P Schmezer

German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

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Publications (140)429.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) presents as a very heterogeneous disease which cannot sufficiently be characterized with the currently known genetic and epigenetic markers. To identify new markers for colorectal cancer we scrutinized the methylation status of 231 DNA repair-related genes by methyl-CpG immunoprecipitation followed by global methylation profiling on a CpG island microarray, as altered expression of these genes could drive genomic and chromosomal instability observed in these tumors. We show for the first time hypermethylation of MMP9, DNMT3A, and LIG4 in CRC which was confirmed in two CRC patient groups with different ethnicity. DNA ligase IV (LIG4) showed strong differential promoter methylation (up to 60%) which coincided with down-regulation of mRNA in 51% of cases. This functional association of LIG4 methylation and gene expression was supported by LIG4 re-expression in 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine-treated colon cancer cell lines, and reduced ligase IV amounts and end-joining activity in extracts of tumors with hypermethylation. Methylation of LIG4 was not associated with other genetic and epigenetic markers of CRC in our study. As LIG4 is located on chromosome 13 which is frequently amplified in CRC, two loci were tested for gene amplification in a subset of 47 cases. Comparison of amplification, methylation and expression data revealed that, in 30% of samples, the LIG4 gene was amplified and methylated, but expression was not changed. In conclusion, hypermethylation of the LIG4 promoter is a new mechanism to control ligase IV expression. It may represent a new epigenetic marker for colorectal cancer independent of known markers.
    Human Molecular Genetics 11/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The scaffold protein A-kinase anchor protein 12 (AKAP12) exerts tumor suppressor activity and is downregulated in several tumor entities. We characterized AKAP12 expression and regulation in astrocytomas, including pilocytic and diffusely infiltrating astrocytomas. We examined 194 human gliomas and 23 normal brain white matter samples by immunohistochemistry or immunoblotting for AKAP12 expression. We further performed quantitative methylation analysis of the AKAP12 promoter by MassARRAY® of normal brain, World Health Organization (WHO) grade I to IV astrocytomas, and glioma cell lines. Our results show that AKAP12 is expressed in a perivascular distribution in normal CNS, strongly upregulated in tumor cells in pilocytic astrocytomas, and weakly expressed in diffuse astrocytomas of WHO grade II to IV. Methylation analyses revealed specific hypermethylation of AKAP12α promoter in WHO grade II to IV astrocytomas. Restoration experiments using 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in primary glioblastoma cells decreased AKAP12α promoter methylation and markedly increased AKAP12α mRNA levels. In summary, we demonstrate that AKAP12 is differentially expressed in human astrocytomas showing high expression in pilocytic but low expression in diffuse astrocytomas of all WHO-grades. Our results further indicate that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in silencing AKAP12 in diffuse astrocytomas; however, a tumor suppressive role of AKAP12 in distinct astrocytoma subtypes remains to be determined.
    Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology. 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is usually incurable. Contrary to genetic mechanisms involved in PDAC pathogenesis, epigenetic alterations are ill defined. Here, we determine the contribution of epigenetically silenced genes to the development of PDAC. We analyzed enriched, highly methylated DNAs from PDACs, chronic pancreatitis (CP) and normal tissues using CpG island microarrays and identified WNK2 as a prominent candidate tumor suppressor gene being downregulated early in PDAC development. WNK2 was further investigated in tissue microarrays, methylation analysis of early pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), mouse models for PDAC and pancreatitis, re-expression studies after demethylation, and cell growth assays using WNK2 overexpression. Demethylation assays confirmed the link between methylation and expression. WNK2 hypermethylation was higher in tumor than in surrounding inflamed tissues and was observed in PanIN lesions as well as in a PDAC mouse model. WNK2 mRNA and protein expressions were lower in PDAC and CP compared with normal tissues both in patients and mouse models. Overexpression of WNK2 led to reduced cell growth, and WNK2 expression in tissues correlated negatively with pERK1/2 expression, a downstream target of WNK2 responsible for cell proliferation. Downregulation of WNK2 by promoter hypermethylation occurs early in PDAC pathogenesis and may support tumor cell growth via the ERK-MAPK pathway.Oncogene advance online publication, 5 August 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.312.
