We evaluated the performance of the Gail model for a Korean population and developed a Korean breast cancer risk assessment tool (KoBCRAT) based upon equations developed for the Gail model for predicting breast cancer risk.
Using 3,789 sets of cases and controls, risk factors for breast cancer among Koreans were identified. Individual probabilities were projected using Gail's equations and Korean hazard data. We compared the 5-year and lifetime risk produced using the modified Gail model which applied Korean incidence and mortality data and the parameter estimators from the original Gail model with those produced using the KoBCRAT. We validated the KoBCRAT based on the expected/observed breast cancer incidence and area under the curve (AUC) using two Korean cohorts: the Korean Multicenter Cancer Cohort (KMCC) and National Cancer Center (NCC) cohort.
The major risk factors under the age of 50 were family history, age at menarche, age at first full-term pregnancy, menopausal status, breastfeeding duration, oral contraceptive usage, and exercise, while those at and over the age of 50 were family history, age at menarche, age at menopause, pregnancy experience, body mass index, oral contraceptive usage, and exercise. The modified Gail model produced lower 5-year risk for the cases than for the controls (p = 0.017), while the KoBCRAT produced higher 5-year and lifetime risk for the cases than for the controls (p<0.001 and <0.001, respectively). The observed incidence of breast cancer in the two cohorts was similar to the expected incidence from the KoBCRAT (KMCC, p = 0.880; NCC, p = 0.878). The AUC using the KoBCRAT was 0.61 for the KMCC and 0.89 for the NCC cohort.
Our findings suggest that the KoBCRAT is a better tool for predicting the risk of breast cancer in Korean women, especially urban women.
Gastric cancer, the most common cancer in the world, is affected by some foods or food groups. We examined the relationship between dietary intake and stomach cancer risk in the Korean Multi-Center Cancer Cohort (KMCC).
The KMCC included 19 688 Korean men and women who were enrolled from 1993 to 2004. Of those subjects, 9724 completed a brief 14-food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Through record linkage with the Korean Central Cancer Registry and National Death Certificate databases, we documented 166 gastric cancer cases as of December 31, 2008. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs.
Frequent intake of soybean/tofu was significantly associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer, after adjustment for age, sex, cigarette smoking, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and area of residence (P for trend = 0.036). We found a significant inverse association between soybean/tofu intake and gastric cancer risk among women (RR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.22–0.78). Men with a high soybean/tofu intake had a lower risk of gastric cancer, but the reduction was not statistically significant (RR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.52–1.13). There was no interaction between soybean/tofu intake and cigarette smoking in relation to gastric cancer risk (P for interaction = 0.268).
Frequent soybean/tofu intake was associated with lower risk of gastric cancer.
soybean; dietary intake; gastric cancer
This study aimed to describe the differences in vaccination coverage between National Immunization Program (NIP) vaccines and non-NIP vaccines in Korea and to identify factors affecting the difference. Nationwide face-to-face interview-based questionnaire survey among randomly selected 4,374 participants aged 7-83 months was conducted. Vaccination coverage analyzed according to the birth cohorts, geographic areas, and socio-demographic characteristics. We found that NIP vaccines recorded higher primary vaccination coverage compared to non-NIP vaccines (95.9%-100% vs 30.7%-85.4%). The highest rate was Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine (85.4%), which was introduced in 1996, and the lowest rate was rotavirus vaccine (30.7%), which was introduced recently. On multivariate analysis, having a sibling were significantly associated with lower uptake of Hib vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), and rotavirus vaccine; while, older mother's age and attendance to daycare center were significantly associated with lower uptake of PCV and rotavirus vaccine (P < 0.001). We found differences in the vaccine coverage rate between NIP vaccines and non-NIP vaccines; and the data suggests potential disparity in accessing non-NIP vaccines in Korea. Expansion of NIP to include non-NIP vaccines can provide better protection against the diseases through increased coverage.
Vaccines; Coverage; National Immunization Program; Public Health
Systematic educational programs and genetic counseling certification courses for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (HBOC) have not yet been introduced in Korea. We provided and evaluated the effects of genetic counseling education on Korean healthcare providers' knowledge, awareness, and counseling skills for patients at high risk of HBOC.
A 3-day educational program was conducted for healthcare providers who were interested in genetic counseling for patients at high risk of HBOC. Participants who completed a knowledge test and satisfaction questionnaire were included in the present sample. Pre-post comparisons were conducted to determine the effects of the intervention.
Significant differences between preprogram and postprogram knowledge scores were observed (p=0.002). Awareness (p<0.001) and confidence (p<0.001) regarding genetic counseling significantly increased after the training. Doctors and participants with fewer years of work experience performed well on the knowledge test. Previous educational experience was correlated with increased confidence in knowledge and counseling skills.
