Family History of Prostate and Breast Cancer Integrated with a Polygenic Risk Score Identifies Men at Highest Risk of Dying from Prostate Cancer before Age 75 Years

Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Nov 14;28(22):4926-4933. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-1723.


Purpose: Family history of prostate cancer is one of the few universally accepted risk factors for prostate cancer. How much an assessment of inherited polygenic risk for prostate cancer adds to lifetime risk stratification beyond family history is unknown.

Experimental design: We followed 10,120 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study with existing genotype data for risk of prostate cancer and prostate cancer-specific death. We assessed to what extent family history of prostate or breast cancer, combined with a validated polygenic risk score (PRS) including 269 prostate cancer risk variants, identifies men at risk of prostate cancer and prostate cancer death across the age span.

Results: During 20 years of follow-up, 1,915 prostate cancer and 166 fatal prostate cancer events were observed. Men in the top PRS quartile with a family history of prostate or breast cancer had the highest rate of both prostate cancer and prostate cancer-specific death. Compared with men at lowest genetic risk (bottom PRS quartile and no family history), the HR was 6.95 [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.57-8.66] for prostate cancer and 4.84 (95% CI, 2.59-9.03) for prostate cancer death. Men in the two upper PRS quartiles (50%-100%) or with a family history of prostate or breast cancer (61.8% of the population) accounted for 97.5% of prostate cancer deaths by age 75 years.

Conclusions: Our study shows that prostate cancer risk stratification on the basis of family history and inherited polygenic risk can identify men at highest risk of dying from prostate cancer before age 75 years.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors