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1.  Mapping of the IRF8 gene identifies a 3’ UTR variant associated with risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia but not other common non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes 
Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) identified 4 highly-correlated intronic variants within the IRF8 gene that were associated with CLL. These results were further supported by a recent meta-analysis of our GWAS with two other GWAS of CLL, supporting the IRF8 gene as a strong candidate for CLL risk.
To refine the genetic association of CLL risk, we performed Sanger sequencing of IRF8 in 94 CLL cases and 96 controls. We then performed fine-mapping by genotyping 39 variants (of which 10 were identified from sequencing) in 745 CLL cases and 1521 controls. We also assessed these associations with risk of other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes.
The strongest association with CLL risk was observed with a common SNP located within the 3’ UTR of IRF8 (rs1044873, log additive odds ratio = 0.7, P=1.81×10−6). This SNP was not associated with the other NHL subtypes (all P>0.05).
We provide evidence that rs1044873 in the IRF8 gene accounts for the initial GWAS signal for CLL risk. This association appears to be unique to CLL with little support for association with other common NHL subtypes. Future work is needed to assess functional role of IRF8 in CLL etiology.
These data provide support that a functional variant within the 3’ UTR of IRF8 may be driving the GWAS signal seen on 16q24.1 for CLL risk.
PMCID: PMC3596428  PMID: 23307532
CLL; NHL; SNPs; IRF8; risk locus
2.  Statin and Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) Use In Relation to Clinical Outcome Among Patients with Rai Stage 0 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2010;51(7):1233-1240.
Statins and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most commonly prescribed medications. In vitro studies suggest that statins and NSAIDs may have potential as anti-cancer therapies in low grade non-Hodgkin lymphomas including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and a recent observational study found statin use was associated with improved event free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma. Other studies have suggested that statins reduce the efficacy of rituximab by inhibiting binding to CD20. We therefore conducted an observational cohort study of 686 patients with newly diagnosed Rai stage 0 CLL to evaluate whether statin or NSAID use was related to their clinical outcome or influenced the efficacy of rituximab therapy. At diagnosis, 136 (20%) patients took statins and 230 (34%) scheduled daily aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. No difference in time to treatment was observed based on statin or NSAID use. Among patients receiving a rituximab containing first-line therapy, no difference in time to salvage treatment was observed based on statin use. Although previous studies suggested statins may improve event free survival among patients with follicular lymphoma, we find no impact of statins on time to initial therapy in this large study of patients with Rai stage 0 CLL. The in vitro observation that statins reduce rituximab efficacy does not appear to have clinical significance in CLL care.
PMCID: PMC3913168  PMID: 20496995
3.  Age at Diagnosis and the Utility of Prognostic Testing in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) 
Cancer  2010;116(20):4777-4787.
To analyze the survival of CLL patients relative to age-matched individuals in the general population and determined the age-stratified utility of prognostic testing.
All 2487 patients diagnosed with CLL between January 1995 and June 2008 and cared for in the Mayo Division of Hematology were categorized by age at diagnosis and evaluated for differences in clinical characteristics, time to first treatment(TFT), and overall survival(OS).
Among Rai stage 0 patients, survival was shorter than the age-matched general population for patients age<55 years(p<0.001), 55-64 years(p<0.001), and 65-74 years(p<0.001) but not those age≥75 at diagnosis(p=NS). CD38, IGHV mutation, and ZAP-70 each predicted TFT independent of stage for all age groups(all p <0.04) but had less value for predicting OS, particularly as age increased. IGHV and FISH predicted OS independent of stage for patients
Survival of CLL patients age<75 is shorter than the age-matched general population regardless of disease stage. Among patients age<75, the simple combinations of stage and IGHV or stage and FISH identifies those with excess risk of death relative to the age-matched population. Although useful for predicting TFT independent of stage for patients of all ages, prognostic testing had little utility for predicting OS independent of stage among patients age≥75.
PMCID: PMC3902481  PMID: 20578179
Cancer  2011;118(7):1827-1837.
The impact of physicians’ disease-specific expertise on patient outcome is unknown. While previous studies suggest a survival advantage for cancer patients cared for at high volume centers, these observations may simply reflect referral bias or better access to advanced technologies, clinical trials, and multidisciplinary support at large centers.