    Oncogene 08/2013; · 7.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed whether variants in 22 oxidative stress-related genes are associated with mortality of breast cancer patients and whether the associations differ according to radiotherapy. Using a prospective cohort of 1348 postmenopausal breast cancer patients, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for 109 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using Cox proportional hazards regression. Validation of results was attempted using two Scandinavian studies. Eleven SNPs in MT2A, NFE2L2, NQO1, PRDX1, and PRDX6 were significantly associated with overall mortality after a median follow-up of 5.7 years. Three SNPs in NQO1 (rs2917667) and in PRDX6 (rs7314, rs4916362) were consistently associated with increased risk of dying across all three study populations (pooled: HRNQO1_rs2917667 1.20, 95% CI 1.00-1.44, p = 0.051; HRPRDX6_rs7314 1.16, 95% CI 1.00-1.35, p = 0.056, HRPRDX6_rs4916362 1.14 95% CI 1.00-1.32, p = 0.062). Potential effect modification by radiotherapy was found for CAT_rs769218. In conclusion, genetic variants in NQO1 and PRDX6 may modify breast cancer prognosis.
    Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland) 03/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Base excision repair (BER) removes DNA damage induced by endogenous reactive oxygen species or ionizing radiation, important breast cancer risk factors. Genetic variation associated with impaired BER might thus increase breast cancer risk. Therefore, we assessed risk associations of 123 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 19 BER genes in 1,639 postmenopausal breast cancer cases and 1,967 controls from the German population-based case-control study MARIE. SNPs were tagging SNPs representing genetic variation across the gene together with potentially functional SNPs. Risk associations were assessed using conditional logistic regression, adjusted for potential breast cancer risk factors. Significant associations between polymorphisms and breast cancer risk were found for one SNP in PARP2 and three SNPs in the mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma, POLG. A SNP in the promoter region of POLG (rs2856268, A>G) showed a protective effect for homozygous GG carriers (odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence intervals 0.65-1.00). Joint analysis of an enlarged sample set and haplotype analysis supported the results for POLG. Quantification of POLG mRNA expression in lymphocytes of 148 breast cancer patients revealed higher mRNA levels for rs2856268 GG carriers (p value = 0.038). A luciferase promoter assay showed significant differences between constructs harboring the respective alleles. Taken together, our results suggest that genetic variation in the POLG promoter region affects DNA polymerase gamma levels in mitochondria. This could contribute to the reported increase in mitochondrial mutation frequency resulting in dysfunction and altered breast cancer risk. Risk effects and the functional impact of the POLG promoter variant require further confirmation.
    International Journal of Cancer 06/2012; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors are tumor entities with varying response to common standard therapy protocols. Histone acetylation affects chromatin structure and gene expression which are considered to influence radiation sensitivity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the combination therapy with the histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and irradiation on atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors and osteosarcoma compared to normal tissue cell lines. Clonogenic assay was used to determine cell survival. DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) were examined by pulsed-field electrophoresis (PFGE) as well as by γH2AX immunostaining involving flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, and immunoblot analysis. SAHA lead to an increased radiosensitivity in tumor but not in normal tissue cell lines. γH2AX expression as an indicator for DSB was significantly increased when SAHA was applied 24 h before irradiation to the sarcoma cell cultures. In contrast, γH2AX expression in the normal tissue cell lines was significantly reduced when irradiation was combined with SAHA. Analysis of initial DNA fragmentation and fragment rejoining by PFGE, however, did not reveal differences in response to the SAHA pretreatment for either cell type. SAHA increases radiosensitivity in tumor but not normal tissue cell lines. The increased H2AX phosphorylation status of the SAHA-treated tumor cells post irradiation likely reflects its delayed dephosphorylation within the DNA damage signal decay rather than chromatin acetylation-dependent differences in the overall efficacy of DSB induction and rejoining. The results support the hypothesis that combining SAHA with irradiation may provide a promising strategy in the treatment of solid tumors.
