Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group

Madrid, Spain

Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group

Madrid, Spain

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Balbas-Martinez C.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | Sagrera A.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | Carrillo-De-Santa-Pau E.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | Earl J.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | And 27 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2013

Urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) is heterogeneous at the clinical, pathological and genetic levels. Tumor invasiveness (T) and grade (G) are the main factors associated with outcome and determine patient management. A discovery exome sequencing screen (n = 17), followed by a prevalence screen (n = 60), identified new genes mutated in this tumor coding for proteins involved in chromatin modification (MLL2, ASXL2 and BPTF), cell division (STAG2, SMC1A and SMC1B) and DNA repair (ATM, ERCC2 and FANCA). STAG2, a subunit of cohesin, was significantly and commonly mutated or lost in UBC, mainly in tumors of low stage or grade, and its loss was associated with improved outcome. Loss of expression was often observed in chromosomally stable tumors, and STAG2 knockdown in bladder cancer cells did not increase aneuploidy. STAG2 reintroduction in non-expressing cells led to reduced colony formation. Our findings indicate that STAG2 is a new UBC tumor suppressor acting through mechanisms that are different from its role in preventing aneuploidy.


Amaral A.F.S.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Mendez-Pertuz M.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | Munoz A.,Spanish National Cancer Research Center | Munoz A.,Autonomous University of Madrid | And 12 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2012

Background Previous evidence suggests that 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] protects against several cancers. However, little is known regarding urothelial bladder cancer (UBC). We analyzed the association between plasma 25(OH)D3 and overall risk of UBC, as well as according to stage and FGFR3 molecular subphenotypes. Methods Plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D3 in 1125 cases with UBC and 1028 control subjects were determined by a chemiluminescence immunoassay. FGFR3 mutational status and expression in tumor tissue were assessed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders. Analyses were further stratified by tumor invasiveness and grade, FGFR3 expression, and smoking status. Cell proliferation was measured in human UBC cell lines cultured with 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. ResultsA statistically significantly increased risk of UBC was observed among subjects presenting the lowest concentrations of 25(OH)D3 (OR adj = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.19 to 2.82; P =. 006), showing a dose-response effect (Ptrend =. 004). The association was stronger for patients with muscle-invasive tumors, especially among low-FGFR3 expressers (OR adj = 5.94; 95% CI = 1.72 to 20.45; P =. 005). The biological plausibility of these associations is supported by the fact that, in vitro, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 upregulates FGFR3 expression in UBC cell lines with low levels of wild-type FGFR3.ConclusionThese findings support a role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of UBC and show that 25(OH)D3 levels are associated with FGFR3 expression in the tumor. Because FGFR3 mutation and overexpression are markers of better outcome, our findings suggest that individuals with low levels of plasma 25(OH)D3 may be at high risk of more aggressive forms of UBC. © 2012 The Author.


Mocci E.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Milne R.L.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Milne R.L.,University of Melbourne | Mendez-Villamil E.Y.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention | Year: 2013

Background: Increased risk of pancreatic cancer has been reported in breast cancer families carrying BRCA1and BRCA2 mutations; however, pancreatic cancer risk in mutation-negative (BRCAX) families has not been explored to date. The aim of this study was to estimate pancreatic cancer risk in high-risk breast cancer families according to the BRCA mutation status. Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was applied to estimate standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for pancreatic cancer. A total of 5,799 families with >1 breast cancer case tested for mutations in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 were eligible. Families were divided into four classes: BRCA1, BRCA2, BRCAX with >2 breast cancer diagnosed before age 50 (class 3), and the remaining BRCAX families (class 4). Results: BRCA1 mutation carriers were at increased risk of pancreatic cancer [SIR = 4.11; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.94-5.76] as were BRCA2 mutation carriers (SIR = 5.79; 95% CI, 4.28-7.84). BRCAX family members were also at increased pancreatic cancer risk, which did not appear to vary by number of members with early-onset breast cancer (SIR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.06-1.63 for class 3 and SIR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.13-1.49 for class 4). Conclusions: Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Members of BRCAX families are also at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, pointing to the existence of other genetic factors that increase the risk of both pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. Impact: This study clarifies the relationship between familial breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. Given its high mortality, pancreatic cancer should be included in risk assessment in familial breast cancer counseling. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 22(5); 803-11. © 2013 AACR.


