For primary melanomas, tumor thickness, mitotic rate, and ulceration are well-laid cornerstones of prognostication. However, a molecular exposition of melanoma aggressiveness is critically missing. We recently uncovered a four-class structure in metastatic melanoma, which predicts outcome and informs biology. This raises the possibility that a molecular structure exists even in the early stages of melanoma and that molecular determinants could underlie histophenotype and eventual patient outcome.
We subjected 223 archival primary melanomas to a horizontally integrated analysis of RNA expression, oncogenic mutations at 238 lesions, histomorphometry, and survival data.
Our previously described four-class structure that was elucidated in metastatic lesions was evident within the expression space of primary melanomas. Because these subclasses converged into two larger prognostic and phenotypic groups, we used the metastatic lesions to develop a binary subtype-based signature capable of distinguishing between "high" and "low" grade forms of the disease. The two-grade signature was subsequently applied to the primary melanomas. Compared with low-grade tumors, high-grade primary melanomas were significantly associated with increased tumor thickness, mitotic rate, ulceration (all P < 0.01), and poorer relapse-free (HR = 4.94; 95% CI, 2.84–8.59), and overall (HR = 3.66; 95% CI, 2.40–5.58) survival. High-grade melanomas exhibited elevated levels of proliferation and BRCA1/DNA damage signaling genes, whereas low-grade lesions harbored higher expression of immune genes. Importantly, the molecular-grade signature was validated in two external gene expression data sets.
We provide evidence for a molecular organization within melanomas, which is preserved across all stages of disease.
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the leading causes of death among women worldwide. Immunostimulatory treatment has increasingly been used as adjuvant therapy in the last few years, in patients with melanoma and other cancer forms, often with an induction of autoimmunity as a consequence of a successful treatment. We aimed at investigating if coexisting autoimmune diseases (AD) or hypersensitivities (HS) similarly to the side effects of immunostimulatory treatment resulted in a better overall survival, compared to patients without these disorders.
Material and methods
The patient material used was a consecutive clinical material consisting of 1705 patients diagnosed with BC between 1980 and 2010 in Sweden. The patients were stratified according to coexisting AD, HS or lack of both. Overall survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier and the Cox proportional hazard model.
Our main finding was that BC patients with estrogen receptor (ER) negative tumors together with preexisting AD or HS had a statistically significant better overall survival (HR=0.53; 95% CI= 0.30-0.96) compared to patients without. Premenopausal BC patients with a coexistence of AD or HS had a better overall survival, but this was not statistically significant.
For patients with premenopausal or ER-negative BC, coexistence with AD or HS was associated with a better overall survival. Although these findings require validation, and the mechanisms responsible need to be found, they hint to possible new treatment strategies for BC, especially for those with ER-negative tumors and potentially for premenopausal patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-357) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; Autoimmune diseases; Hypersensitivities; Immunostimulatory therapy; ER-negative; Premenopausal
We conducted a genome-wide association study of male breast cancer using 823 cases and 2,795 controls of European ancestry with validation in independent sample sets totalling 438 cases and 474 controls. A novel variant in RAD51B (14q24.1) was significantly associated with male breast cancer risk (P = 3.02 ×10−13, odds ratio (OR) = 1.57). TOX3 (16q12.1) was also a susceptibility locus (P = 3.87 ×10−15, OR = 1.50).
The objectives and goals of the Southern Swedish Malignant Melanoma (SSMM) are to develop, build and utilize cutting edge biobanks and OMICS platforms to better understand disease pathology and drug mechanisms. The SSMM research team is a truly cross-functional group with members from oncology, surgery, bioinformatics, proteomics, and genomics initiatives. Within the research team there are members who daily diagnose patients with suspect melanomas, do follow-ups on malignant melanoma patients and remove primary or metastatic lesions by surgery. This inter-disciplinary clinical patient care ensures a competence build as well as a best practice procedure where the patient benefits.
Clinical materials from patients before, during and after treatments with clinical end points are being collected. Tissue samples as well as bio-fluid samples such as blood fractions, plasma, serum and whole blood will be archived in 384-high density sample tube formats. Standardized approaches for patient selections, patient sampling, sample-processing and analysis platforms with dedicated protein assays and genomics platforms that will hold value for the research community are used. The patient biobank archives are fully automated with novel ultralow temperature biobank storage units and used as clinical resources.