    Strahlentherapie und Onkologie 02/2012; 188(2):168-76. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant promoter methylation of different DNA repair genes has a critical role in the development and progression of various cancer types, including head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). A systematic analysis of known human repair genes for promoter methylation is however missing. We generated quantitative promoter methylation profiles in single CpG units of 160 human DNA repair genes in a set of DNAs isolated from fresh frozen HNSCC and normal tissues using MassARRAY technology. Ninety-eight percent of these genes contained CpG islands (CGIs) in their promoter region; thus, DNA methylation is a potential regulatory mechanism. Methylation data were obtained for 145 genes, from which 15 genes exhibited more than a 20% difference in methylation levels between tumor and normal tissues, manifested either as hypermethylation or as hypomethylation. Analyses of promoter methylation with mRNA expression identified the DNA glycosylase NEIL1 (nei endonuclease VIII-like 1) as the most prominent candidate gene. NEIL1 promoter hypermethylation was confirmed in additional fresh frozen HNSCC samples, normal mucosa, HNSCC cell lines and primary human skin keratinocytes. The investigation of laser-microdissected tissues further substantiated increased methylation levels in tumor versus matched non-tumor cells. Immunohistological analysis revealed significantly less NEIL1 protein expression in tumor tissues. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment and DNMT1 knockdown resulted in the re-expression of NEIL1 in HNSCC cell lines, which initially carried hypermethylated promoter regions. In conclusion, our results suggest that DNA methylation contributes to the downregulation of NEIL1 expression and might thus have a role in modulating the response to therapies of HNSCC.Oncogene advance online publication, 30 January 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2011.660.
    Oncogene 01/2012; · 7.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Impairment of endogenous differentiation pathways like retinoic acid (RA) signaling seems to be a central pathogenetic event in astrocytic gliomas. Among others, expression of the differentiation-promoting RA chaperon protein cellular retinoic acid binding protein 2 (CRABP2) is extenuated in high-grade gliomas. Against this background, we aimed at identifying potential pathomechanisms underlying reduced CRABP2 expression in these tumors. Using MassARRAY methylation analysis, we detected extensive CpG methylation upstream of the CRABP2 gene locus in a study sample comprising 100 astrocytic gliomas of WHO Grade II to IV. Compared to nontumorous control samples, tumors revealed increased CpG methylation and methylation levels were inversely correlated to CRABP2 mRNA expression. Substantiating our in situ findings, CRABP2 mRNA levels increased in glioma cell lines after exposure to the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Finally, a distinct CpG methylation signature distinguished between primary glioblastoma on the one hand and the group of astrocytoma WHO II-III and secondary glioblastoma on the other hand. Altogether, our observations suggest that epigenetic silencing of CRABP2 might contribute to an immature phenotype in glioma cells.
    International Journal of Cancer 01/2012; 131(8):1963-8. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Targeting synthetic lethality in DNA repair pathways has become a promising anti-cancer strategy. However little is known about such interactions with regard to the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Therefore, cell lines with a defect in the NER genes ERCC6 or XPC and their normal counterparts were screened with 53 chemically defined phytochemicals isolated from plants used in traditional Chinese medicine for differential cytotoxic effects. The screening revealed 12 drugs that killed NER-deficient cells more efficiently than proficient cells. Five drugs were further analyzed for IC(50) values, effects on cell cycle distribution, and induction of DNA damage. Ascaridol was the most effective compound with a difference of >1000-fold in resistance between normal and NER-deficient cells (IC(50) values for cells with deficiency in ERCC6: 0.15μM, XPC: 0.18μM, and normal cells: >180μM). NER-deficiency combined with ascaridol treatment led to G2/M-phase arrest, an increased percentage of subG1 cells, and a substantially higher DNA damage induction. These results were confirmed in a second set of NER-deficient and -proficient cell lines with isogenic background. Finally, ascaridol was characterized for its ability to generate oxidative DNA damage. The drug led to a dose-dependent increase in intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species at cytotoxic concentrations, but only NER-deficient cells showed a strongly induced amount of 8-oxodG sites. In summary, ascaridol is a cytotoxic and DNA-damaging compound which generates intracellular reactive oxidative intermediates and which selectively affects NER-deficient cells. This could provide a new therapeutic option to treat cancer cells with mutations in NER genes.