No Association of ApoE Genotype with Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Nested Case-Control Study

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Oct;24(10):1632-4. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0367. Epub 2015 Jul 19.


Background: Previous studies found that low total cholesterol level was associated with a lower risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) isoform is associated with total cholesterol level. The aim of this study was to explore associations of ApoE isoforms with prostate cancer risk.

Methods: We assessed ApoE genotypes and risk of prostate cancer in a prospective case-control study nested among men who provided a blood sample in 1993-95 within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. We identified 1,169 incident cases of prostate cancer and 1,233 controls in follow-up through 2004. Associations of ApoE isoform and prostate cancer incidence were evaluated by logistic regression models.

Results: We found no statistically significant associations of ApoE variants with overall prostate cancer or Gleason sum ≤ 7 (3+4), Gleason sum ≥ 7 (4+3), clinically localized stage, or progression to metastasis or death. There was no evidence of effect modification by circulating total cholesterol or use of cholesterol-lowering drugs prior to diagnosis.

Conclusions: ApoE variants were not associated with the risk of prostate cancer or aggressive disease.

Impact: Our findings suggest that the mechanism of circulating cholesterol level affecting prostate cancer incidence may not rely on ApoE isoforms.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apolipoproteins E / blood
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Disease Progression
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genotype
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Risk Factors


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Neoplasm