Displaying publications 61 - 80 of 140 in total

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  1. Yeoh ZY, Jaganathan M, Rajaram N, Rawat S, Tajudeen NA, Rahim N, et al.
    J Glob Oncol, 2018 Nov;4:1-13.
    PMID: 30398950 DOI: 10.1200/JGO.17.00229
    PURPOSE: Late stage at presentation and poor adherence to treatment remain major contributors to poor survival in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Patient navigation (PN) programs in the United States have led to improvement in diagnostic or treatment timeliness, particularly for women in lower socioeconomic classes or minority groups. To date, studies of PN in Asia have been limited. We aimed to assess the feasibility of PN in a state-run hospital in an LMIC and to report the impact on diagnostic and treatment timeliness for patients in its first year of implementation.

    METHODS: We established PN in a dedicated breast clinic of a Malaysian state-run hospital. We compared diagnostic and treatment timeliness between navigated patients (n = 135) and patients diagnosed in the prior year (n = 148), and described factors associated with timeliness.

    RESULTS: Women with PN received timely mammography compared with patients in the prior year (96.4% v 74.4%; P < .001), biopsy (92.5% v 76.1%; P = .003), and communication of news (80.0% v 58.5%; P < .001). PN reduced treatment default rates (4.4% v 11.5%; P = .048). Among navigated patients, late stage at presentation was independently associated with having emotional and language barriers ( P = .01). Finally, the main reason reported for delay, default, or refusal of treatment was the preference for alternative therapy.

    CONCLUSION: PN is feasible for addressing barriers to cancer care when integrated with a state-run breast clinic of an LMIC. Its implementation resulted in improved diagnostic timeliness and reduced treatment default. Wider adoption of PN could be a key element of cancer control in LMICs.

  2. Chai SJ, Ahmad Zabidi MM, Gan SP, Rajadurai P, Lim PVH, Ng CC, et al.
    Dis. Markers, 2019;2019:3857853.
    PMID: 31236144 DOI: 10.1155/2019/3857853
    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a highly metastatic cancer prevalent in Southern China and Southeast Asia. The current knowledge on the molecular pathogenesis of NPC is still inadequate to improve disease management. Using gene expression microarrays, we have identified the four-jointed box 1 (FJX1) gene to be upregulated in primary NPC tissues relative to nonmalignant tissues. An orthologue of human FJX1, the four-jointed (fj) gene in Drosophila and Fjx1 in mouse, has reported to be associated with cancer progression pathways. However, the exact function of FJX1 in human is not well characterized. The overexpression of FJX1 mRNA was validated in primary NPC tissue samples, and the level of FJX1 protein was significantly higher in a subset of NPC tissues (42%) compared to the normal epithelium, where no expression of FJX1 was observed (p = 0.01). FJX1 is also found to be overexpressed in microarray datasets and TCGA datasets of other cancers including head and neck cancer, colorectal, and ovarian cancer. Both siRNA knockdown and overexpression experiments in NPC cell lines showed that FJX1 promotes cell proliferation, anchorage-dependent growth, and cellular invasion. Cyclin D1 and E1 mRNA levels were increased following FJX1 expression indicating that FJX1 enhances proliferation by regulating key proteins governing the cell cycle. Our data suggest that the overexpression of FJX1 contributes to a more aggressive phenotype of NPC cells and further investigations into FJX1 as a potential therapeutic target for NPC are warranted. The evaluation of FJX1 as an immunotherapy target for NPC and other cancers is currently ongoing.
  3. Hasmad HN, Lai KN, Wen WX, Park DJ, Nguyen-Dumont T, Kang PCE, et al.
    Gynecol. Oncol., 2016 05;141(2):318-322.
    PMID: 26541979 DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.11.001
    OBJECTIVE: Despite the discovery of breast and ovarian cancer predisposition genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 more than two decades ago, almost all the available data relate to women of European ancestry, with only a handful of studies in Asian populations. In this study, we determined the frequency of germline alterations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 in ovarian cancer patients from a multi-ethnic cross-sectional cohort of Asian ovarian cancer patients from Malaysia.

    METHODS: From October 2008 to February 2015, we established a hospital-based cohort of ovarian cancer patients and the germline status of all 218 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer was tested using targeted amplification and sequencing of the intron-exon junctions and exonic sequences of BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2 and TP53.