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 01/2012; 259(3):302-10. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy is a powerful cure for several types of solid tumours, but its application is often limited because of severe side effects in individual patients. With the aim to find biomarkers capable of predicting normal tissue side reactions we analysed the radiation responses of cells from individual head and neck tumour and breast cancer patients of different clinical radiosensitivity in a multicentric study. Multiple parameters of cellular radiosensitivity were analysed in coded samples of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and derived lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from 15 clinical radio-hypersensitive tumour patients and compared to age- and sex-matched non-radiosensitive patient controls and 15 lymphoblastoid cell lines from age- and sex- matched healthy controls of the KORA study. Experimental parameters included ionizing radiation (IR)-induced cell death (AnnexinV), induction and repair of DNA strand breaks (Comet assay), induction of yH2AX foci (as a result of DNA double strand breaks), and whole genome expression analyses. Considerable inter-individual differences in IR-induced DNA strand breaks and their repair and/or cell death could be detected in primary and immortalised cells with the applied assays. The group of clinically radiosensitive patients was not unequivocally distinguishable from normal responding patients nor were individual overreacting patients in the test system unambiguously identified by two different laboratories. Thus, the in vitro test systems investigated here seem not to be appropriate for a general prediction of clinical reactions during or after radiotherapy due to the experimental variability compared to the small effect of radiation sensitivity. Genome-wide expression analysis however revealed a set of 67 marker genes which were differentially induced 6 h after in vitro-irradiation in lymphocytes from radio-hypersensitive and non-radiosensitive patients. These results warrant future validation in larger cohorts in order to determine parameters potentially predictive for clinical radiosensitivity.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e47185. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer type among women in western countries. In addition to established risk factors like hormone replacement therapy, oxidative stress may play a role in carcinogenesis through an unbalanced generation of reactive oxygen species that leads to genetic instability. The aim of this study is to assess the influence of common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes related to oxidative stress on postmenopausal breast cancer risk. We genotyped 109 polymorphisms (mainly tagging SNPs) in 22 candidate genes in 1,639 postmenopausal breast cancer cases and 1,967 controls (set 1) from the German population-based case-control study "MARIE". SNPs showing association in set 1 were tested in further 863 cases and 2,863 controls from MARIE (set 2) using a joint analysis strategy. Six polymorphisms evaluated in the combined set showed significantly modified breast cancer risk per allele in the joint analysis, including SNPs in CYBA (encoding a subunit of the NADPH oxidase: rs3794624), MT2A (metallothionein 2A: rs1580833), TXN (thioredoxin: rs2301241), and in TXN2 (thioredoxin 2: rs2267337, rs2281082, rs4821494). Associations with the CYBA rs3794624 (OR per allele: 0.93, 95% CI 0.87-0.99) and TXN rs2301241 variants (OR per allele: 1.05, 95% CI 1.00-1.10) were confirmed in the summary risk estimate analysis using up to three additional studies. We found some evidence for association of polymorphisms in genes of the thioredoxin system, CYBA, and MT2A with postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Summary evidence including independent datasets indicated moderate effects in CYBA and TXN that warrant confirmation in large independent studies.
