Three Genetic Prostate Cancer Risk Factors Identified

Three separate locations on human chromosome 8q24 appear to be independently associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Evidence for genetic susceptibility to prostate cancer is quite strong. Several chromosome regions have been identified that may contain important prostate cancer-related genes.

S. Lilly Zheng, M.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine examined 18 single-nucleotide polymorphisms on one such chromosome region. Three locations in that chromosome region were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer among men of European American ancestry.

"Because the alleles associated with risk at these independent loci are common (i.e., at least one was present in more than one-third of the men in our study) and their effects are additive, our results indicate that 8q24 harbors factors that account for a substantial proportion of the genetic risk for this common disease," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Sharon Savage, M.D., and Mark Greene, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., review other recently published genetic association studies involving this chromosome region and prostate cancer risk. They also discuss how more data sharing from genetic association studies has accelerated the pace of genomic research and discovery.

"The precedent set by the Human Genome Project and the advent of genome-wide association studies bring the need for innovative data-sharing policies to the forefront of the genetic association field," the editorialists write.

Source : Journal of the National Cancer Institute , Oct 11, 2007



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