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  • 1
    Keywords: RECEPTOR ; REPRODUCIBILITY ; HORMONES ; PLASMA PROLACTIN
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Experimental and epidemiological evidence suggests that prolactin might play a role in the etiology of breast cancer. We analyzed the relationship of prediagnostic circulating prolactin levels with the risk of breast cancer by menopausal status, use of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at blood donation, and by estrogen and progesterone receptor status of the breast tumors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Conditional logistic regression was used to analyze the data from a case-control study nested within the prospective European EPIC cohort, including 2250 invasive breast cancer and their matched control subjects. RESULTS: Statistically significant heterogeneity in the association of prolactin levels with breast cancer risk between women who were either pre- or postmenopausal at the time of blood donation was observed (Phet = 0.04). Higher serum levels of prolactin were associated with significant increase in the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women [odds ratio (OR)Q4-Q1 = 1.29 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.05-1.58), Ptrend = 0.09]; however, this increase in risk seemed to be confined to women who used postmenopausal HRT at blood donation [ORQ4-Q1 = 1.45 (95% CI 1.08-1.95), Ptrend = 0.01], whereas no statistically significant association was found for the non-users of HRT [ORQ4-Q1 = 1.11 (95%CI 0.83-1.49), Ptrend = 0.80] (Phet = 0.08). Among premenopausal women, a statistically non-significant inverse association was observed [ORQ4-Q1 = 0.70 (95% CI 0.48-1.03), Ptrend = 0.16]. There was no heterogeneity in the prolactin-breast cancer association by hormone receptor status of the tumor. CONCLUSION: Our study indicates that higher circulating levels of prolactin among the postmenopausal HRT users at baseline may be associated with increased breast cancer risk.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24718887
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  • 2
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Some observational studies suggest that a higher selenium status is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer but have been generally too small to provide precise estimates of associations, particularly by disease stage and grade. METHODS: Collaborating investigators from 15 prospective studies provided individual-participant records (from predominantly men of white European ancestry) on blood or toenail selenium concentrations and prostate cancer risk. Odds ratios of prostate cancer by selenium concentration were estimated using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: Blood selenium was not associated with the risk of total prostate cancer (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio [OR] per 80 percentile increase = 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.83 to 1.23, based on 4527 case patients and 6021 control subjects). However, there was heterogeneity by disease aggressiveness (ie, advanced stage and/or prostate cancer death, Pheterogeneity = .01), with high blood selenium associated with a lower risk of aggressive disease (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.21 to 0.87) but not with nonaggressive disease. Nail selenium was inversely associated with total prostate cancer (OR = 0.29, 95% CI = 0.22 to 0.40, Ptrend 〈 .001, based on 1970 case patients and 2086 control subjects), including both nonaggressive (OR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.22 to 0.50) and aggressive disease (OR = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.31, Pheterogeneity = .08). CONCLUSIONS: Nail, but not blood, selenium concentration is inversely associated with risk of total prostate cancer, possibly because nails are a more reliable marker of long-term selenium exposure. Both blood and nail selenium concentrations are associated with a reduced risk of aggressive disease, which warrants further investigation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27385803
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  • 3
    Abstract: Background: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are rare neoplasms for which very little is known about either environmental or genetic risk factors. Only a handful of association studies have been performed so far, suggesting a small number of risk loci.Methods: To replicate the best findings, we have selected 16 SNPs suggested in previous studies to be relevant in PNET etiogenesis. We genotyped the selected SNPs (rs16944, rs1052536, rs1059293, rs1136410, rs1143634, rs2069762, rs2236302, rs2387632, rs3212961, rs3734299, rs3803258, rs4962081, rs7234941, rs7243091, rs12957119, and rs1800629) in 344 PNET sporadic cases and 2,721 controls in the context of the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium.Results: After correction for multiple testing, we did not observe any statistically significant association between the SNPs and PNET risk. We also used three online bioinformatic tools (HaploReg, RegulomeDB, and GTEx) to predict a possible functional role of the SNPs, but we did not observe any clear indication.Conclusions: None of the selected SNPs were convincingly associated with PNET risk in the PANDoRA consortium.Impact: We can exclude a major role of the selected polymorphisms in PNET etiology, and this highlights the need for replication of epidemiologic findings in independent populations, especially in rare diseases such as PNETs. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(8); 1349-51. (c)2017 AACR.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28765340
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  • 4
  • 5