We evaluated time to first treatment(TTFT) and overall survival(OS) of patients with newly diagnosed chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma(CLL) at a single academic center based on whether they were cared for by a hematologist/oncologist who sub-specializes in CLL(CLL hematologist) or a hematologist/oncologist with expertise in other areas(non-CLL hematologist).
Among 1309 newly diagnosed patients with CLL cared for between 1999–2009, 773(59%) were cared for by CLL hematologists and 536 were cared for by non-CLL hematologists. Among early stage patients(Rai 0-I), median TTFT(9.2 vs. 6.1 years; p<0.001) and OS(10.5 years vs. 8.8 years; p<0.001) were superior for patients cared for by CLL hematologists. For all patients, OS was superior for patients cared for by CLL hematologists(10.5 years vs. 8.4 years; p=0.001). Physician’s disease-specific expertise remained an independent predictor of OS after adjusting for age, stage, sex, and lymphocyte count. Patients seen by a CLL hematologist were also more likely participate in clinical trials(48% vs. 16%; p<0.001).
Physician disease-specific expertise appears to influence outcome in patients with CLL. To the greatest extent possible, patients should be cared for by a hematologist/oncologist expert in the care of their specific malignancy. When not possible, practice guidelines developed by disease-specific experts should be followed.
PMCID: PMC3893049  PMID: 22009554
chronic lymphocytic lymphoma(CLL); small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL); prognosis; physician expertise
British journal of haematology  2012;159(5):572-576.
A recent meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) identified two common variants at the 6p21.31 locus that are associated with CLL risk. To verify and further explore the association of these variants with other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we genotyped 1196 CLL cases, 1699 NHL cases, and 2410 controls. We found significant associations between the 6p21.31 variants and CLL risk (rs210134: P=0.01; rs210142: P=6.8×10−3). These variants also showed a trend towards association with some of the other NHL subtypes. Our results validate the prior work and support specific genetic pathways for risk among NHL subtypes.
PMCID: PMC3614403  PMID: 23025533
CLL; NHL; SNPs; BAK1; risk locus
Leukemia & lymphoma  2010;51(4):620-627.
Treatment of autoimmune cytopenia complicating progressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is constrained by intolerance of myelosuppression and the risk of exacerbation of autoimmune cytopenia by purine analogs particularly when used as single agents. We report on 20 such patients treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CVP). Autoimmune cytopenia responded in 19 patients (14 complete remissions (CR), five partial remissions (PR)) with a median time to next treatment (TTT) for autoimmune cytopenia of 21.7 months. Progressive CLL responded in 17 patients (nine CR/complete clinical response, eight PR) with a median TTT of 27.7 months. Five patients have not required any re-treatment at 15–30 months. Grade 3–4 toxicities were infections (n = 3) and drug-induced pneumonitis (n = 1). No patient required blood cell transfusions after cycle 1 of therapy. We conclude that R-CVP is effective and tolerable therapy for autoimmune cytopenia complicating progressive CLL, but the duration of response is suboptimal.
PMCID: PMC3448550  PMID: 20302386
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; autoimmune hemolytic anemia; immune thrombocytopenia; pure red blood cell aplasia; therapy
Pancreas  2011;40(5):768-772.
New-onset diabetes mellitus (DM) may herald pancreatic cancer (PaC). We determined if changes in body weight distinguished PaC-associated DM (PaCDM) from type 2 DM.
Amongst Olmsted County residents, we identified 29 PaCDM and 43 type 2 DM subjects who had serial fasting blood glucose (FBG) measurements, new-onset DM and no cancer-specific symptoms at DM onset. We compared body weight (kg) and FBG (mg/dl) at DM onset, 1–2 years prior and at index date in the two groups.
FBG values were similar prior to and at the onset of DM. Prior to onset of DM, PaCDM and type 2 DM had similar body weight (P=.80). However, at onset of DM 59% of PaCDM lost weight vs. 30% of type 2 DM (P =.02). At onset of DM, 56% of type 2 DM gained weight vs. 31% of PaCDM (P=.04). By index date, PaCDM lost more weight than type 2 DM (8.3±8.3 vs. 0.8±4.8 kg,P<.01).
