Anniversaries provide a nice opportunity to reflect on past successes and plan for the future. During this 20th year of publication, the editors have contemplated the role of the “Statistical Methods and Models” section in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention ( CEBP) . In particular, we
Background: It is well established that more research into the cause and prevention of breast cancer is needed. While studies are done in cell lines and lab animals, translation of findings to women is often delayed due to difficulty in recruitment. The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation received a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to form the Love/Avon Army of Women (AOW); an on-line recruitment resource designed to partner women with researchers in order to accelerate breast cancer research. Methods: Researchers submit a proposal to the AOW Scientific Advisory Committee. If a study is accepted, a mass e-mail describing the study procedures and inclusion/exclusion criteria is sent to the entire AOW database. Women sign up at www.armyofwomen.org to join and receive AOW e-mails about breast cancer research studies. Women self-select based on interest and study criteria, and undergo a secondary on-line screening before contact information is passed on to the researcher for the enrollment process. Results: Over 371,000 women have signed up, including survivors and women without a history of breast cancer, ranging from ages 18 to 100, representing all 50 US states and 49 countries. To date, the AOW has recruited for 70 studies. The diversity of the AOW members has proved beneficial for many studies, such as those needing to enroll racial/ethnic minorities, women of varying sexual orientations, or young survivors. A secondary goal of the AOW is to assist researchers new to research with human subjects. The AOW has successfully helped researchers cross the chasm, coaching them on what it takes to transition their research from animal models to human subjects. Conclusions: The AOW has proved to be a successful resource for scientists to accelerate accrual, expand the number and diversity of their subject population and to obtain exactly the type of specimens they need when they need it. This partnership between women and scientists has revolutionized research and accelerated efforts to eradicate breast cancer. The public is ready and willing to partner with the research community to find the answer to urgent clinical problems.
Cases of Hodgkin's disease (HD) may be distinguished by whether they do [EBV-positive ((+ve)) cases] or do not [EBV-negative ((-ve)) cases] have evidence of EBV DNA in the Reed-Sternberg cells. Only one study has attempted to distinguish epidemiological risk factors for EBV(+ve) and EBV(-ve) HD, and none have compared inherited susceptibility. The present study involves a population-based case series of HD, diagnosed in patients between 16-24 years of age in the United Kingdom (n = 118), of whom 87% were classified by EBV status (EBV(+ve), 19, EBV(-ve), 84). History of infectious illness, EBV antibody titers, and HLA-DPB1 type have been compared in EBV(+ve) and EBV(-ve) cases. Reported infectious mononucleosis was more frequent in EBV(+ve) cases (odds ratio (OR), 5.10; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.12-24.4). EBV antibody titers to viral capsid antigen were significantly higher in EBV(+ve) cases (P for trend = 0.02). Higher proportions of EBV(+ve) (43%) than EBV(-ve) (31%) cases typed positive for HLA-DPB1*0301, but this was not statistically significant; the association of infectious mononucleosis with EBV(+ve) cases was stronger in this HLA subgroup (OR, 17.1; 95%CI, 1.06-1177) than in other cases (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.02-15.4). Although these results are based on small numbers of HD cases, they provide suggestive evidence that the etiology of EBV(+ve) HD may involve inherited susceptibility to EBV.
HLA genes have been shown to be associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), a precursor of cervical cancer. The human papillomaviruses (HPV) types 16 and 18 are the major environmental cause of this disease. Because the immune system plays an important role in the control of HPV infection, the association of polymorphic HLA could lead to a different immune response to control the development of cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between CIN and a microsatellite polymorphism of tumor necrosis factor (TNFa) taking HPV exposure and CIN-associated HLA haplotypes into account. In a nested case-control study in northern Sweden, 64 patients and 147 controls matched for age and sex and derived from the same population-based cohort were typed for TNFA, HLA-DR, and DQ and assayed for antibodies to HPV types 16 and 18. TNFa polymorphism was not associated with CIN per se. However, there was a significant increase in the frequency of TNFa-11 among HPV16-positive and HLA DR15-DQ6 (B*0602) patients compared with HPV16- and HLA-DQ6-negative patients (odds ratios, 5.4 and 9.3, respectively). The relative risk for CIN conferred by the combination of TNFa-11, HLA-DQ6, and HPV 16 positivity was 15. Our study suggests that the TNFa-11 allele is associated with HPV16 infection and associated with CIN in combination with HLA-DQ6 but not by itself.
Heavy smoking is a strong predictor of nicotine dependence, which is a major impediment to smoking cessation. Although both heavy smoking and nicotine dependence are highly heritable, previous attempts to identify genes influencing these phenotypes have been largely unsuccessful until very recently. We studied 1,452 heavy smokers (defined as smoking at least 30 cigarettes per day for at least 5 years) and 1,395 light smokers (defined as smoking <5 cigarettes per day for at least 1 year) to investigate the association of common variants in nicotinic receptor subunit genes with smoking behavior. Compared with the most common allele, two separate groups of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster were associated with heavy smoking with a very high statistical significance. One group of eight SNPs, which included a nonsynonymous SNP in the CHRNA5 gene, was in strong linkage disequilibrium and associated with increased risk of heavy smoking. A second group of SNPs not strongly correlated with the first was associated with decreased risk of heavy smoking. Analyses that combined both groups of SNPs found associations with heavy smoking that varied by >2-fold. Our findings identify two loci in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster that predict smoking behavior and provide strong evidence for the involvement of the alpha5 nicotinic receptor in heavy smoking. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(12):3517-25).
Experimental evidence suggests that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and its precursor, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], may aid in the prevention of colorectal cancer. We therefore examined risk in relation to plasma concentrations of these vitamin D metabolites.
In a nested case-control study among women in the Nurses' Health Study, we identified 193 colorectal cancer cases, ages 46 to 78 years, diagnosed up to 11 years after blood collection. Two controls were matched per case on year of birth and month of blood draw. Odds ratios (OR) for risk of colorectal cancer were calculated using conditional logistic regression adjusted for body mass index, physical activity, smoking, family history, use of hormone replacement therapy, aspirin use, and dietary intakes.
We found a significant inverse linear association between plasma 25(OH)D and risk of colorectal cancer (P = 0.02). Among women in the highest quintile, the OR (95% confidence interval) was 0.53 (0.27-1.04). This inverse association remained strong when limited to women > or =60 years at blood collection (P = 0.006) but was not apparent among the younger women (P = 0.70). Benefit from higher 25(OH)D concentrations was observed for cancers at the distal colon and rectum (P = 0.02) but was not evident for those at the proximal colon (P = 0.81). In contrast to 25(OH)D, we did not observe an association between 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and colorectal cancer, although risk was elevated among the women in the highest quintile if they were also in the lower half of the 25(OH)D distribution (OR, 2.52; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-6.11).
From these results and supporting evidence from previous studies, we conclude that higher plasma levels of 25(OH)D are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in older women, particularly for cancers at the distal colon and rectum.
This case-control study was designed to investigate the relationship between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2'-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE) and breast cancer risk in Connecticut. Cases were incident breast cancer patients who were either residents of Tolland County or who had a breast-related surgery at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven County. Controls were randomly selected from Tolland County residents or from patients who had newly diagnosed benign breast diseases or normal tissue at Yale-New Haven Hospital. A total of 475 cases and 502 controls had their serum samples analyzed for PCBs and DDE in 1995-1997. The age- and lipid-adjusted geometric mean serum level of DDE was comparable between the cases (460.1 ppb) and controls (456.2 ppb). The geometric mean serum level of PCBs was also comparable between cases (733.1 ppb) and controls (747.6 ppb). After adjustment for confounding factors, odds ratios of 0.96 (95% confidence interval, 0.67-1.36) for DDE and 0.95 (95% confidence interval, 0.68-1.32) for PCBs were observed when the third tertile was compared with the lowest. Further stratification by parity, lactation, and menopausal and estrogen receptor status also showed no significant association with serum levels of DDE or PCBs. The results by PCB congener groups also showed no major increased risk associated with any of the congener groups. Our study does not support the hypothesis that DDE and PCBs, as encountered through environmental exposure, increase the risk of female breast cancer.
