Telomeres are specialized chromatin structures essential for maintenance of chromosomal integrity and stability. Abnormal alteration of telomere length has been linked to several cancers; however, epidemiologic evidence regarding the association of telomere length with colorectal cancer risk has been conflicting.
We conducted a nested case-control study to evaluate the association between telomere length and colorectal cancer risk using peripheral blood samples collected prior to cancer diagnosis. The study included 441 women with incident colorectal cancer and 549 matched controls. Monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR was applied to measure relative telomere length. Multiple logistic regressions were used to derive adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) as the measure of association between telomere length and subsequent colorectal cancer risk.
A U-shaped association was observed between telomere length and colorectal cancer risk (test for nonlinearity P = 0.0112). Women with telomere length in the third quintile (40th to 60th percentiles) had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer, and the risks were elevated with a shorter or longer telomere length. This U-shaped association did not statistically differ for colon cancer and rectum cancer.
Conclusions and Impact
Our prospective study revealed a U-shaped association between telomere length in peripheral blood cells and colorectal cancer risk. Our findings provide strong evidence that both very short and very long telomeres are associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer.
H2AFX encodes a histone variant involved in signaling sites of DNA damage and recruiting repair factors. Genetic variants in H2AFX may influence risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a heterogeneous group of lymphoid tumors that are characterized by chromosomal translocations. We previously reported that rs2509049, a common variant in the promoter of H2AFX, was associated with risk for NHL in the British Columbia population. Here we report results for 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 100 Kb surrounding H2AFX in an expanded collection of 568 NHL cases and 547 controls. After correction for multiple testing, significant associations were present for mantle cell lymphoma (p=0.007 for rs604714) and all B-cell lymphomas (p=0.046 for rs2509049). Strong linkage disequilibrium in the 5 Kb upstream of H2AFX limited the ability to determine which specific SNP (rs2509049, rs7759, rs8551, rs643788, rs604714, or rs603826), if any, was responsible. There was a significant interaction between sex and rs2509049 in the all B-cell lymphomas group (p=0.002); a sex-stratified analysis revealed that the association was confined to females (p=0.001). Neither the overall nor the female-specific association with rs2509049 was replicated in any of four independent NHL sample sets. Meta-analysis of all five study populations (3,882 B-cell NHL cases and 3,718 controls) supported a weak association with B-cell lymphoma (OR=0.92, 95% CI=0.86-0.99, p=0.034), although this association was not significant after exclusion of the British Columbia data. Further research into the potential sex-specificity of the H2AFX-NHL association may identify a subset of NHL cases that are influenced by genotype at this locus.
Gliomas account for approximately 80% of all primary malignant brain tumors, and despite improvements in clinical care over the last 20 years remain among the most lethal tumors, underscoring the need for gaining new insights that could translate into clinical advances. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified seven new susceptibility regions. We conducted a new independent GWAS of glioma using 1,856 cases and 4,955 controls (from 14 cohort studies, 3 casecontrol studies, and 1 population-based case only study) and found evidence of strong replication for three of the seven previously reported associations at 20q13.33 (RTEL), 5p15.33 (TERT), and 9p21.3 (CDKN2BAS), and consistent association signals for the remaining four at 7p11.2 (EGFR both loci), 8q24.21 (CCDC26) and 11q23.3 (PHLDB1). The direction and magnitude of the signal were consistent for samples from cohort and case-control studies, but the strength of the association was more pronounced for loci rs6010620 (20q,13.33; RTEL) and rs2736100 (5p15.33, TERT) in cohort studies despite the smaller number of cases in this group, likely due to relatively more higher grade tumors being captured in the cohort studies. We further examined the 85 most promising single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers identified in our study in three replication sets (5,015 cases and 11,601 controls), but no new markers reached genome-wide significance. Our findings suggest that larger studies focusing on novel approaches as well as specific tumor subtypes or subgroups will be required to identify additional common susceptibility loci for glioma risk.
Cell-cycle proteins are important predictive markers in urothelial carcinoma but may also exhibit exposure-specific heterogeneity.
Tumor tissue from 491 bladder cancer cases enrolled in the Maine and Vermont component of the New England Bladder Cancer Study was assembled as tissue microarrays and examined for aberrant expression of p53, p63, p16, cyclin D1, Rb, and Ki-67. The association between expression and histopathology, demographics, and cigarette smoking was examined using χ2 tests, multivariable Poisson, and multinomial regression models.
