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Pooley K.A.,University of Cambridge | McGuffog L.,University of Cambridge | Barrowdale D.,University of Cambridge | Frost D.,University of Cambridge | And 32 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention | Year: 2014

Background: Telomere length has been linked to risk of common diseases, including cancer, and has previously been proposed as a biomarker for cancer risk. Germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations predispose to breast, ovarian, and other cancer types. Methods: We investigated telomere length in BRCA mutation carriers and their non-carrier relatives and further examined whether telomere length is a modifier of cancer risk in mutation carriers. We measured mean telomere length in DNA extracted from whole blood using high-throughput quantitative PCR. Participants were from the EMBRACE study in United Kingdom and Eire ( n = 4,822) and comprised BRCA1 (n = 1,628) and BRCA2 (n = 1,506) mutation carriers and their non-carrier relatives (n = 1,688). Results: We find no significant evidence that mean telomere length is associated with breast or ovarian cancer risk in BRCA mutation carriers. However, we find mutation carriers to have longer mean telomere length than their non-carrier relatives (all carriers vs. non-carriers, Ptrend = 0.0018), particularly in families with BRCA2 mutations (BRCA2 mutation carriers vs. all non-carriers, Ptrend = 0.0016). Conclusions: Our findings lend little support to the hypothesis that short mean telomere length predisposes to cancer. Conversely, our main and unexpected finding is that BRCA mutation carriers (regardless of cancer status) have longer telomeres than their non-mutation carrier, non-cancer-affected relatives. The longer telomere length in BRCA2 mutation carriers is consistent with its role in DNA damage response. Overall, it seems that increased telomere length may be a consequence of these mutations, but is not itself directly related to the increased cancer risk in carriers. Impact: The finding that mutation carriers have longer mean telomere lengths than their non-carrier relatives is unexpected but biologically plausible and could open up new lines of research into the functions of the BRCA proteins. To our knowledge, this is the largest study of telomere length in BRCA mutation carriers and their relatives. The null cancer-risk association supports recent large prospective studies of breast and ovarian cancer and indicates that mean telomere length would not be a useful biomarker in these cancers. ©2014 AACR. Source


Mavaddat N.,Center for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology | Peock S.,Center for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology | Frost D.,Center for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology | Ellis S.,Center for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology | And 31 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2013

Background Reliable estimates of cancer risk are critical for guiding management of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. The aims of this study were to derive penetrance estimates for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and contralateral breast cancer in a prospective series of mutation carriers and to assess how these risks are modified by common breast cancer susceptibility alleles. Methods Prospective cancer risks were estimated using a cohort of 978 BRCA1 and 909 BRCA2 carriers from the United Kingdom. Nine hundred eighty-eight women had no breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis at baseline, 1509 women were unaffected by ovarian cancer, and 651 had been diagnosed with unilateral breast cancer. Cumulative risks were obtained using Kaplan-Meier estimates. Associations between cancer risk and covariables of interest were evaluated using Cox regression. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results The average cumulative risks by age 70 years for BRCA1 carriers were estimated to be 60% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 44% to 75%) for breast cancer, 59% (95% CI = 43% to 76%) for ovarian cancer, and 83% (95% CI = 69% to 94%) for contralateral breast cancer. For BRCA2 carriers, the corresponding risks were 55% (95% CI = 41% to 70%) for breast cancer, 16.5% (95% CI = 7.5% to 34%) for ovarian cancer, and 62% (95% CI = 44% to 79.5%) for contralateral breast cancer. BRCA2 carriers in the highest tertile of risk, defined by the joint genotype distribution of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with breast cancer risk, were at statistically significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer than those in the lowest tertile (hazard ratio = 4.1, 95% CI = 1.2 to 14.5; P =. 02). Conclusions Prospective risk estimates confirm that BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers are at high risk of developing breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer. Our results confirm findings from retrospective studies that common breast cancer susceptibility alleles in combination are predictive of breast cancer risk for BRCA2 carriers. © 2013 The Author. Source


Castro E.,Prostate Cancer Unit | Castro E.,Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust | Goh C.,Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust | Leongamornlert D.,Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust | And 25 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2015