Basic health indicators, such as body mass index (BMI), have been associated with serum 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane/1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDT/DDE) levels; however, both positive and inverse associations of BMI with serum DDT/DDE have been reported. Given the association of BMI with a number of outcomes, it may confound studies of DDT/DDE-associated health effects. We investigated the relationship of BMI with serum DDT/DDE accounting for other determinants of exposure among women with relatively recent environmental exposures to DDT.
Serum DDT/DDE was analyzed in 466 nonsmoking, nulliparous women recruited from Anhui province in China between 1996 and 1998 as part of a reproductive health study of textile workers. The women in the sample were born between 1963 and 1977, 8 to 21 years before China's 1984 DDT ban. We used multivariate linear regression to investigate associations of BMI, age, and birth year with serum DDT/DDE.
Mean (SD) serum total DDT concentration was 32 ng/g (17.8 ng/g). Birth year showed an inverse relationship with serum DDT independent of age. Despite limited variability in BMI, there was a consistent inverse relationship between BMI and serum DDT. Specifically, each kg/m(2) increase in BMI was associated with a -1.34 ng/g (95% confidence interval, -2.12 to -0.56 ng/g) decrease in serum total DDT.
There were high total DDT levels in this sample of nulliparous Chinese women relative to Western populations, birth year was more strongly associated with serum DDT than age, and BMI was inversely related to serum DDT in this study.
Genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk has implications for individuals and families. This study of women at risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer examines communication of BRCA results and subsequent genetic testing in the family.
We surveyed 1,103 female BRCA testers at two hospitals, querying for communication of results and testing in relatives.
Ninety-seven percent of participants communicated BRCA results with at least one relative. Communication was negatively associated with older age [odds ratio (OR), 0.66 per decade; 95% confidence interval, (95% CI), 0.4-0.9], Asian race (OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.06-0.5), and testing at the public hospital versus the cancer center (OR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.07-0.5). Communication was positively associated with increased knowledge of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer screening and risk reduction recommendations (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.4) and increased satisfaction with the decision to BRCA test (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.6-4.0). Seventy-five percent of BRCA-positive participants reported that at least one relative pursued genetic testing. Family testing was negatively associated with Asian race (OR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.02-0.8) and positively associated with increased socioeconomic status (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.7) and increased satisfaction with decision (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-4.1).
Despite high overall rates of communicating BRCA results, underserved and some minority women seem less likely to inform relatives of their BRCA status or have relatives test for a known family mutation. Satisfaction with the decision to BRCA test is positively associated with both outcomes.
This study identified several novel predictors of family communication and family genetic testing in a large population of high-risk women. This work can inform clinicians interested in improving family communication regarding cancer predisposition testing.
Individual differences in the metabolic activation and detoxification of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may influence cancer risk. This has been investigated in many studies using genotyping approaches, but the results to date have been inconsistent. We propose that carcinogen metabolite phenotyping would be a more reliable way to determine the role of host metabolism in PAH-related cancer. Many PAHs are metabolically activated by formation of bay-region diol epoxides. Phenanthrene, generally considered to be noncarcinogenic, is the simplest PAH with a bay region and is metabolized to diol epoxides by the same enzymes and with the same stereochemistry as the prototypic carcinogenic PAH, benzo[a]pyrene. The major end product of this metabolic activation pathway is r-1,t-2,3,c-4-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene (trans, anti-PheT). We have developed a method for the analysis of trans, anti-PheT in human urine. r-1,t-2,4,c-3-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene (trans, syn-PheT) was used as internal standard. After hydrolysis by beta-glucuronidase and sulfatase, solid phase extraction, and high-performance liquid chromatography collection, the sample was silylated and analyzed by gas chromatography-negative ion chemical ionization-mass spectrometry-selected ion monitoring at m/z 372. The resulting chromatograms were remarkably clean and trans, anti-PheT was readily detected in all human urine samples. Levels of trans, anti-PheT were 791 +/- 363 pmol/mg creatinine (n = 20) in psoriasis patients treated with a PAH-containing ointment, 25.7 +/- 16.8 pmol/mg creatinine (n = 32) in coke oven workers exposed to PAH, 4.58 +/- 2.95 pmol/mg creatinine (n = 31) in smokers, and 1.51 +/- 1.15 pmol/mg creatinine (n = 30) in nonsmokers. Levels of trans, anti-PheT correlated with levels of 1-hydroxypyrene in the urine of coke oven workers, smokers, and nonsmokers. Thus, trans, anti-PheT appears to be an excellent biomarker of PAH uptake. Levels of trans, anti-PheT were 8,000-19,000 times higher than those of the corresponding metabolite of benzo[a]pyrene. The results of this study demonstrate that trans, anti-PheT can be detected in human urine. We propose that measurement of this metabolite of phenanthrene may be important as part of a carcinogen metabolite-phenotyping approach to determine individual response to PAH exposure.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and tobacco-specific nitrosamines, such as 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), are widely accepted to be two important types of lung carcinogens in cigarette smoke. In this study, we have developed a method to estimate individual uptake of these compounds by quantifying r-1,t-2,3,c-4-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene (PheT) and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) in 1 mL of smokers' plasma. PheT and NNAL are biomarkers of PAH and NNK uptake, respectively. [D10]PheT and [pyridine-D4]NNAL were added to plasma as internal standards. The plasma was treated with beta-glucuronidase to release any conjugated PheT and NNAL. The analytes were enriched by solid-phase extraction on a mixed mode cation exchange cartridge and the PheT fraction was further purified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The appropriate fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography-negative ion chemical ionization-mass spectrometry for PheT and liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry for NNAL. The method was sensitive (limits of quantitation: PheT, 13 fmol/mL; NNAL, 3 fmol/mL), accurate, and precise. Levels of PheT and NNAL in plasma from 16 smokers averaged 95 +/- 71 and 36 +/- 21 fmol/mL, respectively, which are approximately 1% to 2% of the amounts found in urine. This method should be useful in molecular epidemiology studies of carcinogen uptake and lung cancer in smokers.
The steroid hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D, also known as calcitriol] is known to inhibit the proliferation and to promote the differentiation of human prostate cancer cells. Additionally, we showed that 1,25(OH)2D markedly inhibits the invasiveness of human prostate cancer cells in vitro (G. G. Schwartz et al., Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev., 6: 727-732, 1997). These properties support the use of 1,25(OH)2D as differentiation therapy in prostate cancer. However, the use of 1,25(OH)2D in vivo is limited by the risk of hypercalcemia. We therefore compared the effects of 1,25(OH)2D and of EB1089, an analogue of 1,25(OH)2D with reduced calcemic effects, in an in vivo model of androgen-insensitive metastatic prostate cancer, the rat Dunning MAT LyLu prostate cancer model. Tumor growth and metastasis were studied using Copenhagen rats given s.c. injections of MAT LyLu cells. Fifty male rats were divided into five groups of 10 rats each. Four experimental groups received i.p. injections of low and high doses of 1,25(OH)2D and EB1089 (0.5 and 1.0 microg/kg, low and high, respectively). A control group received injections of vehicle only. Tumor volumes were measured three times per week. Rats were weighed weekly. The number of metastases to the lungs and the extent of hypercalcemia were evaluated. Compared with controls, tumor volumes were significantly smaller in all experimental groups. Similarly, the number of lung metastases (number of foci/lung) was reduced markedly by both 1,25(OH)2D and EB1089. Control rats developed 22.7 (+/- 1.98 SE) tumor foci per lung. Rats treated with 1,25(OH)2D and with EB1089 (1.0 microg/kg) developed 10.4 (+/- 2.81) and 7.70 (+/- 1.29) tumor foci, respectively (P < 0.001 and P < 0.0001, respectively; drug versus control). Compared with controls (10.79 +/- 0.1 mg/dl), serum calcium levels were significantly elevated in both 1,25(OH)2D and EB1089-treated rats (P < 0.01). However, EB1089 was significantly less calcemic than 1,25(OH)2D (12.59 +/- 0.21 mg/dl versus 14.47 +/- 0.46 mg/dl; 1.0 microg/kg; P < 0.001). Rats treated with 1,25(OH)2D showed marked weight loss: 20.0 +/- 1.9% and 26.3 +/- 1.7% of their initial weight (low and high doses, respectively, P < 0.001). Weight loss was significantly lower in rats treated with EB1089 at the high dose 8.4 (+/- 2.9) %. Moreover, rats treated with low-dose EB1089 gained 5.2 (+/- 3.7) % of their initial weight. In conclusion, 1,25(OH)2D and EB1089 showed marked and equivalent inhibition of prostate cancer metastasis in vivo. EB1089 was significantly less calcemic than 1,25(OH)2D and did not induce severe weight loss. This is the first report of a vitamin D analogue that significantly inhibits prostate cancer metastasis in vivo and that does so without producing cachexia or unacceptable hypercalcemia.