Genetic counseling education regarding HBOC improved knowledge and awareness of HBOC and enhanced confidence in the counseling process. The effects varied according to occupation and participants' previous education. The implementation of systematic educational programs that consider participant characteristics may improve the effects of such interventions.
Breast neoplasms; Education; Genetic counseling; Hereditary neoplastic syndromes
Genetic variants regulating the host immune system may contribute to the susceptibility for the development of gastric cancer. Little is known about the role of the innate immunity- and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)-related genes for gastric cancer risk. This nested case-control study was conducted to identify candidate genes for gastric cancer risk for future studies.
In the Discovery phase, 3,072 SNPs in 203 innate immunity- and 264 NHL-related genes using the Illumine GoldenGateTM OPA Panel were analyzed in 42 matched case-control sets selected from the Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort (KMCC). Six significant SNPs in four innate immunity (DEFA6, DEFB1, JAK3, and ACAA1) and 11 SNPs in nine NHL-related genes (INSL3, CHMP7, BCL2L11, TNFRSF8, RAD50, CASP7, CHUK, CD79B, and CLDN9) with a permutated p-value <0.01 were re-genotyped in the Replication phase among 386 cases and 348 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) for gastric cancer risk were estimated adjusting for age, smoking status, and H. pylori and CagA sero-positivity. Summarized ORs in the total study population (428 cases and 390 controls) are presented using pooled- and meta-analyses.
Four SNPs had no heterogeneity across the phases: in the meta-analysis, DEFA6 rs13275170 and DEFB1 rs2738169 had both a 1.3-fold increased odds ratio (OR) for gastric cancer (95% CIs = 1.1–1.6; and 1.1–1.5, respectively). INSL3 rs10421916 and rs11088680 had both a 0.8-fold decreased OR for gastric cancer (95% CIs = 0.7–0.97; and 0.7–0.9, respectively).
Our findings suggest that certain variants in the innate immunity and NHL-related genes affect the gastric cancer risk, perhaps by modulating infection-inflammation-immunity mechanisms that remain to be defined.
Aberrant DNA methylation is associated with cancer development and progression. There are several types of specimens from which DNA methylation pattern can be measured and evaluated as an indicator of disease status (from normal biological process to pathologic condition) and even of pharmacologic response to therapy. Blood-based specimens such as cell-free circulating nucleic acid and DNA extracted from leukocytes in peripheral blood may be a potential source of noninvasive cancer biomarkers. In this article, we describe the characteristics of blood-based DNA methylation from different biological sources, detection methods, and the factors affecting DNA methylation. We provide a comprehensive literature review of blood-based DNA methylation as a cancer biomarker and focus on the study of DNA methylation using peripheral blood leukocytes. Although DNA methylation patterns measured in peripheral blood have great potential to be useful and informative biomarkers of cancer risk and prognosis, large systematic and unbiased prospective studies that consider biological plausibility and data analysis issues will be needed in order to develop a clinically feasible blood-based assay.
DNA methylation; blood-based biomarker; serum; plasma; leukocyte; peripheral blood
Homocysteine is involved in a one-carbon transfer reaction, which is important for DNA synthesis and methylation. High level of plasma homocysteine, biochemical marker of folate status, is known to be a risk factor for cancer. However, it is inconclusive as to whether plasma homocysteine concentration can predict colorectal adenoma. We conducted a case-control study to determine whether hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for adenoma. Data from 1,039 subjects who underwent a colonoscopy and plasma homocysteine concentration determination during health examinations at single center over a two-year period were analyzed. The subjects were classified into two groups (422 adenoma and 617 controls). Subjects defined as having advanced adenomas were those with more than three adenomas, over 1 cm in size, high grade dysplasia, or villous components. Male, old age, high body mass index, low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, smoking, fasting glucose, and past history of colon polyps were significantly associated with adenoma according to multiple logistic regression. According to subgroup analysis by gender, plasma homocysteine concentration was not associated with adenoma in males; however, a high plasma homocysteine concentration significantly increased the risk of adenoma as well as advanced adenoma in females. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for colorectal adenoma in women.
risk factors; homocysteine; adenoma
To examine the association between alcohol consumption habit, types of beverages, alcohol consumption quantity, and overall and cancer-specific mortality among Korean adults.
The alcohol consumption information of a total of 16 320 participants who were 20 years or older from the Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort were analyzed to examine the association between alcohol consumption habit and mortality (median follow-up of 9.3 years). The Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of alcohol consumption to mortality adjusting for age, sex, geographic areas, education, smoking status, and body mass index.
