Globally, malignant melanoma shows a steady increase in the incidence among cancer diseases. Malignant melanoma represents a cancer type where currently no biomarker or diagnostics is available to identify disease stage, progression of disease or personalized medicine treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the tissue expression of alpha-synuclein, a protein implicated in several disease processes, in metastatic tissues from malignant melanoma patients. A targeted Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM) assay was developed and utilized together with stable isotope labeling for the relative quantification of two target peptides of alpha-synuclein. Analysis of alpha-synuclein protein was then performed in ten metastatic tissue samples from the Lund Melanoma Biobank. The calibration curve using peak area ratio (heavy/light) versus concentration ratios showed linear regression over three orders of magnitude, for both of the selected target peptide sequences. In support of the measurements of specific protein expression levels, we also observed significant correlation between the protein and mRNA levels of alpha-synuclein in these tissues. Investigating levels of tissue alpha-synuclein may add novel aspect to biomarker development in melanoma, help to understand disease mechanisms and ultimately contribute to discriminate melanoma patients with different prognosis.
Telomere length has been associated with risk of many cancers, but results are inconsistent. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with mean leukocyte telomere length were either genotyped or well-imputed in 11108 case patients and 13933 control patients from Europe, Israel, the United States and Australia, four of the seven SNPs reached a P value under .05 (two-sided). A genetic score that predicts telomere length, derived from these seven SNPs, is strongly associated (P = 8.92x10-9, two-sided) with melanoma risk. This demonstrates that the previously observed association between longer telomere length and increased melanoma risk is not attributable to confounding via shared environmental effects (such as ultraviolet exposure) or reverse causality. We provide the first proof that multiple germline genetic determinants of telomere length influence cancer risk.
The purpose of the study was to compare breast-conserving therapy (BCT) and mastectomy (M) in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Women with invasive breast cancer and a pathogenic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 were included in the study (n = 162). Patients treated with BCT (n = 45) were compared with patients treated with M (n = 118). Endpoints were local recurrence as first recurrence (LR), overall survival (OS), breast cancer death, and distant recurrence. Cumulative incidence was calculated in the presence of competing risks. For calculation of hazard ratios and for multivariable analysis, cause-specific Cox proportional hazards regression was used. Compared to M, BCT was associated with an increased risk of LR in univariable analysis (HR 4.0; 95 % CI 1.6–9.8) and in multivariable analysis adjusting for tumor stage, age, and use of adjuvant chemotherapy (HR 2.9; CI 1.1–7.8). Following M, all local recurrences were seen in the first 5 years after breast cancer diagnosis. Following BCT, the rate of LR continued to be high also after the first 5 years. The cumulative incidence of LR in the BCT group was 15, 25, and 32 % after 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. There were no significant differences between BCT and M for OS, breast cancer death, or distant recurrence. BRCA1/2 mutation carriers treated with BCT have a high risk of LR, many of which are new primary breast cancers. This must be thoroughly discussed with the patient and is an example of how rapid treatment-focused genetic testing could influence choice of treatment.
Hereditary breast cancer; BRCA1/2; Breast-conserving therapy; Radiotherapy; Mastectomy; Local recurrence
To determine whether adjuvant tamoxifen treatment for breast cancer (BC) is associated with reduced contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk for BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Analysis of pooled observational cohort data, self-reported at enrollment and at follow-up from the International BRCA1, and BRCA2 Carrier Cohort Study, Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer, and Breast Cancer Family Registry. Eligible women were BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers diagnosed with unilateral BC since 1970 and no other invasive cancer or tamoxifen use before first BC. Hazard ratios (HRs) for CBC associated with tamoxifen use were estimated using Cox regression, adjusting for year and age of diagnosis, country, and bilateral oophorectomy and censoring at contralateral mastectomy, death, or loss to follow-up.
Of 1,583 BRCA1 and 881 BRCA2 mutation carriers, 383 (24%) and 454 (52%), respectively, took tamoxifen after first BC diagnosis. There were 520 CBCs over 20,104 person-years of observation. The adjusted HR estimates were 0.38 (95% CI, 0.27 to 0.55) and 0.33 (95% CI, 0.22 to 0.50) for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, respectively. After left truncating at recruitment to the cohort, adjusted HR estimates were 0.58 (95% CI, 0.29 to 1.13) and 0.48 (95% CI, 0.22 to 1.05) based on 657 BRCA1 and 426 BRCA2 mutation carriers with 100 CBCs over 4,392 person-years of prospective follow-up. HRs did not differ by estrogen receptor status of the first BC (missing for 56% of cases).
This study provides evidence that tamoxifen use is associated with a reduction in CBC risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Further follow-up of these cohorts will provide increased statistical power for future prospective analyses.
Columnar cell hyperplasia (CCH) is the earliest histologically identifiable breast lesion linked to cancer progression and is characterized by increased proliferation, decreased apoptosis and elevated oestrogen receptor α (ERα) expression. The mechanisms underlying the initiation of these lesions have not been clarified but might involve early and fundamental changes in cancer progression. MiRNAs are key regulators of several biological processes, acting by influencing the post-transcriptional regulation of numerous targets, thus making miRNAs potential candidates in cancer initiation. Here we have defined novel epithelial as well as stromal miRNA signatures from columnar cell hyperplasia lesions compared to normal terminal duct lobular units by using microdissection and miRNA microarrays. Let-7c were among the identified downregulated epithelial miRNAs and its functions were delineated in unique CCH derived cells and breast cancer cell line MCF-7 suggesting anti-proliferative traits potentially due to effects on Myb and ERα. MiR-132 was upregulated in the stroma surrounding CCH compared to stoma surrounding normal terminal duct lobular units (TDLUs), and overexpression of miR-132 in immortalized fibroblasts and in fibroblasts co-cultured with epithelial CCH cells caused substantial expression changes of genes involved in metabolism, DNA damage and cell motility. The miRNA signatures identified in CCH indicate early changes in the epithelial and stromal compartment of CCH and could represent early key alterations in breast cancer progression that potentially could be targeted in novel prevention or treatment schedules.
Knowledge is limited regarding the association between stem cells in histologically benign breast tissue and risk factors for breast cancer, and hence we addressed this issue in the present study. Recently, we assessed the histology of benign breast tissue from cancer and non-cancer patients for cells positive for the putative stem cell marker aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 A1 (ALDH), and the findings indicated an association between expression of ALDH and the hormonal factors menopause and hormone therapy. The current investigation examined possible associations between various known clinical and genetic risk factors for breast cancer and cellular expression of ALDH in ductules in benign human breast tissue.
The study included breast surgery patients that were BRCA1/2 mutation carriers without breast cancer (n = 23), had BRCA1/2 (n = 28) or sporadic (n = 21) breast cancer, or required non-cancer-related mammoplasty (n = 34). The distribution and frequency of ALDH-immunolabelled cells were correlated to patient subgroups with different risk factors, using mammoplasty patients as a control group. Statistical analyses comprised linear and logistic regression, Spearman’s rank test, Pearson’s test, and Fisher’s exact test. In two-tailed tests, p < 0.05 was considered significant.
A strong association was found between family history of breast cancer and a high frequency of ALDH+ cells (p = 0.001) at all ductular levels in all groups, regardless of BRCA status, age, parity, or occurrence of cancer. In pre-menopausal non-BRCA cancer patients, the frequency of ALDH+ cells increased with age (p < 0.01) but decreased with increasing parity (p < 0.03). High frequencies of ALDH+ cells were found in the non-basal ductular levels in BRCA1 mutation carriers (p = 0.03), but in the basal ductular level in BRCA2 cancer patients (p = 0.02). Among post-menopausal patients, only on-going hormone replacement therapy was correlated with a high number of ALDH+ cells (p < 0.03).
In histologically normal breast tissue, we found a positive association between the frequency of ductular ALDH+ cells and several breast cancer risk factors, particularly family history of this disease, which supports previous evidence that ALDH plays a role in breast cancer.
Stem cells; Aldehyde dehydrogenase; Breast neoplasia; Familial cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; Histology; Immunohistochemistry; Breast ductules
We report the results of an association study of melanoma based on the genome-wide imputation of the genotypes of 1,353 cases and 3,566 controls of European origin conducted by the GenoMEL consortium. This revealed a novel association between several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in intron 8 of the FTO gene, including rs16953002, which replicated using 12,313 cases and 55,667 controls of European ancestry from Europe, the USA and Australia (combined p=3.6×10−12, per-allele OR for A=1.16). As well as identifying a novel melanoma susceptibility locus, this is the first study to identify and replicate an association with SNPs in FTO not related to body mass index (BMI). These SNPs are not in intron 1 (the BMI-related region) and show no association with BMI. This suggests FTO’s function may be broader than the existing paradigm that FTO variants influence multiple traits only through their associations with BMI and obesity.
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.
Approximately 10 percent of women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) carry deleterious germline mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. A recent report suggested that BRCA2 related EOC was associated with an improved prognosis, but the effect of BRCA1 remains unclear.
To characterize the survival of BRCA carriers with EOC compared to non-carriers and to determine whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers show similar survival patterns.
Design, Setting, and Participants
We pooled data from 26 studies on the survival of women with ovarian cancer. This included data on 1,213 EOC cases with pathogenic germline mutations in BRCA1 (909) or BRCA2 (304) and 2,666 non-carriers recruited and followed for variable times between 1987 and 2010; the median year of diagnosis was 1998.
Main Outcome Measures
Five year overall mortality.
The five-year overall survival was 36 percent (95% CI: 34–38) for non-carriers, 44 percent (95% CI: 40–48) for BRCA1 carriers and 52 percent (95% CI: 46–58) for BRCA2 carriers. After adjusting for study and year of diagnosis, BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers showed a more favorable survival than non-carriers (BRCA1, HR=0.78; 95% CI=0.68–0.89, P=2×10−4; BRCA2, HR = 0.61; 95% CI=0.50–0.76, P=6×10−6). These survival differences remained after additional adjustment for stage, grade, histology and age at diagnosis (BRCA1, HR=0.73, 95% CI=0.64–0.84, P=2×10−5; BRCA2, HR = 0.49, 95% CI=0.39–0.61, P=3×10−10).
Among patients with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, having a germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 was associated with improved 5-year overall survival.
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
Understanding the responses of tundra systems to global change has global implications. Most tundra regions lack sustained environmental monitoring and one of the only ways to document multi-decadal change is to resample historic research sites. The International Polar Year (IPY) provided a unique opportunity for such research through the Back to the Future (BTF) project (IPY project #512). This article synthesizes the results from 13 papers within this Ambio Special Issue. Abiotic changes include glacial recession in the Altai Mountains, Russia; increased snow depth and hardness, permafrost warming, and increased growing season length in sub-arctic Sweden; drying of ponds in Greenland; increased nutrient availability in Alaskan tundra ponds, and warming at most locations studied. Biotic changes ranged from relatively minor plant community change at two sites in Greenland to moderate change in the Yukon, and to dramatic increases in shrub and tree density on Herschel Island, and in sub-arctic Sweden. The population of geese tripled at one site in northeast Greenland where biomass in non-grazed plots doubled. A model parameterized using results from a BTF study forecasts substantial declines in all snowbeds and increases in shrub tundra on Niwot Ridge, Colorado over the next century. In general, results support and provide improved capacities for validating experimental manipulation, remote sensing, and modeling studies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0179-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
IPY; Glaciers; Permafrost; Snow stratigraphy; Tundra vegetation; Limnology; Shrubs; Treeline
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
We report a genome-wide association study of melanoma, conducted by GenoMEL, of 2,981 cases, of European ancestry, and 1,982 study-specific controls, plus a further 6,426 French and UK population controls, all genotyped for 317,000 or 610,000 SNPs. The analysis confirmed previously known melanoma susceptibility loci. The 7 novel regions with at least one SNP with p<10−5 and further local imputed or genotyped support were selected for replication using two other genome-wide studies (from Australia and Houston, Texas). Additional replication came from UK and Dutch case-control series. Three of the 7 regions replicated at p<10−3: an ATM missense polymorphism (rs1801516, overall p=3.4×10−9); a polymorphism within MX2 (rs45430, p=2.9×10−9) and a SNP adjacent to CASP8 (rs13016963, p=8.6×10−10). A fourth region near CCND1 remains of potential interest, showing suggestive but inconclusive evidence of replication. Unlike the previously known regions, the novel loci showed no association with nevus or pigmentation phenotypes in a large UK case-control series.
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.