To analyse the effect of germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 on mortality in ovarian cancer patients up to ten years after diagnosis.
We used unpublished survival time data for 2,242 patients from two case-control studies and extended survival-time data for 4,314 patients from previously reported studies. All participants had been screened for deleterious germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. Survival time was analysed for the combined data using Cox proportional hazard models with BRCA1 and BRCA2 as time-varying covariates. Competing risks were analysed using Fine and Gray model.
The combined 10-year overall survival was 30% (95% CI, 28%-31%) for non-carriers, 25% (95% CI, 22%-28%) for BRCA1 carriers, and 35% (95% CI, 30%-41%) for BRCA2 carriers. The hazard ratio for BRCA1 was 0.53 at time zero and increased over time becoming greater than one at ·4.8 years. For BRCA2, the hazard ratio was 0.42 at time zero and increased over time (predicted to become greater than one at 10.5 years). The results were similar when restricted to 3,202 patients with high-grade serous tumors, and to ovarian cancer specific mortality.
BRCA1/2 mutations are associated with better short-term survival, but this advantage decreases over time and, in BRCA1 carriers is eventually reversed. This may have important implications for therapy of both primary and relapsed disease and for analysis of long-term survival in clinical trials of new agents, particularly those that are effective in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.
Ovarian cancer; Epithelial ovarian cancer; BRCA1 gene; BRCA2 gene; Survival
Multiple-gene sequencing is entering practice, but its clinical value is unknown. We evaluated the performance of a customized germline-DNA sequencing panel for cancer-risk assessment in a representative clinical sample.
Patients referred for clinical BRCA1/2 testing from 2002 to 2012 were invited to donate a research blood sample. Samples were frozen at −80° C, and DNA was extracted from them after 1 to 10 years. The entire coding region, exon-intron boundaries, and all known pathogenic variants in other regions were sequenced for 42 genes that had cancer risk associations. Potentially actionable results were disclosed to participants.
In total, 198 women participated in the study: 174 had breast cancer and 57 carried germline BRCA1/2 mutations. BRCA1/2 analysis was fully concordant with prior testing. Sixteen pathogenic variants were identified in ATM, BLM, CDH1, CDKN2A, MUTYH, MLH1, NBN, PRSS1, and SLX4 among 141 women without BRCA1/2 mutations. Fourteen participants carried 15 pathogenic variants, warranting a possible change in care; they were invited for targeted screening recommendations, enabling early detection and removal of a tubular adenoma by colonoscopy. Participants carried an average of 2.1 variants of uncertain significance among 42 genes.
Among women testing negative for BRCA1/2 mutations, multiple-gene sequencing identified 16 potentially pathogenic mutations in other genes (11.4%; 95% CI, 7.0% to 17.7%), of which 15 (10.6%; 95% CI, 6.5% to 16.9%) prompted consideration of a change in care, enabling early detection of a precancerous colon polyp. Additional studies are required to quantify the penetrance of identified mutations and determine clinical utility. However, these results suggest that multiple-gene sequencing may benefit appropriately selected patients.
Defective cellular transport processes can lead to aberrant accumulation of trace elements, iron, small molecules and hormones in the cell, which in turn may promote the formation of reactive oxygen species, promoting DNA damage and aberrant expression of key regulatory cancer genes. As DNA damage and uncontrolled proliferation are hallmarks of cancer, including epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), we hypothesized that inherited variation in the cellular transport genes contributes to EOC risk.
In total, DNA samples were obtained from 14,525 case subjects with invasive EOC and from 23,447 controls from 43 sites in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). Two hundred seventy nine SNPs, representing 131 genes, were genotyped using an Illumina Infinium iSelect BeadChip as part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). SNP analyses were conducted using unconditional logistic regression under a log-additive model, and the FDR q<0.2 was applied to adjust for multiple comparisons.
