There is evidence that exposure to chlorinated solvents may be associated with childhood medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (M/PNET) risk. Animal models suggest genes related to detoxification and DNA repair are important in the carcinogenicity of these pollutants, however, there have been no human studies assessing the modifying effects of these genotypes on the association between chlorinated solvents and childhood M/PNET risk.
We conducted a case-only study to evaluate census tract-level exposure to chlorinated solvents and the risk of childhood M/PNET in the context of detoxification and DNA repair genotypes. Cases (n = 98) were obtained from Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Key genotypes (n = 22) were selected from the Illumina Human 1M Quad SNP Chip. Exposure to chlorinated solvents (methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride) was estimated from the U.S. EPA’s 1999 Assessment System for Population Exposure Nationwide (ASPEN). Logistic regression was used to estimate the case-only odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
There were 11 significant gene-environment interactions associated with childhood M/PNET risk. However, after correcting for multiple comparisons, only the interaction between high trichloroethylene levels and OGG1 rs293795 significantly increased the risk of childhood M/PNET risk (OR = 9.24, 95% CI: 2.24, 38.24, Q = 0.04).
This study provides an initial assessment of the interaction between ambient levels of chlorinated solvents and potentially relevant genotypes on childhood M/PNET risk. Our results are exploratory and must be validated in animal models, as well as additional human studies.
Hazardous air pollutants; chlorinated solvents; DNA repair genes; detoxification genes; childhood medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumor
Ionizing radiation is a consistently identified and potentially modifiable risk factor for meningioma, the most frequently reported primary brain tumor in the United States.
To examine the association between dental x-rays, the most common artificial source of ionizing radiation, and risk of intra-cranial meningioma.
Design and Setting
Population-based case-control study design.
The study includes 1433 intra-cranial meningioma cases aged 29-79 years diagnosed among residents of the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area and eight Houston, Texas counties between May 1, 2006 and April 28, 2011 and 1350 controls that were frequency-matched on age, sex and geography.
Main Outcome Measure
The association of intra-cranial meningioma diagnosis with self-report of bitewing, full-mouth, and panorex dental x-rays.
Over a lifetime, cases were more than twice (Odds ratio (OR) = 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.4-2.9) as likely as controls to report having ever had a bitewing exam. Regardless of the age at which the films were received, persons who reported receiving bitewing films on a yearly or greater frequency had an elevated risk with odds ratios of 1.4 (95%CI: 1.0-1.8), 1.6 (95%CI: 1.2-2.0), 1.9 (95%CI: 1.4-2.6), and 1.5 (95%CI: 1.1-2.0) for ages <10, 10-19, 20-49, and 50+ years, respectively. Increased risk of meningioma was also associated with panorex films taken at a young age or on a yearly or greater frequency with persons reporting receiving such films under the age of 10 years at 4.9 times (95%CI: 1.8-13.2) increased risk of meningioma. No association was appreciated with location of tumor above or below the tentorium.
Exposure to some dental x-rays performed in the past, when radiation exposure was greater than in the current era, appears to be associated with increased risk of intra-cranial meningioma. As with all sources of artificial ionizing radiation, considered use of this modifiable risk factor may be of benefit to patients.
cancer; dental x-rays; epidemiology; ionizing radiation; meningioma; computed tomography; population-based; DNA repair genes; risk factors; brain tumor; genetics; diagnostic x-rays
In genome-wide association studies, inherited risk of glioma has been demonstrated for rare familial syndromes and with common variants from 3–5 chromosomal regions. To assess the degree of familial aggregation of glioma, the authors performed a pooled analysis of data from 2 large glioma case-control studies in the United States (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (1994–2006) and University of California, San Francisco (1991–2004)) and from the Swedish Cancer Registry (1958–2006) to measure excess cases of cancer among first-degree relatives of glioma probands. This analysis included 20,377 probands with glioma and 52,714 first-degree relatives. No overall increase was found in the expected number of cancers among family members; however, there were 77% more gliomas than expected. There were also significantly more sarcoma and melanoma cases than expected, which is supported by evidence in the literature, whereas there were significantly fewer-than-expected cases of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and bladder, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and uterine cancers. This large pooled analysis provided sufficient numbers of related family members to examine the genetic mechanisms involved in the aggregation of glioma with other cancers in these families. However, misclassification due to unvalidated cancers among family members could account for the differences seen by study site.
