Despite the potential cancer preventive effects of flavonoids and lignans, their ability to reduce pancreatic cancer risk has not been demonstrated in epidemiological studies. Our aim was to examine the association between dietary intakes of flavonoids and lignans and pancreatic cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. A total of 865 exocrine pancreatic cancer cases occurred after 11.3 years of follow-up of 477,309 cohort members. Dietary flavonoid and lignan intake was estimated through validated dietary questionnaires and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Phenol Explorer databases. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using age, sex and center-stratified Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for energy intake, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol and diabetes status. Our results showed that neither overall dietary intake of flavonoids nor of lignans were associated with pancreatic cancer risk (multivariable-adjusted HR for a doubling of intake = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.95-1.11 and 1.02; 95% CI: 0.89-1.17, respectively). Statistically significant associations were also not observed by flavonoid subclasses. An inverse association between intake of flavanones and pancreatic cancer risk was apparent, without reaching statistical significance, in microscopically confirmed cases (HR for a doubling of intake = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.91-1.00). In conclusion, we did not observe an association between intake of flavonoids, flavonoid subclasses or lignans and pancreatic cancer risk in the EPIC cohort.
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.
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.
Acrylamide, classified in 1994 by IARC as "probably carcinogenic to humans," was discovered in 2002 in some heat-treated, carbohydrate-rich foods. Four prospective studies have evaluated the association between dietary acrylamide intake and endometrial cancer (EC) risk with inconsistent results. The purpose of this nested case-control study, based on the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, was to evaluate, for the first time, the association between hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide (HbAA) and glycidamide (HbGA) and the risk of developing EC in non-smoking postmenopausal women. Hemoglobin adducts were measured in red blood cells by HPLC/MS/MS. Four exposure variables were evaluated: HbAA, HbGA, their sum (HbAA+HbGA), and their ratio (HbGA/HbAA). The association between hemoglobin adducts and EC was evaluated using unconditional multivariable logistic regression models, and included 383 EC cases (171 were type-I EC), and 385 controls. Exposure variables were analyzed in quintiles based on control distributions. None of the biomarker variables had an effect on overall EC (HRHbAA;Q5vsQ1 : 0.84, 95%CI: 0.49-1.48; HRHbGA;Q5vsQ1 : 0.94, 95%CI: 0.54-1.63) or type-I EC risk. Additionally, none of the subgroups investigated (BMI
Incidence rates of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (TC) have increased in many countries. Adiposity and dietary risk factors may play a role, but little is known on the influence of energy intake and macronutrient composition. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between TC and the intake of energy, macronutrients, glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. The study included 477,274 middle-age participants (70.2% women) from ten European countries. Dietary data were collected using country-specific validated dietary questionnaires. Total carbohydrates, proteins, fats, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), starch, sugar, and fiber were computed as g/1,000 kcal. Multivariable Cox regression was used to calculate multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) by intake quartile (Q). After a mean follow-up time of 11 years, differentiated TC was diagnosed in 556 participants (90% women). Overall, we found significant associations only with total energy (HRQ4 vs .Q1 , 1.29; 95% CI, 1.00-1.68) and PUFA intakes (HRQ4 vs .Q1 , 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.95). However, the associations with starch and sugar intake and GI were significantly heterogeneous across body mass index (BMI) groups, i.e., positive associations with starch and GI were found in participants with a BMI ≥ 25 and with sugar intake in those with BMI
Although it appears biologically plausible for iron to be associated with gastric carcinogenesis, the evidence is insufficient to lead to any conclusions. To further investigate the relationship between body iron status and gastric cancer risk, we conducted a nested case-control study in the multicentric European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The study included 456 primary incident gastric adenocarcinoma cases and 900 matched controls that occurred during an average of 11 years of follow-up. We measured prediagnostic serum iron, ferritin, transferrin and C-reactive protein, and further estimated total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) and transferrin saturation (TS). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risk of gastric cancer by iron metrics were estimated from multivariable conditional logistic regression models. After adjusting for relevant confounders, we observed a statistically significant inverse association between gastric cancer and ferritin and TS indices (ORlog2 = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.72-0.88; OR10%increment = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.78-0.97, respectively). These associations appear to be restricted to noncardia gastric cancer (ferritin showed a p for heterogeneity = 0.04 and TS had a p for heterogeneity = 0.02), and no differences were found by histological type. TIBC increased risk of overall gastric cancer (OR50 µg/dl = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.02-1.2) and also with noncardia gastric cancer (p for heterogeneity = 0.04). Additional analysis suggests that time between blood draw and gastric cancer diagnosis could modify these findings. In conclusion, our results showed a decreased risk of gastric cancer related to higher body iron stores as measured by serum iron and ferritin. Further investigation is needed to clarify the role of iron in gastric carcinogenesis.