    RESULTS: BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations were found in 8% (17 cases) and 3% (7 cases) of the ovarian cancer patients, respectively. Mutation carriers were diagnosed at a similar age to non-carriers, but were more likely to be Indian, have serous ovarian cancer, and have more relatives with breast or ovarian cancer. Nonetheless, 42% (10/24) of mutation carriers did not have any family history of breast or ovarian cancer and offering genetic counselling and genetic testing only to women with family history would mean that 35% (6/17) of BRCA1 mutation carriers and 57% (4/7) of BRCA2 mutation carriers would not be offered genetic testing.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that, similar to Caucasians, a significant proportion of Asian ovarian cancer was attributed to germline mutations in BRCA1 and to a lesser extent in BRCA2.

  4. Chin YM, Tan LP, Abdul Aziz N, Mushiroda T, Kubo M, Mohd Kornain NK, et al.
    Int. J. Cancer, 2016 10 15;139(8):1731-9.
    PMID: 27236004 DOI: 10.1002/ijc.30207
    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an epithelial squamous cell carcinoma on the mucosal lining of the nasopharynx. The etiology of NPC remains elusive despite many reported studies. Most studies employ a single platform approach, neglecting the cumulative influence of both the genome and transcriptome toward NPC development. We aim to employ an integrated pathway approach to identify dysregulated pathways linked to NPC. Our approach combines imputation NPC GWAS data from a Malaysian cohort as well as published expression data GSE12452 from both NPC and non-NPC nasopharynx tissues. Pathway association for GWAS data was performed using MAGENTA while for expression data, GSA-SNP was used with gene p values derived from differential expression values from GEO2R. Our study identified NPC association in the gene ontology (GO) axonemal dynein complex pathway (pGWAS-GSEA  = 1.98 × 10(-2) ; pExpr-GSEA  = 1.27 × 10(-24) ; pBonf-Combined  = 4.15 × 10(-21) ). This association was replicated in a separate cohort using gene expression data from NPC and non-NPC nasopharynx tissues (pAmpliSeq-GSEA  = 6.56 × 10(-4) ). Loss of function in the axonemal dynein complex causes impaired cilia function, leading to poor mucociliary clearance and subsequently upper or lower respiratory tract infection, the former of which includes the nasopharynx. Our approach illustrates the potential use of integrated pathway analysis in detecting gene sets involved in the development of NPC in the Malaysian cohort.
  5. Chin YM, Mushiroda T, Takahashi A, Kubo M, Krishnan G, Yap LF, et al.
    Int. J. Cancer, 2015 Feb 1;136(3):678-87.
    PMID: 24947555 DOI: 10.1002/ijc.29035
    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) arises from the mucosal epithelium of the nasopharynx and is constantly associated with Epstein-Barr virus type 1 (EBV-1) infection. We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 575,247 autosomal SNPs in 184 NPC patients and 236 healthy controls of Malaysian Chinese ethnicity. Potential association signals were replicated in a separate cohort of 260 NPC patients and 245 healthy controls. We confirmed the association of HLA-A to NPC with the strongest signal detected in rs3869062 (p = 1.73 × 10(-9)). HLA-A fine mapping revealed associations in the amino acid variants as well as its corresponding SNPs in the antigen peptide binding groove (p(HLA-A-aa-site-99) = 3.79 × 10(-8), p(rs1136697) = 3.79 × 10(-8)) and T-cell receptor binding site (p(HLA-A-aa-site-145) = 1.41 × 10(-4), p(rs1059520) = 1.41 × 10(-4)) of the HLA-A. We also detected strong association signals in the 5'-UTR region with predicted active promoter states (p(rs41545520) = 7.91 × 10(-8)). SNP rs41545520 is a potential binding site for repressor ATF3, with increased binding affinity for rs41545520-G correlated with reduced HLA-A expression. Multivariate logistic regression diminished the effects of HLA-A amino acid variants and SNPs, indicating a correlation with the effects of HLA-A*11:01, and to a lesser extent HLA-A*02:07. We report the strong genetic influence of HLA-A on NPC susceptibility in the Malaysian Chinese.
  6. Kang PC, Phuah SY, Sivanandan K, Kang IN, Thirthagiri E, Liu JJ, et al.
    Breast Cancer Res. Treat., 2014 Apr;144(3):635-42.
    PMID: 24578176 DOI: 10.1007/s10549-014-2894-x