family; glioma; meta-analysis; neoplasms
The etiology of brain tumors is still largely unknown. Previous research indicates that infectious agents and immunological characteristics may influence adult glioma risk. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of birth order and sibship size (total number of siblings), as indicators of the timing and frequency of early life infections, on adult glioma risk using a population of 489 cases and 540 cancer-free controls from the Harris County Brain Tumor Study. Odds ratios for birth order and sibship size were calculated separately from multivariable logistic regression models, adjusting for sex, family history of cancer, education, and age. Each one-unit increase in birth order confers a 13% decreased risk of glioma development in adulthood (OR=0.87, 95% CI=0.79–0.97). However, sibship size was not significantly associated with adult glioma status (OR=0.97, 95% CI=0.91–1.04). Our study indicates that individuals who were more likely to develop common childhood infections at an earlier age (those with a higher birth order) may be more protected against developing glioma in adulthood. More biological and epidemiological research is warranted to clarify the exact mechanisms through which the timing of common childhood infections and the course of early life immune development affect gliomagenesis.
glioma; life-course epidemiology; infection; hygiene hypothesis; immune development
A number of studies have reported on the association between smoking and meningioma risk, with inconsistent findings. We examined the effect of gender on the association between cigarette smoking and risk of intra-cranial meningioma in a large population-based, case-control study.
The data includes 1433 intra-cranial meningioma cases aged 29–79 years diagnosed among residents of the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area and eight Texas counties between May 1, 2006 and April 28, 2011 and 1349 controls that were frequency-matched on age, sex and geography. The data are analyzed separately and in a meta-analysis with six previously reported studies.
Female cases who reported having ever smoked were at significantly decreased risk of intra-cranial meningioma (Odds ratio (OR) = 0.8, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.7–0.9) in contrast to male cases who were at increased risk (OR:1.3, 95%CI: 1.0–1.7). Similar findings were noted for current and past smokers. Smoking-induced risk for females did not vary by menopausal status. For males, increased duration of use (p = 0.04) as well as increasing number of pack-years (p = 0.02) was associated with elevated risk. A meta-analysis including 2614 cases and 1,179,686 controls resulted in an OR for ever smoking of 0.82 (95%CI: 0.68–0.98) for women and 1.39 (95%CI: 1.08–1.79) for men.
The association of cigarette smoking and meningioma case status varies significantly by gender with women at reduced risk and men at greater risk.
Whether the observed differences are associated with a hormonal etiology will require additional investigation.
Meningioma; epidemiology; meta-analysis; sex; genetics; smoking; cigarettes; gender; hormones
The role of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in glioma development and progression remains controversial. The purpose of our study was to assess the potential associations between anti-HCMV antibodies (immunoglobulin G [IgG] and immunoglobulin M [IgM]) and glioma risk and prognosis using data from the Harris County Case–Control Study. Multivariable logistic regression models were utilized to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations between glioma status and antibody levels among glioma cases (n = 362) and cancer-free controls (n = 462). Hazard ratios and 95% CIs were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for age, race, and sex, to determine if antibody levels were associated with survival over time among cases. Among IgG-positive participants, increasing anti-HCMV IgG levels were associated with decreasing glioma risk (P for trend = 0.0008), and those with the lowest level of anti-HCMV IgG (<10 U/mL) had the highest glioma risk, controlling for age, sex, and race/ethnicity (OR: 2.51, 95% CI: 1.42–4.43). Antibody levels were not associated with survival among glioma cases. Our study contributes new evidence toward the potential importance of the direct and indirect effects of HCMV infection in gliomagenesis.
Brain neoplasms; glioma; human cytomegalovirus; immunoglobulin G; immunoglobulin M; risk factors
Established psychosocial risk factors increase the risk for experimentation among Mexican-origin youth. Now we comprehensively investigate the added contribution of select polymorphisms in candidate genetic pathways associated with sensation seeking, risk taking, and smoking phenotypes to predict experimentation.
Participants, (N=1,118 Mexican origin youth) recruited from a large population-based cohort study in Houston, Texas, provided prospective data on cigarette experimentation over three years. Psychosocial data were elicited twice—baseline and final follow-up. Participants were genotyped for 672 functional and tagging variants in the dopamine, serotonin and opioid pathways.
After adjusting for gender and age, with a Bayesian False Discovery Probability set at 0.8 and prior probability of 0.05, six gene variants were significantly associated with risk of experimentation. After controlling for established risk factors, multivariable analyses revealed that participants with six or more risk alleles were 2.25 (95%CI: 1.62–3.13) times more likely to have experimented since baseline compared to participants with five or fewer. Among committed never smokers (N=872), three genes (OPRM1, SNAP25, HTR1B) were associated with experimentation as were all psychosocial factors. Among susceptible youth (N=246) older age at baseline, living with a smoker, and three different genes (HTR2A, DRD2, SLC6A3) predicted experimentation.
Our findings, which have implications for development of culturally-specific interventions, need to be validated in other ethnic groups.
These results suggest that variations in select genes interact with a cognitive predisposition toward smoking. In susceptible adolescents, the impact of the genetic variants appears to be larger compared to committed never smokers.
Little is known about the epidemiology of meningioma, the most frequently reported primary brain tumor in the US. The authors undertook a case-control study to examine the relationship between family and personal medical history and meningioma risk.
The authors compared the personal and first-degree family histories of 1124 patients with meningioma (age range 20–79 years) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area, and 8 Houston counties between May 1, 2006, and February 26, 2010, and the histories of 1000 control individuals who were frequency-matched for age, sex, and geography.
The patients were more likely than the controls to report a first-degree family history of meningioma (OR 4.4, 95% CI 1.6–11.5), and there was an even stronger association in younger cases. The patients were less likely than controls to report immune conditions including allergy (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.5–0.7) but were more likely to report a history of thyroid cancer (OR 4.7, 95% CI 1.02–21.5) or leukemia (OR 5.4, 95% CI 1.2–24.1) (most after radiotherapy). Among women, patients were more likely than controls to report hormonally related conditions—uterine fibroid tumors (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.5), endometriosis (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.5–2.1), and breast cancer (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.8–2.3).
The influence of genetics, the immune system, and radiation near the head on meningioma risk is suggested in the authors’ findings; the role of hormones is intriguing but requires further study.
allergy; cancer; epidemiology; family history; hormones; immune factors; meningioma; radiation; oncology
The value of hormone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression for predicting overall survival, distant relapse, and locoregional relapse was examined in patients with inflammatory breast cancer. Triple-negative disease was associated with worse outcomes, indicating the need for developing new locoregional and systemic treatment strategies for patients with this aggressive subtype.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that expression of estrogen/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2 is important for predicting overall survival (OS), distant relapse (DR), and locoregional relapse (LRR) in early and advanced breast cancer patients. However, these findings have not been confirmed for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), which has different biological features than non-IBC.
We retrospectively analyzed the records of 316 women who presented to MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1989–2008 with newly diagnosed IBC without distant metastases. Most patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, mastectomy, and postmastectomy radiation. Patients were grouped according to receptor status: ER+ (ER+/PR+ and HER-2−; n = 105), ER+HER-2+ (ER+/PR+ and HER-2+; n = 37), HER-2+ (ER−/PR− and HER-2+; n = 83), or triple-negative (TN) (ER−PR−HER-2−; n = 91). Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards methods were used to assess LRR, DR, and OS rates and their associations with prognostic factors.
The median age was 50 years (range, 24–83 years). The median follow-up time and median OS time for all patients were both 33 months. The 5-year actuarial OS rates were 58.7% for the entire cohort, 69.7% for ER+ patients, 73.5% for ER+HER-2+ patients, 54.0% for HER=2+ patients, and 42.7% for TN patients (p < .0001); 5-year LRR rates were 20.3%, 8.0%, 12.6%, 22.6%, and 38.6%, respectively, for the four subgroups (p < .0001); and 5-year DR rates were 45.5%, 28.8%, 50.1%, 52.1%, and 56.7%, respectively (p < .001). OS and LRR rates were worse for TN patients than for any other subgroup (p < .0001–.03).
TN disease is associated with worse OS, DR, and LRR outcomes in IBC patients, indicating the need for developing new locoregional and systemic treatment strategies for patients with this aggressive subtype.
