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1.  Serum lactate dehydrogenase and survival following cancer diagnosis 
British Journal of Cancer  2015;113(9):1389-1396.
There is evidence that high level of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is associated with poorer overall survival in several malignancies, but its link to cancer-specific survival is unclear.
A total of 7895 individuals diagnosed with cancer between 1986 and 1999 were selected for this study. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess overall and cancer-specific death by the z-score and clinical categories of serum LDH prospectively collected within 3 years before diagnosis. Site-specific analysis was performed for major cancers. Analysis was repeated by different lag times between LDH measurements and diagnosis.
At the end of follow-up, 5799 participants were deceased. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for overall and cancer-specific death in the multivariable model were 1.43 (1.31–1.56) and 1.46 (1.32–1.61), respectively, for high compared with low prediagnostic LDH. Site-specific analysis showed high LDH to correlate with an increased risk of death from prostate, pulmonary, colorectal, gastro-oesophageal, gynaecological and haematological cancers. Serum LDH assessed within intervals closer to diagnosis was more strongly associated with overall and cancer-specific death.
Our findings demonstrated an inverse association of baseline serum LDH with cancer-specific survival, corroborating its role in cancer progression.
PMCID: PMC4815785  PMID: 26469834
LDH; the Warburg effect; survival; prospective study
2.  Serum Calcium and the Risk of Breast Cancer: Findings from the Swedish AMORIS Study and a Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies 
To investigate the association between serum calcium and risk of breast cancer using a large cohort and a systematic review with meta-analysis. From the Swedish Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk (AMORIS) Study we included 229,674 women who had baseline measurements of serum total calcium and albumin. Multivariable Cox regression was used to assess the association between total and albumin-corrected calcium and breast cancer risk. For the systematic review, an electronic search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases was performed to identify other prospective cohorts assessing the relationship between serum calcium and breast cancer risk. We pooled the results of our AMORIS cohort with other eligible studies in a meta-analysis using a random effects model. I2 test was used to assess heterogeneity. In the AMORIS study, 10,863 women were diagnosed with breast cancer (mean follow-up: 19 years). We found an inverse association between total serum calcium and breast cancer when comparing the fourth quartile to the first quartile (HR: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.88–0.99, p value for trend 0.04) and similar results using albumin-corrected calcium. In the systematic review, we identified another two prospective cohorts evaluating pre-diagnostic serum total calcium and breast cancer. Combining these studies and our findings in AMORIS in a meta-analysis showed a protective effect of serum calcium against breast cancer, with a summary RR of 0.80 (95% CI: 0.66–0.97). No substantial heterogeneity was observed. Our findings in AMORIS and the meta-analysis support an inverse association between serum calcium and breast cancer risk, which warrants mechanistic investigations.
PMCID: PMC5037765  PMID: 27608013
calcium; breast cancer; albumin; prospective study
3.  Investigating the association between allergen-specific immunoglobulin E, cancer risk and survival 
Oncoimmunology  2016;5(6):e1154250.
Prior findings linking allergy and cancer have been inconsistent, which may be driven by diverse assessment methods. We used serum specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) against common inhalant allergens that was assessed prior to cancer diagnosis in studying this association. We selected 8,727 Swedish men and women who had measurements of serum allergen-specific IgE and total IgE between 1992 and 1996. Multivariable Cox regression using age as a timescale was performed to assess the associations of IgE sensitization, defined by any levels of serum specific IgE ≥35 kU/L, with risk of overall and specific cancers. A test for trend was performed by assigning scores derived from allergen-specific IgE levels at baseline as an ordinal scale. Kaplan–Meier curves and log-rank test were used to assess cancer survival by IgE sensitization status. During a mean follow-up of 16 year, 689 persons were diagnosed with cancer. We found an inverse association between IgE sensitization and cancer risk, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.83 and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 0.70–0.99. A similar trend was seen with specific IgE scores overall (Ptrend = 0.007) and in women (Ptrend = 0.01). Although IgE sensitization was not associated with risk of common site-specific cancers, serum specific IgE scores were inversely associated with melanoma risk in men and women combined, and with risk of female breast and gynecological cancers combined. No association with survival was observed. The association between circulating IgE levels and incident cancer may point toward a role of T-helper 2 (TH2)-biased response in development of some cancers.
