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1.  Genome-wide association analysis in East Asians identifies breast cancer susceptibility loci at 1q32.1, 5q14.3 and 15q26.1 
Nature genetics  2014;46(8):886-890.
In a three-stage genome-wide association study among East Asian women including 22,780 cases and 24,181 controls, we identified three novel genetic loci associated with breast cancer risk, including rs4951011 at 1q32.1 (in intron 2 of the ZC3H11A gene, P = 8.82 × 10−9), rs10474352 at 5q14.3 (near the ARRDC3 gene, P = 1.67 × 10−9), and rs2290203 at 15q26.1 (in intron 14 of the PRC1 gene, P = 4.25 × 10−8). These associations were replicated in European-ancestry populations including 16,003 cases and 41,335 controls (P = 0.030, 0.004, and 0.010, respectively). Data from the ENCODE project suggest that variants rs4951011 and rs10474352 may be located in an enhancer region and transcription factor binding sites, respectively. This study provides additional insights into the genetics and biology of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4127632  PMID: 25038754
2.  A multi-institutional study of the prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements in familial breast cancer patients 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):645.
Large genomic rearrangements (LGRs) in the BRCA1/2 genes are frequently observed in breast cancer patients who are negative for BRCA1/2 small mutations. Here, we examined 221 familial breast cancer patients from 37 hospitals to estimate the contribution of LGRs, in a nationwide context, to the development of breast cancer.
Direct sequencing or mutation scanning followed by direct sequencing was performed to screen small mutations. BRCA1/2 small mutation-negative patients were screened for the presence of LGRs using a multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay.
Using a combined strategy to detect the presence of small mutations and LGRs, we identified BRCA1/2 small mutations in 78 (35.3%) out of 221 familial breast cancer patients and BRCA1 LGRs in 3 (2.1%) out of 143 BRCA1/2 small mutation-negative patients: the deletion of exons 11–13, the deletion of exons 13–15, and whole gene deletion of exons 1-24. The novel deletion of exons 11–13 is thought to result from a non-homologous recombination event mediated by a microhomology sequence comprised of 3 or 4 base pairs: c.3416_4357 + 1863delins187 (NG_005905.2: g.33369_44944delins187).
In this study, we showed that LGRs were found in 3.7% (3/81) of the patients who had mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and 7.5% (3/40) of patients with mutations in BRCA1. This suggests that the contribution of LGRs to familial breast cancer in this population might be comparable to that in other ethnic populations. Given these findings, an MLPA to screen for mutations in the BRCA1 gene is recommended as an initial screening test in highly selective settings.
PMCID: PMC4164743  PMID: 25176351
Breast cancer; Hereditary cancer; Large genomic rearrangement; BRCA1; BRCA2
3.  The Associations between Immunity-Related Genes and Breast Cancer Prognosis in Korean Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103593.
We investigated the role of common genetic variation in immune-related genes on breast cancer disease-free survival (DFS) in Korean women. 107 breast cancer patients of the Seoul Breast Cancer Study (SEBCS) were selected for this study. A total of 2,432 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 283 immune-related genes were genotyped with the GoldenGate Oligonucleotide pool assay (OPA). A multivariate Cox-proportional hazard model and polygenic risk score model were used to estimate the effects of SNPs on breast cancer prognosis. Harrell’s C index was calculated to estimate the predictive accuracy of polygenic risk score model. Subsequently, an extended gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA-SNP) was conducted to approximate the biological pathway. In addition, to confirm our results with current evidence, previous studies were systematically reviewed. Sixty-two SNPs were statistically significant at p-value less than 0.05. The most significant SNPs were rs1952438 in SOCS4 gene (hazard ratio (HR) = 11.99, 95% CI = 3.62–39.72, P = 4.84E-05), rs2289278 in TSLP gene (HR = 4.25, 95% CI = 2.10–8.62, P = 5.99E-05) and rs2074724 in HGF gene (HR = 4.63, 95% CI = 2.18–9.87, P = 7.04E-05). In the polygenic risk score model, the HR of women in the 3rd tertile was 6.78 (95% CI = 1.48–31.06) compared to patients in the 1st tertile of polygenic risk score. Harrell’s C index was 0.813 with total patients and 0.924 in 4-fold cross validation. In the pathway analysis, 18 pathways were significantly associated with breast cancer prognosis (P<0.1). The IL-6R, IL-8, IL-10RB, IL-12A, and IL-12B was associated with the prognosis of cancer in data of both our study and a previous study. Therefore, our results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in immune-related genes have relevance to breast cancer prognosis among Korean women.
