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Genetic variants can increase the risk of bladder cancer
Researchers were able to identify genetic risk factors for bladder cancer. In a current study, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Labor Research at the TU Dortmund investigated the influence of combinations of risk variants on the risk of developing bladder cancer. The scientists found that smoking and exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace influence the development of bladder cancer, which is the second most common malignant tumor in urology.
Certain regions of the genome have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. According to the researchers, the risk can increase significantly if a person has multiple genetic risk variants. Ironically, the strongest combination of variants occurs increasingly among non-smokers.
According to the scientists, our genome decides in about 30 percent of cases whether we develop bladder cancer or not. They were able to identify the effect of the individual known genetic variants on the risk of illness. Fortunately, depending on the variant, the increased risk of illness was only between five and twenty percent. The researchers analyzed more than 100,000 combinations of genetic variants. Working groups from six countries were involved in the project. The study results were recently published in the British journal "Carcinogenesis".
Genetic disposition is increasing in non-smokers
While smoking is a major risk factor for many types of cancer, the researchers ironically identified a combination of genetic variants that increase the risk of bladder cancer in non-smokers. "The variant combinations we found have a particular impact on the bladder cancer risk of non-smokers," says study author Dr. Silvia Selinski in a press release from the institute. The strongest combination of variants occurs in around 25 percent of all bladder cancer cases in which the sufferers have never smoked. This variant increases the risk of illness by two and a half times.
Results show an increased risk for non-smokers
This combination is a variant of genes that have an impact on cell division as well as on the detoxification of pollutants and urine concentration. The study comes to the conclusion that four high-risk variants can interact statistically and cause an increased risk of bladder cancer, especially in non-smokers.
More studies are needed
The researchers examined twelve of the known risk variants for bladder cancer and their combinations. For this purpose, genetic data from four study groups with a total of more than 5,000 bladder cancer patients and 5,400 control persons were available. According to Selinski, more Sudies are needed to deal with the course of the disease. To do this, additional risk variants from four other genetic regions had to be analyzed. "The aim of these studies is to find additional criteria that help adapt the individual therapy of bladder cancer patients," explains Selinski. (fp)