Chlorinated solvents are classified as probable or possible carcinogens. It is unknown whether exposure to these agents increases the risk of malignant or benign brain tumors. Our objective was to evaluate associations of brain tumor risk with occupational exposure to six chlorinated solvents [i.e., dichloromethane, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene].
489 glioma cases, 197 meningioma cases, and 799 controls were enrolled in a hospital-based case-control study conducted at three U.S. hospitals in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Information about occupational history was obtained through a detailed in-person interview that included job-specific modules of questions such that the interview was tailored to each individual’s particular work history. An industrial hygienist assessed potential solvent exposure based on this information and an exhaustive review of the relevant industrial hygiene literature. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for each solvent for ever/never, duration, cumulative, average weekly, and highest exposure.
Overall, we found no consistent evidence of an increased risk of glioma or meningioma related to occupational exposure to the six chlorinated solvents evaluated. There was some suggestion of an association between carbon tetrachloride and glioma in analyses restricted to exposed subjects, with average weekly exposure above the median associated with increased risk compared to below-median exposure (OR=7.1, 95%CI: 1.1, 45.2).
We found no consistent evidence for increased brain tumor risk related to chlorinated solvents.
epidemiology; cancer; solvents
There is great interest in evaluating gene-environment interactions with chemical exposures, but exposure assessment poses a unique challenge in case-control studies. Expert assessment of detailed work history data is usually considered the best approach, but it is a laborious and time-consuming process. We set out to determine if a less intensive method of exposure assessment (a job exposure matrix [JEM]) would produce similar results to a previous analysis that found evidence of effect modification between expert assessed-lead exposure and risk of brain tumors by a single nucleotide polymorphism in the ALAD gene (rs1800435).
We used data from a study of 355 patients with glioma, 151 patients with meningioma and 505 controls. Logistic regression models were used to examine associations between brain tumor risk and lead exposure and effect modification by genotype. We evaluated Cohen’s kappa, sensitivity and specificity for the JEM compared to the expert-assessed exposure metrics.
Although effect estimates were imprecise and driven by a small number of cases, we found evidence of effect modification between lead exposure and ALAD genotype when using expert- but not JEM-derived lead exposure estimates. Kappa values indicated only modest agreement (< 0.5) for the exposure metrics, with the JEM indicating high specificity (~0.9) but poor sensitivity (~0.5). Disagreement between the two methods was generally due to having additional information in the detailed work history.
These results provide preliminary evidence suggesting that high quality exposure data are likely to improve the ability to detect genetic effect modification.
Risk projection methods allow for timely assessment of the potential magnitude of radiation-related cancer risks following low-dose radiation exposures. To estimate such risks directly through observational studies would generally require infeasibly large studies and long-term follow-up to achieve reasonable statistical power. We developed an online radiation risk assessment tool (RadRAT) which can be used to estimate the lifetime risk of radiation-related cancer with uncertainty intervals following a user-specified exposure history (https://irep.nci.nih.gov/radrat). The uncertainty intervals are a key component of the program because of the various assumptions that are involved in such calculations. The risk models used in RadRAT are broadly based on those developed by the BEIR VII committee for estimating lifetime risk following low-dose radiation exposure to the U.S. population for eleven site-specific cancers. We developed new risk models for seven additional cancer sites: oral, esophagus, gallbladder, pancreas, rectum, kidney and brain/central nervous system (CNS) cancers using data from the Japanese atomic bomb survivors. The lifetime risk estimates are slightly higher for RadRAT than for BEIR VII across all exposure ages mostly because the weighting of the excess relative risk and excess absolute risk models was conducted on an arithmetic rather than a logarithmic scale. The calculator can be used to estimate lifetime cancer risk from both uniform and non-uniform doses that are acute or chronic. It is most appropriate for low-LET radiation doses <1Gy, and for individuals with life-expectancy and cancer rates similar to the general population in the U.S.