The most significant evidence of an association for all invasive cancers combined and for the serous subtype was observed for SNP rs17216603 in the iron transporter gene HEPH (invasive: OR = 0.85, P = 0.00026; serous: OR = 0.81, P = 0.00020); this SNP was also associated with the borderline/low malignant potential (LMP) tumors (P = 0.021). Other genes significantly associated with EOC histological subtypes (p<0.05) included the UGT1A (endometrioid), SLC25A45 (mucinous), SLC39A11 (low malignant potential), and SERPINA7 (clear cell carcinoma). In addition, 1785 SNPs in six genes (HEPH, MGST1, SERPINA, SLC25A45, SLC39A11 and UGT1A) were imputed from the 1000 Genomes Project and examined for association with INV EOC in white-European subjects. The most significant imputed SNP was rs117729793 in SLC39A11 (per allele, OR = 2.55, 95% CI = 1.5-4.35, p = 5.66x10-4).
These results, generated on a large cohort of women, revealed associations between inherited cellular transport gene variants and risk of EOC histologic subtypes.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a heterogeneous cancer with both genetic and environmental risk factors. Variants influencing the risk of developing the less-common EOC subtypes have not been fully investigated. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of EOC according to subtype by pooling genomic DNA from 545 cases and 398 controls of European descent, and testing for allelic associations. We evaluated for replication 188 variants from the GWAS (56 variants for mucinous, 55 for endometrioid and clear cell, 53 for low malignant potential (LMP) serous, and 24 for invasive serous EOC), selected using pre-defined criteria. Genotypes from 13,188 cases and 23,164 controls of European descent were used to perform unconditional logistic regression under the log-additive genetic model; odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals are reported. Nine variants tagging 6 loci were associated with subtype-specific EOC risk at P<0.05, and had an OR that agreed in direction of effect with the GWAS results. Several of these variants are in or near genes with a biological rationale for conferring EOC risk, including ZFP36L1 and RAD51B for mucinous EOC (rs17106154, OR=1.17, P=0.029, n=1,483 cases), GRB10 for endometrioid and clear cell EOC (rs2190503, P=0.014, n=2,903 cases), and C22orf26/BPIL2 for LMP serous EOC (rs9609538, OR=0.86, P=0.0043, n=892 cases). In analyses that included the 75 GWAS samples, the association between rs9609538 (OR=0.84, P=0.0007) and LMP serous EOC risk remained statistically significant at P<0.0012 adjusted for multiple testing. Replication in additional samples will be important to verify these results for the less-common EOC subtypes.
histological subtype; serous; endometrioid; clear cell; mucinous; BPIL2
Early-onset breast cancer (EOBC) causes substantial loss of life and productivity, creating a major burden among women worldwide. We analyzed 1,265,548 Hapmap3 SNPs among a discovery set of 3,523 EOBC incident case and 2,702 population control women aged <=51 years. The SNPs with smallest P-values were examined in a replication set of 3,470 EOBC case and 5,475 control women. We also tested EOBC association with 19,684 genes by annotating each gene with putative functional SNPs, and then combining their P-values to obtain a gene-based P-value. We examined the gene with smallest P-value for replication in 1,145 breast cancer case and 1,142 control women. The combined discovery and replication sets identified 72 new SNPs associated with EOBC (P<4×10−8) located in six genomic regions previously reported to contain SNPs associated largely with later-onset breast cancer (LOBC). SNP rs2229882 and 10 other SNPs on chromosome 5q11.2 remained associated (P<6×10−4) after adjustment for the strongest published SNPs in the region. Thirty-two of the 82 currently known LOBC SNPs were associated with EOBC (P<0.05). Low power is likely responsible for the remaining 50 unassociated known LOBC SNPs. The gene-based analysis identified an association between breast cancer and the phosphofructokinase-muscle (PFKM) gene on chromosome 12q13.11 that met the genomewide gene-based threshold of 2.5×10−6. In conclusion, EOBC and LOBC appear to have similar genetic etiologies; the 5q11.2 region may contain multiple distinct breast cancer loci; and the PFKM gene region is worthy of further investigation. These findings should enhance our understanding of the etiology of breast cancer.
