Alterations in vitamin D receptor gene increase prostate, breast cancer risk

al Cancer Research.

Intriguingly, the F variant that increases the chance of developing breast cancer when associated with other VDR variants also contributes to increased risk and aggressiveness of prostate cancer in African-American men, according to the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention article.

This study reported that men with two copies of the F variant almost doubled the risk for prostate cancer developing in African-Americans, but not Caucasians. Furthermore, the same men had twice the risk for developing high grade advanced prostate cancer, according to the research.

"More African-American prostate cancer patients carried the homozygous FF variant of the vitamin D receptor than African American men who did not have prostate cancer," said Alice S. Whittemore, Ph.D., the senior author of the paper. Whittemore, who conducts cancer research in the department of Health Research and Policy, the Stanford University School of Medicine, led a multi-institutional team of cancer scientists from Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Hawaii, the British Columbia Cancer Agency and the Northern California Cancer Center.

Neither the b nor L gene variants that altered risk in Caucasian women in the British study contributed to elevated risk for prostate cancer among men.

Funding for the prostate cancer studies came from NIH grant CA67044. The UK breast cancer study was funded by Breast Cancer Campaign and the World Cancer Research Fund.


Contact: Russell Vanderboom, PhD
American Association for Cancer Research

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