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1.  Burden of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Related to Tobacco Smoking among Adults Aged ≥45 Years in Asia: A Pooled Analysis of 21 Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001631.
Wei Zheng and colleagues quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths for adults in Asia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases. We sought to quantify the burden of tobacco-smoking-related deaths in Asia, in parts of which men's smoking prevalence is among the world's highest.
Methods and Findings
We performed pooled analyses of data from 1,049,929 participants in 21 cohorts in Asia to quantify the risks of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco smoking using adjusted hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals. We then estimated smoking-related deaths among adults aged ≥45 y in 2004 in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan—accounting for ∼71% of Asia's total population. An approximately 1.44-fold (95% CI = 1.37–1.51) and 1.48-fold (1.38–1.58) elevated risk of death from any cause was found in male and female ever-smokers, respectively. In 2004, active tobacco smoking accounted for approximately 15.8% (95% CI = 14.3%–17.2%) and 3.3% (2.6%–4.0%) of deaths, respectively, in men and women aged ≥45 y in the seven countries/regions combined, with a total number of estimated deaths of ∼1,575,500 (95% CI = 1,398,000–1,744,700). Among men, approximately 11.4%, 30.5%, and 19.8% of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases, respectively, were attributable to tobacco smoking. Corresponding proportions for East Asian women were 3.7%, 4.6%, and 1.7%, respectively. The strongest association with tobacco smoking was found for lung cancer: a 3- to 4-fold elevated risk, accounting for 60.5% and 16.7% of lung cancer deaths, respectively, in Asian men and East Asian women aged ≥45 y.
Conclusions
Tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially elevated risk of mortality, accounting for approximately 2 million deaths in adults aged ≥45 y throughout Asia in 2004. It is likely that smoking-related deaths in Asia will continue to rise over the next few decades if no effective smoking control programs are implemented.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, more than 5 million smokers die from tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (conditions that affect the heart and the circulation), respiratory disease (conditions that affect breathing), lung cancer, and several other types of cancer. All told, tobacco smoking kills up to half its users. The ongoing global “epidemic” of tobacco smoking and tobacco-related diseases initially affected people living in the US and other Western countries, where the prevalence of smoking (the proportion of the population that smokes) in men began to rise in the early 1900s, peaking in the 1960s. A similar epidemic occurred in women about 40 years later. Smoking-related deaths began to increase in the second half of the 20th century, and by the 1990s, tobacco smoking accounted for a third of all deaths and about half of cancer deaths among men in the US and other Western countries. More recently, increased awareness of the risks of smoking and the introduction of various tobacco control measures has led to a steady decline in tobacco use and in smoking-related diseases in many developed countries.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, less well-developed tobacco control programs, inadequate public awareness of smoking risks, and tobacco company marketing have recently led to sharp increases in the prevalence of smoking in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Asia. More than 50% of men in many Asian countries are now smokers, about twice the prevalence in many Western countries, and more women in some Asian countries are smoking than previously. More than half of the world's billion smokers now live in Asia. However, little is known about the burden of tobacco-related mortality (deaths) in this region. In this study, the researchers quantify the risk of total and cause-specific mortality associated with tobacco use among adults aged 45 years or older by undertaking a pooled statistical analysis of data collected from 21 Asian cohorts (groups) about their smoking history and health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their study, the researchers used data from more than 1 million participants enrolled in studies undertaken in Bangladesh, India, mainland China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (which together account for 71% of Asia's total population). Smoking prevalences among male and female participants were 65.1% and 7.1%, respectively. Compared with never-smokers, ever-smokers had a higher risk of death from any cause in pooled analyses of all the cohorts (adjusted hazard ratios [HRs] of 1.44 and 1.48 for men and women, respectively; an adjusted HR indicates how often an event occurs in one group compared to another group after adjustment for other characteristics that affect an individual's risk of the event). Compared with never smoking, ever smoking was associated with a higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer (particularly lung cancer), and respiratory disease among Asian men and among East Asian women. Moreover, the researchers estimate that, in the countries included in this study, tobacco smoking accounted for 15.8% of all deaths among men and 3.3% of deaths among women in 2004—a total of about 1.5 million deaths, which scales up to 2 million deaths for the population of the whole of Asia. Notably, in 2004, tobacco smoking accounted for 60.5% of lung-cancer deaths among Asian men and 16.7% of lung-cancer deaths among East Asian women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide strong evidence that tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially raised risk of death among adults aged 45 years or older throughout Asia. The association between smoking and mortality risk in Asia reported here is weaker than that previously reported for Western countries, possibly because widespread tobacco smoking started several decades later in most Asian countries than in Europe and North America and the deleterious effects of smoking take some years to become evident. The researchers note that certain limitations of their analysis are likely to affect the accuracy of its findings. For example, because no data were available to estimate the impact of secondhand smoke, the estimate of deaths attributable to smoking is likely to be an underestimate. However, the finding that nearly 45% of the global deaths from active tobacco smoking occur in Asia highlights the urgent need to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs in Asia to reduce the burden of tobacco-related disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001631.
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages) and about the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international instrument for tobacco control that came into force in February 2005 and requires parties to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes; its 2013 report on the global tobacco epidemic is available
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information about all aspects of smoking and tobacco use
The UK National Health Services Choices website provides information about the health risks associated with smoking
MedlinePlus has links to further information about the dangers of smoking (in English and Spanish)
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001631
PMCID: PMC3995657  PMID: 24756146
2.  Evaluation of routine biopsies in endoscopic screening for esophagogastric junction cancer 
AIM: To explore whether routine biopsies at the high incidence spot of esophagogastric junction (EGJ) cancer are justified in endoscopic screening.
