Whilst previous studies have reported that higher body-mass index (BMI)
increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, associations for
the different histological subtypes have not been well defined. As the
prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, and classification of ovarian
histology has improved in the last decade, we sought to examine the association
in a pooled analysis of recent studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer
Association Consortium. We evaluated the association between BMI (recent,
maximum, and in young adulthood) and ovarian cancer risk using original data
from 15 case-control studies (13,548 cases, 17,913 controls). We combined
study-specific adjusted odds ratios (ORs) using a random–effects model.
We further examined the associations by histological subtype, menopausal status
and post-menopausal hormone use. High BMI (all time-points) was associated with
increased risk. This was most pronounced for borderline serous (recent BMI:
pooled OR=1.24 per 5kg/m2; 95%CI 1.18–1.30),
invasive endometrioid (1.17; 1.11–1.23) and invasive mucinous (1.19;
1.06–1.32) tumours. There was no association with serous invasive cancer
overall (0.98; 0.94–1.02), but increased risks for low grade serous
invasive tumours (1.13, 1.03–1.25) and in pre-menopausal women (1.11;
1.04–1.18). Among post–menopausal women, the associations did
not differ between HRT users and non–users. Whilst obesity appears to
increase risk of the less common histological subtypes of ovarian cancer, it
does not increase risk of high grade invasive serous cancers, and reducing BMI
is therefore unlikely to prevent the majority of ovarian cancer deaths. Other
modifiable factors must be identified to control this disease.
ovarian cancer; obesity; body mass index
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is the only known precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma. As definitive diagnosis requires costly endoscopic investigation, we sought to develop a risk prediction model to aid in deciding which patients with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) symptoms to refer for endoscopic screening for BE.
The study included data from patients with incident nondysplastic BE (n=285) and endoscopy control patients with esophageal inflammatory changes without BE (“inflammation controls”, n=313). We used two phases of stepwise backwards logistic regression to identify the important predictors for BE in men and women separately: firstly including all significant covariates from univariate analyses; then fitting non-significant covariates from univariate analyses to identify those effects detectable only after adjusting for other factors. The final model pooled these predictors and was externally validated for discrimination and calibration using data from a BE study conducted in western Washington State, USA.
The final risk model included terms for age, sex, smoking status, body mass index, highest level of education, and frequency of use of acid suppressant medications (area under the ROC curve, 0.70, 95%CI 0.66–0.74). The model had moderate discrimination in the external dataset (area under the ROC curve, 0.61, 95%CI 0.56–0.66). The model was well calibrated (Hosmer-Lemeshow test, p=0.75), with predicted probability and observed risk highly correlated.
The prediction model performed reasonably well and has the potential to be an effective and useful clinical tool in selecting patients with GER symptoms to refer for endoscopic screening for BE.
Barrett’s esophagus; esophageal adenocarcinoma; risk; prediction; model
Hunter syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II)) is a rare metabolic disease that can severely compromise health, well-being and life expectancy. Little evidence has been published on the impact of MPS II on health-related quality of life (HRQL). The objective of this study was to describe this impact using the Hunter Syndrome-Functional Outcomes for Clinical Understanding Scale (HS-FOCUS) questionnaire and a range of standard validated questionnaires previously used in paediatric populations.
Clinical and demographic characteristics collected in a clinical trial and responses to four HRQL questionnaires completed both by patients and parents prior to enzyme replacement treatment were used. The association between questionnaire scores and clinical function parameters were tested using Spearman rank-order correlations. Results were compared to scores in other paediatric populations with chronic conditions obtained through a targeted literature search of published studies.
