BETHESDA, Md.—In three papers in Nature Genetics, researchers from several institutes including the National Cancer Institute, deCODE genetics, and the Broad Institute used SNP analysis to identify several new genetic markers for prostate cancer susceptibility in multiple ethnic populations. All of the variations were located on chromosome 8q24.
In the first paper, Broad's Dr. David Reich and colleagues used bidirectional PCR-based resequencing and Illumina BeadStudio technology to probe almost 3000 SNPs in 7500 men with and without prostate cancer. They identified seven risk variants—five previously unidentified—that independently predicted prostate cancer susceptibility. The data also identified markers for cancer risk variation between African American and European American populations.
In a similar study, deCODE's Dr. Kari Stefansson and colleagues performed genome-wide association analysis of ~4500 individuals to construct a 14-SNP haplotype that is quite uncommon in prostate cancer patients of European ancestry, but occurs in ~42% of African American individuals with prostate cancer. Meanwhile, in the third study, NCI's Dr. Stephen Chanock and colleagues identified two independent loci that contribute to prostate cancer risk in people of European ancestry.
While none of the markers align with known genes or alter protein sequences, they may provide new biomarkers to stratify patient populations for increased cancer surveillance.