Alberice J.V.,University of San Pablo - CEU | Alberice J.V.,University of Sao Paulo | Amaral A.F.S.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Armitage E.G.,University of San Pablo - CEU | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2013

The incidence and rate of recurrence of bladder cancer is high, particularly in developed countries, however current methods for diagnosis are limited to detecting high-grade tumours using often invasive methods. A panel of biomarkers to characterise tumours of different grades that could also distinguish between patients exhibiting the disease with first incidence or recurrence could be useful for bladder cancer diagnostics. In this study, potential metabolic biomarkers have been discovered through mass spectrometry based metabolomics of urine. Pre-treatment urine samples were collected from 48 patients diagnosed of urothelial bladder cancer. Patients were followed-up through the hospital pathological charts to identify whether and when the disease recurred or progressed. Subsequently, they were classified according to whether or not they suffered a tumour recurrence (recurrent or stable) as well as their risk group according to tumour grade and stage. Identified metabolites have been analysed in terms of disease characteristics (tumour stage and recurrence) and have provided an insight into bladder cancer progression. Using both liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry, a total of 27 metabolite features were highlighted as significantly different between patient groups. Some, for example histidine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan have been previously linked with bladder cancer, however until now their connection with bladder cancer progression has not been previously reported. The candidate biomarkers revealed in this study could be useful in the clinic for diagnosis of bladder cancer and, through characterising the stage of the disease, could also be useful in prognostics. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Allory Y.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | Allory Y.,University Paris Est Creteil | Beukers W.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Sagrera A.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | And 25 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

Background Hotspot mutations in the promoter of the gene coding for telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) have been described and proposed to activate gene expression. Objectives To investigate TERT mutation frequency, spectrum, association with expression and clinical outcome, and potential for detection of recurrences in urine in patients with urothelial bladder cancer (UBC). Design, setting, and participants A set of 111 UBCs of different stages was used to assess TERT promoter mutations by Sanger sequencing and TERT messenger RNA (mRNA) expression by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The two most frequent mutations were investigated, using a SNaPshot assay, in an independent set of 184 non-muscle-invasive and 173 muscle-invasive UBC (median follow-up: 53 mo and 21 mo, respectively). Voided urine from patients with suspicion of incident UBC (n = 174), or under surveillance after diagnosis of non-muscle-invasive UBC (n = 194), was tested using a SNaPshot assay. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Association of mutation status with age, sex, tobacco, stage, grade, fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) mutation, progression-free survival, disease-specific survival, and overall survival. Results and limitations In the two series, 78 of 111 (70%) and 283 of 357 (79%) tumors harbored TERT mutations, C228T being the most frequent substitution (83% for both series). TERT mutations were not associated with clinical or pathologic parameters, but were more frequent among FGFR3 mutant tumors (p = 0.0002). There was no association between TERT mutations and mRNA expression (p = 0.3). Mutations were not associated with clinical outcome. In urine, TERT mutations had 90% specificity in subjects with hematuria but no bladder tumor, and 73% in recurrence-free UBC patients. The sensitivity was 62% in incident and 42% in recurrent UBC. A limitation of the study is its retrospective nature. Conclusions Somatic TERT promoter mutations are an early, highly prevalent genetic event in UBC and are not associated with TERT mRNA levels or disease outcomes. A SNaPshot assay in urine may help to detect UBC recurrences. © 2013 European Association of Urology.


Lopez de Maturana E.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Pineda S.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Brand A.,Maastricht University | Van Steen K.,University of Liège | Malats N.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group
Genetic Epidemiology | Year: 2016

Primary and secondary prevention can highly benefit a personalized medicine approach through the accurate discrimination of individuals at high risk of developing a specific disease from those at moderate and low risk. To this end precise risk prediction models need to be built. This endeavor requires a precise characterization of the individual exposome, genome, and phenome. Massive molecular omics data representing the different layers of the biological processes of the host and the nonhost will enable to build more accurate risk prediction models. Epidemiologists aim to integrate omics data along with important information coming from other sources (questionnaires, candidate markers) that has been proved to be relevant in the discrimination risk assessment of complex diseases. However, the integrative models in large-scale epidemiologic research are still in their infancy and they face numerous challenges, some of them at the analytical stage. So far, there are a small number of studies that have integrated more than two omics data sets, and the inclusion of non-omics data in the same models is still missing in most of studies. In this contribution, we aim at approaching the omics and non-omics data integration from the epidemiology scope by considering the “massive” inclusion of variables in the risk assessment and predictive models. We also provide already available examples of integrative contributions in the field, propose analytical strategies that allow considering both omics and non-omics data in the models, and finally review the challenges imbedding this type of research. © 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.