METHODS: This was a multicenter population-based study conducted in eight high-risk areas in China. A total of 37396 participants underwent endoscopic examination. Biopsies were obtained from visible mucosal abnormalities or from normal-appearing mucosa at the high incidence spot of esophagogastric junction cancer when no abnormality was detected. Specimens showing high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HIN) or higher grade lesions were deemed as pathologically “positive”. The ratios of positive pathologic diagnosis between participants with abnormal and normal-appearing mucosa were compared using the Pearson χ2 test. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, adjusted for potential confounders, were calculated using logistic regression.
RESULTS: A total of 37520 individuals participated in this study and 37396 (99.7%) participants had full information and were suitable for analysis. During endoscopic examinations, 9.11% (3405/37396) participants were found to have visible mucosal lesions. Of the participants who had normal-appearing mucosa at the EGJ, only 0.28% (94/33991) were diagnosed with HIN or higher grade lesions, whereas 6.05% (206/3405) of participants with abnormalities at the EGJ had a positive pathologic result. After controlling for other variables, visible abnormal mucosa detected under endoscopy strongly predicted a positive pathologic result (OR = 32.51, 95%CI: 23.96-44.09). The proportion of participants with “positive” pathologic diagnoses increased as the total number of endoscopic examinations performed by the doctors increased (< 5000 cases vs 5000-10000 cases vs > 10000 cases, Z = -2.7207, P = 0.0065, Cochran Armiger trend test). The same trend was found between the proportion of participants with positive pathologic diagnoses and the total number of years the doctors performed endoscopy (< 5 years vs 5-10 years vs > 10 years, Z = -10.3222, P < 0.001, Cochran Armiger trend test).
CONCLUSION: Additional routine biopsies from the high incidence spot of EGJ cancer are of limited value and are unjustified.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i17.5074
PMCID: PMC4009543  PMID: 24803821
Esophagogastric junction cancer; High incidence spot; Screening; Endoscopy; Biopsy
3.  SIX-YEAR REGRESSION AND PROGRESSION OF CERVICAL LESIONS OF DIFFERENT HPV VIRAL LOADS IN VARIED HISTOLOGICAL DIAGNOSES 
Objective
This study aims to evaluate HPV viral load as a biomarker for triage into colposcopy and CIN2 therapy, in order to reduce the colposcopy referral rate and CIN2 over treatment in low resource settings.
Methods
In 1999, 1997 women aged 35–45 in Shanxi, China, received six cervical screenings with pathological confirmation. In 2005, 1461 histologically normal women, 99 with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 1 (CIN1), and 30 with CIN grade 2 or worse (CIN2+) were rescreened in a follow-up study. HPV was detected by Hybrid Capture 2. Viral load, estimated by the ratio of relative light units to standard positive control, was categorized into four groups: negative (<1.0), low (≥1.0, <10.0), moderate (≥10.0, <100.0) and high (≥100.0). We estimated cumulative incidence of CIN2+ by viral load subgroups and calculated adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) for CIN2+ using Cox proportional hazards regression.
Results
Cumulative incidence of CIN2+ increased with baseline HPV viral load among normal women and women with CIN1 at baseline (P-trend<0.001). Repeat moderate-high viral load was associated with the highest risk for CIN2+ (aHR=188.8, 95% confidence interval: 41.2–864.1). Raising the RLU/PC cutoff from 1.0 to 10.0 for colposcopy greatly reduced the referral rate from 18.1% to 12.9%. It also increased the specificity (84.8% vs. 90.4%), the positive predictive value (22.5% vs. 28.9%), and the positive likelihood ratio (6.4 vs. 8.9), yet with loss of the sensitivity by 12% (97.6% vs. 85.7%). Among women with CIN2 at baseline, 56% regressed to normal, 24% regressed to CIN1, 4% remained CIN2, and 16% progressed to CIN3+.
Conclusions
Locales using HPV testing as the primary screening method, and lacking high-quality cytology-based screening, should consider viral load as an alternative to colposcopy triage for women over age 35. Viral load may also predict CIN2 progression until additional biomarkers become available.
doi:10.1097/IGC.0b013e318286a95d
PMCID: PMC3636161  PMID: 23455757
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN); Hazard Ratios (HR); Human Papillomavirus (HPV) viral load; Regression; Progression
4.  Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia in China: A pooled analysis of 17 Population-based Studies 
High-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence has been shown to correlate well with cervical cancer incidence rates. Our study aimed to estimate the prevalence of HR-HPV and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in China and indirectly inform on the cervical cancer burden in the country. 30,207 women from 17 population-based studies throughout China were included. All women received HPV DNA testing (HC2, Qiagen), visual inspection with acetic acid, and liquid-based cytology. Women positive for any test received colposcopy-directed or 4-quadrant biopsies. 29,579 women had HR-HPV testing results, of whom 28,761 had biopsy-confirmed (9019, 31.4%) or assumed (19,742, 68.6%) final diagnosis. Overall crude HR-HPV prevalence was 17.7%. HR-HPV prevalence was similar in rural and urban areas but showed dips in different age groups: at age 25–29 years (11.3%) in rural and at age 35–39 (11.3%) in urban women. In rural and urban women, age-standardized CIN2 prevalence was 1.5% (95%CI: 1.4%–1.6%) and 0.7% (95%CI: 0.7%–0.8%), and CIN3+ prevalence was 1.2% (95%CI: 1.2%–1.3%) and 0.6% (95%CI: 0.5%–0.7%), respectively. Prevalence of CIN3+ as a percentage of either all women or HR-HPV positive women steadily increased with age, peaking in 45–49 year-old women. High prevalence of HR-HPV and CIN3+ was detected in both rural and urban China. The steady rise of CIN3+ up to the age group 45–49 is attributable to lack of lesion removal through screening. Our findings document the inadequacy of current screening in China while indirectly raising the possibility that the cervical cancer burden in China is under-reported.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27571
PMCID: PMC3435460  PMID: 22488743
Cervical Cancer; Human Papillomavirus; Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia; Prevalence; China
5.  Genetic variants in sex hormone metabolic pathway genes and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(5):1062-1068.