PMCID: PMC4116221  PMID: 25075970
4.  New Breast Cancer Risk Variant Discovered at 10q25 in East Asian Women 
Recently, 41 new genetic susceptibility loci for breast cancer risk were identified in a genome-wide association study conducted in European descendants. Most of these risk variants have not been directly replicated in Asian populations.
We evaluated nine of those non-replication loci in East Asians in order to identify new risk variants for breast cancer in these regions. First, we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these regions using data from two GWAS conducted among Chinese and Korean women, including 5,083 cases and 4,376 controls (Stage 1). In each region we selected a SNP showing the strongest association with breast cancer risk for replication in an independent set of 7,294 cases and 9,404 controls of East Asian descents (Stage 2). Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) as a measure of the association of breast cancer risk and genetic variants.
Two SNPs were replicated in Stage 2 at P < 0.05: rs1419026 at 6q14 (per allele OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 1.03-1.12, P = 3.0×10−4) and rs941827 at 10q25 (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.89-0.96, P = 5.3×10−5). The association with rs941827 remained highly statistically significant after adjusting for the risk variant identified initially in women of European ancestry (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.82-0.97, P = 5.3×10−5).
We identified a new breast cancer risk variant at 10q25 in East Asian women.
Results from this study improve the understanding of the genetic basis for breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3720126  PMID: 23677579
breast cancer; genetic susceptibility; GWAS replication; single nucleotide polymorphism
5.  Common non-synonymous SNPs associated with breast cancer susceptibility: findings from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium 
Milne, Roger L. | Burwinkel, Barbara | Michailidou, Kyriaki | Arias-Perez, Jose-Ignacio | Zamora, M. Pilar | Menéndez-Rodríguez, Primitiva | Hardisson, David | Mendiola, Marta | González-Neira, Anna | Pita, Guillermo | Alonso, M. Rosario | Dennis, Joe | Wang, Qin | Bolla, Manjeet K. | Swerdlow, Anthony | Ashworth, Alan | Orr, Nick | Schoemaker, Minouk | Ko, Yon-Dschun | Brauch, Hiltrud | Hamann, Ute | Andrulis, Irene L. | Knight, Julia A. | Glendon, Gord | Tchatchou, Sandrine | Matsuo, Keitaro | Ito, Hidemi | Iwata, Hiroji | Tajima, Kazuo | Li, Jingmei | Brand, Judith S. | Brenner, Hermann | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Arndt, Volker | Stegmaier, Christa | Lambrechts, Diether | Peuteman, Gilian | Christiaens, Marie-Rose | Smeets, Ann | Jakubowska, Anna | Lubinski, Jan | Jaworska-Bieniek, Katarzyna | Durda, Katazyna | Hartman, Mikael | Hui, Miao | Yen Lim, Wei | Wan Chan, Ching | Marme, Federick | Yang, Rongxi | Bugert, Peter | Lindblom, Annika | Margolin, Sara | García-Closas, Montserrat | Chanock, Stephen J. | Lissowska, Jolanta | Figueroa, Jonine D. | Bojesen, Stig E. | Nordestgaard, Børge G. | Flyger, Henrik | Hooning, Maartje J. | Kriege, Mieke | van den Ouweland, Ans M.W. | Koppert, Linetta B. | Fletcher, Olivia | Johnson, Nichola | dos-Santos-Silva, Isabel | Peto, Julian | Zheng, Wei | Deming-Halverson, Sandra | Shrubsole, Martha J. | Long, Jirong | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Rudolph, Anja | Seibold, Petra | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Winqvist, Robert | Pylkäs, Katri | Jukkola-Vuorinen, Arja | Grip, Mervi | Cox, Angela | Cross, Simon S. | Reed, Malcolm W.R. | Schmidt, Marjanka K. | Broeks, Annegien | Cornelissen, Sten | Braaf, Linde | Kang, Daehee | Choi, Ji-Yeob | Park, Sue K. | Noh, Dong-Young | Simard, Jacques | Dumont, Martine | Goldberg, Mark S. | Labrèche, France | Fasching, Peter A. | Hein, Alexander | Ekici, Arif B. | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Radice, Paolo | Peterlongo, Paolo | Azzollini, Jacopo | Barile, Monica | Sawyer, Elinor | Tomlinson, Ian | Kerin, Michael | Miller, Nicola | Hopper, John L. | Schmidt, Daniel F. | Makalic, Enes | Southey, Melissa C. | Hwang Teo, Soo | Har Yip, Cheng | Sivanandan, Kavitta | Tay, Wan-Ting | Shen, Chen-Yang | Hsiung, Chia-Ni | Yu, Jyh-Cherng | Hou, Ming-Feng | Guénel, Pascal | Truong, Therese | Sanchez, Marie | Mulot, Claire | Blot, William | Cai, Qiuyin | Nevanlinna, Heli | Muranen, Taru A. | Aittomäki, Kristiina | Blomqvist, Carl | Wu, Anna H. | Tseng, Chiu-Chen | Van Den Berg, David | Stram, Daniel O. | Bogdanova, Natalia | Dörk, Thilo | Muir, Kenneth | Lophatananon, Artitaya | Stewart-Brown, Sarah | Siriwanarangsan, Pornthep | Mannermaa, Arto | Kataja, Vesa | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Hartikainen, Jaana M. | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Lu, Wei | Gao, Yu-Tang | Zhang, Ben | Couch, Fergus J. | Toland, Amanda E. | Yannoukakos, Drakoulis | Sangrajrang, Suleeporn | McKay, James | Wang, Xianshu | Olson, Janet E. | Vachon, Celine | Purrington, Kristen | Severi, Gianluca | Baglietto, Laura | Haiman, Christopher A. | Henderson, Brian E. | Schumacher, Fredrick | Le Marchand, Loic | Devilee, Peter | Tollenaar, Robert A.E.M. | Seynaeve, Caroline | Czene, Kamila | Eriksson, Mikael | Humphreys, Keith | Darabi, Hatef | Ahmed, Shahana | Shah, Mitul | Pharoah, Paul D.P. | Hall, Per | Giles, Graham G. | Benítez, Javier | Dunning, Alison M. | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Easton, Douglas F. | Berchuck, Andrew | Eeles, Rosalind A. | Olama, Ali Amin Al | Kote-Jarai, Zsofia | Benlloch, Sara | Antoniou, Antonis | McGuffog, Lesley | Offit, Ken | Lee, Andrew | Dicks, Ed | Luccarini, Craig | Tessier, Daniel C. | Bacot, Francois | Vincent, Daniel | LaBoissière, Sylvie | Robidoux, Frederic | Nielsen, Sune F. | Cunningham, Julie M. | Windebank, Sharon A. | Hilker, Christopher A. | Meyer, Jeffrey | Angelakos, Maggie | Maskiell, Judi | van der Schoot, Ellen | Rutgers, Emiel | Verhoef, Senno | Hogervorst, Frans | Boonyawongviroj, Prat | Siriwanarungsan, Pornthep | Schrauder, Michael | Rübner, Matthias | Oeser, Sonja | Landrith, Silke | Williams, Eileen | Ryder-Mills, Elaine | Sargus, Kara | McInerney, Niall | Colleran, Gabrielle | Rowan, Andrew | Jones, Angela | Sohn, Christof | Schneeweiß, Andeas | Bugert, Peter | Álvarez, Núria | Lacey, James | Wang, Sophia | Ma, Huiyan | Lu, Yani | Deapen, Dennis | Pinder, Rich | Lee, Eunjung | Schumacher, Fred | Horn-Ross, Pam | Reynolds, Peggy | Nelson, David | Ziegler, Hartwig | Wolf, Sonja | Hermann, Volker | Lo, Wing-Yee | Justenhoven, Christina | Baisch, Christian | Fischer, Hans-Peter | Brüning, Thomas | Pesch, Beate | Rabstein, Sylvia | Lotz, Anne | Harth, Volker | Heikkinen, Tuomas | Erkkilä, Irja | Aaltonen, Kirsimari | von Smitten, Karl | Antonenkova, Natalia | Hillemanns, Peter | Christiansen, Hans | Myöhänen, Eija | Kemiläinen, Helena | Thorne, Heather | Niedermayr, Eveline | Bowtell, D | Chenevix-Trench, G | deFazio, A | Gertig, D | Green, A | Webb, P | Green, A. | Parsons, P. | Hayward, N. | Webb, P. | Whiteman, D. | Fung, Annie | Yashiki, June | Peuteman, Gilian | Smeets, Dominiek | Brussel, Thomas Van | Corthouts, Kathleen | Obi, Nadia | Heinz, Judith | Behrens, Sabine | Eilber, Ursula | Celik, Muhabbet | Olchers, Til | Manoukian, Siranoush | Peissel, Bernard | Scuvera, Giulietta | Zaffaroni, Daniela | Bonanni, Bernardo | Feroce, Irene | Maniscalco, Angela | Rossi, Alessandra | Bernard, Loris | Tranchant, Martine | Valois, Marie-France | Turgeon, Annie | Heguy, Lea | Sze Yee, Phuah | Kang, Peter | Nee, Kang In | Mariapun, Shivaani | Sook-Yee, Yoon | Lee, Daphne | Ching, Teh Yew | Taib, Nur Aishah Mohd | Otsukka, Meeri | Mononen, Kari | Selander, Teresa | Weerasooriya, Nayana | staff, OFBCR | Krol-Warmerdam, E. | Molenaar, J. | Blom, J. | Brinton, Louise | Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Neonila | Peplonska, Beata | Zatonski, Witold | Chao, Pei | Stagner, Michael | Bos, Petra | Blom, Jannet | Crepin, Ellen | Nieuwlaat, Anja | Heemskerk, Annette | Higham, Sue | Cross, Simon | Cramp, Helen | Connley, Dan | Balasubramanian, Sabapathy | Brock, Ian | Luccarini, Craig | Conroy, Don | Baynes, Caroline | Chua, Kimberley
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(22):6096-6111.
Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46 450 cases and 42 600 controls) and analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 [rs1053338, per allele OR = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04–1.10, P = 2.9 × 10−6], AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.03–1.07, P = 1.7 × 10−6) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.07–1.12, P = 5.1 × 10−17). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWASs): for ATXN7-K264R, OR = 1.07 (95% CI = 1.05–1.10, P = 1.0 × 10−8); for AKAP9-M463I, OR = 1.05 (95% CI = 1.04–1.07, P = 2.0 × 10−10). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known GWAS hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
PMCID: PMC4204770  PMID: 24943594
6.  Common genetic determinants of breast-cancer risk in East Asian women: a collaborative study of 23 637 breast cancer cases and 25 579 controls 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(12):2539-2550.
In a consortium including 23 637 breast cancer patients and 25 579 controls of East Asian ancestry, we investigated 70 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 67 independent breast cancer susceptibility loci recently identified by genome-wide association studies (GWASs) conducted primarily in European-ancestry populations. SNPs in 31 loci showed an association with breast cancer risk at P < 0.05 in a direction consistent with that reported previously. Twenty-one of them remained statistically significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons with the Bonferroni-corrected significance level of <0.0015. Eight of the 70 SNPs showed a significantly different association with breast cancer risk by estrogen receptor (ER) status at P < 0.05. With the exception of rs2046210 at 6q25.1, the seven other SNPs showed a stronger association with ER-positive than ER-negative cancer. This study replicated all five genetic risk variants initially identified in Asians and provided evidence for associations of breast cancer risk in the East Asian population with nearly half of the genetic risk variants initially reported in GWASs conducted in European descendants. Taken together, these common genetic risk variants explain ∼10% of excess familial risk of breast cancer in Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC3658167  PMID: 23535825
7.  Diabetes Mellitus and Risk of Thyroid Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98135.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an important risk factor for endocrine cancers; however, the association with thyroid cancer is not clear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to clarify the association between thyroid cancer and DM.
