4 new risk factors for prostate cancer – deCODE genetics

deCODE genetics (Nasdaq:DCGN) announced that a team of its scientists and academic colleagues from Finland, Spain, the Netherlands and the United States have published the discovery of four novel single-letter variations in the sequence of the human genome (SNPs) conferring increased risk of prostate cancer.

This is the sixth set of risk factors for prostate cancer that deCODE has found. The SNPs are located on chromosomes 3q21, 19q13, as well as on 8q24, a region of the genome where deCODE and others have previously discovered risk factors for prostate, breast, colon and bladder cancer.

The deCODE team followed up these latest findings with a population-based analysis in Iceland of these and other published sequence variants linked to risk of prostate cancer. This analysis demonstrates that by testing for these published SNPs it is possible to identify the approximately 1.5% of men who are at more than 2.5 times the average risk of the disease.

“With these latest findings we continue to extend our understanding of the genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men. Using our ability to put these SNPs in a population-wide context, we show that it is now possible to identify those who are at more than 30% lifetime risk, independent of other standard risk factors such as age and family history.

By incorporating this new, personalized gauge of susceptibility into our arsenal for improving prevention and early diagnosis, we can more effectively and accurately identify those men who would benefit most from intensive screening. We are pleased to be incorporating these latest markers into our deCODE ProstateCancer? test,” said Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE.

Today’s findings result from the analysis of several large datasets: deCODE’s genome-wide SNP data from tens of thousands of patients and healthy controls from Iceland; sequencing data from regions in the genome where deCODE and others have already discovered prostate cancer risk factors; and publicly available data from other case-control cohorts from the US, France and Finland. Data from a combined total of more than 60,000 patients and healthy control subjects were included in the study.

The paper, ?Genome-wide association and replication studies identify four variants associated with prostate cancer susceptibility,’ is published today in the online edition of Nature Genetics, at www.nature.com/ng.

Source: deCODE genetics, Iceland

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