We tested the hypotheses that CHEK2*1100delC heterozygosity is associated with increased risk of early death, breast cancer–specific death, and risk of a second breast cancer in women with a first breast cancer.
Patients and Methods
From 22 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, 25,571 white women with invasive breast cancer were genotyped for CHEK2*1100delC and observed for up to 20 years (median, 6.6 years). We examined risk of early death and breast cancer–specific death by estrogen receptor status and risk of a second breast cancer after a first breast cancer in prospective studies.
CHEK2*1100delC heterozygosity was found in 459 patients (1.8%). In women with estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer, multifactorially adjusted hazard ratios for heterozygotes versus noncarriers were 1.43 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.82; log-rank P = .004) for early death and 1.63 (95% CI, 1.24 to 2.15; log-rank P < .001) for breast cancer–specific death. In all women, hazard ratio for a second breast cancer was 2.77 (95% CI, 2.00 to 3.83; log-rank P < .001) increasing to 3.52 (95% CI, 2.35 to 5.27; log-rank P < .001) in women with estrogen receptor–positive first breast cancer only.
Among women with estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer, CHEK2*1100delC heterozygosity was associated with a 1.4-fold risk of early death, a 1.6-fold risk of breast cancer–specific death, and a 3.5-fold risk of a second breast cancer. This is one of the few examples of a genetic factor that influences long-term prognosis being documented in an extensive series of women with breast cancer.
Versican, an extracellular matrix proteoglycan, has been noted to be expressed in several malignant tumours and has been suggested to play an important role in cancer development and tumour growth.
To investigate whether the versican expression level in the peritumoural stromal tissue of primary oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) predicts relapse‐free or disease‐specific survival. Also, to study the associations between versican expression and several other clinicopathological variables, as well as tumour cell proliferation.
Immunohistochemistry was used to study the expression of versican and tumour cell proliferative activity in 139 OSCCs. All pertinent clinical data were collected retrospectively from the hospital records.
In this cohort, versican expression did not correlate with the clinicopathological factors or tumour cell proliferation. In univariate analyses, higher risk for disease recurrence was associated with higher stromal versican expression score (p = 0.02), positive neck node status (p = 0.02), lower Karnofsky performance status (p = 0.03) and higher tumour cell proliferation index (p = 0.04). Increased disease‐specific risk of death was associated with high stromal versican expression score (p = 0.005) higher T class (p = 0.002), positive neck node status (p<0.001), higher stage (p<0.001), poorer histological differentiation (p = 0.005), worse general condition of the patient (p = 0.049) and increased tumour cell proliferative index (p = 0.02). In multivariate disease‐specific survival analysis, high stromal versican expression score (p = 0.048), poorer histological differentiation (p = 0.047) and higher stage (p = 0.002) independently predicted poorer disease outcome.
In this cohort, increased stromal versican expression correlated with both increased risk for disease recurrence and shortened survival. High stromal versican expression may thus be considered an independent and adverse prognostic marker in OSCC.
The aim of the study was to explore the serum levels of eight angiogenesis biomarkers in patients with benign, borderline or malignant epithelial ovarian neoplasms and to compare them to those of healthy controls. In addition, we aimed to study how those biomarkers predict the clinical course and survival of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.
We enrolled 132 patients with ovarian neoplasms and 32 unaffected women in this study. Serum samples were collected preoperatively at the time of diagnosis and the levels of angiogenesis biomarkers were measured with an ELISA.
Levels of Ang-1, Ang-2, VEGF, VEGF-D, VEGF/sVEGFR-2 and Ang-2/ sVEGFR-2 ratios were elevated whereas sVEGFR-2 was lower in patients with ovarian carcinoma than in women with normal ovaries, benign and/or borderline ovarian neoplasms. In ROC analysis, the area under the curve for serum Ang-2/sVEGFR-2 ratio (0.76) was greater than Ang-2 (0.75) and VEGF (0.65) but lower than for CA 125 (0.90) to differentiate ovarian cancer from benign or borderline ovarian tumors. In ovarian cancer high Ang-2/sVEGFR-2 ratio was associated with the presence of ascites, high stage and grade of ovarian cancer, with the size of primary residual tumor >1 cm and with recurrence of disease. Elevated Ang-2, VEGF, VEGF/sVEGFR-2, Ang-2/VEGF and Ang-2/sVEGFR-2 ratios and low level of sVEGFR-2 were significant predictors of poor overall survival (OS) and recurrence free survival (RFS) in univariate survival analyses.