Overall, 96 male patients with MPS II and their parents were enrolled in the trial. All parents completed the questionnaires and 53 patients above 12 years old also completed the self-reported versions. Parents’ and patients’ responses were analysed separately and results were very similar. Dysfunction according to the HS-FOCUS and the CHAQ was most pronounced in the physical function domains. Very low scores were reported in the Self Esteem and Family Cohesion domains in the CHQ and HUI3 disutility values indicated a moderate impact. Scores reported by patients and their parents were consistently lower than scores in the other paediatric populations identified (except the parent-reported Behaviour score); and considerably lower than normative values.
This study describes the impact on HRQL in patients with MPS II and provides a broader context by comparing it with that of other chronic paediatric diseases. Physical function and the ability to perform day-to-day activities were the most affected areas and a considerable impact on the psychological aspects of patients’ HRQL was also found, with a higher level of impairment across most dimensions (particularly Pain and Self Esteem) than that of other paediatric populations. Such humanistic data provide increasingly important support for establishing priorities for health care spending, and as a component of health economic analysis.
Hunter syndrome; Mucopolysaccharidosis type II; Lysosomal storage disease; Patient-reported outcomes; Health-related quality of life
Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is a major health issue in Queensland, Australia which has the world’s highest incidence. Recent molecular and epidemiologic studies suggest that CMM arises through multiple etiological pathways involving gene-environment interactions. Understanding the potential mechanisms leading to CMM requires larger studies than those previously conducted. This article describes the design and baseline characteristics of Q-MEGA, the Queensland study of Melanoma: Environmental and Genetic Associations, which followed-up four population-based samples of CMM patients in Queensland, including children, adolescents, men aged over 50, and a large sample of adult cases and their families, including twins. Q-MEGA aims to investigate the roles of genetic and environmental factors, and their interaction, in the etiology of melanoma. 3,471 participants took part in the follow-up study and were administered a computer-assisted telephone interview in 2002–2005. Updated data on environmental and phenotypic risk factors, and 2,777 blood samples were collected from interviewed participants as well as a subset of relatives. This study provides a large and well-described population-based sample of CMM cases with follow-up data. Characteristics of the cases and repeatability of sun exposure and phenotype measures between the baseline and the follow-up surveys, from six to 17 years later, are also described.
Melanoma runs within families, but this may be due to shared genetic or shared environmental influences within those families. The concordance between pairs of non-identical compared to the concordance of identical twins can be used to determine whether familial aggregation is due to genetic or environmental factors. Mandatory reporting of melanoma cases within the state of Queensland yielded approximately 12,000 cases between 1982 and 1990. Twins in this study and from the adjacent state of New South Wales (125 pairs in total) were used to partition variation in liability to melanoma into genetic and environmental factors. Identical twins were more concordant for melanoma (4 of 27 pairs) than non-identical twins (3 of 98 pairs; p-value ≈ 0.04). Identical co-twins of affected individuals were 9.8 times more likely to be affected than by chance. However, non-identical co-twins of affected individuals were only 1.8 times more likely to be affected than by chance. An MZ:DZ recurrence risk ratio of 5.6 suggests that some of the genetic influences on melanoma are due to epistatic (gene-gene) interactions. Using these data and population prevalences, it was estimated that 55% of variation in liability to melanoma is due to genetic influences.
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is associated with significantly reduced risks of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, however few studies have examined the association between H pylori and Barrett's oesophagus (BO), the precursor lesion. We explored the relationship between H pylori infection and BO and sought to identify potential modifiers. We compared the prevalence of positive H pylori serology among 217 adults with simple BO (without dysplasia), 95 with dysplastic BO and 398 population controls sourced from the metropolitan Brisbane area. We determined H pylori serostatus using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To estimate relative risks, we calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using multivariable logistic regression in the entire sample and stratified by factors known to cause BO. The prevalence of H pylori seropositivity was 12%, 3% and 18% respectively, among patients with simple BO, dysplastic BO and population controls. BO patients were significantly less likely to have antibodies for H pylori (Simple BO: OR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.30-0.86; Dysplastic BO: OR=0.10, 95% CI: 0.03-0.33) than population controls. For simple BO, the association was diminished after adjustment for frequency of gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) symptoms. Adjustment for frequency of GOR symptoms did not substantially alter the observed effect for dysplastic BO. While there was some variation in the magnitude of risk estimates across strata of age, sex, GOR symptoms, and use of PPIs or H2-receptor antagonists, the differences were uniformly nonsignificant. H pylori infection is inversely associated with BO, and our findings suggest that decreased acid load is not the only mechanism underlying the H pylori protective effect.