We describe a flexible family of tests for evaluating the goodness of fit (calibration) of a pre-specified personal risk model to the outcomes observed in a longitudinal cohort. Such evaluation involves using the risk model to assign each subject an absolute risk of developing the outcome within a given time from cohort entry, and comparing subjects’ assigned risks with their observed outcomes. This comparison involves several issues. For example, subjects followed only for part of the risk period have unknown outcomes. Moreover existing tests do not reveal the reasons for poor model fit when it occurs, which can reflect misspecification of the model’s hazards for the competing risks of outcome development and death. To address these issues, we extend the model-specified hazards for outcome and death and use score statistics to test the null hypothesis that the extensions are unnecessary. Simulated cohort data applied to risk models whose outcome and mortality hazards agreed and disagreed with those generating the data show that the tests are sensitive to poor model fit, provide insight into the reasons for poor fit, and accommodate a wide range of model misspecification. We illustrate the methods by examining the calibration of two breast cancer risk models as applied to a cohort of participants in the Breast Cancer Family Registry. The methods can be implemented using the Risk Model Assessment Program (RMAP), an R package freely available at http://stanford.edu/~ggong/rmap/.
absolute risk; cohort data; efficient score statistics; goodness-of-fit; personal disease risk; standardized residuals
Previous GWAS studies have reported significant associations between various common SNPs and prostate cancer risk using cases unselected for family history. How these variants influence risk in familial prostate cancer is not well studied. Here, we analyzed 25 previously reported SNPs across 14 loci from prior prostate cancer GWAS. The International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics (ICPCG) previously validated some of these using a family-based association method (FBAT). However, this approach suffered reduced power due to the conditional statistics implemented in FBAT. Here, we use a case-control design with an empirical analysis strategy to analyze the ICPCG resource for association between these 25 SNPs and familial prostate cancer risk. Fourteen sites contributed 12,506 samples (9,560 prostate cancer cases, 3,368 with aggressive disease, and 2,946 controls from 2,283 pedigrees). We performed association analysis with Genie software which accounts for relationships. We analyzed all familial prostate cancer cases and the subset of aggressive cases. For the familial prostate cancer phenotype, 20 of the 25 SNPs were at least nominally associated with prostate cancer and 16 remained significant after multiple testing correction (p≤1E−3) occurring on chromosomal bands 6q25, 7p15, 8q24, 10q11, 11q13, 17q12, 17q24, and Xp11. For aggressive disease, 16 of the SNPs had at least nominal evidence and 8 were statistically significant including 2p15. The results indicate that the majority of common, low-risk alleles identified in GWAS studies for all prostate cancer also contribute risk for familial prostate cancer, and that some may be contribute risk to aggressive disease.
prostate cancer; pedigrees; familial disease; simulation; replication
Survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is influenced by the host immune response, yet the key genetic determinants of inflammation and immunity that impact prognosis are not known. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor family plays an important role in many immune and inflammatory responses, including the response to cancer. We studied common inherited variation in 210 genes in the NF-κB family in 10,084 patients with invasive EOC (5,248 high grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous) from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Associations between genotype and overall survival were assessed using Cox regression for all patients and by major histology, adjusting for known prognostic factors and correcting for multiple testing (threshold for statistical significance—p < 2.5×10−5). Results were statistically significant when assessed for patients of a single histology. Key associations were with CARD11 (caspase recruitment domain family, member 11) rs41324349 in patients with mucinous EOC (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.41-2.35, p=4.13×10−6) and TNFRSF13B (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 13B) rs7501462 in patients with endometrioid EOC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56-0.82, p=2.33×10−5). Other associations of note included TRAF2 (TNF receptor-associated factor 2) rs17250239 in patients with high-grade serous EOC (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.77-0.92, p=6.49×10−5) and PLCG1 (phospholipase C, gamma 1) rs11696662 in patients with clear cell EOC (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26-0.73, p=4.56×10−4). These associations highlight the potential importance of genes associated with host inflammation and immunity in modulating clinical outcomes in distinct EOC histologies.