PMCID: PMC4938379  PMID: 27471625
Allergy; atopy; cancer; immunoglobulin E; cohort
4.  Association between baseline serum glucose, triglycerides and total cholesterol, and prostate cancer risk categories 
Cancer Medicine  2016;5(6):1307-1318.
Lifestyle‐related risk factors such as hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia have been associated with several cancers. However, studies exploring their link with prostate cancer (PCa) clinicopathological characteristics are sparse and inconclusive. Here, we investigated the associations between serum metabolic markers and PCa clinicopathological characteristics. The study comprised 14,294 men from the Swedish Apolipoprotein MOrtality RISk (AMORIS) cohort who were diagnosed with PCa between 1996 and 2011. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to investigate the relation between glucose, triglycerides and total cholesterol and PCa risk categories, PSA, Gleason score, and T‐stage. Mean age at time of PCa diagnosis was 69 years. Men with glucose levels >6.9 mmol/L tend to have PSA<4 μg/L, while those with glucose levels of 5.6–6.9 mmol/L had a greater odds of PSA>20 μg/L compared to PSA 4.0–9.9 μg/L. Hypertriglyceridemia was also positively associated with PSA>20 μg/L. Hyperglycemic men had a greater odds of intermediate‐ and high‐grade PCa and advanced stage or metastatic PCa. Similarly, hypertriglyceridemia was positively associated with high‐grade PCa. There was also a trend toward an increased odds of intermediate risk localized PCa and advanced stage PCa among men with hypertriglyceridemia. Total cholesterol did not have any statistically significant association with any of the outcomes studied. Our findings suggest that high serum levels of glucose and triglycerides may influence PCa aggressiveness and severity. Further investigation on the role of markers of glucose and lipid metabolism in influencing PCa aggressiveness and severity is needed as this may help define important targets for intervention.
PMCID: PMC4924389  PMID: 26923095
Glucose; prostate cancer; total cholesterol; triglycerides
5.  Prediagnostic serum glucose and lipids in relation to survival in breast cancer patients: a competing risk analysis 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:913.
Abnormal glucose and lipids levels may impact survival after breast cancer (BC) diagnosis, but their association to other causes of mortality such as cardiovascular (CV) disease may result in a competing risk problem.
We assessed serum glucose, triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) measured prospectively 3 months to 3 years before diagnosis in 1798 Swedish women diagnosed with any type of BC between 1985 and 1999. In addition to using Cox regression, we employed latent class proportional hazards models to capture any heterogeneity of associations between these markers and BC death. The latter method was extended to include the primary outcome (BC death) and competing outcomes (CV death and death from other causes), allowing latent class-specific hazard estimation for cause-specific deaths.
A lack of association between prediagnostic glucose, TG or TC with BC death was observed with Cox regression. With latent class proportional hazards model, two latent classes (Class I and II) were suggested. Class I, comprising the majority (81.5 %) of BC patients, had an increased risk of BC death following higher TG levels (HR: 1.87, 95 % CI: 1.01–3.45 for every log TG increase). Lower overall survival was observed in Class II, but no association for BC death was found. On the other hand, TC positively corresponded to CV death in Class II, and similarly, glucose to death from other causes.
Addressing cohort heterogeneity in relation to BC survival is important in understanding the relationship between metabolic markers and cause-specific death in presence of competing outcomes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1928-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4650114  PMID: 26577580
Breast cancer; Glucose; Lipid; Competing risk; Survival; Latent class
6.  Serum calcium and risk of gastrointestinal cancer in the Swedish AMORIS study 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:663.
Observational studies have indicated that high calcium intake may prevent colorectal cancer, but as for randomized trials the results are inconclusive. Meanwhile, limited data on the link between serum calcium and cancer risk is available. We investigated the relation between serum calcium and risk of different gastrointestinal cancers in a prospective study.