Although exposure to moderate-to-high doses of ionizing radiation is the only established environmental risk factor for brain and CNS tumors, it is not clear whether this relationship differs across tumor subtypes, by sex or age at exposure, or at the low-to-moderate range of exposure. This systematic review summarizes the epidemiologic evidence on the association between ionizing radiation exposure and risk of brain/CNS tumors. Articles included in this review estimated radiation exposure doses to the brain and reported excess relative risk (ERR) estimates for brain/CNS tumors. Eight cohorts were eligible for inclusion in the analysis. Average age at exposure ranged from 8 months to 26 years. Mean dose to the brain ranged from 0.07 to 10 Gy. Elevated risks for brain/CNS tumors were consistently observed in relation to ionizing radiation exposure, but the strength of this association varied across cohorts. Generally, ionizing radiation was more strongly associated with risk for meningioma compared with glioma. The positive association between ionizing radiation exposure and risk for glioma was stronger for younger vs older ages at exposure. We did not observe an effect modification on the risk for meningioma by sex, age at exposure, time since exposure, or attained age. The etiologic role of ionizing radiation in the development of brain/CNS tumors needs to be clarified further through additional studies that quantify the association between ionizing radiation and risk for brain/CNS tumors at low-to-moderate doses, examine risks across tumor subtypes, and account for potential effect modifiers.
brain cancer; brain tumors; glioma; ionizing radiation; meningioma
Gliomas account for approximately 80% of all primary malignant brain tumors, and despite improvements in clinical care over the last 20 years remain among the most lethal tumors, underscoring the need for gaining new insights that could translate into clinical advances. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified seven new susceptibility regions. We conducted a new independent GWAS of glioma using 1,856 cases and 4,955 controls (from 14 cohort studies, 3 casecontrol studies, and 1 population-based case only study) and found evidence of strong replication for three of the seven previously reported associations at 20q13.33 (RTEL), 5p15.33 (TERT), and 9p21.3 (CDKN2BAS), and consistent association signals for the remaining four at 7p11.2 (EGFR both loci), 8q24.21 (CCDC26) and 11q23.3 (PHLDB1). The direction and magnitude of the signal were consistent for samples from cohort and case-control studies, but the strength of the association was more pronounced for loci rs6010620 (20q,13.33; RTEL) and rs2736100 (5p15.33, TERT) in cohort studies despite the smaller number of cases in this group, likely due to relatively more higher grade tumors being captured in the cohort studies. We further examined the 85 most promising single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers identified in our study in three replication sets (5,015 cases and 11,601 controls), but no new markers reached genome-wide significance. Our findings suggest that larger studies focusing on novel approaches as well as specific tumor subtypes or subgroups will be required to identify additional common susceptibility loci for glioma risk.
Childhood cancer survivors have an increased risk of secondary sarcomas. To better identify those at risk, the relationship between therapeutic dose of chemotherapy and radiation and secondary sarcoma should be quantified.
Methods and Materials
We conducted a nested case-control study of secondary sarcomas (105 cases, 422 matched controls) in a cohort of 14,372 childhood cancer survivors. Radiation dose at the second malignant neoplasm (SMN) site and use of chemotherapy were estimated from detailed review of medical records. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by conditional logistic regression. Excess odds ratio (EOR) was modeled as a function of radiation dose, chemotherapy, and host factors.
Sarcomas occurred a median of 11.8 years (range: 5.3-31.3 years) from original diagnosis. Any exposure to radiation was associated with increased risk of subsequent sarcoma (OR = 4.1, 95% CI = 1.8-9.5). A dose-response relation was observed, with elevated risks at doses between 10 - 29.9 Gy (OR = 15.6, 95% CI = 4.5-53.9), 30 - 49.9 Gy (OR = 16.0, 95% CI 3.8-67.8) and >50 Gy (OR = 114.1, 95% CI 13.5-964.8). Anthracycline exposure was associated with sarcoma risk (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.6-7.7) adjusting for radiation dose, other chemotherapy, and primary cancer. Adjusting for treatment, survivors with a first diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL; OR=10.7, 95% CI = 3.1-37.4) or primary sarcoma (OR=8.4, 95% CI = 3.2-22.3) were more likely to develop a sarcoma.
Of the risk factors evaluated, radiation exposure was the most important for secondary sarcoma development in childhood cancer survivors; anthracycline chemotherapy exposure was also associated with increased risk.
Childhood cancer survivors; secondary sarcomas; radiation late effects
The risk of glioma has consistently been shown to be increased two-fold in relatives of patients with primary brain tumors (PBT). A recent genome-wide linkage study of glioma families provided evidence for a disease locus on 17q12-21.32, with the possibility of four additional risk loci at 6p22.3, 12p13.33-12.1, 17q22-23.2, and 18q23.