We found that overexpression of p53 and Ki-67 was associated with high-stage/grade tumors [relative risk (RR), 1.26; Ptrend = 0.003; and RR, 3.21; Ptrend < 0.0001, respectively], whereas expression of p63 and p16 was decreased in high-stage/grade tumors (RR, 0.52; Ptrend < 0.0001; and RR, 0.88; Ptrend = 0.04, respectively). No significant aberrations of cell-cycle proteins were identified using various smoking variables and multiple statistical models.
The results of this population-based study of histologically confirmed urothelial carcinomas show significant aberration of cell-cycle proteins p53, p63, p16, and Ki-67, but not Rb or cyclin D1. p53 showed the most significant heterogeneity with respect to tumor stage and grade, especially when stratified for different staining intensities using novel digital image analysis techniques. Our findings do not support that smoking modifies expression of cell-cycle proteins.
Our study shows significant heterogeneity in the expression of key cell-cycle proteins that are associated with disease progression in bladder cancer. Further studies may lead to the identification of biomarkers and their multiplexed interactions as useful prognostic and therapeutic targets.
This study evaluated associations of various anthropometric measures of adiposity with a panel of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in a relatively lean population of Chinese women.
This analysis included 1,005 Chinese women aged 40-70 years. Plasma concentrations of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were measured. Anthropometric measurements were taken by trained interviewers.
Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were all positively and linearly associated with the inflammatory markers, CRP, TNF-α, soluble TNF-receptor 1 (sTNF-R1), and IL-6. A significant positive association of these measures of adiposity with the oxidative stress marker F2-IsoP-M, a metabolite of F2-IsoPs, but with not F2-IsoPs was found. Differences in biomarkers between extreme quartiles of anthropometric measurements varied widely, ranging from 9.7% for sTNF-R1 to 162.0% for CRP. For each specific biomarker, various anthropometric measurements exhibited similar ability to explain variations in the biomarker, with the biggest partial r2 (11%) observed for CRP.
This study suggests that both general adiposity (measured by BMI) and central adiposity (measured by WC and WHtR) are positively and similarly associated with various markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in relatively lean Chinese women. The metabolite F2-IsoP-M of F2-IsoPs may be a better marker of in vivo oxidative stress than its parent compounds.
adiposity; inflammation; oxidative stress; biomarker
Background Some, but not all, observational studies have suggested that taller stature is associated with a significant increased risk of glioma. In a pooled analysis of observational studies, we investigated the strength and consistency of this association, overall and for major sub-types, and investigated effect modification by genetic susceptibility to the disease.
Methods We standardized and combined individual-level data on 1354 cases and 4734 control subjects from 13 prospective and 2 case–control studies. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for glioma and glioma sub-types were estimated using logistic regression models stratified by sex and adjusted for birth cohort and study. Pooled ORs were additionally estimated after stratifying the models according to seven recently identified glioma-related genetic variants.
Results Among men, we found a positive association between height and glioma risk (≥190 vs 170–174 cm, pooled OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.11–2.61; P-trend = 0.01), which was slightly stronger after restricting to cases with glioblastoma (pooled OR = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.17–3.38; P-trend = 0.02). Among women, these associations were less clear (≥175 vs 160–164 cm, pooled OR for glioma = 1.06, 95% CI: 0.70–1.62; P-trend = 0.22; pooled OR for glioblastoma = 1.36, 95% CI: 0.77–2.39; P-trend = 0.04). In general, we did not observe evidence of effect modification by glioma-related genotypes on the association between height and glioma risk.
Conclusion An association of taller adult stature with glioma, particularly for men and stronger for glioblastoma, should be investigated further to clarify the role of environmental and genetic determinants of height in the etiology of this disease.