single nucleotide polymorphism; recurrence; survival; ovarian neoplasms
Survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is influenced by the host immune response, yet the key genetic determinants of inflammation and immunity that impact prognosis are not known. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor family plays an important role in many immune and inflammatory responses, including the response to cancer. We studied common inherited variation in 210 genes in the NF-κB family in 10,084 patients with invasive EOC (5,248 high grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous) from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Associations between genotype and overall survival were assessed using Cox regression for all patients and by major histology, adjusting for known prognostic factors and correcting for multiple testing (threshold for statistical significance—p < 2.5×10−5). Results were statistically significant when assessed for patients of a single histology. Key associations were with CARD11 (caspase recruitment domain family, member 11) rs41324349 in patients with mucinous EOC (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.41–2.35, p=4.13×10−6) and TNFRSF13B (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 13B) rs7501462 in patients with endometrioid EOC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56–0.82, p=2.33×10−5). Other associations of note included TRAF2 (TNF receptor-associated factor 2) rs17250239 in patients with high-grade serous EOC (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.77–0.92, p=6.49×10−5) and PLCG1 (phospholipase C, gamma 1) rs11696662 in patients with clear cell EOC (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26–0.73, p=4.56×10−4). These associations highlight the potential importance of genes associated with host inflammation and immunity in modulating clinical outcomes in distinct EOC histologies.
single nucleotide polymorphism; recurrence; survival; ovarian neoplasms
The distribution of histopathological features of invasive breast tumors in BRCA1 or BRCA2 germline mutation carriers differs from that of individuals with no known mutation. Histopathological features thus have utility for mutation prediction, including statistical modeling to assess pathogenicity of BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants of uncertain clinical significance. We analyzed large pathology datasets accrued by the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) and the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) to reassess histopathological predictors of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status, and provide robust likelihood ratio (LR) estimates for statistical modeling.
Selection criteria for study/center inclusion were estrogen receptor (ER) status or grade data available for invasive breast cancer diagnosed younger than 70 years. The dataset included 4,477 BRCA1 mutation carriers, 2,565 BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 47,565 BCAC breast cancer cases. Country-stratified estimates of the likelihood of mutation status by histopathological markers were derived using a Mantel-Haenszel approach.
ER-positive phenotype negatively predicted BRCA1 mutation status, irrespective of grade (LRs from 0.08 to 0.90). ER-negative grade 3 histopathology was more predictive of positive BRCA1 mutation status in women 50 years or older (LR = 4.13 (3.70 to 4.62)) versus younger than 50 years (LR = 3.16 (2.96 to 3.37)). For BRCA2, ER-positive grade 3 phenotype modestly predicted positive mutation status irrespective of age (LR = 1.7-fold), whereas ER-negative grade 3 features modestly predicted positive mutation status at 50 years or older (LR = 1.54 (1.27 to 1.88)). Triple-negative tumor status was highly predictive of BRCA1 mutation status for women younger than 50 years (LR = 3.73 (3.43 to 4.05)) and 50 years or older (LR = 4.41 (3.86 to 5.04)), and modestly predictive of positive BRCA2 mutation status in women 50 years or older (LR = 1.79 (1.42 to 2.24)).
These results refine likelihood-ratio estimates for predicting BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status by using commonly measured histopathological features. Age at diagnosis is an important variable for most analyses, and grade is more informative than ER status for BRCA2 mutation carrier prediction. The estimates will improve BRCA1 and BRCA2 variant classification and inform patient mutation testing and clinical management.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-014-0474-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
We propose a cost-effective sampling design and estimating procedure for validating personal risk models using right-censored cohort data. Validation involves using each subject's covariates, as ascertained at cohort entry, in a risk model (specified independently of the data) to assign him/her a probability of an adverse outcome within a future time period. Subjects are then grouped according to the magnitudes of their assigned risks, and within each group, the mean assigned risk is compared to the probability of outcome occurrence as estimated using the follow-up data. Such validation presents two complications. First, in the presence of right-censoring, estimating the probability of developing the outcome before death requires competing risk analysis. Second, for rare outcomes, validation using the full cohort requires assembling covariates and assigning risks to thousands of subjects. This can be costly when some covariates involve analyzing biological specimens. A two-stage sampling design addresses this problem by assembling covariates and assigning risks only to those subjects most informative for estimating key parameters. We use this design to estimate the outcome probabilities needed to evaluate model performance, and we provide theoretical and bootstrap estimates of their variances. We also describe how to choose two-stage designs with minimal efficiency loss for a parameter of interest, when the quantities determining optimality are unknown at the time of design. We illustrate the methods by using subjects in the California Teachers Study to validate ovarian cancer risk models. We find that a design with optimal efficiency for one performance parameter need not be so for others, and trade-offs will be required. A two-stage design that samples all outcome-positive subjects and more outcome-negative than censored subjects will perform well in most circumstances. The methods are implemented in RMAP, an R program freely available at http://www.stanford.edu/ggong/rmap/index.html.
bootstrap; calibration; competing risks; discrimination; personal risk models; two-stage sampling
Preterm infants with a PDA are at risk for death or development of BPD. However, PDA treatment remains controversial. We investigated if PDA treatment and other clinical or echocardiographic (ECHO) factors were associated with the development of death or BPD.
