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BACKGROUND & AIMS - Previous studies reported an association of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, the primary cause of gastric cancer, and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, these findings have been inconsistent, appear to vary with population characteristics, and may be specific for virulence factor VacA. To more thoroughly evaluate the potential association of H pylori antibodies with CRC risk, we assembled a large consortium of cohorts representing diverse populations in the United States.
METHODS - We used H pylori multiplex serologic assays to analyze serum samples from 4063 incident cases of CRC, collected before diagnosis, and 4063 matched individuals without CRC (controls) from 10 prospective cohorts for antibody responses to 13 H pylori proteins, including virulence factors VacA and CagA. The association of seropositivity to H pylori proteins, as well as protein-specific antibody level, with odds of CRC was determined by conditional logistic regression.
RESULTS - Overall, 40% of controls and 41% of cases were H pylori-seropositive (odds ratio [OR], 1.09; 95% CI, 0.99-1.20). H pylori VacA-specific seropositivity was associated with an 11% increased odds of CRC (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.01-1.22), and this association was particularly strong among African Americans (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.08-1.95). Additionally, odds of CRC increased with level of VacA antibody in the overall cohort (P = .008) and specifically among African Americans (P = .007).
CONCLUSIONS - In an analysis of a large consortium of cohorts representing diverse populations, we found serologic responses to H pylori VacA to associate with increased risk of CRC risk, particularly for African Americans. Future studies should seek to understand whether this marker is related to virulent H pylori strains carried in these populations.
Copyright © 2019 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIMS - Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) often has a mucinous component, with more than 50% mucin by volume defining the mucinous subtype of CRC. The prognostic impact of the mucinous phenotype remains unclear.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We evaluated 224 CRC with at least 5% mucinous component (herein 'mCRC') for patient sex, age, race and outcome; tumour size, location, stage and microsatellite instability (MSI) status; percentage of glands producing mucin; percentage of tumour volume composed of mucin; whether tumoral epithelium floated in mucin pools; tumour budding; signet ring cells (SRCs); and peritumoural inflammation (PI). We related these features to disease-specific survival and compared outcomes to 499 stage-matched, conventional colorectal adenocarcinomas. Factors predicting worse prognosis in mCRC on univariable analysis included non-MSI-high status (P = 0.0008), SRC (P = 0.0017) and lack of PI (P = 0.0034). No parameters were independently associated with outcome after adjusting for tumour stage in multivariate analysis. The percentage of glands producing mucin and percentage tumour volume composed of mucin did not affect prognosis, including at the recommended 50% cut-off for subtyping mCRC. Disease-specific survival for mCRC and adenocarcinomas were similar after accounting for stage.
CONCLUSIONS - Stage-matched mCRCs and adenocarcinomas have similar outcomes, with no prognostic significance to morphological subtyping. Histological characteristics of mCRC, including percentage of tumour volume comprised of mucin, were not predictive of outcome.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Background & Aims - Chronic inflammation is a predisposing condition for colorectal cancer. Many studies to date have focused on proinflammatory signaling pathways in the colon. Understanding the mechanisms that suppress inflammation, particularly in epithelial cells, is critical for developing therapeutic interventions. Here, we explored the roles of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family signaling through SMAD4 in colonic epithelial cells.
Methods - The gene was deleted specifically in adult murine intestinal epithelium. Colitis was induced by 3 rounds of dextran sodium sulfate in drinking water, after which mice were observed for up to 3 months. Nontransformed mouse colonocyte cell lines and colonoid cultures and human colorectal cancer cell lines were analyzed for responses to TGFβ1 and bone morphogenetic protein 2.
Results - Dextran sodium sulfate treatment was sufficient to drive carcinogenesis in mice lacking colonic expression, with resulting tumors bearing striking resemblance to human colitis-associated carcinoma. Loss of SMAD4 protein was observed in 48% of human colitis-associated carcinoma samples as compared with 19% of sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Loss of increased the expression of inflammatory mediators within nontransformed mouse colon epithelial cells in vivo. In vitro analysis of mouse and human colonic epithelial cell lines and organoids indicated that much of this regulation was cell autonomous. Furthermore, TGFβ signaling inhibited the epithelial inflammatory response to proinflammatory cytokines.
Conclusions - TGFβ suppresses the expression of proinflammatory genes in the colon epithelium, and loss of its downstream mediator, SMAD4, is sufficient to initiate inflammation-driven colon cancer. Transcript profiling: GSE100082.
Antibody responses to subspecies (SGG) proteins, especially pilus protein Gallo2178, have been consistently associated with colorectal cancer risk. Previous case-control studies and prospective studies with up to 8 years of follow-up, however, were unable to decipher the temporality of antibody responses to SGG in the context of the long-term multistep development of colorectal cancer. In this study, we analyzed a large U.S. colorectal cancer cohort consortium with follow-up beyond 10 years for antibody responses to SGG. We applied multiplex serology to measure antibody responses to 9 SGG proteins in participants of 10 prospective U.S. cohorts (CLUE, CPSII, HPFS, MEC, NHS, NYUWHS, PHS, PLCO, SCCS, and WHI) including 4,063 incident colorectal cancer cases and 4,063 matched controls. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess whether antibody responses to SGG were associated with colorectal cancer risk, overall and by time between blood draw and diagnosis. Colorectal cancer risk was increased among those with antibody responses to Gallo2178, albeit not statistically significant [OR, 1.23; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.99-1.52]. This association was stronger for cases diagnosed <10 years after blood draw (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.09-1.79), but was not found among cases diagnosed ≥10 years after blood draw (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.24). In a large cohort consortium, we reproduced the association of antibody responses to SGG Gallo2178 with colorectal cancer risk for individuals diagnosed within 10 years after blood draw. This timing-specific finding suggests that antibody responses to SGG are associated with increased colorectal cancer risk only after tumorigenesis has begun. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Few prospective studies, and none in Asians, have systematically evaluated the relationship between blood metabolites and colorectal cancer risk. We conducted a nested case-control study to search for risk-associated metabolite biomarkers for colorectal cancer in an Asian population using blood samples collected prior to cancer diagnosis. Conditional logistic regression was performed to assess associations of metabolites with cancer risk. In this study, we included 250 incident cases with colorectal cancer and individually matched controls nested within two prospective Shanghai cohorts. We found 35 metabolites associated with risk of colorectal cancer after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Among them, 12 metabolites were glycerophospholipids including nine associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer and three with increased risk [odds ratios per standard deviation increase of transformed metabolites: 0.31-1.98; p values: 0.002-1.25 × 10 ]. The other 23 metabolites associated with colorectal cancer risk included nine lipids other than glycerophospholipid, seven aromatic compounds, five organic acids and four other organic compounds. After mutual adjustment, nine metabolites remained statistically significant for colorectal cancer. Together, these independently associated metabolites can separate cancer cases from controls with an area under the curve of 0.76 for colorectal cancer. We have identified that dysregulation of glycerophospholipids may contribute to risk of colorectal cancer.
© 2018 UICC.
Elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetranucleotide repeats (EMAST) are common in colorectal cancers (CRCs). The association between EMAST and classic mono/dinucleotide microsatellite instability (MSI) is unknown. We assessed the stability of 13 tetranucleotide and three pentanucleotide repeat markers in tumor and normal tissue from 22 MSI-high and 107 microsatellite-stable CRC samples. When present, instability was observed at tetra/pentanucleotide repeats and was defined as elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetra/pentanucleotide repeats-high (EMASTP-H; ≥30% instability), -low (EMASTP-L; <30% instability), or -stable (EMASTP-S). EMASTP instability, including high and low, was observed in 50 of 123 CRCs (41%), including all MSI-high tumors and 28 of 101 microsatellite-stable tumors (28%). MSI-high CRCs were more likely to be EMASTP-H compared with microsatellite-stable tumors with EMASTP instability. Tetranucleotide markers VWA and D13S317 were the two most frequently altered loci. Loss of heterozygosity was more common in EMASTP-L/S than in EMASTP-H CRCs. Frequencies of loss of heterozygosity at three loci were different between EMASTP-L and EMASTP-S tumors. In addition, right-sided tumor site, large tumor size, high tumor grade, and the presence of Crohn-like reaction were significantly associated with EMASTP-H CRCs. However, there were no differences in clinicopathologic features between EMASTP-L and EMASTP-S tumors. In summary, more CRCs exhibited genomic instability as EMASTP than as MSI. EMASTP instability may prove to be an important prognostic/therapeutic indicator in CRCs.