Melbourne School of Population and Global Health - Research Publications
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ItemSegregation analysis of 17,425 population-based breast cancer families: Evidence for genetic susceptibility and risk predictionLi, S ; MacInnis, RJ ; Lee, A ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; Dorling, L ; Carvalho, S ; Dite, GS ; Shah, M ; Luccarini, C ; Wang, Q ; Milne, RL ; Jenkins, MA ; Giles, GG ; Dunning, AM ; Pharoah, PDP ; Southey, MC ; Easton, DF ; Hopper, JL ; Antoniou, AC (CELL PRESS, 2022-10-06)Rare pathogenic variants in known breast cancer-susceptibility genes and known common susceptibility variants do not fully explain the familial aggregation of breast cancer. To investigate plausible genetic models for the residual familial aggregation, we studied 17,425 families ascertained through population-based probands, 86% of whom were screened for pathogenic variants in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, CHEK2, ATM, and TP53 via gene-panel sequencing. We conducted complex segregation analyses and fitted genetic models in which breast cancer incidence depended on the effects of known susceptibility genes and other unidentified major genes and a normally distributed polygenic component. The proportion of familial variance explained by the six genes was 46% at age 20-29 years and decreased steadily with age thereafter. After allowing for these genes, the best fitting model for the residual familial variance included a recessive risk component with a combined genotype frequency of 1.7% (95% CI: 0.3%-5.4%) and a penetrance to age 80 years of 69% (95% CI: 38%-95%) for homozygotes, which may reflect the combined effects of multiple variants acting in a recessive manner, and a polygenic variance of 1.27 (95% CI: 0.94%-1.65), which did not vary with age. The proportion of the residual familial variance explained by the recessive risk component was 40% at age 20-29 years and decreased with age thereafter. The model predicted age-specific familial relative risks consistent with those observed by large epidemiological studies. The findings have implications for strategies to identify new breast cancer-susceptibility genes and improve disease-risk prediction, especially at a young age.
ItemGenetic Aspects of Mammographic Density Measures Associated with Breast Cancer RiskLi, S ; Nguyen, TL ; Tu, N-D ; Dowty, JG ; Dite, GS ; Ye, Z ; Trinh, HN ; Evans, CF ; Tan, M ; Sung, J ; Jenkins, MA ; Giles, GG ; Hopper, JL ; Southey, MC (MDPI, 2022-06-01)Cumulus, Altocumulus, and Cirrocumulus are measures of mammographic density defined at increasing pixel brightness thresholds, which, when converted to mammogram risk scores (MRSs), predict breast cancer risk. Twin and family studies suggest substantial variance in the MRSs could be explained by genetic factors. For 2559 women aged 30 to 80 years (mean 54 years), we measured the MRSs from digitized film mammograms and estimated the associations of the MRSs with a 313-SNP breast cancer polygenic risk score (PRS) and 202 individual SNPs associated with breast cancer risk. The PRS was weakly positively correlated (correlation coefficients ranged 0.05−0.08; all p < 0.04) with all the MRSs except the Cumulus-white MRS based on the “white but not bright area” (correlation coefficient = 0.04; p = 0.06). After adjusting for its association with the Altocumulus MRS, the PRS was not associated with the Cumulus MRS. There were MRS associations (Bonferroni-adjusted p < 0.04) with one SNP in the ATXN1 gene and nominally with some ESR1 SNPs. Less than 1% of the variance of the MRSs is explained by the genetic markers currently known to be associated with breast cancer risk. Discovering the genetic determinants of the bright, not white, regions of the mammogram could reveal substantial new genetic causes of breast cancer.
