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  • 1
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; CELL-PROLIFERATION ; RISK ; METABOLISM ; polymorphism ; POLYMORPHISMS ; breast cancer ; WOMEN ; gene-environment interaction ; DEHYDROGENASE ; SNPs ; ESTROGEN PLUS PROGESTIN ; REPLACEMENT THERAPY ; mammographic density ; 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE ; hormone therapy ; Postmenopausal breast cancer risk ; Case-control association study ; MCF-7 ; Progesterone metabolism
    Abstract: Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is associated with an increased breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, with combined estrogen-progestagen therapy posing a greater risk than estrogen monotherapy. However, few studies focused on potential effect modification of MHT-associated breast cancer risk by genetic polymorphisms in the progesterone metabolism. We assessed effect modification of MHT use by five coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the progesterone metabolizing enzymes AKR1C3 (rs7741), AKR1C4 (rs3829125, rs17134592), and SRD5A1 (rs248793, rs3736316) using a two-center population-based case-control study from Germany with 2,502 postmenopausal breast cancer patients and 4,833 matched controls. An empirical-Bayes procedure that tests for interaction using a weighted combination of the prospective and the retrospective case-control estimators as well as standard prospective logistic regression were applied to assess multiplicative statistical interaction between polymorphisms and duration of MHT use with regard to breast cancer risk assuming a log-additive mode of inheritance. No genetic marginal effects were observed. Breast cancer risk associated with duration of combined therapy was significantly modified by SRD5A1_rs3736316, showing a reduced risk elevation in carriers of the minor allele (p (interaction,empirical-Bayes) = 0.006 using the empirical-Bayes method, p (interaction,logistic regression) = 0.013 using logistic regression). The risk associated with duration of use of monotherapy was increased by AKR1C3_rs7741 in minor allele carriers (p (interaction,empirical-Bayes) = 0.083, p (interaction,logistic regression) = 0.029) and decreased in minor allele carriers of two SNPs in AKR1C4 (rs3829125: p (interaction,empirical-Bayes) = 0.07, p (interaction,logistic regression) = 0.021; rs17134592: p (interaction,empirical-Bayes) = 0.101, p (interaction,logistic regression) = 0.038). After Bonferroni correction for multiple testing only SRD5A1_rs3736316 assessed using the empirical-Bayes method remained significant. Postmenopausal breast cancer risk associated with combined therapy may be modified by genetic variation in SRD5A1. Further well-powered studies are, however, required to replicate our finding.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21947678
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    Keywords: SURVIVAL ; DIAGNOSIS ; RISK ; WOMEN ; GENOTYPES ; CONSUMPTION
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Inconsistent associations of smoking and breast cancer-specific mortality might be explained by subgroups of patients with different susceptibility to harmful effects of smoking. METHODS: We used a prospective cohort of 3340 postmenopausal breast cancer patients aged 50-74 and diagnosed with invasive tumours 2001-2005 in Germany, with a median follow-up time of 6 years. The effect of pre-diagnostic smoking behaviour on mortality outcomes and risk of recurrence was investigated using delayed entry Cox regression analysis. Differential effects according to N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) status, BMI, alcohol consumption, and tumour subtypes were assessed. RESULTS: Overall, smoking at time of breast cancer diagnosis versus never/former smoking was non-significantly associated with increased breast cancer-specific mortality and risk of recurrence (HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.93-1.64, and HR 1.29, 95% CI 0.95-1.75, respectively). Associations were consistently stronger in NAT2 slow than in fast acetylators for all mortality outcomes. Breast cancer-specific mortality was significantly increased in smokers with NAT2 slow acetylating status (HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.13-2.79) but not in those with fast acetylating status (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.60-1.98; Pheterogeneity=0.19). Smoking was associated with significantly poorer outcomes for triple negative and luminal A-like tumours (e.g. all-cause mortality: HR 1.93, 95% CI 1.02-3.65, and HR 2.08, 95% CI 1.40-3.10, respectively). Risk of recurrence was significantly increased for women with HER2 positive tumours (HR 3.64, 95% CI 1.22-10.8). There was significant heterogeneity by BMI for non-breast cancer-specific mortality (〈25 kg/m(2): HR 2.52, 95% CI 1.52-4.15 vs. 〉/=25 kg/m(2): HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.38-2.36; Pheterogeneity=0.04). CONCLUSION: The harmful effects of smoking may be particularly relevant for certain subgroups of breast cancer patients. This may include patients with NAT2 slow acetylation status or with tumour subtypes other than luminal B, such as luminal A tumours who usually have a rather good prognosis. Emphasis on smoking cessation programmes for all cancer patients should be strengthened.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24950597
