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1.  Genetic Predictors of Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Colorectal Cancer 
Background
Experimental evidence has demonstrated an anti-neoplastic role for vitamin D in the colon and higher circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are consistently associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Genome-wide association studies have identified loci associated with levels of circulating 25(OH)D. The identified SNPs from four gene regions, collectively explain approximately 5% of the variance in circulating 25(OH)D.
Methods
We investigated whether six polymorphisms in GC, CYP2R1, CYP24A1 and DHCR7/NADSYN1, genes previously shown to be associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, were associated with CRC risk in 10,061 cases and 12,768 controls drawn from 13 studies included in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) and Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR). We performed a meta-analysis of crude and multivariate-adjusted logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios and associated confidence intervals for SNPs individually, SNPs simultaneously, and for a vitamin D additive genetic risk score (GRS).
Results
We did not observe a statistically significant association between the 25(OH)D associated SNPs and CRC marginally, conditionally, or as a GRS, or for colon or rectal cancer separately or combined.
Conclusions
Our findings do not support an association between SNPs associated with circulating 25(OH)D and risk of CRC. Additional work is warranted to investigate the complex relationship between 25(OH)D and CRC risk.
Impact
There was no association observed between genetic markers of circulating 25(OH)D and CRC. These genetic markers account for a small proportion of the variance in 25(OH)D.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0209
PMCID: PMC3818310  PMID: 23983240
2.  Allergies and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: A Pooled Analysis From the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(5):691-700.
In order to quantify the risk of pancreatic cancer associated with history of any allergy and specific allergies, to investigate differences in the association with risk according to age, gender, smoking status, or body mass index, and to study the influence of age at onset, we pooled data from 10 case-control studies. In total, there were 3,567 cases and 9,145 controls. Study-specific odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, smoking status, and body mass index. Between-study heterogeneity was assessed by using the Cochran Q statistic. Study-specific odds ratios were pooled by using a random-effects model. The odds ratio for any allergy was 0.79 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.62, 1.00) with heterogeneity among studies (P < 0.001). Heterogeneity was attributable to one study; with that study excluded, the pooled odds ratio was 0.73 (95% CI: 0.64, 0.84) (Pheterogeneity = 0.23). Hay fever (odds ratio = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.96) and allergy to animals (odds ratio = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.41, 0.94) were related to lower risk, while there was no statistically significant association with other allergies or asthma. There were no major differences among subgroups defined by age, gender, smoking status, or body mass index. Older age at onset of allergies was slightly more protective than earlier age.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt052
PMCID: PMC3755648  PMID: 23820785
allergic rhinitis; case-control studies; hypersensitivity; pancreatic neoplasms
3.  Genome-Wide Diet-Gene Interaction Analyses for Risk of Colorectal Cancer 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(4):e1004228.
Dietary factors, including meat, fruits, vegetables and fiber, are associated with colorectal cancer; however, there is limited information as to whether these dietary factors interact with genetic variants to modify risk of colorectal cancer. We tested interactions between these dietary factors and approximately 2.7 million genetic variants for colorectal cancer risk among 9,287 cases and 9,117 controls from ten studies. We used logistic regression to investigate multiplicative gene-diet interactions, as well as our recently developed Cocktail method that involves a screening step based on marginal associations and gene-diet correlations and a testing step for multiplicative interactions, while correcting for multiple testing using weighted hypothesis testing. Per quartile increment in the intake of red and processed meat were associated with statistically significant increased risks of colorectal cancer and vegetable, fruit and fiber intake with lower risks. From the case-control analysis, we detected a significant interaction between rs4143094 (10p14/near GATA3) and processed meat consumption (OR = 1.17; p = 8.7E-09), which was consistently observed across studies (p heterogeneity = 0.78). The risk of colorectal cancer associated with processed meat was increased among individuals with the rs4143094-TG and -TT genotypes (OR = 1.20 and OR = 1.39, respectively) and null among those with the GG genotype (OR = 1.03). Our results identify a novel gene-diet interaction with processed meat for colorectal cancer, highlighting that diet may modify the effect of genetic variants on disease risk, which may have important implications for prevention.