ItemNo Preview AvailableTwo-stage Study of Familial Prostate Cancer by Whole-exome Sequencing and Custom Capture Identifies 10 Novel Genes Associated with the Risk of Prostate CancerSchaid, DJ ; McDonnell, SK ; FitzGerald, LM ; DeRycke, L ; Fogarty, Z ; Giles, GG ; MacInnis, RJ ; Southey, MC ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; Cancel-Tassin, G ; Cussenot, O ; Whittemore, AS ; Sieh, W ; Ioannidis, NM ; Hsieh, C-L ; Stanford, JL ; Schleutker, J ; Cropp, CD ; Carpten, J ; Hoegel, J ; Eeles, R ; Kote-Jarai, Z ; Ackerman, MJ ; Klein, CJ ; Mandal, D ; Cooney, KA ; Bailey-Wilson, JE ; Helfand, B ; Catalona, WJ ; Wiklund, F ; Riska, S ; Bahetti, S ; Larson, MC ; Albright, LC ; Teerlink, C ; Xu, J ; Isaacs, W ; Ostrander, EA ; Thibodeau, SN (ELSEVIER, 2021-02-11)BACKGROUND: Family history of prostate cancer (PCa) is a well-known risk factor, and both common and rare genetic variants are associated with the disease. OBJECTIVE: To detect new genetic variants associated with PCa, capitalizing on the role of family history and more aggressive PCa. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A two-stage design was used. In stage one, whole-exome sequencing was used to identify potential risk alleles among affected men with a strong family history of disease or with more aggressive disease (491 cases and 429 controls). Aggressive disease was based on a sum of scores for Gleason score, node status, metastasis, tumor stage, prostate-specific antigen at diagnosis, systemic recurrence, and time to PCa death. Genes identified in stage one were screened in stage two using a custom-capture design in an independent set of 2917 cases and 1899 controls. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Frequencies of genetic variants (singly or jointly in a gene) were compared between cases and controls. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Eleven genes previously reported to be associated with PCa were detected (ATM, BRCA2, HOXB13, FAM111A, EMSY, HNF1B, KLK3, MSMB, PCAT1, PRSS3, and TERT), as well as an additional 10 novel genes (PABPC1, QK1, FAM114A1, MUC6, MYCBP2, RAPGEF4, RNASEH2B, ULK4, XPO7, and THAP3). Of these 10 novel genes, all but PABPC1 and ULK4 were primarily associated with the risk of aggressive PCa. CONCLUSIONS: Our approach demonstrates the advantage of gene sequencing in the search for genetic variants associated with PCa and the benefits of sampling patients with a strong family history of disease or an aggressive form of disease. PATIENT SUMMARY: Multiple genes are associated with prostate cancer (PCa) among men with a strong family history of this disease or among men with an aggressive form of PCa.
ItemPopulation-based estimates of breast cancer risk for carriers of pathogenic variants identified by gene-panel testingSouthey, MC ; Dowty, JG ; Riaz, M ; Steen, JA ; Renault, A-L ; Tucker, K ; Kirk, J ; James, P ; Winship, I ; Pachter, N ; Poplawski, N ; Grist, S ; Park, DJ ; Pope, BJ ; Mahmood, K ; Hammet, F ; Mahmoodi, M ; Tsimiklis, H ; Theys, D ; Rewse, A ; Willis, A ; Morrow, A ; Speechly, C ; Harris, R ; Sebra, R ; Schadt, E ; Lacaze, P ; McNeil, JJ ; Giles, GG ; Milne, RL ; Hopper, JL ; Nguyen-Dumont, T (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-12-09)Population-based estimates of breast cancer risk for carriers of pathogenic variants identified by gene-panel testing are urgently required. Most prior research has been based on women selected for high-risk features and more data is needed to make inference about breast cancer risk for women unselected for family history, an important consideration of population screening. We tested 1464 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 862 age-matched controls participating in the Australian Breast Cancer Family Study (ABCFS), and 6549 healthy, older Australian women enroled in the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study for rare germline variants using a 24-gene-panel. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age and other potential confounders. We identified pathogenic variants in 11.1% of the ABCFS cases, 3.7% of the ABCFS controls and 2.2% of the ASPREE (control) participants. The estimated breast cancer OR [95% confidence interval] was 5.3 [2.1-16.2] for BRCA1, 4.0 [1.9-9.1] for BRCA2, 3.4 [1.4-8.4] for ATM and 4.3 [1.0-17.0] for PALB2. Our findings provide a population-based perspective to gene-panel testing for breast cancer predisposition and opportunities to improve predictors for identifying women who carry pathogenic variants in breast cancer predisposition genes.
