12 August 2019 In Cancer

Background: Alcohol is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer because it induces hepatocellular carcinoma (among other cancers) in humans. An excessive alcohol intake may result in fatty liver, acute/chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis and eventually lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. It has been reported that alcohol abuse increases the relative risk of hepatocellular carcinoma by 3- to 10-fold.

Aim and Methods: To clarify the known mechanisms of alcohol-related carcinogenesis, we searched Pubmed using the terms alcohol and immune mechanism, alcohol and cancer, and immune mechanism and cancer and summarized the articles as a qualitative review.

Results: From a clinical perspective, it is well known that alcohol interacts with other factors, such as smoking, viral hepatitis, and diabetes, leading to an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. There are several possible mechanisms through which alcohol may induce liver carcinogenicity, including the mutagenic effects of acetaldehyde and the production of ROS due to the excessive hepatic deposition of iron. Furthermore, it has been reported that alcohol accelerates hepatitis C virus-induced liver tumorigenesis through TLR4 signaling. Despite intense investigations to elucidate the mechanisms, they remain poorly understood.

Conclusion: This review summarizes the recent findings of clinical and pathological studies that have investigated the carcinogenic effects of alcohol in the liver.

24 June 2019 In Cancer

Alcohol consumption is associated with higher risk of breast cancer (BC); however, the biological mechanisms underlying this association are not fully elucidated, particularly the extent to which this relationship is mediated by sex hormone levels. Circulating concentrations of estradiol, testosterone, their free fractions and sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), were examined in 430 incident BC cases and 645 matched controls among alcohol-consuming postmenopausal women nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Mediation analysis was applied to assess whether individual hormone levels mediated the relationship between alcohol intake and BC risk. An alcohol-related hormonal signature, obtained by partial least square (PLS) regression, was evaluated as a potential mediator. Total (TE), natural direct and natural indirect effects (NIE) were estimated. Alcohol intake was positively associated with overall BC risk and specifically with estrogen receptor-positive tumors with respectively TE = 1.17(95%CI: 1.01,1.35) and 1.36(1.08,1.70) for a 1-standard deviation (1-SD) increase of intake. There was no evidence of mediation by sex steroids or SHBG separately except for a weak indirect effect through free estradiol where NIE = 1.03(1.00,1.06). However, an alcohol-related hormonal signature negatively associated with SHBG and positively with estradiol and testosterone was associated with BC risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.25 [1.07,1.47]) for a 1-SD higher PLS score, and had a statistically significant NIE accounting for a mediated proportion of 24%. There was limited evidence of mediation of the alcohol-BC association by individual sex hormones. However, a hormonal signature, reflecting lower levels of SHBG and higher levels of sex steroids, mediated a substantial proportion of the association.

24 June 2019 In Cancer

Alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC). However, while studies have consistently reported elevated risk of CRC among heavy drinkers, associations at moderate levels of alcohol consumption are less clear. We conducted a combined analysis of 16 studies of CRC to examine the shape of the alcohol-CRC association, investigate potential effect modifiers of the association, and examine differential effects of alcohol consumption by cancer anatomic site and stage. We collected information on alcohol consumption for 14,276 CRC cases and 15,802 controls from 5 case-control and 11 nested case-control studies of CRC. We compared adjusted logistic regression models with linear and restricted cubic splines to select a model that best fit the association between alcohol consumption and CRC. Study-specific results were pooled using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Compared to non-/occasional drinking (</=1 g/day), light/moderate drinking (up to 2 drinks/day) was associated with a decreased risk of CRC (odds ratio [OR]: 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.88-0.98, p = 0.005), heavy drinking (2-3 drinks/day) was not significantly associated with CRC risk (OR: 1.11, 95% CI: 0.99-1.24, p = 0.08) and very heavy drinking (more than 3 drinks/day) was associated with a significant increased risk (OR: 1.25, 95% CI: 1.11-1.40, p < 0.001). We observed no evidence of interactions with lifestyle risk factors or of differences by cancer site or stage. These results provide further evidence that there is a J-shaped association between alcohol consumption and CRC risk. This overall pattern was not significantly modified by other CRC risk factors and there was no effect heterogeneity by tumor site or stage.

24 June 2019 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies consistently indicate that alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor for female breast cancer (BC). Although the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) polymorphism (rs671: Glu>Lys) has a strong effect on acetaldehyde metabolism, the association of rs671 with BC risk and its interaction with alcohol intake have not been fully elucidated. We conducted a pooled analysis of 14 case-control studies, with individual data on Asian ancestry women participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

METHODS: We included 12,595 invasive BC cases and 12,884 controls for the analysis of rs671 and BC risk, and 2,849 invasive BC cases and 3,680 controls for the analysis of the gene-environment interaction between rs671 and alcohol intake for BC risk. The pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with rs671 and its interaction with alcohol intake for BC risk were estimated using logistic regression models.

RESULTS: The Lys/Lys genotype of rs671 was associated with increased BC risk (OR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.03-1.30, p = 0.014). According to tumor characteristics, the Lys/Lys genotype was associated with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive BC (OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.05-1.36, p = 0.008), progesterone receptor (PR)-positive BC (OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.03-1.36, p = 0.015), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative BC (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.48, p = 0.012). No evidence of a gene-environment interaction was observed between rs671 and alcohol intake (p = 0.537).

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the Lys/Lys genotype confers susceptibility to BC risk among women of Asian ancestry, particularly for ER-positive, PR-positive, and HER2-negative tumor types.

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