Author Summary
High intake of red and processed meat and low intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. We investigate if the effect of these dietary factors on colorectal cancer risk is modified by common genetic variants across the genome (total of about 2.7 million genetic variants), also known as gene-diet interactions. We included over 9,000 colorectal cancer cases and 9,000 controls that were not diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Our results provide strong evidence for a gene-diet interaction and colorectal cancer risk between a genetic variant (rs4143094) on chromosome 10p14 near the gene GATA3 and processed meat consumption (p = 8.7E-09). This genetic locus may have interesting biological significance given its location in the genome. Our results suggest that genetic variants may interact with diet and in combination affect colorectal cancer risk, which may have important implications for personalized cancer care and provide novel insights into prevention strategies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004228
PMCID: PMC3990510  PMID: 24743840
4.  Transforming Epidemiology for 21st Century Medicine and Public Health 
In 2012, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) engaged the scientific community to provide a vision for cancer epidemiology in the 21st century. Eight overarching thematic recommendations, with proposed corresponding actions for consideration by funding agencies, professional societies, and the research community emerged from the collective intellectual discourse. The themes are (i) extending the reach of epidemiology beyond discovery and etiologic research to include multilevel analysis, intervention evaluation, implementation, and outcomes research; (ii) transforming the practice of epidemiology by moving towards more access and sharing of protocols, data, metadata, and specimens to foster collaboration, to ensure reproducibility and replication, and accelerate translation; (iii) expanding cohort studies to collect exposure, clinical and other information across the life course and examining multiple health-related endpoints; (iv) developing and validating reliable methods and technologies to quantify exposures and outcomes on a massive scale, and to assess concomitantly the role of multiple factors in complex diseases; (v) integrating “big data” science into the practice of epidemiology; (vi) expanding knowledge integration to drive research, policy and practice; (vii) transforming training of 21st century epidemiologists to address interdisciplinary and translational research; and (viii) optimizing the use of resources and infrastructure for epidemiologic studies. These recommendations can transform cancer epidemiology and the field of epidemiology in general, by enhancing transparency, interdisciplinary collaboration, and strategic applications of new technologies. They should lay a strong scientific foundation for accelerated translation of scientific discoveries into individual and population health benefits.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0146
PMCID: PMC3625652  PMID: 23462917
big data; clinical trials; cohort studies; epidemiology; genomics; medicine; public health; technologies; training; translational research
5.  Identification of Genetic Susceptibility Loci for Colorectal Tumors in a Genome-wide Meta-analysis 
Peters, Ulrike | Jiao, Shuo | Schumacher, Fredrick R. | Hutter, Carolyn M. | Aragaki, Aaron K. | Baron, John A. | Berndt, Sonja I. | Bézieau, Stéphane | Brenner, Hermann | Butterbach, Katja | Caan, Bette J. | Campbell, Peter T. | Carlson, Christopher S. | Casey, Graham | Chan, Andrew T. | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chen, Lin S. | Coetzee, Gerhard A. | Coetzee, Simon G. | Conti, David V. | Curtis, Keith R. | Duggan, David | Edwards, Todd | Fuchs, Charles S. | Gallinger, Steven | Giovannucci, Edward L. | Gogarten, Stephanie M. | Gruber, Stephen B. | Haile, Robert W. | Harrison, Tabitha A. | Hayes, Richard B. | Henderson, Brian E. | Hoffmeister, Michael | Hopper, John L. | Hudson, Thomas J. | Hunter, David J. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Jee, Sun Ha | Jenkins, Mark A. | Jia, Wei-Hua | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Kooperberg, Charles | Küry, Sébastien | Lacroix, Andrea Z. | Laurie, Cathy C. | Laurie, Cecelia A. | Le Marchand, Loic | Lemire, Mathieu | Levine, David | Lindor, Noralane M. | Liu, Yan | Ma, Jing | Makar, Karen W. | Matsuo, Keitaro | Newcomb, Polly A. | Potter, John D. | Prentice, Ross L. | Qu, Conghui | Rohan, Thomas | Rosse, Stephanie A. | Schoen, Robert E. | Seminara, Daniela | Shrubsole, Martha | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Slattery, Martha L. | Taverna, Darin | Thibodeau, Stephen N. | Ulrich, Cornelia M. | White, Emily | Xiang, Yongbing | Zanke, Brent W. | Zeng, Yi-Xin | Zhang, Ben | Zheng, Wei | Hsu, Li
Gastroenterology  2012;144(4):799-807.e24.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Heritable factors contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. Identifying the genetic loci associated with colorectal tumor formation could elucidate the mechanisms of pathogenesis.
METHODS
We conducted a genome-wide association study that included 14 studies, 12,696 cases of colorectal tumors (11,870 cancer, 826 adenoma), and 15,113 controls of European descent. The 10 most statistically significant, previously unreported findings were followed up in 6 studies; these included 3056 colorectal tumor cases (2098 cancer, 958 adenoma) and 6658 controls of European and Asian descent.
