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1.  Fathering of Dizygotic Twins and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Nationwide, Population-Based Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110506.
An association between male fertility and risk of prostate cancer has been suggested, possibly through lower androgen levels in subfertile men. We evaluated male fertility in relation to risk of prostate cancer by assessing the frequency of fathering of dizygotic twins, a marker of high fertility, among cases of prostate cancer and controls.
We performed a case-control study in Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden (PCBaSe), a nationwide, population-based cohort. PCBaSe was linked to the Swedish twin register for information on zygosity for same-sex twins and to other nationwide health care registers and demographic databases for information on socioeconomic factors, comorbidity, and tumor characteristics for 96 301 prostate cancer cases and 378 583 matched controls. To account for the influence of in vitro fertilization on dizygotic twinning, analyses were restricted to men who had fathered children before 1991, when in vitro fertilization was still uncommon in Sweden.
1 112 cases and 4 538 controls had fathered dizygotic twins. Men with dizygotic twins had no increased risk of prostate cancer compared to fathers of singletons; neither for total prostate cancer odds ratio (OR) 0.95(95% CI 0.89–1.02), nor for any risk category, OR 0.97 (95% CI 0.84–1.12) for low-risk disease, and OR 1.04 (95% CI 0.90–1.22) for metastatic disease.
The lack of association between fathering of dizygotic twins and prostate cancer risk give no support for an association between male fertility and prostate cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC4206421  PMID: 25337702
2.  Circulating Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk: Individual Participant Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies 
Individual studies have suggested that some circulating fatty acids are associated with prostate cancer risk, but have not been large enough to provide precise estimates of associations, particularly by stage and grade of disease.
Principal investigators of prospective studies on circulating fatty acids and prostate cancer were invited to collaborate. Investigators provided individual participant data on circulating fatty acids (weight percent) and other characteristics of prostate cancer cases and controls. Prostate cancer risk by study-specific fifths of 14 fatty acids was estimated using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Five thousand and ninety-eight case patients and 6649 control patients from seven studies with an average follow-up of 5.1 (SD = 3.3) years were included. Stearic acid (18:0) was inversely associated with total prostate cancer (odds ratio [OR] Q5 vs Q1 = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.78 to 1.00, P trend = .043). Prostate cancer risk was, respectively, 14% and 16% greater in the highest fifth of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.29, P trend = .001) and docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3) (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.33, P trend = .003), but in each case there was heterogeneity between studies (P = .022 and P < .001, respectively). There was heterogeneity in the association between docosapentaenoic acid and prostate cancer by grade of disease (P = .006); the association was statistically significant for low-grade disease but not high-grade disease. The remaining 11 fatty acids were not statistically associated with total prostate cancer risk.
There was no strong evidence that circulating fatty acids are important predictors of prostate cancer risk. It is not clear whether the modest associations of stearic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosapentaenoic acid are causal.
PMCID: PMC4188122  PMID: 25210201
3.  Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1/GDF15): a new marker of all-cause mortality 
Aging cell  2010;9(6):1057-1064.
Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1/GDF15) is a member of the TGF-b superfamily, previously studied in cancer and inflammation. In addition to regulating body weight, MIC-1/GDF15 may be used to predict mortality and/or disease course in cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic renal and heart failure, as well as pulmonary embolism. These data suggested that MIC-1/GDF15 may be a marker of all-cause mortality. To determine if serum MIC-1/GDF15 estimation is a predictor of all-cause mortality we examined a cohort of 876 male subjects aged 35 to 80 years, selected from the Swedish Population Registry, and followed them for overall mortality. Serum MIC-1/GDF15 levels were determined for all subjects from samples taken at study entry. A second (independent) cohort of 324 same-sex twins (69% female) from the Swedish Twin Registry was similarly examined. All the twins had telomere length measured and 183 had serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C reactive protein (CRP) available. Patients were followed for up to 14 years and had cause specific and all-cause mortality determined. Serum MIC-1/GDF15 levels predicted mortality in the all-male cohort with an adjusted odds ratio of death of 3.38 (95%CI 1.38–8.26). This finding was validated in the twin cohort. Serum MIC-1/GDF15 remained an independent predictor of mortality when further adjusted for telomere length, IL-6 and CRP. Additionally, serum MIC-1/GDF15 levels were directly correlated with survival time independently of genetic background. Serum MIC-1/GDF15 is a novel predictor of all-cause mortality.
