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1.  Stomach Cancer Risk After Treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(27):3369-3377.
Treatment-related stomach cancer is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among the growing number of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors, but risks associated with specific HL treatments are unclear.
Patients and Methods
We conducted an international case-control study of stomach cancer nested in a cohort of 19,882 HL survivors diagnosed from 1953 to 2003, including 89 cases and 190 matched controls. For each patient, we quantified cumulative doses of specific alkylating agents (AAs) and reconstructed radiation dose to the stomach tumor location.
Stomach cancer risk increased with increasing radiation dose to the stomach (Ptrend < .001) and with increasing number of AA-containing chemotherapy cycles (Ptrend = .02). Patients who received both radiation to the stomach ≥ 25 Gy and high-dose procarbazine (≥ 5,600 mg/m2) had strikingly elevated stomach cancer risk (25 cases, two controls; odds ratio [OR], 77.5; 95% CI, 14.7 to 1452) compared with those who received radiation < 25 Gy and procarbazine < 5,600 mg/m2 (Pinteraction < .001). Risk was also elevated (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.3 to 6.4) among patients who received radiation to the stomach ≥ 25 Gy but procarbazine < 5,600 mg/m2; however, no procarbazine-related risk was evident with radiation < 25 Gy. Treatment with dacarbazine also increased stomach cancer risk (12 cases, nine controls; OR, 8.8; 95% CI, 2.1 to 46.6), after adjustment for radiation and procarbazine doses.
Patients with HL who received subdiaphragmatic radiotherapy had dose-dependent increased risk of stomach cancer, with marked risks for patients who also received chemotherapy containing high-dose procarbazine. For current patients, risks and benefits of exposure to both procarbazine and subdiaphragmatic radiotherapy should be weighed carefully. For patients treated previously, GI symptoms should be evaluated promptly.
PMCID: PMC3770865  PMID: 23980092
2.  Genomic patterns resembling BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutated breast cancers predict benefit of intensified carboplatin-based chemotherapy 
BRCA-mutated breast cancer cells lack the DNA-repair mechanism homologous recombination that is required for error-free DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. Homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) may cause hypersensitivity to DNA DSB-inducing agents, such as bifunctional alkylating agents and platinum salts. HRD can be caused by BRCA mutations, and by other mechanisms. To identify HRD, studies have focused on triple-negative (TN) breast cancers as these resemble BRCA1-mutated breast cancer closely and might also share this hypersensitivity. However, ways to identify HRD in non-BRCA-mutated, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers have remained elusive. The current study provides evidence that genomic patterns resembling BRCA1- or BRCA2-mutated breast cancers can identify breast cancer patients with TN as well as ER-positive, HER2-negative tumors that are sensitive to intensified, DSB-inducing chemotherapy.
Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) was used to classify breast cancers. Patients with tumors with similar aCGH patterns as BRCA1- and/or BRCA2-mutated breast cancers were defined as having a BRCA-likeCGH status, others as non-BCRA-likeCGH. Stage-III patients (n = 249) had participated in a randomized controlled trial of adjuvant high-dose (HD) cyclophosphamide-thiotepa-carboplatin (CTC) versus 5-fluorouracil-epirubicin-cyclophosphamide (FE90C) chemotherapy.
Among patients with BRCA-likeCGH tumors (81/249, 32%), a significant benefit of HD-CTC compared to FE90C was observed regarding overall survival (adjusted hazard ratio 0.19, 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.48) that was not seen for patients with non-BRCA-likeCGH tumors (adjusted hazard ratio 0.90, 95% CI: 0.53 to 1.54) (P = 0.004). Half of all BRCA-likeCGH tumors were ER-positive.
Distinct aCGH patterns differentiated between HER2-negative patients with a markedly improved outcome after adjuvant treatment with an intensified DNA-DSB-inducing regimen (BRCA-likeCGH patients) and those without benefit (non-BRCA-likeCGH patients).
PMCID: PMC4076636  PMID: 24887359
3.  Using tensor product splines in modeling exposure–time–response relationships: Application to the Colorado Plateau Uranium Miners cohort 
Statistics in medicine  2008;27(26):5484-5496.
