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  1. Tang LP, Lee SS, Zeng NK, Cai Q, Zhang P, Yang ZL
    Mycologia, 2017 12 04;109(4):557-567.
    PMID: 29200380 DOI: 10.1080/00275514.2017.1394789
    Some Amanita specimens collected from Malaysia are critically investigated by morphological examination and molecular analysis of two gene fragments, the nuc rDNA partial 28S (28S) gene and the internal transcriber spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) regions. Six phylogenetic species of Amanita section Caesareae are recognized among the studied collections. One of them is described as new, A. malayensis. Four of the phylogenetic species correspond with existing morphology-based taxa: A. aporema, A. javanica, A. princeps, and A. similis. The remaining species is not described because of the paucity of material. Detailed descriptions and the distribution of these southeastern Asian species are provided, along with a key to the species of section Caesareae from Malaysia.
  2. 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.
  3. Koo JH, Leong RW, Ching J, Yeoh KG, Wu DC, Murdani A, et al.
    Gastrointest. Endosc., 2012 Jul;76(1):126-35.
    PMID: 22726471 DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.03.168
    BACKGROUND: The rapid increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the Asia-Pacific region in the past decade has resulted in recommendations to implement mass CRC screening programs. However, the knowledge of screening and population screening behaviors between countries is largely lacking.
    OBJECTIVE: This multicenter, international study investigated the association of screening test participation with knowledge of, attitudes toward, and barriers to CRC and screening tests in different cultural and sociopolitical contexts.
    METHODS: Person-to-person interviews by using a standardized survey instrument were conducted with subjects from 14 Asia-Pacific countries/regions to assess the prevailing screening participation rates, knowledge of and attitudes toward and barriers to CRC and screening tests, intent to participate, and cues to action. Independent predictors of the primary endpoint, screening participation was determined from subanalyses performed for high-, medium-, and low-participation countries.
    RESULTS: A total of 7915 subjects (49% male, 37.8% aged 50 years and older) were recruited. Of the respondents aged 50 years and older, 809 (27%) had undergone previous CRC testing; the Philippines (69%), Australia (48%), and Japan (38%) had the highest participation rates, whereas India (1.5%), Malaysia (3%), Indonesia (3%), Pakistan (7.5%), and Brunei (13.7%) had the lowest rates. Physician recommendation and knowledge of screening tests were significant predictors of CRC test uptake. In countries with low-test participation, lower perceived access barriers and higher perceived severity were independent predictors of participation. Respondents from low-participation countries had the least knowledge of symptoms, risk factors, and tests and reported the lowest physician recommendation rates. "Intent to undergo screening" and "perceived need for screening" was positively correlated in most countries; however, this was offset by financial and access barriers.
    LIMITATIONS: Ethnic heterogeneity may exist in each country that was not addressed. In addition, the participation tests and physician recommendation recalls were self-reported.
    CONCLUSIONS: In the Asia-Pacific region, considerable differences were evident in the participation of CRC tests, physician recommendations, and knowledge of, attitudes toward, and barriers to CRC screening. Physician recommendation was the uniform predictor of screening behavior in all countries. Before implementing mass screening programs, improving awareness of CRC and promoting the physicians' role are necessary to increase the screening participation rates.
  4. 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 

