Combining Asian-European Genome-Wide Association Studies of Colorectal Cancer Improves Risk Prediction Across Race and Ethnicity

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Jan 19:2023.01.19.23284737. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.19.23284737.


Polygenic risk scores (PRS) have great potential to guide precision colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention by identifying those at higher risk to undertake targeted screening. However, current PRS using European ancestry data have sub-optimal performance in non-European ancestry populations, limiting their utility among these populations. Towards addressing this deficiency, we expanded PRS development for CRC by incorporating Asian ancestry data (21,731 cases; 47,444 controls) into European ancestry training datasets (78,473 cases; 107,143 controls). The AUC estimates (95% CI) of PRS were 0.63(0.62-0.64), 0.59(0.57-0.61), 0.62(0.60-0.63), and 0.65(0.63-0.66) in independent datasets including 1,681-3,651 cases and 8,696-115,105 controls of Asian, Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White, respectively. They were significantly better than the European-centric PRS in all four major US racial and ethnic groups (p-values<0.05). Further inclusion of non-European ancestry populations, especially Black/African American and Latinx/Hispanic, is needed to improve the risk prediction and enhance equity in applying PRS in clinical practice.

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  • Preprint