ItemGenome-wide and transcriptome-wide association studies of mammographic density phenotypes reveal novel lociChen, H ; Fan, S ; Stone, J ; Thompson, DJ ; Douglas, J ; Li, S ; Scott, C ; Bolla, MK ; Wang, Q ; Dennis, J ; Michailidou, K ; Li, C ; Peters, U ; Hopper, JL ; Southey, MC ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; Nguyen, TL ; Fasching, PA ; Behrens, A ; Cadby, G ; Murphy, RA ; Aronson, K ; Howell, A ; Astley, S ; Couch, F ; Olson, J ; Milne, RL ; Giles, GG ; Haiman, CA ; Maskarinec, G ; Winham, S ; John, EM ; Kurian, A ; Eliassen, H ; Andrulis, I ; Evans, DG ; Newman, WG ; Hall, P ; Czene, K ; Swerdlow, A ; Jones, M ; Pollan, M ; Fernandez-Navarro, P ; McConnell, DS ; Kristensen, VN ; Rothstein, JH ; Wang, P ; Habel, LA ; Sieh, W ; Dunning, AM ; Pharoah, PDP ; Easton, DF ; Gierach, GL ; Tamimi, RM ; Vachon, CM ; Lindstrom, S (BMC, 2022-04-12)BACKGROUND: Mammographic density (MD) phenotypes, including percent density (PMD), area of dense tissue (DA), and area of non-dense tissue (NDA), are associated with breast cancer risk. Twin studies suggest that MD phenotypes are highly heritable. However, only a small proportion of their variance is explained by identified genetic variants. METHODS: We conducted a genome-wide association study, as well as a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS), of age- and BMI-adjusted DA, NDA, and PMD in up to 27,900 European-ancestry women from the MODE/BCAC consortia. RESULTS: We identified 28 genome-wide significant loci for MD phenotypes, including nine novel signals (5q11.2, 5q14.1, 5q31.1, 5q33.3, 5q35.1, 7p11.2, 8q24.13, 12p11.2, 16q12.2). Further, 45% of all known breast cancer SNPs were associated with at least one MD phenotype at p < 0.05. TWAS further identified two novel genes (SHOX2 and CRISPLD2) whose genetically predicted expression was significantly associated with MD phenotypes. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provided novel insight into the genetic background of MD phenotypes, and further demonstrated their shared genetic basis with breast cancer.
ItemFamilial Aspects of Mammographic Density Measures Associated with Breast Cancer RiskNguyen, TL ; Li, S ; Dowty, JG ; Dite, GS ; Ye, Z ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; Trinh, HN ; Evans, CF ; Tan, M ; Sung, J ; Jenkins, MA ; Giles, GG ; Southey, MC ; Hopper, JL (MDPI, 2022-03-01)Cumulus, Cumulus-percent, Altocumulus, Cirrocumulus, and Cumulus-white are mammogram risk scores (MRSs) for breast cancer based on mammographic density defined in effect by different levels of pixel brightness and adjusted for age and body mass index. We measured these MRS from digitized film mammograms for 593 monozygotic (MZ) and 326 dizygotic (DZ) female twin pairs and 1592 of their sisters. We estimated the correlations in relatives (r) and the proportion of variance due to genetic factors (heritability) using the software FISHER and predicted the familial risk ratio (FRR) associated with each MRS. The ρ estimates ranged from: 0.41 to 0.60 (standard error [SE] 0.02) for MZ pairs, 0.16 to 0.26 (SE 0.05) for DZ pairs, and 0.19 to 0.29 (SE 0.02) for sister pairs (including pairs of a twin and her non-twin sister), respectively. Heritability estimates were 39% to 69% under the classic twin model and 36% to 56% when allowing for shared non-genetic factors specific to MZ pairs. The FRRs were 1.08 to 1.17. These MRSs are substantially familial, due mostly to genetic factors that explain one-quarter to one-half as much of the familial aggregation of breast cancer that is explained by the current best polygenic risk score.
ItemIdentification of new breast cancer predisposition genes via whole exome sequencingSouthey, MC ; Park, DJ ; Lesueur, F ; Odefrey, F ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; Hammet, F ; Neuhausen, SL ; John, EM ; Andrulis, IL ; Chenevix-Trench, G ; Baglietto, L ; Le Calvez-Kelm, F ; Pertesi, M ; Lonie, A ; Pope, B ; Sinilnikova, O ; Tsimiklis, H ; Giles, GG ; Hopper, JL ; Tavtigian, SV ; Goldgar, DE (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-01)
ItemProspective Evaluation over 15 Years of Six Breast Cancer Risk ModelsLi, SX ; Milne, RL ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; English, DR ; Giles, GG ; Southey, MC ; Antoniou, AC ; Lee, A ; Winship, I ; Hopper, JL ; Terry, MB ; MacInnis, RJ (MDPI, 2021-10-01)Prospective validation of risk models is needed to assess their clinical utility, particularly over the longer term. We evaluated the performance of six commonly used breast cancer risk models (IBIS, BOADICEA, BRCAPRO, BRCAPRO-BCRAT, BCRAT, and iCARE-lit). 15-year risk scores were estimated using lifestyle factors and family history measures from 7608 women in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study who were aged 50-65 years and unaffected at commencement of follow-up two (conducted in 2003-2007), of whom 351 subsequently developed breast cancer. Risk discrimination was assessed using the C-statistic and calibration using the expected/observed number of incident cases across the spectrum of risk by age group (50-54, 55-59, 60-65 years) and family history of breast cancer. C-statistics were higher for BOADICEA (0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56-0.62) and IBIS (0.57, 95% CI 0.54-0.61) than the other models (p-difference ≤ 0.04). No model except BOADICEA calibrated well across the spectrum of 15-year risk (p-value < 0.03). The performance of BOADICEA and IBIS was similar across age groups and for women with or without a family history. For middle-aged Australian women, BOADICEA and IBIS had the highest discriminatory accuracy of the six risk models, but apart from BOADICEA, no model was well-calibrated across the risk spectrum.