Inflammatory breast cancer; Estrogen receptor; Progesterone receptor; HER-2; Molecular subtypes
Several studies have shown a decrease in glioma risk associated with a personal history of allergic conditions and the medications used to treat the symptoms. However, few studies have been able to examine risk within histological subgroups of glioma. Case-control data from M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and University of California, San Francisco were pooled to conduct the analysis stratified by histological subtype. A risk prediction model considering inflammation-related variables and antihistamine use was built using logistic regression. Of the subtypes examined, long-term antihistamine use was associated with increased risk of anaplastic gliomas, especially when length of use was considered in conjunction with history of asthma or allergy. Anaplastic cases with no history of asthma or allergy were 2.94 times more likely than controls to report antihistamine use for 10 years or more; while anaplastic cases with a history of asthma or allergy were 2.34 times more likely than controls to report antihistamine use for 10 years or more. Furthermore, anti-inflammatory medication use was associated with a protective effect against glioblastoma (OR=0.80; 95% CI: 0.65, 0.99), especially among individuals with no history of asthma or allergies. No statistically significant effects of anti-inflammatory drugs or antihistamines were evident for the other histological subtypes. Thus, modulation of the immune system by the use of common drugs, such as antihistamines or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may contribute to the development of certain types of brain tumors.
glioma; glioblastoma; epidemiology; histamine antagonists; anti-inflammatory agents
Sitting time and sedentary behaviors have been associated with adverse health outcomes including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) within non- Hispanic White populations. Similar associations have not been described within Hispanic populations despite their high CVD risk profile. This study aimed to assess the association between sitting time and obesity, self-reported diagnosed diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol among a large cohort (N=11,268) of Mexican origin adults and to assess whether obesity mediated these associations.
Using a cross-sectional design, data collected between 2004 and 2010 were analyzed in late 2010. Regression analyses evaluated associations between self-reported daily sitting hours and disease outcomes, controlling for demographics, employment status, family disease history, and light, moderate and strenuous physical activity.
Participants were mostly female (81.1%) Mexican origin adults. Sitting time was associated with increased odds of being obese, having diabetes and having hypertension, but not high cholesterol. Adjusted odds ratios of participants who reported sitting > 4 hours/day compared to those sitting 1-2 hours/day were for obesity OR=1.55 (95% CI 1.39, 1.73), p<.001, for diabetes OR=1.29 (95% CI, 1.09, 1.52), p=.003, for hypertension OR=1.17 (95% CI, 1.01, 1.37), p=.041. Associations controlled for physical activity and employment status. Effects on hypertension and diabetes were mediated by obesity.
Sitting time was significantly associated with detrimental health outcomes, independent of physical activity. Obesity mediated these relationships for diabetes and hypertension. Future research should assess whether interventions addressing sitting time are feasible and effective among Mexican origin populations.
Sitting time; Diabetes; Obesity; Hypertension; Hispanic
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies, where hundreds of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are tested simultaneously, are becoming popular for identifying disease loci for common diseases. Most commonly, a GWA study involves two stages: the first stage includes testing the association between all SNPs and the disease and the second stage includes replication of SNPs selected from the first stage to validate associations in an independent sample. The first stage is considered to be more fundamental since the second stage is contingent on the results of the first stage. Selection of SNPs from stage one for genotyping in stage two is typically based on an arbitrary threshold or controlling type I errors. These strategies can be inefficient and have potential to exclude genotyping of disease-associated SNPs in stage two. We propose an approach for selecting top SNPs that uses a strategy based on the false-negative rate (FNR). Using the FNR approach, we proposed the number of SNPs that should be selected based on the observed p-values and a pre-specified multi-testing power in the first stage. We applied our method to simulated data and a GWA study of glioma (a rare form of brain tumor) data. Results from simulation and the glioma GWA indicate that the proposed approach provides an FNR-based way to select SNPs using pre-specified power.
False negative rate; SNP selection; Two-stage genome-wide association study
Understanding the factors that contribute to physical activity (PA) in Mexican-origin adolescents is essential to the design of effective efforts to enhance PA participation in this population.
Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic and behavioral correlates of self-reported PA in school and community settings in 1,154 Mexican-origin adolescents aged 12–17 years in Houston, TX.
