Due to the increased lifetime risk of endometrial cancer (EC), guidelines recommend that women with Lynch syndrome (LS) age ≥35 undergo annual EC surveillance or prophylactic hysterectomy (PH). The aim of this study was to examine the uptake of these risk-reducing strategies.
The study population included women meeting clinical criteria for genetic evaluation for LS. Data on cancer risk-reducing behaviors were collected from subjects enrolled in two distinct studies: (1) a multicenter cross-sectional study involving completion of a one-time questionnaire, or (2) a single-center longitudinal study in which subjects completed questionnaires before and after undergoing genetic testing. The main outcome was uptake of EC risk-reducing practices.
In the cross-sectional cohort, 58/77 (75%) women at risk for LS-associated EC reported engaging in EC risk-reduction. Personal history of genetic testing was associated with uptake of EC surveillance or PH (OR 17.1; 95% CI 4.1–70.9). Prior to genetic testing for LS, 26/40 (65%) women in the longitudinal cohort reported engaging in EC risk-reduction. At one-year follow-up, 16/16 (100%) mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutation carriers were adherent to guidelines for EC risk-reduction, 9 (56%) of whom had undergone PH. By three-year follow-up, 11/16 (69%) MMR mutation carriers had undergone PH. Among women with negative or uninformative genetic test results, none underwent PH after testing.
Genetic testing for LS is strongly associated with uptake of EC risk-reducing practices. Women found to have LS in this study underwent prophylactic gynecologic surgery at rates comparable to those published for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.
Recently, constitutional MLH1 epimutations have been identified in a subset of Lynch syndrome (LS) cases. The aim of this study was the identification of patients harboring constitutional MLH1 epimutations in a set of 34 patients with a clinical suspicion of LS, MLH1-methylated tumors and non-detected germline mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes. MLH1 promoter methylation was analyzed in lymphocyte DNA samples by MS-MLPA (Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification). Confirmation of MLH1 constitutional methylation was performed by MS-MCA (Methylation-specific melting curve analysis), bisulfite sequencing and pyrosequencing in different biological samples. Allelic expression was determined using heterozygous polymorphisms. Vertical transmission was evaluated by MS-MLPA and haplotype analyses. MS-MLPA analysis detected constitutional MLH1 methylation in 2 of the 34 individuals whose colorectal cancers showed MLH1 methylation (5.9%). These results were confirmed by bisulfite-based methods. Both epimutation carriers had developed metachronous early-onset LS tumors, with no family history of LS-associated cancers in their first-degree relatives. In one of the cases, the identified MLH1 constitutional methylation was monoallelic and results in MLH1 and EPM2AIP1 allele-specific transcriptional silencing. It was present in normal somatic tissues and absent in spermatozoa. The methylated MLH1 allele was maternally transmitted and methylation was reversed in a daughter who inherited the same allele. MLH1 methylation screening in lymphocyte DNA from patients with early-onset MLH1-methylated LS-associated tumors allows the identification of epimutation carriers. The present study adds further evidence to the emerging entity of soma-wide MLH1 epimutation and its heritability.
Lynch syndrome; constitutional epimutation; MLH1; methylation; MS-MLPA; pyrosequencing
Whether to return individual research results from cancer genetics studies is widely debated, but little is known about how participants respond to results disclosure or about its time and cost burdens on investigators.
We recontacted participants at one site of a multicenter genetic epidemiologic study regarding their CDKN2A gene test results and implications for melanoma risk. Interested participants were disclosed their results by telephone and followed for 3 months.
Among 39 patients approached, 27 were successfully contacted, and 19 (70% uptake) sought results, including three with mutations. Prior to disclosure, participants endorsed numerous benefits of receiving results (mean = 7.7 of 9 posed), including gaining information relevant to their children’s disease risk. Mean psychological well-being scores did not change from baseline, and no decreases to melanoma prevention behaviors were noted. Fifty-nine percent of participants reported that disclosure made participation in future research more likely. Preparation for disclosure required 40 minutes and $611 per recontact attempt. An additional 78 minutes and $68 was needed to disclose results.
