Genetic variants in genes acting during the maturation process of immature B-cell to differentiated plasma cell could influence the risk of developing multiple myeloma (MM). During B-cell maturation, several programmed genetic rearrangements occur to increase the variation of the immunoglobulin chains. Class switch recombination (CSR) is one of the most important among these mechanisms. Germline polymorphisms altering even subtly this process could play a role in the etiology and outcome of MM. We performed an association study of 30 genetic variants in the key CSR genes, using 2632 MM patients and 2848 controls from the International Multiple Myeloma rESEarch (IMMEnSE) consortium, the Heidelberg MM Group and the ESTHER cohort. We found an association between -rs1555902 and decreased MM risk, which approached statistical significance, as well as significant associations between rs3794318 and better outcome. Our results add to our knowledge on the genetic component of MM risk and survival.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 170 breast cancer susceptibility loci. Here we hypothesize that some risk-associated variants might act in non-breast tissues, specifically adipose tissue and immune cells from blood and spleen. Using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) reported in these tissues, we identify 26 previously unreported, likely target genes of overall breast cancer risk variants, and 17 for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer, several with a known immune function. We determine the directional effect of gene expression on disease risk measured based on single and multiple eQTL. In addition, using a gene-based test of association that considers eQTL from multiple tissues, we identify seven (and four) regions with variants associated with overall (and ER-negative) breast cancer risk, which were not reported in previous GWAS. Further investigation of the function of the implicated genes in breast and immune cells may provide insights into the etiology of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is a common disease partially caused by genetic risk factors. Germline pathogenic variants in DNA repair genes , , , , and are associated with breast cancer risk. , which encodes for a DNA translocase, has been proposed as a breast cancer predisposition gene, with greater effects for the ER-negative and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtypes. We tested the three recurrent protein-truncating variants :p.Arg658*, p.Gln1701*, and p.Arg1931* for association with breast cancer risk in 67,112 cases, 53,766 controls, and 26,662 carriers of pathogenic variants of or . These three variants were also studied functionally by measuring survival and chromosome fragility in patient-derived immortalized fibroblasts treated with diepoxybutane or olaparib. We observed that :p.Arg658* was associated with increased risk of ER-negative disease and TNBC (OR = 2.44, = 0.034 and OR = 3.79; = 0.009, respectively). In a country-restricted analysis, we confirmed the associations detected for :p.Arg658* and found that also :p.Arg1931* was associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk (OR = 1.96; = 0.006). The functional results indicated that all three variants were deleterious affecting cell survival and chromosome stability with :p.Arg658* causing more severe phenotypes. In conclusion, we confirmed that the two rare deleterious variants p.Arg658* and p.Arg1931* are risk factors for ER-negative and TNBC subtypes. Overall our data suggest that the effect of truncating variants on breast cancer risk may depend on their position in the gene. Cell sensitivity to olaparib exposure, identifies a possible therapeutic option to treat -associated tumors.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) pathogenic sequence variants (PSVs) confer elevated risks of multiple cancers. However, most BRCA1/2 PSVs reports focus on European ancestry individuals. Knowledge of the PSV distribution in African descent individuals is poorly understood. We undertook a systematic review of the published literature and publicly available databases reporting BRCA1/2 PSVs also accessed the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) database to identify African or African descent individuals. Using these data, we inferred which of the BRCA PSVs were likely to be of African continental origin. Of the 43,817 BRCA1/2 PSV carriers in the CIMBA database, 469 (1%) were of African descent. Additional African descent individuals were identified in public databases (n = 291) and the literature (n = 601). We identified 164 unique BRCA1 and 173 unique BRCA2 PSVs in individuals of African ancestry. Of these, 83 BRCA1 and 91 BRCA2 PSVs are of likely or possible African origin. We observed numerous differences in the distribution of PSV type and function in African origin versus non-African origin PSVs. Research in populations of African ancestry with BRCA1/2 PSVs is needed to provide the information needed for clinical management and decision-making in African descent individuals worldwide.
Pathogenic sequence variants (PSV) in or () are associated with increased risk and severity of prostate cancer. We evaluated whether PSVs in were associated with risk of overall prostate cancer or high grade (Gleason 8+) prostate cancer using an international sample of 65 and 171 male PSV carriers with prostate cancer, and 3,388 and 2,880 male PSV carriers without prostate cancer. PSVs in the 3′ region of (c.7914+) were significantly associated with elevated risk of prostate cancer compared with reference bin c.1001-c.7913 [HR = 1.78; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25-2.52; = 0.001], as well as elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 3.11; 95% CI, 1.63-5.95; = 0.001). c.756-c.1000 was also associated with elevated prostate cancer risk (HR = 2.83; 95% CI, 1.71-4.68; = 0.00004) and elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 4.95; 95% CI, 2.12-11.54; = 0.0002). No genotype-phenotype associations were detected for PSVs in . These results demonstrate that specific PSVs may be associated with elevated risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: Aggressive prostate cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers may vary according to the specific BRCA2 mutation inherited by the at-risk individual.
