(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – There are genetic factors in the development of Wilms tumor, according to a multinational group of researchers. This conclusion is based on a recent study entitled “A Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Susceptibility Loci for Wilms Tumor,” which was published in a letter to Nature Genetics online on April 29.

Wilms tumor, which is widely recognized as the most common renal malignancy in children, is the subject of intensive research. The investigators aimed to identify common genetic variants that make children susceptible to the development of Wilms tumor. In this study, the investigators conducted a genome-wide association study in 757 individuals with Wilms tumor (cases) and 1,879 controls.

The genome-wide association study yielded 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in regions significantly associated with Wilms tumorigenesis (P<5 × 10−5). The associations were identified from two independent replication series from the UK (769 cases and 2,814 controls) and the United States (719 cases and 1,037 controls). These associations were further evaluated.

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Upon further analysis, the investigators mapped significant associations to chromosome loci 2p24 (rs3755132, P=1.03 × 10−14; rs807624, P=1.32 × 10−14) and 11q14 (rs790356, P=4.25 × 10−15). “Both regions contain genes that are plausibly related to Wilms tumorigenesis,” the authors wrote. The investigators also identified candidate association signals at chromosome loci 5q14, 22q12 and Xp22.

Professor Nazneen Rahman of the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, as well as the lead author on the study, commented on the significance of the study. She said, above all, this study proves that there are undiscovered genetic factors that cause Wilms tumor, and that this study will enable further research into identifying these factors.