Cancer epidemiology research participants who received their individual genetic research results showed no evidence of psychological harm or false reassurance from disclosure and expressed strong trust in the accuracy of results. Burdens to our investigators were high, but protocols may differ in their demands and disclosure may increase participants’ willingness to enroll in future studies.
Providing individual study results to cancer genetics research participants poses potential challenges for investigators, but many participants desire and respond positively to this information.
In current clinical practice, genetic testing to detect Lynch syndrome mutations ideally begins with diagnostic testing of an individual affected with cancer before offering predictive testing to at-risk relatives. An alternative strategy that warrants exploration involves screening unaffected individuals via demographic and family histories, and offering genetic testing to those individuals whose risks for carrying a mutation exceed a selected threshold. Whether this approach would improve health outcomes in a manner that is cost-effective relative to current standards of care has yet to be demonstrated. To do so, we developed a simulation framework that integrated models of colorectal and endometrial cancers with a 5-generation family history model to predict health and economic outcomes of 20 primary screening strategies (at a wide range of compliance levels) aimed at detecting individuals with mismatch repair gene mutations and their at-risk relatives. These strategies were characterized by (i) different screening ages for starting risk assessment and (ii) different risk thresholds above which to implement genetic testing. For each strategy, 100,000 simulated individuals, representative of the U.S. population, were followed from the age of 20, and the outcomes were compared with current practice. Findings indicated that risk assessment starting at ages 25, 30, or 35, followed by genetic testing of those with mutation risks exceeding 5%, reduced colorectal and endometrial cancer incidence in mutation carriers by approximately 12.4% and 8.8%, respectively. For a population of 100,000 individuals containing 392 mutation carriers, this strategy increased quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) by approximately 135 with an average cost-effectiveness ratio of $26,000 per QALY. The cost-effectiveness of screening for mismatch repair gene mutations is comparable to that of accepted cancer screening activities in the general population such as colorectal cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, and breast cancer screening. These results suggest that primary screening of individuals for mismatch repair gene mutations, starting with risk assessment between the ages of 25 and 35, followed by genetic testing of those whose risk exceeds 5%, is a strategy that could improve health outcomes in a cost-effective manner relative to current practice.
Breast cancer is the most common tumor in women with Li Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), an inherited cancer syndrome associated with germline mutations in the TP53 tumor suppressor gene. Their lifetime breast cancer risk is 49% by age 60. Breast cancers in TP53 carriers have recently been reported to more often be hormone receptor and HER-2 positive by immunohistochemistry and FISH in small series. We seek to expand this small literature with this report of a histopathologic analysis of breast cancers from women with documented LFS.
Unstained slides and paraffin-embedded tumor blocks from breast cancers from 39 germline TP53 mutations carriers were assembled from investigators in the LFS consortium. Central histology review was performed on 93% of the specimens by a single breast pathologist from a major university hospital. Histology, grade and hormone receptor status was assessed by immunohistochemistry; HER-2 status was defined by immunohistochemistry and/or FISH.
The 43 tumors from 39 women comprise 32 invasive ductal carcinomas and 11 ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS). No other histologies were observed. The median age at diagnosis was 32 years (range 22–46). Of the invasive cancers, 84% were positive for ER and/or PR; 81% were high grade. Sixty three percent of invasive and 73% of in situ carcinomas were positive for Her2/neu (IHC 3+ or FISH amplified). Of the invasive tumors, 53% were positive for both ER, and HER2+; other ER/PR/HER2 combinations were observed. The DCIS were positive for ER and HER2 in 27% of the cases.
This report of the phenotype of breast cancers from women with Li Fraumeni syndrome nearly doubles the literature on this topic. Most DCIS and invasive ductal carcinomas in Li Fraumeni syndrome are hormone receptor positive and/or HER-2 positive. These findings suggest that modern treatments may improve outcomes for women with LFS-associated breast cancer.