Background Germline BRCA mutations are associated with worse prostate cancer (PCa) outcomes; however, the most appropriate management for mutation carriers has not yet been investigated. Objective To evaluate the response of BRCA carriers to conventional treatments for localised PCa by analysing metastasis-free survival (MFS) and cause-specific survival (CSS) following radical prostatectomy (RP) or external-beam radiation therapy (RT). Design, setting, and participants Tumour features and outcomes of 1302 patients with local/locally advanced PCa (including 67 BRCA mutation carriers) were analysed. RP was undergone by 535 patients (35 BRCA); 767 received RT (32 BRCA). Median follow-up was 64 mo. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Median survival and 3-, 5-, and 10-yr survival rates were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Generated survival curves were compared using the log-rank test. Cox regression analyses were used to assess the prognostic value of BRCA mutations. Results and limitations A total of 67 BRCA carriers and 1235 noncarriers were included. At 3, 5, and 10 yr after treatment, 97%, 94%, and 84% of noncarriers and 90%, 72%, and 50% of carriers were free from metastasis (p < 0.001). The 3-, 5- and 10-yr CSS rates were significantly better in the noncarrier cohort (99%, 97%, and 85%, respectively) than in carriers (96%, 76%, and 61%, respectively; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed BRCA mutations as an independent prognostic factor for MFS (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38-4.03; p = 0.002) and CSS (HR: 2.17; 95% CI, 1.16-4.07; p = 0.016). Conclusions BRCA carriers had worse outcomes than noncarriers when conventionally treated for local/locally advanced PCa. Patient summary Prostate cancer patients with germline BRCA mutations had worse outcomes than noncarriers when conventionally treated with surgery or radiation therapy. © 2014 European Association of Urology. Source


Martrat G.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Martrat G.,CIBER ISCIII | Maxwell C.A.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Maxwell C.A.,CIBER ISCIII | And 134 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Introduction: Proteins encoded by Fanconi anemia (FA) and/or breast cancer (BrCa) susceptibility genes cooperate in a common DNA damage repair signaling pathway. To gain deeper insight into this pathway and its influence on cancer risk, we searched for novel components through protein physical interaction screens.Methods: Protein physical interactions were screened using the yeast two-hybrid system. Co-affinity purifications and endogenous co-immunoprecipitation assays were performed to corroborate interactions. Biochemical and functional assays in human, mouse and Caenorhabditis elegans models were carried out to characterize pathway components. Thirteen FANCD2-monoubiquitinylation-positive FA cell lines excluded for genetic defects in the downstream pathway components and 300 familial BrCa patients negative for BRCA1/2 mutations were analyzed for genetic mutations. Common genetic variants were genotyped in 9,573 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers for associations with BrCa risk.Results: A previously identified co-purifying protein with PALB2 was identified, MRG15 (MORF4L1 gene). Results in human, mouse and C. elegans models delineate molecular and functional relationships with BRCA2, PALB2, RAD51 and RPA1 that suggest a role for MRG15 in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Mrg15-deficient murine embryonic fibroblasts showed moderate sensitivity to γ-irradiation relative to controls and reduced formation of Rad51 nuclear foci. Examination of mutants of MRG15 and BRCA2 C. elegans orthologs revealed phenocopy by accumulation of RPA-1 (human RPA1) nuclear foci and aberrant chromosomal compactions in meiotic cells. However, no alterations or mutations were identified for MRG15/MORF4L1 in unclassified FA patients and BrCa familial cases. Finally, no significant associations between common MORF4L1 variants and BrCa risk for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers were identified: rs7164529, P trend= 0.45 and 0.05, P 2df= 0.51 and 0.14, respectively; and rs10519219, P trend= 0.92 and 0.72, P 2df= 0.76 and 0.07, respectively.Conclusions: While the present study expands on the role of MRG15 in the control of genomic stability, weak associations cannot be ruled out for potential low-penetrance variants at MORF4L1 and BrCa risk among BRCA2 mutation carriers. © 2011 Martrat et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Ramus S.J.,University College London | Kartsonaki C.,University of Cambridge | Gayther S.A.,University College London | Pharoah P.D.P.,University of Cambridge | And 144 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2011

Background Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancers. Although several common variants have been associated with breast cancer susceptibility in mutation carriers, none have been associated with ovarian cancer susceptibility. A genome-wide association study recently identified an association between the rare allele of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3814113 (ie, the C allele) at 9p22.2 and decreased risk of ovarian cancer for women in the general population. We evaluated the association of this SNP with ovarian cancer risk among BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers by use of data from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2. Method sWe genotyped rs3814113 in 10029 BRCA1 mutation carriers and 5837 BRCA2 mutation carriers. Associations with ovarian and breast cancer were assessed with a retrospective likelihood approach. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results The minor allele of rs3814113 was associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer among BRCA1 mutation carriers (per-allele hazard ratio of ovarian cancer = 0.78, 95% confidence interval = 0.72 to 0.85; P = 4.8 × 10-9) and BRCA2 mutation carriers (hazard ratio of ovarian cancer = 0.78, 95% confidence interval = 0.67 to 0.90; P = 5.5 × 10-4). This SNP was not associated with breast cancer risk among either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. BRCA1 mutation carriers with the TT genotype at SNP rs3814113 were predicted to have an ovarian cancer risk to age 80 years of 48%, and those with the CC genotype were predicted to have a risk of 33%. Conclusion Common genetic variation at the 9p22.2 locus was associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer for carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. © 2010 The Author. Source

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