A cohort based on 492,044 subjects with baseline information on calcium (mmol/L) and albumin (g/L) was selected from the Swedish Apolipoprotein MOrtality RISk (AMORIS) study. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to analyse associations between standardised levels, quartiles and age/sex-specific categories of serum calcium and risk of oesophageal, stomach, colon, rectal cancer and also colorectal cancer combined, while taking into account serum albumin and other comorbidities.
During 12 years of follow-up, we identified 323 incident oesophageal cancers, 782 stomach cancers, 2519 colon cancers, and 1495 rectal cancers. A positive association was found between albumin-adjusted serum calcium and risk of oesophageal [HR: 4.82 (95% CI: 2.07 – 11.19) for high compared to normal age-specific calcium levels] and colon cancer [e.g. HR: 1.07 (95% CI: 1.00 – 1.14) for every SD increase of calcium] as well as colorectal cancer [e.g. HR: 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02-1.11) for every SD increase of calcium] in women. In men there were similar but weaker non-statistically significant trends.
The positive relation between serum calcium, oesophageal cancer and colorectal cancer calls for further studies including calcium regulators to evaluate whether there is a true link between calcium metabolism and development of gastrointestinal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3729677  PMID: 23866097
Gastrointestinal cancer; Calcium; Albumin
7.  Inorganic phosphate and the risk of cancer in the Swedish AMORIS study 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:257.
Both dietary and serum levels of inorganic phosphate (Pi) have been linked to development of cancer in experimental studies. This is the first population-based study investigating the relation between serum Pi and risk of cancer in humans.
From the Swedish Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk (AMORIS) study, we selected all participants (> 20 years old) with baseline measurements of serum Pi, calcium, alkaline phosphatase, glucose, and creatinine (n = 397,292). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to assess serum Pi in relation to overall cancer risk. Similar analyses were performed for specific cancer sites.
We found a higher overall cancer risk with increasing Pi levels in men ( HR: 1.02 (95% CI: 1.00-1.04) for every SD increase in Pi), and a negative association in women (HR: 0.97 (95% CI: 0.96-0.99) for every SD increase in Pi). Further analyses for specific cancer sites showed a positive link between Pi quartiles and the risk of cancer of the pancreas, lung, thyroid gland and bone in men, and cancer of the oesophagus, lung, and nonmelanoma skin cancer in women. Conversely, the risks for developing breast and endometrial cancer as well as other endocrine cancer in both men and women were lower in those with higher Pi levels.
Abnormal Pi levels are related to development of cancer. Furthermore, the in verse association between Pi levels and risk of breast, endometrial and other endocrine cancers may indicate the role of hormonal factors in the relation between Pi metabolism and cancer.
PMCID: PMC3664604  PMID: 23706176
Cancer; Inorganic phosphate; Prospective cohort study
8.  Iron metabolism and risk of cancer in the Swedish AMORIS study 
Cancer Causes & Control  2013;24(7):1393-1402.
Pre-clinical studies have shown that iron can be carcinogenic, but few population-based studies investigated the association between markers of the iron metabolism and risk of cancer while taking into account inflammation. We assessed the link between serum iron (SI), total-iron binding capacity (TIBC), and risk of cancer by levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in a large population-based study (n = 220,642).
From the Swedish Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk (AMORIS) study, we selected all participants (>20 years old) with baseline measurements of serum SI, TIBC, and CRP. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was carried out for standardized and quartile values of SI and TIBC. Similar analyses were performed for specific cancers (pancreatic, colon, liver, respiratory, kidney, prostate, stomach, and breast cancer). To avoid reverse causation, we excluded those with follow-up <3 years.
We found a positive association between standardized TIBC and overall cancer [HR 1.03 (95 % CI 1.01–1.05)]. No statistically significant association was found between SI and cancer risk except for postmenopausal breast cancer [HR for standardized SI 1.09 (95 % CI 1.02–1.15)]. The association between TIBC and specific cancer was only statistically significant for colon cancer [i.e., HR for standardized TIBC: 1.17 (95 % CI 1.08–1.28)]. A borderline interaction between SI and levels of CRP was observed only in stomach cancer.