Height; brain cancer; glioma; cancer; epidemiology
Epidemiological studies suggest that trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure may be associated with renal cancer. The biological mechanisms involved are not exactly known although nephrotoxicity is believed to play a role. Studies on TCE nephrotoxicity among humans, however, have been largely inconsistent. We studied kidney toxicity in Chinese factory workers exposed to TCE using novel sensitive nephrotoxicity markers. Eighty healthy workers exposed to TCE and 45 comparable unexposed controls were included in the present analyses. Personal TCE exposure measurements were taken over a 2-week period before urine collection. Ninety-six percent of workers were exposed to TCE below the current US Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit (100 ppm 8h TWA), with a mean (SD) of 22.2 (35.9) ppm. Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) and Pi-glutathione S transferase (GST) alpha were elevated among the exposed subjects as compared with the unexposed controls with a strong exposure-response association between individual estimates of TCE exposure and KIM-1 (P < 0.0001). This is the first report to use a set of sensitive nephrotoxicity markers to study the possible effects of TCE on the kidneys. The findings suggest that at relatively low occupational exposure levels a toxic effect on the kidneys can be observed. This finding supports the biological plausibility of linking TCE exposure and renal cancer.
Abbreviations:GSTglutathione-S-transferaseKIM-1kidney injury molecule-1NAGN-acetyl-beta-(d)-glucosaminidaseOVMorganic vapour monitoringTCEtrichloroethyleneVEGFvascular endothelial growth factor.
Soy and some of its constituents, such as isoflavones, have been shown to affect the inflammatory process in animal studies. The association between soy food intake and inflammatory markers has not been evaluated adequately in humans.
Our aim was to evaluate whether higher intake of soy foods was inversely associated with inflammatory markers in 1,005 middle-aged Chinese women.
In this cross-sectional study, dietary intake of soy foods was assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire and by a 24-hour recall when biospecimens were procured. A general linear model was used to estimate the geometric means of selected inflammatory markers, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), soluble IL-6 receptor, soluble GP130, soluble TNF receptors 1 and 2, and C-reactive protein, across categories of soy food intake after adjusting for age, lifestyle and dietary factors, and history of infectious or inflammation-related diseases.
We found that multivariable-adjusted geometric mean concentrations of IL-6 and TNFα were inversely associated with quintiles of soy food intake, with a difference between the highest and lowest quintiles of 25.5% for IL-6 (P for trend = 0.008) and 14% for TNFα (P for trend = 0.04). Similar inverse associations were found for TNFα (P for trend = 0.003), soluble TNF receptor 1 (P for trend=0.01), soluble TNF receptor 2 (P for trend=0.02), IL-1β (P for trend=0.05), and IL-6 (P for trend=0.04) when soy food consumption was assessed by the frequency of consumption in the preceding 24 hours. No significant associations were found for other markers studied.
This study suggests that soy food consumption is related to lower circulating levels of IL-6, TNFα, and soluble TNF receptors 1 and 2 in Chinese women.
Soy; Inflammation; Interleukin-1β; Interleukin-6; Tumor necrosis factor-α
Cancers are heterogeneous and genetically unstable. New methods are needed that provide the sensitivity and specificity to query single cells at the genetic loci that drive cancer progression, thereby enabling researchers to study the progression of individual tumors. Here, we report the development and application of a bead-based hemi-nested microfluidic droplet digital PCR (dPCR) technology to achieve ‘quantitative’ measurement and single-molecule sequencing of somatically acquired carcinogenic translocations at extremely low levels (<10−6) in healthy subjects. We use this technique in our healthy study population to determine the overall concentration of the t(14;18) translocation, which is strongly associated with follicular lymphoma. The nested dPCR approach improves the detection limit to 1 × 10−7 or lower while maintaining the analysis efficiency and specificity. Further, the bead-based dPCR enabled us to isolate and quantify the relative amounts of the various clonal forms of t(14;18) translocation in these subjects, and the single-molecule sensitivity and resolution of dPCR led to the discovery of new clonal forms of t(14;18) that were otherwise masked by the conventional quantitative PCR measurements. In this manner, we created a quantitative map for this carcinogenic mutation in this healthy population and identified the positions on chromosomes 14 and 18 where the vast majority of these t(14;18) events occur.
Evidence suggests that global methylation levels in blood cell DNA may be a biomarker for cancer risk. To date, most studies have used genomic DNA isolated from blood or urine as a surrogate marker of global DNA methylation levels in bladder tumor tissue.
A subset of 50 bladder cancer cases was selected from the New England Bladder Case-Control Study. Genomic DNA was isolated from buffy coat, buccal cells, serum and formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue for each participant. DNA methylation at four CpG sites within the LINE-1 repetitive element was quantified using pyrosequencing and expressed as a mean methylation level across sites.