Alcohol drinkers showed an increased risk for total mortality compared with never drinkers (HR, 1.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38 to 2.14 for past drinkers; HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.39 for current drinkers), while past drinkers only were associated with higher risk for cancer deaths (HR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.34 to 2.53). The quantity of alcohol consumed per week showed a J-shaped association with risk of mortality. Relative to light drinkers (0.01 to 90 g/wk), never drinkers and heavy drinkers (>504 g/wk) had an increased risk for all-cause and cancer deaths: (HR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.45) and (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.83) for all-cause mortality; and (HR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.15 to 2.11) and (HR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.39 to 3.09) for all cancer mortality, respectively. Heavy drinkers (>504 g/wk) showed an elevated risk for death from stomach and liver cancers.
The present study supports the existence of a J-shaped association between alcohol consumption quantity and the risk of all-cause and cancer deaths. Heavy drinkers had an increased risk of death from cancer overall and liver and stomach cancer.
Alcohol drinking; Mortality; Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort; Korea
The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer among Korean women has increased steadily; however, breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer mortality among women. One-carbon metabolism, which requires an adequate supply of methyl group donors and B vitamins, may affect the prognosis of breast cancer. This aim of this study was to investigate the associations of dietary intake of vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and folate before diagnosis on the prognosis of breast cancer.
We assessed the dietary intake using a food frequency questionnaire with 980 women who were newly diagnosed and histopathologically confirmed to have primary breast cancer from hospitals in Korea, and 141 disease progression events occurred. Cox’s proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) adjusting for age, education, recruitment sites, TNM stage, hormone status, nuclear grade and total calorie.
There was no significant association between any one-carbon metabolism related nutrients (vitamin B2, B6 and folate) and the progression of breast cancer overall. However, one-carbon metabolism related nutrients were associated with disease progression in breast cancer patients stratified by subtypes. In ER + and/or PR + breast cancers, no association was observed; however, in ER–/PR– breast cancers, a high intake of vitamin B2 and folate statistically elevated the HR of breast cancer progression (HR = 2.28; 95% CI, 1.20-4.35, HR = 1.84; 95% CI, 1.02-3.32, respectively) compared to a low intake. This positive association between the ER/PR status and progression of the disease was profound when the nutrient intakes were categorized in a combined score (Pinteraction = 0.018). In ER–/PR– breast cancers, high combined scores were associated with a significantly poor DFS compared to those belonging to the low score group (HR = 3.84; 95% CI, 1.70-8.71).
In conclusion, our results suggest that one-carbon related nutrients have a role in the prognosis of breast cancer depending on the ER/PR status.
Breast cancer prognosis; One-carbon metabolism; Vitamin B2; Vitamin B6; Folate
Although the role of microRNA’s (miRNA’s) biogenesis pathway genes in cancer development and progression has been well established, the association between genetic variants of this pathway genes and breast cancer survival is still unknown.
We used genotype data available from a previously conducted case–control study to investigate association between common genetic variations in miRNA biogenesis pathway genes and breast cancer survival. We investigated the possible associations between 41 germ-line single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and both disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) among 488 breast cancer patients. During the median follow-up of 6.24 years, 90 cases developed disease progression and 48 cases died.
Seven SNPs were significantly associated with breast cancer survival. Two SNPs in AGO2 (rs11786030 and rs2292779) and DICER1 rs1057035 were associated with both DFS and OS. Two SNPs in HIWI (rs4759659 and rs11060845) and DGCR8 rs9606250 were associated with DFS, while DROSHA rs874332 and GEMIN4 rs4968104 were associated with only OS. The most significant association was observed in variant allele of AGO2 rs11786030 with 2.62-fold increased risk of disease progression (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.41-4.88) and in minor allele homozygote of AGO2 rs2292779 with 2.94-fold increased risk of death (95% CI, 1.52-5.69). We also found cumulative effects of SNPs on DFS and OS. Compared to the subjects carrying 0 to 2 high-risk genotypes, those carrying 3 or 4–6 high-risk genotypes had an increased risk of disease progression with a hazard ratio of 2.16 (95% CI, 1.18- 3.93) and 4.47 (95% CI, 2.45- 8.14), respectively (P for trend, 6.11E-07).
Our results suggest that genetic variants in miRNA biogenesis pathway genes may be associated with breast cancer survival. Further studies in larger sample size and functional characterizations are warranted to validate these results.
microRNA biogenesis pathway; Breast cancer; Survival; Single nucleotide polymorphism
Although approximately 25 common genetic susceptibility loci have been identified to be independently associated with breast cancer risk through genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the genetic risk variants reported to date only explain a small fraction of the heritability of breast cancer. Furthermore, GWAS-identified loci were primarily identified in women of European descent.
