In follow-up of a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) that identified a locus in chromosome 2p21 associated with risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), we conducted a fine mapping analysis of a 120 kb region that includes EPAS1. We genotyped 59 tagged common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2278 RCC and 3719 controls of European background and observed a novel signal for rs9679290 [P = 5.75 × 10−8, per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17–1.39]. Imputation of common SNPs surrounding rs9679290 using HapMap 3 and 1000 Genomes data yielded two additional signals, rs4953346 (P = 4.09 × 10−14) and rs12617313 (P = 7.48 × 10−12), both highly correlated with rs9679290 (r2 > 0.95), but interestingly not correlated with the two SNPs reported in the GWAS: rs11894252 and rs7579899 (r2 < 0.1 with rs9679290). Genotype analysis of rs12617313 confirmed an association with RCC risk (P = 1.72 × 10−9, per-allele OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.18–1.39) In conclusion, we report that chromosome 2p21 harbors a complex genetic architecture for common RCC risk variants.
Asthma has been hypothesized to be associated with lung cancer (LC) risk. We conducted a pooled analysis of 16 studies in the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO) to quantitatively assess this association and compared the results with 36 previously published studies. In total, information from 585 444 individuals was used. Study-specific measures were combined using random effects models. A meta-regression and subgroup meta-analyses were performed to identify sources of heterogeneity. The overall LC relative risk (RR) associated with asthma was 1.28 [95% confidence intervals (CIs) = 1.16–1.41] but with large heterogeneity (I2 = 73%, P < 0.001) between studies. Among ILCCO studies, an increased risk was found for squamous cell (RR = 1.69, 95%, CI = 1.26–2.26) and for small-cell carcinoma (RR = 1.71, 95% CI = 0.99–2.95) but was weaker for adenocarcinoma (RR = 1.09, 95% CI = 0.88–1.36). The increased LC risk was strongest in the 2 years after asthma diagnosis (RR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.09–4.17) but subjects diagnosed with asthma over 10 years prior had no or little increased LC risk (RR = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.94–1.30). Because the increased incidence of LC was chiefly observed in small cell and squamous cell lung carcinomas, primarily within 2 years of asthma diagnosis and because the association was weak among never smokers, we conclude that the association may not reflect a causal effect of asthma on the risk of LC.
Cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) are common forms of malignancy associated with tobacco and alcohol exposures, although human papillomavirus and nutritional deficiency are also important risk factors. While somatically acquired DNA methylation changes have been associated with UADT cancers, what triggers these events and precise epigenetic targets are poorly understood. In this study, we applied quantitative profiling of DNA methylation states in a panel of cancer-associated genes to a case-control study of UADT cancers. Our analyses revealed a high frequency of aberrant hypermethylation of several genes, including MYOD1, CHRNA3 and MTHFR in UADT tumors, whereas CDKN2A was moderately hypermethylated. Among differentially methylated genes, we identified a new gene (the nicotinic acetycholine receptor gene) as target of aberrant hypermethylation in UADT cancers, suggesting that epigenetic deregulation of nicotinic acetycholine receptors in non-neuronal tissues may promote the development of UADT cancers. Importantly, we found that sex and age is strongly associated with the methylation states, whereas tobacco smoking and alcohol intake may also influence the methylation levels in specific genes. This study identifies aberrant DNA methylation patterns in UADT cancers and suggests a potential mechanism by which environmental factors may deregulate key cellular genes involved in tumor suppression and contribute to UADT cancers.
DNA methylation; upper aerodigestive tract; cancer; risk factors; biomarkers
The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the causation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is unclear. We examined the associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 28 centrally measured HPV serological markers in serum from six existing case–control studies conducted in regions with differing background risks of esophageal cancer.
We used centralized multiplex serology to test serum samples from 1561 case subjects and 2502 control subjects from six case–control studies for antibodies to the major HPV capsid protein (L1) and/or the early proteins E6 and/or E7 of eight high-risk, two low-risk, and four cutaneous HPV types. Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression with adjustment for smoking, alcohol consumption, and other potential confounders. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using either a linear mixed-effects approach or a joint fixed-effects approach. All statistical tests were two-sided.
