Findings further increase power of DNA-based testing to identify men at substantially increased risk, and will be integrated into the deCODE ProstateCancer™ test
Reykjavik, ICELAND, September 20, 2009 – deCODE genetics (Nasdaq:DCGN) today announced that a team of its scientists and academic colleagues from Finland, Spain, the Netherlands and the United States have today published the discovery of four novel single-letter variations in the sequence of the human genome (SNPs) conferring increased risk of prostate cancer. This is the sixth set of risk factors for prostate cancer that deCODE has found. The SNPs are located on chromosomes 3q21, 19q13, as well as on 8q24, a region of the genome where deCODE and others have previously discovered risk factors for prostate, breast, colon and bladder cancer. The deCODE team followed up these latest findings with a population-based analysis in Iceland of these and other published sequence variants linked to risk of prostate cancer. This analysis demonstrates that by testing for these published SNPs it is possible to identify the approximately 1.5% of men who are at more than 2.5 times the average risk of the disease.
“With these latest findings we continue to extend our understanding of the genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men. Using our ability to put these SNPs in a population-wide context, we show that it is now possible to identify those who are at more than 30% lifetime risk, independent of other standard risk factors such as age and family history. By incorporating this new, personalized gauge of susceptibility into our arsenal for improving prevention and early diagnosis, we can more effectively and accurately identify those men who would benefit most from intensive screening. We are pleased to be incorporating these latest markers into our deCODE ProstateCancer™ test,” said Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE.
Today’s findings result from the analysis of several large datasets: deCODE’s genome-wide SNP data from tens of thousands of patients and healthy controls from Iceland; sequencing data from regions in the genome where deCODE and others have already discovered prostate cancer risk factors; and publicly available data from other case-control cohorts from the US, France and Finland. Data from a combined total of more than 60,000 patients and healthy control subjects were included in the study.
The paper, ‘Genome-wide association and replication studies identify four variants associated with prostate cancer susceptibility,’ is published today in the online edition of Nature Genetics, at www.nature.com/ng.
deCODE wishes to thank the patients and control subjects from many countries whose participation made this work possible. This study was funded in part by the European Union’s PROMARK and CancerGene grants to deCODE; by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and by the Academy of Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Finnish Cancer Organizations, and Pirkanmaa Hospital.
deCODE is a global leader in analysing and understanding the human genome. The company has identified key variations in the sequence of the genome conferring increased risk of major public health challenges from cardiovascular disease to cancer, and employs its gene discovery engine to develop DNA-based tests to assess individual risk of common diseases; to license its tests and intellectual property to partners; and to provide comprehensive, leading- edge contract services to companies and research institutions around the globe. Through its CLIA- and CAP-certified laboratory deCODE offers a growing range of DNA-based tests for gauging risk and empowering prevention of common diseases, including deCODE T2™ for type 2 diabetes; deCODE AF™ for atrial fibrillation and stroke; deCODE MI™ for heart attack; deCODE ProstateCancer™ for prostate cancer; deCODE Glaucoma™ for a major type of glaucoma; and deCODE BreastCancer, for the common forms of breast cancer. Through its pioneering personal genome analysis service deCODEme™, the company enables individuals to better understand their risk of dozens of common diseases and to learn about their ancestry and other traits. Through its chemistry and biology units deCODE has also developed a therapeutic product portfolio, which includes DG041, an antiplatelet compound being developed for the prevention of arterial thrombosis; DG051, a compound targeting the leukotriene pathway for the prevention of heart attack; and DG071 and a platform for other PDE4 modulators with therapeutic applications in Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions. The company intends to partner or directly outlicense these programs. deCODE is delivering on the promise of the new genetics.SM Visit us on the web at www.decode.com; at www.decodediagnostics.com; at www.decodeme.com; and on our blog at www.decodeyou.com.
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