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Commentary

The clinical utility of testicular cancer risk loci

Christian P Kratz1*, Gennady Bratslavsky2 and Jianxin Shi3*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

2 Urologic Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-1414, USA

3 Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

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Genome Medicine 2011, 3:1  doi:10.1186/gm215

Published: 21 January 2011

Abstract

Three recent genome-wide association studies of testicular germ cell tumors have uncovered predisposition alleles in or near several genes, including KITLG, BAK1, SPRY4, TERT, ATF7IP, and DMRT1. The calculated per-allele odds ratio for variants in the region of KITLG is the highest reported for any malignancy so far. These findings are in agreement with epidemiological data indicating that testicular cancer has a higher heritability than most other cancers. Here, we discuss the question of whether the newly identified risk polymorphisms can be used to guide patient care.