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Gene linked to increasingly common type of blood cancer
Date:7/20/2009

licular lymphoma arises from B-cells, a specific type of white blood cell. NHL is the fifth most common type of cancer in the U.S., and is newly diagnosed in about 66,000 Americans each year, and annually kills nearly 20,000, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers found that, for SNP rs6457327, the presence of the G allele a DNA letter that varies within the genome was protective against follicular lymphoma, while the presence of the A allele was predictive of an increased risk of developing follicular lymphoma. Dr. Brown said individuals who had the A variant were nearly twice as likely to develop follicular lymphoma.

"There's clearly a genetic component to the disease. The hope is to one day be able to take these results, combine them with other tests, and turn them into an individualized assessment of disease risk,'' said Dr. Brown, the study's other co-lead author. "This is a starting point.''

Dr. Skibola said more studies would be needed to determine the biological importance of other STG SNPs linked to rs6457327 that might change the function of the gene. This could help determine how they might influence risk of the disease.

The scientists also want to know if genetic susceptibility to follicular lymphoma is associated with:

  • Environmental factors, such as exposure to the sun.

  • Conditions such as psoriasis a chronic, autoimmune skin disease closely associated with a similar region of the genome.

  • Exposure to viruses. Follicular lymphoma is associated with HIV infection, occurring in as many as 10 percent of all HIV-positive patients, according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

The genome-wide association study was conducted using DNA from a population-based non-Hodgkin lymphoma case-control study in the San Francisco Bay Area led by UC San Francisco researchers. Follow-up validation studies were done using independent case-control studies from Can
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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