To evaluate previously identified loci in Korean women and to identify additional novel breast cancer susceptibility variants, we conducted a three-stage GWAS that included 6,322 cases and 5,897 controls.
In the validation study using Stage I of the 2,273 cases and 2,052 controls, seven GWAS-identified loci [5q11.2/MAP3K1 (rs889312 and rs16886165), 5p15.2/ROPN1L (rs1092913), 5q12/MRPS30 (rs7716600), 6q25.1/ESR1 (rs2046210 and rs3734802), 8q24.21 (rs1562430), 10q26.13/FGFR2 (rs10736303), and 16q12.1/TOX3 (rs4784227 and rs3803662)] were significantly associated with breast cancer risk in Korean women (Ptrend < 0.05). To identify additional genetic risk variants, we selected the most promising 17 SNPs in Stage I and replicated these SNPs in 2,052 cases and 2,169 controls (Stage II). Four SNPs were further evaluated in 1,997 cases and 1,676 controls (Stage III). SNP rs13393577 at chromosome 2q34, located in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 4 (ERBB4) gene, showed a consistent association with breast cancer risk with combined odds ratios (95% CI) of 1.53 (1.37-1.70) (combined P for trend = 8.8 × 10-14).
This study shows that seven breast cancer susceptibility loci, which were previously identified in European and/or Chinese populations, could be directly replicated in Korean women. Furthermore, this study provides strong evidence implicating rs13393577 at 2q34 as a new risk variant for breast cancer.
Prevalence and phenotype of BRCA mutation can vary by race. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations in non-familial breast cancer patients with high risks in Korea. A subset of 758 patients was selected for this study from the KOHBRA nationwide multicenter prospective cohort study. Mutations in BRCA1/2 genes were tested using fluorescent-conformation sensitive gel electrophoresis, denaturing high performance liquid chromatography or direct sequencing. Mutation of BRCA1/2 genes were identified in 65 (8.6%) patients among total 758 patients [BRCA1 mutation: 25 (3.3%), BRCA2 mutation: 40 (5.3%)]. According to risk groups, mutation of BRCA1/2 genes were identified in 53 (8.5%) of 625 early onset patients (age ≤40), in 22 (17.7%) of 124 bilateral breast cancer patients, in 3 (50.0%) of 6 breast and ovarian cancer patients, in one (5.9%) of 17 male breast cancer patients, in 5 cases (7.6%) of 66 multiple organ cancer patients. The most common mutation was 509C>A for BRCA1 and 7708C>T for BRCA2. The prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations by age in early onset patients was significantly different (age <35 vs age ≥35; 10.0 vs 2.9%, p = 0.0007). BRCA1/2 mutations for non-familial Korean breast cancer patients were detected at a high rate, particularly, in patients with early onset of less than 35 years of age, bilateral breast cancer, and breast and ovarian cancer. Individualized genetic counseling should be offered for non-familial breast cancer patients with these risk factors.
BRCA1; BRCA2; Hereditary breast cancer; Korean; Non-familial; Prevalence
This study compared interview and telephone surveys to select the better method for regularly estimating nationwide vaccination coverage rates in Korea. Interview surveys using multi-stage cluster sampling and telephone surveys using stratified random sampling were conducted. Nationwide coverage rates were estimated in subjects with vaccination cards in the interview survey. The interview survey relative to the telephone survey showed a higher response rate, lower missing rate, higher validity and a less difference in vaccination coverage rates between card owners and non-owners. Primary vaccination coverage rate was greater than 90% except for the fourth dose of DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis), the third dose of polio, and the third dose of Japanese B encephalitis (JBE). The DTaP4: Polio3: MMR1 fully vaccination rate was 62.0% and BCG1:HepB3:DTaP4:Polio3:MMR1 was 59.5%. For age-appropriate vaccination, the coverage rate was 50%-80%. We concluded that the interview survey was better than the telephone survey. These results can be applied to countries with incomplete registry and decreasing rates of landline telephone coverage due to increased cell phone usage and countries. Among mandatory vaccines, efforts to increase vaccination rate for the fourth dose of DTaP, the third dose of polio, JBE and regular vaccinations at recommended periods should be conducted in Korea.
