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Genetic Association Study of Ancestry-Matched African American Prostate Cancer Cases and Control

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Final rept. 1 Apr 2008-31 Mar 2009

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African American men have the highest incidence and mortality from prostate cancer in the world. Multiple reasons have been postulated to explain these findings although the definitive reasons for this are unknown. While both environmental and genetic factors may contribute to prostate cancer susceptibility, results from multiple studies consistently implicate a strong genetic component of this cancer. However, a specific gene which is consistently and reproducibly associated with prostate cancer risk in any population has not been identified. Association studies examining the frequency of common but specific genetic variants in study populations with and without a particular disease i.e. case-control is a powerful way to detect the influence of common genetic variants capable of affecting disease risk. While these types of studies are powerful, they are not without limitations, including the tendency to be confounded due to population stratification a critical issue in admixed populations like African American, and the requirement for large, well matched, and well characterized study populations. While there has been extensive use of case control studies to identify genetic risk variants in Caucasian populations, corresponding studies in the African American prostate cancer population have been less extensive, typically being much smaller than the Caucasian counterparts, with little or no efforts to address the critical issue of population stratification as a confounder. It is now quite clear that unless cases are well matched to controls in terms of genetic heterogeneity in such studies, spurious associations will and undoubtedly have been observed and reported. In this study we use Ancestry Informative Markers AIM to match African American prostate cancer cases and controls for the purposes of performing association studies without confounding by population stratification.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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