While new-onset primary type 2 DM is typically associated with weight gain, weight loss frequently precedes onset of PaCDM. The paradoxical development of diabetes in the face of ongoing weight loss may be an important clue to understanding the pathogenesis of PaCDM.
PMCID: PMC3118443  PMID: 21654538
Pancreatic cancer; New-onset diabetes mellitus; zinc alpha-2 glycoprotein
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is considered the most lethal cancer and approximately 10% of PC is hereditary. The purpose of the study was to assess attitudes of at-risk family members with two or more relatives affected with pancreas cancer (PC) toward PC risk and future screening options.
At-risk family members and primary care controls were surveyed regarding perceived PC risk, PC worry/concern, attitude toward cancer screening, screening test accuracy, and intentions regarding PC screening via blood testing or more invasive endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).
PC family members reported greater perceived risk of PC than controls (54% vs. 6%, respectively, p < 0.0001). PC family members also reported higher levels of PC worry/concern than controls (p < 0.0001), although 19% of PC family members indicated they were “not at all concerned” about getting PC. PC family members indicated greater acceptance of a false-negative result on a PC screening test relative to controls (12% vs. 8%, p = 0.02). Both groups reported high (>89%) receptivity to the potential PC screening options presented, though receptivity was greater among PC family members as compared to controls (p < 0.0001) for EUS. In multivariable analyses, degree of PC concern (p < 0.0001) was associated with intention to screen for PC by blood test and EUS, while perceived PC risk was associated with likelihood of undergoing EUS only (p < 0.0001).
Receptivity to screening options for PC appears high. Clinicians should address behavioral and genetic risk factors for PC and foster appropriate concern regarding PC risk among at-risk individuals.
PMCID: PMC3410777  PMID: 22738386
Pancreatic cancer; Health behavior; Perceived risk; Screening intentions
Germline mutations in CDKN2A have been reported in pancreatic cancer families, but genetic counseling for pancreatic cancer risk has been limited by lack of information on CDKN2A mutation carriers outside of selected pancreatic or melanoma kindreds. Lymphocyte DNA from consecutive, unselected white non-Hispanic patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma was used to sequence CDKN2A. Frequencies of mutations that alter the coding of p16INK4 or p14ARF were quantified overall and in subgroups. Penetrance and likelihood of carrying mutations by family history were estimated. Among 1537 cases, 9 (0.6%) carried germline mutations in CDKN2A, including three previously unreported mutations. CDKN2A mutation carriers were more likely to have a family history of pancreatic cancer (P=0.003) or melanoma (P=0.03), and a personal history of melanoma (P=0.01). Among cases who reported having a first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer or melanoma, the carrier proportions were 3.3 and 5.3%, respectively. Penetrance for mutation carriers by age 80 was calculated to be 58% for pancreatic cancer (95% confidence interval (CI) 8–86%), and 39% for melanoma (95% CI 0–80). Among cases who ever smoked cigarettes, the risk for pancreatic cancer was higher for carriers compared with non-carriers (HR 25.8, P=2.1 × 10−13), but among nonsmokers, this comparison did not reach statistical significance. Germline mutations in CDKN2A among unselected pancreatic cancer patients are uncommon, although notably penetrant, especially among smokers. Carriers of germline mutations of CDKN2A should be counseled to avoid tobacco use to decrease risk of pancreatic cancer in addition to taking measures to decrease melanoma risk.
PMCID: PMC3060321  PMID: 21150883
cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16; genes; p16; pancreatic neoplasms
British journal of haematology  2010;151(2):152-158.
Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is an asymptomatic haematological condition characterized by low absolute levels of B-cell clones with a surface immunophenotype similar to that of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In the general population, MBL increases with age with a prevalence of 5–9% in individuals over age 60 years. It has been reported to be higher among first-degree relatives from CLL families. We report results of multi-parameter flow cytometry among 505 first-degree relatives with no personal history of lymphoproliferative disease from 140 families having at least two cases of CLL. Seventeen percent of relatives had MBL. Age was the most important determinant where the probability for developing MBL by age 90 years was 61%. MBL clustered in certain families but clustering was independent of the number of known CLL cases in a family. As is the case with CLL, males had a significantly higher risk for MBL than did females (p=0.04). MBL patients had significantly higher mean absolute lymphocyte counts (2.4 × 109/l) and B-cell counts (0.53 × 109/l) than those with a normal B-cell immunophenotype. Our findings show that MBL occurs at a very high rate in high risk CLL families. Both the age and gender distribution of MBL are parallel to CLL, implying a shared inherited risk.
