Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Men with no sons more at risk for prostate cancer

Cutting edge program examines men's reproductive health and role of fathers in risk for developmental disorders among offspring

In a new and unique study to determine if genes on the Y chromosome are involved in prostate cancer, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in conjunction with Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that men who had only daughters had a higher risk of prostate cancer than men who had at least one son, thus signifying a possible defect on the father's Y chromosome. The results, published in the January 3, 2007 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, further indicate that the relative risk of prostate cancer decreases as the number of sons increases.

The researchers in the Mailman School's Department of Epidemiology analyzed the relative risk of prostate cancer by the sex of offspring among fathers registered in a family-based research cohort in Israel. From this cohort of 38,934 men, followed from the birth of their offspring (in 1964 through 1976) until 2005, the authors conclude that genes on the Y chromosome may be involved in prostate cancer risk in this population.

"We surveyed vital status and cancer incidence, and found a strong trend for a decrease in prostate cancer risk as the number of sons increased," said Susan Harlap, MD, professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and the leader of the research team. "We anticipate that this finding will have a significant impact on the direction of research in this field going forward." Overall, there was a 40% increase in prostate cancer in men lacking sons.

The offspring's sex depends on whether it receives an X or a Y chromosome from the father. A man with a damaged Y chromosome will be less likely to have sons and those with a damaged X chromosome may be unable to sire daughters. "Our findings suggest that the biological significance of lack of sons – whatever it is that leads to increased risk of prostate cancer - becomes increasingly important as family size increases," observes Dr. Harlap. "Overall, our findings are consistent with hypotheses that tie Y chromosome loci to prostate cancer, although other explanations cannot be excluded," implies Dr. Harlap.

The researchers also looked at men lacking daughters. For example, in men with exactly two offspring, those with no daughters had an 11% increase in the incidence of prostate cancer, and those with no sons had a 47% increase, compared with men who had one son and one daughter. "The increased risk of prostate cancer in men with no daughters is probably due to chance," says Dr. Harlap, "but it might indicate a problem with a gene on the X-chromosome."

In addition to the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, the international team of scientists included researchers from Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and the Braun School of Public Health, Jerusalem, Israel.

The Jerusalem Perinatal Cohort is among those being followed by the life course studies program within the Mailman School's Department of Epidemiology. Department Chair Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH, has been building a program of life course research -- called the Imprints Center -- in which epidemiologists seek to uncover the causes of a broad range of disease and health outcomes, by following individuals from an early point in life and examining their risks for disease. Life course studies are particularly well positioned to examine the interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors - the key to understanding many complex diseases.

Stephanie Berger | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>