RESULTS
Based on the combined analysis, we identified a locus that reached the conventional genome-wide significance level at less than 5.0 × 10−8: an intergenic region on chromosome 2q32.3, close to nucleic acid binding protein 1 (most significant single nucleotide polymorphism: rs11903757; odds ratio [OR], 1.15 per risk allele; P = 3.7 × 10−8). We also found evidence for 3 additional loci with P values less than 5.0 × 10−7: a locus within the laminin gamma 1 gene on chromosome 1q25.3 (rs10911251; OR, 1.10 per risk allele; P = 9.5 × 10−8), a locus within the cyclin D2 gene on chromosome 12p13.32 (rs3217810 per risk allele; OR, 0.84; P = 5.9 × 10−8), and a locus in the T-box 3 gene on chromosome 12q24.21 (rs59336; OR, 0.91 per risk allele; P = 3.7 × 10−7).
CONCLUSIONS
In a large genome-wide association study, we associated polymorphisms close to nucleic acid binding protein 1 (which encodes a DNA-binding protein involved in DNA repair) with colorectal tumor risk. We also provided evidence for an association between colorectal tumor risk and polymorphisms in laminin gamma 1 (this is the second gene in the laminin family to be associated with colorectal cancers), cyclin D2 (which encodes for cyclin D2), and T-box 3 (which encodes a T-box transcription factor and is a target of Wnt signaling to β-catenin). The roles of these genes and their products in cancer pathogenesis warrant further investigation.
doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2012.12.020
PMCID: PMC3636812  PMID: 23266556
Colon Cancer; Genetics; Risk Factors; SNP
6.  Leveraging Epidemiology and Clinical Studies of Cancer Outcomes: Recommendations and Opportunities for Translational Research 
As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, research investigating the factors that affect cancer outcomes, such as disease recurrence, risk of second malignant neoplasms, and the late effects of cancer treatments, becomes ever more important. Numerous epidemiologic studies have investigated factors that affect cancer risk, but far fewer have addressed the extent to which demographic, lifestyle, genomic, clinical, and psychosocial factors influence cancer outcomes. To identify research priorities as well as resources and infrastructure needed to advance the field of cancer outcomes and survivorship research, the National Cancer Institute sponsored a workshop titled “Utilizing Data from Cancer Survivor Cohorts: Understanding the Current State of Knowledge and Developing Future Research Priorities” on November 3, 2011, in Washington, DC. This commentary highlights recent findings presented at the workshop, opportunities to leverage existing data, and recommendations for future research, data, and infrastructure needed to address high priority clinical and research questions. Multidisciplinary teams that include epidemiologists, clinicians, biostatisticians, and bioinformaticists will be essential to facilitate future cancer outcome studies focused on improving clinical care of cancer patients, identifying those at high risk of poor outcomes, and implementing effective interventions to ultimately improve the quality and duration of survival.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djs473
PMCID: PMC3545903  PMID: 23197494
7.  A pooled analysis of smoking and colorectal cancer: timing of exposure and interactions with environmental factors 
Background
Considerable evidence suggests that cigarette smoking is associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. What is unclear, however, is the impact of quitting smoking on risk attenuation and whether other risk factors for colorectal cancer modify this association.
Methods
We performed a pooled analysis of 8 studies, including 6,796 colorectal cancer cases and 7,770 controls to evaluate the association between cigarette smoking history and colorectal cancer risk, and to investigate potential effect modification by other risk factors.
Results
Current smokers (OR=1.26, 95% CI=1.11–1.43) and former smokers (OR=1.18, 95% CI=1.09–1.27), relative to never smokers, showed higher risks of colorectal cancer. Former smokers remained at higher colorectal cancer risk, relative to never smokers, for up to about 25 years after quitting. The impact of time since quitting varied by cancer subsite: the excess risk due to smoking decreased immediately after quitting for proximal colon and rectal cancer, but not until about 20 years post-quitting for distal colon cancer. Further, we observed borderline statistically significant additive interactions between smoking status and BMI (relative excess risk due to interaction [RERI]=0.15, 95% CI:−0.01–0.31, P=0.06) and significant additive interaction between smoking status and fruit consumption (RERI=0.16, 95% CI: 0.01–0.30, P=0.04).
Conclusion
Colorectal cancer risk remained increased for about 25 years after quitting smoking, and the pattern of decline in risk varied by cancer subsite. BMI and fruit intake modified the risk associated with smoking.