Barrett's oesophagus; environmental modifiers; epidemiology; Helicobacter pylori; gastro-oesophageal reflux
Background & Aims
Cigarette smoking has been implicated in the etiology of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but it is not clear if smoking is a risk factor for Barrett’s esophagus (BE). We investigated whether tobacco smoking and other factors increase risk for BE.
We analyzed data from 5 case-control studies included in the international Barrett’s and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium. We compared data from subjects with BE (n=1059) with those from subjects with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD controls, n=1332) and population-based controls (n=1143), using multivariable logistic regression models to test associations with cigarette smoking. We also tested whether cigarette smoking has synergistic effects with other exposures, which might further increase risk for BE.
Subjects with BE were significantly more likely to have ever-smoked cigarettes than the population-based controls (odds ratio [OR]=1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–2.67) or GERD controls (OR=1.61; 95% CI, 1.33–1.96). Increasing pack-years of smoking increased the risk for BE. There was evidence for a synergy between ever-smoking and heartburn or regurgitation; the attributable proportion of disease among individuals who ever smoked and had heartburn or regurgitation was estimated to be 0.39 (0.25–0.52).
Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for BE. The association strengthened with increased exposure to smoking until ~ 20 pack-years, when it began to plateau. Smoking has synergistic effects with heartburn or regurgitation, indicating that there are various pathways by which tobacco smoking might contribute to the development of BE.
BEACON; esophageal cancer; population study; tobacco
The Hunter Outcome Survey (HOS), an international, long-term observational registry of patients with Hunter syndrome, was used to develop a simple mnemonic screening tool (HUNTER) to aid in the diagnosis of Hunter syndrome. Data regarding the prediagnosis prevalence of ten specific signs and symptoms present in individual patients enrolled in the HOS were used to develop the HUNTER mnemonic screening tool. A total score of 6 or greater using a weighting scheme in which certain manifestations were assigned a weight of 2 (facial dysmorphism, nasal obstruction or rhinorrhea, enlarged tongue, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, joint stiffness) and others assigned a weight of 1 (hernia, hearing impairment, enlarged tonsils, airway obstruction or sleep apnea) correctly identified 95 % of patients who had no family history of Hunter syndrome or who were not diagnosed prenatally. No association between age at diagnosis and HUNTER score was found. Conclusion: The HUNTER mnemonic appears to be a useful screening tool. Further validation in the clinical setting will be necessary to confirm its utility.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II; Lysosomal storage disease; Hunter syndrome; Diagnosis
Background & Aims
Regular use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) has been reported to reduce risks for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma (EGJA). However, individual studies have been too small to accurately assess the effects of medication type, frequency, or duration of use. We performed a pooled analysis to investigate these associations.
We performed a pooled analysis of 6 population-based studies within the Barrett's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium to evaluate the association between NSAID use and the risk of EAC and EGJA, using uniform exposure definitions. We collected information from 6 studies (5 case-control and 1 cohort), with a total of 1226 EAC and 1140 EGJA cases, on aspirin and/or NSAID use. Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariate adjusted logistic regression models and then pooled using a random effects meta-analysis model.
Compared to non-users, individuals who have used NSAIDs had a statistically significant, reduced risk of EAC (OR=0.68; 95% CI, 0.56–0.82); they also appeared to have a reduced risk of EGJA (OR=0.84; 95% CI, 0.68–1.03). Similar reductions in risk were observed among individuals who took aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs. The highest levels of frequency (≥daily) and duration (≥10 years) of NSAID use were associated with an approximately 40% reduction in risk for EAC: OR=0.56 (95% CI, 0.43–0.73; P-trend, <.001) and OR=0.63 (95% CI, 0.45–0.90; P-trend, 0.04), respectively.