PMCID: PMC2966536  PMID: 20738309
chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; high risk families; monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis; flow cytometry
Academic radiology  2010;17(8):1012-1025.
Spiral computed tomography (SCT) is being evaluated as a screening tool for lung cancer. Our objective was to describe the effect of participation in SCT screening on participants’ risk perceptions, worry, and expectations regarding the accuracy of the screening result.
We surveyed sixty individuals with lung cancer family history who were participating in a SCT study for the primary purpose of improving genetic linkage analysis at baseline, and then 1 and 6 months post SCT.
Of the sixty participants, forty received normal results, nineteen received non-negative results requiring follow-up, and one was diagnosed with lung cancer. At baseline, participants reported high levels of perceived lung cancer risk (64%), were concerned about getting lung cancer (94%) and the majority (84%) were not OK with receiving a non-negative SCT result. At 1 month post SCT, those with a non-negative screen (n=19) had lowered their expectations of test accuracy regarding non-negative results (54%) and reported increased levels in worry/concern (100%) and perceived risk (75%), but these effects diminished over time and returned almost to baseline levels at 6 months.
Persons at very high empiric risk for lung cancer expect their SCT screening test to be accurate and present with high levels of lung cancer risk perception and worry/concern overall. Our findings suggest a need for risk counseling and discussion on the limitations of screening tests to accurately detect lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC2897823  PMID: 20599157
spiral computed tomography; lung cancer; screening; psychosocial oncology
Cancer biology & therapy  2007;6(3):320-323.
Approximately 10% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas have a familial basis. While a small portion of this familial clustering can be explained by inherited mutations in known genes (BRCA2, p16/CDKN2A, PRSS1, and STK11), the genetic basis for the majority of this familial clustering remains unknown. In addition, a pancreatic cancer susceptibility locus has been reported to be linked to chromosome 4q32-34 in a single family having a high penetrance of early-onset pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatic insufficiency. The goal of this study is to determine if linkage to chromosome 4q exists in our series of well-characterized families with idiopathic familial pancreatic cancer enrolled in the Pancreatic Cancer Genetic Epidemiology Consortium (PACGENE).
Parametric and nonparametric linkage analyses were performed using 21 microsatellite markers on chromosome 4 on affected individuals with pancreatic cancer from 42 familial pancreatic cancer kindreds.
Markov Chain Monte Carlo parametric and nonparametric linkage analyses using SIMWALK2 as well as nonparametric linkage analysis using MERLIN did not provide strong evidence of linkage in this region (LOD < 1.0). Only one family provided a multipoint LOD score of >0.5 adjacent to the reported region.
Our results do not support linkage to the 4q32-34 region in the majority of our familial pancreatic cancer kindreds. However, because multiple pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes are likely to exist, it is possible that a subset of the families in this study may be linked to this region.
PMCID: PMC3144722  PMID: 17312386
pancreatic cancer; genetics; linkage analysis; adenocarcinoma; familial pancreatic cancer; hereditary; gastrointestinal cancer
Carcinomas of the appendix are exceedingly rare tumors and have an annual age-adjusted incidence of around 0.4 cases per 100,000. Appendiceal adenocarcinoma accounts for < 0.5% of all gastrointestinal neoplasms and, of these, mucinous adenocarcinomas account for the majority. Published accounts of familial instances of primary appendiceal tumors are strikingly rare. We report two siblings who both developed primary mucinous adenocarcinomas. A genetics evaluation was conducted to determine if there was a recognizable underlying single gene disorder; no DNA mismatch repair defect was evident, and no other diagnosis was apparent. A review of appendiceal cancers seen at Mayo Clinic from l997 to the present was conducted to search for additional familial cases. Among 316 cases of primary appendiceal cancer of any histologic type, this sib pair was the only family reporting a second affected family member. The occurrence of appendiceal cancer in siblings may represent a random occurrence. An exceedingly rare predisposition syndrome cannot be ruled out.