An IT-infrastructure using a laboratory information management system (LIMS) has been established, that is the key interface for the research teams in order to share and explore data generated within the project. The cross-site data repository in Lund forms the basis for sample processing, together with biological samples in southern Sweden, including blood fractions and tumor tissues. Clinical registries are associated with the biobank materials, including pathology reports on disease diagnosis on the malignant melanoma (MM) patients.
We provide data on the developments of protein profiling and targeted protein assays on isolated melanoma tumors, as well as reference blood standards that is used by the team members in the respective laboratories. These pilot data show biobank access and feasibility of performing quantitative proteomics in MM biobank repositories collected in southern Sweden. The scientific outcomes further strengthen the build of healthcare benefit in the complex challenges of malignant melanoma pathophysiology that is addressed by the novel personalized medicines entering the market.
Malignant melanoma; Protein sequencing; Proteomics; Genes; Antibodies; mRNA; Mass spectrometry; Bioinformatics
We previously reported significant associations between genetic variants in insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and breast cancer risk in women carrying BRCA1 mutations. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether the IRS1 variants modified ovarian cancer risk and were associated with breast cancer risk in a larger cohort of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
IRS1 rs1801123, rs1330645, and rs1801278 were genotyped in samples from 36 centers in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Data were analyzed by a retrospective cohort approach modeling the associations with breast and ovarian cancer risks simultaneously. Analyses were stratified by BRCA1 and BRCA2 status and mutation class in BRCA1 carriers.
Rs1801278 (Gly972Arg) was associated with ovarian cancer risk for both BRCA1 [Hazard ratio (HR) = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.06–1.92; p = 0.019] and BRCA2 mutation carriers (HR=2.21; 95% CI: 1.39–3.52, p=0.0008). For BRCA1 mutation carriers, the breast cancer risk was higher in carriers with class 2 mutations than class 1 (mutations (class 2 HR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.28–2.70; class 1 HR=0.86, 95%CI:0.69–1.09; p-for difference=0.0006). Rs13306465 was associated with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 class 2 mutation carriers (HR = 2.42; p = 0.03).
The IRS1 Gly972Arg SNP, which affects insulin-like growth factor and insulin signaling, modifies ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and breast cancer risk in BRCA1 class 2 mutation carriers.
These findings may prove useful for risk prediction for breast and ovarian cancers in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Breast cancer; Ovarian cancer; BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers; insulin receptor substrate 1; Insulin-like growth factor /insulin (IGF/INS) signaling
This is a review of the hip arthroplasty era. We concentrate on new metal bearings, surface replacements, and the lessons not learned, and we highlight recent reports on malignancies and joint implants. A low incidence of blood malignancies has been found in bone marrow taken at prosthetic surgery. The incidence is increased after replacement with knee implants that release very low systemic levels of metal ions. A carcinogenic effect of the high levels of metal ions released by large metal-on-metal implants cannot be excluded. Ongoing Swedish implant registry studies going back to 1975 can serve as a basis for evaluation of this risk.
Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancer. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified six alleles associated with risk of ovarian cancer for women in the general population. We evaluated four of these loci as potential modifiers of ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs10088218 (at 8q24), rs2665390 (at 3q25), rs717852 (at 2q31), and rs9303542 (at 17q21), were genotyped in 12,599 BRCA1 and 7,132 BRCA2 carriers, including 2,678 ovarian cancer cases. Associations were evaluated within a retrospective cohort approach. All four loci were associated with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA2 carriers; rs10088218 per-allele hazard ratio (HR) = 0.81 (95% CI: 0.67–0.98) P-trend = 0.033, rs2665390 HR = 1.48 (95% CI: 1.21–1.83) P-trend = 1.8 × 10−4, rs717852 HR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.10–1.42) P-trend = 6.6 × 10−4, rs9303542 HR = 1.16 (95% CI: 1.02–1.33) P-trend = 0.026. Two loci were associated with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 carriers; rs10088218 per-allele HR = 0.89 (95% CI: 0.81–0.99) P-trend = 0.029, rs2665390 HR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.10–1.42) P-trend = 6.1 × 10−4. The HR estimates for the remaining loci were consistent with odds ratio estimates for the general population. The identification of multiple loci modifying ovarian cancer risk may be useful for counseling women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations regarding their risk of ovarian cancer.
