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Germline genetics, gender and hormonal-signaling pathways are all well described modifiers of cancer risk and progression. Although an improved understanding of how germline genetic variants interact with other cancer risk factors may allow better prevention and treatment of human cancer, measuring and quantifying these interactions is challenging. In other areas of research, Information Theory has been used to quantitatively describe similar multivariate interactions. We implemented a novel information-theoretic analysis to measure the joint effect of a high frequency germline genetic variant of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway (MDM2 SNP309 T/G) and gender on clinical cancer phenotypes. This analysis quantitatively describes synergistic interactions among gender, the MDM2 SNP309 locus, and the age of onset of tumorigenesis in p53 mutation carriers. These results offer a molecular and genetic basis for the observed sexual dimorphism of cancer risk in p53 mutation carriers and a model is proposed that suggests a novel cancer prevention strategy for p53 mutation carriers.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0001951

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

09/04/2008

Volume

3

Keywords

Age Factors, Female, Genes, p53, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genetic Variation, Germ-Line Mutation, Humans, Male, Medical Informatics, Models, Theoretical, Mutation, Neoplasms, Phenotype, Sex Characteristics, Sex Factors, Signal Transduction