To identify the underlying genetic variants responsible for the linkage signals, we compared the genotype frequencies of 5,122 SNPs mapping to these five regions in 88 glioma cases with and 1,100 cases without a family history of PBT (discovery study). An additional series of 84 familial and 903 non-familial cases were used to replicate associations.
In the discovery study, 12 SNPs showed significant associations with family history of PBT (P < 0.001). In the replication study, two of the 12 SNPs were confirmed: 12p13.33-12.1 PRMT8 rs17780102 (P = 0.031) and 17q12-21.32 SPOP rs650461 (P = 0.025). In the combined analysis of discovery and replication studies, the strongest associations were attained at four SNPs: 12p13.33-12.1 PRMT8 rs17780102 (P = 0.0001), SOX5 rs7305773 (P = 0.0001) and STKY1 rs2418087 (P = 0.0003), and 17q12-21.32 SPOP rs6504618 (P = 0.0006). Further, a significant gene-dosage effect was found for increased risk of family history of PBT with these four SNPs in the combined data set (Ptrend < 1.0 ×10−8).
The results support the linkage finding that some loci in the 12p13.33-12.1 and 17q12-q21.32 may contribute to gliomagenesis and suggest potential target genes underscoring linkage signals.
Association; Polymorphisms; Glioma; Family history of primary brain tumor; Linkage analysis
The 600% increase in medical radiation exposure to the US population since 1980 has provided immense benefit, but potential future cancer risks to patients. Most of the increase is from diagnostic radiologic procedures. The objectives of this review are to summarize epidemiologic data on cancer risks associated with diagnostic procedures, describe how exposures from recent diagnostic procedures relate to radiation levels linked with cancer occurrence, and propose a framework of strategies to reduce radiation from diagnostic imaging in patients. We briefly review radiation dose definitions, mechanisms of radiation carcinogenesis, key epidemiologic studies of medical and other radiation sources and cancer risks, and dose trends from diagnostic procedures. We describe cancer risks from experimental studies, future projected risks from current imaging procedures, and the potential for higher risks in genetically susceptible populations. To reduce future projected cancers from diagnostic procedures, we advocate widespread use of evidence-based appropriateness criteria for decisions about imaging procedures, oversight of equipment to deliver reliably the minimum radiation required to attain clinical objectives, development of electronic lifetime records of imaging procedures for patients and their physicians, and commitment by medical training programs, professional societies, and radiation protection organizations to educate all stakeholders in reducing radiation from diagnostic procedures.
Hormonal differences are hypothesized to contribute to the approximately ≥2-fold higher thyroid cancer incidence rates among women compared with men worldwide. Although thyroid cancer cells express estrogen receptors and estrogen has a proliferative effect on papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) cells in vitro, epidemiologic studies have not found clear associations between thyroid cancer and female hormonal factors. We hypothesized that polymorphic variation in hormone pathway genes is associated with the risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer.
We evaluated the association between PTC and 1151 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 58 candidate gene regions involved in sex hormone synthesis and metabolism, gonadotropins, and prolactin in a case-control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 controls, frequency matched on age and sex. Odds ratios and p-values for the linear trend for the association between each SNP genotype and PTC risk were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. SNPs in the same gene region or pathway were aggregated using adaptive rank-truncated product methods to obtain gene region-specific or pathway-specific p-values. To account for multiple comparisons, we applied the false discovery rate method.
Seven SNPs had p-values for linear trend <0.01, including four in the CYP19A1 gene, but none of the SNPs remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons. Results were similar when restricting the dataset to women. p-values for examined gene regions and for all genes combined were ≥0.09.
Based on these results, SNPs in selected hormone pathway genes do not appear to be strongly related to PTC risk. This observation is in accord with the lack of consistent associations between hormonal factors and PTC risk in epidemiologic studies.