PMCID: PMC4139960  PMID: 20854422
MIC-1/GDF15; all-cause mortality; serum marker; cytokine; prospective observational cohort; environmental toxicity
4.  Prostate Cancer Mortality in Areas With High and Low Prostate Cancer Incidence 
The effect of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening on prostate cancer mortality remains debated, despite evidence from randomized trials. We investigated the association between prostate cancer incidence, reflecting uptake of PSA testing, and prostate cancer mortality.
The study population consisted of all men aged 50 to 74 years residing in eight counties in Sweden with an early increase in prostate cancer incidence and six counties with a late increase during two time periods. Incidence of metastatic prostate cancer was investigated in the period from 2000 to 2009, and prostate cancer–specific mortality and excess mortality were investigated in the period from 1990 to 1999 and the period from 2000 to 2009 by calculating rate ratios for high- vs low-incidence counties and rate ratios for the period from 2000 to 2009 vs the period from 1990 to 1999 within these two groups. All statistical tests were two-sided.
There were 4528134 person-years at risk, 1577 deaths from prostate cancer, and 1210 excess deaths in men with prostate cancer in high-incidence counties and 2471373 person-years at risk, 985 prostate cancer deaths, and 878 excess deaths in low-incidence counties in the period from 2000 to 2009. Rate ratios in counties with high vs low incidence adjusted for time period were 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.73 to 0.90) for prostate cancer– specific mortality and 0.74 (95% CI = 0.64 to 0.86) for excess mortality, and the rate ratio of metastatic prostate cancer was 0.85 (95% CI = 0.79 to 0.92).
The lower prostate cancer mortality in high-incidence counties reflecting a high PSA uptake suggests that more-intense as compared with less-intense opportunistic PSA screening reduces prostate cancer mortality.
PMCID: PMC3982781  PMID: 24610909
5.  A Prospective Study on Metabolic Risk Factors and Gallbladder Cancer in the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer (Me-Can) Collaborative Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89368.
To investigate the association between metabolic risk factors (individually and in combination) and risk of gallbladder cancer (GBC).
The metabolic syndrome and cancer project (Me-Can) includes cohorts from Norway, Austria, and Sweden with data on 578,700 men and women. We used Cox proportional hazard regression models to calculate relative risks of GBC by body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and plasma levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides as continuous standardised variables and their standardised sum of metabolic syndrome (MetS) z-score. The risk estimates were corrected for random error in measurements.
During an average follow-up of 12.0 years (SD = 7.8), 184 primary gallbladder cancers were diagnosed. Relative risk of gallbladder cancer per unit increment of z-score adjusted for age, smoking status and BMI (except for BMI itself) and stratified by birth year, sex and sub-cohorts, was for BMI 1.31 (95% confidence interval 1.11, 1.57) and blood glucose 1.76 (1.10, 2.85). Further analysis showed that the effect of BMI on GBC risk is larger among women in the premenopausal age group (1.84 (1.23, 2.78)) compared to those in the postmenopausal age group (1.29 (0.93, 1.79)). For the other metabolic factors no significant association was found (mid blood pressure 0.96 (0.71, 1.31), cholesterol 0.84 (0.66, 1.06) and serum triglycerides 1.16 (0.82, 1.64)). The relative risk per one unit increment of the MetS z-score was 1.37 (1.07, 1.73).
This study showed that increasing BMI and impaired glucose metabolism pose a possible risk for gallbladder cancer. Beyond the individual factors, the results also showed that the metabolic syndrome as an entity presents a risk constellation for the occurrence of gallbladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3931760  PMID: 24586723
6.  Metabolic risk factors for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma: a prospective study of 580 000 subjects within the Me-Can project 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:103.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and a decreased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). However, little is known about the risk of EAC and ESCC related to other metabolic risk factors. We aimed to examine the risk of EAC and ESCC in relation to metabolic risk factors, separately and combined in a prospective cohort study.
The Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer cohort includes prospective cohorts in Austria, Norway and Sweden, with blood pressure, lipids, glucose and BMI available from 578 700 individuals. Relative risk (RR) for EAC and ESCC was calculated using Cox’s proportional hazards analysis for metabolic risk factors categorized into quintiles and transformed into z-scores. The standardized sum of all z-scores was used as a composite score for the metabolic syndrome (MetS).
