(HealthDay News) — In African-Americans, IL16 polymorphisms appear to play a role in prostate cancer susceptibility, according to research published online Aug. 24 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

To test for allelic association, Ken Batai, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues conducted a study using 2,257 genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the interleukin (IL)-16 gene in samples obtained from 605 African-Americans with prostate cancer. A technique called imputation, a type of statistical extrapolation, was used to identify new patterns of association and to narrow the search for polymorphisms.

The researchers found that a cluster of IL16 SNPs was significantly associated with prostate cancer risk in African-Americans. A total of three independent loci within IL16 were identified that were associated with prostate cancer risk in this patient population. One in particular, rs7175701, was predicted to influence IL16 expression and, potentially, the expression of other cancer-related genes.

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“Our findings are significant given that there has been limited focus on the role of IL16 genetic polymorphisms on prostate cancer risk in African-Americans. To our knowledge, this is the first study that demonstrated the association of these variants with cancer in African-descent populations,” the authors write. “Identifying genetic variants affecting the expression and interaction of IL16 and other gene expressed in tumor cells is important for understanding the role of IL16 in tumor growth.”


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