Scientists Unlock Further Prostate Cancer Secrets
10 July 2011 - An international collaboration led by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research and the University of Cambridge has taken a further step to identifying men at a greater risk of prostate cancer with the discovery of seven new variants in the human genome that increase the chances of developing the disease.
They carried out a genome wide association study, examining the genes of 60,000 men to look for differences between men with and without prostate cancer. They studied 1,536 SNPs – pieces of DNA that vary between individuals – that previous studies had suggested may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
The seven new regions found to increase risk were on chromosomes 2, 3, 5, 6, 12 and X. A number of these SNPs were found in genes that are known to be involved in other cancers and diseases, including ZBTB38, TERT, FGF10 and CCHCR1.
The team have now found more than 40 of these risk variants, which together account for around 25 per cent of the inherited risk. The one per cent of men who carry most of these variants are about four times more likely than an average person to have prostate cancer, giving them a nearly one in two chance of developing the disease.
The research was published in Nature Genetics and funded by Cancer Research UK.