Several case–control studies have suggested that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce risk for glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Prospective investigations have not observed such an association, but these studies lacked adequate brain cancer case numbers and did not stratify by histologic subtype. We prospectively investigated the association between NSAID use and risk of all glioma as well as the risk of glioblastoma subtype in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study. The frequency of aspirin and nonaspirin NSAID use 1 year prior to baseline was ascertained using a self-administered questionnaire. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox regression models with age as the underlying time metric, adjusted for sex, race, and history of heart disease. The analysis included 302,767 individuals, with 341 incident glioma cases (264 glioblastoma). No association was observed between regular use (>2 times/wk) of aspirin and risk of glioma (HR=1.16; 95% CI, 0.87–1.56) or glioblastoma (HR=1.17; 95% CI, 0.83–1.64) as compared with no use. Null associations were also observed for nonaspirin NSAID use (HR for glioma = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.65–1.25 and HR for glioblastoma=0.83; 95% CI, 0.56–1.20) as compared with no use. Our findings from this large prospective study do not support an inverse association between NSAIDs and risk of all glioma or glioblastoma.
In a pooled analysis of 4 US epidemiologic studies (1993–2001), the authors evaluated the role of 5 female reproductive factors in 357 women with glioma and 822 controls. The authors further evaluated the independent association between 5 implicated gene variants and glioma risk among the study population, as well as the joint associations of female reproductive factors (ages at menarche and menopause, menopausal status, use of oral contraceptives, and menopausal hormone therapy) and these gene variants on glioma risk. Risk estimates were calculated as odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals that were adjusted for age, race, and study. Three of the gene variants (rs4295627, a variant of CCDC26; rs4977756, a variant of CDKN2A and CDKN2B; and rs6010620, a variant of RTEL1) were statistically significantly associated with glioma risk in the present population. Compared with women who had an early age at menarche (<12 years of age), those who reported menarche at 12–13 years of age or at 14 years of age or older had a 1.7-fold higher risk and a 1.9-fold higher risk of glioma, respectively (P for trend = 0.009). Postmenopausal women and women who reported ever having used oral contraceptives had a decreased risk of glioma. The authors did not observe joint associations between these reproductive characteristics and the implicated glioma gene variants. These results require replication, but if confirmed, they would suggest that the gene variants that have previously been implicated in the development of glioma are unlikely to act through the same hormonal mechanisms in women.
genes; glioma; menstrual cycle; polymorphism, single nucleotide; reproduction; women
Sarcomas were one of the first solid cancers to be linked to ionizing radiation exposure. We reviewed the current evidence on this relationship, focusing particularly on the studies that had individual estimates of radiation doses. There is clear evidence of an increased risk of both bone and soft tissue sarcomas after high-dose fractionated radiation exposure (10 + Gy) in childhood, and the risk increases approximately linearly in dose, at least up to 40 Gy. There are few studies available of sarcoma after radiotherapy in adulthood for cancer, but data from cancer registries and studies of treatment for benign conditions confirm that the risk of sarcoma is also increased in this age-group after fractionated high-dose exposure. New findings from the long-term follow-up of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors suggest, for the first time, that sarcomas can be induced by acute lower-doses of radiation (<5 Gy) at any age, and the magnitude of the risk is similar to that observed for other solid cancers. While there is evidence that individuals with certain rare familial genetic syndromes predisposing to sarcoma, particularly Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome, are particularly sensitive to the effects of high dose radiation, it is unclear whether this is also true in very low-dose settings (<0.1 Gy). The effects of common low-penetrance alleles on radiosensitivity in the general population have not been well-characterized. Some evidence suggests that it may be possible to identify radiation-induced sarcomas by a distinct molecular signature, but this work needs to be replicated in several dose settings, and the potential role of chemotherapy and tumor heterogeneity needs to be examined in more detail. In summary, radiation exposure remains one of the few established risk factors for both bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Similar to many other cancers children have the highest risks of developing a radiation-related sarcoma. Efforts to limit unnecessary high-dose radiation exposure, particularly in children, therefore remain important given the high fatality rates associated with this disease.
In this issue of the journal, Michaud and colleagues report a 48% increased risk of meningioma in obese individuals compared with individuals with a normal body mass index (BMI). This large prospective cohort study adds weight to the suggested link between BMI and meningioma, thus contributing to the growing number of cancer sites likely associated with body fatness. Although the exact mechanisms underlying the BMI-meningioma link are unclear, possible mediators include hormonal factors, immunological response, and levels of insulin or insulin-like growth factors, each of which has been implicated by various levels of evidence in meningioma risk. Understanding the relationships between body fatness, height, and hormonal and immunological factors could provide important clues to the etiology of meningioma and may have implications for the early detection and prevention of these tumors.
