Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Genes for Heart Attack Risk/Prostate Cancer Risk

This week in the American Journal of Human Genetics 2 articles about genetic risk for heart attack are published. The findings raise hope of future therapeutic targets and identification of risks. The first study implicates the KALRN gene and an intronic(noncoding) SNP. This polymorphism(change in a gene) was found in almost all Caucasians with early heart attack. What does this mean? Very little so far. The results need to be replicated... But more importantly this gene operates in a totally different system than cholesterol in creating atherosclerotic plaques! The second study is more limited in scope and is less important for pan-ethnicity and only applies to French Canadians.

The news is just as exciting for African Americans as new studies implicated and corroborate other findings that a gene polymorphism could be responsible for up to 2/3rds of prostate cancer in this ethnic group. This set of data may lead to early detection or even prevention. This is the goal of all Personalized Medicine specialists....including myself!

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