EGRP News Flash - June 21, 2011
Guidelines for Post-GWAS Functional Characterization of Cancer Risk Loci Published by EGRP Grantees
The NCI-funded Post-Genome Wide Association (GWA) Initiative has published an important paper in the June 1, 2011, issue of Nature Genetics. The success of genome wide association studies in identifying more than 200 common low-penetrance susceptibility loci for cancers presents a new challenge: understanding the role these regions play in cancer susceptibility. This paper – the first from the NCI-funded Post-GWA Initiative – suggests guidelines that can be used to advance the field from association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to understanding the cancer-causing potential of genetic variants. To date, the field lacks principles for the identification of appropriate assays and models to test the cancer-causing effects of SNPs and genes mapping to cancer-related loci. "If we begin considering how to explore the functional impact [cancer-causing potential] of variants now we will, as a community, be well positioned to rise to the challenge of testing causation in the future," the authors say.