Adequate intake of copper and zinc, two essential micronutrients, are important for antioxidant functions. Their imbalance may have implications for development of diseases like colorectal cancer (CRC), where oxidative stress is thought to be etiologically involved. As evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies is lacking, we conducted a case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort to investigate the association between circulating levels of copper and zinc, and their calculated ratio, with risk of CRC development. Copper and zinc levels were measured by reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in 966 cases and 966 matched controls. Multivariable adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using conditional logistic regression and are presented for the fifth versus first quintile. Higher circulating concentration of copper was associated with a raised CRC risk (OR = 1.50; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.13; P-trend = 0.02) whereas an inverse association with cancer risk was observed for higher zinc levels (OR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.43, 0.97; P-trend = 0.07). Consequently, the ratio of copper/zinc was positively associated with CRC (OR = 1.70; 95% CI: 1.20, 2.40; P-trend = 0.0005). In subgroup analyses by follow-up time, the associations remained statistically significant only in those diagnosed within 2 years of blood collection. In conclusion, these data suggest that copper or copper levels in relation to zinc (copper to zinc ratio) become imbalanced in the process of CRC development. Mechanistic studies into the underlying mechanisms of regulation and action are required to further examine a possible role for higher copper and copper/zinc ratio levels in CRC development and progression.
Evidence indicates that gaining weight in adult life is associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer; however, biological mechanisms that may explain this association remain unclear. We evaluated the mediation effect of 20 different biomarkers on the relationship between adult weight gain and colorectal cancer, using data from a prospective nested case-control study of 452 incident cases diagnosed between 1992 and 2003 and matched within risk sets to 452 controls within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. The proportions of mediated effects (%) were estimated on the basis of differences in percent effect changes in conditional logistic regression models with and without additional adjustment for individual biomarkers. Greater adult weight gain (≥300 g/year vs. <300 g/year) was associated with a higher risk of colon cancer (multivariable-adjusted relative risk = 1.54, 95% confidence interval: 1.07, 2.24) but not rectal cancer (relative risk = 1.07, 95% confidence interval: 0.68, 1.66). This association was accounted for mostly by attained waist circumference (reduction of 61%) and by the biomarkers soluble leptin receptor (reduction of 43%) and glycated hemoglobin (reduction of 28%). These novel data suggest that the observed association between adult weight gain and colon cancer could be primarily explained by attained abdominal fatness and biomarkers of metabolic dysfunction.
Leakage of bacterial products across the gut barrier may play a role in liver diseases which often precede the development of liver cancer. However, human studies, particularly from prospective settings, are lacking.
Metabolomics is now widely used to characterize metabolic phenotypes associated with lifestyle risk factors such as obesity. The objective of the present study was to explore the associations of body mass index (BMI) with 145 metabolites measured in blood samples in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Metabolites were measured in blood from 392 men from the Oxford (UK) cohort (EPIC-Oxford) and in 327 control subjects who were part of a nested case-control study on hepatobiliary carcinomas (EPIC-Hepatobiliary). Measured metabolites included amino acids, acylcarnitines, hexoses, biogenic amines, phosphatidylcholines, and sphingomyelins. Linear regression models controlled for potential confounders and multiple testing were run to evaluate the associations of metabolite concentrations with BMI. 40 and 45 individual metabolites showed significant differences according to BMI variations, in the EPIC-Oxford and EPIC-Hepatobiliary subcohorts, respectively. Twenty two individual metabolites (kynurenine, one sphingomyelin, glutamate and 19 phosphatidylcholines) were associated with BMI in both subcohorts. The present findings provide additional knowledge on blood metabolic signatures of BMI in European adults, which may help identify mechanisms mediating the relationship of BMI with obesity-related diseases.
Dimitrakopoulou, Vasiliki I; Travis, Ruth C; Shui, Irene M; Mondul, Alison; Albanes, Demetrius; Virtamo, Jarmo; Agudo, Antonio; Boeing, Heiner; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Gunter, Marc J; et al. (2017-03-15)
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 100 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with prostate cancer. However, information on the mechanistic basis for some associations is limited. Recent research has been directed towards the potential association of vitamin D concentrations and prostate cancer, but little is known about whether the aforementioned genetic associations are modified by vitamin D. We investigated the associations of 46 GWAS-identified SNPs, circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and prostate cancer (3,811 cases, 511 of whom died from the disease, compared with 2,980 controls-from 5 cohort studies that recruited participants over several periods beginning in the 1980s). We used logistic regression models with data from the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) to evaluate interactions on the multiplicative and additive scales. After allowing for multiple testing, none of the SNPs examined was significantly associated with 25(OH)D concentration, and the SNP-prostate cancer associations did not differ by these concentrations. A statistically significant interaction was observed for each of 2 SNPs in the 8q24 region (rs620861 and rs16902094), 25(OH)D concentration, and fatal prostate cancer on both multiplicative and additive scales (P ≤ 0.001). We did not find strong evidence that associations between GWAS-identified SNPs and prostate cancer are modified by circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D. The intriguing interactions between rs620861 and rs16902094, 25(OH)D concentration, and fatal prostate cancer warrant replication.