Although reverse causation could, in part, explain the inverse association observed between NSAID use and EAC risk, pooled analysis indicates a role for NSAIDs in prevention of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction.
BEACON; Esophageal Neoplasm; Stomach Cancer; Anti-Inflammatory Agent
The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the causation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is unclear. We examined the associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 28 centrally measured HPV serological markers in serum from six existing case–control studies conducted in regions with differing background risks of esophageal cancer.
We used centralized multiplex serology to test serum samples from 1561 case subjects and 2502 control subjects from six case–control studies for antibodies to the major HPV capsid protein (L1) and/or the early proteins E6 and/or E7 of eight high-risk, two low-risk, and four cutaneous HPV types. Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression with adjustment for smoking, alcohol consumption, and other potential confounders. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using either a linear mixed-effects approach or a joint fixed-effects approach. All statistical tests were two-sided.
We found statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and antibodies to E6 for HPV16 (OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.09 to 3.29, P = .023) and HPV6 (OR = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.51 to 4.25, P < .001) but not for other tested HPV types. There were no statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and antibodies to E7 for any of the tested HPV types. Simultaneous seropositivity for HPV16 E6 and E7 was rare (four case subjects, two control subjects; OR = 5.57, 95% CI = 0.90 to 34.35; P = .064). We also found statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and capsid antibodies for the high-risk mucosal type HPV33 L1 (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.69; P = .047) and the low-risk mucosal types HPV6 (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.42; P = .010) and HPV11 (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.56, P = .0036).
We found limited serological evidence of an association between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and HPV in the populations studied. Although HPV does not appear to be an important risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, we cannot exclude the possibility that certain HPV types may be involved in a small subset of cancers.
Background Previous studies suggest an association between obesity and oesophageal (OA) and oesophagogastric junction adenocarcinomas (OGJA). However, these studies have been limited in their ability to assess whether the effects of obesity vary by gender or by the presence of gastro-oesophageal reflux (GERD) symptoms.
Methods Individual participant data from 12 epidemiological studies (8 North American, 3 European and 1 Australian) comprising 1997 OA cases, 1900 OGJA cases and 11 159 control subjects were pooled. Logistic regression was used to estimate study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and the risk of OA and OGJA. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to combine these ORs. We also investigated effect modification and synergistic interaction of BMI with GERD symptoms and gender.
Results The association of OA and OGJA increased directly with increasing BMI (P for trend <0.001). Compared with individuals with a BMI <25, BMI ≥40 was associated with both OA (OR 4.76, 95% CI 2.96–7.66) and OGJA (OR 3.07, 95% CI 1.89–4.99). These associations were similar when stratified by gender and GERD symptoms. There was evidence for synergistic interaction between BMI and GERD symptoms in relation to OA/OGJA risk.
Conclusions These data indicate that BMI is directly associated with OA and OGJA risk in both men and women and in those with and without GERD symptoms. Disentangling the relationship between BMI and GERD will be important for understanding preventive efforts for OA and OGJA.
Oesophageal neoplasms; aetiology; risk factors; gastro-oesophageal reflux; obesity; oesophagogastric junction
Cigarette smoking is associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma (EGJA) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and alcohol consumption with ESCC. However, no analyses have examined how delivery rate modifies the strength of odds ratio (OR) trends with total exposure, i.e., the impact on the OR for a fixed total exposure of high exposure rate for short duration compared with low exposure rate for long duration.