Impact
These results contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms through which smoking impacts colorectal cancer etiology.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0692
PMCID: PMC3493822  PMID: 23001243
smoking; colorectal cancer; smoking status; time since quitting smoking; multiplicative and additive interaction; body mass index; vegetable and fruit intake
8.  Frontiers in Cancer Epidemiology: A Challenge to the Research Community from the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program at the National Cancer Institute 
The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is develop scientific priorities for cancer epidemiology research in the next decade. We would like to engage the research community and other stakeholders in a planning effort that will include a workshop, in December, 2012, to help shape new foci for cancer epidemiology research. To facilitate the process of defining the future of cancer epidemiology, we invite the research community to join in an ongoing Web-based conversation at http://blog-epi.grants.cancer.gov/ to develop priorities and the next generation of high-impact studies.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0525
PMCID: PMC3392448  PMID: 22665580
9.  Recommendations and proposed guidelines for assessing the cumulative evidence on joint effects of genes and environments on cancer occurrence in humans 
We propose guidelines to evaluate the cumulative evidence of gene–environment (G × E) interactions in the causation of human cancer. Our approach has its roots in the HuGENet and IARC Monographs evaluation processes for genetic and environmental risk factors, respectively, and can be applied to common chronic diseases other than cancer. We first review issues of definitions of G × E interactions, discovery and modelling methods for G × E interactions, and issues in systematic reviews of evidence for G × E interactions, since these form the foundation for appraising the credibility of evidence in this contentious field. We then propose guidelines that include four steps: (i) score the strength of the evidence for main effects of the (a) environmental exposure and (b) genetic variant; (ii) establish a prior score category and decide on the pattern of interaction to be expected; (iii) score the strength of the evidence for interaction between the environmental exposure and the genetic variant; and (iv) examine the overall plausibility of interaction by combining the prior score and the strength of the evidence and interpret results. We finally apply the scheme to the interaction between NAT2 polymorphism and tobacco smoking in determining bladder cancer risk.
doi:10.1093/ije/dys010
PMCID: PMC3481885  PMID: 22596931
Genetics; environment; interactions; evaluations
10.  Chromosomes 4 and 8 Implicated in a Genome Wide SNP Linkage Scan of 762 Prostate Cancer Families Collected by the ICPCG 
The Prostate  2011;72(4):410-426.
Background
In spite of intensive efforts, understanding of the genetic aspects of familial prostate cancer remains largely incomplete. In a previous microsatellite-based linkage scan of 1233 prostate cancer (PC) families, we identified suggestive evidence for linkage (i.e. LOD≥1.86) at 5q12, 15q11, 17q21, 22q12, and two loci on 8p, with additional regions implicated in subsets of families defined by age at diagnosis, disease aggressiveness, or number of affected members.
Methods
In an attempt to replicate these findings and increase linkage resolution, we used the Illumina 6000 SNP linkage panel to perform a genome-wide linkage scan of an independent set of 762 multiplex PC families, collected by 11 ICPCG groups.
Results
Of the regions identified previously, modest evidence of replication was observed only on the short arm of chromosome 8, where HLOD scores of 1.63 and 3.60 were observed in the complete set of families and families with young average age at diagnosis, respectively. The most significant linkage signals found in the complete set of families were observed across a broad, 37 cM interval on 4q13-25, with LOD scores ranging from 2.02 to 2.62, increasing to 4.50 in families with older average age at diagnosis. In families with multiple cases presenting with more aggressive disease, LOD scores over 3.0 were observed at 8q24 in the vicinity of previously identified common PC risk variants, as well as MYC, an important gene in PC biology.
Conclusions
These results will be useful in prioritizing future susceptibility gene discovery efforts in this common cancer.
doi:10.1002/pros.21443
PMCID: PMC3568777  PMID: 21748754
11.  Meta-analysis of New Genome-wide Association Studies of Colorectal Cancer Risk 
Human Genetics  2011;131(2):217-234.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in developed countries. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified novel susceptibility loci for colorectal cancer. To follow-up on these findings, and try to identify novel colorectal cancer susceptibility loci, we present results for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of colorectal cancer (2,906 cases, 3,416 controls) that have not previously published main associations. Specifically, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using log-additive models for each study. In order to improve our power to detect novel colorectal cancer susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis combining the results across studies. We selected the most statistically significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for replication using 10 independent studies (8,161 cases and 9,101 controls). We again used a meta-analysis to summarize results for the replication studies alone, and for a combined analysis of GWAS and replication studies. We measured 10 SNPs previously identified in colorectal cancer susceptibility loci and found eight to be associated with colorectal cancer (p-value range: 0.02 to 1.8 × 10−8). When we excluded studies that have previously published on these SNPs, five SNPs remained significant at p<0.05 in the combined analysis. No novel susceptibility loci were significant in the replication study after adjustment for multiple testing, and none reached genome-wide significance from a combined analysis of GWAS and replication. We observed marginally significant evidence for a second independent SNP in the BMP2 region at chromosomal location 20p12 (rs4813802; replication p-value 0.03; combined p-value 7.3 × 10−5). In a region on 5p33.15, which includes the coding regions of the TERT-CLPTM1L genes and has been identified in GWAS to be associated with susceptibility to at least seven other cancers, we observed a marginally significant association with rs2853668 (replication p-value 0.03; combined p-value 1.9 × 10−4). Our study suggests a complex nature of the contribution of common genetic variants to risk for colorectal cancer.
