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News

Researchers discover genetic link to increased risk of urinary bladder cancer

DeCODE Genetics : 15 September, 2008  (Company News)
Researchers at deCODE genetics and Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands have reported the discovery of two common single-letter variants in the human genome (SNPs) that confer increased risk of urinary bladder cancer.
Approximately 20 percent of people of European descent carry two copies of the first variant, a version of a SNP on chromosome 8q24, putting them at a 50 percent higher risk of developing bladder cancer than those without the variant.

Individuals who carry two copies of a common version of another SNP on chromosome 3 were found to be at a 40 percent higher risk of the disease than non-carriers. These are the best-replicated genetic variants ever linked to bladder cancer risk, and the study analyzed genotypic data from more than 40,000 patients and controls from Iceland, the Netherlands and eight other European countries.

The paper, entitled 'Sequence variant on 8q24 confers susceptibility to urinary bladder cancer' is published in the online edition of Nature Genetics at www.nature.com/ng.

'In all cancers, the ability to identify individuals at high risk, screening them intensively and intervening early, is the key to improving prevention and outcomes. We expect that the detection of these and other risk variants will soon be employed to complement the assessment of standard risk factors for bladder cancer. As with all of our discovery work, we seek to publish our findings and establish a solid intellectual property position in order to bring these swiftly into the healthcare arena, and have already folded today's findings into our deCODEme personal genome analysis service. At the same time, we are working to identify the common thread of variants we and others have discovered on chromosome 8q24 that confer risk of several forms of cancer, including prostate, breast, colorectal and now bladder. If a common molecular mechanism exists, it could provide an important insight into oncogenesis more broadly,' said Kari Stefansson, chief executive officer of deCODE.
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