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Approved research

Blood pressure and bladder cancer risk by use of conventional analysis of main effects and in interaction with the NAT2 genotype, and by Mendelian randomization analysis

Principal Investigator: Dr Stanley Teleka
Approved Research ID: 42410
Approval date: October 16th 2018

Lay summary

Bladder cancer (BP) is common in developed countries. Smoking is the most important risk factor, other established environmental risk factors such as cancer-causing agents from the industry (like the dye industry) and x-rays (special form of light) are rare risk factors. Nearly 30% of individuals that get bladder cancer get it because of specific traits that passed down from their parents. Studies that have examine the complete set of human genes have identified a gene called N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) as one of the most important genes that increases the risk of getting BC. High blood pressure (BP) is one of the most important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Between 30 to 60 percent of BP is caused by genes passed down from parents to children and through a numerous genetic experiments, more than 100 genes affecting BP have been found. BP has been linked to cancer overall and some cancers from specific sites, such as the kidneys and large intestines. In relation to BC, research is rare, but one large study investigating the link between BP and BC found a positive relationship among men. However, that study and most other prior studies had weaknesses, such as not having enough data on blood pressure medication and smoking, two risk factors that may change the true association between BP and BC. Mendelian randomization analysis is special technique of investigating the association between a risk factor and a disease using genes that affect the risk factor of interest. Properly using this technique will allow us to overcome the above mentioned weaknesses that affected prior studies and allow us to test if BP truly causes BC. With this in mind, the first aim of the study is to investigate if BP causes BC and the second aim is to investigate if the relationship between BP and bladder changes depending on the NAT2 gene one inherits from their parents. This study is the first of it's kind and is expected to fill some of the knowledge gap in BC biology and how BP is related to BC. This will hopefully lead to better prevention and clinical care for BC.