The majority of adolescents were born in the US (74%), approximately half (51%) were overweight or obese, and nearly three-quarters (73%) watched more than 2 hours of weekday television. Similarities and differences by setting and gender were observed in the relationships between sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics and PA. In boys, parental education and attending physical education (PE) were positively associated with PA across multiple PA outcomes. Adolescent linguistic acculturation was inversely associated with participation in community sports, whereas parental linguistic acculturation was positively associated with PA at school. In girls, PA in school and community settings was inversely associated with TV viewing and positively associated with PE participation.
These findings highlight similarities and differences in correlates of PA among boys and girls, and point towards potential sources of opportunities as well as disparities for PA behaviors in Mexican-origin adolescents.
Mexican American; acculturation; physical education
Gliomas are tumors of glial origin formed in the central nervous system and exhibit profound morphological and genetic heterogeneity. The etiology of this heterogeneity involves an interaction between genetic alterations and environmental risk factors. Scientific evidence suggests that certain natural dietary components, such as phytoestrogens, flavonoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins may exert a protective effect against gliomas by changing the nature of the interaction between genetics and environment. Similarly, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and dietary modifications, such as methionine restriction and the adoption of low-calorie or ketogenic diets, may take advantage of glioma and normal glial cells’ differential requirements for glucose, methionine, and ketone bodies and may therefore be effective as part of preventive or treatment strategies for gliomas. Treatment trials of glioma patients and chemoprevention trials of individuals with a known genetic predisposition to glioma using the most promising of these agents, such as the anti-inflammatory drugs curcumin and gamma-linolenic acid, are needed to validate or refute these agents’ putative role in gliomas.
glioma; glioblastoma; prevention; diet; vitamins
Oligodendroglial tumors are rare subtypes of brain tumors and are often combined with other glial tumors in epidemiological analyses. However, different demographic associations and clinical characteristics suggest potentially different risk factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate possible risk factors for oligodendroglial tumors (including oligodendroglioma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, and mixed glioma). Data from 7 case–control studies (5 US and 2 Scandinavian) were pooled. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for age group, gender, and study site. Data on 617 cases and 1260 controls were available for analyses. Using data from all 7 studies, history of allergies and/or asthma was associated with a decreased risk of anaplastic oligodendroglioma (OR = 0.6; 95% CI: 0.4–0.9), and history of asthma only was associated with a decreased risk of oligodendroglioma (OR = 0.5; 95% CI: 0.3–0.9) and anaplastic oligodendroglioma (OR = 0.3; 95% CI: 0.1–0.9). A family history of brain tumors was associated with an increased risk of anaplastic oligodendroglioma (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1–4.5). Having had chicken pox was associated with a decreased risk of oligodendroglioma (OR = 0.6; 95% CI: 0.4–0.9) and anaplastic oligodendroglioma (OR = 0.5; 95% CI: 0.3–0.9) in the US studies. Although there is some overlap in risk factors between oligodendroglial tumors and gliomas as a group, it is likely that additional factors specific to oligodendroglial tumors have yet to be identified. Large, multi-institution international studies will be necessary to better characterize these etiological risk factors.
anaplastic oligodendroglioma; epidemiology; mixed glioma; oligodendroglioma; risk factors
Background: DNA strand breaks pose the greatest threat to genomic stability. Genetically determined mutagen sensitivity predisposes individuals to a variety of cancers, including glioma. However, polymorphisms in DNA strand break repair genes that may determine mutagen sensitivity are not well studied in cancer risk, especially in gliomas.
Methods: We correlated genotype data for tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) of DNA strand break repair genes with a gamma-radiation-induced mutagen sensitivity phenotype [expressed as mean breaks per cell (B/C)] in samples from 426 glioma patients. We also conducted analysis to assess joint and haplotype effects of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on mutagen sensitivity. We further validate our results in an independent external control group totaling 662 subjects.
Results: Of the 392 tSNPs examined, we found that mutagen sensitivity was modified by one tSNP in the EME2 gene and six tSNPs in the RAD51L1 gene (P < 0.01). Among the six RAD51L1 SNPs tested in the validation set, one (RAD51L1 rs2180611) was significantly associated with mutagen sensitivity (P = 0.025). Moreover, we found a significant dose–response relationship between the mutagen sensitivity and the number of adverse tSNP genotypes. Furthermore, haplotype analysis revealed that RAD51L1 haplotypes F-A (zero adverse allele) and F-E (six adverse alleles) exhibited the lowest (0.42) and highest (0.93) mean B/C values, respectively. A similar dose–response relationship also existed between the mutagen sensitivity and the number of adverse haplotypes.
