We conducted a genome-wide association study of gastric cancer (GC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in ethnic Chinese subjects in which we genotyped 551,152 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We report a combined analysis of 2,240 GC cases, 2,115 ESCC cases, and 3,302 controls drawn from five studies. In logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, and study, multiple variants at 10q23 had genome-wide significance for GC and ESCC independently. A notable signal was rs2274223, a nonsynonymous SNP located in PLCE1, for GC (P=8.40×1010; per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.31) and ESCC (P=3.85×10−9; OR = 1.34). The association with GC differed by anatomic subsite. For tumors located in the cardia the association was stronger (P=4.19 × 10−15; OR= 1.57) and for those located in the noncardia stomach it was absent (P=0.44; OR=1.05). Our findings at 10q23 could provide insight into the high incidence rates of both cancers in China.
Recent evidence suggests a link between constitutional telomere length (TL) and cancer risk. Previous studies have suggested that longer telomeres were associated with an increased risk of melanoma and larger size and number of nevi. The goal of this study was to examine whether TL modified the risk of melanoma in melanoma-prone families with and without CDKN2A germline mutations.
Materials and Methods
We measured TL in blood DNA in 119 cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) cases and 208 unaffected individuals. We also genotyped 13 tagging SNPs in TERT.
We found that longer telomeres were associated with an increased risk of CMM (adjusted OR = 2.81, 95% CI = 1.02–7.72, P = 0.04). The association of longer TL with CMM risk was seen in CDKN2A- cases but not in CDKN2A+ cases. Among CMM cases, the presence of solar injury was associated with shorter telomeres (P = 0.002). One SNP in TERT, rs2735940, was significantly associated with TL (P = 0.002) after Bonferroni correction.
Our findings suggest that TL regulation could be variable by CDKN2A mutation status, sun exposure, and pigmentation phenotype. Therefore, TL measurement alone may not be a good marker for predicting CMM risk.
Recent studies have shown an association between cigarettes per day (CPD) and a nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism in CHRNA5, rs16969968.
To determine whether the association between rs16969968 and smoking is modified by age at onset of regular smoking.
Available genetic studies containing measures of CPD and the genotype of rs16969968 or its proxy.
Uniform statistical analysis scripts were run locally. Starting with 94 050 ever-smokers from 43 studies, we extracted the heavy smokers (CPD >20) and light smokers (CPD ≤10) with age-at-onset information, reducing the sample size to 33 348. Each study was stratified into early-onset smokers (age at onset ≤16 years) and late-onset smokers (age at onset >16 years), and a logistic regression of heavy vs light smoking with the rs16969968 genotype was computed for each stratum. Meta-analysis was performed within each age-at-onset stratum.
Individuals with 1 risk allele at rs16969968 who were early-onset smokers were significantly more likely to be heavy smokers in adulthood (odds ratio [OR]=1.45; 95% CI, 1.36–1.55; n=13 843) than were carriers of the risk allele who were late-onset smokers (OR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.21–1.33, n = 19 505) (P = .01).
These results highlight an increased genetic vulnerability to smoking in early-onset smokers.
Relationships are unclear between polymorphisms in genes involved in metabolism and detoxification of various chemicals and papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) risk as well as their potential modification by alcohol or tobacco intake. We evaluated associations between 1647 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 132 candidate genes/regions involved in metabolism of exogenous and endogenous compounds (Phase I/II, oxidative stress, and metal binding pathways) and PTC risk in 344 PTC cases and 452 controls. For 15 selected regions and their respective SNPs, we also assessed interaction with alcohol and tobacco use. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the main effect of SNPs (Ptrend) and interaction with alcohol/tobacco intake. Gene- and pathway-level associations and interactions (Pgene interaction) were evaluated by combining Ptrend values using the adaptive rank-truncated product method. While we found associations between PTC risk and nine SNPs (Ptrend≤0.01) and seven genes/regions (Pregion<0.05), none remained significant after correction for the false discovery rate. We found a significant interaction between UGT2B7 and NAT1 genes and alcohol intake (Pgene interaction=0.01 and 0.02 respectively) and between the CYP26B1 gene and tobacco intake (Pgene interaction=0.02). Our results are suggestive of interaction between the genetic polymorphisms in several detoxification genes and alcohol or tobacco intake on risk of PTC. Larger studies with improved exposure assessment should address potential modification of PTC risk by alcohol and tobacco intake to confirm or refute our findings.
Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is an etiologically heterogeneous disease with genetic, environmental (sun exposure) and host (pigmentation/nevi) factors, and their interactions contributing to risk. Genetic variants in DNA repair genes may be particularly important since their altered function in response to sun exposure-related DNA damage maybe related to risk for CMM. However, systematic evaluations of genetic variants in DNA repair genes are limited, particularly in high-risk families.
We comprehensively analyzed DNA repair gene polymorphisms and CMM risk in melanoma-prone families with/without CDKN2A mutations. A total of 586 individuals (183 CMM) from 53 families (23 CDKN2A (+), 30 CDKN2A (−)) were genotyped for 2964 tagSNPs in 131 DNA repair genes. Conditional logistic regression, conditioning on families, was used to estimate trend p-values, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between CMM and each SNP separately, adjusted for age and sex. P-values for SNPs in the same gene were combined to yield gene specific p-values. Two genes, POLN and PRKDC, were significantly associated with melanoma after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (p=0.0003 and 0.00035, respectively). DCLRE1B showed suggestive association (p=0.0006). 28~56% of genotyped SNPs in these genes had single SNP p<0.05. The most significant SNPs in POLN and PRKDC had similar effects in CDKN2A (+) and CDKN2A (−) families. Our finding suggests that polymorphisms in DNA repair genes, POLN and PRKDC, were associated with increased melanoma risk in melanoma families with and without CDKN2A mutations.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
Accumulating evidence suggests that alterations in immune function may be important in the etiology of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). To identify genetic markers in immune-related pathways, we evaluated 3,985 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 230 candidate gene regions (adhesion-extravasation-migration, arachidonic acid metabolism/eicosanoid signaling, complement and coagulation cascade, cytokine signaling, innate pathogen detection and antimicrobials, leukocyte signaling, TNF/NF-kB pathway or other) in a case-control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 controls. We used logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (OR) and calculate one degree of freedom P values of linear trend (PSNP-trend) for the association between genotype (common homozygous, heterozygous, variant homozygous) and risk of PTC. To correct for multiple comparisons, we applied the false discovery rate method (FDR). Gene region- and pathway-level associations (PRegion and PPathway) were assessed by combining individual PSNP-trend values using the adaptive rank truncated product method. Two SNPs (rs6115, rs6112) in the SERPINA5 gene were significantly associated with risk of PTC (PSNP-FDR/PSNP-trend = 0.02/6×10−6 and PSNP-FDR/PSNP-trend = 0.04/2×10−5, respectively). These associations were independent of a history of autoimmune thyroiditis (OR = 6.4; 95% confidence interval: 3.0–13.4). At the gene region level, SERPINA5 was suggestively associated with risk of PTC (PRegion-FDR/PRegion = 0.07/0.0003). Overall, the complement and coagulation cascade pathway was the most significant pathway (PPathway = 0.02) associated with PTC risk largely due to the strong effect of SERPINA5. Our results require replication but suggest that the SERPINA5 gene, which codes for the protein C inhibitor involved in many biological processes including inflammation, may be a new susceptibility locus for PTC.
Hormonal differences are hypothesized to contribute to the approximately ≥2-fold higher thyroid cancer incidence rates among women compared with men worldwide. Although thyroid cancer cells express estrogen receptors and estrogen has a proliferative effect on papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) cells in vitro, epidemiologic studies have not found clear associations between thyroid cancer and female hormonal factors. We hypothesized that polymorphic variation in hormone pathway genes is associated with the risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer.
We evaluated the association between PTC and 1151 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 58 candidate gene regions involved in sex hormone synthesis and metabolism, gonadotropins, and prolactin in a case-control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 controls, frequency matched on age and sex. Odds ratios and p-values for the linear trend for the association between each SNP genotype and PTC risk were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. SNPs in the same gene region or pathway were aggregated using adaptive rank-truncated product methods to obtain gene region-specific or pathway-specific p-values. To account for multiple comparisons, we applied the false discovery rate method.
