12 research outputs found

    Celebrated Ignorance

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    False and Unequal Promises: The Causes of the Haitian Revolution

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    Development and validation of a targeted gene sequencing panel for application to disparate cancers

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    Next generation sequencing has revolutionised genomic studies of cancer, having facilitated the development of precision oncology treatments based on a tumour’s molecular profile. We aimed to develop a targeted gene sequencing panel for application to disparate cancer types with particular focus on tumours of the head and neck, plus test for utility in liquid biopsy. The final panel designed through Roche/Nimblegen combined 451 cancer-associated genes (2.01 Mb target region). 136 patient DNA samples were collected for performance and application testing. Panel sensitivity and precision were measured using well-characterised DNA controls (n = 47), and specificity by Sanger sequencing of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Interacting Protein (AIP) gene in 89 patients. Assessment of liquid biopsy application employed a pool of synthetic circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). Library preparation and sequencing were conducted on Illumina-based platforms prior to analysis with our accredited (ISO15189) bioinformatics pipeline. We achieved a mean coverage of 395x, with sensitivity and specificity of >99% and precision of >97%. Liquid biopsy revealed detection to 1.25% variant allele frequency. Application to head and neck tumours/cancers resulted in detection of mutations aligned to published databases. In conclusion, we have developed an analytically-validated panel for application to cancers of disparate types with utility in liquid biopsy

    The FANCM:p.Arg658* truncating variant is associated with risk of triple-negative breast cancer

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    Abstract: Breast cancer is a common disease partially caused by genetic risk factors. Germline pathogenic variants in DNA repair genes BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, ATM, and CHEK2 are associated with breast cancer risk. FANCM, which encodes for a DNA translocase, has been proposed as a breast cancer predisposition gene, with greater effects for the ER-negative and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtypes. We tested the three recurrent protein-truncating variants FANCM:p.Arg658*, p.Gln1701*, and p.Arg1931* for association with breast cancer risk in 67,112 cases, 53,766 controls, and 26,662 carriers of pathogenic variants of BRCA1 or BRCA2. These three variants were also studied functionally by measuring survival and chromosome fragility in FANCM−/− patient-derived immortalized fibroblasts treated with diepoxybutane or olaparib. We observed that FANCM:p.Arg658* was associated with increased risk of ER-negative disease and TNBC (OR = 2.44, P = 0.034 and OR = 3.79; P = 0.009, respectively). In a country-restricted analysis, we confirmed the associations detected for FANCM:p.Arg658* and found that also FANCM:p.Arg1931* was associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk (OR = 1.96; P = 0.006). The functional results indicated that all three variants were deleterious affecting cell survival and chromosome stability with FANCM:p.Arg658* causing more severe phenotypes. In conclusion, we confirmed that the two rare FANCM deleterious variants p.Arg658* and p.Arg1931* are risk factors for ER-negative and TNBC subtypes. Overall our data suggest that the effect of truncating variants on breast cancer risk may depend on their position in the gene. Cell sensitivity to olaparib exposure, identifies a possible therapeutic option to treat FANCM-associated tumors

    Acoustic analysis of the effect of Personal Protective Equipment on speech understanding: Lessons for clinical environments

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    Objective:The use of various types of filtering facepiece class 3 (FFP3) mask have become commonplacesince the Covid-19 outbreak. These have been evaluated in terms of efficacy regarding aerosol filtrationbut less emphasis has been placed on the acoustic effects of such masks and their consequences for clin-ical communication. Design:A microphone 65cm from a sound-producing Head and Torso Simulator (wearing the masks)was used to measure attenuation via a tone sweep. Predicted impact on speech reception in noise wasassessed by weighting the attenuations of cochlear excitation patterns by the frequency importance func-tion of the Speech Intelligibility Index. Study sample:We evaluated acoustic attenuation properties of seven FFP3 masks and a Type IIR surgicalmask (as a comparator). Results:The Type IIR mask had the smallest impact on SNR (2.6 dB with visor). Most FFP3s with an add-ition of a visor (if not already face covering) impacted SNR by approximately 6 dB. The 3 M 6000 was sig-nificantly worse (15.8 dB). Conclusions:Mouth-and-nose covering FFP3s masks had similar effects on SNR ( 6.2 dB with visor). TheTecmen TM-H2 had several advantages over other masks evaluated. It was reusable, allowed lipreadingclues and the attenuation was similar to other FFP3s

