Related (DR) version, in a clinical oncology setting. Even though the use of quality of life assessments has increased during the past decades, uncertainty regarding how to choose the most suitable measure remains. SEIQoL-DW versions assesses the individual’s perception of his or her present quality of life by allowing the individual to nominate the domains to be evaluated followed by a weighting procedure resulting in qualitative (domains) as well as quantitative outcomes (index score).
The study applied a cross-sectional design with a qualitative approach and collected data from a purposeful sample of 40 patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Patients were asked to complete two measures, SEIQoL-DW and the SEIQoL-DR, to assess quality of life. This included nomination of the areas in life considered most important and rating of these areas; after completion patients participated in cognitive interviews around their selections of areas. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim which was followed by analysis using a phenomenographic approach.
The analyses of nominated areas of the two measures resulted in 11 domains reflecting what patients perceived had greatest impact on their quality of life. Analysis of the cognitive interviews resulted in 16 thematic categories explaining the nominated domains. How patients reflected around their quality of life appeared to differ by version (DW vs. DR). The DW version more often related to positive aspects in life while the DR version more often related to negative changes in life due to having cancer.
The two SEIQoL versions tap into different concepts; health-related quality of life, addressing losses and problems related to having cancer and, quality of life, more associated with aspects perceived as positive in life. The SEIQoL-DR and the SEIQoL-DW are recommended in clinical practice to take both negative and positive aspects into account and acting on the problems of greatest importance to the patient.
Cognitive interviews; Gastrointestinal cancer; Health-related quality of life; Measures; SEIQoL; Quality of life
Survival in follicular lymphoma (FL) is highly variable, even within prognostic groups defined by tumor grade and the Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index. Studies suggest that germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may hold prognostic information but further investigation is needed.
We explored the association between SNPs and FL outcome using two approaches: 1) Two independent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of ~300.000 SNPs followed by a meta-analysis encompassing 586 FL patients diagnosed in Denmark/Sweden 1999–2002 and in the United States 2001–2006; and 2) Investigation of 22 candidate-gene variants previously associated with FL outcome in the Danish/Swedish cohort (N = 373). We estimated time to lymphoma-specific death (approach 1 and 2) and lymphoma progression (approach 2) with hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) in a multivariable Cox regression model.
In the GWAS meta-analysis, using a random effects model, no variants were associated with lymphoma-specific death at a genome-wide significant level (p < 5.0 ×10−8). The strongest association was observed for tightly linked SNPs on 17q24 near the ABCA10 and ABCA6 genes (rs10491178 HRrandom = 3.17, 95% CI 2.09-4.79, prandom = 5.24 ×10−8). The ABCA10 and ABCA6 genes belong to a family of genes encoding for ABC transporter proteins, implicated in multidrug resistance. In line with a previous study, rs2466571 in CD46 (HR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.58-0.91, p = 0.006) showed nominal association with lymphoma progression, as did two highly linked SNPs in IL8 (rs4073 HR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.62-0.97, p = 0.02; rs2227307 HR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.60-0.94, p = 0.01) previously associated with overall survival.
The results suggest a possible role for multidrug resistance in FL survival and add to the evidence that genetic variation in CD46 and IL8 may have prognostic implications in FL. Our findings need further confirmation in other independent populations or in a larger multicenter GWAS.
