Genetic variants of CHEK1, PRIM2 and CDK6 in the mitotic phase-related pathway are associated with nonsmall cell lung cancer survival.


The mitotic phase is a vital step in cell division and may be involved in cancer progression, but it remains unclear whether genetic variants in mitotic phase-related pathways genes impact the survival of these patients. Here, we investigated associations between 31 032 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 368 mitotic phase-related pathway genes and overall survival (OS) of patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We assessed the associations in a discovery data set of 1185 NSCLC patients from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial and validated the findings in another data set of 984 patients from the Harvard Lung Cancer Susceptibility Study. As a result, we identified three independent SNPs (ie, CHEK1 rs76744140 T>C, PRIM2 rs6939623 G>T and CDK6 rs113181986 G>C) to be significantly associated with NSCLC OS with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.29 (95% confidence interval = 1.11-1.49, P = 8.26 × 10-4 ), 1.26 (1.12-1.42, 1.10 × 10-4 ) and 0.73 (0.63-0.86, 1.63 × 10-4 ), respectively. Moreover, the number of combined unfavorable genotypes of these three SNPs was significantly associated with NSCLC OS and disease-specific survival in the PLCO data set (Ptrend  < .0001 and .0003, respectively). Further expression quantitative trait loci analysis showed that the rs76744140C allele predicted CHEK1 mRNA expression levels in normal lung tissues and that rs113181986C allele predicted CDK6 mRNA expression levels in whole blood tissues. Additional analyses indicated CHEK1, PRIM2 and CDK6 may impact NSCLC survival. Taken together, these findings suggested that these genetic variants may be prognostic biomarkers of patients with NSCLC.





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Publication Info

Mu, Rui, Hongliang Liu, Sheng Luo, Edward F Patz, Carolyn Glass, Li Su, Mulong Du, David C Christiani, et al. (2021). Genetic variants of CHEK1, PRIM2 and CDK6 in the mitotic phase-related pathway are associated with nonsmall cell lung cancer survival. International journal of cancer. 10.1002/ijc.33702 Retrieved from

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Sheng Luo

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Edward F. Patz

James and Alice Chen Distinguished Professor of Radiology

There are numerous ongoing clinical studies primarily focused on the early detection of cancer.

The basic science investigations in our laboratory concentration on three fundamental translational areas,

1) Development of molecular imaging probes - We have used several different approaches to develop novel imaging probes that characterize and phenotype tumors.

2) Discovery of novel lung cancer biomarkers - We explored the use of proteomics, autoantibodies, and genomics to discover blood and tissue biomarkers for early cancer detection and phenotyping of cancer.

3) Host response to cancer - We study the native immune response to tumors as this may provide cues to relevant diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Most recently we have focused on intratumoral lymphocytes and their specific tumor antigens.



Carolyn Glass

Associate Professor of Pathology

Cardiothoracic Pathologist and Physician-Scientist
Division Chief, Cardiovascular Pathology 
Co-Director, Division of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Pathology
Director, Duke University Hospital Autopsy Service 
Associate Director, Residency Program  

Dr. Glass completed medical residency in Anatomic Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School followed by fellowships in Cardiothoracic Pathology also at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Pulmonary/Cardiac Transplant Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Glass initially trained as a vascular surgeon with a focus on endovascular/interventional procedures through the 0+5 Integrated Vascular Surgery Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 2007-2011.  As a recipient of the NIH National Lung Blood Institute T32 Ruth Kirschstein National Service Research Award, she completed a Ph.D with a concentration in Genomics and Epigenetics in 2014.

Dr. Glass was awarded a five-year $3.2 million NIH grant to serve as P.I. of the Pathology Core as part of a larger U54 NIH grant ($13.5 million along with Duke Department of Medicine) to establish a Senescent Cell Human Tissue Mapping Center as part of the NIH Cellular Senescence Network. As a thoracic pathologist, Dr. Glass also has a special interest in identifying new epigenetic biomarkers that may predict response or resistance to conventional, targeted and immune therapy using computational techniques. She works closely with the Duke Thoracic Oncology Group, DCI Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, Duke Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pratt School of Biomedical Engineering. 

Dr. Glass is the recipient of the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology (SCVP) Young Investigator’s Award, the William von Liebig Vascular Biology Research Fellowship at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine, the Duke Pathology Salvatore V. Pizzo Faculty Research Mentor Award, the Duke Department of Pathology Early Career Research Achievement Award and is author of over 90 publications (including book chapters in the recent W.H.O. Classification Tumours of the Lung, Pleura, Thymus and Heart) and 50 national presentations in cardiovascular disease, thoracic malignancies, surgery and machine learning. 

In addition to her clinical and research activities, Dr. Glass serves on the Executive/National Committees for the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology, College of American Pathology Artificial Intelligence Committee and the Duke School of Medicine Executive Admissions Committee. 


Qingyi Wei

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Qingyi Wei, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Medicine, is Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Co-leader of CCPS and Co-leader of Epidemiology and Population Genomics (Focus Area 1). He is a professor of Medicine and an internationally recognized epidemiologist focused on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of head and neck cancers, lung cancer, and melanoma. His research focuses on biomarkers and genetic determinants for the DNA repair deficient phenotype and variations in cell death. He is Editor-in-Chief of the open access journal "Cancer Medicine" and Associate Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics.

Area of Expertise: Epidemiology

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