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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-05-02
    Description: Background: The "meeting-in-the-middle" (MITM) is a principle to identify exposure biomarkers that are also predictors of disease. The MITM statistical framework was applied in a nested case–control study of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), where healthy lifestyle index (HLI) variables were related to targeted serum metabolites. Methods: Lifestyle and targeted metabolomic data were available from 147 incident HCC cases and 147 matched controls. Partial least squares analysis related 7 lifestyle variables from a modified HLI to a set of 132 serum-measured metabolites and a liver function score. Mediation analysis evaluated whether metabolic profiles mediated the relationship between each lifestyle exposure and HCC risk. Results: Exposure-related metabolic signatures were identified. Particularly, the body mass index (BMI)-associated metabolic component was positively related to glutamic acid, tyrosine, PC aaC38:3, and liver function score and negatively to lysoPC aC17:0 and aC18:2. The lifetime alcohol-specific signature had negative loadings on sphingomyelins (SM C16:1, C18:1, SM(OH) C14:1, C16:1 and C22:2). Both exposures were associated with increased HCC with total effects (TE) = 1.23 (95% confidence interval = 0.93–1.62) and 1.40 (1.14–1.72), respectively, for BMI and alcohol consumption. Both metabolic signatures mediated the association between BMI and lifetime alcohol consumption and HCC with natural indirect effects, respectively, equal to 1.56 (1.24–1.96) and 1.09 (1.03–1.15), accounting for a proportion mediated of 100% and 24%. Conclusions: In a refined MITM framework, relevant metabolic signatures were identified as mediators in the relationship between lifestyle exposures and HCC risk. Impact: The understanding of the biological basis for the relationship between modifiable exposures and cancer would pave avenues for clinical and public health interventions on metabolic mediators. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 27(5); 531–40. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1055-9965
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7755
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Keywords: COHORT ; PRIMARY LIVER-CANCER ; COLORECTAL-CANCER ; DIET ; IGF-I ; EPIC PROJECT ; METAANALYSIS ; GROWTH-FACTOR-I ; HEPATITIS-B ; IGFBP-3
    Abstract: Intake of dairy products has been associated with risk of some cancers, but findings are often inconsistent and information on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk is limited, particularly from prospective settings. The aim of our study was to investigate the association between consumption of total and specific dairy products (milk/cheese/yogurt) and their components (calcium/vitamin D/fats/protein), with first incident HCC (N(cases) = 191) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort, including a nested case-control subset (N(cases) = 122) with the assessment of hepatitis B virus/hepatitis C virus infections status, liver damage and circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I levels. For cohort analyses, multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). For nested case-control analyses, conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios and 95% CI. A total of 477,206 participants were followed-up for an average of 11 years (person-years follow-up = 5,415,385). In the cohort study, a significant positive HCC risk association was observed for total dairy products (highest vs. lowest tertile, HR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.13-2.43; p(trend) = 0.012), milk (HR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.02-2.24; p(trend) = 0.049), and cheese (HR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.02-2.38; p(trend) = 0.101), but not yogurt (HR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.65-1.35). Dietary calcium, vitamin D, fat and protein from dairy sources were associated with increased HCC risk, whereas the same nutrients from nondairy sources showed inverse or null associations. In the nested case-control study, similar results were observed among hepatitis-free individuals. Results from this large prospective cohort study suggest that higher consumption of dairy products, particularly milk and cheese, may be associated with increased HCC risk. Validation of these findings in other populations is necessary. Potential biologic mechanisms require further exploration.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24615266
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  • 3
    Keywords: RISK ; OBESITY ; COLON-CANCER ; nutrition ; RECTAL-CANCER ; PATIENT SURVIVAL ; PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY ; BODY-MASS INDEX ; TREATMENT-RELATED TOXICITY ; VISCERAL ADIPOSITY