Conclusion: These results suggest that polymorphisms in and haplotypes of the RAD51L1 gene, which is involved in the double-strand break repair pathway, modulate gamma-radiation-induced mutagen sensitivity.
Mexican American (MA) girls are entering puberty earlier than in the past, yet few studies have explored the perceptions surrounding puberty among this group. We conducted separate focus groups for fathers, mothers, and daughters aged 6 to 12 years to explore perceptions of body image, pubertal development, communications, and sources of puberty-related information in MA participants. Our results revealed parental concerns about daughters’ weight and pubertal development, as well as differences in their communication with their daughters. Although both parents willingly discussed pubertal issues concerning their daughters, mothers had a more active role in conveying pubertal information to daughters. Among the girls, there was a gap in knowledge about the pubertal process between the younger and older girls. Our findings present opportunities and challenges for addressing obesity as a pubertal risk factor in MA girls; however, more studies are needed to understand family beliefs and sociocultural dynamics surrounding puberty in MAs.
adolescents; female; body image; families; fathers; focus groups; Mexican Americans; relationships; mother–child; women’s health; young women
Cognitive susceptibility to smoking, defined as the lack of a firm commitment not to smoke in the future or if offered a cigarette by a friend, begins in childhood and is an early phase in the transition from never to ever smoking. Our objectives were to examine susceptibility to smoking and other psychosocial risk factors for experimentation with cigarettes among Mexican origin adolescents and to determine whether susceptibility status moderates the relationship between established risk factors for experimentation with cigarettes and future experimentation. We examined susceptibility and several psychosocial factors associated with susceptibility as baseline predictors of experimentation after 3 years of follow-up among 964 Mexican origin girls and boys between 11 and 13 years of age from the Houston metropolitan area. Participants were recruited between May 2005 and October 2006 and reported that they had never experimented with cigarettes at baseline. Baseline susceptibility and experimentation rates were 23% and 9%, respectively, whereas the follow-up experimentation rate, among those who had not experimented at baseline, was 22%. Susceptible adolescents at baseline were 2.6 times more likely to have experimented with cigarettes by follow-up. Baseline susceptibility moderated the relationship between experimentation at follow-up and the psychosocial risk factors assessed at baseline. Susceptibility is a valid and strong marker for the transition to experimentation for Mexican origin adolescents. Our results suggest that tailoring primary prevention programs by a youth’s susceptibility status may increase the efficacy of prevention efforts among Mexican origin youth.
To evaluate the influence of race/ethnicity and tumor subtype in pathological complete response (pCR) following treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
2074 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1994 and 2008, treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline- and taxane-based chemotherapy, were included. pCR was defined as no residual invasive cancer in the breast and axilla. Kaplan-Meier product-limit was used to calculate survival outcomes. Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to determine the relationship of patient and tumor variables with outcome.
Median age was 50 years, 14.6% patients were black, 15.2% Hispanic, 64.3% White, and 5.9% other race. There were no differences in pCR rates among race/ethnicity: (12.3% in black, 14.2% in Hispanics, 12.3% in whites and 11.5% in others, p=.788). Lack of pCR, breast cancer subtype, grade 3 tumors, and lymphovascular invasion were associated with worse RFS and OS (p≤.0001). Differences in RFS by race/ethnicity were seen in the patients with hormone receptor-positive disease, p=.007. In multivariate analysis, Hispanics had improved RFS (HR, 95% CI 0.69; 0.49-0.97) and OS (HR, 95% CI 0.63; 0.41-0.97); blacks had a trend to worse outcomes (RFS:HR, 95% CI 1.28; 0.97-1.68, OS:HR, 1.32; 95% CI; 0.97-1.81) when compared to whites.