Breast Cancer; Li Fraumeni Syndrome; TP53 mutations; HER2; hormone receptors
The analytical algorithm of Lynch syndrome (LS) is increasingly complex. BRAF V600E mutation and MLH1 promoter hypermethylation have been proposed as a screening tool for the identification of LS. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical usefulness and cost-effectiveness of both somatic alterations to improve the yield of the diagnostic algorithm of LS. A total of 122 colorectal tumors from individuals with family history of colorectal cancer that showed microsatellite instability and/or loss of mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression were studied. MMR germline mutations were detected in 57 cases (40 MLH1, 15 MSH2 and 2 MSH6). BRAF V600E mutation was assessed by single-nucleotide primer extension. MLH1 promoter hypermethylation was assessed by methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification in a subset of 71 cases with loss of MLH1 protein. A decision model was developed to estimate the incremental costs of alternative case-finding methods for detecting MLH1 mutation carriers. One-way sensitivity analysis was performed to assess robustness of estimations. Sensitivity of the absence of BRAF mutations for depiction of LS patients was 96% (23/24) and specificity was 28% (13/47). Specificity of MLH1 promoter hypermethylation for depiction of sporadic tumors was 66% (31/47) and sensitivity of 96% (23/24). The cost per additional mutation detected when using hypermethylation analysis was lower when compared with BRAF study and germinal MLH1 mutation study. Somatic hypermethylation of MLH1 is an accurate and cost-effective pre-screening method in the selection of patients that are candidates for MLH1 germline analysis when LS is suspected and MLH1 protein expression is absent.
Lyncg Syndrome; MLH1 promoter hypermethylation; BRAF V600E mutation; MS-MLPA; cost-effectiveness
The purpose of this study was to quantify the risk of cancers other than melanoma among family members of CDKN2A mutation carriers using data from the Genes, Environment and Melanoma study. Relative risks (RRs) of all non-melanoma cancers among first-degree relatives (FDRs) of melanoma patients with CDKN2A mutations (n = 65) and FDRs of melanoma patients without mutations (n = 3537) were calculated as the ratio of estimated event rates (number of cancers/total person-years) in FDRs of carriers vs noncarriers with exact Clopper–Pearson-type tests and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All statistical tests were two-sided. There were 56 (13.1%) non-melanoma cancers reported among 429 FDRs of mutation carriers and 2199 (9.4%) non-melanoma cancers in 23 452 FDRs of noncarriers. The FDRs of carriers had an increased risk of any cancer other than melanoma (56 cancers among 429 FDRs of carrier probands vs 2199 cancers among 23 452 FDRs of noncarrier probands; RR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2 to 2.0, P = .005), gastrointestinal cancer (20 cancers among 429 FDRs of carrier probands vs 506 cancers among 23 452 FDRs of noncarrier probands; RR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.4 to 3.7, P = .001), and pancreatic cancer (five cancers among 429 FDRs of carrier probands vs 41 cancers among 23 452 FDRs of noncarrier probands; RR = 7.4, 95% CI = 2.3 to 18.7, P = .002). Wilms tumor was reported in two FDRs of carrier probands and three FDRs of noncarrier probands (RR = 40.4, 95% CI = 3.4 to 352.7, P = .005). The lifetime risk of any cancer other than melanoma among CDKN2A mutation carriers was estimated as 59.0% by age 85 years (95% CI = 39.0% to 75.4%) by the kin-cohort method, under the standard assumptions of Mendelian genetics on the genotype distribution of FDRs conditional on proband genotype.
Mutations in the mismatch repair genes cause Lynch syndrome (LS), conferring high risk of colorectal, endometrial and some other cancers. After the same splice site mutation in the MLH1 gene (c.589-2A>G) had been observed in 4 ostensibly unrelated American families with typical LS cancers, its occurrence in comprehensive series of LS cases (Mayo Clinic, Germany and Italy) was determined. It occurred in 10 out of 995 LS mutation carriers (1.0%) diagnosed in the Mayo Clinic diagnostic laboratory. It did not occur among 1803 cases tested for MLH1 mutations by the German HNPCC consortium, while it occurred in 3 probands and an additional 5 family members diagnosed in Italy. In the U.S., the splice site mutation occurs on a large (~4.8 Mb) shared haplotype that also harbors the variant c.2146G>A which predicts a missense change in codon 716 referred to here as V716M. In Italy, it occurs on a different, shorter shared haplotype (~2.2 Mb) that does not carry V716M. The V716M variant was found to be present by itself in the U.S., German and Italian populations with individuals sharing a common haplotype of 280 kb, allowing us to calculate that the variant arose around 5600 years ago (225 generations; 95% confidence interval 183–272). The splice site mutation in America arose or was introduced some 450 years ago (18 generations; 95% confidence interval 14–23); it accounts for 1.0% all LS in the Unites States and can be readily screened for.
