Background: A Y chromosomal role in prostate cancer has previously been suggested by both cytogenetic findings and patterns of Y chromosomal gene expression. We took advantage of the well established and stable phylogeny of the non-recombining segment of the Y chromosome to investigate the association between Y chromosomal DNA variation and prostate cancer risk.
Methods: We examined the distribution of 116 Y lineages in 930 prostate cancer cases and 1208 controls from four ethnic groups from a cohort study in Hawaii and California.
Results: One lineage, found only among the Japanese group in our study, was associated with a statistically significant predisposition to prostate cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.63; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07 to 2.47), and, in particular, to high severity disease in younger individuals (OR = 3.89; 95% CI 1.34 to 11.31).
Conclusions: This finding suggests that a Y chromosomal factor contributes significantly to the development of prostate cancer in Japanese men.