Ovarian cancer patients had elevated levels of angiogenesis related growth factors in circulation reflecting increased angiogenesis and poor prognosis. The serum level of Ang-2 predicted most accurately poor OS and Ang-2/sVEGFR-2 ratio malignancy of ovarian neoplasms and short RFS.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-696) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Angiopoietins; VEGFs; VEGFRs; Biomarker; Ovarian carcinoma; Prognosis
The histone demethylase GASC1 (JMJD2C) is an epigenetic factor suspected of involvement in development of different cancers, including breast cancer. It is thought to be overexpressed in the more aggressive breast cancer types based on mRNA expression studies on cell lines and meta analysis of human breast cancer sets. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic and predictive value of GASC1 for women with invasive breast cancer.
All the 355 cases were selected from a cohort enrolled in the Kuopio Breast Cancer Project between April 1990 and December 1995. The expression of GASC1 was studied by immunohistochemistry (IHC) on tissue microarrays. Additionally relative GASC1 mRNA expression was measured from available 57 cases.
In our material, 56% of the cases were GASC1 negative and 44% positive in IHC staining. Women with GASC1 negative tumors had two years shorter breast cancer specific survival and time to relapse than the women with GASC1 positive tumors (p=0.017 and p=0.034 respectively). The majority of GASC1 negative tumors were ductal cases (72%) of higher histological grade (84% of grade II and III altogether). When we evaluated estrogen receptor negative and progesterone receptor negative cases separately, there was 2 times more GASC1 negative than GASC1 positive tumors in each group (chi2, p= 0.033 and 0.001 respectively). In the HER2 positive cases, there was 3 times more GASC1 negative cases than GASC1 positives (chi2, p= 0.029). Patients treated with radiotherapy (n=206) and hormonal treatment (n=62) had better breast cancer specific survival, when they were GASC1 positive (Cox regression: HR=0.49, p=0.007 and HR=0.33, p=0.015, respectively). The expression of GASC1 mRNA was in agreement with the protein analysis.
This study indicates that the GASC1 is both a prognostic and a predictive factor for women with invasive breast cancer. GASC1 negativity is associated with tumors of more aggressive histopathological types (ductal type, grade II and III, ER negative, PR negative). Patients with GASC1 positive tumors have better breast cancer specific survival and respond better to radiotherapy and hormonal treatment.
Epigenetics; GASC1; Breast cancer; Survival; Tissue microarrays
Sulfotransferase 1A1 (SULT1A1) participates in the elimination of 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen (4-OH-TAM), which is one of the major active metabolites of tamoxifen (TAM). Homozygous SULT1A1 variant allele genotype has been associated with lower catalytic activity and thermostability of the enzyme. Previous clinical studies suggest that the SULT1A1 rs9282861 polymorphism may influence the survival of breast cancer patients treated with TAM in the adjuvant setting. We investigated the effect of rs9282861 genotypes on the survival of Finnish breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy or TAM.
The rs9282861 genotypes of 412 Finnish breast cancer patients with early breast cancer were identified by using PCR-RFLP method. Seventy six patients were treated with adjuvant cyclophosphamide based chemotherapy only, 65 patients received adjuvant TAM, and four patients were treated with both adjuvant chemotherapy and TAM. Overall long-term survival (OS), breast cancer specific survival (BCSS), and relapse-free survival (RFS) by rs9282861 genotypes were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression analysis.
The multivariate analysis of 145 patients receiving either adjuvant TAM or chemotherapy showed a statistically significantly improved OS in patients with the rs9282861 homozygous variant AA genotype (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.29-0.88, P = 0.015). In the separate analyses of patients receiving only chemotherapy or adjuvant TAM, there were no statistically significant differences in survival.
In this prospective study, we observed a previously unreported association between the SULT1A1 rs9282861 genotype and OS of breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy or TAM. This novel finding suggests that the rs9282861 polymorphism modifies the long-term clinical outcome of patients receiving adjuvant TAM or chemotherapy.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial process in tumorigenesis since tumor cells attain fibroblast-like features enabling them to invade to surrounding tissue. Two transcription factors, TWIST and SNAI1, are fundamental in regulating EMT.
Immunohistochemistry was used to study the expression of TWIST and SNAI1 in 109 pharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas.
Tumors with intense stromal staining of TWIST relapsed more frequently (p = 0.04). Tumors with both positive TWIST and SNAI1 immunoreactivity in the stroma were at least Stage II (p = 0.05) and located more often in hypopharynx (p = 0.035). Tumors with negative immunostaining of TWIST and SNAI1 in the stromal compartment were smaller (T1-2) (p = 0.008), less advanced (SI-II) (p = 0.031) and located more often in the oropharynx (p = 0.007). Patients with negative SNAI1 and TWIST immunostaining in tumor stroma had a better 5-year disease-specific and overall survival (p = 0.037 and p = 0.014 respectively).