doi:10.1007/s00439-011-1055-0
PMCID: PMC3257356  PMID: 21761138
12.  Genome-Wide Search for Gene-Gene Interactions in Colorectal Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52535.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified a number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, these susceptibility loci known today explain only a small fraction of the genetic risk. Gene-gene interaction (GxG) is considered to be one source of the missing heritability. To address this, we performed a genome-wide search for pair-wise GxG associated with CRC risk using 8,380 cases and 10,558 controls in the discovery phase and 2,527 cases and 2,658 controls in the replication phase. We developed a simple, but powerful method for testing interaction, which we term the Average Risk Due to Interaction (ARDI). With this method, we conducted a genome-wide search to identify SNPs showing evidence for GxG with previously identified CRC susceptibility loci from 14 independent regions. We also conducted a genome-wide search for GxG using the marginal association screening and examining interaction among SNPs that pass the screening threshold (p<10−4). For the known locus rs10795668 (10p14), we found an interacting SNP rs367615 (5q21) with replication p = 0.01 and combined p = 4.19×10−8. Among the top marginal SNPs after LD pruning (n = 163), we identified an interaction between rs1571218 (20p12.3) and rs10879357 (12q21.1) (nominal combined p = 2.51×10−6; Bonferroni adjusted p = 0.03). Our study represents the first comprehensive search for GxG in CRC, and our results may provide new insight into the genetic etiology of CRC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052535
PMCID: PMC3530500  PMID: 23300701
13.  HOXB13 is a susceptibility gene for prostate cancer: results from the International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics (ICPCG) 
Human Genetics  2012;132(1):5-14.
Prostate cancer has a strong familial component but uncovering the molecular basis for inherited susceptibility for this disease has been challenging. Recently, a rare, recurrent mutation (G84E) in HOXB13 was reported to be associated with prostate cancer risk. Confirmation and characterization of this finding is necessary to potentially translate this information to the clinic. To examine this finding in a large international sample of prostate cancer families, we genotyped this mutation and 14 other SNPs in or flanking HOXB13 in 2,443 prostate cancer families recruited by the International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics (ICPCG). At least one mutation carrier was found in 112 prostate cancer families (4.6 %), all of European descent. Within carrier families, the G84E mutation was more common in men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer (194 of 382, 51 %) than those without (42 of 137, 30 %), P = 9.9 × 10−8 [odds ratio 4.42 (95 % confidence interval 2.56–7.64)]. A family-based association test found G84E to be significantly over-transmitted from parents to affected offspring (P = 6.5 × 10−6). Analysis of markers flanking the G84E mutation indicates that it resides in the same haplotype in 95 % of carriers, consistent with a founder effect. Clinical characteristics of cancers in mutation carriers included features of high-risk disease. These findings demonstrate that the HOXB13 G84E mutation is present in ~5 % of prostate cancer families, predominantly of European descent, and confirm its association with prostate cancer risk. While future studies are needed to more fully define the clinical utility of this observation, this allele and others like it could form the basis for early, targeted screening of men at elevated risk for this common, clinically heterogeneous cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00439-012-1229-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00439-012-1229-4
PMCID: PMC3535370  PMID: 23064873
14.  Identification of a Novel Tumor Suppressor Gene p34 on Human Chromosome 6q25.1 
Cancer research  2007;67(1):93-99.
In this study, we observed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in human chromosomal fragment 6q25.1 in sporadic lung cancer patients. LOH was observed in 65% of the 26 lung tumors examined and was narrowed down to a 2.2-Mb region. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of genes located within this region identified a candidate gene, termed p34. This gene, also designated as ZC3H12D, C6orf95, FLJ46041, or dJ281H8.1, carries an A/G nonsynonymous SNP at codon 106, which alters the amino acid from lysine to arginine. Nearly 73% of heterozygous lung cancer tissues with LOH and the A/G SNP also exhibited loss of the A allele. In vitro clonogenic and in vivo nude mouse studies showed that overexpression of the A allele exerts tumor suppressor function compared with the G allele. p34 is located within a recently mapped human lung cancer susceptibility locus, and association of the p34 A/G SNP was tested among these families. No significant association between the less frequent G allele and lung cancer susceptibility was found. Our results suggest that p34 may be a novel tumor suppressor gene involved in sporadic lung cancer but it seems not to be the candidate familial lung cancer susceptibility gene linked to chromosomal region 6q23-25.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-2723
PMCID: PMC3461257  PMID: 17210687
15.  EGFR-T790M Is a Rare Lung Cancer Susceptibility Allele with Enhanced Kinase Activity 
Cancer research  2007;67(10):4665-4670.
