Seattle Researchers Zero In On Location Of Gene For Inherited Prostate Cancer; Gene Also Linked To Brain Cancer

evious epidemiological studies also have shown an increased risk of brain and central-nervous-system tumors in families with clusters of prostate cancer. These observations led the Seattle researchers to evaluate the possible link between prostate and brain cancers.

The research is funded by CaP CURE, the Association for the Cure of Cancer of the Prostate, founded by former Wall Street financier Michael Milken. Dr. Leroy Hood, professor and chair of the UW Department of Molecular Biotechnology, persuaded CaP CURE to donate funds to establish the Seattle-based Prostate Cancer Genetics Consortium at the UW and the Hutchinson Center. The primary aim of the consortium is to unravel the genetic origins of the disease.

CaP CURE now provides more than $2 million a year to this and related projects. Blood samples from the PROGRESS family members were processed and frozen at the Hutchinson Center, where they were turned over to Ostrander's group for DNA extraction. Dr. Mark Gibbs from Ostrander's group and Drs. Richard McIndoe and Lisa Chakrabarti from Hood's group performed the genotyping and worked with Dr. Gail Jarvik, a UW mathematical geneticist, to pool the data for linkage analysis.

"PROGRESS is an outstanding collaboration between the Hutchinson Center and the UW," says Ostrander, also an associate member of the Hutchinson Center's Clinical Research Division. "It works because everyone contributes something unique. This is the future of genetics research."

The PROGRESS study represents a significant ongoing collaboration between epidemiologists, molecular biologists and geneticists from both institutions. "Hood's team leads the field in the development of robotics, high-throughput DNA and protein sequencing systems, and software development to handle the data," Ostrander says. "Using tools of just five years ago, a lab was doing well to complete 250 genotypings a week; PROGRESS has boosted that weekly rate to 15,000."

The researchers have been ag

Contact: Kristen Woodward
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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