In total, 324 histologically verified cases of esophageal cancer were identified (114 EAC, 184 ESCC and 26 with other histology). BMI was associated with an increased risk of EAC (RR 7.34 (95% confidence interval, 2.88-18.7) top versus bottom quintile) and negatively associated with the risk of ESCC (RR 0.38 (0.23-0.62)). The mean value of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (mid blood pressure) was associated with the risk of ESCC (RR 1.77 (1.37-2.29)). The composite MetS score was associated with the risk of EAC (RR 1.56 (1.19-2.05) per one unit increase of z-score) but not ESCC.
In accordance with previous studies, high BMI was associated with an increased risk of EAC and a decreased risk of ESCC. An association between high blood pressure and risk of ESCC was observed but alcohol consumption is a potential confounding factor that we were not able to adjust for in the analysis. The MetS was associated with EAC but not ESCC. However this association was largely driven by the strong association between BMI and EAC. We hypothesize that this association is more likely to be explained by factors directly related to obesity than the metabolic state of the MetS, considering that no other metabolic factor than BMI was associated with EAC.
PMCID: PMC3929907  PMID: 24548688
Esophageal cancer; Esophageal adenocarcinoma; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Obesity; Hypertension
7.  TMPRSS2-ERG Expression Predicts Prostate Cancer Survival and Associates with Stromal Biomarkers 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e86824.
The TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion is found in approximately half of all prostate cancers. The functional and prognostic significance of TMPRSS2-ERG is, however, not fully understood. Based on a historical watchful waiting cohort, an association between TMPRSS2-ERG, evaluated as positive immune staining, and shorter survival of prostate cancer patients was identified. Expression of ERG was also associated with clinical markers such as advanced tumor stage, high Gleason score, presence of metastasis and prognostic tumor cell markers such as high Ki67, pEGFR and pAkt. Novel associations between TMPRSS2-ERG and alterations in the tumor stroma, for example, increased vascular density, hyaluronan and PDGFRβ and decreased Caveolin-1, all known to be associated with an aggressive disease, were found. The present study suggests that the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion gene is associated with a more aggressive prostate cancer phenotype, supported by changes in the tumor stroma.
PMCID: PMC3914792  PMID: 24505269
8.  Pooled cohort study on height and risk of cancer and cancer death 
Cancer Causes & Control  2013;25(2):151-159.
To assess the association between height and risk of cancer and cancer death.
The metabolic syndrome and cancer project is a prospective pooled cohort study of 585,928 participants from seven cohorts in Austria, Norway, and Sweden. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for cancer incidence and death were estimated in height categories and per 5-cm increment for each cancer site using Cox proportional hazards model.
During a mean follow-up of 12.7 years (SD = 7.2), 38,862 participants were diagnosed with cancer and 13,547 participants died of cancer. Increased height (per 5-cm increment) was associated with an increased overall cancer risk in women, HR 1.07 (95 % CI 1.06–1.09), and in men, HR 1.04 (95 % CI 1.03–1.06). The highest HR was seen for malignant melanoma in women, HR 1.17 (95 % CI 1.11–1.24), and in men HR 1.12 (95 % CI 1.08–1.19). Height was also associated with increased risk of cancer death in women, HR 1.03 (95 % CI 1.01–1.16), and in men, HR 1.03 (95 % CI 1.01–1.05). The highest HR was observed for breast cancer death in postmenopausal women (>60 years), HR 1.10 (95 % CI 1.00–1.21), and death from renal cell carcinoma in men, HR 1.18 (95 % CI 1.07–1.30). All these associations were independent of body mass index.
Height was associated with risk of cancer and cancer death indicating that factors related to height such as hormonal and genetic factors stimulate both cancer development and progression.
PMCID: PMC3929024  PMID: 24173535
Body stature; Body height; Epidemiology; Cancer risk; Cohort study
9.  Mortality following Hip Fracture in Men with Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74492.
Hip fractures are associated with increased mortality and are a known adverse effect of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer (PCa). It was our aim to evaluate how mortality after hip fracture is modified by PCa and ADT.