Previously, a lower risk of colorectal cancer was observed with fruit and vegetable consumption in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition within a follow-up period of 9 years which was not fully supported by a recent meta-analysis. Therefore, we were interested in the relation with extended follow-up, also focusing on single subtypes and a variety of intake of fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable consumption was assessed at baseline. After an average of 13 years of follow-up, 3,370 participants were diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer. Diet diversity scores were constructed to quantify variety in fruit and vegetable consumption. A lower risk of colon cancer was observed with higher self-reported consumption of fruit and vegetable combined (HR Q4 vs. Q1 0.87, 95% CI 0.75-1.01, p for trend 0.02), but no consistent association was observed for separate consumption of fruits and vegetables. No associations with risk of rectal cancer were observed. The few observed associations for some fruit and vegetable subtypes with colon cancer risk may have been due to chance. Variety in consumption of fruits and vegetables was not associated with a lower risk of colon or rectal cancer. Although a lower risk of colon cancer is suggested with high consumption of fruit and vegetables, this study does not support a clear inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption and colon or rectal cancer beyond a follow-up of more than 10 years. Attenuation of the risk estimates from dietary changes over time cannot be excluded, but appears unlikely.
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.
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.
The value of adjuvant radiotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is currently debated. We assessed the association between adjuvant radiotherapy and survival in a large cohort of Asian women with TNBC. Women diagnosed with TNBC from 2006 to 2011 in five Asian centers (N = 1,138) were included. Survival between patients receiving mastectomy only, breast-conserving therapy (BCT, lumpectomy and adjuvant radiotherapy) and mastectomy with radiotherapy were compared, and adjusted for demography, tumor characteristics and chemotherapy types. Median age at diagnosis was 53 years (range: 23-96 years). Median tumor size at diagnosis was 2.5 cm and most patients had lymph node-negative disease. The majority of patients received adjuvant chemotherapy (n = 861, 76%) comprising predominantly anthracycline-based regimes. In 775 women with T1-2, N0-1, M0 TNBCs, 5-year relative survival ratio (RSR) was highest in patients undergoing mastectomy only (94.7%, 95% CI: 88.8-98.8%), followed by BCT (90.8%, 95% CI: 85.0-94.7%), and mastectomy with radiotherapy (82.3%, 95% CI: 73.4-88.1%). The adjusted risks of mortality between the three groups were not significantly different. In 363 patients with T3-4, N2-3, M0 TNBCs, BCT was associated with highest 5-year RSR (94.1%, 95% CI: 81.3-99.4%), followed by mastectomy with radiotherapy (62.7%, 95% CI: 54.3-70.1%), and mastectomy only (58.6%, 95% CI: 43.5-71.6%). Following multivariable adjustment, BCT and mastectomy with radiotherapy remained significantly associated with lower mortality risk compared to mastectomy only. Overall, adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with higher survival in women aged <40 years, but not in older women. Adjuvant radiotherapy appears to be independently associated with a survival gain in locally advanced as well as in very young TNBC.
A small number of common susceptibility loci have been identified for pancreatic cancer, one of which is marked by rs401681 in the TERT-CLPTM1L gene region on chromosome 5p15.33. Because this region is characterized by low linkage disequilibrium, we sought to identify whether additional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could be related to pancreatic cancer risk, independently of rs401681. We performed an in-depth analysis of genetic variability of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and the telomerase RNA component (TERC) genes, in 5,550 subjects with pancreatic cancer and 7,585 controls from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) and the PanScan consortia. We identified a significant association between a variant in TERT and pancreatic cancer risk (rs2853677, odds ratio = 0.85; 95% confidence interval = 0.80-0.90, p = 8.3 × 10(-8)). Additional analysis adjusting rs2853677 for rs401681 indicated that the two SNPs are independently associated with pancreatic cancer risk, as suggested by the low linkage disequilibrium between them (r(2) = 0.07, D' = 0.28). Three additional SNPs in TERT reached statistical significance after correction for multiple testing: rs2736100 (p = 3.0 × 10(-5) ), rs4583925 (p = 4.0 × 10(-5) ) and rs2735948 (p = 5.0 × 10(-5) ). In conclusion, we confirmed that the TERT locus is associated with pancreatic cancer risk, possibly through several independent variants.