0.6–12.7% of patients with primary cutaneous melanoma will develop additional melanomas. Pathologic features of tumors in patients with multiple primary cutaneous melanomas have not been well described. In this large international multi-center case-control study, we compared the clinicopathologic features of a subsequent melanoma with the preceding (usually the first) melanoma in patients with multiple primary cutaneous melanomas, and with those of melanomas in patients with single primary cutaneous melanomas.
Multiple primary melanoma (cases) and single primary invasive melanoma (controls) patients from the Genes, Environment and Melanoma (GEM) study were included if their tumors were available for pathologic review and confirmed as melanoma. Clinicopathologic characteristics of invasive subsequent and first melanomas in cases and invasive single melanomas in controls were compared.
473 pairs comprising a subsequent and a first melanoma and 1989 single melanomas were reviewed. Forward stepwise regression modeling in 395 pairs with complete data showed that, compared to first melanomas, subsequent melanomas were: more commonly contiguous with a dysplastic nevus; more prevalent on the head/neck and legs than other sites; and thinner. Compared with single primary melanomas, subsequent melanomas were also more likely to be: associated with a contiguous dysplastic nevus; more prevalent on the head/neck and legs; and thinner. The same differences were observed when subsequent melanomas were compared with single melanomas. First melanomas were more likely than single melanomas to have associated solar elastosis and no observed mitoses.
Thinner subsequent than first melanomas suggest earlier diagnosis, perhaps due to closer clinical scrutiny. The association of subsequent melanomas with dysplastic nevi is consistent with the latter being risk factors or risk markers for melanoma.
Diagnosis; Melanoma; Multiple primary melanoma; Pathology; Risk factors
Several methods for screening gene-environment interaction have recently been proposed that address the issue of using gene-environment independence in a data-adaptive way. In this report, the authors present a comparative simulation study of power and type I error properties of 3 classes of procedures: 1) the standard 1-step case-control method; 2) the case-only method that requires an assumption of gene-environment independence for the underlying population; and 3) a variety of hybrid methods, including empirical-Bayes, 2-step, and model averaging, that aim at gaining power by exploiting the assumption of gene-environment independence and yet can protect against false positives when the independence assumption is violated. These studies suggest that, although the case-only method generally has maximum power, it has the potential to create substantial false positives in large-scale studies even when a small fraction of markers are associated with the exposure under study in the underlying population. All the hybrid methods perform well in protecting against such false positives and yet can retain substantial power advantages over standard case-control tests. The authors conclude that, for future genome-wide scans for gene-environment interactions, major power gain is possible by using alternatives to standard case-control analysis. Whether a case-only type scan or one of the hybrid methods should be used depends on the strength and direction of gene-environment interaction and association, the level of tolerance for false positives, and the nature of replication strategies.
case-control studies; efficiency; familywise error rate; genome-wide association study; profile likelihood; robustness; shrinkage
The vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene has been associated with cancer risk, but only a few polymorphisms have been studied in relation to melanoma risk and the results have been inconsistent. We examined 38 VDR gene SNPs in a large international multi-center population-based case-control study of melanoma.
Buccal DNAs were obtained from 1207 people with incident multiple primary melanoma and 2469 with incident single primary melanoma. SNPs with known or suspected impact on VDR activity, htSNPs with ≥10% MAF in Caucasians, and SNPs reported as significant in other association studies were examined. Logistic regression was used to calculate the relative risks conferred by the individual SNP.