PCa dataBase Sweden (PCBaSe 2.0) is based on the National PCa Register and also contains age and county-matched PCa-free men. We selected all men (n = 14,205) who had been hospitalized with a hip fracture between 2006 and 2010; 2,300 men had a prior PCa diagnosis of whom 1,518 (66%) were on ADT prior to date of fracture. Risk of death was estimated with cumulative incidence and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) to make comparisons with the entire PCa population and the general population.
Cumulative incidences indicated that there was a higher risk of death following a hip fracture for PCa men on ADT than for PCa men not on ADT or PCa-free men, particularly in the first year. The SMRs showed that PCa men on ADT with a hip fracture were 2.44 times more likely to die than the comparison cohort of all PCa men (95%CI: 2.29-2.60). This risk was especially increased during the first month (5.64 (95%CI: 4.16–7.48)). In absolute terms, hip fractures were associated with 20 additional deaths per 1,000 person-years in PCa men not on ADT, but 30 additional deaths per 1,000 person-years for PCa men on ADT, compared to all PCa men.
Hip fractures are associated with higher all-cause mortality in PCa men on ADT than in PCa men not on ADT or PCa-free men, especially within the first three months.
PMCID: PMC3785484  PMID: 24086350
10.  Genetic variation in the upstream region of ERG and prostate cancer 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2009;20(7):1173-1180.
A considerable fraction of prostate cancers harbor a gene fusion between the androgen-regulated TMPRSS2 and ERG, one of the most frequently over-expressed proto-oncogenes in prostate cancer. Here, we investigated if inherited genetic variation upstream of ERG alters prostate cancer risk and survival.
We genotyped 21 haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs) covering 123 kb of 5′UTR DNA including exon 3 of ERG in 2,760 incident prostate cancer cases and 1,647 controls from a population-based Swedish case–control study (CAPS). Individual SNPs and haplotypes were tested for association with prostate cancer risk and survival.
One haplotype—′CTCGTATG′ located 100 kb upstream of ERG—was associated with lethal prostate cancer (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.2–1.9, p = 0.006). Carriers of the variant ‘T’ allele of rs2836626 were diagnosed with higher TNM-stage (p = 0.009) and had an increased risk of prostate cancer-specific death (HR = 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1–1.7, p = 0.009). However, this association did not remain statistically significant after adjusting for multiple testing. We found overall no association between ERG variation and prostate cancer risk.
Genetic variation upstream of ERG may alter prostate cancer stage and ultimately prostate cancer-specific death but it is unlikely that it plays a role in prostate cancer development.
PMCID: PMC3755494  PMID: 19205910
Prostate cancer; ERG; Haplotype; Polymorphism; Survival
11.  Prostate Cancer Imaging Trends After a Nationwide Effort to Discourage Inappropriate Prostate Cancer Imaging 
Reducing inappropriate use of imaging to stage incident prostate cancer is a challenging problem highlighted recently as a Physician Quality Reporting System quality measure and by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association in the Choosing Wisely campaign. Since 2000, the National Prostate Cancer Register (NPCR) of Sweden has led an effort to decrease national rates of inappropriate prostate cancer imaging by disseminating utilization data along with the latest imaging guidelines to urologists in Sweden. We sought to determine the temporal and regional effects of this effort on prostate cancer imaging rates.
We performed a retrospective cohort study among men diagnosed with prostate cancer from the NPCR from 1998 to 2009 (n = 99 879). We analyzed imaging use over time stratified by clinical risk category (low, intermediate, high) and geographic region. Generalized linear models with a logit link were used to test for time trend.
Thirty-six percent of men underwent imaging within 6 months of prostate cancer diagnosis. Overall, imaging use decreased over time, particularly in the low-risk category, among whom the imaging rate decreased from 45% to 3% (P < .001), but also in the high-risk category, among whom the rate decreased from 63% to 47% (P < .001). Despite substantial regional variation, all regions experienced clinically and statistically (P < .001) significant decreases in prostate cancer imaging.
A Swedish effort to provide data on prostate cancer imaging use and imaging guidelines to clinicians was associated with a reduction in inappropriate imaging over a 10-year period, as well as slightly decreased appropriate imaging in high-risk patients. These results may inform current efforts to promote guideline-concordant imaging in the United States and internationally.