ItemRepeatability of methylation measures using a QIAseq targeted methyl panel and comparison with the Illumina HumanMethylation450 assayYu, C ; Dugue, P-A ; Dowty, JG ; Hammet, F ; Joo, JE ; Wong, EM ; Hosseinpour, M ; Giles, GG ; Hopper, JL ; Tu, N-D ; MacInnis, RJ ; Southey, MC (SPRINGERNATURE, 2021-10-24)OBJECTIVE: In previous studies using Illumina Infinium methylation arrays, we have identified DNA methylation marks associated with cancer predisposition and progression. In the present study, we have sought to find appropriate technology to both technically validate our data and expand our understanding of DNA methylation in these genomic regions. Here, we aimed to assess the repeatability of methylation measures made using QIAseq targeted methyl panel and to compare them with those obtained from the Illumina HumanMethylation450 (HM450K) assay. We included in the analysis high molecular weight DNA extracted from whole blood (WB) and DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues (FFPE). RESULTS: The repeatability of QIAseq-methylation measures was assessed at 40 CpGs, using the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). The mean ICCs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were 0.72 (0.62-0.81), 0.59 (0.47-0.71) and 0.80 (0.73-0.88) for WB, FFPE and both sample types combined, respectively. For technical replicates measured using QIAseq and HM450K, the mean ICCs (95% CI) were 0.53 (0.39-0.68), 0.43 (0.31-0.56) and 0.70 (0.59-0.80), respectively. Bland-Altman plots indicated good agreement between QIAseq and HM450K measurements. These results demonstrate that the QIAseq targeted methyl panel produces reliable and reproducible methylation measurements across the 40 CpGs that were examined.
ItemGenomic Risk Prediction for Breast Cancer in Older WomenLacaze, P ; Bakshi, A ; Riaz, M ; Orchard, SG ; Tiller, J ; Neumann, JT ; Carr, PR ; Joshi, AD ; Cao, Y ; Warner, ET ; Manning, A ; Nguyen-Dumont, T ; Southey, MC ; Milne, RL ; Ford, L ; Sebra, R ; Schadt, E ; Gately, L ; Gibbs, P ; Thompson, BA ; Macrae, FA ; James, P ; Winship, I ; McLean, C ; Zalcberg, JR ; Woods, RL ; Chan, AT ; Murray, AM ; McNeil, JJ (MDPI, 2021-07-01)Genomic risk prediction models for breast cancer (BC) have been predominantly developed with data from women aged 40-69 years. Prospective studies of older women aged ≥70 years have been limited. We assessed the effect of a 313-variant polygenic risk score (PRS) for BC in 6339 older women aged ≥70 years (mean age 75 years) enrolled into the ASPREE trial, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating the effect of daily 100 mg aspirin on disability-free survival. We evaluated incident BC diagnoses over a median follow-up time of 4.7 years. A multivariable Cox regression model including conventional BC risk factors was applied to prospective data, and re-evaluated after adding the PRS. We also assessed the association of rare pathogenic variants (PVs) in BC susceptibility genes (BRCA1/BRCA2/PALB2/CHEK2/ATM). The PRS, as a continuous variable, was an independent predictor of incident BC (hazard ratio (HR) per standard deviation (SD) = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-1.6) and hormone receptor (ER/PR)-positive disease (HR = 1.5 (CI 1.2-1.9)). Women in the top quintile of the PRS distribution had over two-fold higher risk of BC than women in the lowest quintile (HR = 2.2 (CI 1.2-3.9)). The concordance index of the model without the PRS was 0.62 (95% CI 0.56-0.68), which improved after addition of the PRS to 0.65 (95% CI 0.59-0.71). Among 41 (0.6%) carriers of PVs in BC susceptibility genes, we observed no incident BC diagnoses. Our study demonstrates that a PRS predicts incident BC risk in women aged 70 years and older, suggesting potential clinical utility extends to this older age group.
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