We found statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and antibodies to E6 for HPV16 (OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.09 to 3.29, P = .023) and HPV6 (OR = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.51 to 4.25, P < .001) but not for other tested HPV types. There were no statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and antibodies to E7 for any of the tested HPV types. Simultaneous seropositivity for HPV16 E6 and E7 was rare (four case subjects, two control subjects; OR = 5.57, 95% CI = 0.90 to 34.35; P = .064). We also found statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and capsid antibodies for the high-risk mucosal type HPV33 L1 (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.69; P = .047) and the low-risk mucosal types HPV6 (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.42; P = .010) and HPV11 (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.56, P = .0036).
We found limited serological evidence of an association between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and HPV in the populations studied. Although HPV does not appear to be an important risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, we cannot exclude the possibility that certain HPV types may be involved in a small subset of cancers.
The relationship between two measures of excess body weight, body mass index (BMI) and body size score, and risk of pancreatic cancer was examined among 574 pancreatic cancer cases and 596 frequency-matched controls from the Czech Republic and Slovakia enrolled between 2004 and 2009. Analyses using multivariable logistic regression showed an increased risk of pancreatic cancer associated with elevated quartiles of BMI at ages 20 [fourth quartile: odds ratio (OR) = 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23, 2.61] and 40 (fourth quartile: OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.09, 2.27) compared to the lowest quartile. Consistent results were observed for body size score at ages 20 (high versus low: OR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.08, 2.57) and 40 (medium versus low: OR = 1.36, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.86), but no association was found for BMI and body size score at two years prior to interview. Stronger risk estimates for BMI were observed in males than females, particularly at age 20, but the analysis of body size yielded similar estimates by sex. When considering excess body weight at both ages 20 and 40 jointly, the highest risk estimates were observed among subjects with elevated levels at both time periods in the analysis of BMI (OR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.32, 2.62) and body size (OR=1.53, 95% CI: 1.09, 2.13). These findings, based on two different measures, provide strong support for an increased risk of pancreatic cancer associated with excess body weight, possibly strongest during early adulthood.
body mass index; body size; pancreatic cancer; risk factor; weight gain
The EPILYMPH study applied a detailed occupational exposure assessment approach to a large multi-centre case–control study conducted in six European countries. This paper analysed multiple myeloma (MM) risk associated with level of education, and lifetime occupational history and occupational exposures, based on the EPILYMPH data set.
277 MM cases and four matched controls per each case were included. Controls were randomly selected, matching for age (+/− 5 years), centre and gender. Lifetime occupations and lifetime exposure to specific workplace agents was obtained through a detailed questionnaire. Local industrial hygienists assessed likelihood and intensity for specific exposures. The odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95% CI) were calculated for level of education, individual occupations and specific exposures. Unconditional logistic regression models were run for individual occupations and exposures.
A low level of education was associated with MM OR=1.68 (95% CI 1.02-2.76). An increased risk was observed for general farmers (OR=1.77; 95% CI 1.05-2.99) and cleaning workers (OR=1.69; 95% CI 1.04-2.72) adjusting for level of education. Risk was also elevated, although not significant, for printers (OR=2.06; 95% CI 0.97-4.34). Pesticide exposure over a period of ten years or more increased MM risk (OR=1.62; 95% CI 1.01-2.58).
These results confirm an association of MM with farm work, and indicate its association with printing and cleaning. While prolonged exposure to pesticides seems to be a risk factor for MM, an excess risk associated with exposure to organic solvents could not be confirmed.
Multiple Myeloma; Occupation; Pesticide; Epidemiology; Case–control study; EPILYMPH study
Tobacco-induced lung cancer is characterized by a deregulated inflammatory microenvironment. Variants in multiple genes in inflammation pathways may contribute to risk of lung cancer.
We therefore conducted a three-stage comprehensive pathway analysis (discovery, replication and meta-analysis) of inflammation gene variants in ever smoking lung cancer cases and controls. A discovery set (1096 cases; 727 controls) and an independent and non-overlapping internal replication set (1154 cases; 1137 controls) were derived from an ongoing case-control study. For discovery, we used an iSelect BeadChip to interrogate a comprehensive panel of 11737 inflammation pathway SNPs and selected nominally significant (p<0.05) SNPs for internal replication.