BRCA1/2 mutations confer high lifetime risk of breast cancer, although other factors may modify this risk. Whether height or body mass index (BMI) modifies breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers remains unclear.
The first study establishing exposure to ionizing radiations (IRs) as a risk factor for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) was published 70 years ago. Given that radiation exposure causes direct DNA damage, genetic alterations in the different DNA repair mechanisms are assumed to play an important role in long-term IR-induced DNA damage prevention. Individual variations in DNA repair capacity may cause different reactions to damage made by IR exposure. The aim of this review is to recapitulate current knowledge about constitutional genetic polymorphisms found to be significantly associated with DTC occurring after IR exposure. Studies were screened online using electronic databases – only fully available articles, and studies performed among irradiated population or taking radiation exposure as adjustment factors and showing significant results are included. Nine articles were identified. Ten variants in/near to genes in six biological pathways, namely thyroid activity regulations, generic transcription, RET signaling, ATM signaling and DNA repair pathways were found to be associated with radiation-related DTC in these studies. Only seven variants were found to be in interaction with IR exposure in DTC risk. Most of these variants are also associated to sporadic DTC and are not specific to IR-related DTC. In the published studies, no data on children treated with radiotherapy is described. In conclusion, more studies carried out on larger cohorts or on case-control studies with well-documented individual radiation dose estimations are needed to get a comprehensive picture of genetic susceptibility factors involved in radiation-related DTC.
Pathogenic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 only explain the underlying genetic cause of about 10% of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer families. Because of cost-effectiveness, multigene panel testing is often performed even if the clinical utility of testing most of the genes remains questionable. The purpose of our study was to assess the contribution of rare, deleterious-predicted variants in DNA repair genes in familial breast cancer (BC) in a well-characterized and homogeneous population. We analyzed 113 DNA repair genes selected from either an exome sequencing or a candidate gene approach in the GENESIS study, which includes familial BC cases with no BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and having a sister with BC (N = 1,207), and general population controls (N = 1,199). Sequencing data were filtered for rare loss-of-function variants (LoF) and likely deleterious missense variants (MV). We confirmed associations between LoF and MV in PALB2, ATM and CHEK2 and BC occurrence. We also identified for the first time associations between FANCI, MAST1, POLH and RTEL1 and BC susceptibility. Unlike other associated genes, carriers of an ATM LoF had a significantly higher risk of developing BC than carriers of an ATM MV (OR = 17.4 vs. OR = 1.6; p = 0.002). Hence, our approach allowed us to specify BC relative risks associated with deleterious-predicted variants in PALB2, ATM and CHEK2 and to add MAST1, POLH, RTEL1 and FANCI to the list of DNA repair genes possibly involved in BC susceptibility. We also highlight that different types of variants within the same gene can lead to different risk estimates.
Genome-wide association studies have identified breast cancer risk variants in over 150 genomic regions, but the mechanisms underlying risk remain largely unknown. These regions were explored by combining association analysis with in silico genomic feature annotations. We defined 205 independent risk-associated signals with the set of credible causal variants in each one. In parallel, we used a Bayesian approach (PAINTOR) that combines genetic association, linkage disequilibrium and enriched genomic features to determine variants with high posterior probabilities of being causal. Potentially causal variants were significantly over-represented in active gene regulatory regions and transcription factor binding sites. We applied our INQUSIT pipeline for prioritizing genes as targets of those potentially causal variants, using gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci), chromatin interaction and functional annotations. Known cancer drivers, transcription factors and genes in the developmental, apoptosis, immune system and DNA integrity checkpoint gene ontology pathways were over-represented among the highest-confidence target genes.
Previous transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) have identified breast cancer risk genes by integrating data from expression quantitative loci and genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but analyses of breast cancer subtype-specific associations have been limited. In this study, we conducted a TWAS using gene expression data from GTEx and summary statistics from the hitherto largest GWAS meta-analysis conducted for breast cancer overall, and by estrogen receptor subtypes (ER+ and ER-). We further compared associations with ER+ and ER- subtypes, using a case-only TWAS approach. We also conducted multigene conditional analyses in regions with multiple TWAS associations. Two genes, STXBP4 and HIST2H2BA, were specifically associated with ER+ but not with ER- breast cancer. We further identified 30 TWAS-significant genes associated with overall breast cancer risk, including four that were not identified in previous studies. Conditional analyses identified single independent breast-cancer gene in three of six regions harboring multiple TWAS-significant genes. Our study provides new information on breast cancer genetics and biology, particularly about genomic differences between ER+ and ER- breast cancer.
The limited data on cancer phenotypes in men with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants (PVs) have hampered the development of evidence-based recommendations for early cancer detection and risk reduction in this population.
To estimate age-specific relative and absolute cancer risks of breast cancer and to estimate risks of ovarian, pancreatic, male breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers associated with germline pathogenic variants (PVs) because these risks have not been extensively characterized.
Breast cancer susceptibility variants frequently show heterogeneity in associations by tumor subtype. To identify novel loci, we performed a genome-wide association study including 133,384 breast cancer cases and 113,789 controls, plus 18,908 BRCA1 mutation carriers (9,414 with breast cancer) of European ancestry, using both standard and novel methodologies that account for underlying tumor heterogeneity by estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status and tumor grade. We identified 32 novel susceptibility loci (P < 5.0 × 10), 15 of which showed evidence for associations with at least one tumor feature (false discovery rate < 0.05). Five loci showed associations (P < 0.05) in opposite directions between luminal and non-luminal subtypes. In silico analyses showed that these five loci contained cell-specific enhancers that differed between normal luminal and basal mammary cells. The genetic correlations between five intrinsic-like subtypes ranged from 0.35 to 0.80. The proportion of genome-wide chip heritability explained by all known susceptibility loci was 54.2% for luminal A-like disease and 37.6% for triple-negative disease. The odds ratios of polygenic risk scores, which included 330 variants, for the highest 1% of quantiles compared with middle quantiles were 5.63 and 3.02 for luminal A-like and triple-negative disease, respectively. These findings provide an improved understanding of genetic predisposition to breast cancer subtypes and will inform the development of subtype-specific polygenic risk scores.
We assessed the associations between population-based polygenic risk scores (PRS) for breast (BC) or epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with cancer risks for BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers.
In case of suspected hereditary predisposition to digestive cancers, next-generation sequencing can analyze simultaneously several genes associated with an increased risk of developing these tumors. Thus, “Gastro Intestinal” (GI) gene panels are commonly used in French molecular genetic laboratories. Lack of international recommendations led to disparities in the composition of these panels and in the management of patients. To harmonize practices, the Genetics and Cancer Group (GGC)-Unicancer set up a working group who carried out a review of the literature for 31 genes of interest in this context and established a list of genes for which the estimated risks associated with pathogenic variant seemed sufficiently reliable and high for clinical use. Pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes have been excluded. This expertise defined a panel of 14 genes of confirmed clinical interest and relevant for genetic counseling: APC, BMPR1A, CDH1, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, PMS2, POLD1, POLE, PTEN, SMAD4 and STK11. The reasons for the exclusion of the others 23 genes have been discussed. The paucity of estimates of the associated tumor risks led to the exclusion of genes, in particular CTNNA1, MSH3 and NTHL1, despite their implication in the molecular pathways involved in the pathophysiology of GI cancers. A regular update of the literature is planned to up-grade this panel of genes in case of new data on candidate genes. Genetic and epidemiological studies and international collaborations are needed to better estimate the risks associated with the pathogenic variants of these genes either selected or not in the current panel.
Germline protein truncating variants (PTVs) in the gene have been associated with a 2-4-fold increased breast cancer risk in case-control studies conducted in different European populations. However, the distribution and the frequency of PTVs in Europe have never been investigated. In the present study, we collected the data of 114 European female breast cancer cases with PTVs ascertained in 20 centers from 13 European countries. We identified 27 different PTVs. The p.Gln1701* PTV is the most common PTV in Northern Europe with a maximum frequency in Finland and a lower relative frequency in Southern Europe. On the contrary, p.Arg1931* seems to be the most common PTV in Southern Europe. We also showed that p.Arg658*, the third most common PTV, is more frequent in Central Europe, and p.Gln498Thrfs*7 is probably a founder variant from Lithuania. Of the 23 rare or unique PTVs, 15 have not been previously reported. We provide here the initial spectrum of PTVs in European breast cancer cases.
Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption have been intensively studied in the general population to assess their effects on the risk of breast cancer, but very few studies have examined these effects in and mutation carriers. Given the high breast cancer risk for mutation carriers and the importance of and in DNA repair, better evidence on the associations of these lifestyle factors with breast cancer risk is essential.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in over 180 loci have been associated with breast cancer (BC) through genome-wide association studies involving mostly unselected population-based case-control series. Some of them modify BC risk of women carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutation and may also explain BC risk variability in BC-prone families with no BRCA1/2 mutation. Here, we assessed the contribution of SNPs of the iCOGS array in GENESIS consisting of BC cases with no BRCA1/2 mutation and a sister with BC, and population controls. Genotyping data were available for 1281 index cases, 731 sisters with BC, 457 unaffected sisters and 1272 controls. In addition to the standard SNP-level analysis using index cases and controls, we performed pedigree-based association tests to capture transmission information in the sibships. We also performed gene- and pathway-level analyses to maximize the power to detect associations with lower-frequency SNPs or those with modest effect sizes. While SNP-level analyses identified 18 loci, gene-level analyses identified 112 genes. Furthermore, 31 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes and 7 Atlas of Cancer Signaling Network pathways were highlighted (false discovery rate of 5%). Using results from the “index case-control” analysis, we built pathway-derived polygenic risk scores (PRS) and assessed their performance in the population-based CECILE study and in a data set composed of GENESIS-affected sisters and CECILE controls. Although these PRS had poor predictive value in the general population, they performed better than a PRS built using our SNP-level findings, and we found that the joint effect of family history and PRS needs to be considered in risk prediction models.