Increased burden of familial-associated early-onset cancer risk among minority Americans compared to non-Latino Whites

Elife. 2021 Jun 22:10:e64793. doi: 10.7554/eLife.64793.


Background: The role of race/ethnicity in genetic predisposition of early-onset cancers can be estimated by comparing family-based cancer concordance rates among ethnic groups.

Methods: We used linked California health registries to evaluate the relative cancer risks for first-degree relatives of patients diagnosed between ages 0 and 26, and the relative risks of developing distinct second primary malignancies (SPMs). From 1989 to 2015, we identified 29,631 cancer patients and 62,863 healthy family members. We calculated the standardized incident ratios (SIRs) of early-onset primary cancers diagnosed in proband siblings and mothers, as well as SPMs detected among early-onset patients. Analyses were stratified by self-identified race/ethnicity.

Results: Given probands with cancer, there were increased relative risks of any cancer for siblings and mothers (SIR = 3.32; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.85-3.85) and of SPMs (SIR = 7.27; 95% CI: 6.56-8.03). Given a proband with solid cancer, both Latinos (SIR = 4.98; 95% CI: 3.82-6.39) and non-Latino Blacks (SIR = 7.35; 95% CI: 3.36-13.95) exhibited significantly higher relative risk of any cancer in siblings and mothers when compared to non-Latino White subjects (SIR = 3.02; 95% CI: 2.12-4.16). For hematologic cancers, higher familial risk was evident for Asian/Pacific Islanders (SIR = 7.56; 95% CI: 3.26-14.90) compared to non-Latino whites (SIR = 2.69; 95% CI: 1.62-4.20).

Conclusions: The data support a need for increased attention to the genetics of early-onset cancer predisposition and environmental factors in race/ethnic minority families in the United States.

Funding: This work was supported by the V Foundation for funding this work (Grant FP067172).

Keywords: early-onset cancer; epidemiology; familial risk; global health; hispanic paradox; human; latino americans; linked cancer registry; race/ethnicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.80gb5mkq6