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Follicular lymphoma; Prognosis; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Genome-wide association study; Candidate gene study
The cell surface proteins CD133, CD24 and CD44 are putative markers for cancer stem cell populations in colon cancer, associated with aggressive cancer types and poor prognosis. It is important to understand how these markers may predict treatment outcomes, determined by factors such as radioresistance. The scope of this study was to assess the connection between EGFR, CD133, CD24, and CD44 (including isoforms) expression levels and radiation sensitivity, and furthermore analyze the influence of AKT isoforms on the expression patterns of these markers, to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms in the cell. Three colon cancer cell-lines were used, HT-29, DLD-1, and HCT116, together with DLD-1 isogenic AKT knock-out cell-lines. All three cell-lines (HT-29, HCT116 and DLD-1) expressed varying amounts of CD133, CD24 and CD44 and the top ten percent of CD133 and CD44 expressing cells (CD133high/CD44high) were more resistant to gamma radiation than the ten percent with lowest expression (CD133low/CD44low). The AKT expression was lower in the fraction of cells with low CD133/CD44. Depletion of AKT1 or AKT2 using knock out cells showed for the first time that CD133 expression was associated with AKT1 but not AKT2, whereas the CD44 expression was influenced by the presence of either AKT1 or AKT2. There were several genes in the cell adhesion pathway which had significantly higher expression in the AKT2 KO cell-line compared to the AKT1 KO cell-line; however important genes in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition pathway (CDH1, VIM, TWIST1, SNAI1, SNAI2, ZEB1, ZEB2, FN1, FOXC2 and CDH2) did not differ. Our results demonstrate that CD133high/CD44high expressing colon cancer cells are associated with AKT and increased radiation resistance, and that different AKT isoforms have varying effects on the expression of cancer stem cell markers, which is an important consideration when targeting AKT in a clinical setting.
We aim to test the hypothesis that high plasma YKL-40 is associated with short progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated with first-line oxaliplatin and 5-flourouracil with or without cetuximab.
Patients and Methods
A total of 566 patients in the NORDIC VII Study were randomized 1∶1∶1 to arm A (Nordic FLOX), arm B (Nordic FLOX + cetuximab), or arm C (Nordic FLOX + cetuximab for 16 weeks followed by cetuximab alone as maintenance therapy). Pretreatment plasma samples were available from 510 patients. Plasma YKL-40 was determined by ELISA and dichotomized according to the age-corrected 95% YKL-40 level in 3130 healthy subjects.
Pretreatment plasma YKL-40 was elevated in 204 patients (40%), and median YKL-40 was higher in patients with mCRC than in healthy subjects (age adjusted, P<0.001). Patients with elevated YKL-40 had shorter PFS than patients with normal YKL-40 (7.5 vs. 8.2 months; hazard ratio (HR) = 1.27 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–1.53 P = 0.013) and shorter OS (16.8 vs. 23.9 months; HR = 1.33, 1.04–1.69, P = 0.024). Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that elevated pretreatment YKL-40 was an independent biomarker of short OS (HR = 1.12, 1.01–1.25, P = 0.033). The ratio of the updated plasma YKL-40 (i.e. level after 1, 2, 8 weeks of treatment, and at end of treatment compared to the baseline level) was associated with OS (HR = 1.27, 1.06–1.52, P = 0.011).
Plasma YKL-40 is an independent prognostic biomarker in patients with mCRC treated with first-line oxaliplatin-based therapy alone or combined with cetuximab.
Background: In rectal cancer therapy, radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy (RT/CRT) is extensively used pre-operatively to (i) decrease local recurrence risks, (ii) allow radical surgery in non-resectable tumors, and (iii) increase the chances of sphincter-saving surgery or (iv) organ-preservation. There is a growing interest among clinicians and scientists to prolong the interval from the RT/CRT to surgery to achieve maximal tumor regression and to diminish complications during surgery.
Methods: The pros and cons of delaying surgery depending upon the aim of the pre-operative RT/CRT are critically evaluated.
Results: Depending upon the clinical situation, the need for a time interval prior to surgery to allow tumor regression varies. In the first and most common situation (i), no regression is needed and any delay beyond what is needed for the acute radiation reaction in surrounding tissues to wash out can potentially only be deleterious. After short-course RT (5Gyx5) with immediate surgery, the ideal time between the last radiation fraction is 2–5 days, since a slightly longer interval appears to increase surgical complications. A delay beyond 4 weeks appears safe; it results in tumor regression including pathologic complete responses, but is not yet fully evaluated concerning oncologic outcome. Surgical complications do not appear to be influenced by the CRT-surgery interval within reasonable limits (about 4–12 weeks), but this has not been sufficiently explored. Maximum tumor regression may not be seen in rectal adenocarcinomas until after several months; thus, a longer than usual delay may be of benefit in well responding tumors if limited or no surgery is planned, as in (iii) or (iv), otherwise not.
