Three new variants are associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to two studies published online in Nature Genetics. The research also uncovers the first population-specific susceptibility allele for the disease.
Malcolm Dunlop and colleagues carried out a genome-wide association study of individuals with and without colorectal cancer, and identified a variant on chromosome 11 as increasing risk of the disease by approximately 10%. The variant seems to have a stronger effect on susceptibility to rectal cancer than colon cancer. The authors also observe that Japanese individuals carrying the risk variant do not show an increased risk of colon cancer, although they do have an increased risk of rectal cancer. This is the first report of a population-specific susceptibility allele for colorectal cancer.
In a parallel study, Richard Houlston and colleagues report two new risk loci for the disease on chromosomes 8 and 10. The risk variant on chromosome 8 is near the gene EIF3H, which is known to be overexpressed in other cancers.
Malcolm Dunlop (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Richard Houlston (Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK)
Abstracts available online:
(C) Nature Genetics press release.
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