Genetic Clues Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk

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Previous research suggests that higher blood levels of lipids might also be associated with increased risk. If so, lipid-lowering drugs could theoretically reduce prostate cancer risk. However, the existing evidence for associations between blood lipids and prostate cancer has been inconclusive.

To better understand these possible associations, researchers analyzed links between prostate cancer risk and several blood lipids: namely, lipoprotein A, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoproteins A and B.


They drew on two large research initiatives, U.K. Biobank, and the PRACTICAL consortium, to analyze genomic and prostate cancer-risk data for hundreds of thousands of individuals.

The study employed a method known as Mendelian randomization, which harnesses the inherent randomness of the genetic process of meiosis to boost the validity of the analysis.

Researchers evaluated variations in individuals’ DNA sequences that are associated with different blood levels of the lipids instead of considering direct measurements of lipids in the bloodstream. Later, they analyzed if these genetic variants were statistically linked to prostate cancer risk.

The analysis showed that genetic variants that predict higher blood levels of lipoprotein A were associated with a higher overall risk of prostate cancer, and also a higher risk of advanced or early-age-onset prostate cancer.

These findings suggest the possibility that lipoprotein A-lowering drugs could be developed or repurposed to lower the risk of prostate cancer for some individuals. More research will be needed to confirm the associations observed in this study and to clarify the underlying biological mechanisms.

Source: Medindia



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