Melissa Rotunno

Northern Inyo Hospital, BIH, California, United States

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Publications (31)261.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Population-based estimates of absolute risk of lung cancer recurrence, and of mortality rates after recurrence, can inform clinical management. We evaluated prognostic factors for recurrences and survival in 2098 lung cancer case patients from the general population of Lombardy, Italy, from 2002 to 2005. We conducted survival analyses and estimated absolute risks separately for stage IA to IIIA surgically treated and stage IIIB to IV non-surgically treated patients. Absolute risk of metastases exceeded that of local recurrence in every stage and cell type, highlighting the systemic threat of lung cancer. In stage I, the probability of dying within the first year after diagnosis was 2.7%, but it was 48.3% within first year after recurrence; in stage IV, the probabilities were 57.3% and 80.6%, respectively. Over half the patients died within one year of first metastasis. Although in stages IA to IB about one-third of patients had a recurrence, stage IIA patients had a recurrence risk (61.2%) similar to stage IIB (57.9%) and IIIA (62.8%) patients. Risk of brain metastases in stage IA to IIIA surgically treated non-small cell lung cancer patients increased with increasing tumor grade. Absolute risk of recurrence was virtually identical in adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma patients. This population-based study provides clinically useful estimates of risks of lung cancer recurrence and mortality that are applicable to the general population. These data highlight the need for more effective adjuvant treatments overall and within specific subgroups. The estimated risks of various endpoints are useful for designing clinical trials, whose power depends on absolute numbers of events. Published by Oxford University Press 2015.
    CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 06/2015; 107(6). DOI:10.1093/jnci/djv059 · 14.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Relationships of parity with breast cancer risk are complex. Parity is associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive breast tumors, but may increase risk for basal-like breast cancers and early-onset tumors. Characterizing parity-related gene expression patterns in normal breast and breast tumor tissues may improve understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying this complex pattern of risk. Methods: We developed a parity signature by analyzing microRNA microarray data from 130 reduction mammoplasty (RM) patients (54 nulliparous and 76 parous). This parity signature, together with published parity signatures, was evaluated in gene expression data from 150 paired tumors and adjacent benign breast tissues from the Polish Breast Cancer Study, both overall and by tumor estrogen receptor (ER) status. Results: We identified 251 genes significantly upregulated by parity status in RM patients (parous versus nulliparous; false discovery rate = 0.008), including genes in immune, inflammation and wound response pathways. This parity signature was significantly enriched in normal and tumor tissues of parous breast cancer patients, specifically in ER-positive tumors. Conclusions: Our data corroborate epidemiologic data, suggesting that the etiology and pathogenesis of breast cancers vary by ER status, which may have implications for developing prevention strategies for these tumors.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 07/2014; 16(4):R74. DOI:10.1186/bcr3689 · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chordoma is a rare bone cancer that is believed to originate from notochordal remnants. We previously identified germline T duplication as a major susceptibility mechanism in several chordoma families. Recently, a common genetic variant in T (rs2305089) was significantly associated with the risk of sporadic chordoma. We sequenced all T exons in 24 familial cases and 54 unaffected family members from eight chordoma families (three with T duplications), 103 sporadic cases, and 160 unrelated controls. We also measured T copy number variation in all sporadic cases. We confirmed the association between the previously reported variant rs2305089 and risk of familial [odds ratio (OR) = 2.6, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.93, 7.25, P = 0.067] and sporadic chordoma (OR = 2.85, 95 % CI = 1.89, 4.29, P < 0.0001). We also identified a second common variant, rs1056048, that was strongly associated with chordoma in families (OR = 4.14, 95 % CI = 1.43, 11.92, P = 0.0086). Among sporadic cases, another common variant (rs3816300) was significantly associated with risk when jointly analyzed with rs2305089. The association with rs3816300 was significantly stronger in cases with early age onset. In addition, we identified three rare variants that were only observed among sporadic chordoma cases, all of which have potential functional relevance based on in silico predictions. Finally, we did not observe T duplication in any sporadic chordoma case. Our findings further highlight the importance of the T gene in the pathogenesis of both familial and sporadic chordoma and suggest a complex susceptibility related to T.
