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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Jul;15(7):1413-4.

Familial risks for cervical tumors in full and half siblings: etiologic apportioning.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg. k.hemminki@dkfz.de


Many studies have shown familial aggregation for cervical cancer, but they have been unable to distinguish between shared environmental and genetic effects. Full and half-siblings were identified from the nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database, including invasive and in situ cervical cancers in women up to age 70 years. Half-siblings were defined through a common father or mother. Standardized incidence ratios, adjusted for several variables, were calculated for proband-wise risks between full and half-siblings. The familial risk for full siblings was 1.84, compared with 1.40 for maternal and 1.27 for paternal half-siblings. These data were used to apportion familial risk for cervical tumors in full siblings into a heritable component, accounting for 64%, and an environmental component, accounting for 36% of the total risk. No evidence for gene-environment interactions was found. The intractable difficulty in separating cervical cancer causation will be an obstacle for a successful identification of susceptibility genes.

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