    Although the breast cancer predisposition genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were discovered more than 20 years ago, there remains a gap in the availability of genetic counselling and genetic testing in Asian countries because of cost, access and inaccurate reporting of family history of cancer. In order to improve access to testing, we developed a rapid test for recurrent mutations in our Asian populations. In this study, we designed a genotyping assay with 55 BRCA1 and 44 BRCA2 mutations previously identified in Asian studies, and validated this assay in 267 individuals who had previously been tested by full sequencing. We tested the prevalence of these mutations in additional breast cancer cases. Using this genotyping approach, we analysed recurrent mutations in 533 Malaysian breast cancer cases with <10 % a priori risk, and found 1 BRCA1 (0.2 %) and 5 BRCA2 (0.9 %) carriers. Testing in a hospital-based unselected cohort of 532 Singaporean breast cancer cases revealed 6 BRCA1 (1.1 %) and 3 BRCA2 (0.6 %) carriers. Overall, 2 recurrent BRCA1 and 1 BRCA2 mutations in Malays, 3 BRCA1 and 2 BRCA2 mutations in Chinese and 1 BRCA1 mutation in Indians account for 60, 24 and 20 % of carrier families, respectively. By contrast, haplotype analyses suggest that a recurrent BRCA2 mutation (c.262_263delCT) found in 5 unrelated Malay families has at least 3 distinct haplotypes. Taken together, our data suggests that panel testing may help to identify carriers, particularly Asian BRCA2 carriers, who do not present with a priori strong family history characteristics.
  7. Soo JS, Ng CH, Tan SH, Malik RA, Teh YC, Tan BS, et al.
    Apoptosis, 2015 Oct;20(10):1373-87.
    PMID: 26276035 DOI: 10.1007/s10495-015-1158-5
    Metformin, an AMPK activator, has been reported to improve pathological response to chemotherapy in diabetic breast cancer patients. To date, its mechanism of action in cancer, especially in cancer stem cells (CSCs) have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that metformin, but not other AMPK activators (e.g. AICAR and A-769662), synergizes 5-fluouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC) combination chemotherapy in non-stem breast cancer cells and breast cancer stem cells. We show that this occurs through an AMPK-dependent mechanism in parental breast cancer cell lines. In contrast, the synergistic effects of metformin and FEC occurred in an AMPK-independent mechanism in breast CSCs. Further analyses revealed that metformin accelerated glucose consumption and lactate production more severely in the breast CSCs but the production of intracellular ATP was severely hampered, leading to a severe energy crisis and impairs the ability of CSCs to repair FEC-induced DNA damage. Indeed, addition of extracellular ATP completely abrogated the synergistic effects of metformin on FEC sensitivity in breast CSCs. In conclusion, our results suggest that metformin synergizes FEC sensitivity through distinct mechanism in parental breast cancer cell lines and CSCs, thus providing further evidence for the clinical relevance of metformin for the treatment of cancers.
  8. Laitman Y, Feng BJ, Zamir IM, Weitzel JN, Duncan P, Port D, et al.
    Eur. J. Hum. Genet., 2013 Feb;21(2):212-6.
    PMID: 22763381 DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.124
    The 185delAG* BRCA1 mutation is encountered primarily in Jewish Ashkenazi and Iraqi individuals, and sporadically in non-Jews. Previous studies estimated that this is a founder mutation in Jewish mutation carriers that arose before the dispersion of Jews in the Diaspora ~2500 years ago. The aim of this study was to assess the haplotype in ethnically diverse 185delAG* BRCA1 mutation carriers, and to estimate the age at which the mutation arose. Ethnically diverse Jewish and non-Jewish 185delAG*BRCA1 mutation carriers and their relatives were genotyped using 15 microsatellite markers and three SNPs spanning 12.5 MB, encompassing the BRCA1 gene locus. Estimation of mutation age was based on a subset of 11 markers spanning a region of ~5 MB, using a previously developed algorithm applying the maximum likelihood method. Overall, 188 participants (154 carriers and 34 noncarriers) from 115 families were included: Ashkenazi, Iraq, Kuchin-Indians, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Tunisia, Bulgaria, non-Jewish English, non-Jewish Malaysian, and Hispanics. Haplotype analysis indicated that the 185delAG mutation arose 750-1500 years ago. In Ashkenazim, it is a founder mutation that arose 61 generations ago, and with a small group of founder mutations was introduced into the Hispanic population (conversos) ~650 years ago, and into the Iraqi-Jewish community ~450 years ago. The 185delAG mutation in the non-Jewish populations in Malaysia and the UK arose at least twice independently. We conclude that the 185delAG* BRCA1 mutation resides on a common haplotype among Ashkenazi Jews, and arose about 61 generations ago and arose independently at least twice in non-Jews.