An adequate depiction of exposure–time–response relationships is important in assessing public health implications of an occupational or environmental exposure. Recent advances have focused on flexible modeling of the overall shape of latency. Methods are needed to allow for varying shapes of latency under different exposure profiles. A tensor product spline model is proposed for describing exposure–response relationships for protracted time-dependent occupational exposure histories in epidemiologic studies. The methods use flexible multi-dimensional techniques to jointly model age, latency and exposure–response effects. In analyzing data from the Colorado Plateau Uranium Miners cohort, a model that allows for varying exposure-dependent latency shapes is found to be superior to models that only allowed for an overall latency curve. Specifically, the model suggests that, at low exposure levels risk increased at short latencies followed by a slow decline for longer latency periods. On the other hand, risk was higher but did not change much by latency for higher exposure levels. The proposed methodology has the advantage of allowing for latency functions that vary by exposure levels and, conversely, exposure–response relationships that are influenced by the latency structure.
PMCID: PMC3032879  PMID: 18613262
latency; nested case control; occupational exposure; relative risk
4.  Occupational exposure to formaldehyde, hematotoxicity and leukemia-specific chromosome changes in cultured myeloid progenitor cells 
There are concerns about the health effects of formaldehyde exposure, including carcinogenicity, in light of elevated indoor air levels in new homes and occupational exposures experienced by workers in health care, embalming, manufacturing and other industries. Epidemiological studies suggest that formaldehyde exposure is associated with an increased risk of leukemia. However, the biological plausibility of these findings has been questioned because limited information is available on formaldehyde’s ability to disrupt hematopoietic function. Our objective was to determine if formaldehyde exposure disrupts hematopoietic function and produces leukemia-related chromosome changes in exposed humans. We examined the ability of formaldehyde to disrupt hematopoiesis in a study of 94 workers in China (43 exposed to formaldehyde and 51 frequency-matched controls) by measuring complete blood counts and peripheral stem/progenitor cell colony formation. Further, myeloid progenitor cells, the target for leukemogenesis, were cultured from the workers to quantify the level of leukemia-specific chromosome changes, including monosomy 7 and trisomy 8, in metaphase spreads of these cells. Among exposed workers, peripheral blood cell counts were significantly lowered in a manner consistent with toxic effects on the bone marrow and leukemia-specific chromosome changes were significantly elevated in myeloid blood progenitor cells. These findings suggest that formaldehyde exposure can have an adverse impact on the hematopoietic system and that leukemia induction by formaldehyde is biologically plausible, which heightens concerns about its leukemogenic potential from occupational and environmental exposures.
PMCID: PMC2974570  PMID: 20056626
5.  Mortality From Lymphohematopoietic Malignancies and Brain Cancer Among Embalmers Exposed to Formaldehyde 
Excess mortality from lymphohematopoietic malignancies, in particular myeloid leukemia, and brain cancer has been found in surveys of anatomists, pathologists, and funeral industry workers, all of whom may have worked with formaldehyde. We investigated the relation of mortality to work practices and formaldehyde exposure levels among these professionals to address cancer risk in the funeral industry.
Professionals employed in the funeral industry who died between January 1, 1960, and January 1, 1986, from lymphohematopoietic malignancies (n = 168) or brain tumors (n = 48) (ie, case subjects) were compared with deceased matched control subjects (n = 265) with regard to lifetime work practices and exposures in the funeral industry, which were obtained by interviews with next of kin and coworkers, and to estimated levels of formaldehyde exposure. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by use of logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Mortality from myeloid leukemia increased statistically significantly with increasing number of years of embalming (P for trend = .020) and with increasing peak formaldehyde exposure (P for trend = .036). Compared with subjects who performed fewer than 500 lifetime embalmings, mortality from myeloid leukemia was elevated among those who performed embalmings for more than 34 years (OR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.2 to 12.5, P = .024), who performed more than 3068 embalmings (OR = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.0 to 9.2, P = .057), and those whose estimated cumulative formaldehyde exposure exceeded 9253 parts per million–hours (OR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.0 to 9.6, P = .047). These exposures were not related to other lymphohematopoietic malignancies or to brain cancer.
Duration of embalming practice and related formaldehyde exposures in the funeral industry were associated with statistically significantly increased risk for mortality from myeloid leukemia.
PMCID: PMC2794303  PMID: 19933446
A total of 74,942 female subjects were recruited in a population-based cohort study in Shanghai, China between 1997 and 2000. We examined the relationship between occupation and breast cancer risk by using baseline data from the cohort study.