Conclusion: A longer time interval after CRT is undoubtedly of benefit in some clinical situations but may be counterproductive in most situations. After short-course RT, long-term results from the clinical trials are not yet available to routinely recommend an interval longer than 2–5 days, unless the tumor is non-resectable at diagnosis.
rectal cancer; radiotherapy; chemoradiotherapy; surgery; time interval; tumor regression
In rectal cancer treatment, attention has focused on the local primary tumour and the regional tumour cell deposits to diminish the risk of a loco-regional recurrence. Several large randomized trials have also shown that combinations of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have markedly reduced the risk of a loco-regional recurrence, but this has not yet had any major influence on overall survival. The best results have been achieved when the radiotherapy has been given preoperatively. Preoperative radiotherapy improves loco-regional control even when surgery has been optimized to improve lateral clearance, i.e., when a total mesorectal excision has been performed. The relative reduction is then 50%-70%. The value of radiotherapy has not been tested in combination with more extensive surgery including lateral lymph node clearance, as practised in some Asian countries. Many details about how the radiotherapy is performed are still open for discussion, and practice varies between countries. A highly fractionated radiation schedule (5 Gy × 5), proven efficacious in many trials, has gained much popularity in some countries, whereas a conventionally fractionated regimen (1.8-2.0 Gy × 25-28), often combined with chemotherapy, is used in other countries. The additional therapy adds morbidity to the morbidity that surgery causes, and should therefore be administered only when the risk of loco-regional recurrence is sufficiently high. The best integration of the weakest modality, to date the drugs (conventional cytotoxics and biologicals) is not known. A new generation of trials exploring the best sequence of treatments is required. Furthermore, there is a great need to develop predictors of response, so that treatment can be further individualized and not solely based upon clinical factors and anatomic imaging.
Chemotherapy; Chemoradiotherapy; Local control; Multidisciplinary; Organ preservation; Radiotherapy; Randomized trials; Rectal cancer
In response to ionizing radiation, several signaling cascades in the cell are activated to repair the DNA breaks, prevent apoptosis, and keep the cells proliferating. AKT is important for survival and proliferation and may also be an activating factor for DNA-PKcs and MRE11, which are essential proteins in the DNA repair process. AKT (PKB) is hyperactivated in several cancers and is associated with resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There are three AKT isoforms (AKT1, AKT2, and AKT3) with different expression patterns and functions in several cancer tumors. The role of AKT isoforms has been investigated in relation to radiation response and their effects on DNA repair proteins (DNA-PKcs and MRE11) in colon cancer cell lines. The knockout of AKT1 and/or AKT2 affected the radiation sensitivity, and a deficiency of both isoforms impaired the rejoining of radiation-induced DNA double strand breaks. Importantly, the active/phosphorylated forms of AKT and DNA-PKcs associate and exposure to ionizing radiation causes an increase in this interaction. Moreover, an increased expression of both DNA-PKcs and MRE11 was observed when AKT expression was ablated, yet only DNA-PKcs expression influenced AKT phosphorylation. Taken together, these results demonstrate a role for both AKT1 and AKT2 in radiotherapy response in colon cancer cells involving DNA repair capacity through the nonhomologous end joining pathway, thus suggesting that AKT in combination with DNA-PKcs inhibition may be used for radiotherapy sensitizing strategies in colon cancer.
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AKT1; AKT2; DNA-PKcs; MRE11; Radiation; Colorectal cancer
Current standard for most of the locally advanced rectal cancers is preoperative chemoradiotherapy, and, variably per institution, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Short-course preoperative radiation with delayed surgery has been shown to induce tumour down-staging in both randomized and observational studies. The concept of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy has been proven successful in gastric cancer, hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer and is currently tested in primary colon cancer.