In China, esophageal cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death where essentially all cases are histologically esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), in contrast to esophageal adenocarcinoma in the West. Globally, ESCC is 2.4 times more common among men than women and recently it has been suggested that sex hormones may be associated with the risk of ESCC. We examined the association between genetic variants in sex hormone metabolic genes and ESCC risk in a population from north central China with high-incidence rates. A total of 1026 ESCC cases and 1452 controls were genotyped for 797 unique tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 51 sex hormone metabolic genes. SNP-, gene- and pathway-based associations with ESCC risk were evaluated using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age, sex and geographical location and the adaptive rank truncated product (ARTP) method. Statistical significance was determined through use of permutation for pathway- and gene-based associations. No associations were observed for the overall sex hormone metabolic pathway (P = 0.14) or subpathways (androgen synthesis: P = 0.30, estrogen synthesis: P = 0.15 and estrogen removal: P = 0.19) with risk of ESCC. However, six individual genes (including SULT2B1, CYP1B1, CYP3A7, CYP3A5, SHBG and CYP11A1) were significantly associated with ESCC risk (P < 0.05). Our examination of genetic variation in the sex hormone metabolic pathway is consistent with a potential association with risk of ESCC. These positive findings warrant further evaluation in relation to ESCC risk and replication in other populations.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgt030
PMCID: PMC3643422  PMID: 23358850
6.  Population-based study of DNA image cytometry as screening method for esophageal cancer 
AIM: To explore the DNA image cytometry (DNA-ICM) technique as a primary screening method for esophageal squamous precancerous lesions.
METHODS: This study was designed as a population-based screening study. A total of 582 local residents aged 40 years-69 years were recruited from Linzhou in Henan and Feicheng in Shandong. However, only 452 subjects had results of liquid-based cytology, DNA-ICM and pathology. The sensitivity and specificity of DNA-ICM were calculated and compared with liquid-based cytology in moderate dysplasia or worse.
RESULTS: Sensitivities of DNA-ICM ranging from at least 1 to 4 aneuploid cells were 90.91%, 86.36%, 79.55% and 77.27%, respectively, which were better than that of liquid-based cytology (75%). Specificities of DNA-ICM were 70.83%, 84.07%, 92.65% and 96.81%, but the specificity of liquid-based cytology was 91.91%. The sensitivity and specificity of a combination of liquid-based cytology and DNA-ICM were 84.09% and 85.78%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: It is possible to use DNA-ICM technique as a primary screening method for esophageal squamous precancerous lesions.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i4.375
PMCID: PMC3261533  PMID: 22294844
DNA image cytometry; Aneuploidy; Screening; Esophageal cancer; Precancerous lesions
7.  A prospective study of age trends of high-risk human papillomavirus infection in rural China 
Background
In China, high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) prevalence is unexpectedly high in older women, but the possible reasons have not been well studied yet. This study investigated the age trends of HR-HPV infection in a prospective study.
Methods
A total of 7397 women aged 25-65 years without cervical precancer or cancer were evaluated during 2010-2011 with a stratified sample of 2791 women re-evaluated after one year. Test results for careHPV and careHPV16/18/45 were used to describe the HR-HPV prevalence, incidence and clearance. Risk factors associated with HR-HPV infections were explored using a logistic regression model.
Results
The overall HR-HPV prevalence was 13.1% at baseline, with a peak of 19.3% in women aged 55-59 years. The prevalence of HR-HPV (p for trends < 0.001), HPV16/18/45 (p for trends = 0.002), and HR-HPV other than HPV16/18/45 (p for trends = 0.002) generally increased with increasing age. Number of infections that cleared was generally greater than number of incident infections within age groups. One-year clearance rate decreased with increasing age (p for trends < 0.001), however, incidence rate was unrelated to age (p for trends = 0.159). Risk factors that associated with HR-HPV infection differed between younger and older women.
Conclusions
The greater HR-HPV prevalence in older versus younger women in rural China may be explained by a cohort effect, higher than expected incidence, and/or poorer clearance at older age.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-96
PMCID: PMC3936871  PMID: 24559293
Human papillomavirus; Infection; Age; Risk factor; Cohort effect
8.  Prospective Study of Serum Cysteine Levels and Oesophageal and Gastric Cancers in China 
Gut  2011;60(5):618-623.
Background
Cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Cysteine, known to be involved in a myriad of immuno-modulatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-carcinogenic pathways, has not been investigated in the aetiology of oesophageal or gastric cancers. To examine the relationship between serum cysteine concentration and risk of these cancers we conducted a nested case-cohort study within the General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial in Linxian, China.