There were 6 SNPs that achieved statistical significance (p<0.05) in the internal replication dataset with concordant risk estimates for former smokers and 5 concordant and replicated SNPs in current smokers. Replicated hits were further tested in a subsequent meta-analysis using external data derived from two published GWAS and a case-control study. Two of these variants (a BCL2L14 SNP in former smokers and a SNP in IL2RB in current smokers) were further validated. In risk score analyses, there was a 26% increase in risk with each additional adverse allele when we combined the genotyped SNP and the most significant imputed SNP in IL2RB in current smokers and a 36% similar increase in risk for former smokers associated with genotyped and imputed BCL2L14 SNPs.
Before they can be applied for risk prediction efforts, these SNPs should be subject to further external replication and more extensive fine mapping studies.
Inflammation SNPS; lung cancer; smokers
Genome-wide association studies have linked lung cancer risk with a region of chromosome 15q25.1 containing CHRNA3, CHRNA5 and CHRNB4 encoding α3, α5 and β4 subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR), respectively. One of the strongest associations was observed for a non-silent single-nucleotide polymorphism at codon 398 in CHRNA5. Here, we have used pharmacological (antagonists) or genetic (RNA interference) interventions to modulate the activity of CHRNA5 in non-transformed bronchial cells and in lung cancer cell lines. In both cell types, silencing CHRNA5 or inhibiting receptors containing nAChR α5 with α-conotoxin MII exerted a nicotine-like effect, with increased motility and invasiveness in vitro and increasing calcium influx. The effects on motility were enhanced by addition of nicotine but blocked by inhibiting CHRNA7, which encodes the homopentameric receptor α7 subunit. Silencing CHRNA5 also decreased the expression of cell adhesion molecules P120 and ZO-1 in lung cancer cells as well as the expression of DeltaNp63α in squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. These results demonstrate a role for CHRNA5 in modulating adhesion and motility in bronchial cells, as well as in regulating p63, a potential oncogene in squamous cell carcinoma.
Greater tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption and lower body mass index (BMI) increase odds ratios (OR) for oral cavity, oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers; however, there are no comprehensive sex-specific comparisons of ORs for these factors.
We analyzed 2,441 oral cavity (925 females and 1,516 males), 2,297 oropharynx (564 females and 1,733 males), 508 hypopharynx (96 females and 412 males) and 1,740 larynx (237 females and 1,503 males) cases from the INHANCE consortium of 15 head and neck cancer case-control studies. Controls numbered from 7,604 to 13,829 subjects, depending on analysis. Analyses fitted linear-exponential excess ORs models.
ORs were increased in underweight (<18.5 BMI) relative to overweight and obese categories (≥25 BMI) for all sites and were homogeneous by sex. ORs by smoking and drinking in females compared to males were significantly greater for oropharyngeal cancer (p<0.01 for both factors), suggestive for hypopharyngeal cancer (p=0.05 and p=0.06, respectively), but homogeneous for oral cavity (p=0.56 and p=0.64) and laryngeal (p=0.18 and p=0.72) cancers.
The extent that OR modifications of smoking and drinking by sex for oropharyngeal and, possibly, hypopharyngeal cancers represent true associations, or derive from unmeasured confounders or unobserved sex-related disease subtypes (e.g., human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal cancer) remains to be clarified.
Alcohol consumption; cigarette smoking; interactions; odds ratio models
Scanty data are available on the incidence (i.e., the absolute risk) of second cancers of the head and neck (HN) and its pattern with age. We investigated this issue using data from a multicentric study of 13 population-based cancer registries from Europe, Canada, Australia and Singapore for the years 1943-2000. A total of 99,257 patients had a first primary HN cancer (15,985 tongue, 22,378 mouth, 20,758 pharyngeal, and 40,190 laryngeal cancer), contributing to 489,855 person-years of follow-up. 1294 of the patients (1.3%) were diagnosed with second HN cancers (342 tongue, 345 mouth, 418 pharynx, and 189 larynx). Male incidence rates of first HN cancer steeply increased from 0.68/100,000 at age 30-34 to 46.2/100,000 at age 70-74, and leveled off at higher age; female incidence increased from 0.50/100,000 at age 30-34 to 16.5/100,000 at age 80-84. However, age-specific incidence of second HN cancers after a first HN cancer in men was around 200-300/100,000 between age 40-44 and age 70-74, and tended to decline at subsequent ages (150/100,000 at age 80-84); in women, incidence of second HN cancers was around 200-300/100,000 between age 45-49 and 80-84. The patterns of age-specific incidence were consistent for different subsites of second HN cancer and sexes; moreover, they were similar for age-specific incidence of first primary HN cancer in patients who subsequently developed a second HN cancer. The incidence of second HN cancers does not increase with age, but remains constant, or if anything, decreases with advancing age.