Although CT scans are very useful clinically, potential cancer risks exist from associated ionising radiation, in particular for children who are more radiosensitive than adults. We aimed to assess the excess risk of leukaemia and brain tumours after CT scans in a cohort of children and young adults.
In our retrospective cohort study, we included patients without previous cancer diagnoses who were first examined with CT in National Health Service (NHS) centres in England, Wales, or Scotland (Great Britain) between 1985 and 2002, when they were younger than 22 years of age. We obtained data for cancer incidence, mortality, and loss to follow-up from the NHS Central Registry from Jan 1, 1985, to Dec 31, 2008. We estimated absorbed brain and red bone marrow doses per CT scan in mGy and assessed excess incidence of leukaemia and brain tumours cancer with Poisson relative risk models. To avoid inclusion of CT scans related to cancer diagnosis, follow-up for leukaemia began 2 years after the first CT and for brain tumours 5 years after the first CT.
During follow-up, 74 of 178 604 patients were diagnosed with leukaemia and 135 of 176 587 patients were diagnosed with brain tumours. We noted a positive association between radiation dose from CT scans and leukaemia (excess relative risk [ERR] per mGy 0·036, 95% CI 0·005–0·120; p=0·0097) and brain tumours (0·023, 0·010–0·049; p<0·0001). Compared with patients who received a dose of less than 5 mGy, the relative risk of leukaemia for patients who received a cumulative dose of at least 30 mGy (mean dose 51·13 mGy) was 3·18 (95% CI 1·46–6·94) and the relative risk of brain cancer for patients who received a cumulative dose of 50–74 mGy (mean dose 60·42 mGy) was 2·82 (1·33–6·03).
Use of CT scans in children to deliver cumulative doses of about 50 mGy might almost triple the risk of leukaemia and doses of about 60 mGy might triple the risk of brain cancer. Because these cancers are relatively rare, the cumulative absolute risks are small: in the 10 years after the first scan for patients younger than 10 years, one excess case of leukaemia and one excess case of brain tumour per 10 000 head CT scans is estimated to occur. Nevertheless, although clinical benefits should outweigh the small absolute risks, radiation doses from CT scans ought to be kept as low as possible and alternative procedures, which do not involve ionising radiation, should be considered if appropriate.
US National Cancer Institute and UK Department of Health.
The etiology of meningioma, the second-most common type of adult brain tumor in the United States, is largely unknown. Prior studies indicate that history of immune-related conditions may affect the risk of meningioma. To identify genetic markers for meningioma in genes involved with innate immunity, we conducted an exploratory association study of 101 meningioma cases and 330 frequency-matched controls of European ancestry using subjects from a hospital-based study conducted by the National Cancer Institute. We genotyped 1407 “tag” single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 148 genetic regions chosen on the basis of an r2> 0.8 and minor allele frequency > 5% in Caucasians in HapMap1. Risk of meningioma was estimated by odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Seventeen SNPs distributed across twelve genetic regions (NFKB1 (3), FCER1G (3), CCR6 (2), VCAM1, CD14, TNFRSF18, RAC2, XDH, C1D, TLR1/TLR10/TLR6, NOS1, DEFA5) were associated with risk of meningioma with p<0.01. Although individual SNP tests were not significant after controlling for multiple comparisons, gene region-based tests were statistically significant (p<0.05) for TNFRSF18, NFKB1, FCER1G, CD14, C1D, CCR6, and VCAM1. Our results indicate that common genetic polymorphisms in innate immunity genes may be associated with risk of meningioma. Given the small sample size, replication of these results in a larger study of meningioma is needed.