    Human Genetics 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00439-014-1463-z · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer causes more deaths worldwide than any other cancer. In addition to cigarette smoking, dietary factors may contribute to lung carcinogenesis. Epidemiologic studies, including the environment and genetics in lung cancer etiology (EAGLE), have reported increased consumption of red/processed meats to be associated with higher risk of lung cancer. Heme-iron toxicity may link meat intake with cancer. We investigated this hypothesis in meat-related lung carcinogenesis using whole genome expression. We measured genome-wide expression (HG-U133A) in 49 tumor and 42 non-involved fresh frozen lung tissues of 64 adenocarcinoma EAGLE patients. We studied gene expression profiles by high-versus-low meat consumption, with and without adjustment by sex, age, and smoking. Threshold for significance was a false discovery rate (FDR) ≤0.15. We studied whether the identified genes played a role in heme-iron related processes by means of manually curated literature search and gene ontology-based pathway analysis. We found that gene expression of 232 annotated genes in tumor tissue significantly distinguished lung adenocarcinoma cases who consumed above/below the median intake of fresh red meats (FDR = 0.12). Sixty-three (∼28%) of the 232 identified genes (12 expected by chance, P-value < 0.001) were involved in heme binding, absorption, transport, and Wnt signaling pathway (e.g., CYPs, TPO, HPX, HFE, SLCs, and WNTs). We also identified several genes involved in lipid metabolism (e.g., NCR1, TNF, and UCP3) and oxidative stress (e.g., TPO, SGK2, and MTHFR) that may be indirectly related to heme-toxicity. The study's results provide preliminary evidence that heme-iron toxicity might be one underlying mechanism linking fresh red meat intake and lung cancer. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Molecular Carcinogenesis 07/2014; 53(7). DOI:10.1002/mc.22006 · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Quantitative changes in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have been associated with the risk of a number of human cancers; however, the relationship between constitutive mtDNA copy number in blood and the risk of familial cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) has not been reported. We measured mtDNA copy number using quantitative PCR in blood-derived DNA from 136 CMM cases and 302 controls in 53 melanoma-prone families (23 segregating CDKN2A germline mutations). MtDNA copy number did not vary by age, sex, pigmentation characteristics, or CMM status. However, germline CDKN2A mutation carriers had significantly higher mean mtDNA copy number compared to non-carriers, particularly among CMM cases (geometric mean mtDNA copy number of 144 and 111 for carrier versus non-carrier, respectively; P= 0.02). When adjusting for age, sex, and familial correlation, having increasing mtDNA copy number was significantly associated with CDKN2A mutation status among CMM cases (OR=1.47, P trend=0.024). In particular, individuals with specific CDKN2A mutations with the potential to inactivate or reduce the level of the p16-INK4 reactive oxygen species (ROS) protective function had significantly increased mtDNA copy number levels (P=0.035). Future research in prospective studies is required to validate these findings and to further investigate mtDNA copy number in both blood and melanoma tissues in relation to CMM risk and CDKN2A mutation status.
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic susceptibility in work-related lung cancer aetiology could have an important public health impact. Few studies have previously evaluated this issue, with inconsistent results. We aimed to investigate interactions between exposure to occupational carcinogens and genetic polymorphisms in lung cancer aetiology, adopting a systematic integrated approach.
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine 06/2014; 71 Suppl 1:A34. DOI:10.1136/oemed-2014-102362.105 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a metaplastic precursor lesion of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA), the most rapidly increasing cancer in western societies. While the prevalence of BE is increasing, the vast majority of EA occurs in patients with undiagnosed BE. Thus, we sought to identify genes that are altered in BE compared to the normal mucosa of the esophagus, and which may be potential biomarkers for the development or diagnosis of BE. We performed gene expression analysis using HG-U133A Affymetrix chips on fresh frozen tissue samples of Barrett's metaplasia and matched normal mucosa from squamous esophagus (NE) and gastric cardia (NC) in 40 BE patients. Using a cut off of 2-fold and P<1.12E-06 (0.05 with Bonferroni correction), we identified 1324 differentially-expressed genes comparing BE vs NE and 649 differentially-expressed genes comparing BE vs NC. Except for individual genes such as the SOXs and PROM1 that were dysregulated only in BE vs NE, we found a subset of genes (n = 205) whose expression was significantly altered in both BE vs NE and BE vs NC. These genes were overrepresented in different pathways, including TGF-β and Notch. Our findings provide additional data on the global transcriptome in BE tissues compared to matched NE and NC tissues which should promote further understanding of the functions and regulatory mechanisms of genes involved in BE development, as well as insight into novel genes that may be useful as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of BE in the future.
    PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e93219. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0093219 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although CDKN2A is the most frequent high-risk melanoma susceptibility gene, the underlying genetic factors for most melanoma-prone families remain unknown. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified a rare variant that arose as a founder mutation in the telomere shelterin gene POT1 (chromosome 7, g.124493086C>T; p.Ser270Asn) in five unrelated melanoma-prone families from Romagna, Italy. Carriers of this variant had increased telomere lengths and numbers of fragile telomeres, suggesting that this variant perturbs telomere maintenance. Two additional rare POT1 variants were identified in all cases sequenced in two separate Italian families, one variant per family, yielding a frequency for POT1 variants comparable to that for CDKN2A mutations in this population. These variants were not found in public databases or in 2,038 genotyped Italian controls. We also identified two rare recurrent POT1 variants in US and French familial melanoma cases. Our findings suggest that POT1 is a major susceptibility gene for familial melanoma in several populations.
    Nature Genetics 03/2014; 46(5). DOI:10.1038/ng.2941 · 29.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Constitutional epigenetic changes detected in blood or non-disease involving tissues have been associated with disease susceptibility. We measured promoter methylation of CDKN2A (p16 and p14ARF) and 13 melanoma-related genes using bisulfite pyrosequencing of blood DNA from 114 cases and 122 controls in 64 melanoma-prone families (26 segregating CDKN2A germline mutations). We also obtained gene expression data for these genes using microarrays from the same blood samples. We observed that CDKN2A epimutation is rare in melanoma families, and therefore is unlikely to cause major susceptibility in families without CDKN2A mutations. Although methylation levels for most gene promoters were very low (<5%), we observed a significantly reduced promoter methylation (odds ratio = 0.63, 95% confidence interval = 0.50, 0.80, P<0.001) and increased expression (fold change = 1.27, P = 0.048) for TNFRSF10C in melanoma cases. Future research in large prospective studies using both normal and melanoma tissues is required to assess the significance of TNFRSF10C methylation and expression changes in melanoma susceptibility.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 02/2014; 9(5). DOI:10.4161/epi.28151 · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):2553-2553. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-2553 · 9.28 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):3651-3651. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-3651 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large fractions of the human population do not express GSTM1 and GSTT1 (GSTM1/T1) enzymes because of deletions in these genes. These variations affect xenobiotic metabolism and have been evaluated in relation to lung cancer risk, mostly based on null/present gene models. We measured GSTM1/T1 heterozygous deletions, not tested in genome-wide association studies, in 2,120 controls and 2,100 cases from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study. We evaluated their effect on mRNA expression on lung tissue and peripheral blood samples and their association with lung cancer risk overall and by histology types. We tested the null/present, dominant, and additive models using logistic regression. Cigarette smoking and gender were studied as possible modifiers. Gene expression from blood and lung tissue cells was strongly down regulated in subjects carrying GSTM1/T1 deletions by both trend and dominant models (P < 0.001). In contrast to the null/present model, analyses distinguishing subjects with 0, 1, or 2 GSTM1/T1 deletions revealed several associations. There was a decreased lung cancer risk in never-smokers (OR = 0.44; 95%CI = 0.23-0.82; P = 0.01) and women (OR = 0.50; 95%CI = 0.28-0.90; P = 0.02) carrying 1 or 2 GSTM1 deletions. Analogously, male smokers had an increased risk (OR = 1.13; 95%CI = 1.0-1.28; P = 0.05) and women a decreased risk (OR = 0.78; 95%CI = 0.63-0.97; P = 0.02) for increasing GSTT1 deletions. The corresponding gene smoking and gene-gender interactions were significant (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that decreased activity of GSTM1/T1 enzymes elevates lung cancer risk in male smokers, likely due to impaired carcinogens' detoxification. A protective effect of the same mutations may be operative in never-smokers and women, possibly because of reduced activity of other genotoxic chemicals. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Molecular Carcinogenesis 10/2012; 51 Suppl 1(S1):E142-50. DOI:10.1002/mc.21890 · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In an analysis of 31,717 cancer cases and 26,136 cancer-free controls from 13 genome-wide association studies, we observed large chromosomal abnormalities in a subset of clones in DNA obtained from blood or buccal samples. We observed mosaic abnormalities, either aneuploidy or copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity, of >2 Mb in size in autosomes of 517 individuals (0.89%), with abnormal cell proportions of between 7% and 95%. In cancer-free individuals, frequency increased with age, from 0.23% under 50 years to 1.91% between 75 and 79 years (P = 4.8 × 10(-8)). Mosaic abnormalities were more frequent in individuals with solid tumors (0.97% versus 0.74% in cancer-free individuals; odds ratio (OR) = 1.25; P = 0.016), with stronger association with cases who had DNA collected before diagnosis or treatment (OR = 1.45; P = 0.0005). Detectable mosaicism was also more common in individuals for whom DNA was collected at least 1 year before diagnosis with leukemia compared to cancer-free individuals (OR = 35.4; P = 3.8 × 10(-11)). These findings underscore the time-dependent nature of somatic events in the etiology of cancer and potentially other late-onset diseases.