Methods and design
Patients with rectal cancer with high risk features for local or systemic failure on magnetic resonance imaging are randomized to either a standard arm or an experimental arm. The standard arm consists of chemoradiation (1.8 Gy x 25 or 2 Gy x 25 with capecitabine) preoperatively, followed by selective postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Postoperative chemotherapy is optional and may be omitted by participating institutions. The experimental arm includes short-course radiotherapy (5 Gy x 5) followed by full-dose chemotherapy (capecitabine and oxaliplatin) in 6 cycles before surgery. In the experimental arm, no postoperative chemotherapy is prescribed. Surgery is performed according to TME principles in both study arms. The hypothesis is that short-course radiotherapy with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy increases disease-free and overall survival without compromising local control. Primary end-point is disease-free survival at 3 years. Secondary endpoints include overall survival, local control, toxicity profile, and treatment completion rate, rate of pathological complete response and microscopically radical resection, and quality of life.
Following the advances in rectal cancer management, increased focus on survival rather than only on local control is now justified. In an experimental arm, short-course radiotherapy is combined with full-dose chemotherapy preoperatively, an alternative that offers advantages compared to concomitant chemoradiotherapy with or without postoperative chemotherapy. In a multi-centre setting this regimen is compared to current standard with the aim of improving survival for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.
Rectal cancer; Radiotherapy; Chemotherapy; Neo-adjuvant; Magnetic resonance imaging
Accumulating evidence suggests that risk factors for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) differ by tumor Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) status. This potential etiological heterogeneity is not recognized in current disease classification.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of 1200 cHL patients and 6417 control subjects, with validation in an independent replication series, to identify common genetic variants associated with total cHL and subtypes defined by tumor EBV status. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) assuming a log-additive genetic model for the variants. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Two novel loci associated with total cHL irrespective of EBV status were identified in the major histocompatibility complex region; one resides adjacent to MICB (rs2248462: OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.69, P = 1.3 × 10−13) and the other at HLA-DRA (rs2395185: OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.50 to 0.62, P = 8.3 × 10−25) with both results confirmed in an independent replication series. Consistent with previous reports, associations were found between EBV-positive cHL and genetic variants within the class I region (rs2734986, HLA-A: OR = 2.45, 95% CI = 2.00 to 3.00, P = 1.2 × 10−15; rs6904029, HCG9: OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.59, P = 5.5 × 10−10) and between EBV-negative cHL and rs6903608 within the class II region (rs6903608, HLA-DRA: OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.84 to 2.35, P = 6.1 × 10−31). The association between rs6903608 and EBV-negative cHL was confined to the nodular sclerosis histological subtype. Evidence for an association between EBV-negative cHL and rs20541 (5q31, IL13: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.76, P = 5.4 x 10−9), a variant previously linked to psoriasis and asthma, was observed; however, the evidence for replication was less clear. Notably, one additional psoriasis-associated variant, rs27524 (5q15, ERAP1), showed evidence of an association with cHL in the genome-wide association study (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.33, P = 1.5 × 10−4) and replication series (P = .03).
Overall, these results provide strong evidence that EBV status is an etiologically important classification of cHL and also suggest that some components of the pathological process are common to both EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients.
Recent studies have reported associations between a variant allele in a let-7 microRNA complementary site (LCS6) within the 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) of KRAS (rs61764370) and clinical outcome in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients receiving cetuximab. The variant allele has also been associated with increased cancer risk. We aimed to reveal the incidence of the variant allele in a colorectal cancer screening population and to investigate the clinical relevance of the variant allele in mCRC patients treated with 1st line Nordic FLOX (bolus 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid and oxaliplatin) +/− cetuximab.
The feasibility of the variant allele as a risk factor for CRC was investigated by comparing the LCS6 gene frequencies in 197 CRC patients, 1060 individuals with colorectal polyps, and 358 healthy controls. The relationship between clinical outcome and LCS6 genotype was analyzed in 180 mCRC patients receiving Nordic FLOX and 355 patients receiving Nordic FLOX + cetuximab in the NORDIC-VII trial (NCT00145314).