Meningioma; polymorphism; genetic region; innate immunity; brain; tumor; neoplasm; case-control
A reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) randomized clinical trial found a significant interaction between supplementation with vitamin D/calcium and estrogen therapy and the risk of colorectal cancer risk, with reduced risks from supplementation limited to the placebo arms of the estrogen trials. To explore whether the vitamin D effects are modified by estrogen therapy, we report a largely cross-sectional, analysis of the association between sun exposure, which is an important vitamin D source, and colorectal cancer risk among postmenopausal women in the U.S. Radiologic Technologists study. Among 21,695 participants, there were a total of 108 cases. Sun exposure was based on time outdoors and on ambient ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure based on residence linked to erythemal exposures derived from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) database. Although there was no relationship between outdoor time or ambient UV measure and colorectal cancer risk in current hormone replacement therapy (HRT) users, in never/past HRT users, there was an inverse association with higher ambient UV exposure, RR for highest vs. lowest tertile=0.40; 95% CI 017, 0.93; p for trend = 0.04. Non-significant lower risks were also associated with higher levels of outdoor time (≥3.5 hours/week) in never/past HRT users. The interaction between both indicators of sun exposure and HRT and CRC risk was not significant. These data, although exploratory, are consistent with evidence from the WHI suggesting a decrease in colorectal cancer risk may be associated with vitamin D exposure among postmenopausal women who are not taking HRT, but not among current HRT users.
We report the first genome-wide association study of habitual caffeine intake. We included 47,341 individuals of European descent based on five population-based studies within the United States. In a meta-analysis adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and eigenvectors of population variation, two loci achieved genome-wide significance: 7p21 (P = 2.4×10−19), near AHR, and 15q24 (P = 5.2×10−14), between CYP1A1 and CYP1A2. Both the AHR and CYP1A2 genes are biologically plausible candidates as CYP1A2 metabolizes caffeine and AHR regulates CYP1A2.
Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Although demographic and social factors have been linked to habitual caffeine consumption, twin studies report a large heritable component. Through a comprehensive search of the human genome involving over 40,000 participants, we discovered two loci associated with habitual caffeine consumption: the first near AHR and the second between CYP1A1 and CYP1A2. Both the AHR and CYP1A2 genes are biologically plausible candidates, as CYP1A2 metabolizes caffeine and AHR regulates CYP1A2. Caffeine intake has been associated with manifold physiologic effects and both detrimental and beneficial health outcomes. Knowledge of the genetic determinants of caffeine intake may provide insight into underlying mechanisms and may provide ways to study the potential health effects of caffeine more comprehensively.
Studies have examined the associations between cancers and circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], but little is known about the impact of different laboratory practices on 25(OH)D concentrations. We examined the potential impact of delayed blood centrifuging, choice of collection tube, and type of assay on 25(OH)D concentrations. Blood samples from 20 healthy volunteers underwent alternative laboratory procedures: four centrifuging times (2, 24, 72, and 96 h after blood draw); three types of collection tubes (red top serum tube, two different plasma anticoagulant tubes containing heparin or EDTA); and two types of assays (DiaSorin radioimmunoassay [RIA] and chemiluminescence immunoassay [CLIA/LIAISON®]). Log-transformed 25(OH)D concentrations were analyzed using the generalized estimating equations (GEE) linear regression models. We found no difference in 25(OH)D concentrations by centrifuging times or type of assay. There was some indication of a difference in 25(OH)D concentrations by tube type in CLIA/LIAISON®-assayed samples, with concentrations in heparinized plasma (geometric mean, 16.1 ng ml−1) higher than those in serum (geometric mean, 15.3 ng ml−1) (p = 0.01), but the difference was significant only after substantial centrifuging delays (96 h). Our study suggests no necessity for requiring immediate processing of blood samples after collection or for the choice of a tube type or assay.
Vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Specimen handling; Time factors; Epidemiologic methods
Objective To examine childhood cancer risks associated with exposure to diagnostic radiation and ultrasound scans in utero and in early infancy (age 0-100 days).
Design Case-control study.
Setting England and Wales.
Participants 2690 childhood cancer cases and 4858 age, sex, and region matched controls from the United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study (UKCCS), born 1976-96.
Main outcome measures Risk of all childhood cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma, and central nervous system tumours, measured by odds ratios.
Results Logistic regression models conditioned on matching factors, with adjustment for maternal age and child’s birth weight, showed no evidence of increased risk of childhood cancer with in utero exposure to ultrasound scans. Some indication existed of a slight increase in risk after in utero exposure to x rays for all cancers (odds ratio 1.l4, 95% confidence interval 0.90 to 1.45) and leukaemia (1.36, 0.91 to 2.02), but this was not statistically significant. Exposure to diagnostic x rays in early infancy (0-100 days) was associated with small, non-significant excess risks for all cancers and leukaemia, as well as increased risk of lymphoma (odds ratio 5.14, 1.27 to 20.78) on the basis of small numbers.