Cases were 586 women previously diagnosed with breast cancer at baseline and 438 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer by December 2004 during follow-up. Eight controls were randomly selected for each case from cancer-free cohort members and frequency-matched to the cases by year of birth and age at diagnosis, respectively. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of breast cancer risk associated with occupations adjusting for typical breast cancer risk factors.
In the prevalent breast cancer data analysis, increased risks of breast cancer were associated with technicians in engineering/agriculture/forestry (OR= 1.6, 1.0-2.4), teaching personnel (OR=1.5, 1.1-2.0), tailoring/sewing workers (OR=1.6, 1.0-2.7), examiners/measurers/testers (OR=1.5, 1.1-2.1) among those who started the jobs at least 20 years ago. In the incident cases, the significantly increased risks were associated with medical/health care workers (OR=1.4, 1.0-2.0), administrative clerical workers (OR=1.5, 1.0-2.4), postal/telecommunication workers (OR=2.2, 1.0-5.5), and odd-job workers (OR=1.7, 1.1-2.8) among those who started the jobs at least 20 years ago. The excess risks were found in both prevalent and incident cases for postal/telecommunication workers and purchasing/marketing personnel, although ORs reached only marginal significance.
This study suggests that white-collar professionals and several production occupations may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC2886981  PMID: 18067183
occupations; breast cancer; Shanghai women health study (SWHS); Shanghai China
7.  Mortality From Lymphohematopoietic Malignancies Among Workers in Formaldehyde Industries: The National Cancer Institute Cohort 
Formaldehyde exposure is associated with leukemia in some epidemiological studies. In the National Cancer Institute’s formaldehyde cohort, previously followed through December 31, 1979, and updated through December 31, 1994, formaldehyde exposure was associated with an increased risk for leukemia, particularly myeloid leukemia, that increased with peak and average intensity of exposure.
We extended follow-up through December 31, 2004 (median follow-up = 42 years), for 25 619 workers employed at one of 10 formaldehyde-using or formaldehyde-producing plants before 1966. We used Poisson regression to calculate relative risk (RR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to examine associations between quantitative formaldehyde exposure estimates (peak exposure, average intensity and cumulative exposure) and death from lymphohematopoietic malignancies. All statistical tests were two-sided and considered to be significant at P = .05.
When follow-up ended in 2004, there were statistically significant increased risks for the highest vs lowest peak formaldehyde exposure category (≥4 parts per million [ppm] vs >0 to <2.0 ppm) and all lymphohematopoietic malignancies (RR = 1.37; 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.81, P trend = .02) and Hodgkin lymphoma (RR = 3.96; 95% CI = 1.31 to 12.02, P trend = .01). Statistically nonsignificant associations were observed for multiple myeloma (RR = 2.04; 95% CI = 1.01 to 4.12, P trend > .50), all leukemia (RR = 1.42; 95% CI = 0.92 to 2.18, P trend = .12), and myeloid leukemia (RR = 1.78; 95% CI = 0.87 to 3.64, P trend = .13). There was little evidence of association for any lymphohematopoietic malignancy with average intensity or cumulative exposure at the end of follow-up in 2004. However, disease associations varied over time. For peak exposure, the highest formaldehyde-related risks for myeloid leukemia occurred before 1980, but trend tests attained statistical significance in 1990 only. After the mid-1990s, the formaldehyde-related risk of myeloid leukemia declined.
Evaluation of risks over time suggests a possible link between formaldehyde exposure and lymphohematopoietic malignancies, particularly myeloid leukemia but also perhaps Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Observed patterns could be due to chance but are also consistent with a causal association within the relatively short induction–incubation periods characteristic of leukemogenesis. Further epidemiological study and exploration of potential molecular mechanisms are warranted.
