Genome-wide association studies have allowed scientists to identify a raft of new SNPs that appear to increase the risk of prostate cancer. The discoveries, by separate teams of researchers, identified a number of new genetic loci associated with prostate cancer, including four new loci on 8q24, an apparently non protein-coding region that has previously been associated with breast, colon, and bladder cancer. The three separate research papers are published in the online issue of Nature Genetics.
In one of the three papers, Rosalind A. Eeles, from the Institute of Cancer Research laboratory (ICR) and colleagues, report on the discovery of seven new prostate cancer susceptibility loci. The authors calculated from their findings that “on the assumption that there is an overall twofold familial relative risk to first-degree relatives of prostate cancer cases and that the SNPs combine multiplicatively, the newly associated loci reported here together explain ~4.3% of the familial risk of prostate cancer. Including the previously reported loci, ~21.5% of familial risk in prostate cancer may now be explained.
“Under this model the top 10% of the population at highest risk for prostate cancer has a relative risk ~2.3-fold greater than the average risk in the general population, whereas the top 1% has an estimated threefold increased relative risk.”
A team at deCODE genetics and international colleagues, meanwhile, identified four novel prostate cancer-related SNPS including one on 8q24. The third study, by the ICR researchers in collaboration with scientists at Cancer Research U.K.’s Genetic Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, homed in on 8q24, and were able to both confirm associations at three previously reported loci on the chromosome and identify additional loci in two other linkage disequilibrium blocks that were associated with prostate cancer.