Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researchers Identify Four New Genetic Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Large, first-of-its-kind study finds genomic regions associated with higher risk.

A new study looking at the genomes of more than 13,000 men identified four new genetic variants associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer, the most commonly diagnosed type in young men today. The findings from this first-of-its-kind meta-analysis were reported online May 12 in Nature Genetics by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The discovery of these genetic variations—chromosomal “typos,” so to speak—could ultimately help researchers better understand which men are at high risk and allow for early detection or prevention of the disease.

“As we continue to cast a wider net, we identify additional genetic risk factors, which point to new mechanisms for disease,” said Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, associate professor in the division of Translational  Medicine and Human Genetics within the department of Medicine. “Certain chromosomal regions, what we call loci, are tied into testicular cancer susceptibility, and represent a promising path to stratifying patients into risk groups—for a disease we know is highly heritable.”

Tapping into three genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the researchers, including Peter A. Kanetsky, PhD, MPH, an associate professor in the department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, analyzed 931 affected individuals and 1,975 controls and confirmed the results in an additional 3,211 men with cancer and 7,591 controls. The meta-analysis revealed that testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) risk was significantly associated with markers at four loci—4q22, 7q22, 16q22.3, and 17q22, none of which have been identified in other cancers. Additionally, these loci pose a higher risk than the vast majority of other loci identified for some common cancers, such as breast and prostate.

This brings the number of genomic regions associated with testicular cancer up to 17—including eight new ones reported in another study in this issue of Nature Genetics.

Testicular cancer is relatively rare; however, incidence rates have doubled in the past 40 years. It is also highly heritable. If a man has a father or son with testicular cancer, he has a four-to six-fold higher risk of developing it compared to a man with no family history. That increases to an eight-to 10-fold higher risk if the man has a brother with testicular cancer.

Given this, researchers continue to investigate genetic variants and their association with cancer.

In 2009, Dr. Nathanson and colleagues uncovered variation around two genes—KITLG and SPRY4—found to be associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer. The two variants were the first striking genetic risk factors found for this disease at the time. Since then, several more variants have been discovered, but only through single GWAS studies.

“This analysis is the first to bring several groups of data together to identify loci associated with disease,” said Dr. Nathanson, “and represent the power of combining multiple GWAS to better identify genetic risk factors that failed to reach genome-wide significance in single studies.”

The team also explains how the variants associated with increased cancer risk are the same genes associated with chromosomal segregation. The variants are also found near genes important for germ cell development. These data strongly supports the notion that testicular cancer is a disorder of germ cell development and maturation.

“TGCT is unique in that many of the loci are very good biological candidates due to their role in male germ cell development,” said Dr. Nathanson. “Disruptions in male germ cell development lead to tumorigenesis, and presumably also to infertility.  These conditions have been linked before, epidemiologically, and genes implicated in both of our prior studies, but this study reinforces that connection.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

First Atlas of Body Clock Gene Expression in Mammals Informs Timing of Drug Delivery
Penn Medicine study has implications for 100 top-selling US drugs, half of which target daily-oscillating genes.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Ovarian Cancer Oncogene Found in "Junk DNA"
The study is published online in this week in Cancer Cell.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
T-Cell Therapy Eradicates an Aggressive Leukemia in Two Children
CHOP/Penn Medicine oncology team reports complete remission in pediatric ALL patients.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Changes to DNA On-Off Switches Affect Cells' Ability to Repair Breaks
Many proteins are involved in everyday DNA repair, but if they are mutated, the repair system breaks down and cancer can occur.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Penn Study Details Dimmer Switch for Regulating Cell's Read of DNA Code
Findings have implications for cancer and neurological treatments.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Penn Study on Silencing of Tumor Suppressor Gene Suggests New Target for Lymphoma
Professors from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and their colleagues, found that a cancer-causing fusion protein works by silencing the tumor suppressor gene IL-2R common gamma-chain (IL-2R?). The results suggest news targets for lymphoma and other types of cancer.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Scientific News
RNAi Screening Trends
Understand current trends and learn which application areas are expected to gain in popularity over the next few years.
New Tech Enables Epigenomic Analysis with a Mere 100 Cells
A new technology that will dramatically enhance investigations of epigenomes, the machinery that turns on and off genes and a very prominent field of study in diseases such as stem cell differentiation, inflammation and cancer has been developed by researchers at Virginia Tech.
Access Denied: Leukemia Thwarted by Cutting Off Link to Environmental Support
A new study reveals a protein’s critical – and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.
New Weapon in the Fight Against Blood Cancer
This strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
Toxin from Salmonid Fish has Potential to Treat Cancer
Researchers from the University of Freiburg decode molecular mechanism of fish pathogen.
Study Finds Non-Genetic Cancer Mechanism
Cancer can be caused solely by protein imbalances within cells, a study of ovarian cancer has found.
Scientists Create CRISPR/Cas9 Knock-In Mutations in Human T Cells
In a project spearheaded by investigators at UC San Francisco, scientists have devised a new strategy to precisely modify human T cells using the genome-editing system known as CRISPR/Cas9.
Tracking Breast Cancer Before it Grows
A team of scientists led by University of Saskatchewan researcher Saroj Kumar is using cutting-edge Canadian Light Source techniques to screen and treat breast cancer at its earliest changes.
DNA Damage Seen in Patients Undergoing CT Scanning
Along with the burgeoning use of advanced medical imaging tests over the past decade have come rising public health concerns about possible links between low-dose radiation and cancer.
The Mystery of the Instant Noodle Chromosomes
Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University evaluated the benefits of placing the DNA on the principle of spaghetti.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!