Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy and the sixth most common cause of death from all cancer in women, with an estimated 140,000 deaths per year worldwide. Endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining) is the most commonly diagnosed gynecologic cancer, ranking sixth in incident cancer in women. Ovarian and endometrial cancer share many epidemiologic, histopathologic, and tumor genetic characteristics. Meta-analyses of genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets across etiologically related diseases have successfully been used to increase statistical power and identify novel genetic risk regions. We hypothesised that joint meta-analysis of ovarian and endometrial cancer GWAS datasets would identify novel genetic loci for both cancers. Following quality control, summary statistics for >11 million genetic variants were available from the largest genome-wide association studies performed by the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC, Phelan et al., Nature Genetics 2017) and the Endometrial Cancer Association Consortium (ECAC, unpublished). A total of 35,312 cancer cases from all histologic subtypes (22,406 ovarian and 12,906 endometrial cancer cases) and 149,920 controls were included in the analysis. Summary statistics were combined using an inverse-variance, fixed-effects model in METAL and identified ten loci at genome-wide significance (P < 5 x 10-8), of which one locus at 14q23.3 (rs4072776 combined OR 0.94; 95% CI 0.92-0.96; P = 8.0 x 10-9) had not been previously associated with the risk of either cancer. Integration with chromatin conformation data (RNAPolII HiChIP) from the Ishikawa endometrial cancer cell line suggests interaction between the risk signal and the promoter of FUT8. FUT8 encodes a fucosyltransferase and its expression has been implicated in breast, stomach, and melanoma and lung cancer. Interestingly, FUT8 is a downstream target regulated by the loss of PAX2 and mutated p53, which is the earliest known molecular aberration in the progression of the fallopian tissue epithelial to serous ovarian cancer. Further functional evaluation of the 14q23.3 risk region is required to determine the regulatory effect of genetic risk variants on FUT8. Future meta-analyses of datasets, stratifying results by histologic subtypes, will be undertaken.
Citation Format: Tracy A. O'Mara, Dylan M. Glubb, Daniel D. Buchanan, Diether Lambrechts, Per Hall, Emma Tham, Jone Trovik, Ellen L. Goode, Peter Fasching, Thilo Dörk, Rodney J. Scott, Paul L. Auer, Roger L. Milne, Graham G. Giles, John Perry, Immaculata de Vivo, Ian Tomlinson, Douglas F. Easton, Deborah J. Thompson, Amanda B. Spurdle, E2C2, BCAC, OCAC, ECAC. Joint genome-wide association study of endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer identifies a novel genetic risk region at 14q23.3 [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 230.