IMR Press / FBL / Volume 12 / Issue 9 / DOI: 10.2741/2325

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Molecular epidemiology of prostate cancer: hormone-related genetic loci
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1 Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, 2150 Shattuck Ave, Ste 500, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA
2 Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Women's and Children's Hospital, Room 1M2, 1240 North Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
3 Plunkett Chair of Molecular Biology (Medicine), University of Sydney, Medical Foundation Building (K25)92-94 Parramatta Road, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
4 Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 6120 Executive Blvd EPS 5024, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2007, 12(9), 3436–3460;
Published: 1 May 2007

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in most Western countries. Despite its high morbidity and mortality, the etiology of prostate cancer remains obscure. Although compelling laboratory data suggest a role for androgens in prostate carcinogenesis, most epidemiologic data, including serological and genetic studies, are inconclusive. In this chapter, we review the status of serologic studies and discuss the importance of intra-prostatic hormone levels in possibly clarifying the often-contradictory data on serologic studies. To provide insights and directions for epidemiologic research on hormones and prostate cancer, this review centers on the molecular epidemiology of hormone-related genetic loci. These loci have been investigated in a number of studies to date and will undoubtedly expand even further as rich new genetic information sources and high-throughput genotyping and analysis methods become available. Due to the enormous number of these loci, we recommend careful analysis and cautious interpretation of studies of genetic markers, including microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), as false positive and negative results are likely due to limited statistical power, multiple hypothesis testing, population stratification, or non-representative population sampling. This review also highlights the need for replication in various populations, as well as reasons for performing functional analyses of SNPs, a critical and often under-appreciated component of molecular epidemiologic investigations. The time is ripe for concerted, large-scale multidisciplinary investigations that incorporate molecular genetics, biochemistry, histopathology, and endocrinology into traditional epidemiologic studies. Such collaboration will lead to a deeper understanding of the etiologic pathways of prostate cancer, ultimately yielding better preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies.

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