PMCID: PMC3760779  PMID: 23853055
12.  Metabolic Factors Associated with Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57475.
Previous studies have shown that obesity and hypertension are associated with increased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but less is known about the association to other metabolic factors. In the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer project (Me-Can) data on body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), blood pressure, and circulating levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides were collected from 560,388 men and women in cohorts from Norway, Austria, and Sweden. By use of Cox proportional hazard models, hazard ratios (HR) were calculated for separate and composite metabolic exposures. During a median follow-up of 10 years, 592 men and 263 women were diagnosed with RCC. Among men, we found an increased risk of RCC for BMI, highest vs. lowest quintile, (HR = 1.51, 95% CI 1.13–2.03), systolic blood pressure, (HR = 3.40, 95% CI 1.91–6.06), diastolic blood pressure, (HR = 3.33, 95% CI 1.85–5.99), glucose, (HR = 3.75, 95% CI 1.46–9.68), triglycerides, (HR = 1.79, 95% CI 1.00–3.21) and a composite score of these metabolic factors, (HR = 2.68, 95% CI 1.75–4.11). Among women we found an increased risk of RCC for BMI, highest vs. lowest quintile, (HR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.32–3.70) and the composite score, (HR = 2.29, 95% CI 1.12–4.68). High levels of the composite score were also associated with risk of death from RCC among both men and women. No multiplicative statistical or biological interactions between metabolic factors on risk of RCC were found. High levels of BMI, blood pressure, glucose and triglycerides among men and high BMI among women were associated with increased risk of RCC.
PMCID: PMC3585341  PMID: 23468995
13.  Guidelines are too important to be left to clinical experts 
PMCID: PMC3273500  PMID: 22184368
14.  Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine 1: A New Prognostic Marker in Prostate Cancer 
High serum levels of macrophage inhibitory cytokine 1 (MIC-1) are strongly associated with metastatic prostate cancer, suggesting MIC-1 is a biomarker for prostate cancer prognosis.
Experimental Design
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 1,442 Swedish men with a pathologically verified diagnosis of prostate cancer between 2001 and 2003. Blood was drawn either pretreatment (n = 431) or posttreatment (n = 1,011) and cases were followed for a mean time of 4.9 years (range, 0.1–6.8 years).
MIC-1 serum levels independently predicted poor cancer-specific survival with an almost 3-fold higher cancer death rate in patients with serum levels in the highest quartile compared with men with serum levels in the lowest quartile (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.82–4.68). Pretreatment MIC-1 levels revealed an even stronger association with disease outcome with an 8-fold higher death rate in the highest compared with the lowest category (adjusted hazard ratio, 7.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.73–36.86). Among patients considered to have localized disease, MIC-1 significantly increased the discriminative capacity between indolent and lethal prostate cancer compared with the established prognostic markers clinical stage, pathologic grade, and prostate-specific antigen level (P = 0.016). A sequence variant in the MIC-1 gene was associated with decreased MIC-1 serum levels (P = 0.002) and decreased prostate cancer mortality (P = 0.003), suggesting a causative role of MIC-1 in prostate cancer prognosis.
Serum MIC-1 concentration is a novel biomarker capable of predicting prostate cancer prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3557964  PMID: 19843661
15.  Total Serum Cholesterol and Cancer Incidence in the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project (Me-Can) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54242.
To investigate the association between total serum cholesterol (TSC) and cancer incidence in the Metabolic syndrome and Cancer project (Me-Can).
Me-Can consists of seven cohorts from Norway, Austria, and Sweden including 289,273 male and 288,057 female participants prospectively followed up for cancer incidence (n = 38,978) with a mean follow-up of 11.7 years. Cox regression models with age as the underlying time metric were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for quintiles of cholesterol levels and per 1 mmol/l, adjusting for age at first measurement, body mass index (BMI), and smoking status. Estimates were corrected for regression dilution bias. Furthermore, we performed lag time analyses, excluding different times of follow-up, in order to check for reverse causation.
In men, compared with the 1st quintile, TSC concentrations in the 5th quintile were borderline significantly associated with decreasing risk of total cancer (HR = 0.94; 95%CI: 0.88, 1.00). Significant inverse associations were observed for cancers of the liver/intrahepatic bile duct (HR = 0.14; 95%CI: 0.07, 0.29), pancreas cancer (HR = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.81), non-melanoma of skin (HR = 0.67; 95%CI: 0.46, 0.95), and cancers of the lymph−/hematopoietic tissue (HR = 0.68, 95%CI: 0.54, 0.87). In women, hazard ratios for the 5th quintile were associated with decreasing risk of total cancer (HR = 0.86, 95%CI: 0.79, 0.93) and for cancers of the gallbladder (HR = 0.23, 95%CI: 0.08, 0.62), breast (HR = 0.70, 95%CI: 0.61, 0.81), melanoma of skin (HR = 0.61, 95%CI: 0.42, 0.88), and cancers of the lymph−/hematopoietic tissue (HR = 0.61, 95%CI: 0.44, 0.83).
