2009-2010 Research Highlights

Below are highlights of research reported by grantees supported by the Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP). The featured research was nominated by extramural investigators and selected by EGRP Program Staff based on scientific merit, innovation, and/or potential public health impact.

Brain Cancer

Breast Cancer

Lung Cancer

Melanoma Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer



Margaret Wrensch

Melissa Bondy

Genetic Variants Associated With Increased Glioma Risk

Shete S, Hosking FJ, Robertson LB, Dobbins SE, Sanson M, Malmer B, Simon M, Marie Y, Boisselier B, Delattre JY, Hoang-Xuan K, El Hallani S, Idbaih A, Zelenika D, Andersson U, Henriksson R, Bergenheim AT, Feychting M, Lönn S, Ahlbom A, Schramm J, Linnebank M, Hemminki K, Kumar R, Hepworth SJ, Price A, Armstrong G, Liu Y, Gu X, Yu R, Lau C, Schoemaker M, Muir K, Swerdlow A, Lathrop M, Bondy M, Houlston RS. Genome-wide association study identifies five susceptibility loci for gliomaExternal Web Site Policy. Nat Genet. 2009 Aug;41(8):899-904.

Wrensch M, Jenkins RB, Chang JS, Yeh RF, Xiao Y, Decker PA, Ballman KV, Berger M, Buckner JC, Chang S, Giannini C, Halder C, Kollmeyer TM, Kosel ML, Lachance DH, McCoy L, O'Neill BP, Patoka J, Pico AR, Prados M, Quesenberry C, Rice T, Rynearson AL, Smirnov I, Tihan T, Wiemels J, Yang P, Wiencke JK. Variants in the CDKN2B and RTEL1 regions are associated with high-grade glioma susceptibilityExternal Web Site Policy. Nat Genet. 2009 Aug; 41(8): 905-8.

This research was funded in part by EGRP grants to Melissa Bondy, Ph.D., of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Margaret Wrensch, M.P.H., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco.

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Lynn Rosenberg

Julie Palmer

Loss-of-Function Polymorphism in a Tumor Suppressor Gene Implicated in ER-Negative Breast Cancer

Min C, Yu Z, Kirsch KH, Zhao Y, Vora SR, Trackman PC, Spicer DB, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Sonenshein GE. A loss-of-function polymorphism in the propeptide domain of the LOX gene and breast cancerExternal Web Site Policy. Cancer Res. 2009;69(16):6685-93.

This research was funded in part by EGRP grants to Julie Palmer, M.P.H., Sc.D., and Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., both of Boston University.

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Michael Thun

Walter Willett

Susan Hankinson

David Hunter

Multistage GWAS Identifies Two New Risk Alleles for Breast Cancer

Thomas G, Jacobs KB, Kraft P, Yeager M, Wacholder S, Cox DG, Hankinson SE, Hutchinson A, Wang Z, Yu K, Chatterjee N, Garcia-Closas M, Gonzalez-Bosquet J, Prokunina-Olsson L, Orr N, Willett WC, Colditz GA, Ziegler RG, Berg CD, Buys SS, McCarty CA, Feigelson HS, Calle EE, Thun MJ, Diver R, Prentice R, Jackson R, Kooperberg C, Chlebowski R, Lissowska J, Peplonska B, Brinton LA, Sigurdson A, Doody M, Bhatti P, Alexander BH, Buring J, Lee IM, Vatten LJ, Hveem K, Kumle M, Hayes RB, Tucker M, Gerhard DS, Fraumeni JF Jr, Hoover RN, Chanock SJ, Hunter DJ. A multistage genome-wide association study in breast cancer identifies two new risk alleles at 1p11.2 and 14q24.1 (RAD51L1)External Web Site Policy. Nat Genet. 2009;41(5):579-84.

This research was funded in part by EGRP grants to David Hunter, M.D., Sc.D., Susan Hankinson, Sc.D., and Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., of Harvard School of Public Health, and Michael Thun, M.D., of the American Cancer Society.