Overall, the mean percent (%) LINE-1 5-methylcytosine (%5MeC) level was highest in serum (80.47% ± 1.44) and lowest in bladder tumor DNA (61.36% ± 12.74); and levels varied significantly across tissue types (p=0.001). An inverse association between LINE-1 mean %5MeC and tumor stage (p=0.001) and grade (p=0.002) was observed. A moderate correlation between patient-matched serum and buffy coat DNA LINE-1 %5-MeC levels was found (r=0.32, p=0.03) but levels were uncorrelated among other matched genomic DNA samples.
The mean promoter LINE-1 %5MeC measurements were correlated between buffy coat and serum DNA samples. No correlation was observed between genomic DNA sources and tumor tissues; however a significant inverse association between tumor percent LINE-1 methylation and tumor stage/grade was found.
LINE-1 methylation in measured case blood DNA did not reflect that observed in bladder tumor tissue but may represent other factors associated with carcinogenesis.
Follicular lymphoma (FL) has variable progression and survival, and improved identification of patients at high risk for progression would aid in identifying patients most likely to benefit from alternative therapy. In a sample of 244 FL cases identified during a population-based case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we examined 6,679 tag SNPs in 488 gene regions for associations with overall FL survival. Over a median follow-up of 89 months with 65 deaths in this preliminary study, we identified 5 gene regions (BMP7, GALNT12, DUSP2, GADD45B, and ADAM17) that were associated with overall survival from FL. Results did not meet the criteria for statistical significance after adjustment for multiple hypothesis testing. These results, which support a role for host factors in determining the variable progression of FL, serve as an initial examination that can inform future studies of genetic variation and FL survival. However, they require replication in independent populations, as well as assessment in rituximab-treated patients.
follicular lymphoma; genetic variation; survival; tag SNP; case-control study
Associations between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and colorectal cancer have been reported previously but few studies have characterized PAH exposure using biological measurements. We evaluated colorectal cancer risk in relation to urinary concentration of 1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG), a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolite, and assessed determinants of PAH exposure among controls in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study (SWHS).
Concentrations of 1-OHPG were measured in spot urine samples collected from 343 colorectal cancer cases and 343 individually matched controls. Questionnaires were administered to collect information on demographic characteristics and reported exposures. Odds ratios were calculated for risk of colorectal cancer in relation to quartiles of urinary 1-OHPG concentration. Potential determinants of natural log-transformed urinary 1-OHPG concentration were evaluated among a combined sample of controls from this study and another nested case–control study in the SWHS (Ntotal=652).
No statistically significant differences in risk of colorectal cancer by urinary 1-OHPG levels were observed. Among controls, the median (interquartile range) urinary 1-OHPG concentration was 2.01 pmol/mL (0.95-4.09). Active and passive smoking, using coal as a cooking fuel, eating foods that were cooked well done, and recent consumption of fried dough (e.g., yóutiáo) were associated with elevated levels of 1-OHPG, though only active smoking and fried dough consumption achieved statistical significance in multivariate analyses.
This study does not provide evidence of an association between urinary levels of 1-OHPG and risk of colorectal cancer among women. Several environmental and dietary sources of PAH exposure were identified. Overall, the levels of 1-OHPG in this population of predominantly non-smoking women were considerably higher than levels typically observed among non-smokers in Europe, North America, and other developed regions.
1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Colorectal cancer; China
Benzene exposure causes acute myeloid leukemia, and hematotoxicity, shown as suppression of mature blood and myeloid progenitor cell numbers. As the leukemia-related aneuploidies monosomy 7 and trisomy 8 previously had been detected in the mature peripheral blood cells of exposed workers, we hypothesized that benzene could cause leukemia through the induction of these aneuploidies in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. We measured loss and gain of chromosomes 7 and 8 by fluorescence in situ hybridization in interphase colony-forming unit-granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM) cells cultured from otherwise healthy benzene-exposed (n=28) and unexposed (n=14) workers. CFU-GM monosomy 7 and 8 levels (but not trisomy) were significantly increased in subjects exposed to benzene overall, compared to levels in the control subjects (p=0.0055 and p=0.0034, respectively). Levels of monosomy 7 and 8 were significantly increased in subjects exposed to <10 ppm (20%, p=0.0419 and 28%, p=0.0056, respectively) and ≥10 ppm (48%, p=0.0045 and 32%, p=0.0354) benzene, compared with controls, and significant exposure-response trends were detected (ptrend=0.0033 and 0.0057). These data show that monosomies 7 and 8 are produced in a dose-dependent fashion in the blood progenitor cells of workers exposed to benzene and may be mechanistically relevant biomarkers of early effect for benzene and other leukemogens.