In this cohort of patients, race/ethnicity was not significantly associated with pCR rates. In a multivariate analysis we observed improved outcomes in Hispanics and a trend towards worse outcomes in black patients, when compared to whites. Further research is needed to explore the potential differences in biology and outcomes.
neoadjuvant chemotherapy; breast cancer; race; pathological complete response
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in inflammation-related genes have previously been shown to alter risks of developing various cancers. However, the effects of such SNPs on glioma risk remain unclear. We used a multistrategic approach to elucidate the relationship between glioma risk, asthma/allergies, and 23 literature-based functional SNPs in 11 inflammation genes. Genotyping was conducted on 373 histologically confirmed adult glioma patients and 365 cancer-free controls from the Harris County Brain Tumor Study. Deviations from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium were assessed using the χ2-test, and Akaike's information criterion was used to determine the best genetic model for each SNP. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated both for each SNP individually and for grouped analyses, examining the effects of the numbers of adverse alleles on glioma risk in participants with and without asthma. In the single-locus analysis of the 23 examined SNPs, 1 pro-inflammatory and 2 anti-inflammatory gene SNPs were significantly associated with glioma risk (COX2/PTGS2, rs20417 [OR = 1.41]; IL10, rs1800896 [OR = 1.57]; and IL13, rs20541 [OR = 0.39], respectively). When we examined the joint effects of the risk-conferring alleles of these 3 SNPs, we found a significant trend indicating that the risk increases as the number of adverse alleles increase (P = .005). Stratifying by asthma status, we found that this dose–response-like trend of increasing risk is only present among those without asthma/allergies (P < .0001). Our study indicates that polymorphisms in inflammation genes are associated with glioma susceptibility, especially when a history of asthma/allergies is absent.
allergy; asthma; glioma; inflammation
The histone protein family member X (H2AFX) is important in maintaining chromatin structure and genetic stability. Genetic variants in H2AFX may alter protein functions and thus cancer risk. In this case-control study, we genotyped four common single nucleotide polymorphisms (i.e., −1654A > G [rs643788], −1420G > A [rs8551], and −1187T > C [rs7759] in the H2AFX promoter region and 1057C > T [rs7350] in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR)) in 467 patients with sporadic breast cancer and 488 cancer-free controls. All female subjects were non-Hispanic whites aged ≤55 years. We found that significantly increased risk of breast cancer was associated with variant genotypes in the H2AFX promoter: adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.38–2.34 for −1654AG/GG; OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.07–1.83 for −1420GA/AA; and OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.26–2.16 for −1187TC/CC. Furthermore, the number of variant alleles in the promoter haplotypes was associated with increased risks of breast cancer in a dose-response manner (OR = 6.08, 95% CI = 3.25–11.38; OR = 6.83, 95% CI = 3.83–12.18; and OR = 23.61, 95% CI = 3.95–140.99 for one, two, and three variant alleles, respectively) (Ptrend < 0.0001). Age at onset of breast cancer significantly decreased as the number of variant alleles increased (Ptrend = 0.024). However, these effects were not observed in the 3′UTR 1057C > T polymorphism. Therefore, we believe that H2AFX promoter polymorphisms may contribute to the etiology of sporadic breast cancer in young non-Hispanic white women. Larger association studies and related functional studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
Case–control; DNA repair; Double strand break; Genetic susceptibility; Molecular epidemiology
Classical epidemiologic studies have made seminal contributions to identifying the etiology of most common cancers. Molecular epidemiology was conceived of as an extension of traditional epidemiology to incorporate biomarkers with questionnaire data to further our understanding of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Early molecular epidemiologic studies employed functional assays. These studies were hampered by the need for sequential and/or prediagnostic samples, viable lymphocytes and the uncertainty of how well these functional data (derived from surrogate lymphocytic tissue) reflected events in the target tissue. The completion of the Human Genome Project and Hapmap Project, together with the unparalleled advances in high-throughput genotyping revolutionized the practice of molecular epidemiology. Early studies had been constrained by existing technology to use the hypothesis-driven candidate gene approach, with disappointing results. Pathway analysis addressed some of the concerns, although the study of interacting and overlapping gene networks remained a challenge. Whole-genome scanning approaches were designed as agnostic studies using a dense set of markers to capture much of the common genome variation to study germ-line genetic variation as risk factors for common complex diseases. It should be possible to exploit the wealth of these data for pharmacogenetic studies to realize the promise of personalized therapy. Going forward, the temptation for epidemiologists to be lured by high-tech ‘omics’ will be immense. Systems Epidemiology, the observational prototype of systems biology, is an extension of classical epidemiology to include powerful new platforms such as the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome. However, there will always be the need for impeccably designed and well-powered epidemiologic studies with rigorous quality control of data, specimen acquisition and statistical analysis.