PMCID: PMC2684555  PMID: 19436030
8.  Low level alcohol intake, cigarette smoking and risk of breast cancer in Asian-American women 
Studies have shown that breast cancer incidence rates among Asian migrants to the United States approach U.S. incidence rates over several generations, implicating potentially modifiable exposures such as moderate alcohol use that has been linked to excess breast cancer risk in other populations. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of alcohol intake, primarily low levels, on breast cancer risk in Asian-American women and explore whether smoking and alcohol contributed to the in breast cancer incidence rates observed among Asian migrants to the United States. Study subjects in this population-based case-control study included 597 incident cases of breast cancer of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino ethnicity living in San Francisco-Oakland, Los Angeles, and Oahu, Hawaii and 966 population controls frequency matched on age, ethnicity, and area of residence. The fraction of smokers and drinkers was significantly higher in women born in Western compared with Eastern countries. However, breast cancer risk was not significantly associated with smoking (odds ratio (OR) = 1.2, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.9–1.6) or alcohol drinking (OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.7–1.1) in this population of low consumers of alcohol (median intake among drinkers in grams per day was 0.48 for cases and 0.40 for controls). These data suggest that low alcohol intake is not related to increased breast cancer risk in Asian-American women and that neither alcohol nor cigarette use contributed to the elevated risks in Asian-American women associated with migration patterns and Westernization.
PMCID: PMC2808456  PMID: 19597702
Breast cancer; Alcohol drinking; Cigarette smoking; Asian-American; Epidemiology
9.  Risk of Cataract after Exposure to Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation: A 20-Year Prospective Cohort Study among US Radiologic Technologists 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2008;168(6):620-631.
The study aim was to determine the risk of cataract among radiologic technologists with respect to occupational and nonoccupational exposures to ionizing radiation and to personal characteristics. A prospective cohort of 35,705 cataract-free US radiologic technologists aged 24–44 years was followed for nearly 20 years (1983–2004) by using two follow-up questionnaires. During the study period, 2,382 cataracts and 647 cataract extractions were reported. Cigarette smoking for ≥5 pack-years; body mass index of ≥25 kg/m2; and history of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or arthritis at baseline were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) associated with increased risk of cataract. In multivariate models, self-report of ≥3 x-rays to the face/neck was associated with a hazard ratio of cataract of 1.25 (95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.47). For workers in the highest category (mean, 60 mGy) versus lowest category (mean, 5 mGy) of occupational dose to the lens of the eye, the adjusted hazard ratio of cataract was 1.18 (95% confidence interval: 0.99, 1.40). Findings challenge the National Council on Radiation Protection and International Commission on Radiological Protection assumptions that the lowest cumulative ionizing radiation dose to the lens of the eye that can produce a progressive cataract is approximately 2 Gy, and they support the hypothesis that the lowest cataractogenic dose in humans is substantially less than previously thought.
PMCID: PMC2727195  PMID: 18664497
cataract; radiation; technology, radiologic; x-rays
10.  International study of factors affecting human chromosome translocations 
Mutation research  2008;652(2):112-121.
Chromosome translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal, healthy humans increase with age, but the effects of gender, race, and cigarette smoking on background translocation yields have not been examined systematically. Further, the shape of the relationship between age and translocation frequency (TF) has not been definitively determined. We collected existing data from sixteen laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia on TFs measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescence in situ hybridization whole chromosome painting among 1933 individuals. In Poisson regression models, age, ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 85 years, was strongly associated with TF and this relationship showed significant upward curvature at older ages vs. a linear relationship (p <0.001). Ever smokers had significantly higher TFs than non-smokers (rate ratio (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–1.30) and smoking modified the effect of age on TFs with a steeper age-related increase among ever smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.001). TFs did not differ by gender. Interpreting an independent effect of race was difficult owing to laboratory variation. Our study is three times larger than any pooled effort to date, confirming a suspected curvilinear relationship of TF with age. The significant effect of cigarette smoking has not been observed with previous pooled studies of TF in humans. Our data provide stable estimates of background TF by age, gender, race, and smoking status and suggest an acceleration of chromosome damage above age 60 and among those with a history of smoking cigarettes.
PMCID: PMC2696320  PMID: 18337160
chromosome translocations; background frequency; controls; fluorescence in situ hybridization
11.  Interventional radiography and mortality risks in U.S. radiologic technologists 
Pediatric Radiology  2006;36(Suppl 2):113-120.