We retrospectively studied clinical and ECHO characteristics of preterm infants with birth weight <1500 g and ECHO diagnosis of a PDA. Logistic regression and classification and regression tree (CART) analyses were performed to assess variables associated with the combined outcome of death or BPD.
Of 187 preterm infants with a PDA, 75% were treated with indomethacin or surgery and 25% were managed conservatively. Death or BPD occurred in 80 (43%). Logistic regression found lower gestational age (OR 0.5), earlier year of birth during the study period (OR 0.9), and larger ductal diameter (OR 4.3) were associated with the decision to treat the PDA, while gestational age was the only variable associated with death or BPD (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.5-0.8).
Only lower gestational age and not PDA treatment or ECHO score was associated with the adverse outcome of death or BPD. Further investigation of PDA management strategies and effects on adverse outcomes of prematurity is needed.
The presence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in solid tumors is known to play a role in patient survival in ovarian cancer and other malignancies. We assessed inherited genetic variations via 749 tag SNPs in 25 Treg-associated genes (CD28, CTLA4, FOXP3, IDO1, IL10, IL10RA, IL15, 1L17RA, IL23A, IL23R, IL2RA, IL6, IL6R, IL8, LGALS1, LGALS9, MAP3K8, STAT5A, STAT5B, TGFB1, TGFB2, TGFB3, TGFBR1, TGRBR2, and TGFBR3) in relation to ovarian cancer survival. We analyzed genotype and overall survival in 10,084 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, including 5,248 high-grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous carcinoma cases of European descent across 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). The strongest associations were found for endometrioid carcinoma and IL2RA SNPs rs11256497 [HR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.22-1.64; p=5.7 × 10−6], rs791587 [HR=1.36, 95% CI:1.17-1.57; p=6.2 × 10−5], rs2476491 [HR=1.40, 95% CI: 1.19-1.64; p=5.6 × 10−5], and rs10795763 [HR=1.35, 95% CI: 1.17-1.57; p=7.9 × 10−5], and for clear cell carcinoma and CTLA4 SNP rs231775 [HR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.54-0.82; p=9.3 × 10−5] after adjustment for age, study site, population stratification, stage, grade, and oral contraceptive use. The rs231775 allele associated with improved survival in our study also results in an amino acid change in CTLA4 and previously has been reported to be associated with autoimmune conditions. Thus, we found evidence that SNPs in genes related to Tregs appear to play a role in ovarian cancer survival, particularly in patients with clear cell and endometrioid EOC.
clear cell; endometrioid; gynecologic neoplasms; single nucleotide polymorphism
The presence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in solid tumors is known to play a role in patient survival in ovarian cancer and other malignancies. We assessed inherited genetic variations via 749 tag SNPs in 25 Treg-associated genes (CD28, CTLA4, FOXP3, IDO1, IL10, IL10RA, IL15, 1L17RA, IL23A, IL23R, IL2RA, IL6, IL6R, IL8, LGALS1, LGALS9, MAP3K8, STAT5A, STAT5B, TGFB1, TGFB2, TGFB3, TGFBR1, TGRBR2, and TGFBR3) in relation to ovarian cancer survival. We analyzed genotype and overall survival in 10,084 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, including 5,248 high-grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous carcinoma cases of European descent across 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). The strongest associations were found for endometrioid carcinoma and IL2RA SNPs rs11256497 [HR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.22–1.64; p=5.7 × 10−6], rs791587 [HR=1.36, 95% CI:1.17–1.57; p=6.2 × 10−5], rs2476491 [HR=1.40, 95% CI: 1.191.64; p=5.6 × 10−5], and rs10795763 [HR=1.35, 95% CI: 1.17–1.57; p=7.9 × 10−5], and for clear cell carcinoma and CTLA4 SNP rs231775 [HR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.54–0.82; p=9.3 × 10−5] after adjustment for age, study site, population stratification, stage, grade, and oral contraceptive use. The rs231775 allele associated with improved survival in our study also results in an amino acid change in CTLA4 and previously has been reported to be associated with autoimmune conditions. Thus, we found evidence that SNPs in genes related to Tregs appear to play a role in ovarian cancer survival, particularly in patients with clear cell and endometrioid EOC.