Women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are at increased risk of second primary cancers, and the identification of risk factors for the latter may have clinical implications. We have followed-up for 11 years 10,045 women with invasive breast cancer from a European cohort, and identified 492 second primary cancers, including 140 contralateral breast cancers. Expected and observed cases and Standardized Incidence Ratios (SIR) were estimated using Aalen-Johansen Markovian methods. Information on various risk factors was obtained from detailed questionnaires and anthropometric measurements. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the role of risk factors. Women with breast cancer had a 30% excess risk for second malignancies (95% confidence interval-CI 18-42) after excluding contralateral breast cancers. Risk was particularly elevated for colorectal cancer (SIR, 1.71, 95% CI 1.43-2.00), lymphoma (SIR 1.80, 95% CI 1.31-2.40), melanoma (2.12; 1.63-2.70), endometrium (2.18; 1.75-2.70) and kidney cancers (2.40; 1.57-3.52). Risk of second malignancies was positively associated with age at first cancer, body mass index and smoking status, while it was inversely associated with education, post-menopausal status and a history of full-term pregnancy. We describe in a large cohort of women with breast cancer a 30% excess of second primaries. Among risk factors for breast cancer, a history of full-term pregnancy was inversely associated with the risk of second primary cancer.
General obesity, as reflected by BMI, is an established risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a suspected risk factor for gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCC) and appears unrelated to gastric non-cardia adenocarcinoma (GNCC). How abdominal obesity, as commonly measured by waist circumference (WC), relates to these cancers remains largely unexplored. Using measured anthropometric data from 391,456 individuals from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study and 11 years of follow-up, we comprehensively assessed the association of anthropometric measures with risk of EAC, GCC and GNCC using multivariable proportional hazards regression. One hundred twenty-four incident EAC, 193 GCC and 224 GNCC were accrued. After mutual adjustment, BMI was unrelated to EAC, while WC showed a strong positive association (highest vs. lowest quintile HR = 1.19; 95% CI, 0.63-2.22 and HR = 3.76; 1.72-8.22, respectively). Hip circumference (HC) was inversely related to EAC after controlling for WC, while WC remained positively associated (HR = 0.35; 0.18-0.68, and HR=4.10; 1.94-8.63, respectively). BMI was not associated with GCC or GNCC. WC was related to higher risks of GCC after adjustment for BMI and more strongly after adjustment for HC (highest vs. lowest quintile HR = 1.91; 1.09-3.37, and HR = 2.23; 1.28-3.90, respectively). Our study demonstrates that abdominal, rather than general, obesity is an indisputable risk factor for EAC and also provides evidence for a protective effect of gluteofemoral (subcutaneous) adipose tissue in EAC. Our study further shows that general obesity is not a risk factor for GCC and GNCC, while the role of abdominal obesity in GCC needs further investigation.
Whether risk factors for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) differ by subtype (i.e., dualistic pathway of carcinogenesis, histologic subtype) is not well understood; however, data to date suggest risk factor differences. We examined associations between reproductive and hormone-related risk factors for EOC by subtype in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Among 334,126 women with data on reproductive and hormone-related risk factors (follow-up: 1992-2010), 1,245 incident cases of EOC with known histology and invasiveness were identified. Data on tumor histology, grade, and invasiveness, were available from cancer registries and pathology record review. We observed significant heterogeneity by the dualistic model (i.e., type I [low grade serous or endometrioid, mucinous, clear cell, malignant Brenner] vs. type II [high grade serous or endometrioid]) for full-term pregnancy (phet = 0.02). Full-term pregnancy was more strongly inversely associated with type I than type II tumors (ever vs. never: type I: relative risk (RR) 0.47 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.33-0.69]; type II, RR: 0.81 [0.61-1.06]). We observed no significant differences in risk in analyses by major histologic subtypes of invasive EOC (serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear cell). None of the investigated factors were associated with borderline tumors. Established protective factors, including duration of oral contraceptive use and full term pregnancy, were consistently inversely associated with risk across histologic subtypes (e.g., ever full-term pregnancy: serous, RR: 0.73 [0.58-0.92]; mucinous, RR: 0.53 [0.30-0.95]; endometrioid, RR: 0.65 [0.40-1.06]; clear cell, RR: 0.34 [0.18-0.64]; phet = 0.16). These results suggest limited heterogeneity between reproductive and hormone-related risk factors and EOC subtypes.