TSC was negatively associated with risk of cancer overall in females and risk of cancer at several sites in both males and females. In lag time analyses some associations persisted, suggesting that for these cancer sites reverse causation did not apply.
PMCID: PMC3553083  PMID: 23372693
16.  Phospho-Akt Immunoreactivity in Prostate Cancer: Relationship to Disease Severity and Outcome, Ki67 and Phosphorylated EGFR Expression 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47994.
In the present study, we have investigated the prognostic usefulness of phosphorylated Akt immunoreactivity (pAkt-IR) in prostate cancer using a well-characterised tissue microarray from men who had undergone transurethral resection due to lower urinary tract symptoms.
Methodology/Principal Findings
pAkt-IR in prostate epithelial and tumour cells was assessed using a monoclonal anti-pAkt (Ser473) antibody. Immunoreactive intensity was determined for 282 (tumour) and 240 (non-mlignant tissue) cases. Tumour pAkt-IR scores correlated with Gleason score, tumour Ki67-IR (a marker of cell proliferation) and tumour phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor (pEGFR)-IR. For cases followed with expectancy, a high tumour pAkt-IR was associated with a poor disease-specific survival, and the prognostic information provided by this biomarker was additive to that provided by either (but not both) tumour pEFGR-IR or Ki67-IR. Upon division of the cases with respect to their Gleason scores, the prognostic value of pAkt-IR was seen for patients with Gleason score 8–10, but not for patients with Gleason score 6–7.
Tumour pAkt-IR is associated with both disease severity and disease-specific survival. However, its clinical use as a biomarker is limited, since it does not provide prognostic information in patients with Gleason scores 6–7.
PMCID: PMC3485047  PMID: 23133535
17.  Genome-wide association study identifies new prostate cancer susceptibility loci 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(19):3867-3875.
Prostate cancer (PrCa) is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed among males in developed countries and the second leading cause of cancer mortality, yet little is known regarding its etiology and factors that influence clinical outcome. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of PrCa have identified at least 30 distinct loci associated with small differences in risk. We conducted a GWAS in 2782 advanced PrCa cases (Gleason grade ≥ 8 or tumor stage C/D) and 4458 controls with 571 243 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Based on in silico replication of 4679 SNPs (Stage 1, P < 0.02) in two published GWAS with 7358 PrCa cases and 6732 controls, we identified a new susceptibility locus associated with overall PrCa risk at 2q37.3 (rs2292884, P= 4.3 × 10−8). We also confirmed a locus suggested by an earlier GWAS at 12q13 (rs902774, P= 8.6 × 10−9). The estimated per-allele odds ratios for these loci (1.14 for rs2292884 and 1.17 for rs902774) did not differ between advanced and non-advanced PrCa (case-only test for heterogeneity P= 0.72 and P= 0.61, respectively). Further studies will be needed to assess whether these or other loci are differentially associated with PrCa subtypes.
PMCID: PMC3168287  PMID: 21743057
18.  Genetic Variants in the LEPR, CRY1, RNASEL, IL4, and ARVCF Genes Are Prognostic Markers of Prostate Cancer-Specific Mortality 
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men, accounting for over 30,000 deaths annually. The purpose of this study was to test whether variation in selected candidate genes in biological pathways of interest for prostate cancer progression could help distinguish patients at higher risk for fatal prostate cancer.
In this hypothesis-driven study, we genotyped 937 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 156 candidate genes in a population-based cohort of 1,309 prostate cancer patients. We identified 22 top-ranking SNPs (P ≤0.01, FDR ≤0.70) associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM). A subsequent validation study was completed in an independent population-based cohort of 2,875 prostate cancer patients.