With the exponential increase in minimally invasive fluoroscopically guided interventional radiologic procedures, concern has increased about the health effects on staff and patients of radiation exposure from these procedures. There has been no systematic epidemiologic investigation to quantify serious disease risks or mortality. To quantify all-cause, circulatory system disease and cancer mortality risks in U.S. radiologic technologists who work with interventional radiographic procedures, we evaluated mortality risks in a nationwide cohort of 88,766 U.S. radiologic technologists (77% female) who completed a self-administered questionnaire during 1994–998 and were followed through 31 December 2003. We obtained information on work experience, types of procedures (including fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures), and protective measures plus medical, family cancer history, lifestyle, and reproductive information. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to compute relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Between completion of the questionnaire and the end of follow-up, there were 3,581 deaths, including 1,209 from malignancies and 979 from circulatory system diseases. Compared to radiologic technologists who never or rarely performed or assisted with fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures, all-cause mortality risks were not increased among those working on such procedures daily. Similarly, there was no increased risk of mortality resulting from all circulatory system diseases combined, all cancers combined, or female breast cancer among technologists who daily performed or assisted with fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures. Based on small numbers of deaths (n=151), there were non-significant excesses (40%–0%) in mortality from cerebrovascular disease among technologists ever working with these procedures. The absence of significantly elevated mortality risks in radiologic technologists reporting the highest frequency of interventional radiography procedures must be interpreted cautiously in light of the small number of deaths during the relatively short follow-up. The present study cannot rule out increased risks of cerebrovascular disease, specific cancers, and diseases with low case-fatality rates or a long latency period preceding death.
PMCID: PMC2663634  PMID: 16862404
Radiologic technologists; Interventional radiography; Occupational radiation exposure; Mortality
12.  EZH2 and BMI1 inversely correlate with prognosis and TP53 mutation in breast cancer 
Breast Cancer Research : BCR  2008;10(6):R109.
PolycombGroup (PcG) proteins maintain gene repression through histone modifications and have been implicated in stem cell regulation and cancer. EZH2 is part of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) and trimethylates H3K27. This histone mark recruits the BMI1-containing PRC1 that silences the genes marked by PRC2. Based on their role in stem cells, EZH2 and BMI1 have been predicted to contribute to a poor outcome for cancer patients.
We have analysed the expression of EZH2 and BMI1 in a well-characterised dataset of 295 human breast cancer samples.
Interestingly, although EZH2 overexpression correlates with a poor prognosis in breast cancer, BMI1 overexpression correlates with a good outcome. Although this may reflect transformation of different cell types, we also observed a functional difference. The PcG-target genes INK4A and ARF are not expressed in tumours with high BMI1, but they are expressed in tumours with EZH2 overexpression. ARF expression results in tumour protein P53 (TP53) activation, and we found a significantly higher proportion of TP53 mutations in tumours with high EZH2. This may explain why tumours with high EZH2 respond poorly to therapy, in contrast to tumours with high BMI1.
Overall, our data highlight that whereas EZH2 and BMI1 may function in a 'linear' pathway in normal development, their overexpression has different functional consequences for breast tumourigenesis.
PMCID: PMC2656906  PMID: 19099573
13.  Kin-cohort estimates for familial breast cancer risk in relation to variants in DNA base excision repair, BRCA1 interacting and growth factor genes 
BMC Cancer  2004;4:9.
Subtle functional deficiencies in highly conserved DNA repair or growth regulatory processes resulting from polymorphic variation may increase genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. Polymorphisms in DNA repair genes can impact protein function leading to genomic instability facilitated by growth stimulation and increased cancer risk. Thus, 19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in eight genes involved in base excision repair (XRCC1, APEX, POLD1), BRCA1 protein interaction (BRIP1, ZNF350, BRCA2), and growth regulation (TGFß1, IGFBP3) were evaluated.
Genomic DNA samples were used in Taqman 5'-nuclease assays for most SNPs. Breast cancer risk to ages 50 and 70 were estimated using the kin-cohort method in which genotypes of relatives are inferred based on the known genotype of the index subject and Mendelian inheritance patterns. Family cancer history data was collected from a series of genotyped breast cancer cases (N = 748) identified within a cohort of female US radiologic technologists. Among 2,430 female first-degree relatives of cases, 190 breast cancers were reported.