Methods
498 oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and 255 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas (GCA) were matched by age and sex to 947 individuals from the wider cohort. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using the case-cohort estimator for the Cox proportional hazards models, stratified on age and sex, with adjustment for potential confounders.
Results
Higher concentrations of serum cysteine were significantly associated with a lower risk of both OSCC and GCA. For those in the highest quartile of serum cysteine, compared to those in the lowest, the multivariate HRs were 0.70 for OSCC (95% CI: 0.51, 0.98) and 0.59 for GCA (95% CI: 0.38, 0.91). These associations were dose dependent (P for trend = 0.006 and 0.008, respectively). These inverse associations were not significantly modified by other risk factors, with the exception of age, where a stronger association was noted among persons in the older age strata.
Conclusion
Higher serum concentrations of cysteine were associated with a significantly reduced risk of OSCC and GCA. Cysteine should be further investigated for its potential as a chemopreventive agent for upper gastrointestinal cancers.
doi:10.1136/gut.2010.225854
PMCID: PMC3428021  PMID: 21242262
oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma; gastric cardia cancer; hazard ratio; cysteine
9.  Body Mass Index and Breast Cancer Defined by Biological Receptor Status in Pre-Menopausal and Post-Menopausal Women: A Multicenter Study in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87224.
Background
Few studies have investigated the association between body mass index (BMI) and breast cancer with consideration to estrogen/progesterone/human epidermal growth factor type 2 receptor status (ER/PR/HER2) in the breast tissue among Chinese pre- and post-menopausal women.
Methods
Four thousand two hundred and eleven breast cancer patients were selected randomly from seven geographic regions of China from 1999 to 2008. Demographic data, risk factors, pathologic features, and biological receptor status of cases were collected from the medical charts. Chi-square test, fisher exact test, rank-correlation analysis, and multivariate logistic regression model were adopted to explore whether BMI differed according to biological receptor status in pre- and post-menopausal women.
Results
Three thousand two hundred and eighty one eligible cases with BMI data were included. No statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics were found between the cases with BMI data and those without. In the rank-correlation analysis, the rates of PR+ and HER2+ were positively correlated with increasing BMI among post-menopausal women (rs BMI, PR+ = 0.867, P = 0.001; rs BMI, HER2+ = 0.636, P = 0.048), but the ER+ rates did not vary by increasing BMI. Controlling for confounding factors, multivariate logistic regression models with BMI<24 kg/m2 as the reference group were performed and found that BMI≥24 kg/m2 was only positively correlated with PR+ status among post-menopausal breast cancer cases (adjusted OR = 1.420, 95% CI: 1.116–1.808, Wald = 8.116, P = 0.004).
Conclusions
Post-menopausal women with high BMI (≥24 kg/m2) have a higher proportion of PR+ breast cancer. In addition to effects mediated via the estrogen metabolism pathway, high BMI might increase the risk of breast cancer by other routes, which should be examined further in future etiological mechanism studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087224
PMCID: PMC3906138  PMID: 24489874
10.  Long-term Survival After Esophagectomy for Early Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Linxian, China 
Journal of surgical oncology  2011;104(2):176-180.
Background and Objectives
Linxian in Henan Province, China, has among the highest rates of esophageal cancer worldwide. Little is known about long-term survival after esophagectomy for early neoplastic lesions found during early detection screening. A long-term survival analysis was performed for 315 patients from Linxian who received esophagectomy for early esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Methods
Cases that received esophagectomy for early esophageal squamous cell carcinoma were age- and gender-matched with two healthy controls, and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were performed for both groups.
Results
10-year survival was 77% for cases and 64% for controls, and this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.33). There were no significant differences in survival based on age or gender (p>0.05). Cases with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma-in-situ had significantly better survival than cases with invasive esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (p=0.035).
Conclusions
Survival of cases who received esophagectomy for early esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was not significantly different from survival of age- and gender-matched controls. Early intervention probably improved survival rates for these patients who otherwise would most likely have developed advanced esophageal carcinoma. Early screening and intervention are highly relevant in areas with a high risk of esophageal cancer such as Linxian, China.
doi:10.1002/jso.21953
PMCID: PMC3129477  PMID: 21538356
Esophageal Cancer; Esophageal Surgery; Statistics; survival analysis
11.  Cost-benefit analysis of esophageal cancer endoscopic screening in high-risk areas of China 
AIM: To estimate the cost-benefit of endoscopic screening strategies of esophageal cancer (EC) in high-risk areas of China.
METHODS: Markov model-based analyses were conducted to compare the net present values (NPVs) and the benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) of 12 EC endoscopic screening strategies. Strategies varied according to the targeted screening age, screening frequencies, and follow-up intervals. Model parameters were collected from population-based studies in China, published literatures, and surveillance data.
RESULTS: Compared with non-screening outcomes, all strategies with hypothetical 100 000 subjects saved life years. Among five dominant strategies determined by the incremental cost-effectiveness analysis, screening once at age 50 years incurred the lowest NPV (international dollar-I$55 million) and BCR (2.52). Screening six times between 40-70 years at a 5-year interval [i.e., six times(40)f-strategy] yielded the highest NPV (I$99 million) and BCR (3.06). Compared with six times(40)f-strategy, screening thrice between 40-70 years at a 10-year interval resulted in relatively lower NPV, but the same BCR.