The use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) has yielded great success in treatment of lung adenocarcinomas. However, patients who develop resistance to TKI treatment often acquire a somatic resistance mutation (T790M) located in the catalytic cleft of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) enzyme. Recently, a report describing EGFR-T790M as a germ-line mutation suggested that this mutation may be associated with inherited susceptibility to lung cancer. Contrary to previous reports, our analysis indicates that the T790M mutation confers increased Y992 and Y1068 phosphorylation levels. In a human bronchial epithelial cell line, overexpression of EGFR-T790M displayed a growth advantage over wild-type (WT) EGFR. We also screened 237 lung cancer family probands, in addition to 45 bronchoalveolar tumors, and found that none of them contained the EGFR-T790M mutation. Our observations show that EGFR-T790M provides a proliferative advantage with respect to WT EGFR and suggest that the enhanced kinase activity of this mutant is the basis for rare cases of inherited susceptibility to lung cancer.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-0217
PMCID: PMC3460269  PMID: 17510392
16.  A Second Genetic Variant on Chromosome 15q24–25.1 Associates with Lung Cancer 
Cancer Research  2010;70(8):3128-3135.
A common variant on chromosomal region 15q24–25.1, marked by rs1051730, was found to be associated with lung cancer risk. Here, we attempted to confirm the second variant on 15q24–25.1 in several large sporadic lung cancer populations and determined what percentage of additional risk for lung cancer is due to the genetic effect of the second variant. SNPs rs1051730 and rs481134 were genotyped in 2,818 lung cancer cases and 2,766 controls from four populations. Joint analysis of these two variants (rs1051730 and rs481134) on 15q24–25.1 identified three major haplotypes (G_T, A_C, and G_C) and provided stronger evidence for association of 15q24–25.1 with lung cancer (P = 9.72 × 10−9). These two variants represent three levels of risk associated with lung cancer. The most common haplotype G_T is neutral; the haplotype A_C is associated with increased risk for lung cancer with 5.0% higher frequency in cases than in controls [P = 1.68 × 10−7; odds ratio (OR), 1.24; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.14–1.35]; whereas the haplotype G_C is associated with reduced risk for lung cancer with 4.4% lower frequency in cases than in controls (P = 7.39 × 10−7; OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73–0.87). We further showed that these two genetic variants on 15q24–25.1 independently influence lung cancer risk (rs1051730: P = 4.42 × 10−11; OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.46–1.74; rs481134: P = 7.01 × 10−4; OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.72–0.92). The second variant on 15q24–25.1, marked by rs481134, explains an additional 13.2% of population attributable risk for lung cancer.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3583
PMCID: PMC3378320  PMID: 20395203
17.  Strengthening the Reporting of Genetic Risk Prediction Studies (GRIPS): Explanation and Elaboration 
European journal of epidemiology  2011;26(4):313-337.
The rapid and continuing progress in gene discovery for complex diseases is fuelling interest in the potential application of genetic risk models for clinical and public health practice.The number of studies assessing the predictive ability is steadily increasing, but they vary widely in completeness of reporting and apparent quality.Transparent reporting of the strengths and weaknesses of these studies is important to facilitate the accumulation of evidence on genetic risk prediction.A multidisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Human Genome Epidemiology Network developed a checklist of 25 items recommended for strengthening the reporting of Genetic RIsk Prediction Studies (GRIPS), building on the principles established by prior reporting guidelines.These recommendations aim to enhance the transparency, quality and completeness of study reporting, and thereby to improve the synthesis and application of information from multiple studies that might differ in design, conduct or analysis.
doi:10.1007/s10654-011-9551-z
PMCID: PMC3088812  PMID: 21424820
18.  Genetic variation in the prostate stem cell antigen gene PSCA confers susceptibility to urinary bladder cancer 
Nature Genetics  2009;41(9):991-995.
We conducted a genome-wide association study on 969 bladder cancer cases and 957 controls from Texas. For fast-track validation, we evaluated 60 SNPs in three additional US populations and validated the top SNP in nine European populations. A missense variant (rs2294008) in the PSCA gene showed consistent association with bladder cancer in US and European populations. Combining all subjects (6,667 cases, 39,590 controls), the overall P-value was 2.14 × 10−10 and the allelic odds ratio was 1.15 (95% confidence interval 1.10–1.20). rs2294008 alters the start codon and is predicted to cause truncation of nine amino acids from the N-terminal signal sequence of the primary PSCA translation product. In vitro reporter gene assay showed that the variant allele significantly reduced promoter activity. Resequencing of the PSCA genomic region showed that rs2294008 is the only common missense SNP in PSCA. Our data identify rs2294008 as a new bladder cancer susceptibility locus.
doi:10.1038/ng.421
PMCID: PMC3313685  PMID: 19648920
19.  Development of a Panel of Genome-Wide Ancestry Informative Markers to Study Admixture Throughout the Americas 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(3):e1002554.
