Platinum Priority – Brief Correspondence
Editorial by XXX on pp. x–y of this issue

Familial Associations Between Prostate Cancer and Other Cancers

By: Christoph Franka, Jan Sundquistb c, Akseli Hemminkid e and Kari Hemminkia b

European Urology, Volume 71 Issue 2, February 2017, Pages 162-165

Published online: 01 February 2017

Keywords: Familial cancer, Discordant cancer, Familial risk, Genetic association

Abstract Full Text Full Text PDF (374 KB)


Prostate cancer (PCa) has a large familial component, but understanding of its genetic basis is fragmentary. Breast cancers may be associated with PCa, but whether this is true for other tumor types is poorly established. We used a novel approach to study familial associations of any type of cancer with PCa. We assessed the relative risk (RR) for all types of tumors as a function of the number of first-degree relatives diagnosed with PCa. We hypothesized that for a familial association to be real, the RR for a given type of cancer should increase with the number of PCa diagnoses. In families with multiple PCa patients, significantly increased risks were observed for female breast cancer (RR 1.37 for families with three men with PCa), kidney cancer (RR 2.32), nervous system tumors (RR 1.77; RR 2.40 when PCa was diagnosed before age 70 yr), and myeloma (RR 2.44; RR 6.29 when PCa was diagnosed before age 70 yr). Some evidence of association was also found for melanoma (RR 1.82) and endocrine tumors (RR 2.18). The consistency and magnitude of the effects suggest that familial PCa is genetically associated with breast, kidney, and nervous system tumors and myeloma. This suggestion has implications for clinical counseling and design of genetic studies.

Patient summary

It is known that prostate cancer runs in families, but it is not known whether other cancers are common in such families. We showed that at least breast, kidney, and nervous system tumors and myeloma occur more often than by chance.

Take Home Message

The present results demonstrate that prostate cancer (PCa) families show a statistical excess of some defined cancers. The cancers associated with PCa include breast, kidney, and nervous system tumors and myeloma and possibly melanoma and endocrine tumors.

Keywords: Familial cancer, Discordant cancer, Familial risk, Genetic association.


a Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

b Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

c Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

d Cancer Gene Therapy Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

e Helsinki University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center, Helsinki, Finland

Corresponding author. German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Tel. +49 6221 421800; Fax: +49 6221 421810.

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