While the incidence of first primary cancers of the head and neck increases with advancing age that of second primary cancers is stable between age 40 and 70 and, if anything, declines thereafter.
second neoplasms; head and neck cancer; incidence; age
We investigated whether using demographic characteristics and alarm symptoms can accurately predict cancer in patients with dyspepsia in Iran, where upper GI cancers and H. pylori infection are common.
All consecutive patients referred to a tertiary gastroenterology clinic in Tehran, Iran, from 2002 to 2009 were invited to participate in this study. Each patient completed a standard questionnaire and underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Alarm symptoms included in the questionnaire were weight loss, dysphagia, GI bleeding, and persistent vomiting. We used logistic regression models to estimate the diagnostic value of each variable in combination with other ones, and to develop a risk-prediction model.
A total of 2,847 patients with dyspepsia participated in this study, of whom 87 (3.1%) had upper GI malignancy. Patients reporting at least one of the alarm symptoms constituted 66.7% of cancer patients compared to 38.9% in patients without cancer (p<0.001). Esophageal or gastric cancers in patients with dyspepsia was associated with older age, being male, and symptoms of weight loss and vomiting. Each single predictor had low sensitivity and specificity. Using a combination of age, alarm symptoms, and smoking, we built a risk-prediction model that distinguished between high-risk and low-risk individuals with an area under the ROC curve of 0.85 and acceptable calibration.
None of the predictors demonstrated high diagnostic accuracy. While our risk-prediction model had reasonable accuracy, some cancer cases would have remained undiagnosed. Therefore, where available, low cost endoscopy may be preferable for dyspeptic older patient or those with history of weight loss.
Delivering apoptosis inducing peptides to cells is an emerging area in cancer and molecular therapeutics. Here we have identified an alternative mechanism of action for the proapoptotic chimeric peptide D-NuBCP-9-r8. Integral to D-NuBCP-9-r8 is the Nur-77 derived D-isoform sequence fsrslhsll that targets Bcl-2, and the cell penetrating peptide octaarginine (r8) that is required for intracellular delivery. We find that the N-terminal phenylalanine of fsrslhsll acts in synergy with the cell penetrating moiety to enhance peptide uptake at low non-toxic levels and cause rapid membrane blebbing and cell necrosis at higher (IC50) concentrations. These effects were not observed when a single phenylalanine-alanine mutation was introduced at the N-terminus of D-NuBCP-9-r8. Using primary samples from chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients and cancer cell lines, we show that NuBCP-9-r8 induced toxicity, via membrane disruption, is independent of Bcl-2 expression. Overall, this study demonstrates a new mechanism of action for this peptide and cautions its use as a highly specific entity for targeting Bcl-2. For delivery of therapeutic peptides the work emphasizes that key amino acids in cargo, located several residues away from the cell penetrating sequence, can significantly influence their cellular uptake and mode of action.
Cell penetrating peptides; Nur77; Bcl-2; microwells; leukaemia
Retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements that employ a germ line “copy-and-paste” mechanism to spread throughout metazoan genomes1. At least 50% of the human genome is derived from retrotransposons, with three active families (L1, Alu and SVA) associated with insertional mutagenesis and disease2-3. Epigenetic and post-transcriptional suppression block retrotransposition in somatic cells4-5, excluding early embryo development and some malignancies6-7. Recent reports of L1 expression8-9 and copy number variation10-11 (CNV) in the human brain suggest L1 mobilization may also occur during later development. However, the corresponding integration sites have not been mapped. Here we apply a high-throughput method to identify numerous L1, Alu and SVA germ line mutations, as well as 7,743 putative somatic L1 insertions in the hippocampus and caudate nucleus of three individuals. Surprisingly, we also found 13,692 and 1,350 somatic Alu and SVA insertions, respectively. Our results demonstrate that retrotransposons mobilize to protein-coding genes differentially expressed and active in the brain. Thus, somatic genome mosaicism driven by retrotransposition may reshape the genetic circuitry that underpins normal and abnormal neurobiological processes.
Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms, rs1051730 and rs16969968, located within the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster on chromosome 15q25 locus, are associated with heaviness of smoking, risk for lung cancer, and other smoking-related health outcomes. Previous studies have typically relied on self-reported smoking behavior, which may not fully capture interindividual variation in tobacco exposure.
We investigated the association of rs1051730 and rs16969968 genotype (referred to as rs1051730–rs16969968, because these are in perfect linkage disequilibrium and interchangeable) with both self-reported daily cigarette consumption and biochemically measured plasma or serum cotinine levels among cigarette smokers. Summary estimates and descriptive statistical data for 12 364 subjects were obtained from six independent studies, and 2932 smokers were included in the analyses. Linear regression was used to calculate the per-allele association of rs1051730–rs16969968 genotype with cigarette consumption and cotinine levels in current smokers for each study. Meta-analysis of per-allele associations was conducted using a random effects method. The likely resulting association between genotype and lung cancer risk was assessed using published data on the association between cotinine levels and lung cancer risk. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Pooled per-allele associations showed that current smokers with one or two copies of the rs1051730–rs16969968 risk allele had increased self-reported cigarette consumption (mean increase in unadjusted number of cigarettes per day per allele = 1.0 cigarette, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.57 to 1.43 cigarettes, P = 5.22 × 10−6) and cotinine levels (mean increase in unadjusted cotinine levels per allele = 138.72 nmol/L, 95% CI = 97.91 to 179.53 nmol/L, P = 2.71 × 10−11). The increase in cotinine levels indicated an increased risk of lung cancer with each additional copy of the rs1051730–rs16969968 risk allele (per-allele odds ratio = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.21 to 1.42).
Our data show a stronger association of rs1051730–rs16969968 genotype with objective measures of tobacco exposure compared with self-reported cigarette consumption. The association of these variants with lung cancer risk is likely to be mediated largely, if not wholly, via tobacco exposure.
DNA repair genes are important for maintaining genomic stability and limiting carcinogenesis. We analyzed all single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 125 DNA repair genes covered by the Illumina HumanHap300 (v1.1) BeadChips in a previously conducted genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 1,154 lung cancer cases and 1,137 controls and replicated the top-hits of XRCC4 SNPs in an independent set of 597 cases and 611 controls in Texas populations. We found that six of 20 XRCC4 SNPs were associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer with a P value of 0.01 or lower in the discovery dataset, of which the most significant SNP was rs10040363 (P for allelic test = 4.89 ×10−4). Moreover, the data in this region allowed us to impute a potentially functional SNP rs2075685 (imputed P for allelic test = 1.3 ×10−3). A luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that the rs2075685G>T change in the XRCC4 promoter increased expression of the gene. In the replication study of rs10040363, rs1478486, rs9293329, and rs2075685, however, only rs10040363 achieved a borderline association with a decreased risk of lung cancer in a dominant model (adjusted OR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.62–1.03, P = 0.079). In the final combined analysis of both the Texas GWAS discovery and replication datasets, the strength of the association was increased for rs10040363 (adjusted OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.66–0.89, Pdominant = 5×10−4 and P for trend = 5×10−4) and rs1478486 (adjusted OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.71 −0.94, Pdominant = 6×10−3 and P for trend = 3.5×10−3). Finally, we conducted a meta-analysis of these XRCC4 SNPs with available data from published GWA studies of lung cancer with a total of 12,312 cases and 47,921 controls, in which none of these XRCC4 SNPs was associated with lung cancer risk. It appeared that rs2075685, although associated with increased expression of a reporter gene and lung cancer risk in the Texas populations, did not have an effect on lung cancer risk in other populations. This study underscores the importance of replication using published data in larger populations.
