Washington: Scientists have identified four new genetic variants associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The discovery of the genetic variations could ultimately help researchers better understand which men are at high risk and allow for early detection or prevention of the disease.
Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, associate professor in the division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics within the department of Medicine, said that certain chromosomal regions are tied into testicular cancer susceptibility, and represent a promising path to stratifying patients into risk groups-for a disease known to be highly heritable.
Tapping into 3 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 found that testicular germ cell tumour (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.
The study has been published in Nature Genetics.