As opposed to pre-clinical findings for serum iron and cancer, this population-based epidemiological study showed an inverse relation between iron metabolism and cancer risk. Minimal role of inflammatory markers observed warrants further study focusing on developments of specific cancers.
PMCID: PMC3675271  PMID: 23649231
Cancer; C-reactive protein; Iron; Iron-binding capacity; Sweden
9.  Serum Glucose and Fructosamine in Relation to Risk of Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54944.
Impaired glucose metabolism has been linked with increased cancer risk, but the association between serum glucose and cancer risk remains unclear. We used repeated measurements of glucose and fructosamine to get more insight into the association between the glucose metabolism and risk of cancer.
We selected 11,998 persons (>20 years old) with four prospectively collected serum glucose and fructosamine measurements from the Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk (AMORIS) study. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess standardized log of overall mean glucose and fructosamine in relation to cancer risk. Similar analyses were performed for tertiles of glucose and fructosamine and for different types of cancer.
A positive trend was observed between standardized log overall mean glucose and overall cancer risk (HR = 1.08; 95% CI: 1.02–1.14). Including standardized log fructosamine in the model resulted in a stronger association between glucose and cancer risk and aninverse association between fructosamine and cancer risk (HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.08–1.26 and HR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.82–0.96, respectively). Cancer risks were highest among those in the highest tertile of glucose and lowest tertile of fructosamine. Similar findings were observed for prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer while none observed for breast cancer.
The contrasting effect between glucose, fructosamine, and cancer risk suggests the existence of distinct groups among those with impaired glucose metabolism, resulting in different cancer risks based on individual metabolic profiles. Further studies are needed to clarify whether glucose is a proxy of other lifestyle-related or metabolic factors.
PMCID: PMC3556075  PMID: 23372798
10.  Gamma-glutamyl transferase and C-reactive protein as alternative markers of metabolic abnormalities and their associated comorbidites: a prospective cohort study 
Background: Recent studies suggested that gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are good markers of metabolic abnormalities. We assessed the link between GGT, CRP and common metabolic abnormalities, as well their link to related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods: We selected 333,313 subjects with baseline measurements of triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), glucose, GGT and CRP in the Swedish AMORIS study. Baseline measurement of BMI was available for 63,900 persons and 77,944 had baseline measurements of HDL. Pearson correlation coefficients between CRP, GGT, and metabolic components (TG, HDL, BMI and TC) were calculated. To investigate the combined effect of GGT and CRP we created a score ranging from 0 to 6 and used Cox proportional hazard models to evaluate its association with CVD and cancer. Results: 21,216 individuals developed cancer and 47,939 CVD. GGT and TG had the strongest correlation (r=0.22). An increased risk of cancer was identified with elevated levels of GGT or CRP or both markers (GGT-CRP score ≥3); the greatest risk of cancer was found when GGT-CRP score = 6 (HR: 1.40 (95%CI: 1.31-1.48) and 1.60 (1.47-1.76) compared to GGT-CRP score = 0, respectively). Conclusion: While GGT and CRP have been shown to be associated with metabolic abnormalities previously, their association to the components investigated in this study was limited. Results did demonstrate that these markers were predictive of associated diseases, such as cancer.
PMCID: PMC3508539  PMID: 23205179
GGT; CRP; metabolic abnormalities; cardiovascular disease; cancer
11.  Serum Lipids and the Risk of Gastrointestinal Malignancies in the Swedish AMORIS Study 
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology  2012;2012:792034.
