Genetic variation in the COX-2 gene and the association with prostate cancer risk

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COX-2 is a key enzyme in the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. The prostaglandins produced by COX-2 are involved in inflammation and pain response in different tissues in the body. Accumulating evidence from epidemiologic studies, chemical carcinogen-induced rodent models and clinical trials indicate that COX-2 plays a role in human carcinogenesis and is overexpressed in prostate cancer tissue. We examined whether sequence variants in the COX-2 gene are associated with prostate cancer risk. We analyzed a large population-based case–control study, cancer prostate in Sweden (CAPS) consisting of 1,378 cases and 782 controls. We evaluated 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the entire COX-2 gene in 94 subjects of the control group. Five SNPs had a minor allele frequency of more than 5% in our study population and these were genotyped in all case patients and control subjects and gene-specific haplotypes were constructed. A statistically significant difference in allele frequency between cases and controls was observed for 2 of the SNPs (+3100 T/G and +8365 C/T), with an odds ratio of 0.78 (95% CI = 0.64–0.96) and 0.65 (95% CI = 0.45–0.94) respectively. In the haplotype analysis, 1 haplotype carrying the variant allele from both +3100 T/G and +8365 C/T, with a population frequency of 3%, was also significantly associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer (p= 0.036, global simulatedp-value = 0.046). This study supports the hypothesis that inflammation is involved in prostate carcinogenesis and that sequence variation within the COX-2 gene influence the risk of prostate cancer.

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