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Study examines association between Parkinson disease, cancer
Date:9/3/2012

CHICAGO A study that used a Utah genealogic database and a statewide cancer registry to examine the relationship between Parkinson disease (PD) and cancer suggests an increased risk of prostate cancer and melanoma in patients with PD and their relatives, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Neurodegenerative diseases, in particular PD, may share common pathogenic mechanisms with some cancers, according to the study background.

"Identifying a genetic relationship between PD and cancer is critical to understanding underlying pathophysiologic changes in both diseases. Understanding this relationship could allow clinicians to provide proper assessment of cancer risk in patients with PD and might also have implications for the counseling of relatives of patients," the authors note in the study background.

Seth A. Kareus, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, estimated relative risks (RRs) for cancer in individuals with PD listed on their death certificate, and in their relatives. The study identified 2,998 patients with PD listed as their cause of death from 1904 to 2008 and also included information from the Utah Cancer Registry on 100,817 patients diagnosed with cancer.

To validate their observed associations, researchers also estimated the reciprocal RR for PD death among patients diagnosed with melanoma and their relatives, and estimated the RRs for death with PD among patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and their relatives.

"A significantly increased risk for prostate cancer was observed in the PD population as well as among their relatives. A reciprocal significantly increased risk for PD was also found in the 22,147 prostate cancer cases and their relatives," according to the study results.

The study also notes that "a significantly elevated risk for melanoma was found in the Utah PD population as well as
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Contact: Kathy Wilets
kathy.wilets@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-5717
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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