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Concept: Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer


Objective To evaluate the strength and validity of the evidence for the association between adiposity and risk of developing or dying from cancer.Design Umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.Data sources PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and manual screening of retrieved references.Eligibility criteria Systematic reviews or meta-analyses of observational studies that evaluated the association between indices of adiposity and risk of developing or dying from cancer.Data synthesis Primary analysis focused on cohort studies exploring associations for continuous measures of adiposity. The evidence was graded into strong, highly suggestive, suggestive, or weak after applying criteria that included the statistical significance of the random effects summary estimate and of the largest study in a meta-analysis, the number of cancer cases, heterogeneity between studies, 95% prediction intervals, small study effects, excess significance bias, and sensitivity analysis with credibility ceilings.Results 204 meta-analyses investigated associations between seven indices of adiposity and developing or dying from 36 primary cancers and their subtypes. Of the 95 meta-analyses that included cohort studies and used a continuous scale to measure adiposity, only 12 (13%) associations for nine cancers were supported by strong evidence. An increase in body mass index was associated with a higher risk of developing oesophageal adenocarcinoma; colon and rectal cancer in men; biliary tract system and pancreatic cancer; endometrial cancer in premenopausal women; kidney cancer; and multiple myeloma. Weight gain and waist to hip circumference ratio were associated with higher risks of postmenopausal breast cancer in women who have never used hormone replacement therapy and endometrial cancer, respectively. The increase in the risk of developing cancer for every 5 kg/m(2) increase in body mass index ranged from 9% (relative risk 1.09, 95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.13) for rectal cancer among men to 56% (1.56, 1.34 to 1.81) for biliary tract system cancer. The risk of postmenopausal breast cancer among women who have never used HRT increased by 11% for each 5 kg of weight gain in adulthood (1.11, 1.09 to 1.13), and the risk of endometrial cancer increased by 21% for each 0.1 increase in waist to hip ratio (1.21, 1.13 to 1.29). Five additional associations were supported by strong evidence when categorical measures of adiposity were included: weight gain with colorectal cancer; body mass index with gallbladder, gastric cardia, and ovarian cancer; and multiple myeloma mortality.Conclusions Although the association of adiposity with cancer risk has been extensively studied, associations for only 11 cancers (oesophageal adenocarcinoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the gastric cardia, colon, rectum, biliary tract system, pancreas, breast, endometrium, ovary, and kidney) were supported by strong evidence. Other associations could be genuine, but substantial uncertainty remains. Obesity is becoming one of the biggest problems in public health; evidence on the strength of the associated risks may allow finer selection of those at higher risk of cancer, who could be targeted for personalised prevention strategies.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Obesity, Menopause, Estrogen, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, BRCA2


Over the last two decades, ovarian cancer mortality rates have levelled or declined. There are, however, persisting and substantial differences in ovarian cancer patterns and trends.

Concepts: Vitamin D, Metastasis, Mortality rate, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, BRCA2, Ovarian cancer


Lynch syndrome (LS) is characterised by the development of colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer and various other cancers, and is caused by a mutation in one of the mismatch repair genes: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2. In 2007, a group of European experts (the Mallorca group) published guidelines for the clinical management of LS. Since then substantial new information has become available necessitating an update of the guidelines. In 2011 and 2012 workshops were organised in Palma de Mallorca. A total of 35 specialists from 13 countries participated in the meetings. The first step was to formulate important clinical questions. Then a systematic literature search was performed using the Pubmed database and manual searches of relevant articles. During the workshops the outcome of the literature search was discussed in detail. The guidelines described in this paper may be helpful for the appropriate management of families with LS. Prospective controlled studies should be undertaken to improve further the care of these families.

Concepts: Cancer, DNA repair, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, MSH2, MLH1, Palma, Majorca, PMS2


