Cross cancer genomic investigation of inflammation pathway for five common cancers: Lung, ovary, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer

Rayjean J. Hung, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Ellen L. Goode, Yonathan Brhane, Kenneth Muir, Andrew T. Chan, Loic Le Marchand, Joellen Schildkraut, John S. Witte, Rosalind Eeles, Paolo Boffetta, Margaret R. Spitz, Julia G. Poirier, David N. Rider, Brooke L. Fridley, Zhihua Chen, Christopher Haiman, Fredrick Schumacher, Douglas F. Easton, Maria Teresa LandiPaul Brennan, Richard Houlston, David C. Christiani, John K. Field, Heike Bickeböller, Angela Risch, Zsofia Kote-Jarai, Fredrik Wiklund, Henrik Grönberg, Stephen Chanock, Sonja I. Berndt, Peter Kraft, Sara Lindström, Ali Amin Al Olama, Honglin Song, Catherine Phelan, Nicholas Wentzensen, Ulrike Peters, Martha L. Slattery, Thomas A. Sellers, Graham Casey, Stephen B. Gruber, David J. Hunter, Christopher I. Amos, Brian Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammation has been hypothesized to increase the risk of cancer development as an initiator or promoter, yet no large-scale study of inherited variation across cancer sites has been conducted. Methods: We conducted a cross-cancer genomic analysis for the inflammation pathway based on 48 genome-wide association studies within the National Cancer Institute GAME-ON Network across five common cancer sites, with a total of 64 591 cancer patients and 74 467 control patients. Subset-based meta-analysis was used to account for possible disease heterogeneity, and hierarchical modeling was employed to estimate the effect of the subcomponents within the inflammation pathway. The network was visualized by enrichment map. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: We identified three pleiotropic loci within the inflammation pathway, including one novel locus in Ch12q24 encoding SH2B3 (rs3184504), which reached GWAS significance with a P value of 1.78 x 10-8, and it showed an association with lung cancer (P = 2.01 x 10-6), colorectal cancer (GECCO P = 6.72x10-6; CORECT P = 3.32x10-5), and breast cancer (P = .009). We also identified five key subpathway components with genetic variants that are relevant for the risk of these five cancer sites: inflammatory response for colorectal cancer (P = .006), inflammation related cell cycle gene for lung cancer (P = 1.35x10-6), and activation of immune response for ovarian cancer (P = .009). In addition, sequence variations in immune system development played a role in breast cancer etiology (P = .001) and innate immune response was involved in the risk of both colorectal (P = .022) and ovarian cancer (P = .003). Conclusions: Genetic variations in inflammation and its related subpathway components are keys to the development of lung, colorectal, ovary, and breast cancer, including SH2B3, which is associated with lung, colorectal, and breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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