Genetic variation in the human genome is an emerging resource for studying cancer, a complex set of diseases characterised by both environmental and genetic contributions. The number of common germ-line variants is great, on the order of 10-15 million per person, and represents a remarkable opportunity to investigate the aetiology, interindividual differences in treatment response and outcomes of specific cancers. The study of genetic variation can elucidate critical determinants in environmental exposure and cancer, which could have future implications for preventive and early intervention strategies. However, we are in the initial stages of characterising the tools (i.e., the single-nucleotide polymorphism, SNP) to rigorously analyse the genetic contributions to complex diseases, such as cancer. If the promise of the genomic era is to be realised, we must integrate this information into new strategies for implementation in both public health measures and, most importantly, provision of individual cancer-related care.
- Single-nucleotide polymorphism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research