The researchers screened DNA samples from 500 men with advanced prostate cancer and 500 healthy men of the same age in Sweden. This DNA screening examined the entire genome for more than 550,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are locations on chromosomes where a single unit of DNA, or genetic material, may vary from one person to the next. The team then focused on 60,000 SNPs that have also been evaluated by a similar study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) called Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS). Evaluation of these 60,000 SNPs identified seven SNPs that appeared to be linked to disease aggressiveness.
Additionally, researchers screened another 1,242 men with advanced disease and 917 healthy men who were part of a research project at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. This group included both African and European Americans. Through these multiple screenings, the researchers found that the variant form of DAB2IP is associated with an increased risk of having aggressive disease.
Senior authors Henrik Gronberg, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology from Karolinska Institute, and William Isaacs, Ph.D., a professor of urology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, both agree that the findings were possible because advances in technology allow researchers to take a more systematic approach to looking at the entire genome. Instead of solely studying genes that they suspect may be related to disease susceptibility, they can study the entire genome and look for associations.
By using state-of-the-art technologies, we can find genes that were not previously known or thought to be involved with disease risk, said David Duggan, Ph.D., head of TGens Advanced Genom
|Contact: Amy Erickson|
The Translational Genomics Research Institute