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Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 15;19(6):1612-9. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-2718. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

A single nucleotide polymorphism in inflammatory gene RNASEL predicts outcome after radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer.

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Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To study associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in Ribonuclease L (RNASEL), a gene implicated in inflammation and prostate cancer risk, and outcomes after radiation therapy.


We followed participants in the prospective US Health Professionals Follow-Up Study treated with radiation therapy for early-stage prostate cancer. Three SNPs were genotyped based on previously determined functional and biological significance. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards models to assess per-allele associations with the primary outcome defined as time to a composite endpoint including development of lethal prostate cancer or biochemical recurrence.


We followed 434 patients treated with radiation therapy for a median of 9 years. On multivariate analysis, the rs12757998 variant allele was associated with significantly decreased risk of the composite endpoint [HR: 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.45-0.94%; P = 0.02] driven by decreased biochemical recurrence (HR: 0.60; 95% CI, 0.40-0.89%; P = 0.01) and men treated with external beam (HR: 0.58; 95% CI, 0.36-0.93%; P = 0.02). In contrast, in 516 men from the same cohort treated with radical prostatectomy, we found no significant impact of this variant on outcome. Furthermore, the rs12757998 variant allele significantly modified the association between androgen deprivation therapy and outcomes after radiation therapy (p-interaction = 0.02).


We show an association between RNASEL SNP rs12757998 and outcome after radiation therapy for prostate cancer. This SNP is associated with increased circulating C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, suggesting a potential role for inflammation in the response to radiation. If validated, genetic predictors of outcome may help inform prostate cancer management.

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