TWIST and SNAI1 expression in stromal cells is associated with clinical and histopathological characteristics that indicate progressive disease. Negative expression of these EMT-promoting transcription factors predicts a better outcome.
Pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma; Stromal cells; TWIST; SNAI1; Prognosis; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
Epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) is the process where cancer cells attain fibroblastic features and are thus able to invade neighboring tissues. Transcriptional factors zeb1, snai1 and twist regulate EMT.
We used immunohistochemistry to investigate the expression of zeb1, twist and snai1 in tumor and stromal compartments by in a large set of breast carcinomas. The results were compared with estrogen and progesterone receptor status, HER2 amplification, grade, histology, TNM status and survival of the patients.
Nuclear expression for twist was seen in the epithelial tumor cell compartment in 3.6% and for snai1 in 3.1% of the cases while zeb1 was not detected at all in these areas. In contrast, the tumor stromal compartment showed nuclear zeb1 and twist expression in 75% and 52.4% of the cases, respectively. Although rare, nuclear expression of twist in the epithelial tumor cell compartment was associated with a poor outcome of the patients (p = 0.054 log rank, p = 0.013, Breslow, p = 0.025 Tarone-Ware). Expression of snai1, or expression of zeb1 or twist in the stromal compartment did not have any prognostic significance. Furthermore, none of these factors associated with the size of the tumors, nor with the presence of axillary or distant metastases. Expression of zeb1 and twist in the stromal compartment was positively associated with a positive estrogen or progesterone receptor status of the tumors. Stromal zeb1 expression was significantly lower in ductal in situ carcinomas than in invasive carcinomas (p = 0.020). Medullary carcinomas (p = 0.017) and mucinous carcinomas (p = 0.009) had a lower stromal expression of zeb1 than ductal carcinomas. Stromal twist expression was also lower in mucinous (p = 0.017) than in ductal carcinomas.
Expression of transcriptional factors zeb1 and twist mainly occur in the stromal compartment of breast carcinomas, possibly representing two populations of cells; EMT transformed neoplastic cells and stromal fibroblastic cells undergoing activation of zeb1 and twist due to growth factors produced by the tumor. However, epithelial expression of twist was associated with a poor prognosis, hinting at its importance in the spread of breast carcinoma.
Several common breast cancer genetic susceptibility variants have recently been identified. We aimed to determine how these variants combine with a subset of other known risk factors to influence breast cancer risk in white women of European ancestry using case-control studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
We evaluated two-way interactions between each of age at menarche, ever having had a live birth, number of live births, age at first birth and body mass index (BMI) and each of 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (10q26-rs2981582 (FGFR2), 8q24-rs13281615, 11p15-rs3817198 (LSP1), 5q11-rs889312 (MAP3K1), 16q12-rs3803662 (TOX3), 2q35-rs13387042, 5p12-rs10941679 (MRPS30), 17q23-rs6504950 (COX11), 3p24-rs4973768 (SLC4A7), CASP8-rs17468277, TGFB1-rs1982073 and ESR1-rs3020314). Interactions were tested for by fitting logistic regression models including per-allele and linear trend main effects for SNPs and risk factors, respectively, and single-parameter interaction terms for linear departure from independent multiplicative effects.
These analyses were applied to data for up to 26,349 invasive breast cancer cases and up to 32,208 controls from 21 case-control studies. No statistical evidence of interaction was observed beyond that expected by chance. Analyses were repeated using data from 11 population-based studies, and results were very similar.
The relative risks for breast cancer associated with the common susceptibility variants identified to date do not appear to vary across women with different reproductive histories or body mass index (BMI). The assumption of multiplicative combined effects for these established genetic and other risk factors in risk prediction models appears justified.
Hyaluronan accumulation correlates with the degree of malignancy in many solid tumor types, including malignant endometrial carcinomas. To elucidate the mechanism of hyaluronan accumulation, we examined the expression levels of the hyaluronan synthases (HAS1, HAS2 and HAS3) and hyaluronidases (HYAL1 and HYAL2), and correlated them with hyaluronan content and HAS1-3 immunoreactivity.
A total of 35 endometrial tissue biopsies from 35 patients, including proliferative and secretory endometrium (n = 10), post-menopausal proliferative endometrium (n = 5), complex atypical hyperplasia (n = 4), grade 1 (n = 8) and grade 2 + 3 (n = 8) endometrioid adenocarcinomas were divided for gene expression by real-time RT-PCR, and paraffin embedded blocks for hyaluronan and HAS1-3 cytochemistry.
The mRNA levels of HAS1-3 were not consistently changed, while the immunoreactivity of all HAS proteins was increased in the cancer epithelium. Interestingly, HAS3 mRNA, but not HAS3 immunoreactivity, was increased in post-menopausal endometrium compared to normal endometrium (p = 0.003). The median of HYAL1 mRNA was 10-fold and 15-fold lower in both grade 1 and grade 2+3 endometrioid endometrial cancers, as compared to normal endometrium (p = 0.004-0.006), and post-menopausal endometrium (p = 0.002), respectively. HYAL2 mRNA was also reduced in cancer (p = 0.02) and correlated with HYAL1 (r = 0.8, p = 0.0001). There was an inverse correlation between HYAL1 mRNA and the epithelial hyaluronan staining intensity (r = -0.6; P = 0.001).
The results indicated that HYAL1 and HYAL2 were coexpressed and significantly downregulated in endometrioid endometrial cancer and correlated with the accumulation of hyaluronan. While immunoreactivity for HASs increased in the cancer cells, tumor mRNA levels for HASs were not changed, suggesting that reduced turnover of HAS protein may also have contributed to the accumulation of hyaluronan.
Hyaluronan, a tumor promoting extracellular matrix polysaccharide, is elevated in malignant epithelial ovarian tumors, and associates with an unfavorable prognosis. To explore possible contributors to the accumulation of hyaluronan, we examined the expression of hyaluronan synthases (HAS1, HAS2 and HAS3) and hyaluronidases (HYAL1 and HYAL2), correlated with hyaluronidase enzyme activity hyaluronan content and HAS1–3 immunoreactivity.
Normal ovaries (n = 5) and 34 serous epithelial ovarian tumors, divided into 4 groups: malignant grades 1+2 (n = 10); malignant grade 3 (n = 10); borderline (n = 4) and benign epithelial tumors (n = 10), were analyzed for mRNA by real-time RT-PCR and compared to hyaluronidase activity, hyaluronan staining, and HAS1–3 immunoreactivity in tissue sections of the same specimens.
The levels of HAS2 and HAS3 mRNA (HAS1 was low or absent), were not consistently increased in the carcinomas, and were not significantly correlated with HAS protein or hyaluronan accumulation in individual samples. Instead, the median of HYAL1 mRNA level was 69% lower in grade 3 serous ovarian cancers compared to normal ovaries (P = 0.01). The expression of HYAL1, but not HYAL2, significantly correlated with the enzymatic activity of tissue hyaluronidases (r = 0.5; P = 0.006). An inverse correlation was noted between HYAL1 mRNA and the intensity of hyaluronan staining of the corresponding tissue sections (r = -0.4; P = 0.025).
The results indicate that in serous epithelial ovarian malignancies HAS expression is not consistently elevated but HYAL1 expression is significantly reduced and correlates with the accumulation of hyaluronan. (233 words)
Genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNAs (miRNA) or in the miRNA binding sites may affect the miRNA dependent gene expression regulation, which has been implicated in various cancers, including breast cancer, and may alter individual susceptibility to cancer. We investigated associations between miRNA related SNPs and breast cancer risk. First we evaluated 2,196 SNPs in a case-control study combining nine genome wide association studies (GWAS). Second, we further investigated 42 SNPs with suggestive evidence for association using 41,785 cases and 41,880 controls from 41 studies included in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Combining the GWAS and BCAC data within a meta-analysis, we estimated main effects on breast cancer risk as well as risks for estrogen receptor (ER) and age defined subgroups. Five miRNA binding site SNPs associated significantly with breast cancer risk: rs1045494 (odds ratio (OR) 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88–0.96), rs1052532 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95–0.99), rs10719 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94–0.99), rs4687554 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95–0.99, and rs3134615 (OR 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01–1.05) located in the 3′ UTR of CASP8, HDDC3, DROSHA, MUSTN1, and MYCL1, respectively. DROSHA belongs to miRNA machinery genes and has a central role in initial miRNA processing. The remaining genes are involved in different molecular functions, including apoptosis and gene expression regulation. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether the miRNA binding site SNPs are the causative variants for the observed risk effects.
Oral (mobile) tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is characterized by a highly variable prognosis in early-stage disease (T1/T2 N0M0). The ability to classify early oral tongue SCCs into low-risk and high-risk categories would represent a major advancement in their management.