    Abstract: General and abdominal adiposity are associated with a high risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), but the role of these exposures on cancer survival has been less studied. The association between pre-diagnostic anthropometric characteristics and CRC-specific and all-cause death was examined among 3,924 men and women diagnosed with CRC between 1992 and 2009 in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Over a mean follow-up period of 49 months, 1,309 deaths occurred of which 1,043 (79.7%) were due to CRC. In multivariable analysis, pre-diagnostic BMI 〉/=30 kg/m(2) was associated with a high risk for CRC-specific (HR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.04-1.52) and all-cause (HR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.12-1.56) death relative to BMI 〈25 kg/m(2) . Every 5 kg/m(2) increase in BMI was associated with a high risk for CRC-specific (HR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.02-1.19) and all-cause death (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.05-1.20); and every 10 cm increase in waist circumference was associated with a high risk for CRC-specific (HR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.02-1.16) and all-cause death (HR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.05-1.18). Similar associations were observed for waist-to-hip and waist-to-height ratios. Height was not associated with CRC-specific or all-cause death. Associations tended to be stronger among men than in women. Possible interactions by age at diagnosis, cancer stage, tumour location, and hormone replacement therapy use among postmenopausal women were noted. Pre-diagnostic general and abdominal adiposity are associated with lower survival after CRC diagnosis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24623514
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  • 4
    Keywords: MODELS ; DISEASE ; OBESITY ; COLORECTAL-CANCER ; leptin ; INTERLEUKIN-6 ; INSULIN-RESISTANCE ; Adiponectin ; CHRONIC HEPATITIS-C ; HEPATOCELLULAR-CARCINOMA RISK
    Abstract: Obesity and associated metabolic disorders have been implicated in liver carcinogenesis; however, there are little data on the role of obesity-related biomarkers on liver cancer risk. We studied prospectively the association of inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers with risks of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), intrahepatic bile duct (IBD), and gallbladder and biliary tract cancers outside of the liver (GBTC) in a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Over an average of 7.7 years, 296 participants developed HCC (n=125), GBTC (n=137), or IBD (n=34). Using risk-set sampling, controls were selected in a 2:1 ratio and matched for recruitment center, age, sex, fasting status, and time of blood collection. Baseline serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-peptide, total high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin, leptin, fetuin-a, and glutamatdehydrogenase (GLDH) were measured, and incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression. After adjustment for lifestyle factors, diabetes, hepatitis infection, and adiposity measures, higher concentrations of CRP, IL-6, C-peptide, and non-HMW adiponectin were associated with higher risk of HCC (IRR per doubling of concentrations=1.22; 95% CI=1.02-1.46; P=0.03; 1.90; 95% CI=1.30-2.77; P=0.001; 2.25; 95% CI=1.43-3.54; P=0.0005; and 2.09; 95% CI=1.19-3.67; P=0.01, respectively). CRP was associated also with risk of GBTC (IRR=1.22; 95% CI=1.05-1.42; P=0.01). GLDH was associated with risks of HCC (IRR=1.62; 95% CI=1.25-2.11; P=0.0003) and IBD (IRR=10.5; 95% CI=2.20-50.90; P=0.003). The continuous net reclassification index was 0.63 for CRP, IL-6, C-peptide, and non-HMW adiponectin and 0.46 for GLDH, indicating good predictive ability of these biomarkers. CONCLUSION: Elevated levels of biomarkers of inflammation and hyperinsulinemia are associated with a higher risk of HCC, independent of obesity and established liver cancer risk factors.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24443059
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  • 5
    Keywords: EPIDEMIOLOGY ; RISK-FACTORS ; ASSOCIATION ; GREEN TEA ; CONSUMPTION ; DRINKING ; METAANALYSIS ; CANCER INCIDENCE ; JAPAN ; CHRONIC LIVER-DISEASE
    Abstract: Inverse associations of coffee and/or tea in relation to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk have been consistently identified in studies conducted mostly in Asia where consumption patterns of such beverages differ from Europe. In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC), we identified 201 HCC cases among 486,799 men/women, after a median follow-up of 11 years. We calculated adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for HCC incidence in relation to quintiles/categories of coffee/tea intakes. We found that increased coffee and tea intakes were consistently associated with lower HCC risk. The inverse associations were substantial, monotonic and statistically significant. Coffee consumers in the highest compared to the lowest quintile had lower HCC risk by 72% [HR: 0.28; 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 0.16-0.50, p-trend〈0.001]. The corresponding association of tea with HCC risk was 0.41 (95% CI: 0.22-0.78, p-trend=0.003). There was no compelling evidence of heterogeneity of these associations across strata of important HCC risk factors, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C status (available in a nested case-control study). The inverse, monotonic associations of coffee intake with HCC were apparent for caffeinated (p-trend=0.009), but not decaffeinated (p-trend=0.45) coffee for which, however, data were available for a fraction of subjects. Results from this multicentre, European cohort study strengthen the existing evidence regarding the inverse association between coffee/tea and HCC risk. Given the apparent lack of heterogeneity of these associations by HCC risk factors and that coffee/tea are universal exposures, our results could have important implications for high HCC risk subjects.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25219573