CONCLUSION: EC endoscopic screening is cost-beneficial in high-risk areas of China. Policy-makers should consider the cost-benefit, population acceptance, and local economic status when choosing suitable screening strategies.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i20.2493
PMCID: PMC3360447  PMID: 22654446
Cost-benefit analysis; Esophageal cancer; Endoscopy; Screening; High-risk area
12.  Managing the changing burden of cancer in Asia 
BMC Medicine  2014;12:3.
Asia accounts for 60% of the world population and half the global burden of cancer. The incidence of cancer cases is estimated to increase from 6.1 million in 2008 to 10.6 million in 2030, due to ageing and growing populations, lifestyle and socioeconomic changes. Striking variations in ethnicity, sociocultural practices, human development index, habits and dietary patterns are reflected in the burden and pattern of cancer in different regions. The existing and emerging cancer patterns and burden in different regions of Asia call for political recognition of cancer as an important public health problem and for balanced investments in public and professional awareness. Prevention as well as early detection of cancers leads to both better health outcomes and considerable savings in treatment costs. Cancer health services are still evolving, and require substantial investment to ensure equitable access to cancer care for all sections of the population. In this review, we discuss the changing burden of cancer in Asia, along with appropriate management strategies. Strategies should promote healthy ageing via healthy lifestyles, tobacco and alcohol control measures, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, cancer screening services, and vertical investments in strengthening cancer healthcare infrastructure to improve equitable access to services.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-12-3
PMCID: PMC4029284  PMID: 24400922
Asia; Cancer burden; Prevention; Screening; Early detection; Diagnosis; Treatment; Clinical implication; Health services; Survival
13.  Risk Factors for Breast Cancer Among Chinese Women: A 10-Year Nationwide Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2014;24(1):67-76.
Background
The characteristics of established risk factors for breast cancer may vary among countries. A better understanding of local characteristics of risk factors may help in devising effective prevention strategies for breast cancer.
Methods
Information on exposures to risk factors was collected from the medical charts of 4211 women with breast cancer diagnosed during 1999–2008. The distributions of these exposures among regions, and by menopausal status and birth period, were compared with the χ2 test. Crude associations between the selected factors and breast cancer were estimated using the cases in the present study and a representative control population, which was selected from qualified published studies.
Results
As compared with cases from less developed regions, those from more developed regions were significantly more likely to be nulliparous, had fewer childbirths (P < 0.05), and were less likely to have breastfed (P = 0.08). As compared with premenopausal cases, postmenopausal cases were more likely to be overweight and to have breastfed and had more childbirths (P < 0.05). The number of live births and rate of breastfeeding decreased in relation to birth period (P for trends <0.001). Overweight, late menopause, and family history of breast cancer were significantly associated with breast cancer among Chinese women.
Conclusions
Breast cancer incidence was associated with nulliparity and history of breastfeeding. Population attributable risks should be assessed, especially for more developed areas and young women. The effects of body mass index, age at menopause, and family history of breast cancer should be given priority during assessment of breast cancer risk among Chinese women.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20120217
PMCID: PMC3872527  PMID: 24270059
breast cancer; risk factors; nationwide; multicenter
14.  Attributable Causes of Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer in China: Reproductive Factors, Oral Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy 
Objective
To provide an evidence-based, consistent assessment of the burden of breast cancer attributable to reproductive factors (RFs, including nulliparity, mean number of children, age at first birth and breastfeeding), use of oral contraceptives (OCs, restricted to the age group of 15-49 years), and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), as well as of the burden of ovarian cancer attributable to the mean number of children in China in 2005.
Methods
We derived the prevalence of these risk factors and the relative risk of breast and ovarian cancer from national surveys or large-scale studies conducted in China. In the case of RFs, we compared the exposure distributions in 2001 and counterfactual exposure.
Results
Exposure of RFs in 2001 was found to account for 6.74% of breast cancer, corresponding to 9,617 cases and 2,769 deaths, and for 2.78% of ovarian cancer (711 cases, 294 deaths). The decrease in mean number of children alone was responsible for 1.47% of breast cancer and 2.78% of ovarian cancer. The prevalence of OC use was 1.74% and the population attributable fraction (PAF) of breast cancer was 0.71%, corresponding to 310 cases and 90 deaths. The PAF of breast cancer due to HRT was 0.31%, resulting in 297 cases and 85 deaths.
Conclusion
RFs changes in China contributed to a sizable fraction of breast and ovarian cancer incidence and mortality, whereas HRT and OCs accounted for relatively low incidence of breast cancer in China.
doi:10.1007/s11670-012-0009-y
PMCID: PMC3555252  PMID: 23359757
Reproductive factors; Oral contraceptives; Hormone replacement therapy; Cancer; Population attributable fraction
15.  Pooled Analysis of a Self-Sampling HPV DNA Test as a Cervical Cancer Primary Screening Method 
Background
Worldwide, one-seventh of cervical cancers occur in China, which lacks a national screening program. By evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of self-collected cervicovaginal specimens tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA (Self-HPV testing) in China, we sought to determine whether Self-HPV testing may serve as a primary cervical cancer screening method in low-resource settings.
