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East Melbourne, Australia

Thompson E.R.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Gorringe K.L.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Gorringe K.L.,University of Melbourne | Rowley S.M.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | And 20 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Introduction: PALB2 is emerging as a high-penetrance breast cancer predisposition gene in the order of BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, large studies that have evaluated the full gene rather than just the most common variants in both cases and controls are required before all truncating variants can be included in familial breast cancer variant testing. Methods: In this study we analyse almost 2000 breast cancer cases sourced from individuals referred to familial cancer clinics, thus representing typical cases presenting in clinical practice. These cases were compared to a similar number of population-based cancer-free controls. Results: We identified a significant excess of truncating variants in cases (1.3 %) versus controls (0.2 %), including six novel variants (p = 0.0001; odds ratio (OR) 6.58, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.3-18.9). Three of the four control individuals carrying truncating variants had at least one relative with breast cancer. There was no excess of missense variants in cases overall, but the common c.1676A > G variant (rs152451) was significantly enriched in cases and may represent a low-penetrance polymorphism (p = 0.002; OR 1.24 (95 % CI 1.09-1.47). Conclusions: Our findings support truncating variants in PALB2 as high-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility alleles, and suggest that a common missense variant may also lead to a low level of increased breast cancer risk. © 2015 Thompson et al. Source


Siva S.,St Andrews Place | Siva S.,University of Melbourne | Callahan J.,St Andrews Place | Kron T.,St Andrews Place | And 9 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 85% of lung cancers, and is the leading cause of cancer deaths. Radiation therapy (RT), alone or in combination with chemotherapy, is the standard of care for curative intent treatment of patients with locally advanced or inoperable NSCLC. The ability to intensify treatment to achieve a better chance for cure is limited by the risk of injury to the surrounding lung.Methods/Design: This is a prospective observational study of 60 patients with NSCLC receiving curative intent RT. Independent human ethics board approval was received from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre ethics committee. In this research, Galligas and Gallium-68 macroaggregated albumin (MAA) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging will be used to measure ventilation (V) and perfusion (Q) in the lungs. This is combined with computed tomography (CT) and both performed with a four dimensional (4D) technique that tracks respiratory motion. This state-of-the-art scan has superior resolution, accuracy and quantitative ability than previous techniques. The primary objective of this research is to observe changes in ventilation and perfusion secondary to RT as measured by 4D V/Q PET/CT. Additionally, we plan to model personalised RT plans based on an individual's lung capacity. Increasing radiation delivery through areas of poorly functioning lung may enable delivery of larger, more effective doses to tumours without increasing toxicity. By performing a second 4D V/Q PET/CT scan during treatment, we plan to simulate biologically adapted RT depending on the individual's accumulated radiation injury. Tertiary aims of the study are assess the prognostic significance of a novel combination of clinical, imaging and serum biomarkers in predicting for the risk of lung toxicity. These biomarkers include spirometry, 18 F-Fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT, gamma-H2AX signals in hair and lymphocytes, as well as assessment of blood cytokines.Discussion: By correlating these biomarkers to toxicity outcomes, we aim to identify those patients early who will not tolerate RT intensification during treatment. This research is an essential step leading towards the design of future biologically adapted radiotherapy strategies to mitigate the risk of lung injury during dose escalation for patients with locally advanced lung cancer. © 2014 Siva et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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