Milne R.L.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Antoniou A.C.,University of Cambridge
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2011

Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 confer high risks of female breast and ovarian cancer. However, there is strong evidence that these risks are modified by other factors, including familial or genetic factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several breast cancer genetic susceptibility variants in the general population that are also associated with breast cancer risk for mutation carriers. The patterns of association for these variants vary between BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and this variation appears to be driven by their differential associations with breast cancer subtypes defined by estrogen receptor status. We review the latest evidence regarding genetic modifiers of cancer risk for female BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers emerging from candidate gene studies, variants found in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to be associated with cancer risk in the general population and GWAS specifically in mutation carriers. We also discuss the implications of these findings for cancer risk prediction in these women. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers could potentially be among the first groups of individuals for whom clinically applicable risk profiling could be developed using the common breast cancer susceptibility variants identified through GWAS. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.


Lopez de Maturana E.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group
Human genetics | Year: 2014

The continuous advancement in genotyping technology has not been accompanied by the application of innovative statistical methods, such as multi-marker methods (MMM), to unravel genetic associations with complex traits. Although the performance of MMM has been widely explored in a prediction context, little is known on their behavior in the quantitative trait loci (QTL) detection under complex genetic architectures. We shed light on this still open question by applying Bayes A (BA) and Bayesian LASSO (BL) to simulated and real data. Both methods were compared to the single marker regression (SMR). Simulated data were generated in the context of six scenarios differing on effect size, minor allele frequency (MAF) and linkage disequilibrium (LD) between QTLs. These were based on real SNP genotypes in chromosome 21 from the Spanish Bladder Cancer Study. We show how the genetic architecture dramatically affects the behavior of the methods in terms of power, type I error and accuracy of estimates. Markers with high MAF are easier to detect by all methods, especially if they have a large effect on the phenotypic trait. A high LD between QTLs with either large or small effects differently affects the power of the methods: it impairs QTL detection with BA, irrespectively of the effect size, although boosts that of small effects with BL and SMR. We demonstrate the convenience of applying MMM rather than SMR because of their larger power and smaller type I error. Results from real data when applying MMM suggest novel associations not detected by SMR.


Malats N.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Real F.X.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | Real F.X.,University Pompeu Fabra
Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America | Year: 2015

Bladder cancer incidence is higher in old men, shows geographic variation, and is mostly an environmental disease. Cigarette smoking, occupational exposures, water arsenic, Schistosoma haematobium infestation, and some medications are the best established risk factors. Low-penetrance genetic factors also contribute to its origin, some through interaction with environmental factors. Bladder cancer has high prevalence and a low mortality, being largely a chronic disease. Data on environmental and genetic factors involved in the disease outcome are inconclusive. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Masson-Lecomte A.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Masson-Lecomte A.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Rava M.,Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group | Real F.X.,Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group | And 5 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

Context Host immune response has an impact on tumour development and progression. There is interest in the use of inflammatory biomarkers (InfBMs) in cancer care. Although several studies assessing the potential prognostic value of InfBMs in cancer have been published in the past decades, they have had no impact on the management of patients with urothelial bladder carcinoma (UBC).Objective To review and summarise the scientific literature on the prognostic value of tumour, serum, urine, and germline DNA InfBMs on UBC. Evidence acquisition A systematic review of the literature was performed searching the Medline and Embase databases for original articles published between January 1975 and November 2013. The main inclusion criterion was the provision of a survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier and/or Cox) according to the Reporting Recommendations for Tumor Marker Prognostic Studies guidelines for the assessment of prognostic markers. We focused on markers assessed at least twice in the literature. Findings are reported following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines. Evidence synthesis Overall, 34 publications, mostly retrospective, fulfilled the main inclusion criterion. Main limitations of these studies were missing relevant information about design or analysis and heterogeneous methodology used. Inflammatory cells, costimulatory molecules in tumour cells, and serum cytokines showed prognostic significance, mainly in univariable analyses. High C-reactive protein values were consistently reported as an independent prognostic factor for mortality in invasive UBC.Conclusions There is a dearth of studies on InfBMs in UBC compared with other tumour types. Evidence suggests that InfBMs may have an impact on the management of patients with UBC. Currently, methodological drawbacks of the studies limit the translational potential of results.Patient summary In this review, we analysed studies evaluating the impact of inflammatory response on bladder cancer progression. Despite methodological limitations, some inflammatory biomarkers should be further analysed because they hold promise to improve patient care. © 2014 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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