ovarian cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; association; SNP
This study was conducted in the Swedish sub-Arctic, near Abisko, in order to assess the direction and scale of possible vegetation changes in the alpine–birch forest ecotone. We have re-surveyed shrub, tree and vegetation data at 549 plots grouped into 61 clusters. The plots were originally surveyed in 1997 and re-surveyed in 2010. Our study is unique for the area as we have quantitatively estimated a 19% increase in tree biomass mainly within the existing birch forest. We also found significant increases in the cover of two vegetation types—“birch forest-heath with mosses” and “meadow with low herbs”, while the cover of snowbed vegetation decreased significantly. The vegetation changes might be caused by climate, herbivory and past human impact but irrespective of the causes, the observed transition of the vegetation will have substantial effects on the mountain ecosystems.
Sub-Arctic; Vegetation change; Treeline; Biomass; Birch forest
Approximately 5% to 10% of melanoma may be hereditary in nature, and about 2% of melanoma can be specifically attributed to pathogenic germline mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A). To appropriately identify the small proportion of patients who benefit most from referral to a genetics specialist for consideration of genetic testing for CDKN2A, we have reviewed available published studies of CDKN2A mutation analysis in cohorts with invasive, cutaneous melanoma and found variability in the rate of CDKN2A mutations based on geography, ethnicity, and the type of study and eligibility criteria used. Except in regions of high melanoma incidence, such as Australia, we found higher rates of CDKN2A positivity in individuals with 3 or more primary invasive melanomas and/or families with at least one invasive melanoma and two or more other diagnoses of invasive melanoma and/or pancreatic cancer among first- or second-degree relatives on the same side of the family. The work summarized in this review should help identify individuals who are appropriate candidates for referral for genetic consultation and possible testing.
CDKN2A; familial; genetic counseling; genetic testing; hereditary; melanoma; p16
Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare and inadequately characterized disease. The aim of the present study was to characterize MBC tumors transcriptionally, to classify them into comprehensive subgroups, and to compare them with female breast cancer (FBC).
A total of 66 clinicopathologically well-annotated fresh frozen MBC tumors were analyzed using Illumina Human HT-12 bead arrays, and a tissue microarray with 220 MBC tumors was constructed for validation using immunohistochemistry. Two external gene expression datasets were used for comparison purposes: 37 MBCs and 359 FBCs.
Using an unsupervised approach, we classified the MBC tumors into two subgroups, luminal M1 and luminal M2, respectively, with differences in tumor biological features and outcome, and which differed from the intrinsic subgroups described in FBC. The two subgroups were recapitulated in the external MBC dataset. Luminal M2 tumors were characterized by high expression of immune response genes and genes associated with estrogen receptor (ER) signaling. Luminal M1 tumors, on the other hand, despite being ER positive by immunohistochemistry showed a lower correlation to genes associated with ER signaling and displayed a more aggressive phenotype and worse prognosis. Validation of two of the most differentially expressed genes, class 1 human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and the metabolizing gene N-acetyltransferase-1 (NAT1), respectively, revealed significantly better survival associated with high expression of both markers (HLA, hazard ratio (HR) 3.6, P = 0.002; NAT1, HR 2.5, P = 0.033). Importantly, NAT1 remained significant in a multivariate analysis (HR 2.8, P = 0.040) and may thus be a novel prognostic marker in MBC.
We have detected two unique and stable subgroups of MBC with differences in tumor biological features and outcome. They differ from the widely acknowledged intrinsic subgroups of FBC. As such, they may constitute two novel subgroups of breast cancer, occurring exclusively in men, and which may consequently require novel treatment approaches. Finally, we identified NAT1 as a possible prognostic biomarker for MBC, as suggested by NAT1 positivity corresponding to better outcome.
Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancers. Although several common variants have been associated with breast cancer susceptibility in mutation carriers, none have been associated with ovarian cancer susceptibility. A genome-wide association study recently identified an association between the rare allele of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3814113 (ie, the C allele) at 9p22.2 and decreased risk of ovarian cancer for women in the general population. We evaluated the association of this SNP with ovarian cancer risk among BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers by use of data from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2.
We genotyped rs3814113 in 10 029 BRCA1 mutation carriers and 5837 BRCA2 mutation carriers. Associations with ovarian and breast cancer were assessed with a retrospective likelihood approach. All statistical tests were two-sided.