Epidemiologic studies have reported that moderate alcohol consumption is inversely associated with the risk of renal cancer. However, there is no information available on the associations in renal cancer subsites. From 1992 through to 2010, 477,325 men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort were followed for incident renal cancers (n = 931). Baseline and lifetime alcohol consumption was assessed by country-specific, validated dietary questionnaires. Information on past alcohol consumption was collected by lifestyle questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated from Cox proportional hazard models. In multivariate analysis, total alcohol consumption at baseline was inversely associated with renal cancer; the HR and 95% CI for the increasing categories of total alcohol consumption at recruitment versus the light drinkers category were 0.78 (0.62-0.99), 0.82 (0.64-1.04), 0.70 (0.55-0.90), 0.91 (0.63-1.30), respectively, (ptrend = 0.001). A similar relationship was observed for average lifetime alcohol consumption and for all renal cancer subsites combined or for renal parenchyma subsite. The trend was not observed in hypertensive individuals and not significant in smokers. In conclusion, moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a decreased risk of renal cancer.
A panel of monoclonal antibodies specific to Hong Kong Chinese nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) variants has been generated. These monoclonal antibodies not only differentiate the Hong Kong Chinese NPC-associated LMP1 variants from the prototype B95-8 LMP1, derived from Caucasian infectious mononucleosis, but also differentiate the 2 highly homologous LMP1 deletion variants commonly found in Hong Kong primary NPC. The predominant deletion type variant, DV-Asp335, is characterized by an aspartic acid at residue 335 located in the cytoplasmic C-terminal region, whereas the other minor deletion variant, DV-Gly335, has a glycine in the same residue position. 335D is hitherto found predominantly in LMP1 of the China 1 strain in association with NPC in the Chinese populations located in southern China and Malaysia. These antibodies, which are applicable in ELISA, immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry on paraffin sections, are the first variant-specific anti-LMP1 monoclonal antibodies produced, and will be useful in investigating the functional significance of 335D in NPC.
Isolation of single cells permits analysis of DNA or RNA from individual cells among heterogeneous populations. This technique is particularly useful in the study of classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL) due to the scarcity of H/RS tumor cells among large numbers of reactive leukocytes. In a previous study, we found a high frequency of dual LMP-1 variant (concurrent presence of deleted and nondeleted variants) in cHL from whole-tissue sections. For the present study, we applied a single-cell isolation technique to determine the LMP-1 oncogene variant in EBV-associated H/RS cells. Five cases of EBV-infected cHL, containing nondeleted (n=1), deleted (n=1) and dual infection (n=3) based on whole-tissue section analysis, were selected for study. Paraffin-embedded tissue sections were stained with antibody to LMP-1 and positively stained H/RS cells isolated using a semiautomated micromanipulator. Each isolated single cell was subjected to PCR for amplification of the LMP-1 gene flanking the 30 bp deletion region and Xho1 restriction site. Cases with either nondeleted variant or the deleted variant showed similar LMP-1 variant expression in isolated single H/RS cells. However, 1 of the 3 cases with dual variants showed only the deleted variant in H/RS cells. The other 2 cases showed mixed patterns of deleted, nondeleted and dual LMP-1 variants in isolated single H/RS cells. All cases showed loss of the Xho1 restriction site, with the exception of the case with nondeleted LMP-1. Results of single-H/RS cell analysis of the Xho1 restriction site concur with those of whole-tissue section amplification. A mixed pattern of LMP-1 variants was observed in isolated H/RS cells, and it is speculated that this is due to the accumulation of mutation and deletion events.
