Polymorphism of the insulin gene is associated with increased prostate cancer risk

Gloria Yuen Fun Ho, Arnold Melman, S. M. Liu, M. Li, H. Yu, A. Negassa, R. D. Burk, A. W. Hsing, Reza Ghavamian, S. C. Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


High insulin levels are linked with increased cancer risk, including prostate cancer. We examined the associations between prostate cancer with polymorphisms of the insulin gene (INS) and its neighbouring genes, tyrosine-hydroxylase and IGF-II (TH and IGF2). In this study, 126 case-control pairs matched on age, race, and countries of origin were genotyped for +1127 INS-Pstl in INS, -4217 TH-Pstl in TH, and +3580 IGF2-Mspl in IGF2. The homozygous CC genotype of +1127 INS-Pstl occurred in over 60% of the population. It was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in nondiabetic Blacks and Caucasians (OR=3.14, P=0.008). The CC genotype was also associated with a low Gleason score >7 (OR=2.60, P=0.022) and a late age of diagnosis (OR=2.10, P=0.046). Markers in the neighbouring genes of INS showed only nul to modest associations with prostate cancer. The polymorphism of INS may play a role in the aetiology of prostate cancer. Given the high prevalence of the CC genotype and its association with late age of onset of low-grade tumours, this polymorphism may contribute to the unique characteristics of prostate cancer, namely a high prevalence of indolent cancers and the dramatic increase in incidence with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 27 2003


  • Insulin
  • Polymorphism
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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