Health Surveys; Interview; Telephone; Vaccination
Due to the aging population and tremendous changes in life style over the past decades, cancer has been the leading cause of death in Korea. The incidence rate of breast cancer is the second highest in Korea, and it has shown an annual increase of 6.8% for the past 6 years. The major risk factors of breast cancer in Korean women are as follows: Early menarche, late menopause, late full-term pregnancy (FTP), and low numbers of FTP. Height and body mass index increased the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women only. There are ethnic variations in breast cancer due to the differences in genetic susceptibility or exposure to etiologic agent. With the epidemiological evidences on the possibility of further increase of breast cancer in Korea, the Korean Government began implementing the National Cancer Screening Program against breast cancer in 2002. Five-year survival rates for female breast cancer have improved significantly from 78.0% in early 1993-1995 to 90.0% in 2004-2008. This data indicate that improvement of the survival rate may be partially due to the early diagnosis of breast cancer as well as the increased public awareness about the significance of early detection and organized cancer screening program. The current primary prevention programs are geared towards strengthening national prevention campaigns. In accordance with the improvement in 5-year survival rate, the overall cancer mortality has started to decrease. However, breast cancer death rate and incidence rates are still increasing, which need further organized effort by the Korean Government.
Breast neoplasms; Korea; Risk factors
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether clinical test values from different laboratories in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES) can be integrated through a statistical adjustment algorithm with appropriate intra- and inter-laboratory reliability.
External quality control data were obtained from the Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine and quadruplicated standardized serological samples (N=3,200) were manufactured in order to check the intra- and inter-laboratory reliability for aspartic acid transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GTP), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, uric acid (UA), fasting blood sugar (FBS), cholesterol, and triglyceride (TG). As an index of inter- and intra-rater reliability, Pearson's correlation coefficient, intraclass correlation coefficients and kappa statistics were estimated. In addition, to detect the potential for data integration, we constructed statistical compensation models using linear regression analysis with residual analysis, and presented the R-square values.
All correlation coefficient values indicated good intra- and inter-laboratory reliability, which ranged from 0.842 to 1.000. Kappa coefficients were greater than 0.75 (0.75-1.00). All of the regression models based on the trial results had strong R-square values and zero sums of residuals. These results were consistent in the regression models using external quality control data.
The two laboratories in the KoGES have good intra- and inter-laboratory reliability for ten chemical test values, and data can be integrated through algorithmic statistical adjustment using regression equations.
Reliability; Statistical compensation model; Serological marker; The KoGES
Biliary tract cancer encompasses tumors of the gallbladder, bile duct and ampulla of Vater. Gallbladder cancer is more common in women, whereas bile duct cancer is more common in men, suggesting that sex hormones may play a role in the etiology of these cancers. The intracellular action of estrogens is regulated by the estrogen receptor (ESR); thus, we examined the role of common genetic variants in ESR genes on the risk of biliary tract cancers and stones in a population-based case–control study in Shanghai, China (411 cancer cases, 895 stone cases and 786 controls). We genotyped six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), four in ESR1 (rs2234693, rs3841686, rs2228480 and rs1801132) and two in ESR2 (rs1256049 and rs4986938). In all participants, the ESR1 rs1801132 (P325P) G allele was associated with excess risks of bile duct [odds ratio (OR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–2.8] and ampulla of Vater cancers (OR = 2.1, 95% CI 0.9–4.9) compared with the CC genotype. The association with bile duct cancer was apparent among men (OR = 2.8, 95% CI 1.4–5.7) but not among women (P-heterogeneity = 0.01). Also, the ESR2 rs4986938 (38 bp 3′ of STP) GG genotype was associated with a higher risk of bile duct cancer (OR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.3–8.7) compared with the AA genotype, although this estimate was based on a small number of subjects. None of the other SNPs examined was associated with biliary tract cancers or stones. False discovery rate-adjusted P-values were not significant (P > 0.1). No association was found for ESR1 haplotype based on four SNPs. These preliminary results suggest that variants in ESR genes could play a role in the etiology of biliary tract cancers, especially bile duct cancer in men.
This study was conducted to examine recent trends in ovarian cancer incidence and mortality and secular trends in demographic factors in Korea.
With the data from Korea Central Cancer Registry, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Korean Death Registry, and World Health Organization's Statistical Information System, we calculated age-standardized incidence and mortality rates for ovarian cancer. Also we estimated future incidence of ovarian and cervical cancer using linear regression model. To assess the demographic trend, data from national surveys in Korea or results from published papers were searched.
Ovarian cancer incidence rate was similar to that in women worldwide but lower than those in Western countries, and the trend has been increased steadily. Ovarian cancer-related mortality rates have been increasing in Korea, even though those in western and some Asian countries, such as China, have been decreasing. Age-specific incidence rate and mortality rate showed steep increases with advancing age. The incidence rate of ovarian cancer was estimated to surpass that of uterine cervix cancer in 2015. Korea showed rapid changes in nutritional, reproductive, and anthropometric factors.