PMCID: PMC3098790  PMID: 21542938
There is strong and consistent evidence that a genetic component contributes to the etiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of CLL identified 7 genetic variants that increased the risk of CLL within a European population.
We evaluated the association of these variants, or variants in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with these variants, with CLL risk in an independent sample of 438 CLL cases and 328 controls.
Of these 7 SNPs, 6 had p-trend < 0.05 and had estimated odds ratios (ORs) that were strikingly comparable to those of the previous study. Associations were seen for rs9378805 (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.19, 1.80, p-trend = 0.0003) near IRF4 and rs735665 near GRAMD1B (OR= 1.47; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.89; p-trend = 0.003). However, no associations (P> 0.05) were found for rs11083846, nor were any found for any SNPs in LD with rs11083846.
Our results confirm the previous findings and further support the role of a genetic basis in the etiology of CLL; however, more research is needed to elucidate the causal SNP(s) and the potential manner in which these SNPs or linked SNPs function in CLL pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2852480  PMID: 20332261
IRF4; CLL; genetic association
British journal of haematology  2009;148(4):544-550.
Deletion 13q14 on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis is the most common cytogenetic abnormality in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and is a favorable prognostic biomarker when detected as a sole abnormality. We intensively interrogated clinical outcome in 323 consecutive, untreated CLL patients with isolated 13q- identified within two years of diagnosis. We also analyzed outcome in 217 additional patients with deletion 11q22.3 or 17p13.1, or trisomy 12 based on whether these occurred in isolation or in conjunction with 13q-. Patients with a heterozygous 13q- and those with a homozygous deletion had similar time to first treatment (TFT) and overall survival (OS). In contrast, a higher percentage of 13q- nuclei was associated with significantly shorter TFT (p<0.001). The 5-year untreated rate was 79% for patients with isolated 13q- in ≤65.5% of nuclei compared to 38% among those with 13q- in >65.5% of nuclei (p<0.001). The percentage of nuclei exhibiting 13q- remained an independent predictor of TFT after controlling for ZAP-70, IgVH, or CD38 (all p<0.001). Among patients with 13q- plus one other FISH abnormality, concomitant 13q- appeared to attenuate the shorter survival associated with 17p- (p=0.019). The clinical implications of 13q- in CLL appear more complex than originally appreciated.
PMCID: PMC2866061  PMID: 19895615
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; 13q deletion; 17p deletion
Genomic imprinting refers to a parent-of-origin specific effect on gene expression. At least 1% of genes in the human genome are modulated in this manner. We sought evidence for genomic imprinting in colorectal cancer by studying the ages at diagnosis in the offspring of 2,061 parent-child pairs in which both parent and child were affected by non syndromic colorectal cancer. Families were ascertained through the colon Cancer Family Registry [] from both population-based and clinic-based sources. We found that the affected offspring of affected fathers were on average younger than offspring of affected mothers (55.8 vs 53.7 years; p=0.0003), but when divided into sons and daughters, this difference was driven entirely by younger age at diagnosis in daughters of affected fathers compared to sons (52.3 years vs 55.1 years; p=0.0004). A younger age at diagnosis in affected daughters of affected fathers was also observable in various subsets including families that met Amsterdam II Criteria, families that did not meet Amsterdam Criteria, and in families with documented normal DNA mismatch repair in tumors. Imprinting effects are not expected to be affected by the sex of the offspring. Possible explanations for these unexpected findings include: 1) an imprinted gene on the pseudoautosomal regions of the X chromosome; 2) an imprinted autosomal gene that affects a sex-specific pathway; or 3) an X-linked gene unmasked because of colonic tissue-specific preferential inactivation of the maternal X chromosome.
PMCID: PMC2877160  PMID: 19904757
imprinting; gender; pseudoautosomal; X-linked
Cancer  2010;116(1):203-209.
Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene are common in white persons and are associated with pancreatic disease. The purpose of this case-control study was to determine whether CFTR mutations confer a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
In a case-control study, we compared the rates of 39 common cystic fibrosis–associated CFTR mutations between 949 white patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 13,340 white controls from a clinical laboratory database for prenatal testing for CFTR mutations. The main outcome measure was the CFTR mutation frequency in patients and controls.