XRCC4; variant; Genetic susceptibility; genome-wide association study; replication study
Published genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified few variants in the known biological pathways involved in lung cancer etiology. To mine the possibly hidden causal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we explored all SNPs in the extrinsic apoptosis pathway from our published GWAS dataset for 1154 lung cancer cases and 1137 cancer-free controls. In an initial association analysis of 611 tagSNPs in 41 apoptosis-related genes, we identified only 10 tagSNPs associated with lung cancer risk with a P value <10−2, including four tagSNPs in DAPK1 and three tagSNPs in TNFSF8. Unlike DAPK1 SNPs, TNFSF8 rs2181033 tagged other four predicted functional but untyped SNPs (rs776576, rs776577, rs31813148 and rs2075533) in the promoter region. Therefore, we further tested binding affinity of these four SNPs by performing the electrophoretic mobility shift assay. We found that only rs2075533T allele modified levels of nuclear proteins bound to DNA, leading to significantly decreased expression of luciferase reporter constructs by 5- to –10-fold in H1299, HeLa and HCT116 cell lines compared with the C allele. We also performed a replication study of the untyped rs2075533 in an independent Texas population but did not confirm the protective effect. We further performed a mini meta-analysis for SNPs of TNFSF8 obtained from other four published lung cancer GWASs with 12 214 cases and 47 721 controls, and we found that only rs3181366 (r2 = 0.69 with the untyped rs2075533) was associated to lung cancer risk (P = 0.008). Our findings suggest a possible role of novel TNFSF8 variants in susceptibility to lung cancer.
Control selection is a major challenge in epidemiologic case-control studies. The aim of our study was to evaluate using hospital versus neighborhood control groups in studying risk factors of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
We compared the results of two different case-control studies of ESCC conducted in the same region by a single research group. Case definition and enrollment were the same in the two studies, but control selection differed. In the first study, we selected two age- and sex-matched controls from inpatient subjects in hospitals, while for the second we selected two age- and sex-matched controls from each subject's neighborhood of residence. We used the test of heterogeneity to compare the results of the two studies. We found no significant differences in exposure data for tobacco-related variables such as cigarette smoking, chewing Nass (a tobacco product) and hookah (water pipe) usage, but the frequency of opium usage was significantly different between hospital and neighborhood controls. Consequently, the inference drawn for the association between ESCC and tobacco use did not differ between the studies, but it did for opium use. In the study using neighborhood controls, opium use was associated with a significantly increased risk of ESCC (adjusted OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.17–2.68), while in the study using hospital controls, this was not the case (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.63–1.87). Comparing the prevalence of opium consumption in the two control groups and a cohort enrolled from the same geographic area suggested that the neighborhood controls were more representative of the study base population for this exposure.
Hospital and neighborhood controls did not lead us to the same conclusion for a major hypothesized risk factor for ESCC in this population. Our results show that control group selection is critical in drawing appropriate conclusions in observational studies.
Pathway analysis has been proposed as a complement to single SNP analyses in GWAS. This study compared pathway analysis methods using two lung cancer GWAS data sets based on four studies: one a combined data set from Central Europe and Toronto (CETO); the other a combined data set from Germany and MD Anderson (GRMD). We searched the literature for pathway analysis methods that were widely used, representative of other methods, and had available software for performing analysis. We selected the programs EASE, which uses a modified Fishers Exact calculation to test for pathway associations, GenGen (a version of Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA)), which uses a Kolmogorov-Smirnov-like running sum statistic as the test statistic, and SLAT, which uses a p-value combination approach. We also included a modified version of the SUMSTAT method (mSUMSTAT), which tests for association by averaging χ2 statistics from genotype association tests. There were nearly 18000 genes available for analysis, following mapping of more than 300,000 SNPs from each data set. These were mapped to 421 GO level 4 gene sets for pathway analysis. Among the methods designed to be robust to biases related to gene size and pathway SNP correlation (GenGen, mSUMSTAT and SLAT), the mSUMSTAT approach identified the most significant pathways (8 in CETO and 1 in GRMD). This included a highly plausible association for the acetylcholine receptor activity pathway in both CETO (FDR≤0.001) and GRMD (FDR = 0.009), although two strong association signals at a single gene cluster (CHRNA3-CHRNA5-CHRNB4) drive this result, complicating its interpretation. Few other replicated associations were found using any of these methods. Difficulty in replicating associations hindered our comparison, but results suggest mSUMSTAT has advantages over the other approaches, and may be a useful pathway analysis tool to use alongside other methods such as the commonly used GSEA (GenGen) approach.