    International Journal of Cancer 09/2011; 129(6):1467-76. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Repeated exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) can result in adaptive reactions. While DNA methylation changes in adaption to repeated stress exposure are established for a variety of drugs, their role in fractioned ionizing radiation is largely unknown. MCF7 breast cancer cells were treated 5 times a week with IR in fractions of 2 Gy, resulting in total doses of 10 and 20 Gy. Cells were harvested 48 and 72 h after the last irradiation, as well as after a recovery period of at least 14 d. To identify genes differentially methylated in irradiated versus non-irradiated cells, we used methyl-CpG immunoprecipitation (MCIp) followed by global methylation profiling on CpG island microarrays. MCIp profiling revealed methylation changes in several CpG islands 48 h after FIR with 10 and 20 Gy. Cells receiving a total dose of 10 Gy started regrowing after 14 d and exhibited similar radioresistance as mock-treated cells. Differential methylation of the CpG units associated with FOXC1 (p<0.001) and TRAPPC9 (p<0.001) could be confirmed by time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Sequenom). In summary, these data indicate that regrowth of MCF7 cells after 10 Gy FIR is associated with locus-specific alterations in DNA methylation.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 06/2011; 101(1):116-21. · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of patients tolerate radiotherapy well, but some of them suffer from severe side effects. To find genes possibly predictive for radiosensitivity, mRNA profiles were generated before and 6h after in vitro irradiation with 5Gy. We analyzed lymphocytes from four head and neck and eight breast cancer patients with strong acute radiation toxicity and from 12 matching normal reacting patients in a blind study. Expression was also measured in lymphocyte subpopulations and Epstein-Barr transformed lymphocytes. Radiation response in whole lymphocyte populations was most similar to that of B cells. In peripheral blood lymphocytes of all patients; 153 genes were identified which were statistically significantly altered by a fold change of more than 50% by irradiation. The signatures of radio-responsive genes differed tremendously between primary and transformed cells. Pathway analysis revealed genes involved in p53 signalling, cell cycle control and apoptosis in response to radiation in primary lymphocytes. In these cells, a set of 67 radiation-induced genes was identified capable of differentiating between severe radiosensitive and normal reacting patients. More than one third of such classifying genes belong to the group of apoptosis or cell cycle regulating genes. The classifying potential of the expression signature has now to be validated in further patient cohorts.
    Cancer letters 03/2011; 302(1):20-8. · 4.86 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Cancer - EUR J CANCER. 01/2011; 47.
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    ABSTRACT: The A kinase anchor protein 12 (AKAP12) is a central mediator of protein kinase A and protein kinase C signaling. Although AKAP12 has been described to act as a tumor suppressor and its expression is frequently down-regulated in several human malignancies, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the AKAP12 reduction are poorly understood. We therefore analyzed the expression of AKAP12 and its genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in human hepatocarcinogenesis. Based on tissue microarray analyses (n = 388) and western immunoblotting, we observed a significant reduction of AKAP12 in cirrhotic liver (CL), premalignant lesions (DN), and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) compared to histologically normal liver specimens (NL). Analyses of array comparative genomic hybridization data (aCGH) from human HCCs revealed chromosomal losses of AKAP12 in 36% of cases but suggested additional mechanisms underlying the observed reduction of AKAP12 expression in hepatocarcinogenesis. Quantitative methylation analysis by MassARRAY of NL, CL, DN, and HCC tissues, as well as of various tumorigenic and nontumorigenic liver cell lines revealed specific hypermethylation of the AKAP12α promoter but not of the AKAP12β promoter in HCC specimens and in HCC cell lines. Consequently, restoration experiments performed with 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine drastically increased AKAP12α mRNA levels in a HCC cell line (AKN1) paralleled by AKAP12α promoter demethylation. As hypermethylation is not observed in CL and DN, we investigated microRNA-mediated posttranscriptional regulation as an additional mechanism to explain reduced AKAP12 expression. We found that miR-183 and miR-186 are up-regulated in CL and DN and are able to target AKAP12. Conclusion: In addition to genetic alterations, epigenetic mechanisms are responsible for the reduction of the tumor suppressor gene AKAP12 in human hepatocarcinogenesis.
    Hepatology 08/2010; 52(6):2023-33. · 12.00 Impact Factor
  • Zeitschrift Fur Gastroenterologie - Z GASTROENTEROL. 01/2010; 48(01).
  • Gesundheitswesen. 01/2010; 72.
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    ABSTRACT: Breast-conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy is effective in reducing recurrence; however, telangiectasia and fibrosis can occur as late skin side effects. As radiotherapy acts through producing DNA damage, we investigated whether genetic variation in DNA repair and damage response confers increased susceptibility to develop late normal skin complications. Breast cancer patients who received radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery were examined for late complications of radiotherapy after a median follow-up time of 51 months. Polymorphisms in genes involved in DNA repair (APEX1, XRCC1, XRCC2, XRCC3, XPD) and damage response (TP53, P21) were determined. Associations between telangiectasia and genotypes were assessed among 409 patients, using multivariate logistic regression. A total of 131 patients presented with telangiectasia and 28 patients with fibrosis. Patients with variant TP53 genotypes either for the Arg72Pro or the PIN3 polymorphism were at increased risk of telangiectasia. The odds ratios (OR) were 1.66 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-2.72) for 72Pro carriers and 1.95 (95% CI: 1.13-3.35) for PIN3 A2 allele carriers compared with non-carriers. The TP53 haplotype containing both variant alleles was associated with almost a two-fold increase in risk (OR 1.97, 95% CI: 1.11-3.52) for telangiectasia. Variants in the TP53 gene may therefore modify the risk of late skin toxicity after radiotherapy.