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  • 4
    Keywords: COHORT ; VARIANTS ; WOMEN ; HEIGHT ; METAANALYSIS ; bias ; ESTROGEN ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; PROGESTERONE-RECEPTOR STATUS ; INOSITOL POLYPHOSPHATES
    Abstract: A large genotyping project within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) recently identified 41 associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and overall breast cancer (BC) risk. We investigated whether the effects of these 41 SNPs, as well as six SNPs associated with estrogen receptor (ER) negative BC risk are modified by 13 environmental risk factors for BC. Data from 22 studies participating in BCAC were pooled, comprising up to 26,633 cases and 30,119 controls. Interactions between SNPs and environmental factors were evaluated using an empirical Bayes-type shrinkage estimator. Six SNPs showed interactions with associated p-values (p(int)) 〈1.1 x 10(-3). None of the observed interactions was significant after accounting for multiple testing. The Bayesian False Discovery Probability was used to rank the findings, which indicated three interactions as being noteworthy at 1% prior probability of interaction. SNP rs6828523 was associated with increased ER-negative BC risk in women 170 cm (OR = 1.22, p = 0.017), but inversely associated with ER-negative BC risk in women 〈160 cm (OR = 0.83, p = 0.039, p(int) = 1.9 x 10(-4)). The inverse association between rs4808801 and overall BC risk was stronger for women who had had four or more pregnancies (OR = 0.85, p = 2.0 x 10(-4)), and absent in women who had had just one (OR = 0.96, p = 0.19, p(int) = 6.1 x 10(-4)). SNP rs11242675 was inversely associated with overall BC risk in never/former smokers (OR = 0.93, p = 2.8 x 10(-5)), but no association was observed in current smokers (OR = 1.07, p = 0.14, p(int) = 3.4 x 10(-4)). In conclusion, recently identified BC susceptibility loci are not strongly modified by established risk factors and the observed potential interactions require confirmation in independent studies. What's new? The recent discovery of 47 susceptibility loci associated with all or estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer provided new opportunities for genetic risk prediction but it remained unclear how exposure levels of environmental (non-genetic) risk factors influenced the risk assessment. In this gene-environment study, the international team examined interactions between the single nucleotide polymorphisms and 13 established environmental risk factors including parity, height and alcohol consumption. Notably, relative risks of breast cancer associated with the susceptibility loci were not strongly modified by environmental risk factors, a finding that, if confirmed, has important implications for the risk assessment in breast cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25227710
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  • 5
    Keywords: PROSTATE ; prevention ; WOMEN ; SUBTYPES ; FAMILY-HISTORY ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONSORTIUM
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Data for multiple common susceptibility alleles for breast cancer may be combined to identify women at different levels of breast cancer risk. Such stratification could guide preventive and screening strategies. However, empirical evidence for genetic risk stratification is lacking. METHODS: We investigated the value of using 77 breast cancer-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for risk stratification, in a study of 33 673 breast cancer cases and 33 381 control women of European origin. We tested all possible pair-wise multiplicative interactions and constructed a 77-SNP polygenic risk score (PRS) for breast cancer overall and by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Absolute risks of breast cancer by PRS were derived from relative risk estimates and UK incidence and mortality rates. RESULTS: There was no strong evidence for departure from a multiplicative model for any SNP pair. Women in the highest 1% of the PRS had a three-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer compared with women in the middle quintile (odds ratio [OR] = 3.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.95 to 3.83). The ORs for ER-positive and ER-negative disease were 3.73 (95% CI = 3.24 to 4.30) and 2.80 (95% CI = 2.26 to 3.46), respectively. Lifetime risk of breast cancer for women in the lowest and highest quintiles of the PRS were 5.2% and 16.6% for a woman without family history, and 8.6% and 24.4% for a woman with a first-degree family history of breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: The PRS stratifies breast cancer risk in women both with and without a family history of breast cancer. The observed level of risk discrimination could inform targeted screening and prevention strategies. Further discrimination may be achievable through combining the PRS with lifestyle/environmental factors, although these were not considered in this report.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25855707
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  • 6