Seven SNPs had p-values for linear trend <0.01, including four in the CYP19A1 gene, but none of the SNPs remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons. Results were similar when restricting the dataset to women. p-values for examined gene regions and for all genes combined were ≥0.09.
Based on these results, SNPs in selected hormone pathway genes do not appear to be strongly related to PTC risk. This observation is in accord with the lack of consistent associations between hormonal factors and PTC risk in epidemiologic studies.
Cancer is an important cause of morbidity in the elderly, and many medical conditions and treatments influence cancer risk. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database can be used to conduct population-based case-control studies that elucidate the etiology of cancer among the US elderly. SEER-Medicare links data on malignancies ascertained through SEER cancer registries to claims from Medicare, the US government insurance program for people over age 65 years. Under one approach described herein, elderly cancer cases are ascertained from SEER data (1987–2005). Matched controls are selected from a 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries. Risk factors of interest, including medical conditions and procedures, are identified by using linked Medicare claims. Strengths of this design include the ready availability of data, representative sampling from the US elderly population, and large sample size (e.g., under one scenario: 1,176,950 cases, including 221,389 prostate cancers, 185,853 lung cancers, 138,041 breast cancers, and 124,442 colorectal cancers; and 100,000 control subjects). Limitations reflect challenges in exposure assessment related to Medicare claims: restricted range of evaluable risk factors, short time before diagnosis/selection for ascertainment, and inaccuracies in claims. With awareness of limitations, investigators have in SEER-Medicare data a valuable resource for epidemiologic research on cancer etiology.
aged; case-control studies; data collection; epidemiologic methods; Medicare; neoplasms; risk factors; SEER Program
DNA damage is an important mechanism in carcinogenesis, so genes related to maintaining genomic integrity may influence papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) risk. Candidate gene studies targeting some of these genes have identified only a few polymorphisms associated with risk of PTC. Here, we expanded the scope of previous candidate studies by increasing the number and coverage of genes related to maintenance of genomic integrity. We evaluated 5077 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 340 candidate gene regions hypothesized to be involved in DNA repair, epigenetics, tumor suppression, apoptosis, telomere function and cell cycle control and signaling pathways in a case–control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 matched controls. We estimated odds ratios for associations of single SNPs with PTC risk and combined P values for SNPs in the same gene region or pathway to obtain gene region-specific or pathway-specific P values using adaptive rank-truncated product methods. Nine SNPs had P values <0.0005, three of which were in HDAC4 and were inversely related to PTC risk. After multiple comparisons adjustment, no SNPs remained associated with PTC risk. Seven gene regions were associated with PTC risk at P < 0.01, including HUS1, ALKBH3, HDAC4, BAK1, FAF1_CDKN2C, DACT3 and FZD6. Our results suggest a possible role of genes involved in maintenance of genomic integrity in relation to risk of PTC.
While lung cancer is largely caused by tobacco smoking, inherited genetic factors play a role in its etiology. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Europeans have robustly demonstrated only three polymorphic variations influencing lung cancer risk. Tumor heterogeneity may have hampered the detection of association signal when all lung cancer subtypes were analyzed together. In a GWAS of 5,355 European smoking lung cancer cases and 4,344 smoking controls, we conducted a pathway-based analysis in lung cancer histologic subtypes with 19,082 SNPs mapping to 917 genes in the HuGE-defined “inflammation” pathway. We identified a susceptibility locus for squamous cell lung carcinoma (SQ) at 12p13.33 (RAD52, rs6489769), and replicated the association in three independent samples totaling 3,359 SQ cases and 9,100 controls (odds ratio=1.20, Pcombined=2.3×10−8).
The combination of pathway-based approaches and information on disease specific subtypes can improve the identification of cancer susceptibility loci in heterogeneous diseases.
