, Volume 51, Issue 10, pp 1757-1760
Date: 12 Aug 2008

A genetic link between type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer


Epidemiological studies suggest that men with type 2 diabetes are less likely than non-diabetic men to develop prostate cancer. The cause of this association is not known. Recent genetic studies have highlighted a potential genetic link between the two diseases. Two studies have identified a version (allele) of a variant in the HNF1B (also known as TCF2) gene that predisposes to type 2 diabetes, and one of them showed that the same allele protects men from prostate cancer. Other, separate, studies have identified different variants in the JAZF1 gene, one associated with type 2 diabetes, another associated with prostate cancer. These findings are unlikely to completely explain the epidemiological association between the two diseases but they provide new insight into a possible direct causal link, rather than one that is confounded or biased in some way.