Five SNPs were validated (P ≤0.05) as being significantly associated with PCSM, one each in the LEPR, CRY1, RNASEL, IL4, and ARVCF genes. Compared to patients with 0–2 of the at-risk genotypes those with 4–5 at-risk genotypes had a 50% (95% CI, 1.2–1.9) higher risk of PCSM and risk increased with the number of at-risk genotypes carried (Ptrend = 0.001), adjusting for clinicopathological factors known to influence prognosis.
Five genetic markers were validated to be associated with lethal prostate cancer.
This is the first population-based study to demonstrate that germline genetic variants provide prognostic information for prostate cancer-specific survival. The clinical utility of this five-SNP panel to stratify patients at higher risk for adverse outcomes should be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3169727  PMID: 21846818
Prostate cancer-specific mortality; survival; genetic variants; single nucleotide polymorphisms; hazard ratio
19.  Identification of a novel prostate cancer susceptibility locus on chromosome 8q24 
Nature genetics  2009;41(10):1055-1057.
We report a genome-wide association study in 10,286 cases and 9,135 controls of European ancestry, in the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) initiative, identifying a new association with prostate cancer risk on chromosome 8q24 (rs620861, p=1.3×10-10, heterozygote OR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.10 – 1.24; homozygote OR = 1.33; 95% CI 1.21 – 1.45). This defines a new prostate locus on 8q24, Region 4, previously associated with breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3430510  PMID: 19767755
20.  Large-scale fine mapping of the HNF1B locus and prostate cancer risk 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(16):3322-3329.
Previous genome-wide association studies have identified two independent variants in HNF1B as susceptibility loci for prostate cancer risk. To fine-map common genetic variation in this region, we genotyped 79 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 17q12 region harboring HNF1B in 10 272 prostate cancer cases and 9123 controls of European ancestry from 10 case–control studies as part of the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) initiative. Ten SNPs were significantly related to prostate cancer risk at a genome-wide significance level of P < 5 × 10−8 with the most significant association with rs4430796 (P = 1.62 × 10−24). However, risk within this first locus was not entirely explained by rs4430796. Although modestly correlated (r2= 0.64), rs7405696 was also associated with risk (P = 9.35 × 10−23) even after adjustment for rs4430769 (P = 0.007). As expected, rs11649743 was related to prostate cancer risk (P = 3.54 × 10−8); however, the association within this second locus was stronger for rs4794758 (P = 4.95 × 10−10), which explained all of the risk observed with rs11649743 when both SNPs were included in the same model (P = 0.32 for rs11649743; P = 0.002 for rs4794758). Sequential conditional analyses indicated that five SNPs (rs4430796, rs7405696, rs4794758, rs1016990 and rs3094509) together comprise the best model for risk in this region. This study demonstrates a complex relationship between variants in the HNF1B region and prostate cancer risk. Further studies are needed to investigate the biological basis of the association of variants in 17q12 with prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3140817  PMID: 21576123
21.  Prediagnostic concentrations of plasma genistein and prostate cancer risk in 1,605 men with prostate cancer and 1,697 matched control participants in EPIC 
Cancer Causes & Control  2012;23(7):1163-1171.
Data from prospective epidemiological studies in Asian populations and from experimental studies in animals and cell lines suggest a possible protective association between dietary isoflavones and the development of prostate cancer. We examined the association between circulating concentrations of genistein and prostate cancer risk in a case–control study nested in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Concentrations of the isoflavone genistein were measured in prediagnostic plasma samples for 1,605 prostate cancer cases and 1,697 matched control participants. Relative risks (RRs) for prostate cancer in relation to plasma concentrations of genistein were estimated by conditional logistic regression.
Plasma genistein concentrations were not associated with prostate cancer risk; the multivariate relative risk for men in the highest fifth of genistein compared with men in the lowest fifth was 1.00 (95  % confidence interval: 0.79, 1.27; p linear trend = 0.82). There was no evidence of heterogeneity in this association by age at blood collection, country of recruitment, or cancer stage or histological grade.
Plasma genistein concentration was not associated with prostate cancer risk in this large cohort of European men.