Lung cancer; histology; squamous cell carcinoma; pathway analysis; RAD52
Recent genome-wide association studies have identified independent susceptibility loci for prostate cancer (CaP) that could influence risk through interaction with other, possibly undetected, susceptibility loci. We explored evidence of interaction between pairs of 13 known susceptibility loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome to generate hypotheses about the functionality of CaP susceptibility regions. We used data from Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility: Stage I included 523,841 SNPs in 1175 cases and 1100 controls; Stage II included 27,383 SNPs in an additional 3941 cases and 3964 controls. Power calculations assessed the magnitude of interactions our study is likely to detect. Logistic regression was used with alternative methods that exploit constraints of gene-gene independence between unlinked loci to increase power. Our empirical evaluation demonstrated that an empirical Bayes (EB) technique is powerful and robust to possible violation of the independence assumption. Our EB analysis identified several noteworthy interacting SNP pairs, although none reached genome-wide significance. We highlight a Stage II interaction between the major CaP susceptibility locus in the subregion of 8q24 that contains POU5F1B and an intronic SNP in the transcription factor EPAS1, which has potentially important functional implications for 8q24. Another noteworthy result involves interaction of a known CaP susceptibility marker near the prostate protease genes KLK2 and KLK3 with an intronic SNP in PRXX2. Overall, the interactions we have identified merit follow-up study, particularly the EPAS1 interaction which has implications not only in CaP but also in other epithelial cancers that are associated with the 8q24 locus.
An important follow-up step after genetic markers are found to be associated with a disease outcome is a more detailed analysis investigating how the implicated gene or chromosomal region and an established environment risk factor interact to influence the disease risk. The standard approach to this study of gene–environment interaction considers one genetic marker at a time and therefore could misrepresent and underestimate the genetic contribution to the joint effect when one or more functional loci, some of which might not be genotyped, exist in the region and interact with the environment risk factor in a complex way. We develop a more global approach based on a Bayesian model that uses a latent genetic profile variable to capture all of the genetic variation in the entire targeted region and allows the environment effect to vary across different genetic profile categories. We also propose a resampling-based test derived from the developed Bayesian model for the detection of gene–environment interaction. Using data collected in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study, we apply the Bayesian model to evaluate the joint effect of smoking intensity and genetic variants in the 15q25.1 region, which contains a cluster of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes and has been shown to be associated with both lung cancer and smoking behavior. We find evidence for gene–environment interaction (P-value = 0.016), with the smoking effect appearing to be stronger in subjects with a genetic profile associated with a higher lung cancer risk; the conventional test of gene–environment interaction based on the single-marker approach is far from significant.
Many common diseases result from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors. It is important to study the potential genetic and environmental risk factors jointly in order to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease development. The standard single-marker approach that studies the environmental risk factor and one genetic marker at a time could misrepresent the gene–environment interaction, as the single genetic marker might not be an appropriate surrogate for the underlying genetic functioning polymorphisms. We propose a method to look at gene–environment interaction at the gene/region level by integrating information observed on multiple genetic markers within the selected gene/region with measures of environmental exposure. Using data collected in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study, we apply the proposed model to evaluate the joint effect of smoking intensity and genetic variants in the 15q25.1 region and find evidence for gene–environment interaction (P-value = 0.016), with the smoking effect varying according to a subject's genetic profile.
The presence of pancreatic cancer (PC) in melanoma-prone families has been consistently associated with an increased frequency of CDKN2A mutations, the major high-risk susceptibility gene identified for melanoma. However, the precise relationship between CDKN2A, melanoma and PC remains unknown. We evaluated a recently identified PC susceptibility gene PALB2 using both sequencing and tagging to determine whether PALB2 might explain part of the relationship between CDKN2A, melanoma, and PC. No disease-related mutations were identified from sequencing PALB2 in multiple pancreatic cancer patients or other mutation carrier relatives of PC patients from the eight melanoma-prone families with CDKN2A mutations and PC. In addition, no significant associations were observed between 11 PALB2 tagging SNPs and melanoma risk in 23 melanoma-prone families with CDKN2A mutations or the subset of 11 families with PC or PC-related CDKN2A mutations. The results suggested that PALB2 does not explain the relationship between CDKN2A, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer in these melanoma-prone families.