clear cell; endometrioid; gynecologic neoplasms; single nucleotide polymorphism
The effects of low-dose medical radiation on breast cancer risk are uncertain, and few studies have included genetically susceptible women, such as those who carry germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
We studied 454 BRCA1 and 273 BRCA2 mutation carriers aged <50 years from three breast cancer family registries in the USA, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. We estimated breast cancer risk associated with diagnostic chest x-rays by comparing mutation carriers with breast cancer (cases) with those without breast cancer (controls). Exposure to chest x-rays was self-reported. Mammograms were not considered in the analysis.
After adjusting for known risk factors for breast cancer, the odds ratio (OR) for a history of diagnostic chest x-rays, excluding those for tuberculosis or pneumonia, was 1.16 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.64–2.11) for BRCA1 mutations carriers and 1.22 (95% CI=0.62–2.42) for BRCA2 mutations carriers. The OR was statistically elevated for BRCA2 mutation carriers with 3–5 diagnostic chest x-rays (p = 0.01), but not for those with 6 or more chest x-rays. Few women reported chest fluoroscopy for tuberculosis or chest x-rays for pneumonia; the OR estimates were elevated, but not statistically significant, for BRCA1 mutation carriers.
Our findings do not support a positive association between diagnostic chest x-rays and breast cancer risk before age 50 years for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Given the increasing use of diagnostic imaging involving higher ionizing radiation doses, further studies of genetically predisposed women are warranted.
breast cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; chest x-rays; diagnostic radiation; epidemiology
The majority of previous studies have observed an increased risk of mucinous ovarian tumors associated with cigarette smoking, but the association with other histological types is unclear. In a large pooled analysis, we examined the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer associated with multiple measures of cigarette smoking with a focus on characterizing risks according to tumor behavior and histology.
We used data from 21 case–control studies of ovarian cancer (19,066 controls, 11,972 invasive and 2,752 borderline cases). Study-specific odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were obtained from logistic regression models and combined into a pooled odds ratio using a random effects model.
Current cigarette smoking increased the risk of invasive mucinous (OR = 1.31; 95 % CI: 1.03–1.65) and borderline mucinous ovarian tumors (OR = 1.83; 95 % CI: 1.39–2.41), while former smoking increased the risk of borderline serous ovarian tumors (OR = 1.30; 95 % CI: 1.12–1.50). For these histological types, consistent dose– response associations were observed. No convincing associations between smoking and risk of invasive serous and endometrioid ovarian cancer were observed, while our results provided some evidence of a decreased risk of invasive clear cell ovarian cancer.
Our results revealed marked differences in the risk profiles of histological types of ovarian cancer with regard to cigarette smoking, although the magnitude of the observed associations was modest. Our findings, which may reflect different etiologies of the histological types, add to the fact that ovarian cancer is a heterogeneous disease.
Case–control studies; Histological type; Ovarian neoplasms; Smoking
Ovarian cancer is a lethal disease comprised of distinct histopathological types. There are few established biomarkers of ovarian cancer prognosis, in part because subtype-specific associations may have been obscured in studies combining all subtypes. We examined whether progesterone receptor (PR) and estrogen receptor (ER) protein expression were associated with subtype-specific survival in the international Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis (OTTA) consortium.
PR and ER were assessed by central immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays for 2933 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer from 12 study sites. Negative, weak, and strong expression were defined as positive staining in <1%, 1–50%, and ≥50% of tumor cell nuclei, respectively. Hazard ratios (HRs) for ovarian cancer death were estimated using Cox regression stratified by site and adjusted for age, stage, and grade.
