Chinese Researchers Link Gene Regions To Squamous-Cell Carcinoma

Scientists in China have identified new gene regions associated with esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma.

AsianScientist (Jun. 7, 2011) – Scientists in Beijing, China in collaboration with researchers from several Chinese provinces have identified new gene regions associated with a common type of cancer in Chinese populations.

Dongxin Lin of Peking Union Medical College and colleagues performed a large-scale genome wide association study (GWAS) to uncover single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC). Their work was published online on June 5 in the journal Nature Genetics.

The researchers compared the genomes of 2,031 ESCC cases of Chinese descent to 2,044 controls also of Chinese descent. Promising linkages were validated in an additional 6,276 cases and 6,165 controls of Chinese descent from different areas of China.

The investigators discovered three novel genetic regions associated with ESCC out of a total seven associated regions uncovered in the study.

Three of these regions showed increased risk among tobacco and alcohol users when compared to individuals who smoke and drink but do not have the risk regions and to individuals who have the risk region but do not smoke or drink. The scientists claim that these results may indicate gene-environment interactions in influencing ESCC risk.

Identified regions were also shown to cumulatively increase risk when multiple risk regions are present in a single individual.

Although further work needs to identify the particular mechanisms that link these genetic variants to ESCC risk, the researchers highlight that their work increases the number of genetic regions associated with ESCC and also demonstrates novel gene-environment interactions.

The article can be found at: Wu C et al. (2011) Genome-wide association study identifies three new susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma in Chinese populations.


Source: Nature Publishing Group.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Gerald Tiu is an M.D./Ph.D. student at Stanford University, USA with a B.A. in Chemical and Physical Biology from Harvard University, USA. During 2010-2011, he pursued global health work in Asia. His research interests include chemical biology, synthetic biology, and systems biology.

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