CDKN2A; PALB2; familial melanoma; pancreatic cancer; germline mutation
Chromosome 9p21 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). In addition to CDKN2A, the major known high-risk susceptibility gene for CMM, recent studies suggest that other 9p21 genes may be involved in melanoma/nevi development. To identify 9p21 variants that influence susceptibility to CMM and number of nevi in CMM-prone families with and without CDKN2A mutations, we analyzed 562 individuals (183 CMM) from 53 families (23 CDKN2A+, 30 CDKN2A−) for 233 tagging SNPs in 21 genes at 9p21. Single SNP- and gene-based regression analyses were used to assess the risk of CMM, nevi count, skin complexion, and tanning ability associated with these SNPs and genes. We found that SNP rs7023329 in the MTAP gene was associated with number of nevi (Ptrend=0.003) confirming a recent finding by a genome-wide association study. In addition, three SNPs in the ACO1 gene, rs7855483 (Ptrend=0.002), rs17288067 (Ptrend=0.0009), and rs10813813 (Ptrend=0.005), showed the strongest associations with CMM risk. None of the examined 9p21 SNPs was associated with skin complexion, whereas two SNPs, rs10964862 in IFNW1 (Ptrend=0.003), and rs13290968 in TUSC1 (Ptrend=0.0006), were associated with tanning ability. Gene-based analyses suggested that the ACO1 gene was significantly associated with CMM (P=0.0004); genes IFNW1 (P=0.002) and ACO1 (P=0.0002) were significantly associated with tanning ability. Our findings are consistent with recent proposals that additional 9p21 genes may contribute to CMM susceptibility in CMM-prone families. These genetic variants may, at least partially, exert their effects through nevi and tanning ability.
melanoma; nevi; chromosome 9p21; SNP; CDKN2A
Retinol is one of the most biologically active forms of vitamin A and is hypothesized to influence a wide range of human diseases including asthma, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases and cancer. We conducted a genome-wide association study of 5006 Caucasian individuals drawn from two cohorts of men: the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. We identified two independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with circulating retinol levels, which are located near the transthyretin (TTR) and retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) genes which encode major carrier proteins of retinol: rs1667255 (P =2.30× 10−17) and rs10882272 (P =6.04× 10−12). We replicated the association with rs10882272 in RBP4 in independent samples from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Invecchiare in Chianti Study (InCHIANTI) that included 3792 women and 504 men (P =9.49× 10−5), but found no association for retinol with rs1667255 in TTR among women, thus suggesting evidence for gender dimorphism (P-interaction=1.31× 10−5). Discovery of common genetic variants associated with serum retinol levels may provide further insight into the contribution of retinol and other vitamin A compounds to the development of cancer and other complex diseases.
In genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of common genetic variants associated with circulating alpha- and gamma-tocopherol concentrations in two adult cohorts comprising 5006 men of European descent, we observed three loci associated with alpha-tocopherol levels, two novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs2108622 on 19pter-p13.11 (P= 1.7 × 10−8) and rs11057830 on 12q24.31 (P= 2.0 × 10−8) and confirmed a previously reported locus marked by rs964184 on 11q23.3 (P= 2.7 × 10−10). The three SNPs have been reported to be associated with lipid metabolism and/or regulation. We replicated these findings in a combined meta-analysis with two independent samples, P= 7.8 × 10−12 (rs964184 on 11q23.3 near BUD13, ZNF259 and APOA1/C3/A4/A5), P= 1.4 × 10−10 (rs2108622 on 19pter-p13.11 near CYP4F2) and P= 8.2 × 10−9 (rs11057830 on 12q24.31 near SCARB1). Combined, these SNPs explain 1.7% of the residual variance in log alpha-tocopherol levels. In one of the two male GWAS cohorts (n= 992), no SNPs were significantly associated with gamma-tocopherol concentrations after including data from the replication sample for 71 independent SNPs with P< 1 × 10−4 identified.