  5. Cai Q, Zhang B, Sung H, Low SK, Kweon SS, Lu W, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2014 Aug;46(8):886-90.
    PMID: 25038754 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3041
    In a three-stage genome-wide association study among East Asian women including 22,780 cases and 24,181 controls, we identified 3 genetic loci newly associated with breast cancer risk, including rs4951011 at 1q32.1 (in intron 2 of the ZC3H11A gene; P=8.82×10(-9)), rs10474352 at 5q14.3 (near the ARRDC3 gene; P=1.67×10(-9)) and rs2290203 at 15q26.1 (in intron 14 of the PRC1 gene; P=4.25×10(-8)). We replicated these associations in 16,003 cases and 41,335 controls of European ancestry (P=0.030, 0.004 and 0.010, respectively). Data from the ENCODE Project suggest that variants rs4951011 and rs10474352 might be located in an enhancer region and transcription factor binding sites, respectively. This study provides additional insights into the genetics and biology of breast cancer.
  6. Yang Y, Shu X, Shu XO, Bolla MK, Kweon SS, Cai Q, et al.
    EBioMedicine, 2019 Oct;48:203-211.
    PMID: 31629678 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.09.006
    BACKGROUND: We previously conducted a systematic field synopsis of 1059 breast cancer candidate gene studies and investigated 279 genetic variants, 51 of which showed associations. The major limitation of this work was the small sample size, even pooling data from all 1059 studies. Thereafter, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have accumulated data for hundreds of thousands of subjects. It's necessary to re-evaluate these variants in large GWAS datasets.

    METHODS: Of these 279 variants, data were obtained for 228 from GWAS conducted within the Asian Breast Cancer Consortium (24,206 cases and 24,775 controls) and the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (122,977 cases and 105,974 controls of European ancestry). Meta-analyses were conducted to combine the results from these two datasets.

    FINDINGS: Of those 228 variants, an association was observed for 12 variants in 10 genes at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P 

  7. Akkerman O, Aleksa A, Alffenaar JW, Al-Marzouqi NH, Arias-Guillén M, Belilovski E, et al.
    Int. J. Infect. Dis., 2019 Jun;83:72-76.
    PMID: 30953827 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2019.03.036
    The World Health Organization launched a global initiative, known as aDSM (active TB drug safety monitoring and management) to better describe the safety profile of new treatment regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in real-world settings. However, comprehensive surveillance is difficult to implement in several countries. The aim of the aDSM project is to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing national aDSM registers and to describe the type and the frequency of adverse events (AEs) associated with exposure to the new anti-TB drugs. Following a pilot study carried out in 2016, official involvement of TB reference centres/countries into the project was sought and cases treated with bedaquiline- and/or delamanid-containing regimens were consecutively recruited. AEs were prospectively collected ensuring potential attribution of the AE to a specific drug based on its known safety profile. A total of 309 cases were fully reported from 41 centres in 27 countries (65% males; 268 treated with bedaquiline, 20 with delamanid, and 21 with both drugs) out of an estimated 781 cases the participating countries had committed to report by the first quarter of 2019.
  8. Shi J, Zhang Y, Zheng W, Michailidou K, Ghoussaini M, Bolla MK, et al.
    Int. J. Cancer, 2016 Sep 15;139(6):1303-1317.
    PMID: 27087578 DOI: 10.1002/ijc.30150
    Previous genome-wide association studies among women of European ancestry identified two independent breast cancer susceptibility loci represented by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs13281615 and rs11780156 at 8q24. A fine-mapping study across 2.06 Mb (chr8:127,561,724-129,624,067, hg19) in 55,540 breast cancer cases and 51,168 controls within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium was conducted. Three additional independent association signals in women of European ancestry, represented by rs35961416 (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.93-0.97, conditional p = 5.8 × 10(-6) ), rs7815245 (OR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.91-0.96, conditional p = 1.1 × 10(-6) ) and rs2033101 (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.02-1.07, conditional p = 1.1 × 10(-4) ) were found. Integrative analysis using functional genomic data from the Roadmap Epigenomics, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, the Cancer Genome Atlas and other public resources implied that SNPs rs7815245 in Signal 3, and rs1121948 in Signal 5 (in linkage disequilibrium with rs11780156, r(2)  = 0.77), were putatively functional variants for two of the five independent association signals. The results highlighted multiple 8q24 variants associated with breast cancer susceptibility in women of European ancestry.
  9. Guo X, Long J, Zeng C, Michailidou K, Ghoussaini M, Bolla MK, et al.
    Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev., 2015 Nov;24(11):1680-91.
    PMID: 26354892 DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0363
    BACKGROUND: A recent association study identified a common variant (rs9790517) at 4q24 to be associated with breast cancer risk. Independent association signals and potential functional variants in this locus have not been explored.