Few modifiable factors are known to reduce ovarian cancer risk. Ecologic studies and experimental data suggest that vitamin D may reduce ovarian cancer risk. Therefore, we examined whether plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (a measure of overall vitamin D status) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (biologically active form) were associated with risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in a nested-case control study using data from three prospective cohorts: the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), NHSII, and the Women's Health Study (WHS). The analysis had 224 cases (161 from NHS/NHSII and 63 from WHS) and 603 controls (matching ratio, 1:3 for NHS/NHSII and 1:2 for WHS). Women ranged in age from 34 to 73 years (mean, 56 years). We did not observe significant associations between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [top versus bottom quartile: relative risk (RR), 0.83; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.49-1.39; P(trend) = 0.57] or 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels (RR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.70-1.85, P(trend) = 0.93) and ovarian cancer risk. Study-specific associations were not statistically significant and no statistical heterogeneity existed between studies (P = 0.66, 25-hydroxyvitamin D; P = 0.40, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D). However, there was a significant inverse association among overweight and obese women for 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (RR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.16-0.93; P(trend) = 0.04). Further, those with adequate (>or=32 ng/mL) versus inadequate 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels had a modestly decreased risk of serous ovarian cancer (RR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.39-1.05). Overall, our results do not suggest that plasma vitamin D levels are associated with risk of ovarian cancer. However, we observed significant associations in some subgroups, which should be evaluated further in other studies because increasing vitamin D intake is an easy preventive measure to adopt.
The hormonal metabolite of vitamin D, 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] is known to inhibit the proliferation of prostatic epithelial cells. This has stimulated interest in vitamin D compounds as therapeutic agents for prostate cancer. However, the therapeutic use of 1,25(OH)2D3 is limited because elevations in serum 1,25(OH)2D3 can cause dangerous elevations in serum calcium levels. We wondered whether the prohormone of 1,25(OH)2D3, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH-D3), which is much less calcemic, could also achieve antiproliferative effects in prostatic cells. 25-OH-D3 is converted to 1,25(OH)2D3 by the mitochondrial enzyme 1-alpha-hydroxylase. We have recently shown that human prostatic cells also possess significant 1-alpha-hydroxylase activity (Schwartz et al., Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev., 7: 391-395, 1998). We studied 1-alpha-hydroxylase gene expression in four strains of primary human prostatic epithelial cells by reverse transcription PCR amplification (RT-PCR) of 1-alpha-hydroxylase. Human prostatic stromal cells were negative for 1-alpha-hydroxylase by RT-PCR. This led us to hypothesize that 25-OH-D3 would inhibit the proliferation of prostatic epithelial cells because 25-OH-D3 would be converted to 1,25(OH)2D3 intracellularly. We studied the effects of 25-OH-D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 on the proliferation of prostatic epithelial cells using high density growth and clonal growth assays on two different primary cell strains derived from normal human prostatic peripheral zone. 25-OH-D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 each inhibited growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Growth inhibition was evident at 1 nM, and maximal inhibition was observed at 100 nM within 10-12 days of exposure. The potencies of 25-OH-D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 were not significantly different. These data demonstrate that 25-OH-D3, which previously was thought to have little biological activity, can become a potent antiproliferative hormone for prostatic cells that express 1-alpha-hydroxylase. Because 25-OH-D3 exhibits similar potency to 1,25(OH)2D3 but is less calcemic, 25-OH-D3 may offer a safer option than 1,25(OH)2D3 for prostate cancer therapy. Moreover, because 25-OH-D3 is produced endogenously from vitamin D, these findings support a potential role for vitamin D in the chemoprevention of prostate cancer.
Several lines of evidence suggest that vitamin D may reduce incidence of breast cancer, but few epidemiologic studies have addressed the relation of plasma vitamin D metabolites to the risk of this disease. We prospectively examined the relationship between plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] and risk of breast cancer in a case-control study nested within the Nurses' Health Study cohort. Blood samples were collected from study participants in 1989-1990. Breast cancer cases developing between blood collection and June 1, 1996, were matched to cancer-free controls on the basis of age, menopausal status, and other factors. Stored plasma samples from 701 cases and 724 controls were available for metabolite analysis. Cases had a lower mean 25(OH)D level than controls (P=0.01), but mean 1,25(OH)2D levels were similar (P=0.49). High levels of both metabolites were associated with a nonsignificant lower risk of breast cancer. Women in the highest quintile of 25(OH)D had a relative risk of 0.73 (95% confidence interval=0.49-1.07; Ptrend=0.06) compared with those in the lowest quintile. For 1,25(OH)2D, the comparable relative risk was 0.76 (95% confidence interval=0.52-1.11; Ptrend=0.39). For both metabolites, the association was stronger in women ages 60 years and older, but results were not statistically significant. Our findings suggest that high levels of 25(OH)D, and perhaps 1,25(OH)2D, may be modestly associated with reduced risk of breast cancer.
Epidemiological and laboratory data support a role for vitamin D in the growth and differentiation of human prostatic cells. These findings prompted us to ask whether prostatic cells could convert 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH-D3), the major circulating metabolite of vitamin D3, to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], the hormonally active metabolite, in a manner similar to cultured human keratinocytes. Therefore, we investigated three well-characterized human prostate cancer cell lines, LNCaP, DU 145, and PC-3; two primary cultures of cells derived from noncancerous human prostates (one normal and one benign prostatic hyperplasia); and primary cultures of normal human keratinocytes for their ability to synthesize 1,25(OH)2D3. Assays were performed in the presence of 25-OH-D3 as the enzyme substrate and 1,2-dianilinoethane, an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, and in the presence and absence of clotrimazole, a cytochrome P450 inhibitor. DU 145 and PC-3 cells produced 0.31 +/- 0.06 and 0.07 +/- 0.01 pmol of 1,25(OH)2D3/mg protein/h, respectively. No measurable 1,25(OH)2D3 was detected in LNCaP cells. The normal and benign prostatic hyperplasia primary cultures and keratinocyte cultures produced 3.08 +/- 1.56, 1.05 +/- 0.31, and 2.1 +/- 0.1 pmol of 1,25(OH)2D3/mg protein/h, respectively, using a calf thymus receptor binding assay to measure 1,25(OH)2D3 in the presence of 1,2-dianilinoethane. The identity of the analyte as 1,25(OH)2D3 was supported by high performance liquid chromatography using [3H]25-OH-D3 as the enzyme substrate and a solvent system that is specific for 1,25(OH)2D3. The production of 1,25(OH)2D3 in the prostate cancer cell lines and in the primary cultures was completely inhibited in the presence of clotrimazole. This report demonstrates that two of three human prostate cancer cell lines, as well as primary cultures of noncancerous prostatic cells, possess 1alpha-hydroxylase activity and can synthesize 1,25(OH)2D3 from 25-OH-D3. Together with recent data indicating that 1,25(OH)2D3 inhibits the invasiveness of human prostate cancer cells (G. G. Schwartz et al., Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev., 6: 727-732, 1997), these data suggest a potential role for 25-OH-D3 in the chemoprevention of invasive prostate cancer.