To investigate whether occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and certain plastic monomers increased renal cell carcinomas (RCC) risk.
Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate RCC risk in relation to exposure.
No association between RCC risk and having ever been occupationally exposed to any polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or plastics was observed. Duration of exposure and average exposure also showed no association with risk. Suggestive positive associations between RCC risk and cumulative exposure to styrene (P-trend = 0.02) and acrylonitrile (P-trend = 0.06) were found. Cumulative exposure to petroleum/gasoline engine emissions was inversely associated with risk (P-trend = 0.02).
Results indicate a possible association between occupational styrene and acrylonitrile exposure and RCC risk. Additional studies are needed to replicate findings, as this is the first time these associations have been reported and they may be due to chance.
Objective To investigate the association between tea drinking habits in Golestan province, northern Iran, and risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Design Population based case-control study. In addition, patterns of tea drinking and temperature at which tea was drunk were measured among healthy participants in a cohort study.
Setting Golestan province, northern Iran, an area with a high incidence of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Participants 300 histologically proved cases of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 571 matched neighbourhood controls in the case-control study and 48 582 participants in the cohort study.
Main outcome measure Odds ratio of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma associated with drinking hot tea.
Results Nearly all (98%) of the cohort participants drank black tea regularly, with a mean volume consumed of over one litre a day. 39.0% of participants drank their tea at temperatures less than 60°C, 38.9% at 60-64°C, and 22.0% at 65°C or higher. A moderate agreement was found between reported tea drinking temperature and actual temperature measurements (weighted κ 0.49). The results of the case-control study showed that compared with drinking lukewarm or warm tea, drinking hot tea (odds ratio 2.07, 95% confidence interval 1.28 to 3.35) or very hot tea (8.16, 3.93 to 16.9) was associated with an increased risk of oesophageal cancer. Likewise, compared with drinking tea four or more minutes after being poured, drinking tea 2-3 minutes after pouring (2.49, 1.62 to 3.83) or less than two minutes after pouring (5.41, 2.63 to 11.1) was associated with a significantly increased risk. A strong agreement was found between responses to the questions on temperature at which tea was drunk and interval from tea being poured to being drunk (weighted κ 0.68).
Conclusion Drinking hot tea, a habit common in Golestan province, was strongly associated with a higher risk of oesophageal cancer.
Background: The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have among the highest worldwide rates of renal cell cancer (RCC). Few studies have examined whether genetic variation in xenobiotic metabolic pathway genes may modify risk for this cancer. Methods: The Central and Eastern Europe Renal Cell Cancer study was a hospital-based case–control study conducted between 1998 and 2003 across seven centers in Central and Eastern Europe. Detailed data were collected from 874 cases and 2053 controls on demographics, work history, and occupational exposure to chemical agents. Genes [cytochrome P-450 family, N-acetyltransferases, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase I (NQO1), microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)] were selected for the present analysis based on their putative role in xenobiotic metabolism. Haplotypes were calculated using fastPhase. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by unconditional logistic regression adjusted for country of residence, age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake, obesity, and hypertension. Results: We observed an increased risk of RCC with one SNP. After adjustment for multiple comparisons it did not remain significant. Neither NAT1 nor NAT2 slow acetylation was associated with disease. Conclusion: We observed no association between this pathway and renal cell cancer.
