There is no association between common genetic variants and prostate cancer survival, according to a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.1

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2015 and about 27,540 deaths from prostate cancer will occur.

Determining whether a patient’s prostate cancer is indolent or lethal influences whether a patient is managed by observation or definitive treatment. Therefore, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and their colleagues sought to identify whether any common genetic variants impacted prostate cancer-specific death.

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The researchers performed a genome-wide analysis of cause-specific death in 24,023 patients with prostate cancer from the PRACTICAL and BPC3 consortia. Of those, 3,513 cases of cancer-specific deaths were identified.

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Researchers then assessed whether those findings could be replicated in a Norwegian cohort. Results showed no significant association between genetic variants and prostate cancer survival.

“Future studies should be designed for identification of rare variants with large effect sizes or common variants with small effect sizes,” the authors concluded.


  1. Szulkin R, Karlsson R, Whitington T, et al. Genoma-wide association study of prostate cancer-specific survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. [published online ahead of print August 25, 2015]. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0543.