    Keywords: COHORT ; FAMILY ; RISK-FACTORS ; VARIANTS ; WOMEN ; METAANALYSIS ; BODY-MASS INDEX ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; HORMONE-THERAPY ; FGFR2 GENE
    Abstract: Genes that alter disease risk only in combination with certain environmental exposures may not be detected in genetic association analysis. By using methods accounting for gene-environment (G x E) interaction, we aimed to identify novel genetic loci associated with breast cancer risk. Up to 34,475 cases and 34,786 controls of European ancestry from up to 23 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium were included. Overall, 71,527 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), enriched for association with breast cancer, were tested for interaction with 10 environmental risk factors using three recently proposed hybrid methods and a joint test of association and interaction. Analyses were adjusted for age, study, population stratification, and confounding factors as applicable. Three SNPs in two independent loci showed statistically significant association: SNPs rs10483028 and rs2242714 in perfect linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 21 and rs12197388 in ARID1B on chromosome 6. While rs12197388 was identified using the joint test with parity and with age at menarche (P-values = 3 x 10(-07)), the variants on chromosome 21 q22.12, which showed interaction with adult body mass index (BMI) in 8,891 postmenopausal women, were identified by all methods applied. SNP rs10483028 was associated with breast cancer in women with a BMI below 25 kg/m(2) (OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.15-1.38) but not in women with a BMI of 30 kg/m(2) or higher (OR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.72-1.11, P for interaction = 3.2 x 10(-05)). Our findings confirm comparable power of the recent methods for detecting G x E interaction and the utility of using G x E interaction analyses to identify new susceptibility loci.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24248812
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  • 7
    Keywords: radiotherapy ; MODEL ; DIAGNOSIS ; IMPACT ; WOMEN ; chemotherapy ; PREDICTORS ; ADJUVANT THERAPY ; QUALITY-OF-LIFE ; RESPONSE SHIFT
    Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Fatigue is among the most distressing symptoms across the breast cancer continuum. However, little is known about the factors contributing to long-term persisting fatigue. Therefore, we explored determinants of long-term physical, affective, and cognitive fatigue in a prospective cohort of breast cancer patients. METHODS: Breast cancer patients recruited in a population-based case-control study (MARIE study) provided comprehensive data on sociodemographics, lifestyle, and preexisting medical conditions. At follow-up (median 6.3 years post-diagnosis, MARIEplus), disease-free cancer survivors (N = 1928) reported current fatigue using a validated multidimensional questionnaire. Additionally, survivors retrospectively rated their fatigue levels before diagnosis, during the treatment phase, and 1 year post-surgery. Linear regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: As major determinants of long-term physical, affective, and cognitive fatigue, multiple regression analyses revealed preexisting psychological or depressive disorders, migraine, analgesic use, peripheral arterial obstructive disease (PAOD), and arthritis. A physically inactive lifestyle and obesity were associated with persisting physical fatigue. Aromatase inhibitors were also associated with long-term fatigue, especially cognitive fatigue. Chemotherapy and, to a lower extent, radiotherapy were major contributors to the development of fatigue during the treatment phase, yet were not associated with long-term fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: Although the development of fatigue in breast cancer patients seems largely impacted by cancer therapy, for the long-term persistence of fatigue, preexisting medical or psychological conditions related to depression or pain and lifestyle factors appear to be more relevant. Physicians, psycho-oncologists, and researchers may need to distinguish between acute fatigue during therapy and long-term persisting fatigue with regard to its pathophysiology and treatment. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24839264
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  • 8
    Keywords: MORTALITY ; WOMEN ; REPRODUCIBILITY ; PROSPECTIVE COHORT ; CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE ; EPIC PROJECT ; RELATIVE VALIDITY ; PART