    British Journal of Cancer 05/2009; 100(10):1680-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Laryngeal cancer is known to be associated with smoking and high alcohol consumption. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) plays a key role in repairing DNA damage induced by these exposures and might affect laryngeal cancer susceptibility. In a population-based case-control study including 248 cases and 647 controls, the association of laryngeal cancer with 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 8 NER genes (XPC, XPA, ERCC1, ERCC2, ERCC4, ERCC5, ERCC6 and RAD23B) was analyzed with respect to smoking and alcohol exposure. For genotyping, sequence specific hybridization probes were used. Data were evaluated by conditional logistic regression analysis, stratified for age and gender, and adjusted for smoking, alcohol consumption and education. Pro-carriers of ERCC6 Arg1230Pro showed a decreased risk for laryngeal cancer (OR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.34-0.85), strongest in heavy smokers and high alcohol consumers. ERCC5 Asp1104His was associated with risk in heavy smokers (OR = 1.70, 95% CI 1.1-2.5). Val-carriers of RAD23B Ala249Val had an increased cancer risk in heavy smokers (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.5) and high alcohol consumers (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.4). The combined effect of smoking and alcohol intake affected risk, at high exposure level, for ERCC6 1230Pro carriers (OR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.22-0.98) and RAD23B 249Val carriers (OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.3-4.9). When tested for gene-gene interaction, presence of 3 risk alleles in the XPC-RAD23B complex increased the risk 2.1-fold. SNPs in the other genes did not show a significant association with laryngeal cancer risk. We conclude that common genetic variations in NER genes can significantly modify laryngeal cancer risk.
    International Journal of Cancer 04/2009; 125(6):1431-9. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, the predictive value of ionising radiation (IR)-induced cell death was tested in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and their corresponding Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) in an interlaboratory comparison. PBLs and their corresponding LCLs were derived from 15 tumour patients, that were considered clinically radiosensitive based on acute side-effects, and matched controls. Upon coding of the samples, radiosensitivity of the matched pairs was analysed in parallel in three different laboratories by assessing radiation-induced apoptotic and necrotic cell death using annexin V. All participating laboratories detected a dose-dependent increase of apoptosis and necrosis in the individual samples, to a very similar extent. However, comparing the mean values of apoptotic and necrotic levels derived from PBLs of the radiosensitive cohort with the mean values of the control cohort did not reveal a significant difference. Furthermore, within 15 matched pairs, no sample was unambiguously and independently identified by all three participating laboratories to demonstrate in vitro hypersensitivity that matched the clinical hypersensitivity. As has been reported previously, apoptotic and necrotic cell death is barely detectable in immortalised LCL derivatives using low doses of IR. Concomitantly, the differences in apoptosis or necrosis levels found in primary cells of different individuals were not observed in the corresponding LCL derivatives. All participating laboratories concordantly reasoned that, with the methods applied here, IR-induced cell death in PBLs is unsuitable to unequivocally predict the individual clinical radiosensitivity of cancer patients. Furthermore, LCLs do not reflect the physiological properties of the corresponding primary blood lymphocytes with regard to IR-induced cell death. Their value to predict clinical radiosensitivity is thus highly questionable.
    Apoptosis 02/2009; 14(2):226-35. · 4.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
429.85 Total Impact Points


  • 1984–2013
    • German Cancer Research Center
      • • Division of Cancer Epidemiology
      • • Division of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors
      • • Division of Biostatistics
      Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
  • 2012
    • Universitätsklinikum Münster
      Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2007–2008
    • National Cancer Institute Thailand
      Krung Thep, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2001
    • Babraham Institute
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
    • Universität Ulm
      Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany