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Hum Genet. 2006 May;119(4):400-7. Epub 2006 Mar 1.

Genome-wide linkage scan for prostate cancer susceptibility genes in men with aggressive disease: significant evidence for linkage at chromosome 15q12.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina, 4300D MBRB, CB# 7264, 103 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7264, USA.


Epidemiological and twin studies have consistently demonstrated a strong genetic component to prostate cancer (PCa) susceptibility. To date, numerous linkage studies have been performed to identify chromosomal regions containing PCa susceptibility genes. Unfortunately, results from these studies have failed to form any obvious consensus regarding which regions are most likely to contain genes that may contribute to PCa predisposition. One plausible explanation for the difficulty in mapping susceptibility loci is the existence of considerable heterogeneity in the phenotype of PCa, with significant variation in clinical stage and grade of disease even among family members. To address this issue, we performed a genome-wide linkage scan on 71 informative families with two or more men with aggressive PCa. When only men with aggressive PCa were coded as affected, statistically significant evidence for linkage at chromosome 15q12 was detected (LOD=3.49; genome-wide p=0.005). Furthermore, the evidence for linkage increased when analyses were restricted to Caucasian-American pedigrees (n=65; LOD=4.05) and pedigrees with two confirmed aggressive cases (n=42, LOD=4.76). Interestingly, a 1-LOD support interval about our peak at 15q12 overlaps a region of suggestive linkage, 15q11, identified by a recent linkage study on 1,233 PCa families by the International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics. Using a more rigid definition of PCa in linkage studies will result in a severe reduction in sample sizes available for study, but may ultimately prove to increase statistical power to detect susceptibility genes for this multigenic trait.

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