The authors pooled data from 12 case-control studies from the Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON), including 1,242 (EAC), 1,263 (EGJA) and 954 (ESCC) cases and 7,053 controls, modeled joint ORs for cumulative exposure and exposure rate for cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, and evaluated effect modification by sex, body mass index (BMI), age and self-reported acid reflux.
For smoking, all sites exhibited inverse delivery rate effects, whereby ORs with pack-years increased, but trends weakened with increasing cigarettes/day. None of the examined factors modified associations, except for ESCC where younger ages at diagnosis enhanced smoking effects (P<0.01). For EAC and EGJA, ORs with drink-years exhibited inverse associations in <5 drinks/day consumers and no association in heavier consumers. For ESCC, ORs with drink-years increased, with trends strengthening with greater drinks/day. There was no significant effect modification, except for EAC and EGJA where acid reflux mitigated the inverse associations (P=0.02). For ESCC, younger ages at diagnosis enhanced drinking-related ORs (P<0.01).
Patterns of ORs by pack-years and drink-years, delivery rate effects and effect modifiers revealed common as well as distinct etiologic elements for these diseases.
alcohol drinking; risk model; smoking
Background and aims
Alcohol intake is a strong and well-established risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), but the association with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) or adjacent tumors of the esophagogastric junction (EGJA), remains unclear. Therefore, we determined the association of alcohol intake with ESCC, EA, and EGJA in nine case-control studies and two cohort studies of the Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON).
Materials and methods
We collected information on alcohol intake, age, sex, education, body mass index, gastroesophageal reflux, and tobacco smoking from each study. Along with 10,854 controls, 1,821 EA, and 1,837 EGJA, seven studies also collected ESCC cases (n=1,016). Study-specific odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated from multivariate-adjusted logistic regression models for alcohol intake in categories compared to non-drinkers. Summary risk estimates were obtained by random effects models.
We observed no increase in risk of EA or EGJA for increasing levels of any of the alcohol intake measures examined. ORs for the highest frequency category (≥7 drinks per day) were 0.97 (95% CI = 0.68-1.36) for EA and 0.77 (95% CI = 0.54-1.10) for EGJA. Suggestive findings linked moderate intake (e.g. 0.5 to <1 drinks per day) to decreased risk of EA (OR = 0.63 95% CI = 0.41-0.99) and EGJA (OR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.62-0.99). In contrast, alcohol intake was strongly associated with increased risk of ESCC (OR for ≥7 drinks per day= 9.62, 95%CI=4.26-21.71).
In contrast to ESCC, higher alcohol consumption was not associated with increased risk of either EA or EGJA. The apparent inverse association observed with moderate alcohol intake should be evaluated in future prospective studies.
Alcohol Drinking; Esophageal Neoplasms; Stomach Neoplasms; Epidemiology
A model has been proposed whereby melanomas arise through two distinct pathways dependent upon the relative influence of host susceptibility and sun exposure. Such pathways may explain site-specific patterns of melanoma occurrence. To explore this model, we investigated the relationship between melanoma risk and general markers of acute (recalled sunburns) and chronic (prevalent solar keratoses) sun exposure, stratified by anatomic site and host phenotype. Our working hypothesis was that head and neck melanomas have stronger associations with solar keratoses and weaker associations with sunburn than trunk melanomas. We conducted a collaborative analysis using original data from women subjects of 11 case–control studies of melanoma (2575 cases, 3241 controls). We adjusted for potential confounding effects of sunlamp use and sunbathing. The magnitude of sunburn associations did not differ significantly by melanoma site, nevus count or histologic sub-type of melanoma. Across all sites, relative risk of melanoma increased with an increasing number of reported lifetime ‘painful’ sunburns, lifetime ‘severe’ sunburns and ‘severe’ sunburns in youth (ptrend<0.001), with pooled odds ratios for the highest category of sunburns vs no sunburns of 3.22 (95%CI 2.04–5.09) for lifetime ‘painful’ sunburns, 2.10 (95%CI 1.30–3.38) for lifetime ‘severe’ sunburns, and 2.43 (95%CI 1.61–3.65) for ‘severe’ sunburns in youth. Solar keratoses strongly increased the risk of head and neck melanoma (pOR 4.91, 95% CI 2.10–11.46), but data were insufficient to assess risk for other sites. Reported sunburn is strongly associated with melanoma on all major body sites.