    METHODS: We conducted a fine-mapping analysis in 55,540 breast cancer cases and 51,168 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

    RESULTS: Conditional analyses identified two independent association signals among women of European ancestry, represented by rs9790517 [conditional P = 2.51 × 10(-4); OR, 1.04; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.07] and rs77928427 (P = 1.86 × 10(-4); OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07). Functional annotation using data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project revealed two putative functional variants, rs62331150 and rs73838678 in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with rs9790517 (r(2) ≥ 0.90) residing in the active promoter or enhancer, respectively, of the nearest gene, TET2. Both variants are located in DNase I hypersensitivity and transcription factor-binding sites. Using data from both The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (METABRIC), we showed that rs62331150 was associated with level of expression of TET2 in breast normal and tumor tissue.

    CONCLUSION: Our study identified two independent association signals at 4q24 in relation to breast cancer risk and suggested that observed association in this locus may be mediated through the regulation of TET2.

    IMPACT: Fine-mapping study with large sample size warranted for identification of independent loci for breast cancer risk.

  10. Ghoussaini M, French JD, Michailidou K, Nord S, Beesley J, Canisus S, et al.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet., 2016 Oct 06;99(4):903-911.
    PMID: 27640304 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.07.017
    Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have revealed increased breast cancer risk associated with multiple genetic variants at 5p12. Here, we report the fine mapping of this locus using data from 104,660 subjects from 50 case-control studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). With data for 3,365 genotyped and imputed SNPs across a 1 Mb region (positions 44,394,495-45,364,167; NCBI build 37), we found evidence for at least three independent signals: the strongest signal, consisting of a single SNP rs10941679, was associated with risk of estrogen-receptor-positive (ER(+)) breast cancer (per-g allele OR ER(+) = 1.15; 95% CI 1.13-1.18; p = 8.35 × 10(-30)). After adjustment for rs10941679, we detected signal 2, consisting of 38 SNPs more strongly associated with ER-negative (ER(-)) breast cancer (lead SNP rs6864776: per-a allele OR ER(-) = 1.10; 95% CI 1.05-1.14; p conditional = 1.44 × 10(-12)), and a single signal 3 SNP (rs200229088: per-t allele OR ER(+) = 1.12; 95% CI 1.09-1.15; p conditional = 1.12 × 10(-05)). Expression quantitative trait locus analysis in normal breast tissues and breast tumors showed that the g (risk) allele of rs10941679 was associated with increased expression of FGF10 and MRPS30. Functional assays demonstrated that SNP rs10941679 maps to an enhancer element that physically interacts with the FGF10 and MRPS30 promoter regions in breast cancer cell lines. FGF10 is an oncogene that binds to FGFR2 and is overexpressed in ∼10% of human breast cancers, whereas MRPS30 plays a key role in apoptosis. These data suggest that the strongest signal of association at 5p12 is mediated through coordinated activation of FGF10 and MRPS30, two candidate genes for breast cancer pathogenesis.
  11. Horne HN, Chung CC, Zhang H, Yu K, Prokunina-Olsson L, Michailidou K, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(8):e0160316.
    PMID: 27556229 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160316
    The Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility genome-wide association study (GWAS) originally identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11249433 at 1p11.2 associated with breast cancer risk. To fine-map this locus, we genotyped 92 SNPs in a 900kb region (120,505,799-121,481,132) flanking rs11249433 in 45,276 breast cancer cases and 48,998 controls of European, Asian and African ancestry from 50 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Genotyping was done using iCOGS, a custom-built array. Due to the complicated nature of the region on chr1p11.2: 120,300,000-120,505,798, that lies near the centromere and contains seven duplicated genomic segments, we restricted analyses to 429 SNPs excluding the duplicated regions (42 genotyped and 387 imputed). Per-allelic associations with breast cancer risk were estimated using logistic regression models adjusting for study and ancestry-specific principal components. The strongest association observed was with the original identified index SNP rs11249433 (minor allele frequency (MAF) 0.402; per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08-1.13, P = 1.49 x 10-21). The association for rs11249433 was limited to ER-positive breast cancers (test for heterogeneity P≤8.41 x 10-5). Additional analyses by other tumor characteristics showed stronger associations with moderately/well differentiated tumors and tumors of lobular histology. Although no significant eQTL associations were observed, in silico analyses showed that rs11249433 was located in a region that is likely a weak enhancer/promoter. Fine-mapping analysis of the 1p11.2 breast cancer susceptibility locus confirms this region to be limited to risk to cancers that are ER-positive.
  12. Yang Y, Wu L, Shu X, Lu Y, Shu XO, Cai Q, et al.
    Cancer Res., 2019 02 01;79(3):505-517.
    PMID: 30559148 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2726