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] inhibits proliferation and promotes differentiation of human colon cancer cell lines. Epidemiological findings, although not entirely consistent, suggest an inverse relationship between vitamin D intake and colorectal cancer and adenoma, colorectal cancer precursor lesions. We evaluated the relationship of plasma 1,25(OH)2D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] with distal colorectal adenoma among 326 matched case and control pairs (nested in the prospective Nurses' Health Study), who provided blood in 1989-1990 and who underwent endoscopy in 1989-1996. Plasma vitamin D metabolite concentrations were determined blindly by RIA. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated from multiple conditional logistic regression models. Mean plasma 1,25(OH)2D and 25(OH)D levels did not significantly differ (P = 0.3 and 0.7, respectively) between cases (31.6 +/- 8.4 pg/ml and 26.4 +/- 10.6 ng/ml, respectively) and controls (32.2 +/- 8.6 pg/ml and 26.8 +/-10.2 ng/ml, respectively). However, women whose plasma 1,25(OH)2D concentration was below 26.0 pg/ml (a level typically considered to be below normal) were at increased risk of distal colorectal adenoma (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.03-2.40). Compared with the lowest 1,25(OH)2D quartile, women in the second (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.41-1.02), third (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.50-1.30), or upper (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.43-1.15) quartiles were at a statistically nonsignificant lower risk of adenoma. The relationship was stronger for large/villous adenoma and among those with consistent vitamin D intake over the 10 years prior to blood draw. Compared with women in the lowest quartile, for plasma 25(OH)D, women in the second (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.41-1.00) and third (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.36-0.95) quartiles were at a statistically significantly lower risk of distal colorectal adenoma, but there was no difference in risk in the top quartile (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.66-1.66). We conclude that women who have low levels of circulating 1,25(OH)2D may be at higher risk of distal colorectal adenomas, but additional study is warranted.
Carcinogenicity of 1,3-butadiene (BD) has been linked to its metabolic activation of genotoxic epoxides. The inherited variations in the activity of BD-metabolizing enzymes may be responsible for individual differences that modulate the effects of BD exposure. In this study, 40 Italian subjects (30 BD-exposed workers and 10 clerks) were investigated to evaluate the role of genetic polymorphism of cytochromes P450 2E1, microsomal epoxide hydrolase, glutathione transferases GSTM1, GSTP1, GSTT1, and alcohol dehydrogenase, on urinary N-acetyl-S-(3,4-hydroxybutyl)-L-cysteine (MI) and hemoglobin N-(2,3,4-trihydroxybutyl)-valine adducts (THBVal). Median urinary MI and THBVal levels were 1.71 mg/g creatinine and 37.0 pmol/g globin in BD-exposed workers (exposure range, 4-201 microg/m(3)) and 1.42 mg/g creatinine and 35.3 pmol/g globin in unexposed subjects. No difference between the two groups was observed. Among all subjects, MI and THBVal levels were significantly correlated (r = 0.333). Smoking positively influenced the formation of THBVal. Higher THBVal levels were found in subjects with GSTM1 null and GSTT1 null genotypes; borderline influences were also noticed for CYP2E1(G(-35)T). An additive effect of combined polymorphisms for CYP2E1, GSTM1, and GSTT1 genes on the THBVal levels was suggested. A multiple linear regression analysis, where each factor contributed significantly, correlated THBVal levels with smoking, CYP2E1(G(-35)T), GSTT1, and GSTM1 genotypes (r = 0.698). Our results indicate that the THBVal level is influenced by genotypes, and that the analysis of combined polymorphisms may be the key to a better understanding of the role played by polymorphism of BD-metabolizing enzymes.
We evaluated glutathione transferase (GST) activities and the levels of glutathionylated hemoglobin in the RBC of 42 workers exposed to 1,3-butadiene in a petrochemical plant, using 43 workers not exposed to 1,3-butadiene and 82 foresters as internal and external controls, respectively. Median 1,3-butadiene exposure levels were 1.5, 0.4, and 0.1 microg/m3 in 1,3-butadiene-exposed workers, in workers not directly exposed to 1,3-butadiene, and in foresters, respectively. In addition, we determined in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of the same individuals the presence of GST polymorphic genes GSTT1 and GSTM1 and the distribution of GSTP1 allelic variants. Comparing the mean values observed in petrochemical workers with those of control foresters, we found a marked decrease of GST enzymatic activity and a significant increase of glutathionylated hemoglobin in the petrochemical workers. A weak but significant negative correlation was found between levels of 1,3-butadiene exposure and GST activity, whereas a positive correlation was found between 1,3-butadiene exposure and glutathionylated hemoglobin. A negative correlation was also observed between GST activity and glutathionylated hemoglobin. No influence of confounders was observed. Using a multiple linear regression model, up to 50.6% and 41.9% of the variability observed in glutathionylated hemoglobin and GST activity, respectively, were explained by 1,3-butadiene exposure, working setting, and GSTT1 genotype. These results indicate that occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene induces an oxidative stress that impairs the GST balance in RBC, and suggest that GST activity and glutathionylated hemoglobin could be recommended as promising biomarkers of effect in petrochemical workers.
We hypothesize that the differences in lung cancer risk in Native Hawaiians, whites, and Japanese Americans may, in part, be due to variation in the metabolism of 1,3-butadiene, one of the most abundant carcinogens in cigarette smoke.
We measured two biomarkers of 1,3-butadiene exposure, monohydroxybutyl mercapturic acid (MHBMA) and dihydroxybutyl mercapturic acid (DHBMA), in overnight urine samples among 584 Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, and white smokers in Hawaii. These values were normalized to creatinine levels. Ethnic-specific geometric means were compared adjusting for age at urine collection, sex, body mass index, and nicotine equivalents (a marker of total nicotine uptake).
We found that mean urinary MHBMA differed by race/ethnicity (P = 0.0002). The values were highest in whites and lowest in Japanese Americans. This difference was only observed in individuals with the GSTT1-null genotype (P = 0.0001). No difference across race/ethnicity was found among those with at least one copy of the GSTT1 gene (P ≥ 0.72). Mean urinary DHBMA did not differ across racial/ethnic groups.
The difference in urinary MHBMA excretion levels from cigarette smoking across three ethnic groups is, in part, explained by the GSTT1 genotype. Mean urinary MHBMA levels are higher in whites among GSTT1-null smokers.
The overall higher excretion levels of MHBMA in whites and lower levels of MHBMA in Japanese Americans are consistent with the higher lung cancer risk in the former. However, the excretion levels of MHBMA in Native Hawaiians are not consistent with their disease risk and thus unlikely to explain their high risk of lung cancer.
Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Animal studies show that heme, found in red meat, promotes preneoplastic lesions in the colon, probably due to the oxidative properties of this compound. End products of lipid peroxidation, such as 4-hydroxynonenal metabolites or 8-iso-prostaglandin-F(2)alpha (8-iso-PGF(2)alpha), could reflect this oxidative process and could be used as biomarkers of colon cancer risk associated with heme intake.
We measured urinary excretion of 8-iso-PGF(2)alpha and 1,4-dihydroxynonane mercapturic acid (DHN-MA), the major urinary metabolite of 4-hydroxynonenal, in three studies. In a short-term and a carcinogenesis long-term animal study, we fed rats four different diets (control, chicken, beef, and blood sausage as a high heme diet). In a randomized crossover human study, four different diets were fed (a 60 g/d red meat baseline diet, 120 g/d red meat, baseline diet supplemented with heme iron, and baseline diet supplemented with non-heme iron).