Eight of 38 SNPs in the promoter, coding, and 3’ gene regions were individually significantly associated with multiple primary melanoma after adjusting for covariates. The estimated increase in risk for individuals who were homozygous for the minor allele ranged from 25% to 33% for 6 polymorphisms: rs10875712 (OR 1.28; 95%CI, 1.01–1.62), rs4760674 (OR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.06–1.67), rs7139166 (OR 1.26; 95%CI, 1.02–1.56), rs4516035 (OR 1.25; 95%CI, 1.01–1.55), rs11168287 (OR 1.27; 95%CI, 1.03–1.57), rs1544410 (OR 1.30; 95%CI, 1.04–1.63); for 2 polymorphisms, homozygous carriers had a decreased risk: rs7305032 (OR 0.81; 95%CI 0.65–1.02), rs7965281 (OR, 0.78; 95%CI, 0.62–0.99). We recognize the potential false positive findings due to multiple comparisons; however the 8 significant SNPs in this study outnumbered the 2 significant tests expected to occur by chance. The vitamin D receptor may play a role in melanomagenesis.
VDR; SNP; melanoma; polymorphism; vitamin D
Genetic anticipation, described by earlier age of onset (AOO) and more aggressive symptoms in successive generations, is a phenomenon noted in certain hereditary diseases. Its extent may vary between families and/or between mutation sub-types known to be associated with the disease phenotype. In this paper, we posit a Bayesian approach to infer genetic anticipation under flexible random effects models for censored data that capture the effect of successive generations on AOO. Primary interest lies in the random effects. Misspecifying the distribution of random effects may result in incorrect inferential conclusions. We compare the fit of four candidate random effects distributions via Bayesian model fit diagnostics. A related statistical issue here is isolating the confounding effect of changes in secular trends, screening and medical practices that may affect time to disease detection across birth cohorts. Using historic cancer registry data, we borrow from relative survival analysis methods to adjust for changes in age-specific incidence across birth cohorts. Our motivating case-study comes from a Danish cancer register of 124 families with mutations in mismatch repair genes known to cause hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, also called Lynch syndrome. We find evidence for a decrease in AOO between generations in this study. Our model predicts family level anticipation effects which are potentially useful in genetic counseling clinics for high risk families.
Birth-death process; Brier score; Conditional predictive ordinate; Deviance information criterion; Dirichlet Process; Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer; Prediction of random effects; Relative survival analysis
Colorectal cancer studies typically include both colon and rectum tumors as a common entity, though this assumption is controversial and only minor differences have been reported at the molecular and epidemiological level. We performed a molecular study based on gene expression data of tumors from colon and rectum to assess de degree of similarity between these cancer sites at transcriptomic level.
A pooled analysis of 460 colon tumors and 100 rectum tumors from four datasets belonging to three independent studies was performed. Microsatellite instable tumors were excluded since these are known to have a different expression profile and have a preferential proximal colon location. Expression differences were assessed with linear models and significant genes were identified using adjustment for multiple comparisons.
Minor differences at a gene expression level were found between tumors arising in the proximal colon, distal colon or rectum. Only several HOX genes were found to be associated with tumor location. More differences were found between proximal and distal colon that between distal colon and rectum.
Microsatellite stable colorectal cancers do not show major transcriptomic differences for tumors arising in the colon or rectum. The small but consistent differences observed are largely driven by the HOX genes. These results may have important implications in the design and interpretation of studies in colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer; cancer site differences; gene expression; HOX genes
Recent advances in the understanding of the microRNAome provide further insights into the molecular pathogenesis of colorectal cancer and demonstrate the potential role for miRNAs to distinguish molecular subtypes. The mucosa-adenoma-carcinoma model can now integrate miRNAs into the known genetic alterations that drive the progression of colorectal neoplasia.
Patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC) develop microsatellite-unstable colorectal cancers that tend to be more proximally located and histologically are more likely to show high numbers of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, a lack of dirty necrosis, mucinous or poor differentiation, and a Crohn’s-like host response, when compared to microsatellite-stable cancers. However, histologic features that are characteristic of and can perhaps distinguish colorectal adenomas in HNPCC patients from those occurring in the general population have not been previously reported. We compared 16 adenomas endoscopically removed from patients with genetically proven HNPCC to 32 control adenomas, group-matched for patient age and sex, as well as endoscopic size, shape, anatomic location, and presence of high-grade dysplasia. Adenomas from HNPCC patients were more likely to contain high numbers of adenoma-infiltrating lymphocytes (AILs) with 12 of 16 (75%) adenomas having ≥5 AILs per high power field (HPF) as opposed to 4 of 32 (12%) adenomas in the control group (p=0.00003). HNPCC adenomas were also less likely to contain increased numbers of apoptotic bodies: 7 of 16 (44%) contained ≥5 apoptoses per HPF, compared to 27 of 36 (84%) control adenomas (p=0.006). The presence of necrosis or serrated architecture, percent villous component, and numbers of mitotic figures per HPF did not differ significantly between the two groups. Therefore, increased numbers of AILs and decreased numbers of apoptoses in colorectal adenomas are simple and inexpensive markers that raise the possibility of HNPCC.
Colorectal adenoma; lymphocytes; apoptosis; HNPCC; microsatellite instability
Microsatellite instability (MSI) is the molecular fingerprint of a deficient mismatch repair system. Approximately 15% of colorectal cancers (CRC) display MSI owing to either epigenetic silencing of MLH1 or a germline mutation in one of the mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2. Methods to detect MSI are well established and routinely incorporated into clinical practice. A clinical and molecular profile of MSI tumors has been described, leading to the concept of an MSI phenotype in CRC. Studies have confirmed that MSI tumors have a better prognosis than microsatellite stable CRC, but MSI cancers do not necessarily have the same response to the chemotherapeutic strategies used to treat microsatellite stable tumors. Specifically, stage II MSI tumors might not benefit from 5-fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy regimens. New data suggest possible advantages with use of irinotecan-based regimens, but these findings require further clarification and are not yet in routine use. Characterization of the molecular basis of MSI CRC is underway and initial results show that mutations in genes controlling kinases and candidate genes with microsatellite tracts are over-represented in MSI tumors. Transcriptome expression profiles of MSI tumors and systems biology approaches are providing the opportunity to develop targeted therapeutics for MSI CRC.
High-frequency microsatellite instable (MSI-H) tumors account for roughly 15% of colorectal cancers (CRC). Therapeutic decisions for CRC are empirically based and currently do not emphasize molecular subclassification despite of the increasing collection of gene expression information. Our objective was to identify low molecular weight compounds with preferential activity against MSI CRCs using combined gene expression data sets.
Three expression/query signatures (discovery data set) characterizing MSI-H CRC were matched with information derived from changes induced in cell lines by 164 compounds, using the systems biology tool “Connectivity Map”. A series of sequential filtering and ranking algorithms were used to select the candidate compounds. Compounds were validated using two additional expression/query signatures (validation data set). Cytotoxic, cell cycle and apoptosis effects of validated compounds were evaluated in a panel of cell lines.
Fourteen of the 164 compounds were validated as targeting MSI-H cells lines using the bioinformatics approach; Rapamycin, LY-294002, 17-AAG and Trichostatin-A were the most robust candidate compounds. In vitro results showed that MSI-H cell lines due to hypermethylation of MLH1 are preferentially targeted by Rapamycin (18.3 vs 4.4 μM, P=0.0824) and LY-294002 (15.02 vs 10.37 μM, P=0.0385) when compared to MSS cells. Preferential activity was also observed in MSH2 and MSH6-mutant cells.
Our study demonstrates that the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway is of special relevance in mismatch repair-deficient CRC. In addition, we show that amalgamation of gene expression information across studies provides a robust approach for selection of potential therapies corresponding to specific groups of patients.
Microsatellite instability; colorectal cancer; gene expression patterns; rapamycin; mTOR pathway; PI3K inhibitors
Metastatic colorectal cancer is frequently treated with irinotecan, a topoisomerase-I inhibitor. The UGT1A1 gene encodes for an enzyme that metabolizes irinotecan and its genetic variants were shown to be associated with increased drug toxicity. We evaluated clinical outcomes associated with the UGT1A1*28 variant.