Depth of invasion, tumor budding, histologic risk-assessment score (HRS), and cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) density were studied in 233 cases of T1/T2 N0M0 oral tongue SCC managed in 5 university hospitals in Finland.
Tumor budding (≥5 clusters at the invasive front of the tumor) and depth of invasion (≥4 mm) were associated with poor prognosis in patients with early oral tongue SCC (hazard ratio [HR], 2.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17–3.55; HR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.25–5.20, respectively) after multivariate analysis. The HRS and CAF density did not predict survival. However, high-risk worst pattern of invasion (WPOI), a component of HRS, was also an independent prognostic factor (HR, 4.47; 95% CI, 1.59–12.51).
Analyzing the depth of invasion, tumor budding, and/or WPOI in prognostication and treatment planning of T1/T2 N0M0 oral tongue SCC is recommended.
oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma; tumor budding; depth of invasion; worst pattern of invasion; histologic risk score; cancer-associated fibroblast; disease-specific mortality; prognosis
Micro-RNAs are small, noncoding RNAs that act as tumor suppressors or oncogenes. MiR-200c is a member of the miR-200 family; it is known to be dysregulated in invasive breast carcinoma. MiR-200c maintains the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and inhibits cell migration and invasion. Recent studies showed that miR-200c regulated steroid hormone receptors, estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). The present study aimed to detect miR-200c in 172 invasive breast carcinoma cases selected from a prospective cohort enrolled in Kuopio, Eastern Finland, between 1990 and 1995. MiR-200c expression was determined with relative q-PCR, and results were compared to clinicopathological variables and patient outcome. We found that PR status combined with miR-200c expression was a significant marker of outcome. High miR-200c expression was associated with reduced survival in PR-negative cases (n = 68); low miR-200c expression indicated reduced survival in PR-positive cases (n = 86) (Cox regression: P = 0.002, OR = 3.433; and P = 0.004, OR = 4.176, respectively). In PR-negative cases, high miR-200c expression was associated with shortened relapse-free survival (Cox regression: P = 0.001, OR = 3.613); increased local/distant recurrence (Logistic regression: P = 0.006, OR = 3.965); and more frequent distant metastasis (Logistic regression: P = 0.015, OR = 3.390). We also found that high grade and low stage tumors were positively correlated with high miR-200c expression (Logistic regression for high grade tumors: P = 0.002, OR = 2.791 and for high stage tumors: P = 0.035, OR = 0.285). Our results indicated that miR-200c may play a role in invasive breast carcinoma. Furthermore, miR-200c combined with PR status provided a refined predictor of outcome. In future, a larger study is required to confirm our results. This data may provide a basis for new research target–progesterone receptor–regulated microRNAs in breast cancer.
The single nucleotide polymorphism 5p12-rs10941679has been found to be associated with risk of breast cancer, particularly estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease. We aimed to further explore this association overall, and by tumor histopathology, in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
Data were combined from 37 studies, including 40,972 invasive cases, 1,398 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 46,334 controls, all of white European ancestry, as well as 3,007 invasive cases and 2,337 controls of Asian ancestry. Associations overall and by tumor invasiveness and histopathology were assessed using logistic regression.
For white Europeans, the per-allele odds ratio (OR) associated with 5p12-rs10941679 was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.08–1.14, P=7×10−18) for invasive breast cancer and 1.10 (95%CI=1.01–1.21, P=0.03) for DCIS. For Asian women, the estimated OR for invasive disease was similar (OR=1.07, 95%CI=0.99–1.15, P=0.09). Further analyses suggested that the association in white Europeans was largely limited to progesterone receptor (PR)-positive disease (per-allele OR=1.16, 95%CI=1.12–1.20, P=1×10−18 versus OR=1.03, 95%CI=0.99–1.07, P=0.2 for PR-negative disease; P-heterogeneity=2×10−7); heterogeneity by estrogen receptor status was not observed (P=0.2) once PR status was accounted for. The association was also stronger for lower-grade tumors (per-allele OR [95%CI]=1.20 [1.14–1.25], 1.13 [1.09–1.16] and 1.04 [0.99–1.08] for grade 1, 2 and 3/4, respectively; P–trend=5×10−7).
5p12 is a breast cancer susceptibility locus for PR-positive, lower gradebreast cancer.
Multi-centre fine-mapping studies of this region are needed as a first step to identifying the causal variant or variants.
