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Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology$
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Hans-Olov Adami, David Hunter, and Dimitrios Trichopoulos

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311174.001.0001

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Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer

Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer

(p.86) 4 Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer
Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology

Christopher Haiman

David Hunter

Oxford University Press

Clarifying the complex etiologic role of environmental and genetic factors in carcinogenesis will be challenging but necessary to understand fully the causes of cancer and how it can be prevented. The decoding of the human genome sequence, and the availability of information on the common genetic variation in populations has led to the conduct of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), that have identified loci for dozens of new cancer susceptibility genes. Observational epidemiology studies (case-control and cohort studies) have become the main design used for the association of low penetrance alleles with cancer risk. Studies that identify genetic markers of risk may identify new biological mechanisms and aid in personal assessment of cancer risk. Such studies may also potentially provide clues for cancer therapy, and facilitate early detection and screening efforts in genetically susceptible subgroups of the population.

Keywords:   genome sequence, carcinogenesis, GWAS, susceptibility gene, case-control studies, cohort studies

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