Included were 329 colorectal cancer patients, participants in the Israeli population-based MECC study, treated with a chemotherapy regimen that included irinotecan. Cases with metastases or disease recurrence were followed up for a median period of 2.0 years after the appearance of the event. Study end points were appearance of grade 3–4 hematological and gastroenterological toxicity, hospitalization due to toxic events, mostly neutropenia, fever, diarrhea or vomiting, and length of hospitalization and overall survival. UGT1A1*28 was genotyped from peripheral blood DNA by fragment analysis and reported as number of TATA sequence repeats in the promoter of the gene.
The 7/7 variant of UGT1A1*28 was detected in 11.9% of the 329 participants. Grade 3–4 hematological toxicity was significantly higher in 7/7 carriers compared to 6/7 and 6/6 carriers (48.0%,10.2%,7.7% correspondingly, p<0.001), and so was the risk of toxicity related hospitalization (45.8%,25.3%,14.4% correspondingly, p=0.001). Both, short-term death within 2 months of treatment onset(12.8%, 5.2% and 2.9% correspondingly) and median overall survival(1.6,2.0,2.4 years correspondingly, log-rank p=0.01) were significantly worse in the 7/7 carriers. The age-stage-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for cases with the 7/7 genotype compared to 6/6 was 1.7 (1.1–2.5).
UGT1A1*28 7/7 genotype is strongly associated with severe hematologic toxicity and higher hospitalization rate and predicts lower survival of colorectal cancer in users of Irinotecan.
Irinotecan; Colorectal cancer; UGT1A1; Toxicity; Survival
With advances in modern medicine and clinical diagnosis, case-control data with characterization of finer subtypes of cases are often available. In matched case-control studies, missingness in exposure values often leads to deletion of entire stratum, and thus entails a significant loss in information. When subtypes of cases are treated as categorical outcomes, the data are further stratified and deletion of observations becomes even more expensive in terms of precision of the category-specific odds-ratio parameters, especially using the multinomial logit model. The stereotype regression model for categorical responses lies intermediate between the proportional odds and the multinomial or baseline category logit model. The use of this class of models has been limited as the structure of the model implies certain inferential challenges with non-identifiability and non-linearity in the parameters. We illustrate how to handle missing data in matched case-control studies with finer disease sub-classification within the cases under a stereotype regression model. We present both a Monte Carlo based full Bayesian approach as well as an expectation/conditional maximization algorithm for estimation of model parameters in presence of a completely general missingness mechanism. We illustrate our methods by using data from an ongoing matched case-control study of colorectal cancer. Simulation results are presented under various missing data mechanisms and departures from modeling assumptions.
Conditional likelihood; Non-ignorable missingness; Proportional odds; Stages of cancer; Vector generalized linear model
Background and Aims
Statins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are associated with reduced risk of CRC in some studies. Our objective was to quantify the relative risk of IBD as risk factor for CRC and to estimate whether this risk may be modified by long term use of NSAIDs or statins.
The Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer study is a population based case-control study of incident colorectal cancer in northern Israel and controls matched by age, sex, clinic and ethnicity. Personal histories of IBD and medication use were measured by structured, in-person interview. The relative risk of IBD and effect modification by statins and NSAIDs were quantified by conditional and unconditional logistic regression.
Among 1921 matched pairs of CRC cases and controls, a self-reported history of IBD was associated with a 1.9-fold increased risk of CRC (95% CI, 1.12-3.26). Long-term statin use was associated with a reduced risk of both IBD-associated CRC (OR= 0.07, 95% CI, 0.01-0.78) and non-IBD CRC (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.39–0.62). Stratified analysis suggests that statins maybe more protective among those with IBD (ratio of OR = 0.14, 95% CI, 0.01–1.31, p=0.51), although not statistically significant. NSAID use in patients with a history of IBD was suggestive of reduced risk of CRC, but did not reach statistical significance (odds ratio, 0.47, 95% CI, 0.12-1.86).