PMCID: PMC3369135  PMID: 22674291
Prospective; Prostate cancer; Plasma; Isoflavone; Genistein; Phyto-estrogen
22.  Established Prostate Cancer Susceptibility Variants are not Associated with Disease Outcome 
Recent genome-wide association studies have been successful in identifying common sequence variants associated with prostate cancer risk; however, their importance in prostate cancer prognosis remains unknown. To assess confirmed prostate cancer susceptibility variants with prostate cancer prognosis, we genotyped 16 established susceptibility variants in a Swedish cohort of 2,875 prostate cancer cases, ascertained between 2001 and 2003, with complete follow-up regarding vital status through January 2008. Cox regression models, adjusted for age, clinical stage, pathologic grade, nodal or distant metastases, and diagnostic serum levels of prostate-specific antigen level, were used to assess association between risk variants and prostate cancer–specific survival. During follow-up, 626 men died, and of those, 440 had prostate cancer classified as their underlying cause of death. We found no association between any of the explored sequence variants and prostate cancer–specific mortality, either in exploring individual variants or in assessing the cumulative effect of all variants. We conclude that hitherto established prostate cancer susceptibility variants are not associated with the lethal potential of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3353269  PMID: 19423541
23.  Association of Reported Prostate Cancer Risk Alleles With PSA Levels Among Men Without a Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer 
The Prostate  2009;69(4):419-427.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is widely used for prostate cancer screening but its levels are influenced by many non cancer-related factors. The goal of the study is to estimate the effect of genetic variants on PSA levels.
We evaluated the association of SNPs that were reported to be associated with prostate cancer risk in recent genome-wide association studies with plasma PSA levels in a Swedish study population, including 1,722 control subjects without a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Of the 16 SNPs analyzed in control subjects, significant associations with PSA levels (P≤0.05) were found for six SNPs. These six SNPs had a cumulative effect on PSA levels; the mean PSA levels in men were almost twofold increased across increasing quintile of number of PSA associated alleles, P-trend=3.4×10−14. In this Swedish study population risk allele frequencies were similar among T1c case patients (cancer detected by elevated PSA levels alone) as compared to T2 and above prostate cancer case patients.
Results from this study may have two important clinical implications. The cumulative effect of six SNPs on PSA levels suggests genetic-specific PSA cutoff values may be used to improve the discriminatory performance of this test for prostate cancer; and the dual associations of these SNPs with PSA levels and prostate cancer risk raise a concern that some of reported prostate cancer risk-associated SNPs may be confounded by the prevalent use of PSA screening.
PMCID: PMC3348520  PMID: 19116992
genetic; bias; KLK3
24.  Eighteen Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) pathway genes, circulating levels of IGF-1 and its binding protein (IGFBP-3), and risk of prostate and breast cancer 
Circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) and its main binding protein, IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), have been associated with risk of several types of cancer. Heritable factors explain up to 60% of the variation in IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in studies of adult twins.
We systematically examined common genetic variation in 18 genes in the IGF signaling pathway for associations with circulating levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3. A total of 302 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in over 5500 Caucasian men and 5500 Caucasian women from the Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3).
After adjusting for multiple testing, SNPs in the IGF1 and SSTR5 genes were significantly associated with circulating IGF-1 (p<2.1×10−4); SNPs in the IGFBP3 and IGFALS genes were significantly associated with circulating IGFBP-3. Multi-SNP models explained R2=0.62% of the variation in circulating IGF-1 and 3.9% of the variation in circulating IGFBP-3. We saw no significant association between these multi-SNP predictors of circulating IGF-1 or IGFBP-3 and risk of prostate or breast cancers.
Common genetic variation in the IGF1 and SSTR5 genes appears to influence circulating IGF-1 levels, and variation in IGFBP3 and IGFALS appears to influence circulating IGFBP-3. However, these variants explain only a small percentage of the variation in circulating IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in Caucasian men and women.
Further studies are needed to explore contributions from other genetic factors such as rare variants in these genes and variation outside of these genes.
PMCID: PMC2989404  PMID: 20810604
insulin-like growth factors; genetic association; breast cancer; prostate cancer
25.  Evidence for two independent prostate cancer risk associated loci in the HNF1B gene at 17q12 
Nature genetics  2008;40(10):1153-1155.
A fine mapping study in the HNF1B gene at 17q12 among two study populations revealed a second prostate cancer locus, ~26 kb centromeric to the first known locus (rs4430796); these are separated by a recombination hotspot. A SNP in the second locus (rs11649743) was confirmed in five additional populations, and P=1.7×10−9 for an allelic test in the seven combined studies. The association at each SNP remains significant after adjusting for the other SNP.
PMCID: PMC3188432  PMID: 18758462

Results 1-25 (53)