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A Y chromosomal influence on prostate cancer risk: the multi-ethnic cohort study
  1. S Paracchini1,1,
  2. C L Pearce2,
  3. L N Kolonel3,
  4. D Altshuler4,
  5. B E Henderson2,
  6. C Tyler-Smith1,2
  1. 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK
  2. 2Department of Preventive Medicine and Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  3. 3Cancer Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  4. 4Departments of Genetics and Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Wellman 901, Boston, MA 02114, USA and Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research, One Kendall Square, Building 300, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C Tyler-Smith
 The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, UK;


Background: A Y chromosomal role in prostate cancer has previously been suggested by both cytogenetic findings and patterns of Y chromosomal gene expression. We took advantage of the well established and stable phylogeny of the non-recombining segment of the Y chromosome to investigate the association between Y chromosomal DNA variation and prostate cancer risk.

Methods: We examined the distribution of 116 Y lineages in 930 prostate cancer cases and 1208 controls from four ethnic groups from a cohort study in Hawaii and California.

Results: One lineage, found only among the Japanese group in our study, was associated with a statistically significant predisposition to prostate cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.63; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07 to 2.47), and, in particular, to high severity disease in younger individuals (OR = 3.89; 95% CI 1.34 to 11.31).

Conclusions: This finding suggests that a Y chromosomal factor contributes significantly to the development of prostate cancer in Japanese men.

  • Y chromosome
  • prostate cancer
  • association study
  • MEC, Hawaii-Los Angeles Multiethnic Cohort Study

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  • 1 Present addresses: Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK;

  • 2 The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK