The Fruits of the Genomic Revolution
Sellers and Rebbeck Page 362
Decades of investment into genomic science has led to a revolution in our understanding of the architecture of the human genome, genomic variation, and the biological consequences of the genome on human health and disease. Thanks to the technical and methodological advancements that enabled genome-wide association studies (GWAS), our understanding of the underlying genetics of most common diseases and traits has been fundamentally changed. Despite the many successes of GWAS, there remain unfulfilled promises. In this special CEBP Focus issue, some of the leading figures in GWAS research in the past decades summarize what we have learned from this line of research and where the field can contribute biological and clinical insights into cancer.
Awareness of the Link between Alcohol Consumption and Cancer
Scheideler and Klein Page 429
Alcohol has been classified as a carcinogen since 1988 and is thought to account for 3% to 5% of cancer cases. Nevertheless, Scheideler and Klein found in a review of 32 studies that awareness of alcohol as a cancer risk factor is low. Awareness appears to be highest in the United Kingdom and Australia, but low in the United States. People are more likely to endorse alcohol as a risk factor when viewing it on a list of risk factors than when asked to identify risk factors in an open-ended format. Given the prevalence and burden of cancer, this insufficient awareness highlights the importance of developing informational and other campaigns.
ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fat and Survival after Colon Cancer
Van Blarigan et al. Page 438
Marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may prevent colorectal cancer progression, but data in humans are limited. Van Blarigan and colleagues examined postdiagnostic marine ω-3 PUFAs and fish intake and survival among 1,011 colon cancer patients. Patients in the highest versus lowest quartile of marine ω-3 PUFAs had a 28% lower risk of cancer recurrence and death. Patients who consumed dark meat fish ≥1/week versus never had a 35% lower risk of cancer recurrence and death. These data suggest marine ω-3 PUFAs and dark fish may improve colon cancer survival. Clinical trials examining marine ω-3 PUFAs and colon cancer outcomes are needed.
Cesarean Delivery and Risk of Infant Leukemia
Marcotte et al. Page 473
Previous studies have reported increased risks of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) among children born by cesarean delivery (CD). Utilizing both interview and medical record data from a case–control study of infant leukemia, Marcotte and colleagues comprehensively evaluated the association between CD and both infant ALL and infant acute myeloid leukemia. The analyses indicated an increased risk estimate for the association between CD and infant ALL. This study provides the first in-depth examination of CD and infant leukemia. The findings suggest that altered microbiota colonization may be involved in development of infant leukemia.