  9. Yew PY, Mushiroda T, Kiyotani K, Govindasamy GK, Yap LF, Teo SH, et al.
    Mol. Carcinog., 2012 Oct;51 Suppl 1:E74-82.
    PMID: 22213098 DOI: 10.1002/mc.21857
    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a multifactorial and polygenic disease with high incidence in Asian countries. Epstein-Barr virus infection, environmental and genetic factors are believed to be involved in the tumorigenesis of NPC. The association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in LPLUNC1 and SPLUNC1 genes with NPC was investigated by performing a two-stage case control association study in a Malaysian Chinese population. The initial screening consisted of 81 NPC patients and 147 healthy controls while the replication study consisted of 366 NPC patients and 340 healthy controls. The combined analysis showed that a SNP (rs2752903) of SPLUNC1 was significantly associated with the risk of NPC (combined P = 0.00032, odds ratio = 1.62, 95% confidence interval = 1.25-2.11). In the subsequent dense fine mapping of SPLUNC1 locus, 36 SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium with rs2752903 (r(2) ≥ 0.85) were associated with NPC susceptibility. Screening of these variants by electrophoretic mobility shift and luciferase reporter assays showed that rs1407019 located in intron 3 (r(2)  = 0.994 with rs2752903) caused allelic difference in the binding of specificity protein 1 (Sp1) transcription factor and affected luciferase activity. This SNP may consequently alter the expression of SPLUNC1 in the epithelial cells. In summary, our study suggested that rs1407019 in intronic enhancer of SPLUNC1 is associated with NPC susceptibility in which its A allele confers an increased risk of NPC in the Malaysian Chinese population.
  10. Ng CC, Yew PY, Puah SM, Krishnan G, Yap LF, Teo SH, et al.
    J. Hum. Genet., 2009 Jul;54(7):392-7.
    PMID: 19478819 DOI: 10.1038/jhg.2009.49
    To identify a gene(s) susceptible to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), we carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) through genotyping of more than 500,000 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), using an initial sample set of 111 unrelated NPC patients and 260 controls of a Malaysian Chinese population. We further evaluated the top 200 SNPs showing the smallest P-values, using a replication sample set that consisted of 168 cases and 252 controls. The combined analysis of the two sets of samples found an SNP in intron 3 of the ITGA9 (integrin-alpha 9) gene, rs2212020, to be strongly associated with NPC (P=8.27 x 10(-7), odds ratio (OR)=2.24, 95% confidence intervals (CI)=1.59-3.15). The gene is located at 3p21 which is commonly deleted in NPC cells. We subsequently genotyped additional 19 tag SNPs within a 40-kb linkage disequilibrium (LD) block surrounding this landmark SNP. Among them, SNP rs189897 showed the strongest association with a P-value of 6.85 x 10(-8) (OR=3.18, 95% CI=1.94-5.21), suggesting that a genetic variation(s) in ITGA9 may influence susceptibility to NPC in the Malaysian Chinese population.
  11. Chow YP, Tan LP, Chai SJ, Abdul Aziz N, Choo SW, Lim PV, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2017 03 03;7:42980.
    PMID: 28256603 DOI: 10.1038/srep42980
    In this study, we first performed whole exome sequencing of DNA from 10 untreated and clinically annotated fresh frozen nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) biopsies and matched bloods to identify somatically mutated genes that may be amenable to targeted therapeutic strategies. We identified a total of 323 mutations which were either non-synonymous (n = 238) or synonymous (n = 85). Furthermore, our analysis revealed genes in key cancer pathways (DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, immune response, lipid signaling) were mutated, of which those in the lipid-signaling pathway were the most enriched. We next extended our analysis on a prioritized sub-set of 37 mutated genes plus top 5 mutated cancer genes listed in COSMIC using a custom designed HaloPlex target enrichment panel with an additional 88 NPC samples. Our analysis identified 160 additional non-synonymous mutations in 37/42 genes in 66/88 samples. Of these, 99/160 mutations within potentially druggable pathways were further selected for validation. Sanger sequencing revealed that 77/99 variants were true positives, giving an accuracy of 78%. Taken together, our study indicated that ~72% (n = 71/98) of NPC samples harbored mutations in one of the four cancer pathways (EGFR-PI3K-Akt-mTOR, NOTCH, NF-κB, DNA repair) which may be potentially useful as predictive biomarkers of response to matched targeted therapies.
  12. Li J, Wen WX, Eklund M, Kvist A, Eriksson M, Christensen HN, et al.