Most individuals throughout the Americas are admixed descendants of Native American, European, and African ancestors. Complex historical factors have resulted in varying proportions of ancestral contributions between individuals within and among ethnic groups. We developed a panel of 446 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) optimized to estimate ancestral proportions in individuals and populations throughout Latin America. We used genome-wide data from 953 individuals from diverse African, European, and Native American populations to select AIMs optimized for each of the three main continental populations that form the basis of modern Latin American populations. We selected markers on the basis of locus-specific branch length to be informative, well distributed throughout the genome, capable of being genotyped on widely available commercial platforms, and applicable throughout the Americas by minimizing within-continent heterogeneity. We then validated the panel in samples from four admixed populations by comparing ancestry estimates based on the AIMs panel to estimates based on genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. The panel provided balanced discriminatory power among the three ancestral populations and accurate estimates of individual ancestry proportions (R2>0.9 for ancestral components with significant between-subject variance). Finally, we genotyped samples from 18 populations from Latin America using the AIMs panel and estimated variability in ancestry within and between these populations. This panel and its reference genotype information will be useful resources to explore population history of admixture in Latin America and to correct for the potential effects of population stratification in admixed samples in the region.
Author Summary
Individuals from Latin America are descendants of multiple ancestral populations, primarily Native American, European, and African ancestors. The relative proportions of these ancestries can be estimated using genetic markers, known as ancestry informative markers (AIMs), whose allele frequency varies between the ancestral groups. Once determined, these ancestral proportions can be correlated with normal phenotypes, can be associated with disease, can be used to control for confounding due to population stratification, or can inform on the history of admixture in a population. In this study, we identified a panel of AIMs relevant to Latin American populations, validated the panel by comparing estimates of ancestry using the panel to ancestry determined from genome-wide data, and tested the panel in a diverse set of populations from the Americas. The panel of AIMs produces ancestry estimates that are highly accurate and appropriately controlled for population stratification, and it was used to genotype 18 populations from throughout Latin America. We have made the panel of AIMs available to any researcher interested in estimating ancestral proportions for populations from the Americas.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002554
PMCID: PMC3297575  PMID: 22412386
20.  How to Catch All Those Mutations—The Report of the Third Human Variome Project Meeting, UNESCO Paris, May 2010 
Human mutation  2010;31(12):1374-1381.
The third Human Variome Project (HVP) Meeting “Integration and Implementation” was held under UNESCO Patronage in Paris, France, at the UNESCO Headquarters May 10–14, 2010. The major aims of the HVP are the collection, curation, and distribution of all human genetic variation affecting health. The HVP has drawn together disparate groups, by country, gene of interest, and expertise, who are working for the common good with the shared goal of pushing the boundaries of the human variome and collaborating to avoid unnecessary duplication. The meeting addressed the 12 key areas that form the current framework of HVP activities: Ethics; Nomenclature and Standards; Publication, Credit and Incentives; Data Collection from Clinics; Overall Data Integration and Access—Peripheral Systems/Software; Data Collection from Laboratories; Assessment of Pathogenicity; Country Specific Collection; Translation to Healthcare and Personalized Medicine; Data Transfer, Databasing, and Curation; Overall Data Integration and Access—Central Systems; and Funding Mechanisms and Sustainability. In addition, three societies that support the goals and the mission of HVP also held their own Workshops with the view to advance disease-specific variation data collection and utilization: the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours, the Micronutrient Genomics Project, and the Neurogenetics Consortium.
doi:10.1002/humu.21379
PMCID: PMC3119486  PMID: 20960468
mutation; variation; genomics; genetic disease
21.  Defining future directions in spinal cord tumor research 
Journal of neurosurgery. Spine  2010;12(2):117-121.
The relative rarity of spinal cord tumors has hampered the study of these uncommon nervous system malignancies. Consequently, the understanding of the fundamental biology and optimal treatment of spinal cord tumors is limited, and these cancers continue to inflict considerable morbidity and mortality in children and adults. As a first step to improving the outcome of patients affected with spinal cord tumors, the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases Research in cooperation with the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke convened a workshop to discuss the current status of research and clinical management of these tumors. The overall goal of this meeting was to initiate a process that would eventually translate fundamental basic science research into improved clinical care for this group of patients. Investigational priorities for each of these areas were established, and the opportunities for future multidisciplinary research collaborations were identified.