PR expression was associated with improved survival for endometrioid (EC; p<0·0001) and high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC; p=0·0006), and ER expression was associated with improved EC survival (p<0·0001); no significant associations were found for mucinous, clear cell, or low-grade serous carcinoma. EC patients with hormone receptor (PR and/or ER) positive (weak or strong) versus negative tumors had significantly reduced risk of dying from their disease, independent of clinical factors (HR, 0·33; 95% CI, 0·21–0·51; p<0·0001). HGSC patients with strong versus weak or negative tumor PR expression had significantly reduced risk of dying from their disease, independent of clinical factors (HR, 0·71; 95% CI, 0·55–0·91; p=0·0061).
PR and ER are prognostic biomarkers for endometrioid and high-grade serous ovarian cancers. Clinical trials, stratified by subtype and biomarker status, are needed to determine whether hormone receptor status predicts response to endocrine therapy, and can guide personalized treatment for ovarian cancer.
Carraressi Foundation, US National Institutes of Health, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, UK National Institute for Health Research, and others.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in the DNA Base Excision Repair (BER) pathway could be associated with cancer risk in carriers of mutations in the high-penetrance susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, given the relation of synthetic lethality that exists between one of the components of the BER pathway, PARP1 (poly ADP ribose polymerase), and both BRCA1 and BRCA2. In the present study, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of 18 genes involved in BER using a tagging SNP approach in a large series of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. 144 SNPs were analyzed in a two stage study involving 23,463 carriers from the CIMBA consortium (the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2). Eleven SNPs showed evidence of association with breast and/or ovarian cancer at p<0.05 in the combined analysis. Four of the five genes for which strongest evidence of association was observed were DNA glycosylases. The strongest evidence was for rs1466785 in the NEIL2 (endonuclease VIII-like 2) gene (HR: 1.09, 95% CI (1.03–1.16), p = 2.7×10−3) for association with breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers, and rs2304277 in the OGG1 (8-guanine DNA glycosylase) gene, with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers (HR: 1.12 95%CI: 1.03–1.21, p = 4.8×10−3). DNA glycosylases involved in the first steps of the BER pathway may be associated with cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and should be more comprehensively studied.
Women harboring a germ-line mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have a high lifetime risk to develop breast and/or ovarian cancer. However, not all carriers develop cancer and high variability exists regarding age of onset of the disease and type of tumor. One of the causes of this variability lies in other genetic factors that modulate the phenotype, the so-called modifier genes. Identification of these genes might have important implications for risk assessment and decision making regarding prevention of the disease. Given that BRCA1 and BRCA2 participate in the repair of DNA double strand breaks, here we have investigated whether variations, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), in genes participating in other DNA repair pathway may be associated with cancer risk in BRCA carriers. We have selected the Base Excision Repair pathway because BRCA defective cells are extremely sensitive to the inhibition of one of its components, PARP1. Thanks to a large international collaborative effort, we have been able to identify at least two SNPs that are associated with increased cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers respectively. These findings could have implications not only for risk assessment, but also for treatment of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with PARP inhibitors.
Background Tubal ligation is a protective factor for ovarian cancer, but it is unknown whether this protection extends to all invasive histological subtypes or borderline tumors. We undertook an international collaborative study to examine the association between tubal ligation and ovarian cancer subtypes.
Methods We pooled primary data from 13 population-based case-control studies, including 10 157 patients with ovarian cancer (7942 invasive; 2215 borderline) and 13 904 control women. Invasive cases were analysed by histological type, grade and stage, and borderline cases were analysed by histological type. Pooled odds ratios were estimated using conditional logistic regression to match on site, race/ethnicity and age categories, and to adjust for age, oral contraceptive use duration and number of full-term births.
Results Tubal ligation was associated with significantly reduced risks of invasive serous (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.74-0.89; P < 0.001), endometrioid (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.40-0.59; P < 0.001), clear cell (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.40-0.67; P < 0.001) and mucinous (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.52-0.89; P = 0.005) cancers. The magnitude of risk reduction was significantly greater for invasive endometrioid (P < 0.0001) and clear cell (P = 0.0018) than for serous cancer. No significant associations were found with borderline serous or mucinous tumours.
Conclusions We found that the protective effects of tubal ligation on ovarian cancer risk were subtype-specific. These findings provide insights into distinct aetiologies of ovarian cancer subtypes and mechanisms underlying the protective effects of tubal ligation.