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Zdenko Herceg

Smoking Tobacco Influences Methylation Changes Associated With Lung Cancer

Vaissière T, Hung RJ, Zaridze D, Moukeria A, Cuenin C, Fasolo V, Ferro G, Paliwal A, Hainaut P, Brennan P, Tost J, Boffetta P, Herceg Z. Quantitative analysis of DNA methylation profiles in lung cancer identifies aberrant DNA methylation of specific genes and its association with gender and cancer risk factorsExternal Web Site Policy. Cancer Res. 2009;69(1):243-52.

This research was funded in part by an EGRP grant to Zdenko Herceg, Ph.D., D.V.M., of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

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Jian-Min Yuan

Urinary Levels of Cigarette Smoke Carcinogens Associated With Lung Cancer Risk

Yuan JM, Koh WP, Murphy SE, Fan Y, Wang R, Carmella SG, Han S, Wickham K, Gao YT, Yu MC, Hecht SS. Urinary levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamine metabolites in relation to lung cancer developmentExternal Web Site Policy. Cancer Res. 2009;69(7):2990-5.

This research was funded in part by EGRP grants to Jian-Min Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

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Jessie Satia

Long-Term Use of Beta-Carotene, Retinol, and Lutein Supplements Increases Lung Cancer Risk

Satia JA, Littman A, Slatore CG, Galanko JA, White E. Long-term use of beta-carotene, retinol, lycopene, and lutein supplements and lung cancer risk: results from the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) studyExternal Web Site Policy. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;169(7):815-28.

This research was funded in part by an EGRP grant to Jessie Satia, Ph.D., M.P.H., of The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

EGRP is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dr. Satia. Dr. Satia was Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and Special Assistant for Diversity to the Dean at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Besides being an energetic investigator, Dr. Satia actively collaborated with EGRP staff and served as past Chair of the Cancer Epidemiology Small Grants Review Committee. Dr. Satia had been Principal Investigator of three EGRP-funded exploratory research grants: “Dietary Supplements and Lung and Colorectal Cancer Risk,” “Dietary Supplement Use, Physical Activity, Body Mass Index, and Pancreatic Cancer,” and “Antioxidant Nutrients and Oxidative DNA Damage in African Americans.” Her contributions to the field of cancer research are greatly appreciated, and she will be missed.

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Timothy Rebbeck

DuPont Guerry

Peter Kanetsky

MC1R Genotype Influences Melanoma Risk Beyond Traditional High-Risk Characteristics

Kanetsky PA, Panossian S, Elder DE, Guerry D, Ming ME, Schuchter L, Rebbeck TR. Does MC1R genotype convey information about melanoma risk beyond risk phenotypesExternal Web Site Policy? Cancer. 2010 May 15;116(10):2416-28.

This research was funded in part by EGRP grants to Peter Kanetsky, Ph.D., M.P.H., DuPont Guerry, M.D., and Timothy Rebbeck, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Donghui Li

Elizabeth Holly

Excess Body Weight, History of Pancreatitis, and B-Vitamin Intake Affect Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Bracci PM, Wang F, Hassan MM, Gupta S, Li D, Holly EA. Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in two large pooled case-control studiesExternal Web Site Policy. Cancer Causes Control. 2009;20:1723-31.

Gong Z, Holly EA, Bracci PM. Intake of folate, vitamins B6, B12 and methionine and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control studyExternal Web Site Policy. Cancer Causes Control. 2009;20:1317-25.

Li D, Morris JS, Liu J, Hassan MM, Day RS, Bondy ML, Abbruzzese JL. Body mass index and risk, age of onset, and survival in patients with pancreatic cancerExternal Web Site Policy. JAMA. 2009;301(24):2553-62.

This research was funded in part by EGRP grants to Elizabeth Holly, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and Donghui Li, Ph.D., of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

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