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Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Oct 20;9(10):2117-2136. doi: 10.18632/aging.101305.

Identification of polymorphisms in cancer patients that differentially affect survival with age.

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Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L7 8TX, United Kingdom.
Biodemography of Aging Research Unit (BARU), Social Science Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


The World Health Organization predicts that the proportion of the world's population over 60 will almost double from 12% to 22% between 2015 and 2050. Ageing is the biggest risk factor for cancer, which is a leading cause of deaths worldwide. Unfortunately, research describing how genetic variants affect cancer progression commonly neglects to account for the ageing process. Herein is the first systematic analysis that combines a large longitudinal data set with a targeted candidate gene approach to examine the effect of genetic variation on survival as a function of age in cancer patients. Survival was significantly decreased in individuals with heterozygote or rare homozygote (i.e. variant) genotypes compared to those with a common homozygote genotype (i.e. wild type) for two single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs11574358 and rs4147918), one gene (SIRT3) and one pathway (FoxO signalling) in an age-dependent manner. All identified genes and pathways have previously been associated with ageing and cancer. These observations demonstrate that there are ageing-related genetic elements that differentially affect mortality in cancer patients in an age-dependent manner. Understanding the genetic determinants affecting prognosis differently with age will be invaluable to develop age-specific prognostic biomarkers and personalized therapies that may improve clinical outcomes for older individuals.


SNP; WRN; ageing; genetics; geriatric oncology; longevity

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