03 August 2009

Estimation of absolute risk for prostate cancer using genetic markers and family history

Many men I know involved with family history have been diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa). According a recent Stats Can report PCa accounts for the largest number of cancer cases experienced in Canada.

A study newly (abstract) shows that "Multiple DNA sequence variants in the form of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been found to be reproducibly associated with PCa risk."

"Considering men with 11 risk alleles (mode) and negative family history as having baseline risk, men who had >/=14 risk alleles and positive family history had an odds ratio (OR) of 4.92 [95% confidence interval (CI): 3.64-6.64] in the Swedish study. These associations were confirmed in the U.S. population. Once a man's SNP genotypes and family history are known, his absolute risk for PCa can be readily calculated and easily interpreted. For example, 55-year-old men with a family history and >/=14 risk alleles have a 52% and 41% risk of being diagnosed with PCa in the next 20 years in the Swedish and U.S. populations, respectively. In comparison, without knowledge of genotype and family history, these men had an average population absolute risk of 13%."

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