Evaluation of genetic variants in association with colorectal cancer risk and survival in Asians

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Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 40 genetic loci associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. The association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at these loci with CRC risk and survival has not been adequately evaluated in East Asians. GWAS-identified CRC risk variants were used to construct weighted genetic risk scores (GRSs). We evaluated these GRSs in association with CRC risk in 3,303 CRC cases and 3,553 controls using logistic regression models. Associations with overall and CRC-specific survival were assessed in 731 CRC patients using Cox regression models. The association between the GRSs (overall and Asian-specific) and CRC risk was approximately twofold (highestvs. lowest quintile), and the shape of the dose–response was linear (ptrend = 1.24 × 10−13 and 3.02 × 10−14 for overall GRS and Asian-specific GRS, respectively). The association of the GRS with CRC risk was stronger among those with a family history of CRC (pinteraction = 0.007). Asian-specific GRS using previously reported survival SNPs increased risk for mortality and the shape of the dose–response was linear for CRC-specific and all-cause mortality (ptrend = 0.01 and 0.006, respectively). Furthermore, the minor alleles of rs6983267 and rs1957636 were associated with worse CRC-specific and overall survival. We show that GRSs constructed using GWAS-identified common variants are strongly associated with CRC risk in Asians. We confirm previous findings for the possible association between some SNPs with survival, and provide evidence for two additional CRC risk variants that may be related to CRC survival.

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