Benzene; leukemia; monosomy; hematopoietic progenitor
Both LMO2 mRNA and protein expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have been associated with superior survival; however, a role for germline genetic variation in LMO2 has not been previously reported. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for LMO2 was conducted on tumor tissue from diagnostic biopsies, and 20 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from LMO2 were genotyped from germline DNA. LMO2 IHC positivity was associated with superior survival (HR=0.55; 95% CI 0.31–0.97). Four LMO2 SNPs (rs10836127, rs941940, rs750781, rs1885524) were associated with survival after adjusting for LMO2 IHC and clinical factors (p<0.05), and one of these SNPs (rs941940) was also associated with IHC positivity (p=0.02). Compared to a model with clinical factors only (c-statistic=0.676), adding the 4 SNPs (c-statistic=0.751) or LMO2 IHC (c-statistic=0.691) increased the predictive ability of the model, while inclusion of all 3 factors (c-statistic=0.754) did not meaningfully add predictive ability above a model with clinical factors and the 4 SNPs. In conclusion, germline genetic variation in LMO2 was associated with DLBCL prognosis and provided slightly stronger predictive ability relative to LMO2 IHC status.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; LMO2; prognosis; single nucleotide polymorphisms
Background: Altered DNA methylation has been associated with various diseases.
Objective: We evaluated the association between levels of methylation in leukocyte DNA at long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) and genetic and non-genetic characteristics of 892 control participants from the Spanish Bladder Cancer/EPICURO study.
Methods: We determined LINE-1 methylation levels by pyrosequencing. Individual data included demographics, smoking status, nutrient intake, toenail concentrations of 12 trace elements, xenobiotic metabolism gene variants, and 515 polymorphisms among 24 genes in the one-carbon metabolism pathway. To assess the association between LINE-1 methylation levels (percentage of methylated cytosines) and potential determinants, we estimated beta coefficients (βs) by robust linear regression.
Results: Women had lower levels of LINE-1 methylation than men (β = –0.7, p = 0.02). Persons who smoked blond tobacco showed lower methylation than nonsmokers (β = –0.7, p = 0.03). Arsenic toenail concentration was inversely associated with LINE-1 methylation (β = –3.6, p = 0.003). By contrast, iron (β = 0.002, p = 0.009) and nickel (β = 0.02, p = 0.004) were positively associated with LINE-1 methylation. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNMT3A (rs7581217-per allele, β = 0.3, p = 0.002), TCN2 (rs9606756-GG, β = 1.9, p = 0.008; rs4820887-AA, β = 4.0, p = 4.8 × 10–7; rs9621049-TT, β = 4.2, p = 4.7 × 10–9), AS3MT (rs7085104-GG, β = 0.7, p = 0.001), SLC19A1 (rs914238, TC vs. TT: β = 0.5 and CC vs. TT: β = –0.3, global p = 0.0007) and MTHFS (rs1380642, CT vs. CC: β = 0.3 and TT vs. CC; β = –0.8, global p = 0.05) were associated with LINE-1 methylation.
Conclusions: We identified several characteristics, environmental factors, and common genetic variants that predicted DNA methylation among study participants.
DNA methylation; epigenetics; LINE-1; one-carbon metabolism gene variants; smoking; trace elements
In vitro studies have found that flavanol epigallocatechin (EGC) and flavonols, but not flavanol epicatechin (EC), activate glutathione s-transferases (GST), a family of phase II enzymes that detoxify reactive oxygen species, such as catechol estrogen metabolites. This study was designed to investigate prospectively whether urinary excretion of tea polyphenols interacts with GST polymorphisms to influence breast cancer risk.