Breast cancer; SNP; susceptibility; disease subtypes
Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) are related to tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis in cancer. Genetic variants in these genes may alter their function, leading to cancer onset and progression, and affect patient outcome. Here, 464 breast cancer cases and 370 controls were genotyped for 82 single-nucleotide polymorphisms covering eight genes. Association of the genotypes was estimated against breast cancer risk, breast cancer–specific survival, and survival in different treatment groups, and clinicopathological variables. SNPs in TMPRSS3 (rs3814903 and rs11203200), TMPRSS7 (rs1844925), and HGF (rs5745752) associated significantly with breast cancer risk (Ptrend = 0.008–0.042). SNPs in TMPRSS1 (rs12151195 and rs12461158), TMPRSS2 (rs2276205), TMPRSS3 (rs3814903), and TMPRSS7 (rs2399403) associated with prognosis (P = 0.004–0.046). When estimating the combined effect of the variants, the risk of breast cancer was higher with 4–5 alleles present compared to 0–2 alleles (P = 0.0001; OR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.39–3.94). Women with 6–8 survival-associating alleles had a 3.3 times higher risk of dying of breast cancer compared to women with 1–3 alleles (P = 0.001; HR, 3.30; 95% CI, 1.58–6.88). The results demonstrate the combined effect of variants in TTSPs and their related genes in breast cancer risk and patient outcome. Functional analysis of these variants will lead to further understanding of this gene family, which may improve individualized risk estimation and development of new strategies for treatment of breast cancer.
Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46 450 cases and 42 600 controls) and analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 [rs1053338, per allele OR = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04–1.10, P = 2.9 × 10−6], AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.03–1.07, P = 1.7 × 10−6) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.07–1.12, P = 5.1 × 10−17). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWASs): for ATXN7-K264R, OR = 1.07 (95% CI = 1.05–1.10, P = 1.0 × 10−8); for AKAP9-M463I, OR = 1.05 (95% CI = 1.04–1.07, P = 2.0 × 10−10). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known GWAS hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
Genes that alter disease risk only in combination with certain
environmental exposures may not be detected in genetic association analysis. By
using methods accounting for gene-environment (G × E) interaction, we
aimed to identify novel genetic loci associated with breast cancer risk. Up to
34,475 cases and 34,786 controls of European ancestry from up to 23 studies in
the Breast Cancer Association Consortium were included. Overall, 71,527 single
nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), enriched for association with breast cancer,
were tested for interaction with 10 environmental risk factors using three
recently proposed hybrid methods and a joint test of association and
interaction. Analyses were adjusted for age, study, population stratification,
and confounding factors as applicable. Three SNPs in two independent loci showed
statistically significant association: SNPs rs10483028 and rs2242714 in perfect
linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 21 and rs12197388 in ARID1B on chromosome
6. While rs12197388 was identified using the joint test with parity and with age
at menarche (P-values = 3 × 10−07),
the variants on chromosome 21 q22.12, which showed interaction with adult body
mass index (BMI) in 8,891 postmenopausal women, were identified by all methods
applied. SNP rs10483028 was associated with breast cancer in women with a BMI
below 25 kg/m2 (OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.15–1.38) but not in women
with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher (OR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.72–1.11,
P for interaction = 3.2 × 10−05).
Our findings confirm comparable power of the recent methods for detecting G
× E interaction and the utility of using G × E interaction
analyses to identify new susceptibility loci.
breast cancer risk; gene-environment interaction; polymorphisms; body mass index; case-control study
Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) accounts for 10–15% of all invasive breast carcinomas. It is generally ER positive (ER+) and often associated with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 70 common polymorphisms that predispose to breast cancer, but these studies included predominantly ductal (IDC) carcinomas. To identify novel common polymorphisms that predispose to ILC and LCIS, we pooled data from 6,023 cases (5,622 ILC, 401 pure LCIS) and 34,271 controls from 36 studies genotyped using the iCOGS chip. Six novel SNPs most strongly associated with ILC/LCIS in the pooled analysis were genotyped in a further 516 lobular cases (482 ILC, 36 LCIS) and 1,467 controls. These analyses identified a lobular-specific SNP at 7q34 (rs11977670, OR (95%CI) for ILC = 1.13 (1.09–1.18), P = 6.0×10−10; P-het for ILC vs IDC ER+ tumors = 1.8×10−4). Of the 75 known breast cancer polymorphisms that were genotyped, 56 were associated with ILC and 15 with LCIS at P<0.05. Two SNPs showed significantly stronger associations for ILC than LCIS (rs2981579/10q26/FGFR2, P-het = 0.04 and rs889312/5q11/MAP3K1, P-het = 0.03); and two showed stronger associations for LCIS than ILC (rs6678914/1q32/LGR6, P-het = 0.001 and rs1752911/6q14, P-het = 0.04). In addition, seven of the 75 known loci showed significant differences between ER+ tumors with IDC and ILC histology, three of these showing stronger associations for ILC (rs11249433/1p11, rs2981579/10q26/FGFR2 and rs10995190/10q21/ZNF365) and four associated only with IDC (5p12/rs10941679; rs2588809/14q24/RAD51L1, rs6472903/8q21 and rs1550623/2q31/CDCA7). In conclusion, we have identified one novel lobular breast cancer specific predisposition polymorphism at 7q34, and shown for the first time that common breast cancer polymorphisms predispose to LCIS. We have shown that many of the ER+ breast cancer predisposition loci also predispose to ILC, although there is some heterogeneity between ER+ lobular and ER+ IDC tumors. These data provide evidence for overlapping, but distinct etiological pathways within ER+ breast cancer between morphological subtypes.
Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) accounts for 10–15% of invasive breast cancer and is generally ER positive (ER+). To date, none of the genome-wide association studies that have identified loci that predispose to breast cancer in general or to ER+ or ER-negative breast cancer have focused on lobular breast cancer. In this lobular breast cancer study we identified a new variant that appears to be specific to this morphological subtype. We also ascertained which of the known variants predisposes specifically to lobular breast cancer and show for the first time that some of these loci are also associated with lobular carcinoma in situ, a non-obligate precursor of breast cancer and also a risk factor for contralateral breast cancer. Our study shows that the genetic pathways of invasive lobular cancer and ER+ ductal carcinoma mostly overlap, but there are important differences that are likely to provide insights into the biology of lobular breast tumors.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Common variants at 27 loci have been identified as associated with susceptibility to breast cancer, and these account for ~9% of the familial risk of the disease. We report here a meta-analysis of 9 genome-wide association studies, including 10,052 breast cancer cases and 12,575 controls of European ancestry, from which we selected 29,807 SNPs for further genotyping. These SNPs were genotyped in 45,290 cases and 41,880 controls of European ancestry from 41 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). The SNPs were genotyped as part of a collaborative genotyping experiment involving four consortia (Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study, COGS) and used a custom Illumina iSelect genotyping array, iCOGS, comprising more than 200,000 SNPs. We identified SNPs at 41 new breast cancer susceptibility loci at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8). Further analyses suggest that more than 1,000 additional loci are involved in breast cancer susceptibility.
Estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors represent 20–30% of all breast cancers, with a higher proportion occurring in younger women and women of African ancestry1. The etiology2 and clinical behavior3 of ER-negative tumors are different from those of tumors expressing ER (ER positive), including differences in genetic predisposition4. To identify susceptibility loci specific to ER-negative disease, we combined in a meta-analysis 3 genome-wide association studies of 4,193 ER-negative breast cancer cases and 35,194 controls with a series of 40 follow-up studies (6,514 cases and 41,455 controls), genotyped using a custom Illumina array, iCOGS, developed by the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). SNPs at four loci, 1q32.1 (MDM4, P = 2.1 × 10−12 and LGR6, P = 1.4 × 10−8), 2p24.1 (P = 4.6 × 10−8) and 16q12.2 (FTO, P = 4.0 × 10−8), were associated with ER-negative but not ER-positive breast cancer (P > 0.05). These findings provide further evidence for distinct etiological pathways associated with invasive ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers.
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. To identify genetic loci that modify breast cancer risk related to MHT use in postmenopausal women, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) with replication. In stage I, we performed a case-only GWAS in 731 invasive breast cancer cases from the German case-control study Mammary Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation (MARIE). The 1,200 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showing the lowest P values for interaction with current MHT use (within 6 months prior to breast cancer diagnosis), were carried forward to stage II, involving pooled case-control analyses including additional MARIE subjects (1,375 cases, 1,974 controls) as well as 795 cases and 764 controls of a Swedish case-control study. A joint P value was calculated for a combined analysis of stages I and II. Replication of the most significant interaction of the combined stage I and II was performed using 5,795 cases and 5,390 controls from nine studies of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). The combined stage I and II yielded five SNPs on chromosomes 2, 7, and 18 with joint P values <6 × 10−6 for effect modification of current MHT use. The most significant interaction was observed for rs6707272 (P = 3 × 10−7) on chromosome 2 but was not replicated in the BCAC studies (P = 0.21). The potentially modifying SNPs are in strong linkage disequilibrium with SNPs in TRIP12 and DNER on chromosome 2 and SETBP1 on chromosome 18, previously linked to carcinogenesis. However, none of the interaction effects reached genome-wide significance. The inability to replicate the top SNP × MHT interaction may be due to limited power of the replication phase. Our study, however, suggests that there are unlikely to be SNPs that interact strongly enough with MHT use to be clinically significant in European women.