Ovarian cancer; tubal ligation; tubal sterilization
There are several well-established environmental risk factors for ovarian cancer, and recent genome-wide association studies have also identified six variants that influence disease risk. However, the interplay between such risk factors and susceptibility loci has not been studied.
Data from 14 ovarian cancer case-control studies were pooled, and stratified analyses by each environmental risk factor with tests for heterogeneity were conducted to determine the presence of interactions for all histological subtypes. A genetic “risk score” was created to consider the effects of all six variants simultaneously. A multivariate model was fit to examine the association between all environmental risk factors and genetic risk score on ovarian cancer risk.
Among 7,374 controls and 5,566 cases, there was no statistical evidence of interaction between the six SNPs or genetic risk score and the environmental risk factors on ovarian cancer risk. In a main effects model, women in the highest genetic risk score quartile had a 65% increased risk of ovarian cancer compared to women in the lowest (95% CI 1.48-1.84). Analyses by histological subtype yielded risk differences across subtype for endometriosis (phet<0.001), parity (phet<0.01), and tubal ligation (phet=0.041).
The lack of interactions suggests that a multiplicative model is the best fit for these data. Under such a model, we provide a robust estimate of each risk factor's effect, which sets the stage for absolute risk prediction modeling that considers both environmental and genetic risk factors. Further research into the observed differences in risk across histological subtype is warranted.
Gene-environment interactions; ovarian cancer; epidemiology; histological subtype; pooled analysis
HNF1B is overexpressed in clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer, and we observed epigenetic silencing in serous epithelial ovarian cancer, leading us to hypothesize that variation in this gene differentially associates with epithelial ovarian cancer risk according to histological subtype. Here we comprehensively map variation in HNF1B with respect to epithelial ovarian cancer risk and analyse DNA methylation and expression profiles across histological subtypes. Different single-nucleotide polymorphisms associate with invasive serous (rs7405776 odds ratio (OR) = 1.13, P = 3.1 × 10−10) and clear cell (rs11651755 OR = 0.77, P = 1.6 × 10−8) epithelial ovarian cancer. Risk alleles for the serous subtype associate with higher HNF1B-promoter methylation in these tumours. Unmethylated, expressed HNF1B, primarily present in clear cell tumours, coincides with a CpG island methylator phenotype affecting numerous other promoters throughout the genome. Different variants in HNF1B associate with risk of serous and clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer; DNA methylation and expression patterns are also notably distinct between these subtypes. These findings underscore distinct mechanisms driving different epithelial ovarian cancer histological subtypes.
Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death among women. In an effort to understand contributors to disease outcome, we evaluated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with ovarian cancer recurrence or survival, specifically in angiogenesis, inflammation, mitosis, and drug disposition genes.
Twenty-seven SNPs in VHL, HGF, IL18, PRKACB, ABCB1, CYP2C8, ERCC2, and ERCC1 previously associated with ovarian cancer outcome were genotyped in 10,084 invasive cases from 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium with over 37,000 observed person-years and 4,478 deaths. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between candidate SNPs and ovarian cancer recurrence or survival with and without adjustment for key covariates.
We observed no association between genotype and ovarian cancer recurrence or survival for any of the SNPs examined.
These results refute prior associations between these SNPs and ovarian cancer outcome and underscore the importance of maximally powered genetic association studies.
These variants should not be used in prognostic models. Alternate approaches to uncovering inherited prognostic factors, if they exist, are needed.
TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified four susceptibility loci for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with another two loci being close to genome-wide significance. We pooled data from a GWAS conducted in North America with another GWAS from the United Kingdom. We selected the top 24,551 SNPs for inclusion on the iCOGS custom genotyping array. Follow-up genotyping was carried out in 18,174 cases and 26,134 controls from 43 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We validated the two loci at 3q25 and 17q21 previously near genome-wide significance and identified three novel loci associated with risk; two loci associated with all EOC subtypes, at 8q21 (rs11782652, P=5.5×10-9) and 10p12 (rs1243180; P=1.8×10-8), and another locus specific to the serous subtype at 17q12 (rs757210; P=8.1×10-10). An integrated molecular analysis of genes and regulatory regions at these loci provided evidence for functional mechanisms underlying susceptibility that implicates CHMP4C in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer.