Considering hormone-sensitive cancers as a single disease in the UK biobank reveals shared aetiology

Muktar Ahmed, Ville Petteri Mäkinen, Anwar Mulugeta, Jisu Shin, Terry Boyle, Elina Hyppönen, Sang Hong Lee

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Hormone-related cancers, including cancers of the breast, prostate, ovaries, uterine, and thyroid, globally contribute to the majority of cancer incidence. We hypothesize that hormone-sensitive cancers share common genetic risk factors that have rarely been investigated by previous genomic studies of site-specific cancers. Here, we show that considering hormone-sensitive cancers as a single disease in the UK Biobank reveals shared genetic aetiology. We observe that a significant proportion of variance in disease liability is explained by the genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), i.e., SNP-based heritability on the liability scale is estimated as 10.06% (SE 0.70%). Moreover, we find 55 genome-wide significant SNPs for the disease, using a genome-wide association study. Pair-wise analysis also estimates positive genetic correlations between some pairs of hormone-sensitive cancers although they are not statistically significant. Our finding suggests that heritable genetic factors may be a key driver in the mechanism of carcinogenesis shared by hormone-sensitive cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number614
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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