Subjects and Methods
We conducted a study of 352 incident breast cancer cases and 701 individually-matched controls nested within the Shanghai Women’s Health Study cohort of women aged 40–70 years at baseline. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was used to measure urinary excretion of flavanols and flavonols. Real-time multiplex PCR was used to quantify the copy number variation in the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes.
Urinary excretion of flavonols and flavanols, particularly EGC (p=0.02), was significantly higher among women null for GSTM1 than those positive for GSTM1. Flavonols and flavanols (EGC in particular) were associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer among those null for GSTM1 and GSTT1, with a p-value of 0.04 for the interaction between EGC and GSTM1 polymorphism. In contrast, among women possessing both GSTM1 and GSTT1, breast cancer risk increased with levels of flavonols, particularly kaempferol.
The differential associations between polyphenols and breast cancer risk by GST polymorphisms, if confirmed, may provide a new avenue for the personalized prevention of breast cancer.
tea polyphenols; flavonol; flavanol; genomic polymorphism; interaction
Being overweight and obese increases oxidative stress in the body. To test the hypothesis that genetic variations in oxidative stress pathway genes modify the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we conducted a population-based case–control study in Connecticut women.
Individuals who were overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 25) were compared with normal and underweight individuals (BMI < 25), and their risk of NHL stratified assuming a dominant allele model for each oxidative stress pathway single-nucleotide polymorphism.
Polymorphisms in AKR1A1, AKR1C1, AKR1C3, CYBA, GPX1, MPO, NCF2, NCF4, NOS1, NOS2A NOS3, OGG1, ATG9B, SOD1, SOD2, SOD3,RAC1, and RAC2 genes after false discovery rate adjustment did not modify the association between BMI and risk of NHL overall and histologic subtypes.
The results suggest that common genetic variations in oxidative stress genes do not modify the relationship between BMI and risk of NHL.
Studies of BMI and oxidative stress independently may elevate NHL risk, but this study suggests no interaction of the two risk factors. Future studies with larger study populations may reveal interactions.
A recent genome-wide association study of bladder cancer identified the UGT1A gene cluster on chromosome 2q37.1 as a novel susceptibility locus. The UGT1A cluster encodes a family of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs), which facilitate cellular detoxification and removal of aromatic amines. Bioactivated forms of aromatic amines found in tobacco smoke and industrial chemicals are the main risk factors for bladder cancer. The association within the UGT1A locus was detected by a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11892031. Now, we performed detailed resequencing, imputation and genotyping in this region. We clarified the original genetic association detected by rs11892031 and identified an uncommon SNP rs17863783 that explained and strengthened the association in this region (allele frequency 0.014 in 4035 cases and 0.025 in 5284 controls, OR = 0.55, 95%CI = 0.44–0.69, P = 3.3 × 10−7). Rs17863783 is a synonymous coding variant Val209Val within the functional UGT1A6.1 splicing form, strongly expressed in the liver, kidney and bladder. We found the protective T allele of rs17863783 to be associated with increased mRNA expression of UGT1A6.1 in in-vitro exontrap assays and in human liver tissue samples. We suggest that rs17863783 may protect from bladder cancer by increasing the removal of carcinogens from bladder epithelium by the UGT1A6.1 protein. Our study shows an example of genetic and functional role of an uncommon protective genetic variant in a complex human disease, such as bladder cancer.
A recent genome-wide association study of lung cancer among never-smoking females in Asia demonstrated that the rs2736100 polymorphism in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus on chromosome 5p15.33 was strongly and significantly associated with risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung. The telomerase gene TERT is a reverse transcriptase that is critical for telomere replication and stabilization by controlling telomere length. We previously found that longer telomere length measured in peripheral white blood cell DNA was associated with increased risk of lung cancer in a prospective cohort study of smoking males in Finland. To follow up on this finding, we carried out a nested case-control study of 215 female lung cancer cases and 215 female controls, 94% of whom were never-smokers, in the prospective Shanghai Women’s Health Study cohort. There was a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 1.4 [0.8–2.5], and 2.2 [1.2–4.0], respectively; P trend = 0.003). Further, the association was unchanged by the length of time from blood collection to case diagnosis. In addition, the rs2736100 G allele, which we previously have shown to be associated with risk of lung cancer in this cohort, was significantly associated with longer telomere length in these same study subjects (P trend = 0.030). Our findings suggest that individuals with longer telomere length in peripheral white blood cells may have an increased risk of lung cancer, but require replication in additional prospective cohorts and populations.