The minor allele of rs3814113 was associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer among BRCA1 mutation carriers (per-allele hazard ratio of ovarian cancer = 0.78, 95% confidence interval = 0.72 to 0.85; P = 4.8 × 10-9) and BRCA2 mutation carriers (hazard ratio of ovarian cancer = 0.78, 95% confidence interval = 0.67 to 0.90; P = 5.5 × 10-4). This SNP was not associated with breast cancer risk among either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. BRCA1 mutation carriers with the TT genotype at SNP rs3814113 were predicted to have an ovarian cancer risk to age 80 years of 48%, and those with the CC genotype were predicted to have a risk of 33%.
Common genetic variation at the 9p22.2 locus was associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer for carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
The association between lobular breast cancer and family history is not clear. The aim of the study was to possibly identifying new hereditary patterns predisposing for cancer in the different histopathologic subtypes of breast cancer, with focus on patients with lobular breast cancer and cancer in their first degree relatives.
In 1676 consecutive breast cancer patients detailed family history of cancer was related to histopathologic subtype of breast cancer.
Patients with lobular breast cancer were found to be significantly positively associated with having a father diagnosed with cancer, OR 2.17 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37-3.46). The finding persisted after excluding breast cancer in the family. Ductal breast cancer was associated with having a mother diagnosed with cancer. There was a significant association between lobular breast cancer and having a father with prostate cancer, OR 2.4 (CI 1.1-5.3). The occurrence of having a father with prostate cancer for lobular breast cancer patients was higher in the younger patient group, OR 2.9 (CI 1.1-7.8), and was still high but lost statistical significance in the older patient group, OR 1.9 (CI 0.5-7.4). The association between lobular breast cancer and a father remained significant after excluding fathers with prostate cancer, OR 1.94 (CI 1.20-3.14). Other commonly occurring tumor types in the father included sarcoma and leukemia.
We propose that lobular breast cancer is associated with having a father diagnosed with cancer, most commonly prostate carcinoma. Since the association remained after excluding family history of breast cancer, the association seems independent of classical breast cancer heredity. The association with a father diagnosed with cancer also remained after removing prostate cancer, indicating an independence from prostate cancer as well. The reason for this association is genetically unclear, but could involve sex-specific imprinting.
The genes caspase-8 (CASP8) and caspase-10 (CASP10) functionally cooperate and play a key role in the initiation of apoptosis. Suppression of apoptosis is one of the major mechanisms underlying the origin and progression of cancer. Previous case-control studies have indicated that the polymorphisms CASP8 D302H and CASP10 V410I are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in the general population.
To evaluate whether the CASP8 D302H (CASP10 V410I) polymorphisms modify breast or ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, we analyzed 7,353 (7,227) subjects of white European origin provided by 19 (18) study groups that participate in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIM-BA). A weighted cohort approach was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
The minor allele of CASP8 D302H was significantly associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer (per-allele HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76–0.97; Ptrend = 0.011) and ovarian cancer (per-allele HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53–0.89; Ptrend = 0.004) for BRCA1 but not for BRCA2 mutation carriers. The CASP10 V410I polymorphism was not associated with breast or ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers.
CASP8 D302H decreases breast and ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers but not for BRCA2 mutation carriers.
The combined application of these and other recently identified genetic risk modifiers could in the future allow better individual risk calculation and could aid in the individualized counseling and decision making with respect to preventive options in BRCA1 mutation carriers.
Sera from 25 metastatic breast cancer patients and 25 healthy controls were subjected to affinity chromatography using immobilized galectin-1. Serum from the healthy subjects contained on average 1.2 mg per ml (range 0.7–2.2) galectin-1 binding glycoproteins, whereas serum from the breast cancer patients contained on average 2.2 mg/ml (range 0.8–3.9), with a higher average for large primary tumours. The major bound glycoproteins were α-2-macroglobulin, IgM and haptoglobin. Both the IgM and haptoglobin concentrations were similar in cancer compared to control sera, but the percentage bound to galectin-1 was lower for IgM and higher for haptoglobin: about 50% (range 20–80) in cancer sera and about 30% (range 25–50) in healthy sera. Galectin-1 binding and non-binding fractions were separated by affinity chromatography from pooled haptoglobin from healthy sera. The N-glycans of each fraction were analyzed by mass spectrometry, and the structural differences and galectin-1 mutants were used to identify possible galectin-1 binding sites. Galectin-1 binding and non-binding fractions were also analyzed regarding their haptoglobin function. Both were similar in forming complex with haemoglobin and mediate its uptake into alternatively activated macrophages. However, after uptake there was a dramatic difference in intracellular targeting, with the galectin-1 non-binding fraction going to a LAMP-2 positive compartment (lysosomes), while the galectin-1 binding fraction went to larger galectin-1 positive granules. In conclusion, galectin-1 detects a new type of functional biomarker for cancer: a specific type of glycoform of haptoglobin, and possibly other serum glycoproteins, with a different function after uptake into tissue cells.