Postmenopausal breast cancer risk; Menopausal hormone therapy; Polymorphisms; Gene-environment interaction; Genome-wide association study; Case-only study
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in developed countries and has a well-established genetic component. Germline mutations in a network of genes encoding BRCA1, BRCA2, and their interacting partners confer hereditary susceptibility to breast cancer. Abraxas directly interacts with the BRCA1 BRCT (BRCA1 carboxyl-terminal) repeats and contributes to BRCA1-dependent DNA damage responses, making Abraxas a candidate for yet unexplained disease susceptibility. Here, we have screened 125 Northern Finnish breast cancer families for coding region and splice-site Abraxas mutations and genotyped three tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms within the gene from 991 unselected breast cancer cases and 868 female controls for common cancer-associated variants. A novel heterozygous alteration, c.1082G>A (Arg361Gln), that results in abrogated nuclear localization and DNA response activities was identified in three breast cancer families and in one additional familial case from an unselected breast cancer cohort, but not in healthy controls (P = 0.002). On the basis of its exclusive occurrence in familial cancers, disease cosegregation, evolutionary conservation, and disruption of critical BRCA1 functions, the recurrent Abraxas c.1082G>A mutation connects to cancer predisposition. These findings contribute to the concept of a BRCA-centered tumor suppressor network and provide the identity of Abraxas as a new breast cancer susceptibility gene.
γ-secretase is a large ubiquitously expressed protease complex composed of four core subunits: presenilin, Aph1, PEN-2, and nicastrin. The function of γ-secretase in the cells is to proteolytically cleave various proteins within their transmembrane domains. Presenilin and Aph1 occur as alternative variants belonging to mutually exclusive γ-secretase complexes and providing the complexes with heterogeneous biochemical and physiological properties. γ-secretase is proposed to have a role in the development and progression of cancer and γ-secretase inhibitors are intensively studied for their probable anti-tumor effects in various types of cancer models. Here, we for the first time determined mRNA expression levels of presenilin-1, presenilin-2, Aph1a, Aph1b, PEN-2, and nicastrin in a set of breast cancer tissue samples (N = 55) by quantitative real-time PCR in order to clarify the clinical significance of the expression of different γ-secretase complex components in breast cancer. We found a high positive correlation between the subunit expression levels implying a common regulation of transcription. Our univariate Kaplan-Meier survival analyses established low expression level of γ-secretase complex as a risk factor for breast cancer specific mortality. The tumors expressing low levels of γ-secretase complex were characterized by high histopathological tumor grade, low or no expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors and consequently high probability to fall into the class of triple negative breast cancer tumors. These results may provide novel tools to further categorize breast cancer tumors, especially the highly aggressive and poorly treatable breast cancer type of triple negative cases, and suggest a significant role for γ-secretase in breast cancer.
Our recent genome-wide association study identified a novel breast cancer susceptibility locus at 9q31.2 (rs865686).
To further investigate the rs865686–breast cancer association, we conducted a replication study within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, which comprises 37 case–control studies (48,394 cases, 50,836 controls).
This replication study provides additional strong evidence of an inverse association between rs865686 and breast cancer risk [study-adjusted per G-allele OR, 0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.88; 0.91, P = 2.01 × 10–29] among women of European ancestry. There were ethnic differences in the estimated minor (G)-allele frequency among controls [0.09, 0.30, and 0.38 among, respectively, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other Europeans; P for heterogeneity (Phet) = 1.3 × 10–143], but no evidence of ethnic differences in per allele OR (Phet = 0.43). rs865686 was associated with estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) disease (per G-allele OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.86–0.91; P = 3.13 × 10–22) but less strongly, if at all, with ER-negative (ER–) disease (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.94–1.02; P = 0.26; Phet = 1.16 × 10–6), with no evidence of independent heterogeneity by progesterone receptor or HER2 status. The strength of the breast cancer association decreased with increasing age at diagnosis, with case-only analysis showing a trend in the number of copies of the G allele with increasing age at diagnosis (P for linear trend = 0.0095), but only among women with ER+ tumors.
This study is the first to show that rs865686 is a susceptibility marker for ER+ breast cancer.
The findings further support the view that genetic susceptibility varies according to tumor subtype.