The complement system plays an important role in inflammatory and immune responses, and recent evidence has suggested that it may also play a role in lymphomagenesis. We evaluated the association between genetic variation in complement system genes and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a population-based case–control study conducted among women in Connecticut. Tag SNPs in 30 complement genes were genotyped in 432 Caucasian incident cases and 494 frequency-matched controls. A gene-based analysis that adjusted for the number of tag SNPs genotyped in each gene showed a significant association with NHL overall (P = 0.04) as well as with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (P = 0.01) for the C1RL gene. A SNP-based analysis showed that a C>T base substitution for C1RL rs3813729 (odds ratio (OR)CT = 0.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.42–0.87, Ptrend = 0.0062) was associated with a decreased risk of overall NHL, as well as for DLBCL (ORCT = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.20–0.73; Ptrend = 0.0034). Additionally, SNPs (C2 rs497309, A>C and C3 rs344550, G>C) in two complement genes were positively associated with marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and C1QG was associated with CLL/SLL, but these results were based on a limited number of cases. Our results suggest a potential role of the complement system in susceptibility to NHL; however, our results should be viewed as exploratory and further replication is needed to clarify these preliminary findings.
lymphoma; C1RL; innate immunity; SNP
In follow-up of a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) that identified a locus in chromosome 2p21 associated with risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), we conducted a fine mapping analysis of a 120 kb region that includes EPAS1. We genotyped 59 tagged common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2278 RCC and 3719 controls of European background and observed a novel signal for rs9679290 [P = 5.75 × 10−8, per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17–1.39]. Imputation of common SNPs surrounding rs9679290 using HapMap 3 and 1000 Genomes data yielded two additional signals, rs4953346 (P = 4.09 × 10−14) and rs12617313 (P = 7.48 × 10−12), both highly correlated with rs9679290 (r2 > 0.95), but interestingly not correlated with the two SNPs reported in the GWAS: rs11894252 and rs7579899 (r2 < 0.1 with rs9679290). Genotype analysis of rs12617313 confirmed an association with RCC risk (P = 1.72 × 10−9, per-allele OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.18–1.39) In conclusion, we report that chromosome 2p21 harbors a complex genetic architecture for common RCC risk variants.
Cytokines play a critical role in regulating the immune system. In the tumor microenvironment, they influence survival, proliferation, differentiation, and movement of both tumor and stromal cells, and regulate tumor interactions with the extracellular matrix. Given these biologic properties, there is reason to hypothesize that cytokine activity influences the pathogenesis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
We investigated the effect of genetic variation in cytokine genes on NHL prognosis and survival by evaluating genetic variation in individual SNPs as well as the combined effect of multiple deleterious genotypes. Survival information from 496 female incident NHL cases diagnosed during 1996–2000 in Connecticut were abstracted from Connecticut Tumor Registry in 2008. Survival analyses were conducted by comparing Kaplan-Meier curves and hazard ratios (HR) were computed using Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for demographic and tumor characteristics for genes that were suggested by previous studies to be associated with NHL survival.
We found that the variant IL6 genotype is significantly associated (HR=0.42; 95%CI: 0.23–0.77) with a decreased risk of death, as well as relapse and secondary cancer occurrence, among those with NHL. We also found that risk of death, relapse, and secondary cancers varied by specific SNPs for the follicular, DLBCL, and CLL/SLL histologic types. We identified combinations of polymorphisms whose combined deleterious effect significantly alter overall NHL survival and disease-free survival.