We hypothesized that the type-1 interferons (IFNs) would play a pivotal role in anti-glioma immunosurveillance through promotion of type-1 adaptive immunity and suppression of immunoregulatory cells.
We induced de novo gliomas in Ifnar1−/− (deficient for type-1 IFN receptors) or wild type (WT) mice by intracerebroventricuar transfection of NRAS and a short hairpin RNA against P53 using the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system. We analyzed survival of 587 glioma patients for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in type-1 IFN-related genes.
Ifnar1−/− mice exhibited accelerated tumor growth and death. Analyses of brain tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (BILs) in Ifnar1−/− mice revealed an increase of cells positive for CD11b+Ly6G+ and CD4+FoxP3+, which represent myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and regulatory T-cells (Tregs), respectively, but a decrease of CD8+ CTLs compared with WT mice. Ifnar1−/− mouse-derived glioma tissues exhibited a decrease in mRNA for the CTL-attracting chemokine CXCL10, but an increase of CCL2 and CCL22, both of which are known to attract immunoregulatory cell populations. Dendritic cells (DCs) generated from the bone marrow of Ifnar1−/− mice failed to function as effective antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Moreover, depletion of Ly6G+ cells prolonged the survival of mice with developing gliomas. Human epidemiological studies revealed that SNPs in IFNAR1 and IFNA8 are associated with significantly altered overall survival of patients with WHO grade 2–3 gliomas.
The novel SB-induced murine glioma model led us to discover a pivotal role for the type-1 IFN pathway in anti-glioma immunosurveillance and relevant human SNPs that may represent novel prognostic markers.
In gliomas, germline gene alterations play a significant role during malignant transformation of progenitor glial cells, at least for families with occurrence of multiple cancers or with specific hereditary cancer syndromes. Scientific evidence during the last few years has revealed several constitutive genetic abnormalities that may influence glioma formation. These germline abnormalities are manifested as either gene polymorphisms or hemizygous mutations of key regulatory genes that are involved either in DNA repair or in apoptosis. Such changes, among others, include hemizygous alterations of the neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) and p53 genes that are involved in apoptotic pathways, and alterations in multiple DNA repair genes such as mismatch repair (MMR) genes, x-ray cross-complementary genes (XRCC), and O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) genes. Subsequent cellular changes include somatic mutations in cell cycle regulatory genes and genes involved in angiogenesis and invasion, leading eventually to tumor formation in various stages. Future molecular diagnosis may identify new genomic regions that could harbor genes important for glioma predisposition and aid in the early diagnosis of these patients and genetic counseling of their families.
genetic predisposition; glioma; glioblastoma; polymorphism
The association between human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection and glioblastoma has been a source of debate in recent years because of conflicting laboratory reports concerning the presence of the virus in glioma tissue. HCMV is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that exhibits tropism for glial cells and has been shown to transform cells in vitro. Using sensitive immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods in 50 glioma samples, we detected HCMV antigen and DNA in 21/21 cases of glioblastoma, 9/12 cases of anaplastic gliomas, and 14/17 cases of low-grade gliomas. Reactivity against the HCMV IE1 antigen (72 kDa) exhibited histology-specific patterns with more nuclear staining for anaplastic and low-grade gliomas, while GBMs showed nuclear and cytoplasmic staining that likely occurs with latent infection. Using IHC, the number of HCMV-positive cells in GBMs was 79% compared to 48% in lower grade tumors. Non-tumor areas of the tissue contained only 4 % and 1% of HCMV-positive cells for GBMs and lower grade tumors, respectively. Hybridization to HCMV DNA in infected cells corresponded to patterns of immunoreactivity. Our findings support previous reports of the presence of HCMV infection in glioma tissues and advocate optimization of laboratory methods for the detection of active HCMV infections. This will allow for detection of low-level latent infections that may play an important role in the initiation and/or promotion of malignant gliomas.
Glioblastoma; Human cytomegalovirus; immunohistochemistry; in situ hybridization