These recent trends in ovarian cancer incidence and mortality may be partly attributed to gradual westernizing of life styles and to changes in socio-demographic behavior factors. In particular, the increasing trend in ovarian cancer mortality in Korea may be attributed to a real rise in mortality as well as, in part, a decline in misclassification bias related to an increase in the proportion of deaths confirmed by physician diagnosis.
Ovarian neoplasms; Epidemiology; Incidence; Mortality
To evaluate whether candidate genes in innate immunity are associated with childhood leukemia, we conducted an association study with the 1,536 SNPs in 203 genes related to innate immunity.
Incident childhood leukemia cases (n=136) aged from 0 to 18 were recruited from three teaching hospitals in Seoul between 2003 and 2006. Non-cancer controls (n=140) were frequency-matched to cases by age and gender. The information on the characteristics of children and their parents were collected by trained interviewers using structured questionnaire. Candidate genes were selected based on SNP databases (CGAP and SNP500 database), and genotype assay was performed using GoldenGate (Illumina) oligonucleotide pool assay (OPA). False discovery rate (FDR), permutation test, and haplotype analyses were used to identify the SNP with significant association with childhood leukemia. Childhood leukemia risk was estimated as ORs and 95% CIs adjusted for age, gender and birth weight.
Fourteen SNPs in 13 genes (LMAN1, TLR4, STAT4, CCR9, MBP, ZP1, C8B, XDH, C7, C1QG, FGF2, LOC390183, and STAT6) were significantly associated with childhood leukemia risk (FDR p-values <0.05). In particular, LMAN1 rs1127220, TLR4 rs11536897, STAT4 rs13020076, CCR9 rs1471962, and MBP rs10514234 were significant in 5,000 permutation tests (Permutation p-value <0.05). The most significant association with childhood leukemia risk was for the LMAN1 rs1127220 that is in the protein-coding region, this finding was also supported by haplotype analysis.
A number of innate immunity related genes are associated with childhood leukemia, suggesting possible links between the innate immunity system and development of the childhood leukemia.
Childhood Leukemia; Innate Immunity; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
This study was conducted to evaluate the modes of transmission of aseptic meningitis (AM) and hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) using a case-control and a case-crossover design. We recruited 205 childhood AM and 116 HFMD cases and 170 non-enteroviral disease controls from three general hospitals in Gyeongju, Pohang, and Seoul between May and August in both 2002 and 2003. For the case-crossover design, we established the hazard and non-hazard periods as week one and week four before admission, respectively. In the case-control design, drinking water that had not been boiled, not using a water purifier, changes in water quality, and contact with AM patients were significantly associated with the risk of AM (odds ratio [OR]=2.8, 2.9, 4.6, and 10.9, respectively), while drinking water that had not been boiled, having a non-water closet toilet, changes in water quality, and contact with HFMD patients were associated with risk of HFMD (OR=3.3, 2.8, 6.9, and 5.0, respectively). In the case-crossover design, many life-style variables such as contact with AM or HFMD patients, visiting a hospital, changes in water quality, presence of a skin wound, eating out, and going shopping were significantly associated with the risk of AM (OR=18.0, 7.0, 8.0, 2.2, 22.3, and 3.0, respectively) and HFMD (OR=9.0, 37.0, 11.0, 12.0, 37.0, and 5.0, respectively). Our findings suggest that person-to-person contact and contaminated water could be the principal modes of transmission of AM and HFMD.
Meningitis, Aseptic; Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease; Disease Transmission; Waterborne Infection; Enterovirus; Epidemiology
Biliary tract cancers, encompassing gallbladder, extrahepatic bile duct and ampulla of Vater cancers, are uncommon but often fatal malignancies. Hormone-related factors, including parity, oral contraceptive use, obesity, and gallstones, have been implicated in the etiology of these cancers. To further clarify the role of hormones in biliary tract cancers and biliary stones, we genotyped 18 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in nine genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis, metabolism and transport in a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China. This study included subjects who completed an interview and provided blood, which totaled 411 biliary tract cancer and 893 biliary stone patients and 786 healthy Shanghai residents. The CYP1A1 IVS1 + 606 (rs2606345) T allele was associated with gallbladder [odds ratio (OR) = 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3–3.0] and bile duct cancers (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.1–3.1), whereas the CYP1A1 Ex7 + 131 (rs1048943) G allele was associated with ampulla of Vater cancer (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.5–5.4). After taking into account multiple comparisons for SNPs within each gene, CYP1A1 was significantly associated with gallbladder (P = 0.004) and ampulla of Vater cancers (P = 0.01), but borderline with bile duct cancer (P = 0.06). The effect of CYP1A1 IVS1 + 606 on gallbladder cancer was more pronounced among non-obese (body mass index < 23) (OR = 3.3, 95% CI = 1.8–6.1; P interaction = 0.001). Among women taking oral contraceptives, the effect of SHBG Ex8 + 6 (rs6259) on gallbladder cancer (OR = 6.7, 95% CI = 2.2–20.5; P interaction = 0.001) and stones (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.1–4.9; P-interaction = 0.05) was statistically significant. Our findings suggest that common variants in hormone-related genes contribute to the risk of biliary tract cancers and stones, possibly by modulating hormone metabolism.