We determined the incidences of the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) subtypes among breast cancer cases in Sarawak, Malaysia and their correlation with various risk factors in the three ethnic groups: Chinese, Malay and native. Subtype status was ascertained for 1,034 cases of female breast cancer (93% of all cases diagnosed since 2003), and the age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) of each subtype were inferred. Case-case comparisons across subtypes were performed for reproductive risk factors. We found 48% luminal A (ER+/PR+/HER2-), 29% triple-negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-), 12% triple-positive (ER+/PR+/HER2+) and 11% HER2-overexpressing (ER-/PR-/HER2+) subtypes, with ASRs of 10.6, 6.0, 2.8 and 2.8 per 100,000, respectively. The proportions of subtypes and ASRs differed significantly by ethnic groups: HER2-positive cases were more frequent in Malays (29%; 95% CI [23;35]) than Chinese (22%; [19;26] and natives (21%; [16;26]); triple-negative cases were less frequent among Chinese (23%; [20;27]) than Malays (33%; [27;39]) and natives (37%; [31;43]). The results of the case-case comparison were in accordance with those observed in western case series. Some uncommon associations, such as between triple-negative subtype and older age at menopause (OR, 1.59; p < 0.05), were found. The triple-negative and HER2+ subtypes predominate in our region, with significant differences among ethnic groups. Our results support the idea that the risk factors for different subtypes vary markedly. Westernized populations are more likely to have factors that increase the risk for the luminal A type, while risk factors for the triple-negative type are more frequent in local populations.
Oestrogen is important in the development of breast cancer. Oestrogen receptor positive breast cancers are associated with a better prognosis than oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancers since they are more responsive to hormonal treatment. Oestrone sulphate acts as a huge reservoir for oestrogens in the breast. It is converted to the potent oestrogen, oestradiol (E(2)) by the enzymes oestrone sulphatase and oestradiol-17beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (E(2)DH). Retinoic acid and carotenoids have been shown to have chemopreventive activity against some cancers. The aim of our study was to determine and compare the effects of retinoic acid and palm oil carotenoids on growth of and oestrone sulphatase and E(2)DH activities in the oestrogen receptor positive, MCF-7 and oestrogen receptor negative, MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. Retinoic acid and carotenoids inhibited MCF-7 cell growth but had no effect on MDA-MB-231 cell growth. Both retinoic acid and carotenoids stimulated oestrone sulphatase activity in the MCF-7 cell line. E(1) to E(2) conversion was inhibited by 10(-7) M carotenoids but was stimulated at 10(-6) M in the MCF-7 cell line. Retinoic acid had no effect on E(1) to E(2) conversion at 10(-7) M but stimulated E(1) to E(2) conversion at 10(-6) M. Retinoic acid and carotenoids had no effect on E(2) to E(1) conversion in the MCF-7 cell line. Retinoic acid stimulated E(1) to E(2) conversion in the MDA-MB-231 cell line but had no effect on oestrone sulphatase activity or E(2) to E(1) conversion in this cell line. Both oestrone sulphatase and E(2)DH activity were not affected by carotenoids in the MDA-MB-231 cell line. In conclusion, retinoic acid and carotenoids may prevent the development of hormone-dependent breast cancers since they inhibit the growth of the MCF-7 cell line.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) type B, a less potent transformer of B lymphocytes than type A, has rarely been detected in EBV-associated neoplasms except in AIDS-related lymphomas, in which about 50% of the cases contained this sub-type. In this study we analyzed the association of EBV and the distribution of virus sub-types in Asian non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) of the upper aerodigestive tract. We studied archival material of 29 NHL cases from Malaysia. B- and T-cell associated antigens were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, and EBV early RNA EBER-1 was demonstrated using the RNA in situ hybridization technique. EBV was detected in the majority of tumour cells in 11/13 T-NHL but in only 1/16 B-NHL. EBV was sub-typed by single-step polymerase chain reaction of the EBNA-2 gene. This was successful in 9/10 cases of EBER-1-positive tumours and all contained type-A virus only. Our results showed a preponderance of T-cell lymphoma of the upper aerodigestive tract in the ethnic Chinese group of Malaysian patients, and EBV was strongly associated with T-NHL but not with B-NHL. Our results suggest that type-A EBV is the prevalent sub-type in Asian NHL of the upper aerodigestive tract, similarly to findings in Asian nasopharyngeal carcinoma.