The risk of CRC is elevated 1.9-fold in patients with IBD. Long term statin use is associated with reduced risk of CRC in patients with IBD.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); Colorectal cancer; Statins; Chemoprevention
We describe a family with a novel, inherited AXIN2 mutation (c.1989G>A) segregating in an autosomal dominant pattern with oligodontia and variable other findings including colonic polyposis, gastric polyps, a mild ectodermal dysplasia phenotype with sparse hair and eyebrows, and early onset colorectal and breast cancers. This novel mutation predicts p.Tyr663X, which is a truncated protein that is missing the last three exons, including the DIX (Disheveled and AXIN interacting) domain. This nonsense mutation is predicted to destroy the inhibitory action of AXIN2 on WNT signaling. Previous authors have described an unrelated family with autosomal dominant oligodontia and a variable colorectal phenotype segregating with a nonsense mutation of AXIN2, as well as a frameshift AXIN2 mutation in an unrelated individual with oligodontia. Our report provides additional evidence supporting an autosomal dominant AXIN2-associated ectodermal dysplasia and neoplastic syndrome.
AXIN2; polyposis; ectodermal dysplasia; oligodontia
Bisphosphonates are commonly used for the treatment of osteoporosis and bone metastases caused by breast cancer and were recently reported to be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, possibly acting through the mevalonate pathway, but their association with risk of other cancers is unknown.
Patients and Methods
The Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer study is a population-based, case-control study in northern Israel of patients with colorectal cancer and age-, sex-, clinic-, and ethnic group–matched controls. Long-term use of bisphosphonates before diagnosis was assessed in a subset of 933 pairs of postmenopausal female patients and controls, enrolled in Clalit Health Services, using computerized pharmacy records.
The use of bisphosphonates for more than 1 year before diagnosis, but not for less than 1 year, was associated with a significantly reduced relative risk (RR) of colorectal cancer (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.71). This association remained statistically significant after adjustment in a model for vegetable consumption, sports activity, family history of colorectal cancer, body mass index, and use of low-dose aspirin, statins, vitamin D, and postmenopausal hormones (RR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.67). Concomitant use of bisphosphonates and statins did not further reduce the risk.
The use of oral bisphosphonates for more than 1 year was associated with a 59% relative reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, similar to the recently reported association of this drug class with reduction in breast cancer risk.
The obligations of researchers to disclose clinically and/or personally significant individual research results are highly debated, but few empirical studies have addressed this topic. We describe the development of a protocol for returning research results to participants at one site of a multicenter study of the genetic epidemiology of melanoma. Protocol development involved numerous challenges: (1) deciding whether genotype results merited disclosure; (2) achieving an appropriate format for communicating results; (3) developing education materials; (4) deciding whether to retest samples for additional laboratory validation; (5) identifying and notifying selected participants; and (6) assessing the impact of disclosure. Our experience suggests potential obstacles depending on researcher resources and the design of the parent study, but offers a process by which researchers can responsibly return individual study results and evaluate the impact of disclosure.
genetic testing; cancer; CDKN2A; risk communication; return of research results; protocol development
With increasing frequency, epidemiologic studies are addressing hypotheses regarding gene-environment interaction. In many well studied candidate genes and for standard dietary and behavioral epidemiologic exposures, there is often substantial prior information available which may be used to analyze current data as well as for designing a new study. In this paper, first, we propose a proper full Bayesian approach for analyzing studies of gene-environment interaction. The Bayesian approach provides a natural way to incorporate uncertainties around the assumption of gene-environment independence, often used in such analysis. We then consider Bayesian sample size determination criteria for both estimation and hypothesis testing regarding the multiplicative gene-environment interaction parameter. We illustrate our proposed methods using data from a large ongoing case-control study of colorectal cancer investigating the interaction of N-acetyl transferase type 2 (NAT2) with smoking and red meat consumption. We use the existing data to elicit a design prior and show how to use this information in allocating cases and controls in planning a future study which investigates the same interaction parameters. The Bayesian design and analysis strategies are compared with their corresponding frequentist counterparts.
case-only design; gene-environment independence; highest posterior density interval; molecular epidemiology of colorectal cancer; multinomial-Dirichlet; posterior odds