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  • 1
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the FGFR4 gene is associated with poor prognosis in solid tumors. A recent study presented the first evidence that FGFR4 Arg388 could predict resistance to adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer. The present study evaluates the potential of this SNP to predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) for primary breast cancer (PBC). METHODS: As part of a randomized phase II trial, 257 patients received either doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide (AC) or doxorubicin-pemetrexed (AP) followed by docetaxel (Doc; Taxotere) as NCT for T2-4/N0-2/M0 PBC. FGFR4 genotype analyzed on germline DNA was correlated with clinicopathologic variables, clinical response, and pathological complete response (pCR) using univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS: Only axillary lymph node status was associated with FGFR4 Arg388 [odds ratio (OR) 1.82, P = 0.03]. Joint analysis of both treatment arms revealed a correlation of FGFR4 Arg388 with clinical response (OR 2.14, P = 0.03) but not with pCR. In the AC-Doc arm, however, FGFR4 Arg388 was a strong predictor of pCR in the multivariate analysis (OR 3.79, P = 0.03). A significant interaction between FGFR4 genotype and treatment (P = 0.01) was found, indicating a therapy-specific effect. CONCLUSION: We provide the evidence that FGFR4 388Arg is an independent predictor of pCR following AC-Doc as NCT in PBC.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20147743
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  • 2
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; IN-VITRO ; VITRO ; DISEASE ; RISK ; GENE ; PROTEIN ; validation ; PATIENT ; DNA ; ASSOCIATION ; polymorphism ; POLYMORPHISMS ; BREAST ; BREAST-CANCER ; TRIAL ; CARCINOMA CELLS ; OVARIAN-CANCER ; SNP ; PCR ; PROGNOSTIC-FACTORS ; PROGNOSTIC FACTORS ; P-SELECTIN ; POOR-PROGNOSIS ; MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS ; PATIENT SURVIVAL ; AUTOIMMUNE-DISEASES ; PROGNOSTIC MARKER ; NEOADJUVANT CHEMOTHERAPY ; AUTOREACTIVE T-CELLS ; pathologic complete response ; primary breast cancer ; LYMPHOCYTE ; ANTICANCER CHEMOTHERAPY ; Predictive marker
    Abstract: Overexpression of CD24 is an independent prognostic factor for breast cancer. Recently, two polymorphisms in the CD24 gene were linked to disease risk and progression in autoimmune diseases. Here, we evaluated the clinical relevance of these polymorphisms with respect to their potential to predict a pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) for primary breast cancer (PBC), one of the strongest prognostic factors in this setting. A total of 257 patients were randomized to either doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide (AC) or doxorubicin/pemetrexed (AP), both followed by docetaxel (Doc) as NCT for T2-4 N0-2 M0 PBC as part of an international, multicenter, randomized phase II trial. CD24 polymorphisms were analyzed on germ line DNA and correlated with clinicopathologic variables and pCR. No significant associations were found between either of the polymorphisms and any of the clinicopathologic variables. In a multivariate analysis, CD24 Val/Val genotype was the only significant predictor of pCR (OR: 4.97; P = 0.003). The predictive potential was significant in both treatment arms and in the hormone receptor-positive subgroup. There was no correlation between CD24 3'UTR (TG/Del) genotype and pCR. We did not observe any association between CD24 genotype and CD24 protein expression or in vitro chemosensitivity, but there was a significant correlation between CD24 Val/Val and intratumoral lymphocyte aggregates. In conclusion, CD24 Ala/Val SNP is a strong and independent predictor of pCR after NCT for PBC and may affect immune functions rather than tumor characteristics. Further evaluation of the CD24 function and validation of its predictive potential are clearly warranted.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21960110
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; GROWTH ; POPULATION ; RISK ; TUMORS ; COMPLEX ; RISK-FACTORS ; BRCA1 ; ovarian cancer ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONSORTIUM ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; COMMON VARIANTS ; TUMOR SUBTYPES ; 14Q24.1 RAD51L1
    Abstract: The 19p13.1 breast cancer susceptibility locus is a modifier of breast cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers and is also associated with risk of ovarian cancer. Here we investigated 19p13.1 variation and risk of breast cancer subtypes, defined by estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) status, using 48,869 breast cancer cases and 49,787 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Variants from 19p13.1 were not associated with breast cancer overall or with ER-positive breast cancer but were significantly associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk [rs8170 Odds Ratio (OR)=1.10, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.05 - 1.15, p=3.49 x 10-5] and triple negative (TN) (ER, PR and HER2 negative) breast cancer [rs8170 OR=1.22, 95% CI 1.13 - 1.31, p=2.22 x 10-7]. However, rs8170 was no longer associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk when TN cases were excluded [OR=0.98, 95% CI 0.89 - 1.07, p=0.62]. In addition, a combined analysis of TN cases from BCAC and the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Consortium (TNBCC) (n=3,566) identified a genome-wide significant association between rs8170 and TN breast cancer risk [OR=1.25, 95% CI 1.18 - 1.33, p=3.31 x 10-13]. Thus, 19p13.1 is the first triple negative-specific breast cancer risk locus and the first locus specific to a histological subtype defined by ER, PR, and HER2 to be identified. These findings provide convincing evidence that genetic susceptibility to breast cancer varies by tumor subtype and that triple negative tumors and other subtypes likely arise through distinct etiologic pathways.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22331459
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  • 4
    Keywords: RISK ; ALLELES ; GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY ; LOCI ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; COMMON VARIANTS ; EPISTASIS ; IDENTIFIES 2 ; ERAP1
    Abstract: Part of the substantial unexplained familial aggregation of breast cancer may be due to interactions between common variants, but few studies have had adequate statistical power to detect interactions of realistic magnitude. We aimed to assess all two-way interactions in breast cancer susceptibility between 70 917 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected primarily based on prior evidence of a marginal effect. Thirty-eight international studies contributed data for 46 450 breast cancer cases and 42 461 controls of European origin as part of a multi-consortium project (COGS). First, SNPs were preselected based on evidence (P 〈 0.01) of a per-allele main effect, and all two-way combinations of those were evaluated by a per-allele (1 d.f.) test for interaction using logistic regression. Second, all 2.5 billion possible two-SNP combinations were evaluated using Boolean operation-based screening and testing, and SNP pairs with the strongest evidence of interaction (P 〈 10(-4)) were selected for more careful assessment by logistic regression. Under the first approach, 3277 SNPs were preselected, but an evaluation of all possible two-SNP combinations (1 d.f.) identified no interactions at P 〈 10(-8). Results from the second analytic approach were consistent with those from the first (P 〉 10(-10)). In summary, we observed little evidence of two-way SNP interactions in breast cancer susceptibility, despite the large number of SNPs with potential marginal effects considered and the very large sample size. This finding may have important implications for risk prediction, simplifying the modelling required. Further comprehensive, large-scale genome-wide interaction studies may identify novel interacting loci if the inherent logistic and computational challenges can be overcome.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24242184
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  • 5
    Keywords: CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; proliferation ; carcinoma ; leukemia ; SERUM ; biomarker ; mammographic density ; CIRCULATING MICRORNAS ; BLOOD-BASED MARKERS
    Abstract: Over the last few years, circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as promising novel and minimally invasive markers for various diseases, including cancer. We already showed that certain miRNAs are deregulated in the plasma of breast cancer patients when compared to healthy women. Herein we have further explored their potential to serve as breast cancer early detection markers in blood plasma. Circulating miR-127-3p, miR-376a and miR-652, selected as candidates from a miRNA array-based screening, were found to be associated with breast cancer for the first time (n = 417). Further we validated our previously reported circulating miRNAs (miR-148b, miR-376c, miR-409-3p and miR-801) in an independent cohort (n = 210) as elevated in the plasma of breast cancer patients compared to healthy women. We described, for the first time in breast cancer, an over-representation of deregulated miRNAs (miR-127-3p, miR-376a, miR-376c and miR-409-3p) originating from the chromosome 14q32 region. The inclusion of patients with benign breast tumors enabled the observation that miR-148b, miR-652 and miR-801 levels are even elevated in the plasma of women with benign tumors when compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, an analysis of samples stratified by cancer stage demonstrated that miR-127-3p, miR-148b, miR-409-3p, miR-652 and miR-801 can detect also stage I or stage II breast cancer thus making them attractive candidates for early detection. Finally, ROC curve analysis showed that a panel of these seven circulating miRNAs has substantial diagnostic potential with an AUC of 0.81 for the detection of benign and malignant breast tumors, which further increased to 0.86 in younger women (up to 50 years of age).
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24194846
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  • 6
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; transcription ; CHROMATIN ; WOMEN ; REVEALS ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; AFRICAN-AMERICAN ; ESTROGEN-RECEPTOR BINDING ; DETERMINANT
    Abstract: The 10q26 locus in the second intron of FGFR2 is the locus most strongly associated with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer in genome-wide association studies. We conducted fine-scale mapping in case-control studies genotyped with a custom chip (iCOGS), comprising 41 studies (n = 89,050) of European ancestry, 9 Asian ancestry studies (n = 13,983), and 2 African ancestry studies (n = 2,028) from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We identified three statistically independent risk signals within the locus. Within risk signals 1 and 3, genetic analysis identified five and two variants, respectively, highly correlated with the most strongly associated SNPs. By using a combination of genetic fine mapping, data on DNase hypersensitivity, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to study protein-DNA binding, we identified rs35054928, rs2981578, and rs45631563 as putative functional SNPs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that FOXA1 preferentially bound to the risk-associated allele (C) of rs2981578 and was able to recruit ER alpha to this site in an allele-specific manner, whereas E2F1 preferentially bound the risk variant of rs35054928. The risk alleles were preferentially found in open chromatin and bound by Ser5 phosphorylated RNA polymerase II, suggesting that the risk alleles are associated with changes in transcription. Chromatin conformation capture demonstrated that the risk region was able to interact with the promoter of FGFR2, the likely target gene of this risk region. A role for FOXA1 in mediating breast cancer susceptibility at this locus is consistent with the finding that the FGFR2 risk locus primarily predisposes to estrogen-receptor-positive disease.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24290378
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  • 7
    Keywords: carcinoma ; POPULATION ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; MARKER ; OVARIAN-CANCER ; PROSTATE-CANCER ; METAANALYSIS ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; PLATFORM
    Abstract: Common variants in the hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 homeobox B (HNF1B) gene are associated with the risk of Type II diabetes and multiple cancers. Evidence to date indicates that cancer risk may be mediated via genetic or epigenetic effects on HNF1B gene expression. We previously found single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the HNF1B locus to be associated with endometrial cancer, and now report extensive fine-mapping and in silico and laboratory analyses of this locus. Analysis of 1184 genotyped and imputed SNPs in 6608 Caucasian cases and 37 925 controls, and 895 Asian cases and 1968 controls, revealed the best signal of association for SNP rs11263763 (P = 8.4 x 10(-14), odds ratio = 0.86, 95% confidence interval = 0.82-0.89), located within HNF1B intron 1. Haplotype analysis and conditional analyses provide no evidence of further independent endometrial cancer risk variants at this locus. SNP rs11263763 genotype was associated with HNF1B mRNA expression but not with HNF1B methylation in endometrial tumor samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Genetic analyses prioritized rs11263763 and four other SNPs in high-to-moderate linkage disequilibrium as the most likely causal SNPs. Three of these SNPs map to the extended HNF1B promoter based on chromatin marks extending from the minimal promoter region. Reporter assays demonstrated that this extended region reduces activity in combination with the minimal HNF1B promoter, and that the minor alleles of rs11263763 or rs8064454 are associated with decreased HNF1B promoter activity. Our findings provide evidence for a single signal associated with endometrial cancer risk at the HNF1B locus, and that risk is likely mediated via altered HNF1B gene expression.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25378557
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  • 8
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; REDUCED RISK ; HUMAN GENES ; SINGLE-NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS ; BINDING-SITES ; COMMON VARIANT ; CASP8 GENE ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; IDENTIFIES 3
