[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have mapped risk alleles for at least ten distinct cancers to a small region of 63,000 bp on chromosome 5p15.33. This region harbors the TERT and CLPTM1L genes; the former encodes the catalytic subunit of telomerase reverse transcriptase and the latter may play a role in apoptosis. To investigate further the genetic architecture of common susceptibility alleles in this region, we conducted an agnostic subset-based meta-analysis (ASSET) across six distinct cancers in 34,248 cases and 45,036 controls. Based on sequential conditional analysis, we identified as many as six independent risk loci marked by common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): five in the TERT gene (region 1: rs7726159, P=2.10x10-39; region 3: rs2853677, P=3.30x10-36 and PConditional=2.36x10-8; region 4: rs2736098, P=3.87x10-12 and PConditional=5.19x10-6, region 5: rs13172201, P=0.041 and PConditional=2.04x10-6; and region 6: rs10069690, P=7.49x10-15 and PConditional=5.35x10-7) and one in the neighboring CLPTM1L gene (region 2: rs451360; P=1.90x10-18 and PConditional=7.06x10-16). Between three and five cancers mapped to each independent locus with both risk-enhancing and protective effects. Allele specific effects on DNA methylation were seen for a subset of risk loci indicating that methylation and subsequent effects on gene expression may contribute to the biology of risk variants on 5p15.33. Our results provide strong support for extensive pleiotropy across this region of 5p15.33, to an extent not previously observed in other cancer susceptibility loci.
Human Molecular Genetics 07/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though the role of Estrogen Receptor (ER)α in breast cancer has been studied extensively, there is little consensus about the role of alternative ER isoform ERβ in breast cancer biology. ERβ has significant sequence homology to ERα but is located on a different chromosome and maintains both overlapping and unique functional attributes. Five variants exist, resulting from alternative splicing of the C-terminal region of ERβ. The relevance of ERβ variants in breast cancer outcomes and response to therapy is difficult to assess because of conflicting reports in the literature, likely due to variable methods used to assess ERβ in patient tumors. Here, we quantitatively assess expression of ERβ splice variants on over 2,000 breast cancer patient samples. Antibodies against ERβ variants were validated for staining specificity in cell lines by siRNA knockdown of ESR2 and staining reproducibility on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue by quantitative immunofluorescence (QIF) using AQUA technology. We found antibodies against splice variants ERβ1 and ERβ5, but not ERβ2/cx, which were sensitive, specific, and reproducible. QIF staining of validated antibodies showed both ERβ1 and ERβ5 QIF scores, which have a normal (bell shaped) distribution on most cohorts assessed, and their expression is significantly associated with each other. Extensive survival analyses show that ERβ1 is not a prognostic or predictive biomarker for breast cancer. ERβ5 appears to be a context-dependent marker of worse outcome in HER2-positive and triple-negative patients, suggesting an unknown biological function in the absence of ERα.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 07/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46,450 cases and 42,600 controls) and analysed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 (rs1053338, per-allele OR=1.07, 95%CI=1.04-1.10, P=2.9x10(-6)), AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR=1.05, 95%CI=1.03-1.07, P=1.7x10(-6)) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR=1.10, 95%CI=1.07-1.12, P=5.1x10(-17)). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine GWAS: for ATXN7-K264R, OR=1.07 (95%CI=1.05-1.10, P=1.0x10(-8)); for AKAP9-M463I, OR=1.05 (95%CI=1.04-1.07, P=2.0x10(-10)). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known genome-wide association study (GWAS) hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
Human Molecular Genetics 06/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitotic index is an important component of histologic grade and has an etiologic role in breast tumorigenesis. Several small candidate gene studies have reported associations between variation in mitotic genes and breast cancer risk. We measured associations between 2,156 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 194 mitotic genes and breast cancer risk, overall and by histologic grade, in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) iCOGS study (n=39,067 cases; n=42,106 controls). SNPs in TACC2 (rs17550038: odds ratio (OR)=1.24, 95% CI 1.16-1.33, p=4.2x10(-10)) and EIF3H (rs799890: OR=1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.11, p=8.7x10(-6)) were significantly associated with risk of low grade breast cancer. The TACC2 signal was retained (rs17550038: OR=1.15, 95% CI 1.07-1.23, p=7.9x10(-5)) after adjustment for breast cancer risk SNPs in the nearby FGFR2 gene, suggesting that TACC2 is a novel, independent genome-wide significant genetic risk locus for low grade breast cancer. While no SNPs were individually associated with high-grade disease, a pathway-level gene set analysis showed that variation across the 194 mitotic genes was associated with high grade breast cancer risk (p=2.1x10(-3)). These observations will provide insight into the contribution of mitotic defects to histological grade and the etiology of breast cancer.
