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Genet Med. 2012 Jan;14(1):107-14. doi: 10.1038/gim.2011.2.

A comprehensive survey of cancer risks in extended families.

Author information

  • 1Division of Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. craig.teerlink@utah.edu

Erratum in

  • Genet Med. 2013 Jan;15(1):89-90.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Cancer is familial; yet known cancer predisposition genes, as well as recognized environmental factors, explain only a small percentage of familial cancer clusters. This population-based description of cancer clustering describes patterns of cancer coaggregation suggestive of a genetic predisposition.

METHODS:

Using a computerized genealogy of Utah families linked to a statewide cancer registry, we estimated the relative risks for 36 different cancer sites in first-, second-, and third-degree relatives of cancer cases, for each cancer site individually, and between cancer sites. We estimated the sex- and birth-year-specific rates for cancer using 1 million individuals in the resource. We applied these rates to groups of cases or relatives and compared the observed and expected numbers of cancers to estimate relative risks.

RESULTS:

Many cancer sites show significantly elevated relative risks among distant relatives for cancer of the same site, strongly supporting a heritable contribution. Multiple combinations of cancer sites were observed among first-, second-, and third-degree relatives, suggesting the existence of heritable syndromes involving more than one cancer site.

CONCLUSION:

This complete description of coaggregation of cancer by site in a well-defined population provides a set of observations supporting heritable cancer predispositions and may support the existence of genetic factors for many different cancers.

PMID:
22237439
DOI:
10.1038/gim.2011.2
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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