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Statistics Point To A Genetic Link To Prostate Cancer in African Americans

  September, 27 2006 4:24
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Freedman, M.L., Haiman, C.A., Patterson, N., McDonald, G.J., Tandon, A., et al. Admixture mapping identifies 8q24 as a prostate cancer risk locus in African-American men. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 103, 14068-14073 (September 19, 2006).

Admixture analysis has long been considered useful for narrowing the search for genes associated with specific diseases or traits. This statistical tool was recently used to search for genetic loci associated with prostate cancer based upon the difference in disease incidence between men of West African and European ancestry.

The study evaluated 1,597 cancer and 873 control samples, segregated by two markers for West African and European heritage. The results determined that an interval on chromosome 8q24 is associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Further analysis showed an age-related element that leads to a higher risk at earlier ages. Overall, each inherited African chromosome conferred a 1.54 greater susceptibility to prostate cancer in younger men. While the admixture analysis did not identify specifically which gene(s) are responsible for the greater risk, the 3.8 Mb interval that was identified is known to include the c-MYC oncogene.

The results demonstrate the utility of admixture analysis to diseases associated with relatively distinct populations, while providing a basis for further investigation into the hereditary factor(s) related to prostate cancer.

Message posted by: Keith Markey

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