Genotypes associated with increased risk were: XRCC1 R194W (WW and RW vs. RR, cumulative risk up to age 70, risk ratio (RR) = 2.3; 95% CI 1.3–3.8); XRCC1 R399Q (QQ vs. RR, cumulative risk up to age 70, RR = 1.9; 1.1–3.9); and BRIP1 (or BACH1) P919S (SS vs. PP, cumulative risk up to age 50, RR = 6.9; 1.6–29.3). The risk for those heterozygous for BRCA2 N372H and APEX D148E were significantly lower than risks for homozygotes of either allele, and these were the only two results that remained significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons. No associations with breast cancer were observed for: APEX Q51H; XRCC1 R280H; IGFPB3 -202A>C; TGFß1 L10P, P25R, and T263I; BRCA2 N289H and T1915M; BRIP1 -64A>C; and ZNF350 (or ZBRK1) 1845C>T, L66P, R501S, and S472P.
Some variants in genes within the base-excision repair pathway (XRCC1) and BRCA1 interacting proteins (BRIP1) may play a role as low penetrance breast cancer risk alleles. Previous association studies of breast cancer and BRCA2 N372H and functional observations for APEX D148E ran counter to our findings of decreased risks. Due to the many comparisons, cautious interpretation and replication of these relationships are warranted.
PMCID: PMC408462  PMID: 15113441
Breast cancer; kin-cohort; genetic variation; epidemiology; methods; risk factors
14.  Exposure to diagnostic radiation and risk of breast cancer among carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations: retrospective cohort study (GENE-RAD-RISK) 
Objective To estimate the risk of breast cancer associated with diagnostic radiation in carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations.
Design Retrospective cohort study (GENE-RAD-RISK).
Setting Three nationwide studies (GENEPSO, EMBRACE, HEBON) in France, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands,
Participants 1993 female carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations recruited in 2006-09.
Main outcome measure Risk of breast cancer estimated with a weighted Cox proportional hazards model with a time dependent individually estimated cumulative breast dose, based on nominal estimates of organ dose and frequency of self reported diagnostic procedures. To correct for potential survival bias, the analysis excluded carriers who were diagnosed more than five years before completion of the study questionnaire.
Results In carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations any exposure to diagnostic radiation before the age of 30 was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (hazard ratio 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.20 to 3.00), with a dose-response pattern. The risks by quarter of estimated cumulative dose <0.0020 Gy, ≥0.0020-0.0065 Gy, ≥0.0066-0.0173 Gy, and ≥0.0174 Gy were 1.63 (0.96 to 2.77), 1.78 (0.88 to 3.58), 1.75 (0.72 to 4.25), and 3.84 (1.67 to 8.79), respectively. Analyses on the different types of diagnostic procedures showed a pattern of increasing risk with increasing number of radiographs before age 20 and before age 30 compared with no exposure. A history of mammography before age 30 was also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (hazard ratio 1.43, 0.85 to 2.40). Sensitivity analysis showed that this finding was not caused by confounding by indication of family history.
Conclusion In this large European study among carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations, exposure to diagnostic radiation before age 30 was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer at dose levels considerably lower than those at which increases have been found in other cohorts exposed to radiation. The results of this study support the use of non-ionising radiation imaging techniques (such as magnetic resonance imaging) as the main tool for surveillance in young women with BRCA1/2 mutations.
PMCID: PMC3435441  PMID: 22956590
15.  Sorafenib synergizes with metformin in NSCLC through AMPK pathway activation 
The multikinase inhibitor sorafenib is under clinical investigation for the treatment of many solid tumors, but in most cases, the molecular target responsible for the clinical effect is unknown. Furthermore, enhancing the effectiveness of sorafenib using combination strategies is a major clinical challenge. Here, we identify sorafenib as an activator of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), in a manner that involves either upstream LKB1 or CAMKK2. We further show in a phase II clinical trial in KRAS mutant advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with single agent sorafenib an improved disease control rate in patients using the antidiabetic drug metformin. Consistent with this, sorafenib and metformin act synergistically in inhibiting cellular proliferation in NSCLC in vitro and in vivo. A synergistic effect of both drugs is also seen on phosphorylation of the AMPKα activation site. Our results provide a rationale for the synergistic antiproliferative effects, given that AMPK inhibits downstream mTOR signaling. These data suggest that the combination of sorafenib with AMPK activators could have beneficial effects on tumor regression by AMPK pathway activation. The combination of metformin or other AMPK activators and sorafenib could be tested in prospective clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4312923  PMID: 25080865
AMP-activated protein kinase; metformin; non-small cell lung cancer; salicylate; sorafenib

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