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J Intern Med. 2012 Apr;271(4):344-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2012.02522.x.

Utility of genome-wide association study findings: prostate cancer as a translational research paradigm.

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  • 1Center for Cancer Genomics, Wake Forest University, School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Genome-wide association studies have identified thousands of consistently replicated associations between genetic markers and complex disease risk, including cancers. Alone, these markers have limited utility in risk prediction; however, when several of these markers are used in combination, the predictive performance appears to be similar to that of many currently available clinical predictors. Despite this, there are divergent views regarding the clinical validity and utility of these genetic markers in risk prediction. There are valid concerns, thus providing a direction for new lines of research. Herein, we outline the debate and use the example of prostate cancer to highlight emerging evidence from studies that aim to address potential concerns. We also describe a translational framework that could be used to guide the development of a new generation of comprehensive research studies aimed at capitalizing on these exciting new discoveries.

© 2012 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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