We searched MEDLINE, PUBMED and EMBASE databases through July 2012, using search terms related to diabetes mellitus, cancer, and thyroid cancer. We conducted a meta-analysis of the risk of incidence of thyroid cancer from pre-existing diabetes. Of 2,123 titles initially identified, sixteen articles met our inclusion criteria. An additional article was identified from a bibliography. Totally, 14 cohort and 3 case-control studies were selected for the meta-analysis. The risks were estimated using random-effects model and sensitivity test for the studies which reported risk estimates and used different definition of DM.
Compared with individuals without DM, the patients with DM were at 1.34-fold higher risk for thyroid cancer (95% CI 1.11–1.63). However, there was heterogeneity in the results (p<0.0001). Sensitivity tests and studies judged to be high quality did not show heterogeneity and DM was associated with higher risk for thyroid cancer in these sub-analyses (both of RRs = 1.18, 95% CIs 1.08–1.28). DM was associated with a 1.38-fold increased risk of thyroid cancer in women (95% CI 1.13–1.67) after sensitivity test. Risk of thyroid cancer in men did not remain significant (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.80–1.53).
Compared with their non-diabetic counterparts, women with pre-existing DM have an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
PMCID: PMC4057085  PMID: 24927125
8.  Characteristics of BRCA1/2 Mutation-Positive Breast Cancers in Korea: A Comparison Study Based on Multicenter Data and the Korean Breast Cancer Registry 
Journal of Breast Cancer  2014;17(2):129-135.
Mutations in BRCA genes are the main cause of hereditary breast cancer in Korea. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of breast cancers involving BRCA1 (BRCA1 group) and BRCA2 (BRCA2 group) mutations.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with BRCA1 (BRCA1 group) or BRCA2 (BRCA2 group) mutation positive breast cancer from multiple centers and compared the data to that of the Korean Breast Cancer Society registry (registry group).
The patients of the BRCA1 group were diagnosed at a younger age (median age, 37 years) and had tumors of higher histological (61.3% with histological grade 3) and nuclear (37.5% with nuclear grade 3) grade than those of the registry group. In addition, the frequency of ductal carcinoma in situ in the BRCA1 group was lower (3.7%) than in the registry group, and the BRCA1 group were more likely to be triple-negative breast cancer (61.3%). Patients in the BRCA2 group were also younger at diagnosis (mean age, 41 years) and were more likely to have involvement of the axillary node than the registry group (45.5% vs. 33.5%, p=0.002). The BRCA1 and BRCA2 groups did not show a correlation between tumor size and axillary node involvement.
We report the characteristics of BRCA mutation positive breast cancer patients in the Korean population through multicenter data and nation-wide breast cancer registry study. However, BRCA-mutated breast cancers appear highly complex, and further research on their molecular basis is needed in Korea.
PMCID: PMC4090314  PMID: 25013433
BRCA1 genes; BRCA2 genes; Breast neoplasms; Korea
9.  Estimation of Nationwide Vaccination Coverage and Comparison of Interview and Telephone Survey Methodology for Estimating Vaccination Status 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(6):711-719.
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.
PMCID: PMC3102862  PMID: 21655054
Health Surveys; Interview; Telephone; Vaccination
10.  Reliability of Quadruplicated Serological Parameters in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study 
Epidemiology and Health  2011;33:e2011004.
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.
PMCID: PMC3101484  PMID: 21637322
Reliability; Statistical compensation model; Serological marker; The KoGES
11.  Common genetic variants in the microRNA biogenesis pathway are not associated with breast cancer risk in Asian women 
Although the role of microRNA in cancer development and progression has been well established, the association between genetic variants in microRNA biogenesis pathway genes and breast cancer risk has been yet unclear.