A pilot clonorchiasis control project was implemented to evaluate the efficacies of various chemotherapy strategies on prevalence, incidence and re-infection in Heilongjiang Province, China.
Methods and Findings
Seven intervention groups (14,139 residents, about 2000 in each group) in heavily or moderately endemic areas were subjected to repeated praziquantel administration from 2001 to 2004. In the selective chemotherapy groups, residents were examined for fecal eggs, and those who tested positive were treated with three doses of 25 mg/kg praziquantel at 5-hour-intervals in one day. However, all residents were treated in the mass chemotherapy groups. In heavily endemic areas, two mass treatments of all residents in 2001 and 2003 reduced the prevalence from 69.5% to 18.8%, while four annual mass treatments reduced the prevalence from 48.0% in 2001 to 8.4% in 2004. Selective annual treatments for egg-positive subjects reduced the egg-positive rates from 54.9% in 2001 to 15.0% in 2004 or from 73.2% in 2001 to 12.3% in 2004. Selective treatments every 6 months significantly reduced the prevalence from 59.5% in 2001 to 7.5% in 2004. All of the repeated treatments reduced EPG (eggs per gram of feces) significantly. The annual mass treatment and selective treatment every 6 months produced lower prevalence and re-infection rates and higher egg reduction rate than annual selective treatments did. In the moderate endemic areas, egg positive rates were 24.8% and 29.7% in 2001 but were 1.9% and 1.3% after 2 or 3 selective treatments. The prevalence, incidence, re-infection rates in a moderately endemic area were significantly lower than those of heavy endemic areas.
Repeated mass treatment or selective treatment with praziquantel every 6 to 12 months is highly effective for clonorchiasis control in heavily endemic areas. In contrast, one or two selective treatments with health education is effective in moderately endemic areas.
Clonorchiasis is a liver fluke disease prevalent in East Asia, which is transmitted to humans mainly by eating raw freshwater fish. It induces various complications in the liver or bile duct including cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, cholangitis, and cirrhosis. Clonorchis sinensis has been known to cause cholangiocarcinoma, and is still a major health problem in endemic areas. People in endemic areas are repeatedly infected with C. sinensis, as they continue to consume raw freshwater fish in spite of control activities and availability of a highly effective drug, praziquantel. Reservoir hosts such as cats, dogs, and pigs supply eggs continuously to the environment and act as a source of infection. The present study analyzed the data produced by the Korea-China collaborative project for helminthiasis control in China during 2001–2004 to find out effective chemotherapeutic control strategies with praziquantel in endemic areas and to evaluate their effects on the transmission of C. sinensis infection by repeated mass or selective treatment. The four-year control trial found that repeated treatment is essential to the effective reduction of prevalence and infection intensity in heavily endemic areas. Mass chemotherapy is more effective than selective treatment, and more repeated treatments produce better outcomes in clonorchiasis control. Health education to change the habit of consuming raw or undercooked fish is an important and practical measure to prevent and reduce human infections in endemic areas. Together with chemotherapy, health education could be highly effective and produce sustainable effects in clonorchiasis control. Treatment of reservoirs, if applicable, will contribute to reduce the source of infection.
We aimed to examine the association between BMI and the risk of death from pancreas cancer in a pooled analysis of data from the Asia Cohort Consortium.
The data for this pooled-analysis included 883,529 men and women from 16 cohort studies in Asian countries. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for pancreas cancer mortality in relation to BMI. Seven predefined BMI categories (<18.5, 18.5–19.9, 20.0–22.4, 22.5–24.9, 25.0–27.4, 27.5–29.9, ≥30) were used in the analysis, with BMI of 22.5–24.9 serving as the reference group. The multivariable analyses were adjusted for known risk factors, including age, smoking, and history of diabetes.