    Nature Genetics 05/2012; 44(6):651-8. DOI:10.1038/ng.2270 · 29.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although lung cancer is largely caused by tobacco smoking, inherited genetic factors play a role in its etiology. Genome-wide association studies in Europeans have only robustly demonstrated 3 polymorphic variations that influence the risk of lung cancer. Tumor heterogeneity may have hampered the detection of association signal when all lung cancer subtypes were analyzed together. In a genome-wide association study of 5,355 European ever-smoker lung cancer patients and 4,344 smoking control subjects, we conducted a pathway-based analysis in lung cancer histologic subtypes with 19,082 single-nucleotide polymorphisms mapping to 917 genes in the HuGE-defined "inflammation" pathway. We identified a susceptibility locus for squamous cell lung carcinoma at 12p13.33 (RAD52, rs6489769) and replicated the association in 3 independent studies totaling 3,359 squamous cell lung carcinoma cases and 9,100 controls (OR = 1.20, P(combined) = 2.3 × 10(-8)). SIGNIFICANCE: The combination of pathway-based approaches and information on disease-specific subtypes can improve the identification of cancer susceptibility loci in heterogeneous diseases.
    Cancer Discovery 02/2012; 2(2):131-9. DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0246 · 15.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Affordable early screening in subjects with high risk of lung cancer has great potential to improve survival from this deadly disease. We measured gene expression from lung tissue and peripheral whole blood (PWB) from adenocarcinoma cases and controls to identify dysregulated lung cancer genes that could be tested in blood to improve identification of at-risk patients in the future. Genome-wide mRNA expression analysis was conducted in 153 subjects (73 adenocarcinoma cases, 80 controls) from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology study using PWB and paired snap-frozen tumor and noninvolved lung tissue samples. Analyses were conducted using unpaired t tests, linear mixed effects, and ANOVA models. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was computed to assess the predictive accuracy of the identified biomarkers. We identified 50 dysregulated genes in stage I adenocarcinoma versus control PWB samples (false discovery rate ≤0.1, fold change ≥1.5 or ≤0.66). Among them, eight (TGFBR3, RUNX3, TRGC2, TRGV9, TARP, ACP1, VCAN, and TSTA3) differentiated paired tumor versus noninvolved lung tissue samples in stage I cases, suggesting a similar pattern of lung cancer-related changes in PWB and lung tissue. These results were confirmed in two independent gene expression analyses in a blood-based case-control study (n = 212) and a tumor-nontumor paired tissue study (n = 54). The eight genes discriminated patients with lung cancer from healthy controls with high accuracy (AUC = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.74-0.87). Our finding suggests the use of gene expression from PWB for the identification of early detection markers of lung cancer in the future.