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pro-carcinogenic bacteria have the potential to initiate and/or promote colon cancer, in part via immune mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Using Apc mice colonized with the human pathobiont enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) as a model of microbe-induced colon tumorigenesis, we show that the Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) triggers a pro-carcinogenic, multi-step inflammatory cascade requiring IL-17R, NF-κB, and Stat3 signaling in colonic epithelial cells (CECs). Although necessary, Stat3 activation in CECs is not sufficient to trigger ETBF colon tumorigenesis. Notably, IL-17-dependent NF-κB activation in CECs induces a proximal to distal mucosal gradient of C-X-C chemokines, including CXCL1, that mediates the recruitment of CXCR2-expressing polymorphonuclear immature myeloid cells with parallel onset of ETBF-mediated distal colon tumorigenesis. Thus, BFT induces a pro-carcinogenic signaling relay from the CEC to a mucosal Th17 response that results in selective NF-κB activation in distal colon CECs, which collectively triggers myeloid-cell-dependent distal colon tumorigenesis.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare within the adult population. Ectopic ACC proves even rarer. This variant is formed by cortical fragments arrested during embryologic migration. ACC is also known to be associated with several genetic syndromes and has recently been linked to Lynch syndrome in 3% of cases. We present the case of a 68-year-old male with a confirmed diagnosis of Lynch syndrome secondary to a germline MSH2 mismatch-repair gene-mutation who presented with 2 months history of non-specific abdominal pain. After imaging work-up, the patient was found to have a right upper quadrant, retroperitoneal mass. Biochemical tests were without any evidence of a hormonally active process. Fine needle aspiration of the mass revealed a poorly differentiated carcinoma of unknown etiology. The lesion was resected and found to be consistent with ectopic ACC with an associated MSH2 mutation.
The hyperactivated Wnt/β-catenin signaling acts as a switch to induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition and promote colorectal cancer. However, due to its essential role in gut homeostasis, therapeutic targeting of this pathway has proven challenging. Additionally, IL-6/Stat-3 signaling, activated by microbial translocation through the dysregulated mucosal barrier in colon adenomas, facilitates the adenoma to adenocarcinomas transition. However, inter-dependence between these signaling pathways and key mucosal barrier components in regulating colon tumorigenesis and cancer progression remains unclear. In current study, we have discovered, using a comprehensive investigative regimen, a novel and tissue-specific role of claudin-3, a tight junction integral protein, in inhibiting colon cancer progression by serving as the common rheostat of Stat-3 and Wnt-signaling activation. Loss of claudin-3 also predicted poor patient survival. These findings however contrasted an upregulated claudin-3 expression in other cancer types and implicated role of the epigenetic regulation. Claudin-3-/- mice revealed dedifferentiated and leaky colonic epithelium, and developed invasive adenocarcinoma when subjected to colon cancer. Wnt-signaling hyperactivation, albeit in GSK-3β independent manner, differentiated colon cancer in claudin-3-/- mice versus WT-mice. Claudin-3 loss also upregulated the gp130/IL6/Stat3 signaling in colonic epithelium potentially assisted by infiltrating immune components. Genetic and pharmacological studies confirmed that claudin-3 loss induces Wnt/β-catenin activation, which is further exacerbated by Stat-3-activation and help promote colon cancer. Overall, these novel findings identify claudin-3 as a therapeutic target for inhibiting overactivation of Wnt-signaling to prevent CRC malignancy.
Anterior resection with primary anastomosis is the procedure of choice for patients with rectosigmoid cancers with good sphincter function. Surgeons may perform an associated diverting loop ileostomy (DLI) to minimize the likelihood and/or the severity of an anastomotic leak. To examine the morbidity of DLIs, we performed a review of a prospectively maintained database. Participants included all patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital who underwent anterior resection from January 2013 to July 2015 for rectosigmoid cancers and who subsequently underwent adjuvant chemotherapy. The primary outcome was time to start of adjuvant chemotherapy. Secondary outcomes included length of hospitalization, perioperative complications, and 60-day postoperative complications. Inclusion criteria were met in 57 patients and DLI was performed in 21 (37%). The DLI group had higher estimated blood loss (431.7 vs 192.1 mL, P = 0.03) and a longer operation time (3.7 vs 2.3 hours, P = 0.0007). The DLI group took over a week longer to start adjuvant chemotherapy than the non-DLI group (median time to chemo: 43 vs 34 days, P = 0.002). Postoperatively, DLI was associated with a longer hospitalization (6.7 vs 3.1 days, P = 0.0003), more perioperative complications (57.1% vs 13.9%, P = 0.0006), and more 60-day readmissions or emergency department visits (38.1% vs 5.6%, P = 0.002). Ostomies are associated with appreciable morbidity. In turn, they do not eliminate postoperative complications. Surgeons should closely consider ostomy morbidity in rectosigmoid resection and institute a proactive approach toward identification and prevention of complications.