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Hematology - Public Health and Epidemiology

Genetic Variation in Cell Death Genes and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Author: Johanna M. Schuetz et al.

by Johanna M. Schuetz, Denise Daley, Jinko Graham, Brian R. Berry, Richard P. Gallagher, Joseph M. Connors, Randy D. Gascoyne, John J. Spinelli, Angela R. Brooks-Wilson


Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are a heterogeneous group of solid tumours that constitute the 5th highest cause of cancer mortality in the United States and Canada. Poor control of cell death in lymphocytes can lead to autoimmune disease or cancer, making genes involved in programmed cell death of lymphocytes logical candidate genes for lymphoma susceptibility.

Materials and Methods

We tested for genetic association with NHL and NHL subtypes, of SNPs in lymphocyte cell death genes using an established population-based study. 17 candidate genes were chosen based on biological function, with 123 SNPs tested. These included tagSNPs from HapMap and novel SNPs discovered by re-sequencing 47 cases in genes for which SNP representation was judged to be low. The main analysis, which estimated odds ratios by fitting data to an additive logistic regression model, used European ancestry samples that passed quality control measures (569 cases and 547 controls). A two-tiered approach for multiple testing correction was used: correction for number of tests within each gene by permutation-based methodology, followed by correction for the number of genes tested using the false discovery rate.


Variant rs928883, near miR-155, showed an association (OR per A-allele: 2.80 [95% CI: 1.63–4.82]; pF?=?0.027) with marginal zone lymphoma that is significant after correction for multiple testing.


This is the first reported association between a germline polymorphism at a miRNA locus and lymphoma.