    Int. J. Cancer, 2019 03 01;144(5):1195-1204.
    PMID: 30175445 DOI: 10.1002/ijc.31841
    Breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2-driven tumors may benefit from targeted therapy. It is not clear whether current BRCA screening guidelines are effective at identifying these patients. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the prevalence of inherited BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants in a large, clinically representative breast cancer cohort and to estimate the proportion of BRCA1/2 carriers not detected by selectively screening individuals with the highest probability of being carriers according to current clinical guidelines. The study included 5,122 unselected Swedish breast cancer patients diagnosed from 2001 to 2008. Target sequence enrichment (48.48 Fluidigm Access Arrays) and sequencing were performed (Illumina Hi-Seq 2,500 instrument, v4 chemistry). Differences in patient and tumor characteristics of BRCA1/2 carriers who were already identified as part of clinical BRCA1/2 testing routines and additional BRCA1/2 carriers found by sequencing the entire study population were compared using logistic regression models. Ninety-two of 5,099 patients with valid variant calls were identified as BRCA1/2 carriers by screening all study participants (1.8%). Only 416 study participants (8.2%) were screened as part of clinical practice, but this identified 35 out of 92 carriers (38.0%). Clinically identified carriers were younger, less likely postmenopausal and more likely to be associated with familiar ovarian cancer compared to the additional carriers identified by screening all patients. More BRCA2 (34/42, 81.0%) than BRCA1 carriers (23/50, 46%) were missed by clinical screening. In conclusion, BRCA1/2 mutation prevalence in unselected breast cancer patients was 1.8%. Six in ten BRCA carriers were not detected by selective clinical screening of individuals.
  13. Li J, Ugalde-Morales E, Wen WX, Decker B, Eriksson M, Torstensson A, et al.
    Cancer Res., 2018 11 01;78(21):6329-6338.
    PMID: 30385609 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-1018
    Genetic variants that increase breast cancer risk can be rare or common. This study tests whether the genetic risk stratification of breast cancer by rare and common variants in established loci can discriminate tumors with different biology, patient survival, and mode of detection. Multinomial logistic regression tested associations between genetic risk load [protein-truncating variant (PTV) carriership in 31 breast cancer predisposition genes-or polygenic risk score (PRS) using 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms], tumor characteristics, and mode of detection (OR). Ten-year breast cancer-specific survival (HR) was estimated using Cox regression models. In this unselected cohort of 5,099 patients with breast cancer diagnosed in Sweden between 2001 and 2008, PTV carriers (n = 597) were younger and associated with more aggressive tumor phenotypes (ER-negative, large size, high grade, high proliferation, luminal B, and basal-like subtype) and worse outcome (HR, 1.65; 1.16-2.36) than noncarriers. After excluding 92 BRCA1/2 carriers, PTV carriership remained associated with high grade and worse survival (HR, 1.76; 1.21-2.56). In 5,007 BRCA1/2 noncarriers, higher PRS was associated with less aggressive tumor characteristics (ER-positive, PR-positive, small size, low grade, low proliferation, and luminal A subtype). Among patients with low mammographic density (<25%), non-BRCA1/2 PTV carriers were more often interval than screen-detected breast cancer (OR, 1.89; 1.12-3.21) than noncarriers. In contrast, higher PRS was associated with lower risk of interval compared with screen-detected cancer (OR, 0.77; 0.64-0.93) in women with low mammographic density. These findings suggest that rare and common breast cancer susceptibility loci are differentially associated with tumor characteristics, survival, and mode of detection.Significance: These findings offer the potential to improve screening practices for breast cancer by providing a deeper understanding of how risk variants affect disease progression and mode of detection. Cancer Res; 78(21); 6329-38. ©2018 AACR.
  14. Bei JX, Su WH, Ng CC, Yu K, Chin YM, Lou PJ, et al.
    Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev., 2016 Jan;25(1):188-192.
    PMID: 26545403 DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0144
    BACKGROUND: Genetic loci within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) have been associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated cancer, in several GWAS. Results outside this region have varied.

    METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of four NPC GWAS among Chinese individuals (2,152 cases; 3,740 controls). Forty-three noteworthy findings outside the MHC region were identified and targeted for replication in a pooled analysis of four independent case-control studies across three regions in Asia (4,716 cases; 5,379 controls). A meta-analysis that combined results from the initial GWA and replication studies was performed.

    RESULTS: In the combined meta-analysis, rs31489, located within the CLPTM1L/TERT region on chromosome 5p15.33, was strongly associated with NPC (OR = 0.81; P value 6.3 × 10(-13)). Our results also provide support for associations reported from published NPC GWAS-rs6774494 (P = 1.5 × 10(-12); located in the MECOM gene region), rs9510787 (P = 5.0 × 10(-10); located in the TNFRSF19 gene region), and rs1412829/rs4977756/rs1063192 (P = 2.8 × 10(-8), P = 7.0 × 10(-7), and P = 8.4 × 10(-7), respectively; located in the CDKN2A/B gene region).

    CONCLUSIONS: We have identified a novel association between genetic variation in the CLPTM1L/TERT region and NPC. Supporting our finding, rs31489 and other SNPs in this region have been reported to be associated with multiple cancer sites, candidate-based studies have reported associations between polymorphisms in this region and NPC, the TERT gene has been shown to be important for telomere maintenance and has been reported to be overexpressed in NPC, and an EBV protein expressed in NPC (LMP1) has been reported to modulate TERT expression/telomerase activity.

    IMPACT: Our finding suggests that factors involved in telomere length maintenance are involved in NPC pathogenesis.

  15. Kwong A, Shin VY, Ho JC, Kang E, Nakamura S, Teo SH, et al.
    J. Med. Genet., 2016 Jan;53(1):15-23.
    PMID: 26187060 DOI: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2015-103132
    Approximately 5%-10% of breast cancers are due to genetic predisposition caused by germline mutations; the most commonly tested genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Some mutations are unique to one family and others are recurrent; the spectrum of BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations varies depending on the geographical origins, populations or ethnic groups. In this review, we compiled data from 11 participating Asian countries (Bangladesh, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), and from ethnic Asians residing in Canada and the USA. We have additionally conducted a literature review to include other Asian countries mainly in Central and Western Asia. We present the current pathogenic mutation spectrum of BRCA1/BRCA2 genes in patients with breast cancer in various Asian populations. Understanding BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations in Asians will help provide better risk assessment and clinical management of breast cancer.
  16. Han MR, Zheng W, Cai Q, Gao YT, Zheng Y, Bolla MK, et al.
    Carcinogenesis, 2017 05 01;38(5):511-518.
    PMID: 28419251 DOI: 10.1093/carcin/bgx010
    Over the past 20 years, high-penetrance pathogenic mutations in genes BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, PTEN, STK11 and CDH1 and moderate-penetrance mutations in genes CHEK2, ATM, BRIP1, PALB2, RAD51C, RAD50 and NBN have been identified for breast cancer. In this study, we investigated whether there are additional variants in these 13 genes associated with breast cancer among women of Asian ancestry. We analyzed up to 654 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 6269 cases and 6624 controls of Asian descent included in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), and up to 236 SNPs from 5794 cases and 5529 controls included in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Genetics Study (SBCGS). We found three missense variants with minor allele frequency (MAF) <0.05: rs80358978 (Gly2508Ser), rs80359065 (Lys2729Asn) and rs11571653 (Met784Val) in the BRCA2 gene, showing statistically significant associations with breast cancer risk, with P-values of 1.2 × 10-4, 1.0 × 10-3 and 5.0 × 10-3, respectively. In addition, we found four low-frequency variants (rs8176085, rs799923, rs8176173 and rs8176258) in the BRCA1 gene, one common variant in the CHEK2 gene (rs9620817), and one common variant in the PALB2 gene (rs13330119) associated with breast cancer risk at P < 0.01. Our study identified several new risk variants in BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, and PALB2 genes in relation to breast cancer risk in Asian women. These results provide further insights that, in addition to the high/moderate penetrance mutations, other low-penetrance variants in these genes may also contribute to breast cancer risk.
  17. Wen WX, Allen J, Lai KN, Mariapun S, Hasan SN, Ng PS, et al.
    J. Med. Genet., 2018 02;55(2):97-103.
    PMID: 28993434 DOI: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2017-104947
    BACKGROUND: Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is offered typically to selected women based on age of onset and family history of cancer. However, current internationally accepted genetic testing referral guidelines are built mostly on data from cancer genetics clinics in women of European descent. To evaluate the appropriateness of such guidelines in Asians, we have determined the prevalence of germ line variants in an unselected cohort of Asian patients with breast cancer and healthy controls.