Converging lines of evidence from varied scientific disciplines suggest that cutaneous melanomas comprise biologically distinct subtypes that arise through multiple causal pathways. Understanding the respective relationships of each subtype with etiologic factors such as UV radiation and constitutional factors is the first necessary step toward developing refined prevention strategies for the specific forms of melanoma. Furthermore, classifying this disease precisely into biologically distinct subtypes is the key to developing mechanism- based treatments, as highlighted by recent discoveries. In this review, we outline the historical developments that underpin our understanding of melanoma heterogeneity, and we do this from the perspectives of clinical presentation, histopathology, epidemiology, molecular genetics, and developmental biology. We integrate the evidence from these separate trajectories to catalog the emerging major categories of melanomas and conclude with important unanswered questions relating to the development of melanoma and its cells of origin.
Melanoma; melanocytes; risk factors; gene mutation; pathology
So far, two familial melanoma genes have been identified, accounting for a minority of genetic risk in families. Mutations in CDKN2A account for approximately 40% of familial cases1, and predisposing mutations in CDK4 have been reported in a very small number of melanoma kindreds2. To identify other familial melanoma genes, here we conducted whole-genome sequencing of probands from several melanoma families, identifying one individual carrying a novel germline variant (coding DNA sequence c.G1075A; protein sequence p.E318K; rs149617956) in the melanoma-lineage-specific oncogene microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). Although the variant co-segregated with melanoma in some but not all cases in the family, linkage analysis of 31 families subsequently identified to carry the variant generated a log odds ratio (lod) score of 2.7 under a dominant model, indicating E318K as a possible intermediate risk variant. Consistent with this, the E318K variant was significantly associated with melanoma in a large Australian case–control sample. Likewise, it was similarly associated in an independent case–control sample from the United Kingdom. In the Australian sample, the variant allele was significantly over-represented in cases with a family history of melanoma, multiple primary melanomas, or both. The variant allele was also associated with increased naevus count and non-blue eye colour. Functional analysis of E318K showed that MITF encoded by the variant allele had impaired sumoylation and differentially regulated several MITF targets. These data indicate that MITF is a melanoma-predisposition gene and highlight the utility of whole-genome sequencing to identify novel rare variants associated with disease susceptibility.
An evolving hypothesis postulates that melanomas may arise through “naevus-associated” and “chronic sun exposure” pathways. We explored this hypothesis by examining associations between naevus-associated loci and melanoma risk across strata of body site and histological subtype. We genotyped 1028 invasive case patients and 1469 controls for variants in MTAP, PLA2G6, and IRF4, and compared allelic frequencies globally and by anatomical site and histological subtype of melanoma. Odds-ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using classical and multinomial logistic regression models. Among controls, MTAP rs10757257, PLA2G6 rs132985 and IRF4 rs12203592 were the variants most significantly associated with number of naevi. In adjusted models, a significant association was found between MTAP rs10757257 and overall melanoma risk (OR=1.32, 95% CI=1.14–1.53), with no evidence of heterogeneity across sites (Phomogeneity=0.52). In contrast, MTAP rs10757257 was associated with superficial spreading/nodular melanoma (OR=1.34, 95% CI=1.15–1.57), but not with lentigo maligna melanoma (OR=0.79, 95% CI=0.46–1.35) (Phomogeneity=0.06), the subtype associated with chronic sun exposure. Melanoma was significantly inversely associated with rs12203592 in children (OR=0.35, 95% CI=0.16–0.77) and adolescents (OR=0.61, 95% CI=0.42–0.91), but not in adults (Phomogeneity=0.0008). Our results suggest that the relationship between MTAP and melanoma is subtype-specific, and that the association between IRF4 and melanoma is more evident for cases with a younger age at onset. These findings lend some support to the “divergent pathways” hypothesis and may provide at least one candidate gene underlying this model. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings and improve our understanding of these relationships.
