Genome-wide association study identifies a region on chromosome 11q14.3 associated with late rectal bleeding following radiation therapy for prostate cancer

Sarah L. Kerns, Richard G. Stock, Nelson N. Stone, Seth R. Blacksburg, Lynda Rath, Ana Vega, Laura Fachal, Antonio Gomez-Caamano, Dirk De Ruysscher, Guido Lammering, Matthew Parliament, Michael Blackshaw, Michael Sia, Jamie Cesaretti, Mitchell Terk, Rosetta Hixson, Barry S. Rosenstein*, Harry Ostrer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Web of Science)


Background and purpose: Rectal bleeding can occur following radiotherapy for prostate cancer and negatively impacts quality of life for cancer survivors. Treatment and clinical factors do not fully predict rectal bleeding, and genetic factors may be important. Materials and methods: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to identify SNPs associated with the development of late rectal bleeding following radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Logistic regression was used to test the association between 614,453 SNPs and rectal bleeding in a discovery cohort (79 cases, 289 controls), and top-ranking SNPs were tested in a replication cohort (108 cases, 673 controls) from four independent sites. Results: rs7120482 and rs17630638, which tag a single locus on chromosome 11q14.3, reached genome-wide significance for association with rectal bleeding (combined p-values 5.4 x 10(-8) and 6.9 x 10(-7) respectively). Several other SNPs had p-values trending toward genome-wide significance, and a polygenic risk score including these SNPs shows a strong rank-correlation with rectal bleeding (Sommers' d = 5.0 x 10(-12) in the replication cohort). Conclusions: This GWAS identified novel genetic markers of rectal bleeding following prostate radiotherapy. These findings could lead to the development of a predictive assay to identify patients at risk for this adverse treatment outcome so that dose or treatment modality could be modified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-376
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Radiogenomics
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal toxicity
  • Genome-wide association study

Cite this