Scientists have pinpointed a set of common variations in human DNA that signal a higher risk for prostate cancer in men who carry them. Some of these variations are more common in African-American men, which may help explain why prostate cancer rates are higher in African Americans than in men of other races.
The findings, published in 3 separate studies, may lead to genetic tests that will help identify those most at risk for the disease. The findings may also help unlock the biological mysteries behind prostate cancer, which could speed up the discovery of new treatments.
The 3 studies focus on DNA variations located on chromosome 8 in some men. The variations may be linked to as many as 68% of prostate cancer cases in African Americans, 60% in Japanese Americans, 46% in Latinos, 45% in native Hawaiians and 32% in whites, the authors of 1 of the studies calculate.