Genetic variants associated with both esophageal and gastric cancer are reported in two studies published this week in Nature Genetics. This suggests there may be some shared mechanism in pathogenesis of these two common cancers.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and gastric cancer each show the highest prevalence in regions of Asia, and are two of the most common cancers found in China. Li-Dong Wang and colleagues report a genome-wide association study for ESCC in a combined 9,053 cases from China. They identify two genomic regions associated with ESCC, and find that both regions are also associated with gastric cancer in 2,766 gastric cancer cases.
In an independent companion study, Christian Abnet and colleagues report genome-wide association studies for ESCC and gastric cancers, conducted in parallel, in a total 2,240 gastric cancer cases and 2,115 ESCC cases from five independent studies in China. The authors identified one of the same genomic regions found by Wang and colleagues as associated with both ESCC and gastric cancer.
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