Conclusions Although the results for lymphoma need to be replicated, all of the findings indicate possible risks of cancer from radiation at doses lower than those associated with commonly used procedures such as computed tomography scans, suggesting the need for cautious use of diagnostic radiation imaging procedures to the abdomen/pelvis of the mother during pregnancy and in children at very young ages.
As genome-wide association studies of breast cancer are replicating findings and refinement studies are narrowing the signal location, additional efforts are necessary to elucidate the underlying functional relationships. One approach is to evaluate variation in risk by genotype based on known breast carcinogens, such as ionizing radiation. Given the public health concerns associated with recent increases in medical radiation exposure, this approach may also identify potentially susceptible sub-populations. We examined interaction between 27 newly identified breast cancer risk alleles (identified within the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility and the Breast Cancer Association Consortium genome-wide association studies) and occupational and medical diagnostic radiation exposure among 859 cases and 1083 controls nested within the United States Radiologic Technologists cohort. We did not find significant variation in the radiation-related breast cancer risk for the variant in RAD51L1 (rs10483813) on 14q24.1 as we had hypothesized. In exploratory analyses, we found that the radiation-associated breast cancer risk varied significantly by linked markers in 5p12 (rs930395, rs10941679, rs2067980, and rs4415084) in the mitochondrial ribosomal protein S30 (MRPS30) gene (pinteraction=0.04). Chance, however, may explain these findings, and as such, these results need to be confirmed in other populations with low to moderate levels of radiation exposure. Even though a complete understanding by which these variants may increase breast cancer risk remains elusive, this approach may yield clues for further investigation.
Although the etiology of primary brain tumors is largely unknown, prior studies suggest that DNA repair polymorphisms may influence risk of glioma. Altered DNA repair is also likely to affect the risk of meningioma and acoustic neuroma, but these tumors have not been well studied. We estimated the risk of glioma (n = 362), meningioma (n = 134), and acoustic neuroma (n = 69) in non-Hispanic whites with respect to 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms from 26 genes involved in DNA repair in a hospital-based, case–control study conducted by the National Cancer Institute. We observed significantly increased risk of meningioma with the T variant of GLTSCR1 rs1035938 (ORCT/TT = 3.5; 95% confidence interval: 1.8–6.9; Ptrend .0006), which persisted after controlling for multiple comparisons (P = .019). Significantly increased meningioma risk was also observed for the minor allele variants of ERCC4 rs1800067 (Ptrend .01); MUTYH rs3219466 (Ptrend .02), and PCNA rs25406 (Ptrend .03). The NBN rs1805794 minor allele variant was associated with decreased meningioma risk (Ptrend .006). Risk of acoustic neuroma was increased for the ERCC2 rs1799793 (Ptrend .03) and ERCC5 rs17655 (Ptrend .05) variants and decreased for the PARP1 rs1136410 (Ptrend .03). Decreased glioma risk was observed with the XRCC1 rs1799782 variant (Ptrend .04). Our results suggest that common DNA repair variants may affect the risk of adult brain tumors, especially meningioma.
acoustic neuroma; brain; case–control; DNA repair; glioma; meningioma; neoplasm; polymorphism; tumor
Whether energy balance during early life and/or adulthood is related to glioma risk is unknown. We therefore investigated height, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity in relation to glioma risk in the prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Participants completed a baseline questionnaire (sent in 1995) inquiring about height, weight, and potential confounders. A second questionnaire (sent in 1996) inquired about physical activity during ages 15-18, 19-29, 35-39 years, and the past 10 years and body weight at ages 18, 35, and 50 years. During follow-up from 1995/1996 to 2003, we documented 480 cases of glioma among 499,437 respondents to the baseline questionnaire and 257 cases among 305,681 respondents to the second questionnaire. Glioma risk among tall persons (1.90+ meters) was twice that of short persons (< 1.60 meters) (multivariate relative risk [RR]=2.12; 95% confidence interval [CI]= 1.18-3.81; Ptrend =0.006). Risk among participants who were obese (BMI 30.0-34.9 kg/m2) at age 18 was nearly 4 times that of persons of normal weight (BMI of 18.5-24.9) at age 18 (RR=3.74; 95% CI= 2.03-6.90; Ptrend =0.003); 11 cases were obese at age 18. Risk among participants who were active during ages 15-18 was 36% lower than that of persons who were inactive during ages 15-18 (RR=0.64; 95% CI= 0.44-0.93; Ptrend =0.02). BMI and physical activity after age 18 was unrelated to glioma risk. Adult height, BMI during adolescence, and physical activity during adolescence were each associated with glioma risk, supporting a role for early life energy balance in glioma carcinogenesis.