    DNA methylation is instrumental for gene regulation. Global changes in the epigenetic landscape have been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. However, the role of DNA methylation in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains unclear. In this study, high-density genetic and DNA methylation data in white blood cells from the Framingham Heart Study (N = 1,595) were used to build genetic models to predict DNA methylation levels. These prediction models were then applied to the summary statistics of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of ovarian cancer including 22,406 EOC cases and 40,941 controls to investigate genetically predicted DNA methylation levels in association with EOC risk. Among 62,938 CpG sites investigated, genetically predicted methylation levels at 89 CpG were significantly associated with EOC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P < 7.94 × 10-7. Of them, 87 were located at GWAS-identified EOC susceptibility regions and two resided in a genomic region not previously reported to be associated with EOC risk. Integrative analyses of genetic, methylation, and gene expression data identified consistent directions of associations across 12 CpG, five genes, and EOC risk, suggesting that methylation at these 12 CpG may influence EOC risk by regulating expression of these five genes, namely MAPT, HOXB3, ABHD8, ARHGAP27, and SKAP1. We identified novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk and propose that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk via regulation of gene expression. SIGNIFICANCE: Identification of novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk suggests that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk through regulation of gene expression.
  13. Milne RL, Burwinkel B, Michailidou K, Arias-Perez JI, Zamora MP, Menéndez-Rodríguez P, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2014 Nov 15;23(22):6096-111.
    PMID: 24943594 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddu311
    Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46 450 cases and 42 600 controls) and analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 [rs1053338, per allele OR = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04-1.10, P = 2.9 × 10(-6)], AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.03-1.07, P = 1.7 × 10(-6)) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.07-1.12, P = 5.1 × 10(-17)). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWASs): for ATXN7-K264R, OR = 1.07 (95% CI = 1.05-1.10, P = 1.0 × 10(-8)); for AKAP9-M463I, OR = 1.05 (95% CI = 1.04-1.07, P = 2.0 × 10(-10)). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known GWAS hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
  14. Orr N, Dudbridge F, Dryden N, Maguire S, Novo D, Perrakis E, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2015 May 15;24(10):2966-84.
    PMID: 25652398 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddv035
    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 × 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 × 10(-09)) and rs13294895 (OR = 1.09 [1.06-1.12]; P-value = 2.97 × 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 × 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-α, 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.
  15. Glubb DM, Maranian MJ, Michailidou K, Pooley KA, Meyer KB, Kar S, et al.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet., 2015 Jan 08;96(1):5-20.
    PMID: 25529635 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.11.009
    Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have revealed SNP rs889312 on 5q11.2 to be associated with breast cancer risk in women of European ancestry. In an attempt to identify the biologically relevant variants, we analyzed 909 genetic variants across 5q11.2 in 103,991 breast cancer individuals and control individuals from 52 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Multiple logistic regression analyses identified three independent risk signals: the strongest associations were with 15 correlated variants (iCHAV1), where the minor allele of the best candidate, rs62355902, associated with significantly increased risks of both estrogen-receptor-positive (ER(+): odds ratio [OR] = 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21-1.27, ptrend = 5.7 × 10(-44)) and estrogen-receptor-negative (ER(-): OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.05-1.15, ptrend = 3.0 × 10(-4)) tumors. After adjustment for rs62355902, we found evidence of association of a further 173 variants (iCHAV2) containing three subsets with a range of effects (the strongest was rs113317823 [pcond = 1.61 × 10(-5)]) and five variants composing iCHAV3 (lead rs11949391; ER(+): OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.87-0.93, pcond = 1.4 × 10(-4)). Twenty-six percent of the prioritized candidate variants coincided with four putative regulatory elements that interact with the MAP3K1 promoter through chromatin looping and affect MAP3K1 promoter activity. Functional analysis indicated that the cancer risk alleles of four candidates (rs74345699 and rs62355900 [iCHAV1], rs16886397 [iCHAV2a], and rs17432750 [iCHAV3]) increased MAP3K1 transcriptional activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed diminished GATA3 binding to the minor (cancer-protective) allele of rs17432750, indicating a mechanism for its action. We propose that the cancer risk alleles act to increase MAP3K1 expression in vivo and might promote breast cancer cell survival.
  16. Ghoussaini M, Edwards SL, Michailidou K, Nord S, Cowper-Sal Lari R, Desai K, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014 Sep 23;4:4999.
    PMID: 25248036 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5999