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  • 6
    Keywords: GENE ; TRIAL ; prevention ; PROSTATE-CANCER ; SUPPLEMENTATION ; SELENOPROTEIN-P ; adenoma ; SERUM SELENIUM ; VITAMIN ; HUMAN HEALTH
    Abstract: Suboptimal intakes of the micronutrient selenium (Se) are found in many parts of Europe. Low Se status may contribute to colorectal cancer (CRC) development. We assessed Se status by measuring serum levels of Se and Selenoprotein P (SePP) and examined the association with CRC risk in a nested case-control design (966 CRC cases; 966 matched controls) within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Se was measured by total reflection X-ray fluorescence and SePP by immunoluminometric sandwich assay. Multivariable incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using conditional logistic regression. Respective mean Se and SePP levels were 84.0 mug/L and 4.3 mg/L in cases and 85.6 mug/L and 4.4 mg/L in controls. Higher Se concentrations were associated with a non-significant lower CRC risk (IRR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.82-1.03 per 25 mug/L increase). However, sub-group analyses by sex showed a statistically significant association for women (p(trend) = 0.032; per 25 mug/L Se increase, IRR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.70-0.97) but not for men. Higher SePP concentrations were inversely associated with CRC risk (p(trend) = 0.009; per 0.806 mg/L increase, IRR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.82-0.98) with the association more apparent in women (p(trend) = 0.004; IRR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.72-0.94 per 0.806 mg/L increase) than men (p(trend) = 0.485; IRR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.86-1.12 per 0.806 mg/L increase). The findings indicate that Se status is suboptimal in many Europeans and suggest an inverse association between CRC risk and higher serum Se status, which is more evident in women.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25042282
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  • 7
    Abstract: Perturbations in levels of amino acids (AA) and their derivatives are observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Yet, it is unclear whether these alterations precede or are a consequence of the disease, nor whether they pertain to anatomically related cancers of the intrahepatic bile duct (IHBC), and gallbladder and extrahepatic biliary tract (GBTC). Circulating standard AA, biogenic amines and hexoses were measured (Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ-p180Kit) in a case-control study nested within a large prospective cohort (147 HCC, 43 IHBC and 134 GBTC cases). Liver function and hepatitis status biomarkers were determined separately. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR; 95%CI) for log-transformed standardised (mean = 0, SD = 1) serum metabolite levels and relevant ratios in relation to HCC, IHBC or GBTC risk. Fourteen metabolites were significantly associated with HCC risk, of which seven metabolites and four ratios were the strongest predictors in continuous models. Leucine, lysine, glutamine and the ratio of branched chain to aromatic AA (Fischer's ratio) were inversely, while phenylalanine, tyrosine and their ratio, glutamate, glutamate/glutamine ratio, kynurenine and its ratio to tryptophan were positively associated with HCC risk. Confounding by hepatitis status and liver enzyme levels was observed. For the other cancers no significant associations were observed. In conclusion, imbalances of specific AA and biogenic amines may be involved in HCC development.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26238458
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  • 8
    Keywords: CANCER ; RISK-FACTORS ; DISCOVERY ; NMR ; MASS-SPECTROMETRY ; CIRRHOSIS ; FATTY LIVER-DISEASE ; metabonomics ; IDENTIFY SERUM BIOMARKERS ; TISSUE METABOLOMICS