    Abstract: Background: Research on the association between dietary patterns and breast cancer survival is very limited. Methods: A prospective follow-up study was conducted in Germany, including 2522 postmenopausal breast cancer patients diagnosed in 2001-2005 with available food frequency questionnaire data. Vital status, causes of death, and recurrences were verified through the end of 2009. Principle component factor analysis was used to identify pre-diagnostic dietary patterns. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Two major dietary patterns were identified: 'healthy' (high intakes of vegetables, fruits, vegetable oil, sauces/condiments, and soups/bouillons) and 'unhealthy' (high intakes of red meat, processed meat, and deep-frying fat). Increasing consumption of an 'unhealthy' dietary pattern was associated with an increased risk of non-breast cancer mortality (highest vs lowest quartile: HR, 3.69; 95% CI, 1.66-8.17; P-trend 〈0.001). No associations with breast cancer-specific mortality and breast cancer recurrence were found. The 'healthy' dietary pattern was inversely associated with overall mortality (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.47-1.15; P-trend = 0.02) and breast cancer recurrence (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.48-1.06; P-trend = 0.02) in stage I-IIIa patients only. Conclusion: Increasing intake of an 'unhealthy' pre-diagnostic dietary pattern may increase the risk of non-breast cancer mortality, whereas increasing intake of a 'healthy' pattern may reduce the risk of overall mortality and breast cancer recurrence.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23169282
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  • 9
    Keywords: THERAPY ; RISK ; WOMEN ; PREVALENCE ; METAANALYSIS ; ADJUVANT CHEMOTHERAPY ; VITAMIN-D STATUS ; D DEFICIENCY ; SERUM 25-HYDROXYVITAMIN-D ; D INSUFFICIENCY
    Abstract: We previously reported that lower post-diagnostic circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations were associated with higher risk of overall mortality and distant disease in stage I-IV postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. This association was now re-examined in an extended dataset to investigate potential effect modification by tumor characteristics and lifestyle factors. A prospective cohort study was conducted in Germany including 2,177 incident stage I-IV postmenopausal breast cancer patients aged 50-74 years. Patients were diagnosed between 2001 and 2005 and median follow-up time was 5.3 years. Cox proportional hazards models were stratified by age at diagnosis, study center and season of blood collection and adjusted for other prognostic factors. A meta-analysis of studies on circulating 25(OH)D and mortality in breast cancer patients was performed to summarize evidence. Lower concentrations of 25(OH)D were significantly associated with higher risk of overall mortality [hazard ratio (HR) lowest vs. highest tertile = 1.86; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22, 2.82; p-trend = 0.002] and distant disease (HR = 1.76; 95% CI: 1.24, 2.49; p-trend = 0.003) in stage I-IIIa but not in stage IIIb-IV breast cancer patients. No significant interaction by lifestyle factors was observed (all p-interaction 〉 0.05). The meta-analysis yielded significant associations with overall and breast cancer-specific mortality (lowest vs. highest quantile: HR = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.22, 1.88 and HR = 1.74; 95% CI: 1.23, 2.40, respectively). In conclusion, post-diagnostic circulating 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with overall mortality and distant disease in stage I-IIIa postmenopausal breast cancer patients. This association was not strongly modified by lifestyle factors.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24272459
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  • 10
    Keywords: SURVIVAL ; COHORT ; WOMEN ; CONSUMPTION ; phytoestrogens ; enterolignans ; lignan ; SERUM ENTEROLACTONE ; FLAXSEED ; Food sources
    Abstract: We previously reported that high concentrations of enterolactone, a lignan metabolite, are associated with lower mortality in 1,140 breast cancer patients from Germany. Using an extended set of 2,182 patients aged 50-74 years at diagnosis (2001-2005) and prospectively followed up until 2009, we investigated whether the association with mortality differs by lifestyle factors and tumor characteristics. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using multivariable Cox regression. Potential differential effects by tumor characteristics and lifestyle factors were assessed and a meta-analysis of five studies addressing lignan exposure and breast cancer prognosis was performed to summarize evidence. Median enterolactone concentrations were 17.4 (+/-30.5 standard deviation) and 22.9 nmol L(-1) (+/-44.8), respectively, for 269 deceased and 1,913 patients still alive. High enterolactone concentrations were significantly associated with lower all-cause mortality (per 10 nmol L(-1) : HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90-0.98), breast cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.94, 0.89-0.99), and distant disease-free survival (HR 0.94, 0.90-0.98). Associations were found for stage 0-IIIA but not for stage IIIB-IV disease (phet = 0.01) and were stronger in patients with BMI 〈25 kg m(-2) than those with BMI 〉/=25 (phet = 0.04). In patients with healthy lifestyle (BMI 〈25, nonsmoker, physically active), the inverse association with all-cause mortality was still apparent (HR 0.92, 0.85-0.99). The meta-analysis yielded significant associations both for all-cause (HR 0.57, 0.42-0.78) and breast cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.54, 0.39-0.75). Our findings show that high lignan exposure is associated with reduced mortality in breast cancer patients. The inverse association observed in this study cannot be entirely explained by a healthy lifestyle.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24436155
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