Background. Metabolic syndrome has been linked to an increased cancer risk, but the role of dyslipidaemia in gastrointestinal malignancies is unclear. We aimed to assess the risk of oesophageal, stomach, colon, and rectal cancers using serum levels of lipid components. Methods. From the Swedish Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk (AMORIS) study, we selected 540,309 participants (> 20 years old) with baseline measurements of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), and glucose of whom 84,774 had baseline LDL cholesterol (LDL), HDL cholesterol (HDL), apolipoprotein B (apoB), and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess glucose and lipid components in relation to oesophageal, stomach, colon, and rectal cancer risk. Results. An increased risk of oesophageal cancer was observed in persons with high TG (e.g. HR: 2.29 (95% CI: 1.42–3.68) for the 4th quartile compared to the 1st) and low LDL, LDL/HDL ratio, TC/HDL ratio, log (TG/HDL), and apoB/apoA-I ratio. High glucose and TG were linked with an increased colon cancer risk, while high TC levels were associated with an increased rectal cancer risk. Conclusion. The persistent link between TC and rectal cancer risk as well as between TG and oesophageal and colon cancer risk in normoglycaemic individuals may imply their substantiality in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3437288  PMID: 22969802
12.  Lipid profiles and the risk of endometrial cancer in the Swedish AMORIS study 
While the association between obesity and endometrial cancer (EC) is well established, the underlying mechanisms require further study. We assessed possible links between lipid profiles and EC risk, while also taking into account BMI, parity, and menopausal status at baseline.
Using the information available from the Swedish Apolipoprotein MOrtality RISk (AMORIS) study we created a cohort of 225,432 women with baseline values for glucose, triglycerides (TG), and total cholesterol (TC). Two subgroups of 31,792 and 26,317 had, in addition, baseline measurements of HDL, LDL, apolipoprotein A-I and apoB and BMI, respectively. We used Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models to analyze quartiles and dichotomized values of these lipid components for a link to EC risk.
During mean follow-up of 12 years (SD: 4.15), 1,144 persons developed endometrial cancer. A statistically significant association was found between TG and EC risk when using both quartiles and a clinical cut-off (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.10 (95%CI: 0.88-1.37), 1.34 (1.09-1.63), and 1.57 (1.28-1.92)) for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quartile, compared to the 1st, with P-value for trend: <0.001). The association remained after exclusion of the first three years of follow-up. Also total cholesterol and TG/HDL ratio were positively associated with EC risk, but no link was found for the other lipid components studied.
This detailed analysis of lipid components showed a consistent relation between TG levels and EC risk. Future research should continue to analyze the metabolic pathway and its relation to EC risk, as a pathway to further understand the relation of obesity and disease.
PMCID: PMC3376923  PMID: 22724049
Lipid profiles; risk factor; endometrial cancer; Swedish AMORIS study
13.  Association between levels of C-reactive protein and leukocytes and cancer: Three repeated measurements in the Swedish AMORIS study 
To study levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and leukocytes, as inflammatory markers, in the context of cancer risk.
From the Apolipoprotein MOrtality RISk (AMORIS) study, we selected 102,749 persons with one measurement and 9,273 persons with three repeated measurements of CRP and leukocytes. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was applied to categories of CRP (<10, 10-15, 15-25, 25-50, >50 g/L) and quartiles of leukocytes. An Inflammation-based Predictive Score (IPS) indicated whether someone had CRP levels >10mg/L combined with leukocytes >10×109/L. Reverse causality was assessed by excluding those with <3, 5, or 7 years of follow-up. To analyze repeated measurements of CRP and leukocytes the repeated IPS (IPSr) was calculated by adding the IPS of each measurement.
In the cohort with one measurement, there was a positive trend between CRP and cancer, with the lowest category being the reference: 0.99 (0.92-1.06), 1.28 (1.11-1.47), 1.27 (1.09-1.49), 1.22 (1.01-1.48) for the 2nd to 5th categories, respectively. This association disappeared when excluding those with follow-up <3, 5 or 7 years. The association between leukocytes and cancer was slightly stronger. In the cohort with repeated measurements the IPSr was strongly associated with cancer risk: 1.87 (1.33-2.63), 1.51 (0.56-4.06), 4.46 (1.43-13.87) for IPSr =1, 2, and 3, compared to IPSr =0. The association remained after excluding those with follow-up <1 year.
Conclusions and impact
Our large prospective cohort study adds evidence for a link between inflammatory markers and cancer risk by using repeated measurements and ascertaining reverse causality.
PMCID: PMC3078551  PMID: 21297038
cancer; C-reactive protein; leukocytes; Sweden

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