Our study provides evidence that the identification of genetic polymorphisms in cytokine genes may help improve the prediction of NHL survival and prognosis.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Cytokines; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Survival
We conducted a population-based case-control study in Connecticut women to test the hypothesis that genetic variations in Th1 and Th2 cytokine genes may modify the association between blood transfusion and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Compared with women without blood transfusion, women with a history of transfusion had an increased risk of NHL if they carried IL10RA (rs9610) GG genotype [odds ratio (OR) = 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–3.2] or TNF (rs1800629) AG/AA genotypes (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 0.9–2.7). We also found women with a history of transfusion had a decreased risk of NHL if they carried IL10RA (rs9610) AG/AA genotypes (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4–0.9) or TNF (rs1800629) GG genotype (OR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5–1.0). A similar pattern was also observed for B-cell lymphoma but not for T-cell lymphoma. Statistically significant interactions with blood transfusion were observed for IL10RA (rs9610) (Pforinteraction = 0.003) and TNF (rs1800629) (Pforinteraction = 0.012) for NHL overall and IL10RA (rs9610) (Pforinteraction = 0.001) and TNF (rs1800629) (Pforinteraction = 0.019) for B-cell lymphoma. The results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in TNF and IL10RA genes may modify the association between blood transfusion and NHL risk.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most lethal urologic cancer. Only two common susceptibility loci for RCC have been confirmed to date. To identify additional RCC common susceptibility loci, we conducted an independent genome-wide association study (GWAS). We analyzed 533 191 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association with RCC in 894 cases and 1516 controls of European descent recruited from MD Anderson Cancer Center in the primary scan, and validated the top 500 SNPs in silico in 3772 cases and 8505 controls of European descent involved in the only published GWAS of RCC. We identified two common variants in linkage disequilibrium, rs718314 and rs1049380 (r2 = 0.64, D ′ = 0.84), in the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor, type 2 (ITPR2) gene on 12p11.23 as novel susceptibility loci for RCC (P = 8.89 × 10−10 and P = 6.07 × 10−9, respectively, in meta-analysis) with an allelic odds ratio of 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13–1.26] for rs718314 and 1.18 (95% CI: 1.12–1.25) for rs1049380. It has been recently identified that rs718314 in ITPR2 is associated with waist–hip ratio (WHR) phenotype. To our knowledge, this is the first genetic locus associated with both cancer risk and WHR.
Generic job-exposure matrices (JEMs) are often used in population-based epidemiologic studies to assess occupational risk factors when only the job and industry information of each subject is available. JEM ratings are often based on professional judgment, are usually ordinal or semi-quantitative, and often do not account for changes in exposure over time. We present an empirical Bayesian framework that combines ordinal subjective JEM ratings with benzene measurements. Our aim was to better discriminate between job, industry, and time differences in exposure levels compared to using a JEM alone.
We combined 63 221 short-term area air measurements of benzene exposure (1954–2000) collected during routine health and safety inspections in Shanghai, China, with independently developed JEM intensity ratings for each job and industry using a mixed-effects model. The fixed-effects terms included the JEM intensity ratings for job and industry (both ordinal, 0–3) and a time trend that we incorporated as a b-spline. The random-effects terms included job (n = 33) and industry nested within job (n = 399). We predicted the benzene concentration in two ways: (i) a calibrated JEM estimate was calculated using the fixed-effects model parameters for calendar year and JEM intensity ratings; (ii) a job-/industry-specific estimate was calculated using the fixed-effects model parameters and the best linear unbiased predictors from the random effects for job and industry using an empirical Bayes estimation procedure. Finally, we applied the predicted benzene exposures to a prospective population-based cohort of women in Shanghai, China (n = 74 942).
Exposure levels were 13 times higher in 1965 than in 2000 and declined at a rate that varied from 4 to 15% per year from 1965 to 1985, followed by a small peak in the mid-1990s. The job-/industry-specific estimates had greater differences between exposure levels than the calibrated JEM estimates (97.5th percentile/2.5th percentile exposure level, BGR95B: 20.4 versus 3.0, respectively). The calibrated JEM and job-/industry-specific estimates were moderately correlated in any given year (Pearson correlation, rp = 0.58). We classified only those jobs and industries with a job or industry JEM exposure probability rating of 3 (>50% of workers exposed) as exposed. As a result, 14.8% of the subjects and 8.7% of the employed person-years in the study population were classified as benzene exposed. The cumulative exposure metrics based on the calibrated JEM and job-/industry-specific estimates were highly correlated (rp = 0.88).
We provide a useful framework for combining quantitative exposure data with expert-based exposure ratings in population-based studies that maximized the information from both sources. Our framework calibrated the ratings to a concentration scale between ratings and across time and provided a mechanism to estimate exposure when a job/industry group reported by a subject was not represented in the exposure database. It also allowed the job/industry groups’ exposure levels to deviate from the pooled average for their respective JEM intensity ratings.
benzene; job-exposure matrix; mixed-effects models; retrospective exposure assessment