Human Molecular Genetics 06/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MRE11A-RAD50-Nibrin (MRN) complex plays several critical roles related to repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Inherited mutations in the three components predispose to genetic instability disorders and the MRN genes have been implicated in breast cancer susceptibility, but the underlying data are not entirely convincing. Here, we address two related questions: (1) are some rare MRN variants intermediate-risk breast cancer susceptibility alleles, and if so (2) do the MRN genes follow a BRCA1/BRCA2 pattern wherein most susceptibility alleles are protein truncating variants, or do they follow an ATM/CHEK2 pattern wherein half or more of the susceptibility alleles are missense substitutions?
Breast cancer research: BCR 06/2014; 16(3):R58. · 5.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that a tag single nucleotide polymorphism (rs10235235), which maps to the CYP3A locus (7q22.1), was associated with a reduction in premenopausal urinary estrone glucuronide levels and a modest reduction in risk of breast cancer in women age <=50 years.
Breast cancer research: BCR 05/2014; 16(3):R51. · 5.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Researchers must monitor the safety of research participants, particularly in studies involving children and adolescents. Yet, there is limited guidance for the development and implementation of oversight committees for psychosocial, behavioral intervention, and observational studies.
The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. 05/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While the relationship between perceived risk and breast cancer screening use has been studied extensively, most studies are cross-sectional. We prospectively examined this relationship among 913 women, aged 25-72 with varying levels of familial breast cancer risk from the Ontario site of the Breast Cancer Family Registry. Associations between perceived lifetime breast cancer risk and subsequent use of mammography, clinical breast examination (CBE) and genetic testing were assessed using logistic regression. Overall, perceived risk did not predict subsequent use of mammography, CBE or genetic testing. Among women at moderate/high familial risk, those reporting a perceived risk greater than 50% were significantly less likely to have a CBE (odds ratio (OR) = 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.30-0.91, p = 0.04), and non-significantly less likely to have a mammogram (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.40-1.20, p = 0.70) or genetic test (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.34-1.10, p = 0.09) compared to women reporting a perceived risk of 50%. In contrast, among women at low familial risk, those reporting a perceived risk greater than 50% were non-significantly more likely to have a mammogram (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 0.59-2.16, p = 0.78), CBE (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.63-1.95, p = 0.74) or genetic test (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.50-3.33, p = 0.35) compared to women reporting a perceived risk of 50%. Perceived risk did not significantly predict screening use overall, however this relationship may be moderated by level of familial risk. Results may inform risk education and management strategies for women with varying levels of familial breast cancer risk.
Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland) 05/2014; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many epidemiologic studies of environmental exposures and disease susceptibility measure DNA methylation in white blood cells (WBC). Some studies are also starting to use saliva DNA as it is usually more readily available in large epidemiologic studies. However, little is known about the correlation of methylation between WBC and saliva DNA. We examined DNA methylation in three repetitive elements, Sat2, Alu, and LINE-1, and in four CpG sites, including AHRR (cg23576855, cg05575921), cg05951221 at 2q37.1, and cg11924019 at CYP1A1, in 57 girls aged 6-15 years with blood and saliva collected on the same day. We measured all DNA methylation markers by bisulfite-pyrosequencing, except for Sat2 and Alu, which were measured by the MethyLight assay. Methylation levels measured in saliva DNA were lower than those in WBC DNA, with differences ranging from 2.8% for Alu to 14.1% for cg05575921. Methylation levels for the three repetitive elements measured in saliva DNA were all positively correlated with those in WBC DNA. However, there was a wide range in the Spearman correlations, with the smallest correlation found for Alu (0.24) and the strongest correlation found for LINE-1 (0.73). Spearman correlations for cg05575921, cg05951221, and cg11924019 were 0.33, 0.42, and 0.79, respectively. If these findings are replicated in larger studies, they suggest that, for selected methylation markers (e.g., LINE-1), methylation levels may be highly correlated between blood and saliva, while for others methylation markers, the levels may be more tissue specific. Thus, in studies that differ by DNA source, each interrogated site should be separately examined in order to evaluate the correlation in DNA methylation levels across DNA sources.
Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 04/2014; 9(7). · 4.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in the DNA Base Excision Repair (BER) pathway could be associated with cancer risk in carriers of mutations in the high-penetrance susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, given the relation of synthetic lethality that exists between one of the components of the BER pathway, PARP1 (poly ADP ribose polymerase), and both BRCA1 and BRCA2. In the present study, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of 18 genes involved in BER using a tagging SNP approach in a large series of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. 144 SNPs were analyzed in a two stage study involving 23,463 carriers from the CIMBA consortium (the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2). Eleven SNPs showed evidence of association with breast and/or ovarian cancer at p<0.05 in the combined analysis. Four of the five genes for which strongest evidence of association was observed were DNA glycosylases. The strongest evidence was for rs1466785 in the NEIL2 (endonuclease VIII-like 2) gene (HR: 1.09, 95% CI (1.03-1.16), p = 2.7×10-3) for association with breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers, and rs2304277 in the OGG1 (8-guanine DNA glycosylase) gene, with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers (HR: 1.12 95%CI: 1.03-1.21, p = 4.8×10-3). DNA glycosylases involved in the first steps of the BER pathway may be associated with cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and should be more comprehensively studied.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) accounts for 10-15% of all invasive breast carcinomas. It is generally ER positive (ER+) and often associated with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 70 common polymorphisms that predispose to breast cancer, but these studies included predominantly ductal (IDC) carcinomas. To identify novel common polymorphisms that predispose to ILC and LCIS, we pooled data from 6,023 cases (5,622 ILC, 401 pure LCIS) and 34,271 controls from 36 studies genotyped using the iCOGS chip. Six novel SNPs most strongly associated with ILC/LCIS in the pooled analysis were genotyped in a further 516 lobular cases (482 ILC, 36 LCIS) and 1,467 controls. These analyses identified a lobular-specific SNP at 7q34 (rs11977670, OR (95%CI) for ILC = 1.13 (1.09-1.18), P = 6.0×10-10; P-het for ILC vs IDC ER+ tumors = 1.8×10-4). Of the 75 known breast cancer polymorphisms that were genotyped, 56 were associated with ILC and 15 with LCIS at P<0.05. Two SNPs showed significantly stronger associations for ILC than LCIS (rs2981579/10q26/FGFR2, P-het = 0.04 and rs889312/5q11/MAP3K1, P-het = 0.03); and two showed stronger associations for LCIS than ILC (rs6678914/1q32/LGR6, P-het = 0.001 and rs1752911/6q14, P-het = 0.04). In addition, seven of the 75 known loci showed significant differences between ER+ tumors with IDC and ILC histology, three of these showing stronger associations for ILC (rs11249433/1p11, rs2981579/10q26/FGFR2 and rs10995190/10q21/ZNF365) and four associated only with IDC (5p12/rs10941679; rs2588809/14q24/RAD51L1, rs6472903/8q21 and rs1550623/2q31/CDCA7). In conclusion, we have identified one novel lobular breast cancer specific predisposition polymorphism at 7q34, and shown for the first time that common breast cancer polymorphisms predispose to LCIS. We have shown that many of the ER+ breast cancer predisposition loci also predispose to ILC, although there is some heterogeneity between ER+ lobular and ER+ IDC tumors. These data provide evidence for overlapping, but distinct etiological pathways within ER+ breast cancer between morphological subtypes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Oestrogen receptor (ER)- and progesterone receptor (PR)-negative (ER-PR-) breast cancer is associated with poorer prognosis compared with other breast cancer subtypes. High parity has been associated with an increased risk of ER-PR- cancer, but emerging evidence suggests that breastfeeding may reduce this risk. Whether this potential breastfeeding benefit extends to women at high risk of breast cancer remains critical to understand for prevention.Methods:Using population-based ascertained cases (n=4011) and controls (2997) from the Breast Cancer Family Registry, we examined reproductive risk factors in relation to ER and PR status.Results:High parity (3 live births) without breastfeeding was positively associated only with ER-PR- tumours (odds ratio (OR)=1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10-2.24); there was no association with parity in women who breastfed (OR=0.93, 95% CI 0.71-1.22). Across all race/ethnicities, associations for ER-PR- cancer were higher among women who did not breastfeed than among women who did. Oral contraceptive (OC) use before 1975 was associated with an increased risk of ER-PR- cancer only (OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.04-1.67). For women who began OC use in 1975 or later there was no increased risk.Conclusions:Our findings support that there are modifiable factors for ER-PR- breast cancer and that breastfeeding in particular may mitigate the increased risk of ER-PR- cancers seen from multiparity.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 18 February 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.807 www.bjcancer.com.
British Journal of Cancer 02/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately half of the familial aggregation of breast cancer remains unexplained. A multiple-case breast cancer family exome sequencing study identified three likely pathogenic mutations in RINT1 (NM_021930.4) not present in public sequencing databases: RINT1 c.343C>T (p.Q115X), c.1132_1134del (p.M378del) and c.1207G>T (p.D403Y). Based on this finding, a population-based case-control mutation-screening study was conducted and identified 29 carriers of rare (MAF < 0.5%), likely pathogenic variants: 23 in 1,313 early-onset breast cancer cases and 6 in 1,123 frequency-matched controls (OR=3.24, 95%CI 1.29-8.17; p=0.013). RINT1 mutation screening of probands from 798 multiple-case breast cancer families identified 4 additional carriers of rare genetic variants. Analysis of the incidence of first primary cancers in families of women in RINT1-mutation carrying families estimated that carriers were at increased risks of Lynch syndrome-spectrum cancers (SIR 3.35, 95% CI 1.7-6.0; P=0.005), particularly for relatives diagnosed with cancer under age 60 years (SIR 10.9, 95%CI 4.7-21; P=0.0003).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early-onset breast cancer (EOBC) causes substantial loss of life and productivity, creating a major burden among women worldwide. We analyzed 1,265,548 Hapmap3 SNPs among a discovery set of 3,523 EOBC incident case and 2,702 population control women aged <=51 years. The SNPs with smallest P-values were examined in a replication set of 3,470 EOBC case and 5,475 control women. We also tested EOBC association with 19,684 genes by annotating each gene with putative functional SNPs, and then combining their P-values to obtain a gene-based P-value. We examined the gene with smallest P-value for replication in 1,145 breast cancer case and 1,142 control women. The combined discovery and replication sets identified 72 new SNPs associated with EOBC (P<4x10-8) located in six genomic regions previously reported to contain SNPs associated largely with later-onset breast cancer (LOBC). SNP rs2229882 and 10 other SNPs on chromosome 5q11.2 remained associated (P<6x10-4) after adjustment for the strongest published SNPs in the region. Thirty-two of the 82 currently known LOBC SNPs were associated with EOBC (P<0.05). Low power is likely responsible for the remaining 50 unassociated known LOBC SNPs. The gene-based analysis identified an association between breast cancer and the phosphofructokinase-muscle (PFKM) gene on chromosome 12q13.11 that met the genomewide gene-based threshold of 2.5x10-In conclusion, EOBC and LOBC appear to have similar genetic etiologies; the 5q11.2 region may contain multiple distinct breast cancer loci; and the PFKM gene region is worthy of further investigation. These findings should enhance our understanding of the etiology of breast cancer.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 02/2014; · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The length of female reproductive lifespan is associated with multiple adverse outcomes, including breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and infertility. The biological processes that govern the timing of the beginning and end of reproductive life are not well understood. Genetic variants are known to contribute to ∼50% of the variation in both age at menarche and menopause, but to date the known genes explain <15% of the genetic component. We have used genome-wide association in a bivariate meta-analysis of both traits to identify genes involved in determining reproductive lifespan. We observed significant genetic correlation between the two traits using genome-wide complex trait analysis. However, we found no robust statistical evidence for individual variants with an effect on both traits. A novel association with age at menopause was detected for a variant rs1800932 in the mismatch repair gene MSH6 (P = 1.9 × 10(-9)), which was also associated with altered expression levels of MSH6 mRNA in multiple tissues. This study contributes to the growing evidence that DNA repair processes play a key role in ovarian ageing and could be an important therapeutic target for infertility.