Methods
We compiled individual patient data from five population-based cervical cancer–screening studies in China. Participants (n = 13 140) received Self-HPV testing, physician-collected cervical specimens for HPV testing (Physician-HPV testing), liquid-based cytology (LBC), and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA). Screen-positive women underwent colposcopy and confirmatory biopsy. We analyzed the accuracies of pooled Self-HPV testing, Physician-HPV testing, VIA, and LBC to detect biopsy-confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or more severe (CIN2+) and CIN3+. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
Of 13 004 women included in the analysis, 507 (3.9%) were diagnosed as CIN2+, 273 (2.1%) as CIN3+, and 37 (0.3%) with cervical cancer. Self-HPV testing had 86.2% sensitivity and 80.7% specificity for detecting CIN2+ and 86.1% sensitivity and 79.5% specificity for detecting CIN3+. VIA had statistically significantly lower sensitivity for detecting CIN2+ (50.3%) and CIN3+ (55.7%) and higher specificity for detecting CIN2+ (87.4%) and CIN3+ (86.9%) (all P values < .001) than Self-HPV testing, LBC had lower sensitivity for detecting CIN2+ (80.7%, P = .015), similar sensitivity for detecting CIN3+ (89.0%, P = .341), and higher specificity for detecting CIN2+ (94.0%, P < .001) and CIN3+ (92.8%, P < .001) than Self-HPV testing. Physician-HPV testing was more sensitive for detecting CIN2+ (97.0%) and CIN3+ (97.8%) but similarly specific for detecting CIN2+ (82.7%) and CIN3+ (81.3%) (all P values <.001) than Self-HPV testing.
Conclusions
The sensitivity of Self-HPV testing compared favorably with that of LBC and was superior to the sensitivity of VIA. Self-HPV testing may complement current screening programs by increasing population coverage in settings that do not have easy access to comprehensive cytology-based screening.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djr532
PMCID: PMC3274511  PMID: 22271765
16.  Measuring telomere length for the early detection of precursor lesions of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:578.
Background
Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death worldwide; current early detection screening tests are inadequate. Esophageal balloon cytology successfully retrieves exfoliated and scraped superficial esophageal epithelial cells, but cytologic reading of these cells has poor sensitivity and specificity for detecting esophageal squamous dysplasia (ESD), the precursor lesion of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Measuring telomere length, a marker for chromosomal instability, may improve the utility of balloon cytology for detecting ESD and early ESCC.
Methods
We examined balloon cytology specimens from 89 asymptomatic cases of ESD (37 low-grade and 52 high-grade) and 92 age- and sex-matched normal controls from an esophageal cancer early detection screening study. All subjects also underwent endoscopy and biopsy, and ESD was diagnosed histopathologically. DNA was extracted from the balloon cytology cells, and telomere length was measured by quantitative PCR. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted for telomere length as a diagnostic marker for high-grade dysplasia.
Results
Telomere lengths were comparable among the low- and high-grade dysplasia cases and controls, with means of 0.96, 0.96, and 0.92, respectively. The area under the ROC curve was 0.55 for telomere length as a diagnostic marker for high-grade dysplasia. Further adjustment for subject characteristics, including sex, age, smoking, drinking, hypertension, and body mass index did not improve the use of telomere length as a marker for ESD.
Conclusions
Telomere length of esophageal balloon cytology cells was not associated with ESCC precursor lesions. Therefore, telomere length shows little promise as an early detection marker for ESCC in esophageal balloon samples.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-578
PMCID: PMC3882883  PMID: 24308314
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Esophageal squamous dysplasia; Early detection; Screening; Balloon cytology; Telomeres
17.  Prospective Study of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Mortality in a Chinese Population 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;176(11):1043-1050.
Prospective epidemiologic data on the association between vitamin D and mortality are limited, particularly in Asian populations. Among subjects in Linxian, China, the authors aimed to test whether baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in a prospective cohort were associated with all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality rates over 24 years of follow-up (1986–2010). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured in 1,101 subjects using an immunoassay. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Cox regression models that were adjusted for age, sex, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and hypertension. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile concentrations of 25(OH)D were 19.6, 31.9, and 48.4 nmol/L, respectively. During follow-up, 793 subjects died, including 279 who died of cerebrovascular accident, 217 who died of cancer, and 200 cardiovascular disease deaths. All-cause mortality was not associated with 25(OH)D concentrations using continuous models (for every 15 nmol/L, hazard ratio = 1.01, 95% confidence interval: 0.97, 1.05) or quartile models (fourth vs. first quartiles, hazard ratio = 1.06, 95% confidence interval: 0.87, 1.30; P for trend = 0.731). The authors also found no association with the cause-specific mortality outcomes. Results were similar for men and women. This study showed that prediagnostic serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with all-cause or cause-specific mortality rates in this Chinese population who had low levels of vitamin D.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws285
PMCID: PMC3571239  PMID: 23139250
cancer; cardiovascular diseases; China; mortality; vitamin D
18.  Comparative epidemiology of gastric cancer between Japan and China 
AIM: To clarify the similarities and differences in gastric cancer epidemiology between Japan and China.
METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed database was performed. The relevant literature published in China was also been cited. Data on incidence and mortality rates in 2008 were obtained from the Cancer Mondial database, published by International Agency for Research on Cancer at http://www-dep.iarc.fr/.
