Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in adult Americans and is caused by both genetic and environmental risk factors. We have replicated our originally reported linkage signal at 9q22-31 by fine mapping an independent collection of colon cancer families. Then, using a custom array of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) densely spaced across the candidate region, we performed both single-SNP and moving-window association analyses to identify a colon neoplasia risk haplotype. We isolated the association effect to a five SNP haplotype centered around 98.15 megabases (Mb) on chromosome 9q. This haplotype is in strong linkage disequilibrium with the haplotype block containing HABP4 and may be a surrogate for the effect of this CD30 Ki-1 antigen. It is also in close proximity to the GALNT12, which has been recently shown to be altered in colon tumors. Finally, we used a predictive modeling algorithm to demonstrate the contribution of this risk haplotype and surrounding candidate genes in distinguishing between colon cancer cases and healthy controls. The ability to replicate this finding, the strength of the haplotype association (OR=3.68) and the accuracy of our prediction model (~60%) all strongly support the presence of a locus for familial colon cancer on chromosome 9q.
Keywords: colon cancer, linkage analysis, association analysis, risk, family cancer syndrome