Breast cancer is a profoundly heterogeneous disease with respect to biologic and clinical behavior. Gene-expression profiling has been used to dissect this complexity and to stratify tumors into intrinsic gene-expression subtypes, associated with distinct biology, patient outcome, and genomic alterations. Additionally, breast tumors occurring in individuals with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations typically fall into distinct subtypes.
We applied global DNA copy number and gene-expression profiling in 359 breast tumors. All tumors were classified according to intrinsic gene-expression subtypes and included cases from genetically predisposed women. The Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer (GISTIC) algorithm was used to identify significant DNA copy-number aberrations and genomic subgroups of breast cancer.
We identified 31 genomic regions that were highly amplified in > 1% of the 359 breast tumors. Several amplicons were found to co-occur, the 8p12 and 11q13.3 regions being the most frequent combination besides amplicons on the same chromosomal arm. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering with 133 significant GISTIC regions revealed six genomic subtypes, termed 17q12, basal-complex, luminal-simple, luminal-complex, amplifier, and mixed subtypes. Four of them had striking similarity to intrinsic gene-expression subtypes and showed associations to conventional tumor biomarkers and clinical outcome. However, luminal A-classified tumors were distributed in two main genomic subtypes, luminal-simple and luminal-complex, the former group having a better prognosis, whereas the latter group included also luminal B and the majority of BRCA2-mutated tumors. The basal-complex subtype displayed extensive genomic homogeneity and harbored the majority of BRCA1-mutated tumors. The 17q12 subtype comprised mostly HER2-amplified and HER2-enriched subtype tumors and had the worst prognosis. The amplifier and mixed subtypes contained tumors from all gene-expression subtypes, the former being enriched for 8p12-amplified cases, whereas the mixed subtype included many tumors with predominantly DNA copy-number losses and poor prognosis.
Global DNA copy-number analysis integrated with gene-expression data can be used to dissect the complexity of breast cancer. This revealed six genomic subtypes with different clinical behavior and a striking concordance to the intrinsic subtypes. These genomic subtypes may prove useful for understanding the mechanisms of tumor development and for prognostic and treatment prediction purposes.
Five different molecular subtypes of breast cancer have been identified through gene expression profiling. Each subtype has a characteristic expression pattern suggested to partly depend on cellular origin. We aimed to investigate whether the molecular subtypes also display distinct methylation profiles.
We analysed methylation status of 807 cancer-related genes in 189 fresh frozen primary breast tumours and four normal breast tissue samples using an array-based methylation assay.
Unsupervised analysis revealed three groups of breast cancer with characteristic methylation patterns. The three groups were associated with the luminal A, luminal B and basal-like molecular subtypes of breast cancer, respectively, whereas cancers of the HER2-enriched and normal-like subtypes were distributed among the three groups. The methylation frequencies were significantly different between subtypes, with luminal B and basal-like tumours being most and least frequently methylated, respectively. Moreover, targets of the polycomb repressor complex in breast cancer and embryonic stem cells were more methylated in luminal B tumours than in other tumours. BRCA2-mutated tumours had a particularly high degree of methylation. Finally, by utilizing gene expression data, we observed that a large fraction of genes reported as having subtype-specific expression patterns might be regulated through methylation.
We have found that breast cancers of the basal-like, luminal A and luminal B molecular subtypes harbour specific methylation profiles. Our results suggest that methylation may play an important role in the development of breast cancers.