    METHODS: Germ line DNA from a hospital-based study of 2575 unselected patients with breast cancer and 2809 healthy controls were subjected to amplicon-based targeted sequencing of exonic and proximal splice site junction regions of BRCA1 and BRCA2 using the Fluidigm Access Array system, with sequencing conducted on a Illumina HiSeq2500 platform. Variant calling was performed with GATK UnifiedGenotyper and were validated by Sanger sequencing.

    RESULTS: Fifty-five (2.1%) BRCA1 and 66 (2.6%) BRCA2 deleterious mutations were identified among patients with breast cancer and five (0.18%) BRCA1 and six (0.21%) BRCA2 mutations among controls. One thousand one hundred and eighty-six (46%) patients and 97 (80%) carriers fulfilled the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for genetic testing.

    CONCLUSION: Five per cent of unselected Asian patients with breast cancer carry deleterious variants in BRCA1 or BRCA2. While current referral guidelines identified the majority of carriers, one in two patients would be referred for genetic services. Given that such services are largely unavailable in majority of low-resource settings in Asia, our study highlights the need for more efficient guidelines to identify at-risk individuals in Asia.

  18. Tan MM, Ho WK, Yoon SY, Mariapun S, Hasan SN, Lee DS, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(9):e0203469.
    PMID: 30216346 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203469
    BACKGROUND: Breast cancer risk factors have been examined extensively in Western setting and more developed Asian cities/countries. However, there are limited data on developing Asian countries. The purpose of this study was to examine breast cancer risk factors and the change of selected risk factors across birth cohorts in Malaysian women.

    METHODS: An unmatched hospital based case-control study was conducted from October 2002 to December 2016 in Selangor, Malaysia. A total of 3,683 cases and 3,980 controls were included in this study. Unconditional logistic regressions, adjusted for potential confounding factors, were conducted. The breast cancer risk factors were compared across four birth cohorts by ethnicity.

    RESULTS: Ever breastfed, longer breastfeeding duration, a higher soymilk and soy product intake, and a higher level of physical activity were associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Chinese had the lowest breastfeeding rate, shortest breastfeeding duration, lowest parity and highest age of first full term pregnancy.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that breastfeeding, soy intake and physical activity are modifiable risk factors for breast cancer. With the increasing incidence of breast cancer there is an urgent need to educate the women about lifestyle intervention they can take to reduce their breast cancer risk.

  19. Wen W, Shu XO, Guo X, Cai Q, Long J, Bolla MK, et al.
    Breast Cancer Res., 2016 12 08;18(1):124.
    PMID: 27931260
    BACKGROUND: Approximately 100 common breast cancer susceptibility alleles have been identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The utility of these variants in breast cancer risk prediction models has not been evaluated adequately in women of Asian ancestry.

    METHODS: We evaluated 88 breast cancer risk variants that were identified previously by GWAS in 11,760 cases and 11,612 controls of Asian ancestry. SNPs confirmed to be associated with breast cancer risk in Asian women were used to construct a polygenic risk score (PRS). The relative and absolute risks of breast cancer by the PRS percentiles were estimated based on the PRS distribution, and were used to stratify women into different levels of breast cancer risk.

    RESULTS: We confirmed significant associations with breast cancer risk for SNPs in 44 of the 78 previously reported loci at P 

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