Aim: Vitamin D acts as an antiproliferative agent against prostate cells. Epidemiological study has shown that a low level of serum vitamin D concentration is a risk factor for prostate cancer. Vitamin D acts via vitamin D receptor (VDR), and an association of genetic polymorphisms of the VDR gene has been reported. In the current study, we examined the association of VDR gene polymorphisms with familial prostate cancer in a Japanese population.
Methods: We performed a case-control study consisting of 81 familial prostate cancer cases and 105 normal control subjects. Three genetic polymorphisms (BsmI, ApaI and TaqI) in the VDR gene were examined by the restriction fragment restriction length polymorphism method.
Results: Overall, there was no significant association of the VDR gene polymorphisms with familial prostate cancer risk in the cases and control subjects. However, a weak association between BsmI or TaqI genotypes and cancer risk was observed in subjects under 70 years of age. Stratification of cases by clinical stage or pathological grade did not show significant association between the VDR gene polymorphisms and prostate cancer risk.
Conclusion: In the present study, we could not confirm any significant association between VDR gene polymorphisms with familial prostate cancer risk in a Japanese population. Further large-scale case-control studies are warranted to confirm the importance of VDR gene polymorphisms in familial prostate cancer.