INTRODUCTION: Detection of asymptomatic adnexal tumours in postmenopausal women has increased due to wider use of diagnostic ultrasound and imaging quality improvements. Reliable methods to differentiate between benign and malignant tumours are required to avoid delays in treating ovarian cancer and to prevent unnecessary interventions for benign lesions. In the UK, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has issued guidance for the management of adnexal cysts in postmenopausal women, which is considered standard in routine clinical practice. The protocol utilises the Risk of Malignancy Index to assess the risk of adnexal lesion being malignant. This protocol has a relatively high intervention rate in order to avoid a delay in a cancer diagnosis. The Simple Rules Protocol designed by International Ovarian Tumour Analysis Group reports a low false-positive rate in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer without a loss of sensitivity and therefore has the potential to reduce unnecessary interventions in asymptomatic postmenopausal women with benign cysts. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: 140 postmenopausal women aged 40-80, with incidentally detected adnexal tumours on ultrasound scan will be recruited to this study. They will be randomly allocated, to be assessed and managed according to either of the two protocols under investigation. In both arms of the study the tumours will be classified into three groups: high, intermediate or low risk of malignancy. Women with high risk of malignancy will be referred for management in a tertiary cancer centre, women with low-risk tumours will be managed expectantly, while those with intermediate risk findings have surgery in their local hospital units. Analysis will be on an intention-to-treat basis. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Research ethical approval was granted by the North London Research Ethical Committee 2 (10/H0724/48). Trial results will be published according to the CONSORT statement. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Registration at ISRCTN89034131.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Sensitivity and specificity, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Benign tumor, Ovarian cyst, BRCA2, Hysterectomy


Aurora kinase A (AURKA) localizes to centrosomes and mitotic spindles where it mediates mitotic progression and chromosomal stability. Overexpression of AURKA is common in cancer, resulting in acquisition of alternate non-mitotic functions. In the current study, we identified a novel role for AURKA in regulating ovarian cancer cell dissemination and evaluated the efficacy of an AURKA-selective small molecule inhibitor, alisertib (MLN8237), as a single agent and combined with paclitaxel using an orthotopic xenograft model of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Ovarian carcinoma cell lines were used to evaluate the effects of AURKA inhibition and overexpression on migration and adhesion. Pharmacological or RNA interference-mediated inhibition of AURKA significantly reduced ovarian carcinoma cell migration and adhesion and the activation-associated phosphorylation of the cytoskeletal regulatory protein SRC at tyrosine 416 (pSRC(Y416)). Conversely, enforced expression of AURKA resulted in increased migration, adhesion and activation of SRC in cultured cells. In vivo tumor growth and dissemination were inhibited by alisertib treatment as a single agent. Moreover, combination of alisertib with paclitaxel, an agent commonly used in treatment of EOC, resulted in more potent inhibition of tumor growth and dissemination compared with either drug alone. Taken together, these findings support a role for AURKA in EOC dissemination by regulating migration and adhesion. They also point to the potential utility of combining AURKA inhibitors with taxanes as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of EOC patients.Oncogene advance online publication, 21 January 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.632.

Concepts: Gene expression, Cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, BRCA2, Enzyme inhibitor, Mitosis, BRCA1, Aurora kinase


Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) are nuclear effectors of the Hippo pathway. Although they are abundantly expressed in the cytoplasm and nuclei of human colorectal cancer (CRC), and related to tumor proliferation status, there have been few studies on the predictive role of YAP and TAZ expression on the overall survival of patients with CRC. This study investigated YAP and TAZ expression in both CRC patients and colon cancer cell lines, and assessed their prognostic value.

Concepts: Cell nucleus, Gene expression, Cell, Cancer, Oncology, Lung cancer, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer


Ovarian cancer (OC) is associated with non-specific symptoms such as bloating, making accurate diagnosis challenging: only 1 in 3 women with OC presents through primary care referral. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines recommends sequential testing with CA125 and routine ultrasound in primary care. However, these diagnostic tests have limited sensitivity or specificity. Improving accurate triage in women with vague symptoms is likely to improve mortality by streamlining referral and care pathways. The Refining Ovarian Cancer Test Accuracy Scores (ROCkeTS; HTA 13/13/01) project will derive and validate new tests/risk prediction models that estimate the probability of having OC in women with symptoms. This protocol refers to the prospective study only (phase III).

Concepts: Type I and type II errors, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Ovarian cyst, BRCA2, Ovarian cancer, Experimental uncertainty analysis, CA-125, Bloating


Multiple studies of ovarian cancer and genital talc use have led only to consensus about possible carcinogenicity. Seeking greater clarity, we examined this association in 2041 cases with epithelial ovarian cancer and 2100 age-and-residence-matched controls.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Metastasis, Oncology, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, BRCA2, Ovarian cancer, Case-control study, Talc



Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) carrying tumour-specific sequence alterations may provide a minimally invasive means to dynamically assess tumour burden and response to treatment in cancer patients. Somatic TP53 mutations are a defining feature of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC). We tested whether these mutations could be used as personalised markers to monitor tumour burden and early changes as a predictor of response and time to progression (TTP).

Concepts: Cancer, Mutation, Oncology, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, BRCA2, Adenocarcinoma, Minimally invasive, BRCA1