We analyzed data from two genome-wide association studies conducted in East Asian women including 5,066 cases and 4,337 controls. Among the SNPs which were directly genotyped or imputed, we selected 237 SNPs in 32 genes involved in microRNA biogenesis pathway and its regulation.
Although 8 SNPs were nominally associated with breast cancer risk in combined samples (P<0.05), none of them were significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons.
The common genetic variants in microRNA biogenesis pathway genes may not be associated with breast cancer risk.
This study suggests no association between the polymorphisms in microRNA biogenesis pathway genes and breast cancer risk. Studies with large sample size and more genetic variants should be warranted to adequately evaluate the potential association.
PMCID: PMC4030374  PMID: 22714736
breast cancer; genetic susceptibility; microRNA biogenesis pathway; single nucleotide polymorphism
12.  Epidemiological characteristics of ovarian cancer in Korea 
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology  2010;21(4):241-247.
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.
PMCID: PMC3026303  PMID: 21278886
Ovarian neoplasms; Epidemiology; Incidence; Mortality
13.  Association between Body-Mass Index and Risk of Death in More Than 1 Million Asians 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(8):719-729.
Most studies that have evaluated the association between the body-mass index (BMI) and the risks of death from any cause and from specific causes have been conducted in populations of European origin.
We performed pooled analyses to evaluate the association between BMI and the risk of death among more than 1.1 million persons recruited in 19 cohorts in Asia. The analyses included approximately 120,700 deaths that occurred during a mean follow-up period of 9.2 years. Cox regression models were used to adjust for confounding factors.
In the cohorts of East Asians, including Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, the lowest risk of death was seen among persons with a BMI (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) in the range of 22.6 to 27.5. The risk was elevated among persons with BMI levels either higher or lower than that range — by a factor of up to 1.5 among those with a BMI of more than 35.0 and by a factor of 2.8 among those with a BMI of 15.0 or less. A similar U-shaped association was seen between BMI and the risks of death from cancer, from cardiovascular diseases, and from other causes. In the cohorts comprising Indians and Bangladeshis, the risks of death from any cause and from causes other than cancer or cardiovascular disease were increased among persons with a BMI of 20.0 or less, as compared with those with a BMI of 22.6 to 25.0, whereas there was no excess risk of either death from any cause or cause-specific death associated with a high BMI.
Underweight was associated with a substantially increased risk of death in all Asian populations. The excess risk of death associated with a high BMI, however, was seen among East Asians but not among Indians and Bangladeshis.
PMCID: PMC4008249  PMID: 21345101
14.  Burden of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Related to Tobacco Smoking among Adults Aged ≥45 Years in Asia: A Pooled Analysis of 21 Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001631.
Wei Zheng and colleagues quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths for adults in Asia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases. We sought to quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths in Asia, in parts of which men's smoking prevalence is among the world's highest.
Methods and Findings
We performed pooled analyses of data from 1,049,929 participants in 21 cohorts in Asia to quantify the risks of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco smoking using adjusted hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals. We then estimated smoking-related deaths among adults aged ≥45 y in 2004 in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan—accounting for ∼71% of Asia's total population. An approximately 1.44-fold (95% CI = 1.37–1.51) and 1.48-fold (1.38–1.58) elevated risk of death from any cause was found in male and female ever-smokers, respectively. In 2004, active tobacco smoking accounted for approximately 15.8% (95% CI = 14.3%–17.2%) and 3.3% (2.6%–4.0%) of deaths, respectively, in men and women aged ≥45 y in the seven countries/regions combined, with a total number of estimated deaths of ∼1,575,500 (95% CI = 1,398,000–1,744,700). Among men, approximately 11.4%, 30.5%, and 19.8% of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases, respectively, were attributable to tobacco smoking. Corresponding proportions for East Asian women were 3.7%, 4.6%, and 1.7%, respectively. The strongest association with tobacco smoking was found for lung cancer: a 3- to 4-fold elevated risk, accounting for 60.5% and 16.7% of lung cancer deaths, respectively, in Asian men and East Asian women aged ≥45 y.
Tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially elevated risk of mortality, accounting for approximately 2 million deaths in adults aged ≥45 y throughout Asia in 2004. It is likely that smoking-related deaths in Asia will continue to rise over the next few decades if no effective smoking control programs are implemented.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Every year, more than 5 million smokers die from tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (conditions that affect the heart and the circulation), respiratory disease (conditions that affect breathing), lung cancer, and several other types of cancer. All told, tobacco smoking kills up to half its users. The ongoing global “epidemic” of tobacco smoking and tobacco-related diseases initially affected people living in the US and other Western countries, where the prevalence of smoking (the proportion of the population that smokes) in men began to rise in the early 1900s, peaking in the 1960s. A similar epidemic occurred in women about 40 years later. Smoking-related deaths began to increase in the second half of the 20th century, and by the 1990s, tobacco smoking accounted for a third of all deaths and about half of cancer deaths among men in the US and other Western countries. More recently, increased awareness of the risks of smoking and the introduction of various tobacco control measures has led to a steady decline in tobacco use and in smoking-related diseases in many developed countries.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, less well-developed tobacco control programs, inadequate public awareness of smoking risks, and tobacco company marketing have recently led to sharp increases in the prevalence of smoking in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Asia. More than 50% of men in many Asian countries are now smokers, about twice the prevalence in many Western countries, and more women in some Asian countries are smoking than previously. More than half of the world's billion smokers now live in Asia. However, little is known about the burden of tobacco-related mortality (deaths) in this region. In this study, the researchers quantify the risk of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco use among adults aged 45 years or older by undertaking a pooled statistical analysis of data collected from 21 Asian cohorts (groups) about their smoking history and health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their study, the researchers used data from more than 1 million participants enrolled in studies undertaken in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (which together account for 71% of Asia's total population). Smoking prevalences among male and female participants were 65.1% and 7.1%, respectively. Compared with never-smokers, ever-smokers had a higher risk of death from any cause in pooled analyses of all the cohorts (adjusted hazard ratios [HRs] of 1.44 and 1.48 for men and women, respectively; an adjusted HR indicates how often an event occurs in one group compared to another group after adjustment for other characteristics that affect an individual's risk of the event). Compared with never smoking, ever smoking was associated with a higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer (particularly lung cancer), and respiratory disease among Asian men and among East Asian women. Moreover, the researchers estimate that, in the countries included in this study, tobacco smoking accounted for 15.8% of all deaths among men and 3.3% of deaths among women in 2004—a total of about 1.5 million deaths, which scales up to 2 million deaths for the population of the whole of Asia. Notably, in 2004, tobacco smoking accounted for 60.5% of lung-cancer deaths among Asian men and 16.7% of lung-cancer deaths among East Asian women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide strong evidence that tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially raised risk of death among adults aged 45 years or older throughout Asia. The association between smoking and mortality risk in Asia reported here is weaker than that previously reported for Western countries, possibly because widespread tobacco smoking started several decades later in most Asian countries than in Europe and North America and the deleterious effects of smoking take some years to become evident. The researchers note that certain limitations of their analysis are likely to affect the accuracy of its findings. For example, because no data were available to estimate the impact of secondhand smoke, the estimate of deaths attributable to smoking is likely to be an underestimate. However, the finding that nearly 45% of the global deaths from active tobacco smoking occur in Asia highlights the urgent need to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs in Asia to reduce the burden of tobacco-related disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages) and about the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international instrument for tobacco control that came into force in February 2005 and requires parties to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes; its 2013 report on the global tobacco epidemic is available
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about all aspects of smoking and tobacco use
The UK National Health Services Choices website provides information about the health risks associated with smoking
MedlinePlus has links to further information about the dangers of smoking (in English and Spanish)
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
PMCID: PMC3995657  PMID: 24756146
15.  Characteristics of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections in three regions of Korea, 2009-2011: a multi-center cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:581.
Despite the importance of invasive Staphylococcus aureus (ISA) infection, its overall burden in non-selected populations has only been defined in a small number of studies in Europe and North America. To define the characteristics of ISA infections in Korea, we conducted a multi-center cohort study to estimate population-based incidence rates.
We conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study at nine university-affiliated active-surveillance core centers (ASCs) in three regions of Korea. To cover all available clinical microbiologic laboratories, we classified the laboratories in these regions into three groups according to their clinical environment as: 1) Nine ASCs, 2) Five major commercial laboratories and 3) Forty-four acute-care hospital-affiliated microbiology laboratories. We requested all the laboratories to report prospectively their numbers of cases of S. aureus isolated from normally sterile sites. Detailed clinical information was collected about the cases in the nine ASCs.
From 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2011, a total of 1,198 cases of ISA infection were identified at the nine ASCs, including 748 (62%) methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections. Most (81%) ISA infections were healthcare-associated (HCA): 653 (55%) hospital-onset and 322 (27%) community-onset. 223 (19%) were community-associated infections. The most common primary diagnosis was catheter-associated infection (225 cases, 19%). Respiratory tract infection (160, 13%), skin & soft tissue (152, 13%) and bone & joint infections (120, 10%) were also common. 30-day and 12-week mortality rates were 25.6% (262/1,024) and 36.5% (314/860), respectively. Complications, including metastatic infection within 12 weeks, occurred in 17.8% of ISA infections. The most common site of metastatic infection was the lung (9.8%, 84/860). Based on the total of 2,806 observed cases of ISA infection, estimated annual rates of ISA and invasive MRSA infections were 43.3 and 27.7 per 100,000 populations, respectively.
Our data provide important information about the clinical characteristics of ISA infections. We estimate that over 21,000 ISA infections and 13,000 invasive MRSA infections occurred in Korea in 2010.
PMCID: PMC4029571  PMID: 24321206
Incidence; Cohort; Staphylococcus aureus; Methicillin-resistant; Invasive infection; Bacteremia
16.  Association of body mass index and risk of death from pancreas cancer in Asians: findings from the Asia Cohort Consortium 
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.
PMCID: PMC3838869  PMID: 23044748
body mass index; insulin resistance; obesity; overweight; pancreatic cancer
17.  Korean Risk Assessment Model for Breast Cancer Risk Prediction 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76736.
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.
PMCID: PMC3808381  PMID: 24204664
18.  Intake of Soy Products and Other Foods and Gastric Cancer Risk: A Prospective Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2013;23(5):337-343.
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.
PMCID: PMC3775527  PMID: 23812102
soybean; dietary intake; gastric cancer
19.  Comparative Estimation of Coverage between National Immunization Program Vaccines and Non-NIP Vaccines in Korea 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(9):1283-1288.
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.
PMCID: PMC3763100  PMID: 24015031
Vaccines; Coverage; National Immunization Program; Public Health
20.  The Effects of a Genetic Counseling Educational Program on Hereditary Breast Cancer for Korean Healthcare Providers 
Journal of Breast Cancer  2013;16(3):335-341.
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.
PMCID: PMC3800731  PMID: 24155764
Breast neoplasms; Education; Genetic counseling; Hereditary neoplastic syndromes
21.  Genome-wide association study identifies breast cancer risk variant at 10q21.2: results from the Asia Breast Cancer Consortium 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(24):4991-4999.
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.
PMCID: PMC3221542  PMID: 21908515
22.  Genetic Susceptibility Factors on Genes Involved in the Steroid Hormone Biosynthesis Pathway and Progesterone Receptor for Gastric Cancer Risk 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47603.
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.
PMCID: PMC3479131  PMID: 23110082
23.  Innate Immunity and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) Related Genes in a Nested Case-Control Study for Gastric Cancer Risk 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45274.
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.
PMCID: PMC3448653  PMID: 23028900
24.  DNA Methylation in Peripheral Blood: A Potential Biomarker for Cancer Molecular Epidemiology 
Journal of Epidemiology  2012;22(5):384-394.
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.
PMCID: PMC3798632  PMID: 22863985
DNA methylation; blood-based biomarker; serum; plasma; leukocyte; peripheral blood
25.  Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for colorectal adenoma in women 
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.
PMCID: PMC3432824  PMID: 22962532
risk factors; homocysteine; adenoma

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