Overall, 50 (5.3%) of 949 patients with pancreatic cancer carried a common CFTR mutation versus 510 (3.8%) of 13,340 controls (odds ratio, 1.40; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.89; P=.027). Among patients who were younger when their disease was diagnosed (<60 years), the carrier frequency was higher than in controls (odds ratio, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.14–2.94; P=.011). In patient-only analyses, the presence of a mutation was associated with younger age (median 62 vs 67 years; P=.034). In subgroups, the difference was seen only among ever-smokers, (60 vs 65 years, p=.028). Subsequent sequencing analysis of the CFTR gene detected 8 (16%) compound heterozygotes among the 50 patients initially detected to have 1 mutation.
Carrying a disease-associated mutation in CFTR is associated with a modest increase in risk for pancreatic cancer. Those affected appear to be diagnosed at a younger age, especially among smokers. Clinical evidence of antecedent pancreatitis was uncommon among both carriers and noncarriers of CFTR mutations.
PMCID: PMC2807917  PMID: 19885835
Pancreatic neoplasms; molecular epidemiology; cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator
Cytometry. Part B, Clinical cytometry  2010;78(Suppl 1):S35-S41.
The pathology and clinical course of patients with CD5+ chronic B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, excluding those that present with typical chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) or mantle cell lymphoma, (i.e. CD5+B-CLPD) are poorly defined.
We studied patients with CD5+B-CLPD to 1) more completely define the clinical features and pathology of CD5+B-CLPD, 2) compare these features to patients presenting with typical CLL, and 3) test the hypothesis that a subset of patients with CD5+B-CLPD could have a unique B-cell malignancy.
We identified 229 patients with CD5+B-CLPD. A definitive pathological diagnosis was made in all 61 (27%) CD5+B-CLPD patients with non-bone marrow (BM) biopsy specimens considered adequate for a comprehensive pathological examination. The most common diagnosis among these 61 patients was CLL (44%) followed by the leukemic phase of marginal zone lymphoma (34%), lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (11%), diffuse large B cell lymphoma (8%), and high grade B cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (2%). In contrast, among 168 patients without a non-BM tissue biopsy specimen, a specific diagnosis could be made on review of all available data in only 24 (14%) with 144 (86%) remaining “unclassified”.
In patients with CD5+B-CLPD, a definitive diagnosis can be made on an adequate non-BM tissue biopsy suggesting that this entity does not include a novel disease. We recommend that all patients with CD5+B-CLPD should have a non-BM tissue biopsy to make a definitive diagnosis prior to initiation of treatment.
PMCID: PMC2943034  PMID: 20568273
CD5; chronic lymphoproliferative disorders; CLL; SLL; lymphoma
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(24):3959-3963.
The diagnosis of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is used to characterize patients with a circulating population of clonal B cells, a total B-cell count of less than 5 × 109/L, and no other features of a B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder including lymphadenopathy/organomegaly. The natural history of clinically identified MBL is unclear. The goal of this study was to explore the outcome of patients with MBL relative to that of individuals with Rai stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Patients and Methods
We used hematopathology records to identify a cohort of 631 patients with newly diagnosed MBL or Rai stage 0 CLL. Within this cohort, 302 patients had MBL (B-cell counts of 0.02 to 4.99 × 109/L); 94 patients had Rai stage 0 CLL with an absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) ≤ 10 × 109/L; and 219 patients had Rai stage 0 CLL with an ALC more than 10 × 109/L. Data on clinical outcome were abstracted from medical records.
The percentage of MBL patients free of treatment at 1, 2, and 5 years was 99%, 98%, and 93%, respectively. B-cell count as a continuous variable (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.9, P = .04) and CD38 status (HR = 10.8, P = .006) predicted time to treatment (TTT) among MBL patients. The likelihood of treatment for MBL patients was lower (HR = 0.32, P = .04) than that of both Rai stage 0 CLL patients with an ALC less than 10 × 109/L (n = 94) and Rai stage 0 CLL patients with an ALC more than 10 × 109/L (n = 219; P = .0003).
Individuals with MBL identified in clinical practice have a low risk for progression at 5 years. Because B-cell count seems to relate to TTT as a continuous variable, additional studies are needed to determine what B-cell count should be used to distinguish between MBL and CLL.