cutaneous melanoma; epidemiology; genes; naevi; polymorphisms
Esophageal adenocarcinoma is the most common type of esophageal cancer in most Western countries and is an important contributor to overall cancer mortality. Most cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma are believed to arise from Barrett’s esophagus. Esophageal adenocarcinoma occurs more frequently in white men over 50 years old, as well as in people with frequent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, in smokers and in people who are obese. Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and infection with Helicobacter pylori have all been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Here, we review the epidemiological evidence for the major risk factors of esophageal adenocarcinoma and also discuss perspectives for future research.
esophageal adenocarcinoma; Barrett’s esophagus; epidemiology; risk factors
Previous studies that showed an association between smoking and adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction were limited in their ability to assess differences by tumor site, sex, dose–response, and duration of cigarette smoking cessation.
We used primary data from 10 population-based case–control studies and two cohort studies from the Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium. Analyses were restricted to white non-Hispanic men and women. Patients were classified as having esophageal adenocarcinoma (n = 1540), esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma (n = 1450), or a combination of both (all adenocarcinoma; n = 2990). Control subjects (n = 9453) were population based. Associations between pack-years of cigarette smoking and risks of adenocarcinomas were assessed, as well as their potential modification by sex and duration of smoking cessation. Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) estimated using multivariable logistic regression models, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, education, and gastroesophageal reflux, were pooled using a meta-analytic methodology to generate summary odds ratios. All statistical tests were two-sided.
The summary odds ratios demonstrated strong associations between cigarette smoking and esophageal adenocarcinoma (OR = 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.64 to 2.34), esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma (OR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.84 to 2.58), and all adenocarcinoma (OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.83 to 2.37). In addition, there was a strong dose–response association between pack-years of cigarette smoking and each outcome (P < .001). Compared with current smokers, longer smoking cessation was associated with a decreased risk of all adenocarcinoma after adjusting for pack-years (<10 years of smoking cessation: OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.60 to 1.13; and ≥10 years of smoking cessation: OR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.56 to 0.89). Sex-specific summary odds ratios were similar.
Cigarette smoking is associated with increased risks of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction in white men and women; compared with current smoking, smoking cessation was associated with reduced risks.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has become a major concern in Western countries due to rapid rises in incidence coupled with very poor survival rates. One of the key risk factors for the development of this cancer is the presence of Barrett's esophagus (BE), which is believed to form in response to repeated gastro-esophageal reflux. In this study we performed comparative, genome-wide expression profiling (using Illumina whole-genome Beadarrays) on total RNA extracted from esophageal biopsy tissues from individuals with EAC, BE (in the absence of EAC) and those with normal squamous epithelium. We combined these data with publically accessible raw data from three similar studies to investigate key gene and ontology differences between these three tissue states. The results support the deduction that BE is a tissue with enhanced glycoprotein synthesis machinery (DPP4, ATP2A3, AGR2) designed to provide strong mucosal defenses aimed at resisting gastro-esophageal reflux. EAC exhibits the enhanced extracellular matrix remodeling (collagens, IGFBP7, PLAU) effects expected in an aggressive form of cancer, as well as evidence of reduced expression of genes associated with mucosal (MUC6, CA2, TFF1) and xenobiotic (AKR1C2, AKR1B10) defenses. When our results are compared to previous whole-genome expression profiling studies keratin, mucin, annexin and trefoil factor gene groups are the most frequently represented differentially expressed gene families. Eleven genes identified here are also represented in at least 3 other profiling studies. We used these genes to discriminate between squamous epithelium, BE and EAC within the two largest cohorts using a support vector machine leave one out cross validation (LOOCV) analysis. While this method was satisfactory for discriminating squamous epithelium and BE, it demonstrates the need for more detailed investigations into profiling changes between BE and EAC.
