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New genetic variant associated with prostate cancer in African-Americans
Date:10/31/2007

Caucasian men. But this time they searched for tiny genetic differences between 490 African American men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, and 567 African American men without cancer.

The researchers were able to replicate the linkage between one of the markers detected by previous studies and increased risk. More important, they found a new genetic marker, known as rs7008482, that was even more strongly associated with prostate cancer in African Americans. This marker was located within a gene that is involved in DNA replication, recombination and repair.

Altering this gene could confer an "inherited predisposition to genetic instability," Kittles said. "This could lead to increased cancer risk. By studying this region, we may be able to develop molecular targets for improved screening, early detection, and possibly treatment.

Multiple studies, the authors conclude, strongly support the existence of several independent genetic variants that could increase prostate cancer risk within this small region of chromosome 8. They have already begun to look closer at this region and to study the function of nearby genes.

The study also reinforces the need to keep ancestry in mind when looking at disease-gene genetics. Since African Americans vary significantly in genetic ancestral proportions and the prevalence of prostate cancer is almost two-fold higher among African Americans compared to European Americans," Kittles said, "the use of ancestry-informative markers for association with prostate cancer is quite powerful."


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Contact: John Easton
john.easton@uchospitals.edu
773-702-6241
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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