Genetic variation in the inhibin pathway and risk of testicular germ cell tumors

Mark P. Purdue, Barry I. Graubard, Stephen J. Chanock, Mark V. Rubertone, Ralph L. Erickson, Katherine A. McGlynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Gene-knockout studies in mice suggest that INHA, encoding a subunit of gonadotropin-regulating proteins known as inhibins, is a tumor suppressor for testicular stromal cell tumors. It is not known whether genetic variation in the inhibin pathway also influences susceptibility to testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), the most common testicular cancer in young men. To address this question, we conducted a case-control analysis (577 cases; 707 controls) of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in genes in the inhibin pathway among participants in the U.S. Servicemen's Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants Study. Thirty-eight tagging SNPs in six genes (INHA, INHBA, INHBB, INHBC, INHBE, and SMAD4) were genotyped. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating variant genotypes to TGCT risk were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Among White subjects, an elevated risk of TGCT was observed for carriers of the T allele of the INHA variant rs2059693 (CT genotype: OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04-1.71; TT: OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.01-2.52; Ptrend = 0.008). The association with rs2059693 was stronger for nonseminomas, and for teratomas and teratocarcinomas in particular (N = 58; CT: OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 0.89-2.99; TT: OR, 4.54; 95% CI 2.00-10.3; P trend = 0.0008). We found no evidence of association with variants in the other investigated genes. These findings suggest that genetic variation in the INHA locus influences TGCT development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3043-3048
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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