Physical activity; brain; glioma; cancer; epidemiology
Ionizing radiation-associated breast cancer risk appears to be modified by timing of reproductive events such as age at radiation exposure, parity, age at first live birth, and age at menopause. However, potential breast cancer risk modification of low- to moderate radiation dose by polymorphic estrogen metabolism-related gene variants has not been routinely investigated. We assessed breast cancer risk of 12 candidate variants in 12 genes involved in steroid metabolism, catabolism, binding, or receptor functions in a study of 859 cases and 1083 controls within the US Radiologic Technologists (USRT) cohort. Using cumulative breast dose estimates from a detailed assessment of occupational and personal diagnostic ionizing radiation exposure, we investigated the joint effects of genotype on the risk of breast cancer. In multivariate analyses, we observed a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer associated with the CYP3A4 M445T minor allele (rs4986910, OR=0.3; 95% CI 0.1–0.9). We found a borderline increased breast cancer risk with having both minor alleles of CYP1B1 V432L (rs1056836, CC vs. GG, OR=1.2; 95% CI 0.9–1.6). Assuming a recessive model, the minor allele of CYP1B1 V432L significantly increased the dose-response relationship between personal diagnostic x-ray exposure and breast cancer risk, adjusted for cumulative occupational radiation dose (pinteraction=0.03) and had a similar joint effect for cumulative occupational radiation dose adjusted for personal diagnostic x-ray exposure (pinteraction=0.06). We found suggestive evidence that common variants in selected estrogen metabolizing genes may modify the association between ionizing radiation exposure and breast cancer risk.
There is some evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in lead-induced toxicity. Mechanisms for dealing with oxidative stress may be of particular relevance in the brain, given the high rate of oxygen metabolism. Using a hospital-based case-control study, we investigated the role of oxidative stress in the potential carcinogenicity of lead through examination of effect modification of the association between occupational lead exposure and brain tumors by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes with functions related to oxidative stress. The study included 362 patients with glioma [176 of which had glioblastoma (GBM)], 134 patients with meningioma and 494 controls. Lead exposure was estimated by expert review of detailed job history data for each participant. We evaluated effect modification with 142 SNPs using likelihood ratio tests that compared nested unconditional logistic regression models that did and did not include a cross-product term for cumulative lead exposure and genotype. When the analyses were restricted to cases with GBM, RAC2 rs2239774 and two highly correlated GPX1 polymorphisms (rs1050450 and rs18006688) were found to significantly modify the association with lead exposure (p ≤ 0.05) after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Furthermore, the same GPX1 polymorphisms and XDH rs7574920 were found to significantly modify the association between cumulative lead exposure and meningioma. While the results of this study provide some evidence that lead may cause GBM and meningioma through mechanisms related to oxidative damage, the results must be confirmed in other populations.
glioma; meningioma; lead exposure; oxidative stress; polymorphism
Survival for childhood cancer has increased dramatically over the last 40 years with 5-year survival rates now approaching 80%. For many diagnostic groups, rapid increases in survival began in the 1970s with the broader introduction of multimodality approaches, often including combination chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. With this increase in rates of survivorship has come the recognition that survivors are at risk for adverse health and quality-of-life outcomes, with risk being influenced by host-, disease-, and treatment-related factors. In 1994, the US National Cancer Institute funded the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a multi-institutional research initiative designed to establish a large and extensively characterized cohort of more than 14,000 5-year survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer diagnosed between 1970 and 1986. This ongoing study, which reflects the single most comprehensive body of information ever assembled on childhood and adolescent cancer survivors, provides a dynamic framework and resource to investigate current and future questions about childhood cancer survivors.