renal cell cancer; epidemiology; NAT1; NAT2; CYP; NQO1; mEH; COMT
Introduction: Oral cancer is a public health problem worldwide, being tobacco and alcohol consumption their main risk factors. Sulfotransferase (SULT) 1A1 (encoded by SULT1A1) is involved in procarcinogens metabolism, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in tobacco smoke. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the magnitude of association between SULT1A1 gene Arg213His polymorphism and oral cancer, and to explore the interaction between such polymorphism and smoking. Methods: A hospital-based case-control study was carried out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during 1999–2002. Epidemiological data and biological samples were obtained from 202 oral cancer patients and 196 sex and age-frequency matched controls without cancer antecedents. Results: No association was observed between Arg213His SULT1A1 polymorphism and oral cancer risk in overall analysis (OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.71–1.57). The magnitude of association between cigarette smoking and oral cancer was higher in individuals with a SULT1A1*1 isoform (wild type, genotype Arg/Arg) (OR = 10.19, 95% CI = 3.90–26.61) than in those with at least one SULT1A1*2 allele (genotypes Arg/His + His/His) (OR = 4.50, 95% CI =2.09–9.69). Conclusion: Our results suggest that Arg213His SULT1A1 polymorphism may modulate the association between smoking and oral cancer. However, this association needs to be replicated in other studies: due to modest number of cases and controls, the role of chance in the observed association cannot be ruled out.
SULT 1A1 gene; polymorphisms; oral cancer; smoking; alcohol
Golestan Province in northeastern Iran has one of the highest incidences of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in the world with rates over 50 per 100,000 person-years in both sexes. We have analyzed TP53 mutation patterns in tumors from this high-risk geographic area in search of clues to the mutagenic processes involved in causing ESCC.
Biopsies of 119 confirmed ESCC tumor tissue from subjects enrolled in a case-control study conducted in Golestan Province were analyzed by direct sequencing of TP53 exons 2 through 11. Immunohistochemical staining for p53 was carried out using two monoclonal antibodies, DO7 and 1801. A total of 120 TP53 mutations were detected in 107/119 cases (89.9%), including 11 patients with double or triple mutations. The mutation pattern was heterogeneous with infrequent mutations at common TP53 “hotspots” but frequent transversions potentially attributable to environmental carcinogens forming bulky DNA adducts, including 40% at bases known as site of mutagenesis by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Mutations showed different patterns according to the reported temperature of tea consumption, but no variation was observed in relation to ethnicity, tobacco or opium use, and alcoholic beverage consumption or urban versus rural residence.
ESCC tumors in people from Golestan Province show the highest rate of TP53 mutations ever reported in any cancer anywhere. The heterogeneous mutation pattern is highly suggestive of a causative role for multiple environmental carcinogens, including PAHs. The temperature and composition of tea may also influence mutagenesis.
Leukocyte global DNA methylation levels are currently being considered as biomarkers of cancer susceptibility and have been associated with risk of several cancers. In this study, we aimed to examine the association between long interspersed nuclear elements (LINE-1) methylation levels, as a biomarker of global DNA methylation in blood cell DNA, and renal cell cancer risk.
LINE-1 methylation of bisulfite-converted genomic DNA isolated from leukocytes was quantified by pyrosequencing measured in triplicate, and averaged across 4 CpG sites. A total of 328 RCC cases and 654 controls frequency-matched(2∶1) on age(±5years), sex and study center, from a large case-control study conducted in Central and Eastern Europe were evaluated.
LINE-1 methylation levels were significantly higher in RCC cases with a median of 81.97% (interquartile range[IQR]: 80.84–83.47) compared to 81.67% (IQR: 80.35–83.03) among controls (p = 0.003, Wilcoxon). Compared to the lowest LINE-1 methylation quartile(Q1), the adjusted ORs for increasing methylation quartiles were as follows: OR(Q2) = 1.84(1.20−2.81), OR(Q3) = 1.72(1.11−2.65) and OR(Q4) = 2.06(1.34−3.17), with a p-trend = 0.004. The association was stronger among current smokers (p-trend<0.001) than former or never smokers (p-interaction = 0.03). To eliminate the possibility of selection bias among controls, the relationship between LINE-1 methylation and smoking was evaluated and confirmed in a case-only analysis, as well.
Higher levels of LINE-1 methylation appear to be positively associated with RCC risk, particularly among current smokers. Further investigations using both post- and pre-diagnostic genomic DNA is warranted to confirm findings and will be necessary to determine whether the observed differences occur prior to, or as a result of carcinogenesis.