RESULTS: Gastric cancer remains a significant public health burden in both Japan and China. The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) colonization is high in the adult populations of both countries. Accumulating evidence from intervention studies in both countries has shown the effectiveness of H. pylori eradication in reducing gastric cancer incidence. There are differences, however, in many aspects of gastric cancer, including patterns of incidence and mortality, trends in the prevalence of H. pylori infection, H. pylori strains, the magnitude of risk of gastric cancer related to H. pylori infection, and associations with dietary habits. Compared with China, Japan has seen a more rapid decline in H. pylori infection among adolescents. While Japanese cohort studies have dominated the literature concerning the associations between gastric cancer and dietary habits, numerous case-control studies in China suggest a positive association between a high intake of preserved fish and vegetables and gastric cancer risk. There is a need for a multidisciplinary research approach to understand the interactions between various strains of H. pylori, host factors, and other lifestyle and environmental factors in gastric carcinogenesis in both countries.
CONCLUSION: The shared high incidence of gastric cancer and high prevalence of H. pylori, as well as differences in many aspects of gastric cancer, provide an excellent opportunity to establish Sino-Japanese collaborations.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v17.i39.4421
PMCID: PMC3218157  PMID: 22110269
Gastric cancer; Risk factor; Helicobacter pylori; Epidemiology
19.  No role for human papillomavirus in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China 
Certain regions of China have high rates of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Previous studies of human papillomavirus (HPV), a proposed causal factor, have produced highly variable results. We attempted to evaluate HPV and ESCC more definitively using extreme care to prevent DNA contamination. We collected tissue and serum in China from 272 histopathologically-confirmed ESCC cases with rigorous attention to good molecular biology technique. We tested for HPV DNA in fresh-frozen tumor tissue using PCR with PGMY L1 consensus primers and HPV16 and 18 type-specific E6 and E7 primers, and in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue using SPF10 L1 primers. In HPV-positive cases, we evaluated p16INK4a overexpression and HPV E6/E7 seropositivity as evidence of carcinogenic HPV activity. β-globin, and thus DNA, was adequate in 98.2% of the frozen tumor tissues (267/272). Of these, 99.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 97.9–100.0%) were negative for HPV DNA by PGMY, and 100% (95% CI = 98.6–100%) were negative by HPV16/18 E6/E7 PCR. In the corresponding formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor specimens, 99.3% (95% CI = 97.3–99.9%) were HPV negative by SPF10. By PGMY, 1 case tested weakly positive for HPV89, a noncancer causing HPV type. By SPF10, 2 cases tested weakly positive: 1 for HPV16 and 1 for HPV31. No HPV DNA-positive case had evidence of HPV oncogene activity as measured by p16INK4a overexpression or E6/E7 seropositivity. This study provides the most definitive evidence to date that HPV is not involved in ESCC carcinogenesis in China. HPV DNA contamination cannot be ruled out as an explanation for high HPV prevalence in ESCC tissue studies with less stringent tissue procurement and processing protocols.
doi:10.1002/ijc.25023
PMCID: PMC3069961  PMID: 19918949
human papillomavirus; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
20.  EUROGIN 2011 roadmap on prevention and treatment of HPV-related disease 
The EUROGIN 2011 roadmap reviews the current burden of HPV (human papillomavirus)-related morbidity, as well as the evidence and potential practice recommendations regarding primary and secondary prevention and treatment of cancers and other disease associated with HPV infection.
HPV infection causes approximately 600,000 cases of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus and oropharynx annually, as well as benign diseases such as genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Whereas the incidence of cervical cancer has been decreasing over recent decades, the incidence of anal and oropharyngeal carcinoma, for which there are no effective screening programs, has been rising over the last couple of decades.
Randomised trials have demonstrated improved efficacy of HPV-based compared to cytology-based cervical cancer screening. Defining the best algorithms to triage HPV-positive women, age ranges and screening intervals are priorities for pooled analyses and further research, whereas feasibility questions can be addressed through screening programmes.
HPV vaccination will reduce the burden of cervical precancer and probably also of invasive cervical and other HPV-related disease in women. Recent trials demonstrated that prophylactic vaccination also protects against anogenital HPV infection, ano-genital intraepithelial lesions and warts associated with vaccine types, in males; and anal HPV infection and anal intraepithelial neoplasia in MSM. HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer could be treated less aggressively because of better survival compared to cancers of the oropharynx unrelated to HPV.
Key findings in the field of cervical cancer prevention should now be translated in cost-effective strategies, following an organised approach integrating primary and secondary prevention, according to scientific evidence but adapted to the local situation with particular attention to regions with the highest burden of disease.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27650
PMCID: PMC3429628  PMID: 22623137
cervical cancer; vulvar cancer; anal cancer; penile cancer; head & neck cancer; genital warts; incidence; mortality; human papillomavirus; HPV; screening; vaccination
21.  A pilot study of low-cost, high-resolution microendoscopy as a tool for identifying women with cervical precancer 
Cervical cancer remains one of the leading causes of death among women in developing countries. Without resources to support Pap smear cytology and colposcopy, cost-effective approaches which enable single-visit “see-and-treat” protocols offer the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality due to this preventable disease. We carried out a pilot clinical study in Shanxi province, China, to evaluate a low-cost, high-resolution microendoscope (HRME) imaging system which enables evaluation of epithelial cell morphology in vivo. HRME images were obtained at discrete sites on the cervix in 174 women, in addition to visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), and colposcopic examination. Out of 69 sites appearing abnormal on colposcopy, only 12 showed high-grade disease (CIN2+) on pathology. Quantification of the nuclear-to-cytoplasm ratio by HRME enabled an ad hoc threshold to be defined, which correctly classified all 12 sites as abnormal, whilst classifying 38 of the remaining 57 pathology normal sites as normal. All patients with biopsy confirmed high-grade disease also tested positive for high-risk HPV DNA, and were classified as abnormal by HRME. Among the remaining patients who tested positive for HPV but were either normal by colposcopy or showed < CIN2 on pathology, only 6/32 (18.8%) were classified as abnormal by HRME.