PMCID: PMC2734397  PMID: 19620484
Though the association between diabetes mellitus (DM) and pancreatic cancer is well described, temporal patterns of changes in fasting blood glucose (FBG) and body mass index (BMI) before pancreatic cancer diagnosis are not known.
We reviewed medical records of pancreatic cancer cases seen at Mayo Clinic from 1/15/1981 through 7/9/2004 and selected those residing within 120 miles of Rochester, Minnesota and seen at Mayo Clinic within 30 days from the date of cancer diagnosis (index date). We identified ~2 matched controls per case residing locally and seen at Mayo in the year of their case’s index date. For the 736 cases and 1,875 controls with at least one outpatient FBG measurement, we abstracted all FBG values and corresponding heights and weights up to 60 months before index and grouped them into 12-month intervals preceding index. We compared FBG and BMI in each interval between cases and controls.
Mean FBG values were similar between cases, compared to controls, in the −60 to −48 (102 vs. 100 mg/dl, p=0.34), and −48 to −36 month intervals (106 vs. 102 mg/dl, p=0.09); but progressively increased in the −36 to −24 (105 vs. 100 mg/dl, p=0.01), −24 to −12 (114 vs. 102 mg/dl, p=0.001), and −12 to +1 (123 vs. 102 mg/dl, p<.0001) month intervals. Though mean BMI values were generally similar in cases and controls up to 12 months before index, they were significantly lower in cases vs controls in the −12 to +1 (p<.001) month intervals.
Pancreatic cancer is characterized by progressive hyperglycemia beginning up to 24 months before cancer diagnosis in the setting of decreasing BMI. Pancreatic cancer can potentially be diagnosed early if biomarkers are identified that can distinguish pancreatic cancer-induced DM from type 2 DM.
PMCID: PMC2779576  PMID: 19513024
Pancreatic cancer; diabetes; screening
BMC Proceedings  2009;3(Suppl 7):S7.
Due to the growing need to combine data across multiple studies and to impute untyped markers based on a reference sample, several analytical tools for imputation and analysis of missing genotypes have been developed. Current imputation methods rely on single imputation, which ignores the variation in estimation due to imputation. An alternative to single imputation is multiple imputation. In this paper, we assess the variation in imputation by completing both single and multiple imputations of genotypic data using MACH, a commonly used hidden Markov model imputation method. Using data from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium genome-wide study, the use of single and multiple imputation was assessed in four regions of chromosome 1 with varying levels of linkage disequilibrium and association signals. Two scenarios for missing genotypic data were assessed: imputation of untyped markers and combination of genotypic data from two studies. This limited study involving four regions indicates that, contrary to expectations, multiple imputations may not be necessary.
PMCID: PMC2795971  PMID: 20018064
BMC Proceedings  2009;3(Suppl 7):S5.
Several methods have been proposed to impute genotypes at untyped markers using observed genotypes and genetic data from a reference panel. We used the Genetic Analysis Workshop 16 rheumatoid arthritis case-control dataset to compare the performance of four of these imputation methods: IMPUTE, MACH, PLINK, and fastPHASE. We compared the methods' imputation error rates and performance of association tests using the imputed data, in the context of imputing completely untyped markers as well as imputing missing genotypes to combine two datasets genotyped at different sets of markers. As expected, all methods performed better for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in high linkage disequilibrium with genotyped SNPs. However, MACH and IMPUTE generated lower imputation error rates than fastPHASE and PLINK. Association tests based on allele "dosage" from MACH and tests based on the posterior probabilities from IMPUTE provided results closest to those based on complete data. However, in both situations, none of the imputation-based tests provide the same level of evidence of association as the complete data at SNPs strongly associated with disease.
PMCID: PMC2795949  PMID: 20018042
Gastroenterology  2007;134(1):95-101.
The temporal association between diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer is poorly understood. We compared temporal patterns in diabetes prevalence in pancreatic cancer and controls.