We conducted a multi-stage, genome-wide association study (GWAS) of bladder cancer with a primary scan of 589,299 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 3,532 cases and 5,120 controls of European descent (5 studies) followed by a replication strategy, which included 8,381 cases and 48,275 controls (16 studies). In a combined analysis, we identified three new regions associated with bladder cancer on chromosomes 22q13.1, 19q12 and 2q37.1; rs1014971, (P=8×10−12) maps to a non-genic region of chromosome 22q13.1; rs8102137 (P=2×10−11) on 19q12 maps to CCNE1; and rs11892031 (P=1×10−7) maps to the UGT1A cluster on 2q37.1. We confirmed four previous GWAS associations on chromosomes 3q28, 4p16.3, 8q24.21 and 8q24.3, validated previous candidate associations for the GSTM1 deletion (P=4×10−11) and a tag SNP for NAT2 acetylation status (P=4×10−11), as well as demonstrated smoking interactions with both regions. Our findings on common variants associated with bladder cancer risk should provide new insights into mechanisms of carcinogenesis.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of gastric cancer (GC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in ethnic Chinese subjects in which we genotyped 551,152 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We report a combined analysis of 2,240 GC cases, 2,115 ESCC cases, and 3,302 controls drawn from five studies. In logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, and study, multiple variants at 10q23 had genome-wide significance for GC and ESCC independently. A notable signal was rs2274223, a nonsynonymous SNP located in PLCE1, for GC (P=8.40×10−9; per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.31) and ESCC (P=3.85×10−9; OR = 1.34). The association with GC differed by anatomic subsite. For tumors located in the cardia the association was stronger (P=4.19 × 10−15; OR= 1.57) and for those located in the noncardia stomach it was absent (P=0.44; OR=1.05). Our findings at 10q23 could provide insight into the high incidence rates of both cancers in China.
In the genetic study of complex traits, especially behavior related ones, such as smoking and alcoholism, usually several phenotypic measurements are obtained for the description of the complex trait, but no single measurement can quantify fully the complicated characteristics of the symptom because of our lack of understanding of the underlying etiology. If those phenotypes share a common genetic mechanism, rather than studying each individual phenotype separately, it is more advantageous to analyze them jointly as a multivariate trait in order to enhance the power to identify associated genes. We propose a multilocus association test for the study of multivariate traits. The test is derived from a partially linear tree-based regression model for multiple outcomes. This novel tree-based model provides a formal statistical testing framework for the evaluation of the association between a multivariate outcome and a set of candidate predictors, such as markers within a gene or pathway, while accommodating adjustment for other covariates. Through simulation studies we show that the proposed method has an acceptable type I error rate and improved power over the univariate outcome analysis, which studies each component of the complex trait separately with multiple-comparison adjustment. A candidate gene association study of multiple smoking-related phenotypes is used to demonstrate the application and advantages of this new method. The proposed method is general enough to be used for the assessment of the joint effect of a set of multiple risk factors on a multivariate outcome in other biomedical research settings.
Generalized estimating equation; Genetic association study; Model selection; Multiple-comparison adjustment; Tree-based model
The primary circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D [25(OH)D], is associated with multiple medical outcomes, including rickets, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and cancer. In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 4501 persons of European ancestry drawn from five cohorts, we identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding group-specific component (vitamin D binding) protein, GC, on chromosome 4q12-13 that were associated with 25(OH)D concentrations: rs2282679 (P = 2.0 × 10−30), in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with rs7041, a non-synonymous SNP (D432E; P = 4.1 × 10−22) and rs1155563 (P = 3.8 × 10−25). Suggestive signals for association with 25(OH)D were also observed for SNPs in or near three other genes involved in vitamin D synthesis or activation: rs3829251 on chromosome 11q13.4 in NADSYN1 [encoding nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) synthetase; P = 8.8 × 10−7], which was in high LD with rs1790349, located in DHCR7, the gene encoding 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase that synthesizes cholesterol from 7-dehydrocholesterol; rs6599638 in the region harboring the open-reading frame 88 (C10orf88) on chromosome 10q26.13 in the vicinity of ACADSB (acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase), involved in cholesterol and vitamin D synthesis (P = 3.3 × 10−7); and rs2060793 on chromosome 11p15.2 in CYP2R1 (cytochrome P450, family 2, subfamily R, polypeptide 1, encoding a key C-25 hydroxylase that converts vitamin D3 to an active vitamin D receptor ligand; P = 1.4 × 10−5). We genotyped SNPs in these four regions in 2221 additional samples and confirmed strong genome-wide significant associations with 25(OH)D through meta-analysis with the GWAS data for GC (P = 1.8 × 10−49), NADSYN1/DHCR7 (P = 3.4 × 10−9) and CYP2R1 (P = 2.9 × 10−17), but not C10orf88 (P = 2.4 × 10−5).