DHN-MA excretion increased dramatically in rats fed high heme diets, and the excretion paralleled the number of preneoplastic lesions in azoxymethane initiated rats (P < 0.0001). In the human study, the heme supplemented diet resulted in a 2-fold increase in DHN-MA (P < 0.001). Urinary 8-iso-PGF(2)alpha increased moderately in rats fed a high heme diet (P < 0.0001), but not in humans.
Urinary DHN-MA is a useful noninvasive biomarker for determining the risk of preneoplastic lesions associated with heme iron consumption and should be further investigated as a potential biomarker of colon cancer risk.
Studies in laboratory animals have demonstrated that dietary supplements of organoselenium, 1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)selenocyanate (p-XSC) inhibit colon carcinogenesis. Diverse chemopreventive agents and clinically used anticancer drugs have been shown to induce apoptosis in colonic tumors. Inducing apoptosis is a key mechanism for the effectiveness of some chemopreventive agents; however, failure of apoptosis is now believed to contribute to the development of human cancer. In this study, we determined the number of apoptotic bodies in the colon tumors of rats fed a low-fat (LF) or a high-fat (HF) diet with or without p-XSC treatment. At 5 weeks of age, male F344 rats were divided into four groups, which were then maintained on one of the following diets: LF, 5% corn oil; HF, 23.5% corn oil; and LF and HF supplemented with 20 ppm p-XSC. In addition, the LF or HF diet with p-XSC supplements was administered either during the initiation stage or postinitiation. At 7 weeks of age, all rats except those intended for vehicle (normal saline) treatment were given 15 mg/kg of body weight of azoxymethane once weekly for 2 weeks. The animals were sacrificed 38 weeks after carcinogen treatment, and their colonic tumors were examined for appearance of apoptosis. The LF diet significantly increased the percentage of apoptosis as compared to the HF diet; the percentage of apoptosis in LF and HF diets were 12.4 and 2.9. The colon tumors that were present in the groups fed p-XSC together with a LF or a HF diet after carcinogen administration (postinitiation period) had a higher number of apoptotic bodies than those that were present in the animals fed p-XSC before carcinogen treatment (initiation period). The extent of apoptosis was weak when p-XSC was given with a HF diet (4.4%) during the initiation phase, but it was high significant when p-XSC was administered with LF diet (25.2%). Taken together, our data suggest that administration of LF diet supplemented with p-XSC increases apoptosis as compared to a HF diet alone.
Hemoglobin (Hb) and albumin (Alb) adducts of the benzene metabolites benzene oxide (BO) and 1,4-benzoquinone (1,4-BQ) were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in 43 exposed workers and 44 unexposed controls from Shanghai, China, as part of a larger cross-sectional study of benzene biomarkers. When subjects were divided into controls (n = 44) and workers exposed to </=31 ppm (n = 21) and >31 ppm (n = 22) of benzene, median 1,4-BQ-Alb adducts were 2110, 5850, and 13,800 pmol/g Alb, respectively (correlation with exposure: Spearman r = 0.762; P < 0.0001); median BO-Alb adducts were 106, 417, and 2400 pmol/g Alb, respectively (Spearman r = 0.877; P < 0.0001); and median BO-Hb adducts were 37.1, 50.5, and 136 pmol/g Hb, respectively (Spearman r = 0.757; P < 0.0001). To our knowledge, this is the first observation that adducts of 1,4-BQ are significantly correlated with benzene exposure. When compared on an individual basis, Alb adducts of 1,4-BQ and BO and Hb adducts of BO were highly correlated with each other and with urinary phenol and hydroquinone (P < 0.0001 for all of the comparisons). Although detectable in the assays, Hb adducts of 1,4-BQ and both Hb and Alb adducts of 1,2-BQ produced erratic results and are not reported. Interestingly, cigarette smoking increased Alb adducts of 1,4-BQ but not of BO, suggesting that benzene from cigarette smoke was not the primary contributor to the 1,4-BQ adducts.
Possible in utero effects of maternal smoking on hemopoietic cancer in the offspring have been addressed previously, although the results are inconclusive. In this investigation, we take advantage of population-based registers in Sweden to examine maternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood risk of leukemia and lymphoma. Prospective data were available from 1,440,542 Swedish children born between 1983 and 1997. Proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) controlling for potential confounders. In the study base, 750 hemopoietic cancers occurred across 11 million person-years. Incidence rates per 100,000 person-years were 4.7 for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), 0.45 for acute myelogenous leukemia, and 0.76 for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Maternal smoking was associated with a lower risk of ALL (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91). On the other hand, there was a higher risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (HR, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.74-2.67) particularly among heavy (> or =10 cigarettes per day) smokers (HR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.05-4.94). The data also suggested a small excess risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.76-2.04). Evidence from this large cohort suggests that maternal smoking affects the risk of childhood leukemia and lymphoma in the offspring. The Swedish registries provide unique opportunities to examine this research question, with a design inherently free of selection and recall biases. The apparent protective effect with ALL needs to be explored further and in no way supports maternal smoking as beneficial, given its adverse association with common pregnancy outcomes.
African American women with breast cancer present more commonly with aggressive tumors that do not express the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) compared with European American women. Whether this disparity is the result of inherited factors has not been established. We did an admixture-based genome-wide scan to search for risk alleles for breast cancer that are highly differentiated in frequency between African American and European American women, and may contribute to specific breast cancer phenotypes, such as ER-negative (ER-) disease. African American women with invasive breast cancer (n = 1,484) were pooled from six population-based studies and typed at approximately 1,500 ancestry-informative markers. We investigated global genetic ancestry and did a whole genome admixture scan searching for breast cancer-predisposing loci in association with disease phenotypes. We found a significant difference in ancestry between ER+PR+ and ER-PR- women, with higher European ancestry among ER+PR+ individuals, after controlling for possible confounders (odds ratios for a 0 to 1 change in European ancestry proportion, 2.84; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-7.14; P = 0.026). Women with localized tumors had higher European ancestry than women with non-localized tumors (odds ratios, 2.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-6.35; P = 0.029). No genome-wide statistically significant associations were observed between European or African ancestry at any specific locus and breast cancer, or in analyses stratified by ER/PR status, stage, or grade. In summary, in African American women, genetic ancestry is associated with ER/PR status and disease stage. However, we found little evidence that genetic ancestry at any one region contributes significantly to breast cancer risk or hormone receptor status.
An high-performance liquid chromatography method with electrochemical detection was developed to quantify both 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol and lycopene in plasma and breast nipple aspirate fluids (NAF). As an example of the utility of this assay, levels in plasma and NAF of 11 women were examined and compared with levels of 8-isoprostane, a commonly used marker of lipid oxidation. Levels of 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol and 8-isoprostane were higher in NAF than in plasma, but levels of lycopene were lower in NAF than in plasma. Levels of 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol in plasma and in NAF were significantly correlated with both lycopene and 8-isoprostane levels. This is consistent with the dependence of 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol levels on both dietary intakes of lycopene and oxidative stress levels. For the correlations between NAF and plasma, lycopene levels were significantly correlated, whereas 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol levels were not, indicating that levels of 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol in NAF are difficult to predict from plasma levels. The high levels of 2,6-cyclolycopene-1,5-diol and 8-isoprostane in NAF are consistent with high levels of oxidative stress in the breast.