We reviewed medical records of pancreatic cancer cases residing ≤120 miles of Rochester seen at Mayo Clinic between 1/15/1981 and 7/9/2004 and approximately two matched controls/case residing locally. We abstracted all outpatient fasting blood glucose (FBG) up to 60 months before index i.e., date of cancer diagnosis for cases and grouped them into 12-month intervals; 736 cases and 1875 controls had ≥1 outpatient FBG in the medical record. Diabetes was defined as any FBG ≥126 mg/dl or treatment for diabetes and as new-onset when criteria for diabetes were first met ≤24 months before index, with at least one prior FBG <126 mg/dl.
A higher proportion of pancreatic cancer cases compared to controls met criteria for diabetes at any time in the 60 months before index (40.2% vs 19.2%, p<0.0001). The proportions were similar in the −60 to −48 (p=0.76) and −48 to −36 (p=0.06) month time periods; however, a greater proportion of cases than controls met criteria for diabetes in the −36 to −24 (p=0.04), −24 to −12 (p<0.001) and −12 to 0 (p<0.001) month time periods. Diabetes was more often new-onset in cases versus controls (52.3% vs 23.6%, p<0.0001).
Diabetes has a high (40%) prevalence in pancreatic cancer and is frequently new-onset. Identification of a specific biomarker for pancreatic cancer-induced diabetes may allow screening for pancreatic cancer in new-onset diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2271041  PMID: 18061176
Background and Aims
In the last fifteen years, several single-gene Mendelian disorders have been discovered that may account for some of the familial aggregation detected in large population studies of colorectal cancer (CRC). Mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes cause HNPCC-Lynch Syndrome, the most common of the recognized CRC-predisposition syndromes, in which one major feature is a young age for cancer onset. However, for young onset microsatellite stable( MSS) CRC, the familial risk for CRC is unknown.
Cases with CRC < 50 years old were identified through Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System (MCSS), and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. CRC in which the DNA MMR function was deficient as evidenced by high level microsatellite instability and/or loss of expression of MMR gene product by immunostaining were excluded. A total of 278 probands (131 from MCSS; 147 from Mayo Clinic) were included. Data on 1862 relatives were collected, of whom 68 were found to have had CRC and an additional 165 had primary cancers of other types.
Compared to SEER data, relatives of young onset CRC probands had increased risks for CRC. This relative risk was increased among first degree relatives (RR=1.65; 95% C.I.=1.29–2.07), and was greater for siblings (RR = 2.67; 95% C.I=1.50–4.41) than parents (RR= 1.5; 95% C.I.=1.14–1.94)
We studied 278 probands with young-onset microsatellite stable CRC. We determined that the relative risk for CRC was greatest in siblings, which is consistent with an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern.
PMCID: PMC2180165  PMID: 17702662
Gastroenterology  2005;129(2):504-511.
Background & Aims
Although diabetes occurs frequently in pancreatic cancer, the value of new-onset diabetes as a marker of underlying pancreatic cancer is unknown.
We assembled a population-based cohort of 2122 Rochester, Minnesota, residents age ≥50 years who first met standardized criteria for diabetes between January 1, 1950, and December 31, 1994, and identified those who developed pancreatic cancer within 3 years of meeting criteria for diabetes. We compared observed rates of pancreatic cancer with expected rates based on the Iowa Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results registry. In a nested case control study, we compared body mass index (BMI) and smoking status in diabetes subjects with and without pancreatic cancer.
Of 2122 diabetic subjects, 18 (0.85%) were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within 3 years of meeting criteria for diabetes; 10 of 18 (56%) were diagnosed <6 months after first meeting criteria for diabetes, and 3 were resected. The observed-to-expected ratio of pancreatic cancer in the cohort was 7.94 (95% CI, 4.70–12.55). Compared with subjects without pancreatic cancer, diabetic subjects with pancreatic cancer were more likely to have met diabetes criteria after age 69 (OR = 4.52, 95% CI, 1.61–12.74) years but did not differ significantly with respect to BMI values (29.2 ± 6.8 vs 26.5 ± 5.0, respectively). A larger proportion of those who developed pancreatic cancer were ever smokers (92% vs 69%, respectively), but this did not reach statistical significance.
Approximately 1% of diabetes subjects aged ≥50 years will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within 3 years of first meeting criteria for diabetes. The usefulness of new-onset diabetes as marker of early pancreatic cancer needs further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC2377196  PMID: 16083707

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