[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although five-year survival rates for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are now over 80% in most industrialized countries, not all children have benefited equally from this progress. Ethnic differences in survival after childhood ALL have been reported in many clinical studies, with poorer survival observed among African Americans or those with Hispanic ethnicity when compared with European Americans or Asians. The causes of ethnic differences remain uncertain, although both genetic and non-genetic factors are likely important. Interrogating genome-wide germline SNP genotypes in an unselected large cohort of children with ALL, we observed that the component of genomic variation that co-segregated with Native American ancestry was associated with risk of relapse (P = 0.0029) even after adjusting for known prognostic factors (P = 0.017). Ancestry-related differences in relapse risk were abrogated by the addition of a single extra phase of chemotherapy, indicating that modifications to therapy can mitigate the ancestry-related risk of relapse.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The wide use of genome wide association studies (GWAS) has led to the successful identification of multiple genetic susceptibility variants to several complex human diseases. Given the limited amount of data on genetic variation at these loci in populations of non-European origin, we investigated population variation among 11 population groups for loci showing strong and consistent association from GWAS with several complex human diseases.
Data from the International HapMap Project Phase 3, comprising 11 population groups, were used to estimate allele frequencies at loci showing strong and consistent association from GWAS with any of 26 complex human diseases and traits. Allele frequency summary statistics and F(ST) at each locus were used to estimate population differentiation.
There is wide variation in allele frequencies and F(ST) across the 11 population groups for susceptibility loci to these complex human diseases and traits. Allele frequencies varied widely across populations, often by as much as 20- to 40-fold. F(ST), as a measure of population differentiation, also varied widely across the loci studied (for example, 0.019 to 0.201 for type 2 diabetes, 0.022 to 0.520 for prostate cancer loci, and 0.006 to 0.520 for serum lipid levels).
The public health risk posed by any of these risk alleles is likely to show wide variation across populations simply as a function of its frequency, and this risk difference may be amplified by gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. These analyses offer compelling reasons for including multiple human populations from different parts of the world in the international effort to use genomic tools to understand disease etiology and differential distribution of diseases across ethnic groups.
Public Health Genomics 06/2009; 13(2):72-9. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of human genetics, particularly genome-wide association studies (GWAS), have concentrated heavily on European populations, with individuals of African ancestry rarely represented. Reasons for this include the distribution of biomedical funding and the increased population structure and reduced linkage disequilibrium in African populations. Currently, few GWAS findings have clinical utility and, therefore, the field has not yet contributed to health-care disparities. As human genomics research progresses towards the whole-genome sequencing era, however, more clinically relevant results are likely to be discovered. As we discuss here, to avoid the genetics community contributing to healthcare disparities, it is important to adopt measures to ensure that populations of diverse ancestry are included in genomic studies, and that no major population groups are excluded.
Trends in Genetics 11/2009; 25(11):489-94. · 9.77 Impact Factor
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