Prostate Cancer and Melanoma Have Genetic Link with Parkinson’s Disease – Study

September 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

A study of the relationship between Parkinson’s disease and cancer has revealed that there could, after all, be a genetic link.

The result of the study has been compiled by researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Men that have being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are said to have increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer of the prostate.

This link between prostate cancer and Parkinson’s corresponds with similar link between the neurological disorder and Melanoma. Here are more details on this study:

Men with Parkinson’s disease had a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer, which had a reciprocal association with the neurologic disorder, according to analyses of two large databases.

The prostate cancer excess ranged from 71% to 8%, declining as a relative’s degree of separation from a proband increased. Analysis of prostate cancer cases showed an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, which ranged from 39% to 8%, depending on a relative’s genetic distance from the primary case.

The analyses of Utah pioneers and descendants also confirmed a previously reported strong association between Parkinson’s disease and melanoma, as reported in the September issue of Archives of Neurology.

“These results strongly support a genetic link,” Lisa Cannon-Albright, PhD, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and co-authors wrote. “This conclusion is further strengthened by observation of the reciprocal relationship, an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease in relatives of individuals with melanoma or prostate cancer.”

Most studies of the relationship between Parkinson’s disease and cancer have shown reduced rates of cancer. Melanoma has represented the notable exception, as investigators in Europe and the U.S. have previously reported an increased prevalence of melanoma in patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to the authors’ background information.

Initially, the association between Parkinson’s and melanoma appeared limited to patients treated with levodopa. Subsequent large population-based studies showed a broader relationship that was independent of levodopa. The association was strengthened by reports of an increased prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in patients with melanoma, as well as in first-degree relatives.

More recently, investigators reported an association with prostate cancer among patients with Parkinson’s disease treated with entacapone (Comtan), carbidopa (Lodosyn), or levodopa. The observation prompted the FDA to issue an alert about the association.

Cannon-Albright and colleagues continued the investigation of Parkinson’s’ relationship to cancer with an analysis of a computerized genealogy for Utah pioneers and descendants linked to statewide cancer and death records.

The Utah Population Database comprises birth, death, and family relationship data for 2 million individuals, dating as far back as 15 generations in some cases. The database includes genealogic information for Utah’s original settlers. The genealogic data were linked to state death certificates dating to 1904 and to a state cancer registry, which was established in 1966.

From the genealogy data, the investigators identified 2,998 individuals whose death certificates listed Parkinson’s disease as the cause of death. In the Parkinson’s subgroup, 48 cases of melanoma were found, whereas only 24.6 cases would normally be expected. The difference represented a relative risk for melanoma of 1.95 (95% CI 1.44 to 2.59).

A melanoma excess persisted among relatives of all degree relationship to the person who died with Parkinson’s disease. The relationship remained significant in first- and second-degree relatives. Click here to read the complete report.

The relationship between Parkinson’s and two cancers of Melanoma and prostate cancer is quite an interesting read.

The Utah study has been comprehensive and the latest discovery will no doubt help in ensuring that vital decisions are made concerning treatment and causes of prostate cancer.

More so, this study reveals some interesting details on the genetic association in these diseases.

Furthermore, it will interest you to know that the FDA was alerted recently about the link in treatments associated between Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer patients.

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