While risk factors for primary cutaneous melanoma are well defined, relatively little is known about predictors for second primary melanoma. Given the rising incidence of this cancer, coupled with improvements in survival, there is a prevalent and growing pool of patients at risk of second primary melanomas. To identify the predictors of second primary melanoma, we followed a cohort of 1083 Queensland patients diagnosed with incident melanoma between 1982-90 and who completed a baseline questionnaire. During a median follow-up of 16.5 years, 221 patients were diagnosed with at least one additional primary melanoma. In multivariate analyses, second primary melanomas were associated with high nevus count (HR 2,91, 95%CI 1,94 - 4.35), high familial melanoma risk (2.12, 1.34-3.36), fair skin (1.51, 1.06-2.16, inability to tan (1.66, 1.13-2.43), an in situ first primary melanoma (1.36, 0.99-1.87) and masculine sex (1.49, 1.12-2.00) Patients whose first primary was lentigo maligna melanoma (1.80, 1.05-3.07) or nodular melanoma (2.13 , 1.21-3.74) had higher risks of subsequent primaries than patients whose first primary tumor was superficial spreading melanoma. These characteristics could be assessed in patients presenting with first primary melanoma to assess their risk of developing a second primary.
Aberrant glycosylation is a well-described hallmark of cancer. In a previous ovarian cancer case control study that examined polymorphisms in 26 glycosylation-associated genes, we found strong statistical evidence (P = 0.00017) that women who inherited two copies of a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase, GALNT1, had decreased ovarian cancer risk. The current study attempted to replicate this observation. The GALNT1 single-nucleotide polymorphism rs17647532 was genotyped in 6,965 cases and 8,377 controls from 14 studies forming the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. The fixed effects estimate per rs17647532 allele was null (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.92–1.07). When a recessive model was fit, the results were unchanged. Test for hetero geneity of the odds ratios revealed consistency across the 14 replication sites but significant differences compared with the original study population (P = 0.03). This study underscores the need for replication of putative findings in genetic association studies.
Chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and excessive body fat are considered principal causes of Barrett's oesophagus (a metaplastic change in the cells lining the oesophagus) and its neoplastic progression, oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Metabolic disturbances including altered levels of obesity-related cytokines, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance have also been associated with oesophageal cancer development, especially in males. Physical activity may have the potential to abrogate metabolic disturbances in males with Barrett's oesophagus and elicit beneficial reductions in body fat and gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms. Thus, exercise may be an effective intervention in reducing oesophageal adenocarcinoma risk. However, to date this hypothesis remains untested.
The 'Exercise and the Prevention of Oesophageal Cancer Study' will determine whether 24 weeks of exercise training will lead to alterations in risk factors or biomarkers for oesophageal adenocarcinoma in males with Barrett's oesophagus. Our primary outcomes are serum concentrations of leptin, adiponectin, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 as well as insulin resistance. Body composition, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms, cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength will also be assessed as secondary outcomes.
A randomized controlled trial of 80 overweight or obese, inactive males with Barrett's oesophagus will be conducted in Brisbane, Australia. Participants will be randomized to an intervention arm (60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance training, five days per week) or a control arm (45 minutes of stretching, five days per week) for 24 weeks. Primary and secondary endpoints will be measured at baseline (week 0), midpoint (week 12) and at the end of the intervention (week 24).
Due to the increasing incidence and very high mortality associated with oesophageal adenocarcinoma, interventions effective in preventing the progression of Barrett's oesophagus are urgently needed. We propose that exercise may be successful in reducing oesophageal adenocarcinoma risk. This primary prevention trial will also provide information on whether the protective association between physical activity and cancer is causal.