Sepsis is currently the 10th leading cause of death overall and accounts for significant healthcare expenditures in the developed world. There are now more deaths attributable to sepsis than coronary artery disease, stroke, or cancer, and it is widely believed that the incidence of sepsis and sepsis-related mortality will continue to rise. Based on these sobering statistics, there is great interest in identifying novel treatments for managing critically ill children and adults with sepsis. Unfortunately, to date, there have been very few successful therapeutic agents employed in the clinical setting. Despite these disappointing results, new therapeutic agents continue to be identified, and there is reason for optimism and hope for the future. Herein, we will briefly review several novel therapeutic adjuncts for the management of critically ill patients with sepsis. We will largely focus on those therapies that directly target the host inflammatory response, specifically those that result in activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor (NF)-κB. We will also reference some of the patents recently filed that pertain to the host innate immune response and sepsis.
Sepsis; Critical illness; Septic shock; Genomics; Gene polymorphisms; LPS; NF-κB; Toll-like receptors; danger signals; heat shock proteins; inflammation; Pediatric; Adult
CDKN2A is a major susceptibility gene for cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) but the variable penetrance and clinical manifestations among mutation carriers suggest the existence of modifier factors. The goal of this study was to identify modifier genes for CMM in CMM-prone families with or without CDKN2A mutations. We genotyped 537 individuals (107 CMM) from 28 families (19 CDKN2A+, 9 CDKN2A−) for 1536 SNPs in 152 genes involved in DNA repair, apoptosis, and immune response pathways. We used conditional logistic regression to account for family ascertainment and differences in disease prevalence among families. Pathway- and gene-based permutation analyses were used to assess the risk of CMM associated with genes in the five pathways (DNA repair, apoptosis, TNF/NFκB, TH1:TH2, and other immune regulation). Our analyses identified some candidate genes such as FAS, BCL7A, CASP14, TRAF6, WRN, IL9, IL10RB, TNFSF8, TNFRSF9, and JAK3 that were associated with CMM risk (P<0.01, gene-based test). After correction for multiple comparisons, IL9 remained significant (Bonferroni P<0.05). The effects of some genes were stronger in CDKN2A-positive families (BCL7A and IL9), while some were stronger in CDKN2A-negative families (BCL2L1). Our findings support the hypothesis that common genetic polymorphisms in DNA repair, apoptosis, and immune response pathways may modify the risk of CMM in CMM-prone families with or without CDKN2A mutations.
modifier gene; cutaneous malignant melanoma; high-risk family; CDKN2A; pathway
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) have been associated with hematopoietic malignancies, but data for many subtypes are limited. From the U.S. SEER-Medicare database, we selected 61,464 cases (≥67 years) with hematopoietic malignancies and 122,531 population-based controls, frequency-matched by gender, age and year (1993–2002). Logistic regression was used to compare the prevalence of HCV, HBV and alcoholic hepatitis in cases and controls, adjusted for matching factors, race, duration of Medicare coverage, and number of physician claims. HCV, HBV, and alcoholic hepatitis were reported in 195 (0.3%), 111 (0.2%) and 404 (0.7%) cases and 264 (0.2%), 242 (0.2%) and 798 (0.7%) controls, respectively. HCV was associated with increased risk of diffuse large B-cell (OR 1.52, 95%CI 1.05–2.18), Burkitt (OR 5.21, 95%CI 1.62–16.8), follicular (OR 1.88, 95%CI 1.17–3.02), and marginal zone lymphomas (OR 2.20, 95%CI 1.22–3.95), and acute myeloid leukemia (OR 1.54, 95%CI 1.00–2.37). In contrast, HBV was unrelated to any hematopoietic malignancies. Alcoholic hepatitis was associated with decreased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but increased risk of Burkitt lymphoma. In summary, HCV, but not other causes of hepatitis, was associated with elevated risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia. HCV may induce lymphoproliferative malignancies through chronic immune stimulation.
Epidemiology; lymphoma; leukemia; hepatitis; virus