doi:10.3171/2009.7.SPINE09137
PMCID: PMC3193276  PMID: 20121344
epidemiology; spinal cord tumor; consortium; outcome; glioma; meningioma; metastasis
22.  Strengthening the reporting of genetic risk prediction studies (GRIPS): explanation and elaboration 
The rapid and continuing progress in gene discovery for complex diseases is fueling interest in the potential application of genetic risk models for clinical and public health practice. The number of studies assessing the predictive ability is steadily increasing, but they vary widely in completeness of reporting and apparent quality. Transparent reporting of the strengths and weaknesses of these studies is important to facilitate the accumulation of evidence on genetic risk prediction. A multidisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Human Genome Epidemiology Network developed a checklist of 25 items recommended for strengthening the reporting of Genetic RIsk Prediction Studies (GRIPS), building on the principles established by previous reporting guidelines. These recommendations aim to enhance the transparency, quality and completeness of study reporting, and thereby to improve the synthesis and application of information from multiple studies that might differ in design, conduct or analysis.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2011.27
PMCID: PMC3083630  PMID: 21407270
23.  Strengthening the reporting of genetic risk prediction studies (GRIPS): explanation and elaboration 
European Journal of Epidemiology  2011;26(4):313-337.
The rapid and continuing progress in gene discovery for complex diseases is fuelling interest in the potential application of genetic risk models for clinical and public health practice. The number of studies assessing the predictive ability is steadily increasing, but they vary widely in completeness of reporting and apparent quality. Transparent reporting of the strengths and weaknesses of these studies is important to facilitate the accumulation of evidence on genetic risk prediction. A multidisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Human Genome Epidemiology Network developed a checklist of 25 items recommended for strengthening the reporting of Genetic RIsk Prediction Studies (GRIPS), building on the principles established by prior reporting guidelines. These recommendations aim to enhance the transparency, quality and completeness of study reporting, and thereby to improve the synthesis and application of information from multiple studies that might differ in design, conduct or analysis.
doi:10.1007/s10654-011-9551-z
PMCID: PMC3088812  PMID: 21424820
Genetic; Risk prediction; Methodology; Guidelines; Reporting
24.  Cumulative Effect of Multiple Loci on Genetic Susceptibility to Familial Lung Cancer 
Background
Genetic factors play important roles in lung cancer susceptibility. In this study, we replicated the association of 5p15.33 and 6p21.33 with familial lung cancer. Taking into account the previously identified genetic susceptibility variants on 6q23-25/RGS17 and 15q24-25.1, we further determined the cumulative association of these four genetic regions and the population attributable risk percent of familial lung cancer they account for.
Methods
One hundred ninety-four case patients and 219 cancer-free control subjects from the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium were used for the association analysis. Each familial case was chosen from one high-risk lung cancer family that has three or more affected members. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on chromosomal regions 5p15.33, 6p21.33, 6q23-25/RGS17, and 15q24-25.1 were assessed for their associations with familial lung cancer. The cumulative association of the four chromosomal regions with familial lung cancer was evaluated with the use of a linear logistic model. Population attributable risk percent was calculated for each SNP using risk ratio.
Results
SNP rs31489 showed the strongest evidence of familial lung cancer association on 5p15.33 (P = 2 × 10−4; odds ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.42-0.77), whereas rs3117582 showed a weak association on 6p21.33 (P = 0.09; odds ratio, 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.94-2.31). Analysis of a combination of SNPs from the four regions provided a stronger cumulative association with familial lung cancer (P = 6.70 × 10−6) than any individual SNPs. The risk of lung cancer was increased to 3- to 11-fold among those subjects who had at least one copy of risk allele at each region compared with subjects without any of the risk factors. These four genetic regions contribute to a total of 34.6% of familial lung cancer in smokers.
Conclusions
The SNPs in four chromosomal regions have a cumulative and significant association with familial lung cancer and account for about one-third of the population attributable risk for familial lung cancer.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0791
PMCID: PMC2846747  PMID: 20142248
25.  Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency and Smoking as Risk Factors for Mismatch Repair Deficient Colorectal Cancer: a Study from the Colon Cancer Family Registry 
In a previous study, alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency alleles were found to be over represented among individuals with microsatellite unstable (MSI-high) colorectal cancers, and this was most significant in former or current smokers. We evaluated this association in a larger case-control study, stratified by microsatellite instability phenotypes. Concordant with prior observations, gender (female) and smoking history were positively associated with colorectal cancers having an MSI-high phenotype. No difference in frequency of A1AT deficiency alleles was found between cases and controls, irrespective of the MSI subtype.
doi:10.1016/j.ymgme.2009.09.010
PMCID: PMC2818220  PMID: 19853488
protease inhibitor; microsatellite instability; DNA mismatch repair; smoking

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