    Cancer Prevention Research 07/2011; 4(10):1599-608. DOI:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0170 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted the first analysis of viral microRNAs (miRNAs) in lung cancer, with a focus on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). We evaluated viral miRs with a two-channel oligo-array targeting mature, anti-sense miRNAs in 290 cases. In 48 cases, we compared microarray and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) expression for three EBV miRNAs. We tested for EBV DNA, RNA, and protein in tumour tissue from six cases with and six cases without strong qPCR-based evidence of EBV miRNAs. The EBV miRNAs strongly differentiated between adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma using the microarray (P<0.01 for 9 out of 16 EBV miRNAs). However, microarray and qPCR measurements of BART1, BART2, and BHRF1-3 expression were not significantly correlated (P=0.53, 0.94, and 0.47, respectively). Although qPCR provided substantial evidence of EBV miRNAs in 7 out of 48 cases, only 1 of these 7 cases had detectable EBV DNA in tumour tissue. None had detectable EBV RNA or protein by histochemical stains. In a comprehensive evaluation of EBV miRNA, DNA, RNA, and protein in lung cancer, we found little evidence of EBV in lung tumour tissue. Discrepancies between microarray- and qPCR-based strategies highlight the difficulty of validating molecular markers of disease. Our results do not support a role of EBV in lung cancer.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2011; 105(2):320-6. DOI:10.1038/bjc.2011.221 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer kills more than 1 million people worldwide each year. Whereas several human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers have been identified, the role of HPV in lung carcinogenesis remains controversial. We selected 450 lung cancer patients from an Italian population-based case-control study, the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology. These patients were selected from those with an adequate number of unstained tissue sections and included all those who had never smoked and a random sample of the remaining patients. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to test specimens from these patients for HPV DNA, specifically for E6 gene sequences from HPV16 and E7 gene sequences from HPV18. We also tested a subset of 92 specimens from all never-smokers and a random selection of smokers for additional HPV types by a PCR-based test for at least 54 mucosal HPV genotypes. DNA was extracted from ethanol- or formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue under strict PCR clean conditions. The prevalence of HPV in tumor tissue was investigated. Specimens from 399 of 450 patients had adequate DNA for analysis. Most patients were current (220 patients or 48.9%) smokers, and 92 patients (20.4%) were women. When HPV16 and HPV18 type-specific primers were used, two specimens were positive for HPV16 at low copy number but were negative on additional type-specific HPV16 testing. Neither these specimens nor the others examined for a broad range of HPV types were positive for any HPV type. When DNA contamination was avoided and state-of-the-art highly sensitive HPV DNA detection assays were used, we found no evidence that HPV was associated with lung cancer in a representative Western population. Our results provide the strongest evidence to date to rule out a role for HPV in lung carcinogenesis in Western populations.
    CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 02/2011; 103(6):501-7. DOI:10.1093/jnci/djr003 · 14.07 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 01/2011; 70(8 Supplement):4710-4710. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM10-4710 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRs) have an important role in lung carcinogenesis and progression. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in miR biogenesis may affect miR expression in lung tissue and be associated with lung carcinogenesis and progression. we analysed 12 SNPs in POLR2A, RNASEN and DICER1 genes in 1984 cases and 2073 controls from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study. We investigated miR expression profiles in 165 lung adenocarcinoma (AD) and 125 squamous cell carcinoma tissue samples from the same population. We used logistic and Cox regression models to examine the association of individual genotypes and haplotypes with lung cancer risk and with lung cancer-specific survival, respectively. SNPs-miR expression associations in cases were assessed using two-sample t-tests and global permutation tests. a haplotype in RNASEN (Drosha) was significantly associated with shorter lung cancer survival (hazard ratio=1.86, 95% CI=1.19-2.92, P=0.007). In AD cases, a SNP within the same haplotype was associated with reduced RNASEN mRNA expression (P=0.013) and with miR expression changes (global P=0.007) of miRs known to be associated with cancer (e.g., let-7 family, miR-21, miR-25, miR-126 and miR15a). inherited variation in the miR-processing machinery can affect miR expression levels and lung cancer-specific survival.
    British Journal of Cancer 12/2010; 103(12):1870-4. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605976 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    The Lancet Oncology 08/2010; 11(8):714-6; author reply 716. DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(10)70096-6 · 25.12 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

924 Citations
261.95 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Northern Inyo Hospital
      BIH, California, United States
  • 2009–2014
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Branch of Genetic Epidemiology
      • • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • • Infections and Immunoepidemiology
      • • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      Maryland, United States