A comparison of genetic risk score with family history for estimating prostate cancer risk

Prostate cancer (PCa) testing is recommended by most authoritative groups for high-risk men including those with a family history of the disease. However, family history information is often limited by patient knowledge and clinician intake, and thus, many men are incorrectly assigned to different risk groups.

Alternate methods to assess PCa risk are required. In this review, we discuss how genetic variants, referred to as PCa-risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms, can be used to calculate a genetic risk score (GRS). GRS assigns a relatively unique value to all men based on the number of PCa-risk SNPs that an individual carries. This GRS value can provide a more precise estimate of a man's PCa risk. This is particularly relevant in situations when an individual is unaware of his family history. In addition, GRS has utility and can provide a more precise estimate of risk even among men with a positive family history. It can even distinguish risk among relatives with the same degree of family relationships. Taken together, this review serves to provide support for the clinical utility of GRS as an independent test to provide supplemental information to family history. As such, GRS can serve as a platform to help guide-shared decision-making processes regarding the timing and frequency of PCa testing and biopsies.

Asian journal of andrology. 2016 Mar 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Brian T Helfand

Division of Urology, NorthShore University HealthSystem, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 2650 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201, USA.


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