We report a genome-wide association study of melanoma conducted by the GenoMEL consortium based on 317k tagging SNPs for 1650 genetically-enriched cases (from Europe and Australia) and 4336 controls and subsequent replication in 1149 genetically-enriched cases and 964 controls and a population-based case-control study of 1163 cases and 903 controls. The genome-wide screen identified five regions with genotyped or imputed SNPs reaching p < 5×10−7; three regions were replicated: 16q24 encompassing MC1R (overall p=2.54×10−27 for rs258322), 11q14-q21 encompassing TYR (p=2.41×10−14 for rs1393350) and 9p21 adjacent to MTAP and flanking CDKN2A (p=4.03×10−7 for rs7023329). MC1R and TYR are associated with pigmentation, freckling and cutaneous sun sensitivity, well-recognised melanoma risk factors, while the 9p21 locus is novel for common variants associated with melanoma. Despite wide variation in allele frequency, these genetic variants show notable homogeneity of effect across populations of European ancestry living at different latitudes and contribute independently to melanoma risk.
An abnormal naevus phenotype is associated with an increased risk of melanoma. We report a pooled analysis conducted using individual naevus data from 15 case-control studies (5,421 melanoma cases and 6,966 controls). The aims were to quantify better the risk, and to determine whether relative risk varied by latitude. Bayesian unconditional logistic random coefficients models were employed to study the risk associated with naevus characteristics. Participants with whole body naevus counts in the highest of four population-based categories had a greatly increased risk of melanoma compared with those in the lowest category (pooled odds ratio (pOR) 6.9 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.4, 11.2) for those aged <50 years and pOR 5.1 (95% CI: 3.6, 7.5) for those aged ≥50). The pOR for presence compared with absence of any clinically atypical naevi was 4.0 (95% CI: 2.8, 5.8). The pORs for 1–2 and ≥3 large naevi on the body compared with none were 2.9 (95% CI: 1.9, 4.3) and 7.1 (95% CI: 4.7, 11.6), respectively. The relative heterogeneities among studies were small for most measures of naevus phenotype, except for the analysis of naevus counts on the arms, which may have been due to methodological differences among studies. The pooled analysis also suggested that an abnormal naevus phenotype is associated most with melanomas on intermittently sun-exposed sites. The presence of increased numbers of naevi, large naevi and clinically atypical naevi on the body are robust risk factors for melanoma showing little variation in relative risk among studies performed at different latitudes.
melanoma; naevus; latitude; pooled analysis; Bayesian
We conducted a genome-wide association pooling study for cutaneous melanoma and performed validation in samples totalling 2019 cases and 2105 controls. Using pooling we identified a novel melanoma risk locus on chromosome 20 (rs910873, rs1885120), with replication in two further samples (combined P <1 × 10-15). The odds ratio is 1.75 (1.53, 2.01), with evidence for stronger association in early onset cases.
Mutations altering BLM function are associated with highly elevated cancer susceptibility (Bloom syndrome). Thus, genetic variants of BLM and proteins that form complexes with BLM, such as TOP3A and RMI1, might affect cancer risk as well.
In this study we have studied 26 tagged single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) in RMI1, TOP3A, and BLM and their associations with cancer risk in acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplatic syndromes (AML/MDS; N = 152), malignant melanoma (N = 170), and bladder cancer (N = 61). Two population-based control groups were used (N = 119 and N = 156).
Based on consistency in effect estimates for the three cancer forms and similar allelic frequencies of the variant alleles in the control groups, two SNPs in TOP3A (rs1563634 and rs12945597) and two SNPs in BLM (rs401549 and rs2532105) were selected for analysis in breast cancer cases (N = 200) and a control group recruited from spouses of cancer patients (N = 131). The rs12945597 in TOP3A and rs2532105 in BLM showed increased risk for breast cancer. We then combined all cases (N = 584) and controls (N = 406) respectively and found significantly increased risk for variant carriers of rs1563634 A/G (AG carriers OR = 1.7 [95%CI 1.1–2.6], AA carriers OR = 1.8 [1.2–2.8]), rs12945597 G/A (GA carriers OR = 1.5 [1.1–1.9], AA carriers OR = 1.6 [1.0–2.5]), and rs2532105 C/T (CT+TT carriers OR = 1.8 [1.4–2.5]). Gene-gene interaction analysis suggested an additive effect of carrying more than one risk allele. For the variants of TOP3A, the risk increment was more pronounced for older carriers.
These results further support a role of low-penetrance genes involved in BLM-associated homologous recombination for cancer risk.
Background Melanoma risk is related to sun exposure; we have investigated risk variation by tumour site and latitude.
Methods We performed a pooled analysis of 15 case–control studies (5700 melanoma cases and 7216 controls), correlating patterns of sun exposure, sunburn and solar keratoses (three studies) with melanoma risk. Pooled odds ratios (pORs) and 95% Bayesian confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Bayesian unconditional polytomous logistic random-coefficients models.
Results Recreational sun exposure was a risk factor for melanoma on the trunk (pOR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.4–2.2) and limbs (pOR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1–1.7), but not head and neck (pOR = 1.1; 95% CI: 0.8–1.4), across latitudes. Occupational sun exposure was associated with risk of melanoma on the head and neck at low latitudes (pOR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.0–3.0). Total sun exposure was associated with increased risk of melanoma on the limbs at low latitudes (pOR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.0–2.2), but not at other body sites or other latitudes. The pORs for sunburn in childhood were 1.5 (95% CI: 1.3–1.7), 1.5 (95% CI: 1.3–1.7) and 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1–1.7) for melanoma on the trunk, limbs, and head and neck, respectively, showing little variation across latitudes. The presence of head and neck solar keratoses was associated with increased risk of melanoma on the head and neck (pOR = 4.0; 95% CI: 1.7–9.1) and limbs (pOR = 4.0; 95% CI: 1.9–8.4).
Conclusion Melanoma risk at different body sites is associated with different amounts and patterns of sun exposure. Recreational sun exposure and sunburn are strong predictors of melanoma at all latitudes, whereas measures of occupational and total sun exposure appear to predict melanoma predominately at low latitudes.
Melanoma; recreational sun exposure; occupational sun exposure; total sun exposure; sunburn; solar keratoses
Relatives of breast cancer cases have an increased risk of the disease. The risk increases with increasing numbers and decreasing age of onset of affected relatives. In families with a BRCA1 or a BRCA2 mutation, individual carrier status predicts the risk of breast cancer. In relatives of cases where both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are excluded, the risk remains undetermined.
Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and cumulative cancer incidences were calculated for relatives of a population-based set of early-onset breast cancer index cases (younger than age 41 years) with a defined BRCA mutation status (n = 203).
In first-degree relatives (FDRs) of mutation-negative cases, breast cancer incidences (SIR = 2.3), prostate cancer incidences (SIR = 1.7), cervix cancer incidences (SIR = 3.3) and nonmelanoma skin cancer incidences (SIR = 2.8) were increased. The risks of breast cancer, prostate cancer and nonmelanoma skin cancer were further increased in FDRs of breast cancer cases younger than 36 years of age. In high-risk individuals with at least one relative with breast cancer apart from the index case, but no BRCA mutation in the family, breast cancer incidence was increased (SIR = 5.3); again the prostate cancer incidence was elevated (SIR = 2.5). The cumulative incidence of breast cancer at ages 50 and 70 years for FDRs of index cases without a BRCA mutation was 3.6% and 12.8%, respectively. Similarly, the cumulative incidence of breast cancer for high-risk women was 6.3% and 21.1% at ages 50 and 70 years, and that for FDRs of BRCA mutation carriers was 17.2% and 27.7% at the same ages.
The incidence of breast cancer is increased for FDRs of women with early-onset breast cancer irrespective of the BRCA status in the family. Risk increases with decreasing age and with increasing number of affected relatives. The incidences of prostate cancer, cervix cancer and nonmelanoma skin cancer are elevated for FDRs of early-onset breast cancer cases without a BRCA mutation, indicating a possible association between these cancers and early-onset breast cancer.
breast cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; familial risk; prostate cancer.
Locked nucleic acids (LNA) are novel high-affinity DNA analogs that can be used as genotype-specific drugs. The LNA oligonucleotides (LNA PO ODNs) are very stable in vitro and in vivo without the need for a phosphorothiolated backbone. In this study we tested the biological fate and the efficacy in tumor growth inhibition of antisense oligonucleotides directed against the gene of the large subunit of RNA polymerase II (POLR2A) that are completely synthesized as LNA containing diester backbones. These full LNA oligonucleotides strongly reduce POLR2A protein levels. Full LNA PO ODNs appeared to be very stable compounds when injected into the circulation of mice. Full LNA PO ODNs were continuously administered for 14 days to tumor-bearing nude mice. Tumor growth was inhibited sequence specifically at dosages from 1 mg/kg/day. LNA PO ODNs appeared to be non-toxic at dosages <5 mg/kg/day. Biodistribution studies showed the kidneys to have the highest uptake of LNA PO ODNs and urinary secretion as the major route of clearance. This report shows that LNA PO ODNs are potent genotype-specific drugs that can inhibit tumor growth in vivo.