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Multiancestry Meta-analysis of Prostate Cancer Genetics


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A research team has published findings from a study that brought together data from genomic prostate cancer studies. Including more than 200,000 men of European, African, Asian, and Hispanic ancestry from around the world, the study is reportedly the largest, most diverse genetic analysis ever conducted for prostate cancer. The findings were published by Conti et al in Nature Genetics.

Genetic Variations

The study’s authors identified 86 genetic variations that increase risk for prostate cancer that were not previously discovered, bringing the total number of risk loci for prostate cancer to 269. They then applied a model for assessing prostate cancer risk based on the interplay of these genetic factors.

The top genetic risk score decile was associated with odds ratios that ranged from 5.06 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.84–5.29) for men of European ancestry to 3.74 (95% CI = 3.36–4.17) for men of African ancestry. Men of African ancestry were estimated to have a mean genetic risk score that was 2.18 times higher than men of European ancestry (95% CI = 2.14–2.22). Conversely, men of East Asian ancestry had a mean genetic risk score that was 0.73 times lower (95% CI = 0.71–0.76) than men of European ancestry.

Genetic Risk Score

This research is also a step toward applying precision medicine to early detection.

Christopher Haiman, ScD

Christopher Haiman, ScD

“Our long-term objective is to develop a genetic risk score that can be used to determine a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer,” said corresponding study author Christopher Haiman, ScD, Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and Director of the USC Center for Genetic Epidemiology. “Men at higher risk may benefit from earlier and more frequent screening, so the disease can be identified when it’s more treatable.”

Dr. Haiman and his colleagues used genomic datasets from countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, and Ghana to compare 107,247 men with prostate cancer to a control group comprising 127,006 men. By examining a spectrum of races and ethnicities, the authors aim to make the genetic risk score more useful for more people.

“We not only found new markers of risk, but also demonstrated that, by combining genetic information across populations, we were able to identify a risk profile that can be applied across populations,” said Dr. Haiman. “This emphasizes the value of adding multiple racial and ethnic populations into genetic studies.”

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit nature.com.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.
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