EPIC Working Groups - Cancer Working Groups

The Lymphoma Working Group

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) have shown increasing incidence over the past decades in several countries. They are the 10th most common cause of cancer death in the world. They constitute a heterogeneous group that predominantly arises from B-cell lymphocytes. The etiology of NHL remains mostly unknown, and only a few risk factors have been clearly established. Among them, immune dysregulation is believed to play a major role.

The Working Group has been active in analysing exposure data on NHL and particularly in measuring a number of biomarkers. Overall, the group has identified and confirmed more than 1900 subjects with a malignant lymphoma (newly diagnosed after cohort inception) in EPIC, including more than 1700 with B-cell NHL.

Currently available biomarkers and genetic data in EPIC (obtained through a case—control approach nested in the cohort) include:

  • (14;18) translocations in follicular lymphomas

  • Mitochondrial DNA copy number variation (mtDNA CNV) and telomere length in white blood cells

  • Omic biomarkers (epigenome-wide association study, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) in a subset of the EnviroGenoMarkers (EGM) investigation

  • Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in a subset (EGM investigation)

  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) (phase I and replication) conducted within the NCI NHL Consortium

  • IgE and IGF-1, IGF-2

  • Seropositivity to anti-HCV, anti-HBc and HBsAg

Selected publications:

  1. Chadeau-Hyam M et al. on behalf of the EnviroGenoMarkers project consortium. Pre-diagnostic transcriptomic markers of chronic lymphocytic leukemia reveal perturbations 10 years before diagnosis. Ann Oncol. 2014 Feb 20. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24558024

  2. Łuczyńska A et al. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and lymphoma risk: results of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;98(3):827-38. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.054676. Epub 2013 Jul 24. PMID: 23885049

  3. Berndt SI et al. Genome-wide association study identifies multiple risk loci for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Nat Genet. 2013 Aug;45(8):868-76. doi: 10.1038/ng.2652. Epub 2013 Jun 16 PMID: 23770605

  4. Vermeulen R et al. Circulating soluble CD30 and future risk of lymphoma; evidence from two prospective studies in the general population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Sep;20(9):1925-7. PMID: 21784955

  5. Franceschi S et al. Infection with hepatitis B and C viruses and risk of lymphoid malignancies in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Jan;20(1):208-14. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0889. PMID: 21098651

Contact details/Working Group leader

Paolo Vineis
School of Public Health
Imperial College London