Human Molecular Genetics 01/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of Hedgehog signaling in bone development, the relationship between Hedgehog pathway expression and osteosarcoma clinical characteristics and outcome has not been investigated. In this study of 43 high-grade human osteosarcoma samples, we detected high expression levels of the Hedgehog ligand gene, IHH, and target genes, PTCH1 and GLI1, in most samples. Further analysis in tumors of patients with localized disease at diagnosis identified coexpression of IHH and PTCH1 exclusively in large tumors. Higher levels of IHH were observed more frequently in males and patients with higher levels of GLI1 were more responsive to chemotherapy. Subgroup analysis by tumor size and IHH expression indicated that the well-known association between survival and tumor size was further refined when IHH levels were taken into consideration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
Researchers must monitor the safety of research participants, particularly in studies involving children and adolescents. Yet, there is limited guidance for the development and implementation of oversight committees for psychosocial, behavioral intervention, and observational studies.
We implemented a model for an Event Monitoring Committee (EMC) in three related studies recruiting 6- to 19-year-old girls from families with and without breast cancer.
The EMC model can be valuable for investigators and local institutional review boards when additional oversight is desired. Recommendations are provided and intended to be broadly applicable to a wide range of research activities designed to improve the health of children, adolescents, and families. EMC goals, membership, and procedures for monitoring and assessing risks and benefits should be defined but should also be flexible and tailored to the study design and population. The EMC model also provides an independent comprehensive, study-wide oversight mechanism for multicenter psychosocial, behavioral intervention, and observational studies.
An EMC provides an alternative oversight approach where additional independent assessment and oversight of study-related risks are desired, particularly in the setting of vulnerable populations, children and adolescents, or where risks nontraditional to the medical field (i.e., social, emotional, or cultural) are possible.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large population-based registry studies have shown that breast cancer prognosis is inherited. Here we analyse single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes implicated in human immunology and inflammation as candidates for prognostic markers of breast cancer survival involving 1,804 oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative patients treated with chemotherapy (279 events) from 14 European studies in a prior large-scale genotyping experiment, which is part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS) initiative. We carry out replication using Asian COGS samples (n=522, 53 events) and the Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary breast cancer (POSH) study (n=315, 108 events). Rs4458204_A near CCL20 (2q36.3) is found to be associated with breast cancer-specific death at a genome-wide significant level (n=2,641, 440 events, combined allelic hazard ratio (HR)=1.81 (1.49-2.19); P for trend=1.90 × 10(-9)). Such survival-associated variants can represent ideal targets for tailored therapeutics, and may also enhance our current prognostic prediction capabilities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While the relationship between perceived risk and breast cancer screening use has been studied extensively, most studies are cross-sectional. We prospectively examined this relationship among 913 women, aged 25–72 with varying levels of familial breast cancer risk from the Ontario site of the Breast Cancer Family Registry. Associations between perceived lifetime breast cancer risk and subsequent use of mammography, clinical breast examination (CBE) and genetic testing were assessed using logistic regression. Overall, perceived risk did not predict subsequent use of mammography, CBE or genetic testing. Among women at moderate/high familial risk, those reporting a perceived risk greater than 50% were significantly less likely to have a CBE (odds ratio (OR) = 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.30–0.91, p = 0.04), and non-significantly less likely to have a mammogram (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.40–1.20, p = 0.70) or genetic test (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.34–1.10, p = 0.09) compared to women reporting a perceived risk of 50%. In contrast, among women at low familial risk, those reporting a perceived risk greater than 50% were non-significantly more likely to have a mammogram (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 0.59–2.16, p = 0.78), CBE (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.63–1.95, p = 0.74) or genetic test (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.50–3.33, p = 0.35) compared to women reporting a perceived risk of 50%. Perceived risk did not significantly predict screening use overall, however this relationship may be moderated by level of familial risk. Results may inform risk education and management strategies for women with varying levels of familial breast cancer risk.