    Abstract: Background: There is convincing evidence that high physical activity lowers the risk of colon cancer; however, the underlying biological mechanisms remain largely unknown. We aimed to determine the extent to which body fatness and biomarkers of various biologically plausible pathways account for the association between physical activity and colon cancer. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study in a cohort of 519 978 men and women aged 25 to 70 years followed from 1992 to 2003. A total of 713 incident colon cancer cases were matched, using risk-set sampling, to 713 controls on age, sex, study centre, fasting status and hormonal therapy use. The amount of total physical activity during the past year was expressed in metabolic equivalent of task [MET]-h/week. Anthropometric measurements and blood samples were collected at study baseline. Results: High physical activity was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer: relative risk 〉/=91 MET-h/week vs 〈91 MET-h/week = 0.75 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.57 to 0.96]. In mediation analyses, this association was accounted for by waist circumference: proportion explained effect (PEE) = 17%; CI: 4% to 52%; and the biomarkers soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R): PEE = 15%; 95% CI: 1% to 50% and 5-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D): PEE = 30%; 95% CI: 12% to 88%. In combination, these factors explained 45% (95% CI: 20% to 125%) of the association. Beyond waist circumference, sOB-R and 25[OH]D additionally explained 10% (95% CI: 1%; 56%) and 23% (95% CI: 6%; 111%) of the association, respectively. Conclusions: Promoting physical activity, particularly outdoors, and maintaining metabolic health and adequate vitamin D levels could represent a promising strategy for colon cancer prevention.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29025032
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  • 6
    Abstract: Aims: The hypothesis of 'metabolically healthy obesity' implies that, in the absence of metabolic dysfunction, individuals with excess adiposity are not at greater cardiovascular risk. We tested this hypothesis in a large pan-European prospective study. Methods and results: We conducted a case-cohort analysis in the 520 000-person European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study ('EPIC-CVD'). During a median follow-up of 12.2 years, we recorded 7637 incident coronary heart disease (CHD) cases. Using cut-offs recommended by guidelines, we defined obesity and overweight using body mass index (BMI), and metabolic dysfunction ('unhealthy') as 〉/= 3 of elevated blood pressure, hypertriglyceridaemia, low HDL-cholesterol, hyperglycaemia, and elevated waist circumference. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) within each country using Prentice-weighted Cox proportional hazard regressions, accounting for age, sex, centre, education, smoking, diet, and physical activity. Compared with metabolically healthy normal weight people (reference), HRs were 2.15 (95% CI: 1.79; 2.57) for unhealthy normal weight, 2.33 (1.97; 2.76) for unhealthy overweight, and 2.54 (2.21; 2.92) for unhealthy obese people. Compared with the reference group, HRs were 1.26 (1.14; 1.40) and 1.28 (1.03; 1.58) for metabolically healthy overweight and obese people, respectively. These results were robust to various sensitivity analyses. Conclusion: Irrespective of BMI, metabolically unhealthy individuals had higher CHD risk than their healthy counterparts. Conversely, irrespective of metabolic health, overweight and obese people had higher CHD risk than lean people. These findings challenge the concept of 'metabolically healthy obesity', encouraging population-wide strategies to tackle obesity.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29020414
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  • 7
    Abstract: Regulatory authorities have indicated that new drugs to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D) should not be associated with an unacceptable increase in cardiovascular risk. Human genetics may be able to guide development of antidiabetic therapies by predicting cardiovascular and other health endpoints. We therefore investigated the association of variants in six genes that encode drug targets for obesity or T2D with a range of metabolic traits in up to 11,806 individuals by targeted exome sequencing and follow-up in 39,979 individuals by targeted genotyping, with additional in silico follow-up in consortia. We used these data to first compare associations of variants in genes encoding drug targets with the effects of pharmacological manipulation of those targets in clinical trials. We then tested the association of those variants with disease outcomes, including coronary heart disease, to predict cardiovascular safety of these agents. A low-frequency missense variant (Ala316Thr; rs10305492) in the gene encoding glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R), the target of GLP1R agonists, was associated with lower fasting glucose and T2D risk, consistent with GLP1R agonist therapies. The minor allele was also associated with protection against heart disease, thus providing evidence that GLP1R agonists are not likely to be associated with an unacceptable increase in cardiovascular risk. Our results provide an encouraging signal that these agents may be associated with benefit, a question currently being addressed in randomized controlled trials. Genetic variants associated with metabolic traits and multiple disease outcomes can be used to validate therapeutic targets at an early stage in the drug development process.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27252175
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  • 8
    Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To develop and validate a genetic tool to predict age of onset of aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) and to guide decisions of who to screen and at what age. DESIGN: Analysis of genotype, PCa status, and age to select single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with diagnosis. These polymorphisms were incorporated into a survival analysis to estimate their effects on age at diagnosis of aggressive PCa (that is, not eligible for surveillance according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines; any of Gleason score 〉/=7, stage T3-T4, PSA (prostate specific antigen) concentration 〉/=10 ng/L, nodal metastasis, distant metastasis). The resulting polygenic hazard score is an assessment of individual genetic risk. The final model was applied to an independent dataset containing genotype and PSA screening data. The hazard score was calculated for these men to test prediction of survival free from PCa. SETTING: Multiple institutions that were members of international PRACTICAL consortium. PARTICIPANTS: All consortium participants of European ancestry with known age, PCa status, and quality assured custom (iCOGS) array genotype data. The development dataset comprised 31 747 men; the validation dataset comprised 6411 men. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prediction with hazard score of age of onset of aggressive cancer in validation set. RESULTS: In the independent validation set, the hazard score calculated from 54 single nucleotide polymorphisms was a highly significant predictor of age at diagnosis of aggressive cancer (z=11.2, P〈10(-16)). When men in the validation set with high scores (〉98th centile) were compared with those with average scores (30th-70th centile), the hazard ratio for aggressive cancer was 2.9 (95% confidence interval 2.4 to 3.4). Inclusion of family history in a combined model did not improve prediction of onset of aggressive PCa (P=0.59), and polygenic hazard score performance remained high when family history was accounted for. Additionally, the positive predictive value of PSA screening for aggressive PCa was increased with increasing polygenic hazard score. CONCLUSIONS: Polygenic hazard scores can be used for personalised genetic risk estimates that can predict for age at onset of aggressive PCa.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29321194
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  • 9
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Low-risk limits recommended for alcohol consumption vary substantially across different national guidelines. To define thresholds associated with lowest risk for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease, we studied individual-participant data from 599 912 current drinkers without previous cardiovascular disease. METHODS: We did a combined analysis of individual-participant data from three large-scale data sources in 19 high-income countries (the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, EPIC-CVD, and the UK Biobank). We characterised dose-response associations and calculated hazard ratios (HRs) per 100 g per week of alcohol (12.5 units per week) across 83 prospective studies, adjusting at least for study or centre, age, sex, smoking, and diabetes. To be eligible for the analysis, participants had to have information recorded about their alcohol consumption amount and status (ie, non-drinker vs current drinker), plus age, sex, history of diabetes and smoking status, at least 1 year of follow-up after baseline, and no baseline history of cardiovascular disease. The main analyses focused on current drinkers, whose baseline alcohol consumption was categorised into eight predefined groups according to the amount in grams consumed per week. We assessed alcohol consumption in relation to all-cause mortality, total cardiovascular disease, and several cardiovascular disease subtypes. We corrected HRs for estimated long-term variability in alcohol consumption using 152 640 serial alcohol assessments obtained some years apart (median interval 5.6 years [5th-95th percentile 1.04-13.5]) from 71 011 participants from 37 studies. FINDINGS: In the 599 912 current drinkers included in the analysis, we recorded 40 310 deaths and 39 018 incident cardiovascular disease events during 5.4 million person-years of follow-up. For all-cause mortality, we recorded a positive and curvilinear association with the level of alcohol consumption, with the minimum mortality risk around or below 100 g per week. Alcohol consumption was roughly linearly associated with a higher risk of stroke (HR per 100 g per week higher consumption 1.14, 95% CI, 1.10-1.17), coronary disease excluding myocardial infarction (1.06, 1.00-1.11), heart failure (1.09, 1.03-1.15), fatal hypertensive disease (1.24, 1.15-1.33); and fatal aortic aneurysm (1.15, 1.03-1.28). By contrast, increased alcohol consumption was log-linearly associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction (HR 0.94, 0.91-0.97). In comparison to those who reported drinking 〉0-〈/=100 g per week, those who reported drinking 〉100-〈/=200 g per week, 〉200-〈/=350 g per week, or 〉350 g per week had lower life expectancy at age 40 years of approximately 6 months, 1-2 years, or 4-5 years, respectively. INTERPRETATION: In current drinkers of alcohol in high-income countries, the threshold for lowest risk of all-cause mortality was about 100 g/week. For cardiovascular disease subtypes other than myocardial infarction, there were no clear risk thresholds below which lower alcohol consumption stopped being associated with lower disease risk. These data support limits for alcohol consumption that are lower than those recommended in most current guidelines. FUNDING: UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, National Institute for Health Research, European Union Framework 7, and European Research Council.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29676281
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  • 10
    Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Meat intake has been consistently shown to be positively associated with incident type 2 diabetes. Part of that association may be mediated by body iron status, which is influenced by genetic factors. We aimed to test for interactions of genetic and dietary factors influencing body iron status in relation to the risk of incident type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The case-cohort comprised 9,347 case subjects and 12,301 subcohort participants from eight European countries. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected from genome-wide association studies on iron status biomarkers and candidate gene studies. A ferritin-related gene score was constructed. Multiplicative and additive interactions of heme iron and SNPs as well as the gene score were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: Higher heme iron intake (per 1 SD) was associated with higher ferritin levels (beta = 0.113 [95% CI 0.082; 0.144]), but not with transferrin (-0.019 [-0.043; 0.006]) or transferrin saturation (0.016 [-0.006; 0.037]). Five SNPs located in four genes (rs1799945 [HFE H63D], rs1800562 [HFE C282Y], rs236918 [PCK7], rs744653 [SLC40A1], and rs855791 [TMPRSS6 V736A]) were associated with ferritin. We did not detect an interaction of heme iron and the gene score on the risk of diabetes in the overall study population (Padd = 0.16, Pmult = 0.21) but did detect a trend toward a negative interaction in men (Padd = 0.04, Pmult = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: We found no convincing evidence that the interplay of dietary and genetic factors related to body iron status associates with type 2 diabetes risk above the level expected from the sum or product of the two individual exposures.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29167213
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