LCS6 frequencies did not vary between CRC patients (23%), individuals with polyps (20%), and healthy controls (20%) (P = 0.50). No statistically significant differences were demonstrated in the NORDIC-VII cohort even if numerically increased progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were found in patients with the LCS6 variant allele (8.5 (95% CI: 7.3-9.7 months) versus 7.8 months (95% CI: 7.4-8.3 months), P = 0.16 and 23.5 (95% CI: 21.6-25.4 months) versus 19.5 months (95% CI: 17.8-21.2 months), P = 0.31, respectively). Addition of cetuximab seemed to improve response rate more in variant carriers than in wild-type carriers (from 35% to 57% versus 44% to 47%), however the difference was not statistically significant (interaction P = 0.16).
The LCS6 variant allele does not seem to be a risk factor for development of colorectal polyps or CRC. No statistically significant effect of the LCS6 variant allele on response rate, PFS or OS was found in mCRC patients treated with 1st line Nordic FLOX +/− cetuximab.
Colorectal cancer; LCS6; MiRNA polymorphism; Cetuximab; Oxaliplatin; 5-fluorouracil
Treatment gradients by socioeconomic status have been observed within cancer care in several countries. The objective of this study was to explore whether patients’ educational level and social network influence oncologists’ clinical decision-making.
Semi-structured interviews on factors considered when deciding on treatment for cancer patients. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using inductive qualitative content analysis.
Oncologists in Swedish university- and non-university hospitals were interviewed in their respective places of work.
Twenty Swedish clinical oncologists selected through maximum-variation sampling.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Elements which influence oncologists’ decision-making process were explored with focus on educational level and patients’ social support systems.
Oncologists consciously used less combination chemotherapy for patients living alone, fearing treatment toxicity. Highly educated patients were considered as well-read, demanding and sometimes difficult to reason with. Patients with higher education, those very keen to have treatment and persuasive relatives were considered as challenges for the oncologist. Having large groups of relatives in a room made doctors feel outnumbered. A desire to please patients and relatives was posed as the main reason for giving in to patients’ demands, even when this resulted in treatment with limited efficacy.
Oncologists tailor treatment for patients living alone to avoid harmful side-effects. Many find patients’ demands difficult to handle and this may result in strong socioeconomic groups being over-treated.
Chemotherapy; Health Services Administration & Management; Quality in health care; Oncology; Gastrointestinal tumours; Qualitative Research
In rectal cancer treatment, both the local primary and the regional and systemic tumour cell deposits must be taken care of in order to improve survival. The three main treatments, surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, each with their own advantages and limitations, must then be combined to improve results. Several large randomized trials have shown that combinations of the modalities have markedly reduced the loco-regional recurrences, but have not yet had any major influence on overall survival. The best integration of the weakest modality, to date the drugs (conventional cytotoxics and biologicals), is not known. A new generation of trials exploring the best sequence of treatments is required. Furthermore, treatment of rectal cancer is administered to populations of individuals, based upon clinical factors and imaging, and can presently not be further individualized. There is an urgent need to develop response predictors.
Chemoradiotherapy; chemotherapy; local control; multidisciplinary; organ preservation; radiotherapy; randomized trials; rectal cancer
We describe a bioinformatic tool, Tumor Aberration Prediction Suite (TAPS), for the identification of allele-specific copy numbers in tumor samples using data from Affymetrix SNP arrays. It includes detailed visualization of genomic segment characteristics and iterative pattern recognition for copy number identification, and does not require patient-matched normal samples. TAPS can be used to identify chromosomal aberrations with high sensitivity even when the proportion of tumor cells is as low as 30%. Analysis of cancer samples indicates that TAPS is well suited to investigate samples with aneuploidy and tumor heterogeneity, which is commonly found in many types of solid tumors.