    GWAS have identified a breast cancer susceptibility locus on 2q35. Here we report the fine mapping of this locus using data from 101,943 subjects from 50 case-control studies. We genotype 276 SNPs using the 'iCOGS' genotyping array and impute genotypes for a further 1,284 using 1000 Genomes Project data. All but two, strongly correlated SNPs (rs4442975 G/T and rs6721996 G/A) are excluded as candidate causal variants at odds against >100:1. The best functional candidate, rs4442975, is associated with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) disease with an odds ratio (OR) in Europeans of 0.85 (95% confidence interval=0.84-0.87; P=1.7 × 10(-43)) per t-allele. This SNP flanks a transcriptional enhancer that physically interacts with the promoter of IGFBP5 (encoding insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5) and displays allele-specific gene expression, FOXA1 binding and chromatin looping. Evidence suggests that the g-allele confers increased breast cancer susceptibility through relative downregulation of IGFBP5, a gene with known roles in breast cell biology.
  17. Lin WY, Camp NJ, Ghoussaini M, Beesley J, Michailidou K, Hopper JL, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2015 Jan 01;24(1):285-98.
    PMID: 25168388 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddu431
    Previous studies have suggested that polymorphisms in CASP8 on chromosome 2 are associated with breast cancer risk. To clarify the role of CASP8 in breast cancer susceptibility, we carried out dense genotyping of this region in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning a 1 Mb region around CASP8 were genotyped in 46 450 breast cancer cases and 42 600 controls of European origin from 41 studies participating in the BCAC as part of a custom genotyping array experiment (iCOGS). Missing genotypes and SNPs were imputed and, after quality exclusions, 501 typed and 1232 imputed SNPs were included in logistic regression models adjusting for study and ancestry principal components. The SNPs retained in the final model were investigated further in data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWAS) comprising in total 10 052 case and 12 575 control subjects. The most significant association signal observed in European subjects was for the imputed intronic SNP rs1830298 in ALS2CR12 (telomeric to CASP8), with per allele odds ratio and 95% confidence interval [OR (95% confidence interval, CI)] for the minor allele of 1.05 (1.03-1.07), P = 1 × 10(-5). Three additional independent signals from intronic SNPs were identified, in CASP8 (rs36043647), ALS2CR11 (rs59278883) and CFLAR (rs7558475). The association with rs1830298 was replicated in the imputed results from the combined GWAS (P = 3 × 10(-6)), yielding a combined OR (95% CI) of 1.06 (1.04-1.08), P = 1 × 10(-9). Analyses of gene expression associations in peripheral blood and normal breast tissue indicate that CASP8 might be the target gene, suggesting a mechanism involving apoptosis.
  18. Michailidou K, Beesley J, Lindstrom S, Canisius S, Dennis J, Lush MJ, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2015 Apr;47(4):373-80.
    PMID: 25751625 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3242
    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and large-scale replication studies have identified common variants in 79 loci associated with breast cancer, explaining ∼14% of the familial risk of the disease. To identify new susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of 11 GWAS, comprising 15,748 breast cancer cases and 18,084 controls together with 46,785 cases and 42,892 controls from 41 studies genotyped on a 211,155-marker custom array (iCOGS). Analyses were restricted to women of European ancestry. We generated genotypes for more than 11 million SNPs by imputation using the 1000 Genomes Project reference panel, and we identified 15 new loci associated with breast cancer at P < 5 × 10(-8). Combining association analysis with ChIP-seq chromatin binding data in mammary cell lines and ChIA-PET chromatin interaction data from ENCODE, we identified likely target genes in two regions: SETBP1 at 18q12.3 and RNF115 and PDZK1 at 1q21.1. One association appears to be driven by an amino acid substitution encoded in EXO1.
  19. Kar SP, Beesley J, Amin Al Olama A, Michailidou K, Tyrer J, Kote-Jarai Z, et al.
    Cancer Discov, 2016 09;6(9):1052-67.
    PMID: 27432226 DOI: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-1227
    Breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers are hormone-related and may have a shared genetic basis, but this has not been investigated systematically by genome-wide association (GWA) studies. Meta-analyses combining the largest GWA meta-analysis data sets for these cancers totaling 112,349 cases and 116,421 controls of European ancestry, all together and in pairs, identified at P < 10(-8) seven new cross-cancer loci: three associated with susceptibility to all three cancers (rs17041869/2q13/BCL2L11; rs7937840/11q12/INCENP; rs1469713/19p13/GATAD2A), two breast and ovarian cancer risk loci (rs200182588/9q31/SMC2; rs8037137/15q26/RCCD1), and two breast and prostate cancer risk loci (rs5013329/1p34/NSUN4; rs9375701/6q23/L3MBTL3). Index variants in five additional regions previously associated with only one cancer also showed clear association with a second cancer type. Cell-type-specific expression quantitative trait locus and enhancer-gene interaction annotations suggested target genes with potential cross-cancer roles at the new loci. Pathway analysis revealed significant enrichment of death receptor signaling genes near loci with P < 10(-5) in the three-cancer meta-analysis.

    SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that combining large-scale GWA meta-analysis findings across cancer types can identify completely new risk loci common to breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. We show that the identification of such cross-cancer risk loci has the potential to shed new light on the shared biology underlying these hormone-related cancers. Cancer Discov; 6(9); 1052-67. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 932.

  20. Zeng C, Guo X, Long J, Kuchenbaecker KB, Droit A, Michailidou K, et al.
    Breast Cancer Res., 2016 06 21;18(1):64.
    PMID: 27459855 DOI: 10.1186/s13058-016-0718-0
    BACKGROUND: Multiple recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs10771399, at 12p11 that is associated with breast cancer risk.

    METHOD: We performed a fine-scale mapping study of a 700 kb region including 441 genotyped and more than 1300 imputed genetic variants in 48,155 cases and 43,612 controls of European descent, 6269 cases and 6624 controls of East Asian descent and 1116 cases and 932 controls of African descent in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC; http://bcac.ccge.medschl.cam.ac.uk/ ), and in 15,252 BRCA1 mutation carriers in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Stepwise regression analyses were performed to identify independent association signals. Data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project (ENCODE) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used for functional annotation.

    RESULTS: Analysis of data from European descendants found evidence for four independent association signals at 12p11, represented by rs7297051 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.09, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.06-1.12; P = 3 × 10(-9)), rs805510 (OR = 1.08, 95 % CI = 1.04-1.12, P = 2 × 10(-5)), and rs1871152 (OR = 1.04, 95 % CI = 1.02-1.06; P = 2 × 10(-4)) identified in the general populations, and rs113824616 (P = 7 × 10(-5)) identified in the meta-analysis of BCAC ER-negative cases and BRCA1 mutation carriers. SNPs rs7297051, rs805510 and rs113824616 were also associated with breast cancer risk at P 

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