Polygenic hazard score improves prediction of prostate cancer risk in multi-ethnic populations

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Building upon previous research, an international team led by scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, has validated a more inclusive and comprehensive genetic tool for predicting age of onset of aggressive prostate cancer, a disease that killed more than 33,000 American men in 2020.

Reporting in the February 23, 2021 online edition of Nature Communications, the researchers describe the performance of a polygenic hazard score (PHS) — a mathematical estimate of an individuals’ age-specific genetic risk for developing a disease — in a multi-ethnic patient population.

“Genetic tools to predict a man’s lifetime risk of prostate cancer might allow us to target cancer screening efforts to the men who are most likely to need it. We are addressing a major public health problem and simultaneously addressing a concern that genomics and genetic tests may exacerbate health disparities because people of non-European ancestry are severely under-represented in most studies,” said principal investigator Tyler Seibert, MD, PhD, assistant professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and radiation oncologist at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health.

The genetic score developed at UC San Diego was tested in a multi-ethnic dataset of 80,491 men and was shown to be associated with age of onset of prostate cancer, as well as with age at death from prostate cancer…

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