    Abstract: Genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNAs (miRNA) or in the miRNA binding sites may affect the miRNA dependent gene expression regulation, which has been implicated in various cancers, including breast cancer, and may alter individual susceptibility to cancer. We investigated associations between miRNA related SNPs and breast cancer risk. First we evaluated 2,196 SNPs in a case-control study combining nine genome wide association studies (GWAS). Second, we further investigated 42 SNPs with suggestive evidence for association using 41,785 cases and 41,880 controls from 41 studies included in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Combining the GWAS and BCAC data within a meta-analysis, we estimated main effects on breast cancer risk as well as risks for estrogen receptor (ER) and age defined subgroups. Five miRNA binding site SNPs associated significantly with breast cancer risk: rs1045494 (odds ratio (OR) 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88-0.96), rs1052532 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95-0.99), rs10719 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94-0.99), rs4687554 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95-0.99, and rs3134615 (OR 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01-1.05) located in the 3' UTR of CASP8, HDDC3, DROSHA, MUSTN1, and MYCL1, respectively. DROSHA belongs to miRNA machinery genes and has a central role in initial miRNA processing. The remaining genes are involved in different molecular functions, including apoptosis and gene expression regulation. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether the miRNA binding site SNPs are the causative variants for the observed risk effects.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25390939
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  • 9
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; GENE ; BREAST-CANCER ; OVARIAN-CANCER ; PROSTATE-CANCER ; telomere length ; COMMON VARIANT ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; FUNCTIONAL VARIATION
    Abstract: Several studies have reported associations between multiple cancer types and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 5p15, which harbours TERT and CLPTM1L, but no such association has been reported with endometrial cancer. To evaluate the role of genetic variants at the TERT-CLPTM1L region in endometrial cancer risk, we carried out comprehensive fine-mapping analyses of genotyped and imputed SNPs using a custom Illumina iSelect array which includes dense SNP coverage of this region. We examined 396 SNPs (113 genotyped, 283 imputed) in 4,401 endometrial cancer cases and 28,758 controls. Single-SNP and forward/backward logistic regression models suggested evidence for three variants independently associated with endometrial cancer risk (P = 4.9 x 10(-6) to P = 7.7 x 10(-5)). Only one falls into a haplotype previously associated with other cancer types (rs7705526, in TERT intron 1), and this SNP has been shown to alter TERT promoter activity. One of the novel associations (rs13174814) maps to a second region in the TERT promoter and the other (rs62329728) is in the promoter region of CLPTM1L; neither are correlated with previously reported cancer-associated SNPs. Using TCGA RNASeq data, we found significantly increased expression of both TERT and CLPTM1L in endometrial cancer tissue compared with normal tissue (TERT P = 1.5 x 10(-18), CLPTM1L P = 1.5 x 10(-19)). Our study thus reports a novel endometrial cancer risk locus and expands the spectrum of cancer types associated with genetic variation at 5p15, further highlighting the importance of this region for cancer susceptibility.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25487306
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  • 10
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; BINDING ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; ESTROGEN-RECEPTOR-ALPHA ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; RISK LOCUS ; COMMON VARIANTS ; FUNCTIONAL VARIANTS ; FOXA1 ; ANALYSES REVEAL
    Abstract: We recently identified a novel susceptibility variant, rs865686, for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer at 9q31.2. Here, we report a fine-mapping analysis of the 9q31.2 susceptibility locus using 43 160 cases and 42 600 controls of European ancestry ascertained from 52 studies and a further 5795 cases and 6624 controls of Asian ancestry from nine studies. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs676256 was most strongly associated with risk in Europeans (odds ratios [OR] = 0.90 [0.88-0.92]; P-value = 1.58 x 10(-25)). This SNP is one of a cluster of highly correlated variants, including rs865686, that spans 14.5 kb. We identified two additional independent association signals demarcated by SNPs rs10816625 (OR = 1.12 [1.08-1.17]; P-value = 7.89 x 10(-09)) and rs13294895 (OR = 1.09 [1.06-1.12]; P-value = 2.97 x 10(-11)). SNP rs10816625, but not rs13294895, was also associated with risk of breast cancer in Asian individuals (OR = 1.12 [1.06-1.18]; P-value = 2.77 x 10(-05)). Functional genomic annotation using data derived from breast cancer cell-line models indicates that these SNPs localise to putative enhancer elements that bind known drivers of hormone-dependent breast cancer, including ER-alpha, FOXA1 and GATA-3. In vitro analyses indicate that rs10816625 and rs13294895 have allele-specific effects on enhancer activity and suggest chromatin interactions with the KLF4 gene locus. These results demonstrate the power of dense genotyping in large studies to identify independent susceptibility variants. Analysis of associations using subjects with different ancestry, combined with bioinformatic and genomic characterisation, can provide strong evidence for the likely causative alleles and their functional basis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25652398
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