    Development and validation of a targeted gene sequencing panel for application to disparate cancers

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    Next generation sequencing has revolutionised genomic studies of cancer, having facilitated the development of precision oncology treatments based on a tumour’s molecular profile. We aimed to develop a targeted gene sequencing panel for application to disparate cancer types with particular focus on tumours of the head and neck, plus test for utility in liquid biopsy. The final panel designed through Roche/Nimblegen combined 451 cancer-associated genes (2.01 Mb target region). 136 patient DNA samples were collected for performance and application testing. Panel sensitivity and precision were measured using well-characterised DNA controls (n = 47), and specificity by Sanger sequencing of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Interacting Protein (AIP) gene in 89 patients. Assessment of liquid biopsy application employed a pool of synthetic circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). Library preparation and sequencing were conducted on Illumina-based platforms prior to analysis with our accredited (ISO15189) bioinformatics pipeline. We achieved a mean coverage of 395x, with sensitivity and specificity of >99% and precision of >97%. Liquid biopsy revealed detection to 1.25% variant allele frequency. Application to head and neck tumours/cancers resulted in detection of mutations aligned to published databases. In conclusion, we have developed an analytically-validated panel for application to cancers of disparate types with utility in liquid biopsy

    Annexin A1 expression in a pooled breast cancer series : Association with tumor subtypes and prognosis

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    Background: Annexin A1 (ANXA1) is a protein related with the carcinogenesis process and metastasis formation in many tumors. However, little is known about the prognostic value of ANXA1 in breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association between ANXA1 expression, BRCA1/2 germline carriership, specific tumor subtypes and survival in breast cancer patients. Methods: Clinical-pathological information and follow-up data were collected from nine breast cancer studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) (n = 5,752) and from one study of familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/

    RAD51B in familial breast cancer

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    Common variation on 14q24.1, close to RAD51B, has been associated with breast cancer: rs999737 and rs2588809 with the risk of female breast cancer and rs1314913 with the risk of male breast cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of RAD51B variants in breast cancer predisposition, particularly in the context of familial breast cancer in Finland. We sequenced the coding region of RAD51B in 168 Finnish breast cancer patients from the Helsinki region for identification of possible recurrent founder mutations. In addition, we studied the known rs999737, rs2588809, and rs1314913 SNPs and RAD51B haplotypes in 44,791 breast cancer cases and 43,583 controls from 40 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) that were genotyped on a custom chip (iCOGS). We identified one putatively pathogenic missense mutation c.541C>T among the Finnish cancer patients and subsequently genotyped the mutation in additional breast cancer cases (n = 5259) and population controls (n = 3586) from Finland and Belarus. No significant association with breast cancer risk was seen in the meta-analysis of the Finnish datasets or in the large BCAC dataset. The association with previously identified risk variants rs999737, rs2588809, and rs1314913 was replicated among all breast cancer cases and also among familial cases in the BCAC dataset. The most significant association was observed for the haplotype carrying the risk-alleles of all the three SNPs both among all cases (odds ratio (OR): 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.19, P = 8.88 × 10-16) and among familial cases (OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.16-1.32, P = 6.19 × 10-11), compared to the haplotype with the respective protective alleles. Our results suggest that loss-of-function mutations in RAD51B are rare, but common variation at the RAD51B region is significantly associated with familial breast cancer risk.</p

    Genome-wide association study identifies novel breast cancer susceptibility loci

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    Breast cancer exhibits familial aggregation, consistent with variation in genetic susceptibility to the disease. Known susceptibility genes account for less than 25% of the familial risk of breast cancer, and the residual genetic variance is likely to be due to variants conferring more moderate risks. To identify further susceptibility alleles, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study in 4,398 breast cancer cases and 4,316 controls, followed by a third stage in which 30 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for confirmation in 21,860 cases and 22,578 controls from 22 studies. We used 227,876 SNPs that were estimated to correlate with 77% of known common SNPs in Europeans at r2 &gt; 0.5. SNPs in five novel independent loci exhibited strong and consistent evidence of association with breast cancer (P &lt; 10(-7)). Four of these contain plausible causative genes (FGFR2, TNRC9, MAP3K1 and LSP1). At the second stage, 1,792 SNPs were significant at the P &lt; 0.05 level compared with an estimated 1,343 that would be expected by chance, indicating that many additional common susceptibility alleles may be identifiable by this approach.<br/
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