Beta1,6-n-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-V (GnT-V) catalyzes the addition of complex oligosaccharide side chains to glycoproteins, regulating the expression and function of several proteins involved in tumor metastasis. We analyzed the expression of five cell-surface glycoprotein substrates of GnT-V, matriptase, beta1-integrin, epidermal growth factor receptor, lamp-1, and N-cadherin, on a tissue microarray cohort of 670 breast carcinomas with 30-year follow-up. Phaseolus vulgaris leukocytic phytohemagglutinin (LPHA), a lectin specific for beta1,6-branched oligosaccharides, was used to assay GnT-V activity. Our results show a high degree of correlation of the LPHA staining with matriptase, lamp-1, and N-cadherin expressions, but not with epidermal growth factor receptor or beta1-integrin expressions. In addition, many of the GnT-V substrate proteins exhibited strong coassociations. Elevated levels of GnT-V substrates were correlated with various markers of tumor progression, including positive node status, large tumor size, estrogen receptor negativity, HER2/neu overexpression, and high nuclear grade. Furthermore, LPHA and matriptase showed significant association with disease-related survival. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of the GnT-V substrate protein expression and LPHA revealed two distinct clusters: one with higher expression of all markers and poor patient outcome and one with lower expression and good outcome. These clusters showed independent prognostic value for disease-related survival when compared with traditional markers of tumor progression. Our results indicate that GnT-V substrate proteins represent a unique subset of coexpressed tumor markers associated with aggressive disease.
If breast cancers arise independently in each breast the odds ratio (OR) for bilateral breast cancer for carriers of CHEK2 1100delC should be approximately 5.5, the square of the reported OR for a first primary (OR, 2.34). In the subset of bilateral cases with one or more affected relatives, the predicted carrier OR should be approximately 9. We have tested these predictions in a pooled set of 1,828 cases with 2 primaries and 7,030 controls from 8 studies. The second primary OR for CHEK2 1100delC carriers was 6.43 (95% confidence interval, 4.33-9.56; P < 0.0001), significantly greater than the published estimate for a first primary (P < 0.001) but consistent with its square. The predicted increase in carrier OR with increasing numbers of affected relatives was seen using bilateral cases from the UK (P(trend) = 0.0003) and Finland (P(trend) = 0.37), although not using those from the Netherlands and Russia (P = 0.001 for heterogeneity between countries). Based on a standard genetic model, we predict lifetime risks for CHEK2 1100delC carrier and noncarrier daughters of bilateral breast cancer cases of 37% and 18%, respectively. Our results imply that clinical management of the daughter of a woman with bilateral breast cancer should depend on her CHEK2 1100delC carrier status. This and other moderate penetrance breast cancer susceptibility alleles, together with family history data, will thus identify increasing numbers of women at potentially very high risk. Before such predictions are accepted by clinical geneticists, however, further population-based evidence is needed on the effect of CHEK2 1100delC and other moderate penetrance alleles in women with a family history of breast cancer.
Lynch syndrome is caused by germ-line mismatch repair gene mutations. We examined the phenotypic differences between MLH1 and MSH2 gene mutation carriers and whether mutation type (point versus large rearrangement) affected phenotypic expression.
This is a cross-sectional prevalence study of 1,914 unrelated probands undergoing clinical genetic testing for MLH1 and MSH2 mutations at a commercial laboratory.
Fifteen percent (285 of 1,914) of subjects had pathogenic mutations (112 MLH1, 173 MSH2). MLH1 carriers had a higher prevalence of colorectal cancer (79% versus 69%, P = 0.08) and younger mean age at diagnosis (42.2 versus 44.8 years, P = 0.03) than MSH2 carriers. Forty-one percent of female carriers had endometrial cancer and prevalence was similar in both groups. Other cancers were more frequent in MSH2 carriers (24% versus 9%, P = 0.001) and their families (P < 0.001). Multivariable analyses confirmed these associations. Of the 1,016 subjects who underwent Southern blot analysis, 42 had large rearrangements (7 MLH1, 35 MSH2). There were no phenotypic differences between carriers with large rearrangements and point mutations.
In this large study of mismatch repair gene mutation carriers from the United States, MLH1 carriers had more colorectal cancer than MSH2 carriers whereas endometrial cancer prevalence was similar. Large genomic rearrangements were more frequent in the MSH2 gene. MSH2 carriers and their relatives have more extracolonic nonendometrial Lynch syndrome-associated cancers and may benefit from additional screening.
The increasing prevalence of adolescent obesity affects adult health. We investigated the association of adolescent overweight with colorectal cancer incidence in a large cohort of males.
Body mass index (BMI) was measured in 1.1 million Jewish Israeli males who underwent a general health examination at ages 16 to 19 between 1967 and 2005. Overweight was defined as BMI ≥ 85th percentile of the standard U.S. distribution in adolescence. Colorectal cancer was identified by linkage with the Israel National Cancer Registry up to 2006. The mean follow-up period was 17.6 ± 10.9 years, reflecting 19.5 million person-years. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used.
The prevalence of adolescent overweight increased from 9.9% to 16.8% in the first 10 and last 10 annual examination cohorts. Colon (n = 445) and rectal cancer (n = 193) cases were detected. Overweight predicted an increased risk of colon cancer [HR = 1.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.17-2.02, P = 0.002] but not of rectal cancer (HR = 1.09; 95% CI, 0.38-1.73, P = 0.72). The risk was greatest for nonmucinous adenocarcinoma of the colon (HR = 1.68, 95% CI, 1.26-2.23, P = 0.001). The association of BMI ≥ 85th percentile with colon cancer was even more pronounced in analyses that were restricted to men followed until at least 40 years of age [N = 367,478; HR = 1.75 (95% CI, 1.33-2.3, P < 0.001)].
Adolescent overweight is substantially associated with colon cancer incidence in young to middle-aged adults.
These long-term sequelae add to the urgency to seriously address increasing childhood and adolescent obesity with its attendant increasing population impact.
Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death among women. In an effort to understand contributors to disease outcome, we evaluated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) previously associated with ovarian cancer recurrence or survival, specifically in angiogenesis, inflammation, mitosis, and drug disposition genes.
METHODS: Twenty-seven SNPs in VHL, HGF, IL18, PRKACB, ABCB1, CYP2C8, ERCC2, and ERCC1 previously associated with ovarian cancer outcome were genotyped in 10,084 invasive cases from 28 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium with over 37,000-observed person-years and 4,478 deaths. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between candidate SNPs and ovarian cancer recurrence or survival with and without adjustment for key covariates.
RESULTS: We observed no association between genotype and ovarian cancer recurrence or survival for any of the SNPs examined.
CONCLUSIONS: These results refute prior associations between these SNPs and ovarian cancer outcome and underscore the importance of maximally powered genetic association studies.
IMPACT: These variants should not be used in prognostic models. Alternate approaches to uncovering inherited prognostic factors, if they exist, are needed.
Most studies of risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA detection have focused on overall HPV positivity and have not examined determinants for high-risk and low-risk HPV types separately. We studied risk determinants for genital HPV infection in 1000 randomly chosen women (20-29 years) with normal cervical cytology from Copenhagen, Denmark. All women had a personal interview, a Pap smear, and cervical swabs for HPV DNA detection using a PCR technique. On the basis of their association with cervical cancer, the HPV types were categorized as belonging to a high-risk group ("oncogenic types") or a low-risk group ("nononcogenic types"). The overall HPV detection rate was 15.4%. Of HPV-positive women, 74% had oncogenic HPV types, and 30% had nononcogenic HPV types. Younger age and lifetime measures of sexual activity (notably, number of partners) were the main risk factors for the oncogenic HPV types. Furthermore, a previous Chlamydia infection was associated with the high-risk HPV types. In contrast, the most important determinants for nononcogenic HPV infection were contraceptive variables related to the physical protection of the cervix (condom or diaphragm) and number of partners in the last 4 or 12 months. Our study confirms the venereal nature of HPV infection. We hypothesize that the low-risk HPV infection, which correlates with recent sexual behavior, may be more transient than infection with the oncogenic HPV types, which correlates with lifetime exposure measurements of sexual habits.
