DNA test for assessing risk of prostate cancer
20 February 2008
deCODE genetics (NASDAQ:DCGN) has launched a test that
can identify genetic markers associated with increased risk of prostate
deCODE PrCa is a reference laboratory test for common,
single-letter variations in the human genome (SNPs) that the company has
associated with increased risk of prostate cancer.
The test is a result of the genome-wide analysis of over 300,000 SNPs in
23,000 Icelanders in deCODE's prostate cancer studies, a finding
subsequently replicated in a total of over 15,500 individuals from seven
different cohorts from Europe and the United States.
deCODE believes the test will be useful for better predicting risk of
prostate cancer, helping to optimize both screening and treatment. deCODE
PrCa detects a total of six previously discovered SNPs that have been
confirmed in many populations, as well as two SNPs on chromosomes X and 2.
One of the SNPs is located on the X chromosome and the other SNP is
located on chromosome 2p15 and is associated with a more aggressive form of
prostate cancer. The results have been published in the online edition of
Nature Genetics ,
Although most of the variants individually confer moderate risk, they are
common and some are linked to more than less aggressive disease.
Consequently, a substantial proportion of men have many risk variants that
together confer clinically significant risk. Because of these variants, 10%
of men are at twice the risk and 1% of men are at three times the risk of
the disease in the general population.
"Through deCODE PrCa, we are
bringing together in one tool all of the major genetic risk factors for
prostate cancer that we have discovered over the past eighteen months. We
believe that this is a test with significant clinical utility for improving
and personalizing the screening and treatment of one of the most common
cancers. At the same time, we will integrate today's discovery into the
prostate cancer module in our personal genome analysis service deCODEme,
enabling our subscribers to stay abreast of how the latest discoveries in
human genetics may relate to their genome," said Kari Stefansson, CEO of
The prostate test is the latest in a series of the company's reference
laboratory DNA-based tests for assessing risk of and improving prevention
and treatment for common diseases. Test already available include type 2
diabetes; atrial fibrillation and stroke; and heart attack.
1. Common sequence variants on 2p15 and Xp11.22 confer susceptibility to