Prostate cancer in African-American men is associated with specific changes in the IL-16 gene, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
The study, published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, establishes the association of IL-16 with prostate cancer in men of both African and European descent.
"This provides us with a new potential biomarker for prostate cancer," says principal investigator Rick Kittles, UIC associate professor of medicine in hematology/oncology.
Previously identified changes in the gene for IL-16, an immune system protein, were associated with prostate cancer in men of European descent. But the same changes in the gene's coded sequence -- called "polymorphisms" -- did not confer the same risk in African Americans.
Doubt was cast on IL-16's role in prostate cancer when researchers were unable to confirm that the IL-16 polymorphisms identified in whites were also important risk factors in African Americans, Kittles said.
Kittles and his colleagues used a technique called imputation -- a type of statistical extrapolation -- that allowed them to see new patterns of association and identify new places in the gene to look for polymorphisms. They found changes elsewhere in the IL-16 gene that were associated with prostate cancer and that were unique to African Americans.
Polymorphisms result from DNA mutations and emerge in the ancestral history of different populations. People of African descent are much more genetically diverse than whites, Kittles said, making the search for polymorphisms associated with disease more difficult.
Although the effect of the particular changes to the gene appear to be different in men of African versus European descent, it is likely that several of the polymorphisms in the gene alter the function of the IL-16 protein.
"This confirms the importance of IL-16 in prostate cancer and leads us in a new direction," Kittles said. "Very little research has been done on IL-16, so not much is known about it."
"We now need to explore the functional role of IL-16 to understand the role it is playing in prostate cancer," he said.
University of Illinois at Chicago: http://www.uic.edu
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
Eating healthy is easier said than done. Same with buying healthy food. Research finds that putting in partitions in grocery carts can increase the likelihood shoppers buy healthy fruits and veggies.
Genetic study could provide hope for men with advanced forms of the disease with findings that could lead to personalised treatments
The agency that administers Obamacare in California moved to make expensive medicines more affordable in 2016. In most plans, patients will pay no more than $150 or $250 a month.
When former prisoners flock together, more land back in jail
Avian influenza is ravaging poultry flocks across the Upper Midwest. The virus is "doing things we've never seen it do before," and understanding about transmission is very limited, a scientist says.
Youthful blood has once again shown its promise as an elixir of youth – this time helping to rejuvenate bones. But exactly how it does so is still to be unravelled
LONDON (Reuters) - Victims of childhood bullying are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults and have a higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses, according to a study by British psychiatrists.
Study finds nixing phones is equivalent to adding an hour of learning to the school week, or five days to the school year
Drug-resistant tuberculosis is a growing problem. It's spread through the air. It can kill you. And it's incredibly difficult to treat. But a program in Peru shows that the disease can be cured.
Scientists have diagnosed strain of leprosy on man from Scandinavia who died in Essex in the fifth or early sixth century