We found no statistically significant overall association between each BMI category and risk of death from pancreas cancer in all Asians, and obesity was unrelated to mortality risk in both East Asians and South Asians. Age, smoking, and history of diabetes did not modify the association between BMI and risk of death from pancreas cancer. In planned subgroup analyses among East Asians, an increased risk of death from pancreas cancer among those with a BMI<18.5 was observed for individuals with a history of diabetes; HR = 2.01(95%CI: 1.01–4.00) (p for interaction=0.07).
The data do not support an association between BMI and risk of death from pancreas cancer in these Asian populations.
body mass index; insulin resistance; obesity; overweight; pancreatic cancer
Although approximately 20 common genetic susceptibility loci have been identified for breast cancer risk through genome-wide association studies (GWASs), genetic risk variants reported to date explain only a small fraction of heritability for this common cancer. We conducted a four-stage GWAS including 17 153 cases and 16 943 controls among East-Asian women to search for new genetic risk factors for breast cancer. After analyzing 684 457 SNPs in 2062 cases and 2066 controls (Stage I), we selected for replication among 5969 Chinese women (4146 cases and 1823 controls) the top 49 SNPs that had neither been reported previously nor were in strong linkage disequilibrium with reported SNPs (Stage II). Three SNPs were further evaluated in up to 13 152 Chinese and Japanese women (6436 cases and 6716 controls) (Stage III). Finally, two SNPs were evaluated in 10 847 Korean women (4509 cases and 6338 controls) (Stage IV). SNP rs10822013 on chromosome 10q21.2, located in the zinc finger protein 365 (ZNF365) gene, showed a consistent association with breast cancer risk in all four stages with a combined per-risk allele odds ratio of 1.10 (95% CI: 1.07–1.14) (P-value for trend = 5.87 × 10−9). In vitro electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated the potential functional significance of rs10822013. Our results strongly implicate rs10822013 at 10q21.2 as a genetic risk variant for breast cancer among East-Asian women.
The objective of the study was to investigate the role of genes (HSD3B1, CYP17A1, CYP19A1, HSD17B2, HSD17B1) involved in the steroid hormone biosynthesis pathway and progesterone receptor (PGR) in the etiology of gastric cancer in a population-based two-phase genetic association study.
In the discovery phase, 108 candidate SNPs in the steroid hormone biosynthesis pathway related genes and PGR were analyzed in 76 gastric cancer cases and 322 controls in the Korean Multi-Center Cancer Cohort. Statistically significant SNPs identified in the discovery phase were re-evaluated in an extended set of 386 cases and 348 controls. Pooled- and meta-analyses were conducted to summarize the results.
Of the 108 SNPs in steroid hormone biosynthesis pathway related genes and PGR analyzed in the discovery phase, 23 SNPs in PGR in the recessive model and 10 SNPs in CYP19A1 in the recessive or additive models were significantly associated with increased gastric cancer risk (p<0.05). The minor allele frequencies of the SNPs in both the discovery and extension phases were not statistically different. Pooled- and meta-analyses showed CYP19A1 rs1004982, rs16964228, and rs1902580 had an increased risk for gastric cancer (pooled OR [95% CI] = 1.22 [1.01–1.48], 1.31 [1.03–1.66], 3.03 [1.12–8.18], respectively). In contrast, all PGR SNPs were not statistically significantly associated with gastric cancer risk.
Our findings suggest CYP19A1 that codes aromatase may play an important role in the association of gastric cancer risk and be a genetic marker for gastric cancer susceptibility.
Although a number of experimental studies have suggested the role of lipocalin-2 (LCN2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in breast cancer progression, limited numbers of epidemiological studies have examined the relationship between the levels of lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 and breast cancer survival.
Preoperative serum levels of lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 were measured in 303 breast cancer patients and 74 healthy controls recruited between 2004 and 2007. We examined the association between lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 levels and disease-free survival (DFS) using Cox proportional hazard regression model.
The serum levels of lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 were not significantly different between patients and controls (P > 0.05). Elevated lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 levels were associated with reduced DFS of breast cancer ( Ptrend = 0.029 and Ptrend = 0.063, respectively). When lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 levels were categorized based on the combined risk score, patients with higher levels of both lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 exhibited poor DFS compared to patients with lower levels (Ptrend = 0.004). Furthermore, these effects were profound in patients with BMI less than 25 kg/m2 (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 3.17; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 1.66-6.06, Ptrend < 0.001) or lymph-node negative breast cancer (aHR, 5.36; 95% CI, 2.18-13.2, Ptrend < 0.001).
Our study suggests that the elevated levels of lipocalin-2 and MMP-9 are associated with reduced breast cancer survival, particularly in patients with lower BMI and lymph-node negative breast cancers.