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Iceland Genomics Says It Has IDed Loci for Increased Cancer Risk

NEW YORK, April 24 - Iceland Genomics said today that its scientists had identified through the Iceland Cancer Project several chromosomal loci for genes related to an increase risk of breast, prostate, and other cancers.


The project, which aims to identify novel cancer genes, is a collaboration of the Reykjavik-based company and the Iceland Cancer Clinicians group as well as the Icelandic Cancer Society and the two main hospitals in Iceland 


The company, with the help of its collaborators, is performing a population-wide association study with 2,500 cancer patients and 1,500 healthy controls. They have mapped five loci in which genetic variations contribute to an increased risk of cancer, the company said, and are now planning to validate their results in other populations and isolate the specific genes.


"It has been known for a long time that Icelandis particularly suitable for genetic studies but the emphasis has usually been on linkage analysis of large families, " Snorri Thorgeirsson, chairman of IGC's Scientific Advisory Board, said in a statement. "This is concrete evidence that our approach, i.e. to use association studies, is also valid for the identification of genes which contribute to cancer susceptibility in this population."


The company plans to use its discoveries to market diagnostic tests and services, and to market its database for drug target discovery.

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