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Br J Cancer. 2003 Jan 27;88(2):263-9.

Polymorphism of the insulin gene is associated with increased prostate cancer risk.

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Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Eistein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461, USA.


High insulin levels are linked with increased cancer risk, including prostate cancer. We examined the associations between prostate cancer with polymorphisms of the insulin gene (INS) and its neighbouring genes, tyrosine-hydroxylase and IGF-II (TH and IGF2). In this study, 126 case-control pairs matched on age, race, and countries of origin were genotyped for +1127 INS-PstI in INS, -4217 TH-PstI in TH, and +3580 IGF2-MspI in IGF2. The homozygous CC genotype of +1127 INS-PstI occurred in over 60% of the population. It was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in nondiabetic Blacks and Caucasians (OR=3.14, P=0.008). The CC genotype was also associated with a low Gleason score <7 (OR=2.60, P=0.022) and a late age of diagnosis (OR=2.10, P=0.046). Markers in the neighbouring genes of INS showed only null to modest associations with prostate cancer. The polymorphism of INS may play a role in the aetiology of prostate cancer. Given the high prevalence of the CC genotype and its association with late age of onset of low-grade tumours, this polymorphism may contribute to the unique characteristics of prostate cancer, namely a high prevalence of indolent cancers and the dramatic increase in incidence with age.

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