Visual examination techniques for cervical cancer screening may overestimate the prevalence of precancerous lesions, leading to unnecessary treatment, expense, and patient stress. The results of this study suggest that evaluation of suspicious lesions by HRME may assist in ruling out immediate cryotherapy, thus increasing the efficiency of current see-and-treat programs.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0221
PMCID: PMC3494281  PMID: 22926339
Optical imaging; clinical diagnostics; HPV testing
22.  HPV Prevalence and Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia among HIV-infected Women in Yunnan Province, China: A Pilot Study 
Objectives
To determine the prevalence of HPV and cervical neoplasia among HIV-infected women in southwestern China.
Methods
Cervical cytology, HPV detection by Hybrid Capture-2™ assay, and diagnostic colposcopy were followed by cervical biopsy if indicated. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyze associations between HPV co-infection and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and HIV-related clinical and laboratory parameters.
Results
Colposcopic-histopathologically proven CIN2+ lesions were present in 7/83 (8.4%) HIV-infected women. Nearly half (41/83, 43%) were co-infected with carcinogenic HPV genotypes. HPV co-infection was higher in women with colposcopic-histopathologically proven CIN2+ lesions than women with
Conclusions
HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs should integrate effective cervical cancer prevention services to mitigate the risk of invasive cervical cancer among HIV-infected women in China.
PMCID: PMC3809115  PMID: 22502720
China; HIV/AIDS; HPV; cervical cancer; screening; prevention
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2011;30(3):213-218.
In 2005, a program named “Early Detection and Early Treatment of Esophageal and Cardiac Cancer” (EDETEC) was initiated in China. A total of 8279 residents aged 40–69 years old were recruited into the EDETEC program in Linzhou of Henan Province between 2005 and 2008. Howerer, the cost-benefit of the EDETEC program is not very clear yet. We conducted herein a cost-benefit analysis of screening for esophageal and cardiac cancer. The assessed costs of the EDETEC program included screening costs for each subject, as well as direct and indirect treatment costs for esophageal and cardiac severe dysplasia and cancer detected by screening. The assessed benefits of this program included the saved treatment costs, both direct and indirect, on esophageal and cardiac cancer, as well as the value of prolonged life due to screening, as determined by the human capital approach. The results showed the screening cost of finding esophageal and cardiac severe dysplasia or cancer ranged from ¥2707 to ¥4512, and the total cost on screening and treatment was ¥13 115–¥14 920. The cost benefit was ¥58 944–¥155 110 (the saved treatment cost, ¥17 730, plus the value of prolonged life, ¥41 214–¥137 380). The ratio of benefit-to-cost (BCR) was 3.95–11.83. Our results suggest that EDETEC has a high benefit-to-cost ratio in China and could be instituted into high risk areas of China.
doi:10.5732/cjc.010.10425
PMCID: PMC4013318  PMID: 21352699
Esophageal cancer; gastric cardiac cancer; screening; cost-benefit
BMC Public Health  2013;13:916.
Background
Due to the potential of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for decreasing cervical cancer rates in Mainland China, where some of the highest incidences in the world have been reported, our study aimed to assess HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge, and to evaluate the effect of a brief educational intervention on HPV knowledge and vaccine acceptability in Chinese undergraduate students and employed women.
Methods
This multi-center, cross-sectional study was conducted across five representative cities of the five main geographical regions of Mainland China. Participants were selected from one comprehensive university and three to four companies in each city for a total of six comprehensive universities and 16 companies. A 62-item questionnaire on HPV knowledge and HPV vaccine acceptability was administered to participants before and after an educational intervention. The intervention consisted of an informative group lecture.
Results
A total of 1146 employed women and 557 female undergraduate students were surveyed between August and November 2011. Baseline HPV knowledge was low among both groups— 320/1146 (28%) of employed women and 66/557 (12%) of students had heard of HPV, while only 237/1146 (21%) of employed women and 40/557 (7.2%) of students knew that HPV is related to cervical cancer. After educational instruction, 947/1061 (89%) of employed women and 193/325 (59%) of students knew the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer (χ2 = 1041.8, p < 0.001 and χ2 = 278.5, p < 0.001, respectively). Post-intervention, vaccine acceptability increased from 881/1146 (77%) to 953/1061 (90%), (p = <0.001) in employed women and 405/557 (73%) in students to 266/325 (82%), (p < 0.001). Women in both groups cited concerns about the HPV vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and limited use to date as reasons for being unwilling to receive vaccination. 502/1146 (44%) of women were willing to vaccinate their children at baseline, which increased to 857/1061 (81%) post-intervention, p < 0.001.
Conclusions
Incorporation of our lecture-based education initiative into a government-sponsored or school-based program may improve HPV-related knowledge and HPV vaccine acceptability. Further studies are needed to evaluate and standardize HPV education programs in China.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-916
PMCID: PMC3852612  PMID: 24088392
Cervical cancer; HPV education; Human papillomavirus; Prophylactic HPV vaccine; HPV knowledge; HPV attitudes; Vaccine acceptability
Nature genetics  2012;44(10):1090-1097.
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.
doi:10.1038/ng.2411
PMCID: PMC3513832  PMID: 22960999

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