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most prevalent form of liver cancer, is difficult to diagnose and has limited treatment options with a low survival rate. Aside from a few key risk factors, such as hepatitis, high alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, and diabetes, there is incomplete etiologic understanding of the disease and little progress in identification of early risk biomarkers. METHODS: To address these aspects, an untargeted nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic approach was applied to pre-diagnostic serum samples obtained from first incident, primary HCC cases (n = 114) and matched controls (n = 222) identified from amongst the participants of a large European prospective cohort. RESULTS: A metabolic pattern associated with HCC risk comprised of perturbations in fatty acid oxidation and amino acid, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism was observed. Sixteen metabolites of either endogenous or exogenous origin were found to be significantly associated with HCC risk. The influence of hepatitis infection and potential liver damage was assessed, and further analyses were made to distinguish patterns of early or later diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Our results show clear metabolic alterations from early stages of HCC development with application for better etiologic understanding, prevention, and early detection of this increasingly common cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26399231
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  • 9
    Keywords: CANCER ; EPIDEMIOLOGY ; INDEX ; RISK-FACTORS ; ACIDS ; FISH ; nutrition ; Mediterranean diet ; METAANALYSIS ; LIVER-DISEASE
    Abstract: The role of amount and type of dietary fat consumption in the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is poorly understood, despite suggestive biological plausibility. The associations of total fat, fat subtypes and fat sources with HCC incidence were investigated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, which includes 191 incident HCC cases diagnosed between 1992 and 2010. Diet was assessed by country-specific, validated dietary questionnaires. A single 24-hr diet recall from a cohort subsample was used for measurement error calibration. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated from Cox proportional hazard models. Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV/HCV) status and biomarkers of liver function were assessed separately in a nested case-control subset with available blood samples (HCC = 122). In multivariable calibrated models, there was a statistically significant inverse association between total fat intake and risk of HCC (per 10 g/day, HR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.65-0.99), which was mainly driven by monounsaturated fats (per 5 g/day, HR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.55-0.92) rather than polyunsaturated fats (per 5 g/day, HR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.68-1.25). There was no association between saturated fats (HR = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.88-1.34) and HCC risk. The ratio of polyunsaturated/monounsaturated fats to saturated fats was not significantly associated with HCC risk (per 0.2 point, HR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.73-1.01). Restriction of analyses to HBV/HCV free participants or adjustment for liver function did not substantially alter the findings. In this large prospective European cohort, higher consumption of monounsaturated fats is associated with lower HCC risk.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26081477
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  • 10
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Higher coffee intake has been purportedly related to a lower risk of liver cancer. However, it remains unclear whether this association may be accounted for by specific biological mechanisms. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the potential mediating roles of inflammatory, metabolic, liver injury, and iron metabolism biomarkers on the association between coffee intake and the primary form of liver cancer-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). DESIGN: We conducted a prospective nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition among 125 incident HCC cases matched to 250 controls using an incidence-density sampling procedure. The association of coffee intake with HCC risk was evaluated by using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression that accounted for smoking, alcohol consumption, hepatitis infection, and other established liver cancer risk factors. The mediating effects of 21 biomarkers were evaluated on the basis of percentage changes and associated 95% CIs in the estimated regression coefficients of models with and without adjustment for biomarkers individually and in combination. RESULTS: The multivariable-adjusted RR of having 〉/=4 cups (600 mL) coffee/d compared with 〈2 cups (300 mL)/d was 0.25 (95% CI: 0.11, 0.62; P-trend = 0.006). A statistically significant attenuation of the association between coffee intake and HCC risk and thereby suspected mediation was confirmed for the inflammatory biomarker IL-6 and for the biomarkers of hepatocellular injury glutamate dehydrogenase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), and total bilirubin, which-in combination-attenuated the regression coefficients by 72% (95% CI: 7%, 239%). Of the investigated biomarkers, IL-6, AST, and GGT produced the highest change in the regression coefficients: 40%, 56%, and 60%, respectively. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that the inverse association of coffee intake with HCC risk was partly accounted for by biomarkers of inflammation and hepatocellular injury.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26561631
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