Duell, Eric J; Lujan-Barroso, Leila; Sala, Núria; Deitz McElyea, Samantha; Overvad, Kim; Tjonneland, Anne; Olsen, Anja; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Busund, Lill-Tove; Moi, Line; et al. (2017-09-01)
Noninvasive biomarkers for early pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) diagnosis and disease risk stratification are greatly needed. We conducted a nested case-control study within the Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort to evaluate prediagnostic microRNAs (miRs) as biomarkers of subsequent PDAC risk. A panel of eight miRs (miR-10a, -10b, -21-3p, -21-5p, -30c, -106b, -155 and -212) based on previous evidence from our group was evaluated in 225 microscopically confirmed PDAC cases and 225 controls matched on center, sex, fasting status and age/date/time of blood collection. MiR levels in prediagnostic plasma samples were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Logistic regression was used to model levels and PDAC risk, adjusting for covariates and to estimate area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC). Plasma miR-10b, -21-5p, -30c and -106b levels were significantly higher in cases diagnosed within 2 years of blood collection compared to matched controls (all p-values <0.04). Based on adjusted logistic regression models, levels for six miRs (miR-10a, -10b, -21-5p, -30c, -155 and -212) overall, and for four miRs (-10a, -10b, -21-5p and -30c) at shorter follow-up time between blood collection and diagnosis (≤5 yr, ≤2 yr), were statistically significantly associated with risk. A score based on the panel showed a linear dose-response trend with risk (p-value = 0.0006). For shorter follow-up (≤5 yr), AUC for the score was 0.73, and for individual miRs ranged from 0.73 (miR-212) to 0.79 (miR-21-5p).
Jakszyn, Paula; Fonseca-Nunes, Ana; Lujan-Barroso, Leila; Aranda, Núria; Tous, Mónica; Arija, Victoria; Cross, Amanda; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H B As; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Kühn, Tilman; et al. (2017-09-01)
Hepcidin is the main regulator of iron homeostasis and dysregulation of proteins involved in iron metabolism has been associated with tumorogenesis. However, to date, no epidemiological study has researched the association between hepcidin levels and gastric cancer risk. To further investigate the relationship between hepcidin levels and gastric cancer risk, we conducted a nested case-control study (EURGAST) within the multicentric European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. The study included 456 primary incident gastric adenocarcinoma cases and 900 matched controls that occurred during an average of 11 years of follow-up. We measured serum levels of hepcidin-25, iron, ferritin, transferrin and C-reactive protein. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risk of gastric cancer by hepcidin levels were estimated from multivariable conditional logistic regression models. Mediation effect of the ferritin levels on the hepcidin-gastric cancer pathway was also evaluated. After adjusting for relevant confounders, we observed a statistically significant inverse association between gastric cancer and hepcidin levels (OR 5 ng/l = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.93-0.99). No differences were found by tumor localization or histological type. In mediation analysis, we found that the direct effect of hepcidin only represents a nonsignificant 38% (95% CI: -69%, 91%). In summary, these data suggest that the inverse association of hepcidin levels and gastric cancer risk was mostly accounted by ferritin levels. Further investigation including repeated measures of hepcidin is needed to clarify their role in gastric carcinogenesis.
There is convincing evidence that high physical activity lowers the risk of colon cancer; however, the underlying biological mechanisms remain largely unknown. We aimed to determine the extent to which body fatness and biomarkers of various biologically plausible pathways account for the association between physical activity and colon cancer.
Imamura, Fumiaki; Sharp, Stephen J; Koulman, Albert; Schulze, Matthias B; Kröger, Janine; Griffin, Julian L; Huerta, José M; Guevara, Marcela; Sluijs, Ivonne; Agudo, Antonio; et al. (2017-10)
Combinations of multiple fatty acids may influence cardiometabolic risk more than single fatty acids. The association of a combination of fatty acids with incident type 2 diabetes (T2D) has not been evaluated.
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