The comparison of an incident case series with an incident series of second primary cancers, using either a case-control or follow-up study design, is proposed as an efficient method for evaluating the relative risk of a rare genetic susceptibility marker and its prevalence in the population, and for evaluating gene-environment interactions. The relative efficiency of this design versus a conventional case-control study is highly dependent on the population prevalence of the marker and its relative risk. However, for relatively rare but highly penetrant genes, the relative efficiency can be very high. In an example presented regarding a planned study of the p16 gene and its role in melanoma, a conventional case-control study may require up to 70 times as many subjects to achieve equivalent precision to the study of second primaries. The use of second primary cancers in this way requires assumptions about the validity of the classification of a new tumor as a second primary, the extent to which risk of a second cancer is influenced by treatment of the first cancer, and the nature and extent of surveillance bias. However, the problems of ascertaining a valid series of population controls are avoided. The study of second cancers represents an important and underused tool in molecular and genetic epidemiology.
It has been suggested that consumption of soyfoods may be associated with a reduction in risk of various cancers, including nonhormonally dependent cancers. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to examine the relationship between fermented and nonfermented soyfoods and risk of stomach cancer. We searched the reference lists of English language publications of diet and stomach cancer studies that were conducted in Asia or among Asians living in the United States or elsewhere between 1966 and 1999. All of the analytic epidemiological studies that obtained individual data on intake of soyfoods and presented risk estimates of the association between intake of soyfoods and risk of stomach cancer were identified and included in this review. Our pooled analysis of 14 studies with data on fermented soyfoods yielded an odds ratio/relative risk of 1.26 (95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.43) in association with high intake of such foods. In contrast, our pooled analysis of 10 studies with data on nonfermented soyfoods found an odds ratio/relative risk of 0.72 (95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.82) in association with high intake of these foods. However, further analyses suggest that fermented and nonfermented soyfoods may be associated with salt and fruit/vegetable intake, respectively; salt and fruit/vegetable intake are directly associated with stomach cancer risk. In almost all of the studies we reviewed, the possible confounding role of salt, fruit/vegetable, and other dietary factors had not been considered in the soyfood analyses. In conclusion, the role of soyfoods in the etiology of stomach cancer cannot be determined with confidence until the roles of potential confounders, including salt, fruit/vegetables, and other dietary factors, are more adequately adjusted for.
To assess the effect of birth weight of children and their siblings and other perinatal/parental factors on the risk of acute leukemia.
We linked data from the Jerusalem Perinatal Study, a population-based research cohort (n = 88,829) of offspring born 1964 to 1976, with Israel's Cancer Registry. Risk factors for acute leukemia were assessed using univariate and multivariate proportional hazards models.
Leukemias developed in 65 individuals [24 acute myeloid leukemias (AML) and 41 acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL)]. A positive linear relation was found between gender-adjusted birth weight and all leukemias [hazard ratio (HR) 1.85, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1-3.0] and AML (HR 2.9, 95% CI 1.3-6.4). The association between birth weight and AML was especially notable among infants (HR 8.14, 95% CI 1.8-38.9 for age 0 to 1 year) but was also observed among subjects ages >14 years at diagnosis. The relation was particularly strong among females (P = 0.001). Other risk factors for AML risk on univariate analysis were maternal origin, socioeconomic status, birth weight of sibling > 3,500 g, and family size. On multivariate analysis, only birth weight retained borderline significance (adjusted HR 2.38 per kg, 95% CI 1.0-5.7). Significant predictors for ALL in both univariate and multivariate analyses were male sex (adjusted HR 1.92, 95% CI 1.0-3.7) and birth weight categories > or = 3,000 g introduced into the model as nonlinear terms.
Birth weight is associated with an increased risk of acute leukemia in infants, children, and young adults. Perinatal factors play a role in the development of childhood leukemias, but the patterns of association vary by leukemia type.
Aminothiols, such as WR-2721 and its active free thiol, WR-1065, reduce mutations from ionizing radiation in exponentially growing cells. In this study, human noncycling G0 T lymphocytes were exposed in vitro to gamma-irradiation in the presence or absence of WR-1065. The five treatment groups were: (a) control; (b) treatment with 4 mM WR-1065; (c) treatment with 3 Gy of gamma-radiation, from a 137Cs source; and (d) and (e) treatment with WR-1065 30 min prior to or 3 h after 3 Gy of gamma-irradiaiton, respectively. A total of 224 cloned HPRT mutants representing 179 independent mutations were analyzed for genetic alterations using multiplex PCR. Ionizing radiation alone significantly increased the percentage of mutations with gross structural alterations compared to controls (P = 0.02). Although the frequency of such large structural mutations was not different from control cells treated with WR-1065 alone, this aminothiol significantly reduced their frequency among irradiated mutants (P = 0.01) when the radioprotector was present during the irradiation. Addition of WR-1065 3 h postirradiation also greatly reduced the percentage of gross structural alterations; however, due to small numbers, this was not statistically significant. This is the first demonstration that the antimutagenicity of WR-1065 in human cells specifically protects against these kinds of large-scale DNA alterations induced by ionizing radiation. WR-1065 and similar aminothiol compounds may afford protection against radiation-induced mutations through polyamine-like processes, e.g., stabilization of chromatin structure, inhibition of cell proliferation, and influences on DNA repair systems.
Background:Immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) is widely used for colorectal cancer screening; however, its sensitivity is insufficient. We recently reported a fecal miRNA test (FmiRT) to detect colorectal cancer. In the present study, we investigated a new colorectal cancer screening method combining iFOBT and FmiRT to improve the sensitivity compared with iFOBT alone. Methods:In total, 117 colorectal cancer patients and 107 healthy volunteers were enrolled. Ten-milligram fecal samples were collected and iFOBT was performed. Fecal RNA was extracted from residuum of iFOBT and then the expression of 14 kinds of miRNA was analyzed for the FmiRT using real-time RT-PCR. Results:Levels of fecal miR-106a expression in iFOBT-positive patients and iFOBT-negative patients were significantly higher than in healthy volunteers (P = 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of FmiRT using miR-106a were 34.2% and 97.2%, and those of iFOBT were 60.7% and 98.1%, respectively. The overall sensitivity and specificity of the new screening method combining iFOBT and FmiRT were 70.9% and 96.3%, respectively. One-quarter of colorectal cancer patients with false-negative of iFOBT appeared to be true positive upon adding FmiRT using fecal miR-106a. Conclusions:Fecal miR-106a is a good molecular marker to identify colorectal cancer patients from among those with negative iFOBT results. FmiRT combined with iFOBT may improve the sensitivity to detect colorectal cancer. Impact:We have shown the usefulness of fecal miR-106a to detect the colorectal cancer patients among those with negative iFOBT results.
Besides revealing cancer predisposition variants or the absence of any changes, genetic testing for cancer predisposition genes can also identify variants of uncertain clinical significance (VUS). Classifying VUSs is a pressing problem, as ever more patients seek genetic testing for disease syndromes and receive noninformative results from those tests. In cases such as the breast and ovarian cancer syndrome in which prophylactic options can be severe and life changing, having information on the disease relevance of the VUS that a patient harbors can be critical.
We describe a computational approach for inferring the disease relevance of VUSs in disease genes from data derived from an in vitro functional assay. It is based on a Bayesian hierarchical model that accounts for sources of experimental heterogeneity.
The functional data correlate well with the pathogenicity of BRCA1 BRCT VUSs, thus providing evidence regarding pathogenicity when family and genetic data are absent or uninformative.
We show the utility of the model by using it to classify 76 VUSs located in the BRCT region of BRCA1. The approach is both sensitive and specific when evaluated on variants previously classified using independent sources of data. Although the functional data are very informative, they will need to be combined with other forms of data to meet the more stringent requirements of clinical application.
Our work will lead to improved classification of VUSs and will aid in the clinical decision making of their carriers.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is commonly associated with tobacco and alcohol exposures, although dietary factors, particularly folate, and human papillomavirus, are also risk factors. Epigenetic alterations are increasingly implicated in the initiation and progression of cancer. Genome-wide (global) hypomethylation seems to occur in early neoplasia and is a feature of genomic DNA derived from solid tumor tissues, including HNSCC. This study aimed to determine whether global methylation in DNA derived from whole blood, a proxy tissue, is associated with HNSCC and to assess potential modification of this property by environmental or behavioral risk factors.
Global DNA methylation levels were assessed using a modified version of the combined bisulfite restriction analysis of the LRE1 sequence in a population-based case-control study of HNSCC from the Boston area.
Hypomethylation lead to a significant 1.6-fold increased risk for disease (95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.4), in models controlled for other HNSCC risk factors. Smoking showed a significant differential effect (P < 0.03) on blood relative methylation between cases and controls. Furthermore, in cases, variant genotype in the MTHFR gene and low folate intake showed relationships with decreased global methylation, whereas in controls, antibody response to human papillomavirus 16 was associated with an increased global methylation level.
DNA hypomethylation in nontarget tissue was independently associated with HNSCC and had a complex relationship with the known risk factors associated with the genesis of HNSCC.
Transgenic mouse models of prostate cancer provide unique opportunities to understand the molecular events in prostate carcinogenesis and for the preclinical testing of new therapies. We studied the G gamma T-15 transgenic mouse line, which contains the human fetal globin promoter linked to SV40 T antigen (Tag) and which develops androgen-independent prostate cancer. Using the immunohistochemistry of normal mouse prostates before tumor formation, we showed that the target cells of carcinogenesis in G gamma T-15 mice are located in the basal epithelial layer. We tested the efficacy of the 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) analogue, EB 1089, to chemoprevent prostate cancer in these transgenic mice. Compared with treatment with placebo, treatment with EB 1089 at three different time points before the onset of prostate tumors in mice did not prevent or delay tumor onset. However, EB 1089 significantly inhibited prostate tumor growth. At the highest dose, EB 1089 inhibited prostate tumor growth by 60% (P = 0.0003) and the growth in the number of metastases, although this dose also caused significant hypercalcemia and weight loss. We conducted several in vitro experiments to explore why EB 1089 did not prevent the occurrence of the primary tumors. EB 1089 significantly inhibited the growth of a Tag-expressing human prostate epithelial cell line, BPH-1, and an androgen-insensitive subline of LNCaP cells [which was not inhibited by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)]. Thus, neither Tag expression nor androgen insensitivity explain the absence of chemopreventive effect. Conversely, neither 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) nor EB 1089 inhibited the growth of the normal rat prostate basal epithelial cell line NRP-152. It is likely that EB 1089 was not effective in delaying the growth of the primary tumor in G gamma T-15 transgenic mice because the target cells of carcinogenesis in these mice are located in the basal epithelial layer. We conclude that G gamma T-15 transgenic mice are a useful model for testing vitamin D-based therapies in androgen-insensitive prostate cancer but are not suitable for studies of vitamin D-based chemoprevention. The superiority of EB 1089 over 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) in the growth suppression of androgen-insensitive prostate cancer cells supports the use of EB 1089 in androgen-insensitive prostate cancer.
A recent genome-wide association study suggested seven new loci as associated with prostate cancer susceptibility. The strongest associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in each region was identified (rs2660753, rs9364554, rs6465657, rs10993994, rs7931342, rs2735839, rs5945619). We studied these seven SNPs in a replication study consisting of 169 familial prostate cancer cases selected from Utah high-risk prostate cancer pedigrees and 805 controls. We performed subset analyses for aggressive and early-onset prostate cancer. At a nominal significance level, two SNPs were found to be associated with prostate cancer: rs10993994 on chromosome 10q11 [odds ratio (OR), 1.42; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.05-1.90; P = 0.022] and rs5945619 on chromosome Xp11 (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.03-2.31; P = 0.035). Restricting analysis to familial prostate cancer cases with aggressive disease yielded very similar risk estimates at both SNPs. However, subset analysis for familial, early-onset disease indicated highly significant association evidence and substantially higher risk estimates for rs10993994 (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.48-3.27; P < 0.0001). This result suggests that the higher risk estimates from the stage 1 cohort in the original study for rs10993994 may have been due to the early-onset and familial nature of the prostate cancer cases in that cohort. In conclusion, in a small case-control study of prostate cancer cases from Utah high-risk pedigrees, we have significantly replicated association of prostate cancer with rs10993994 (10q11) upon study-wide correction for multiple comparisons. We also nominally replicated the association of prostate cancer with rs5945619 (Xp11). In particular, it seems that the susceptibility locus at 10q11 maybe involved in familial, early-onset disease.
Recently, 41 new genetic susceptibility loci for breast cancer risk were identified in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted in European descendants. Most of these risk variants have not been directly replicated in Asian populations.
We evaluated nine of those nonreplication loci in East Asians to identify new risk variants for breast cancer in these regions. First, we analyzed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in these regions using data from two GWAS conducted among Chinese and Korean women, including 5,083 cases and 4,376 controls (stage 1). In each region, we selected an SNP showing the strongest association with breast cancer risk for replication in an independent set of 7,294 cases and 9,404 controls of East Asian descents (stage 2). Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) as a measure of the association of breast cancer risk and genetic variants.
Two SNPs were replicated in stage 2 at P < 0.05: rs1419026 at 6q14 [per allele OR, 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03-1.12; P = 3.0 × 10(-4)] and rs941827 at 10q25 (OR, 0.92, 95% CI, 0.89-0.96; P = 5.3 × 10(-5)). The association with rs941827 remained highly statistically significant after adjusting for the risk variant identified initially in women of European ancestry (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.82-0.97; P = 5.3 × 10(-5)).
We identified a new breast cancer risk variant at 10q25 in East Asian women.
Results from this study improve the understanding of the genetic basis for breast cancer.
The ubiquitous environmental carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is metabolized in vivo in humans to its ultimate carcinogenic form of 7,8-dihydroxy-9,10-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene (BPDE). Mouse skin tumorigenicity studies indicate that the (7R,8S,9S,10R) enantiomer of BPDE, (7R,8S)-dihydroxy-(9S,10R)-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene [(7R,8S,9S,10R)-BPDE], is a potent tumor initiator, whereas the (7S,8R,9R,10S) enantiomer of BPDE, (7S,8R)-dihydroxy-(9R,10S)-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene [(7S,8R,9R,10S)-BPDE], may act as a tumor promoter. In vitro experiments have shown that human liver microsomes are capable of metabolizing BaP to both the (7R,8S,9S,10R) and (7S,8R,9R,10S) enantiomers of BPDE. However, the metabolism of BaP to (7S,8R,9R,10S)-BPDE has not been demonstrated in humans in vivo. The adducts formed between human serum albumin (HSA) and the (7S,8R,9R,10R) and (7R,8S,9S,10R) enantiomers of BPDE have been described previously. (7S,8R,9R,10S)-BPDE forms a stable adduct at histidine146 of HSA, whereas (7R,8S,9R,10R)-BPDE forms a relatively unstable ester adduct at aspartate187 or glutamate188 of HSA. Using high-performance liquid chromatography with laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detector, we quantified the level of (7S,8R,9R,10S)-BPDE adducts at histidine146 in HSA isolated from 63 healthy males who were population control subjects for an ongoing case-control study of bladder cancer. By design, roughly half of the participants were lifelong nonsmokers (n = 35), whereas the remaining 28 participants were current smokers of varying intensities. HP-BPDE adducts were detected in 60 of the 63 samples (95%) by HPLC-LIF. Adduct levels ranged from undetectable (<0.04 fmol/mg HSA) to 0.77 fmol/mg HSA. The samples had a mean and median (7S,8R,9R,10S)-BPDE-HSA adduct level of 0.22 and 0.16 fmol of adduct/mg albumin, respectively. Mean adduct levels did not differ between smokers and nonsmokers (P = 0.72). Occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was unrelated to adduct level (P = 0.62). Intake frequencies of two food items showed statistically significant associations with adduct levels. Consumption of sweet potatoes was negatively related to adduct level (P = 0.029), whereas intake of grapefruit juice was positively related to adduct level (P = 0.045). None of the three indices of residential ambient air pollution under study showed a statistically significant association with adduct levels.