Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Evidence of an X-linked or recessive genetic component to prostate cancer risk


We used data from a population-based cohort study of blacks, Hispanics, Japanese and whites to examine the frequency of prevalent prostate and breast cancer by family history status of first-degree relatives (parents and siblings). Independent of race, the age-adjusted relative risk for prevalent prostate cancer in subjects with affected brothers was approximately two times that in subjects with affected fathers (P < 0.00005). No such excess risk for breast cancer was observed among subjects with affected sisters compared to those with affected mothers (age- and race-adjusted relative risk = 1.10, P= 0.34). The magnitude of the relative risk for prostate cancer in sibling-versus parent-affected groups was significantly different from that of the comparable relative risk for breast cancer (P < 0.00005). An excess risk of prostate cancer in men with affected brothers compared to those with affected fathers is consistent with the hypothesis of an X-linked, or recessive, model of inheritance.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Narod, S.A. et al. The impact of family history on early detection of prostate cancer. Nature Med. 1, 99–101 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Woolf, C.M. An investigation of the familial aspects of carcinoma of the prostate. Cancer 13, 739–744 (1960).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Cancer in Los Angeles County: A Portrait of Incidence and Mortality 1972–1987 (University of Southern California Press, Los Angeles,1991).

  4. Hayes, R.B. et al. Prostate cancer risk in U.S. blacks and whites with a family history of cancer. Int. J. Cancer 60, 361–364 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Whittemore, A.S. et al. Family history and prostate cancer risk in black, white, and Asian men in the United States and Canada. Am. J. Epidemiol. 141, 732–740 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ross, R.K. et al. Does the racial-ethnic variation in prostate cancer risk have a hormonal basis? Cancer 75, 1778–1782 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Edwards, A. et al. Genetic variation at five trimeric and tetrameric tandem repeat loci in four human population groups. Genomics 12, 241–253 (1992).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Coetzee, G. & Ross, R.K. Prostate cancer and the androgen receptor. J. natn. Cancer Inst. 86, 872–873 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Irvine, R.A. et al. The CAG and GGC microsatellites of the androgen receptor gene are in linkage disequilibrium in men with prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 55, 1937–1940 (1995).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Carter, B.S. et al. Mendelian inheritance of familial prostate cancer. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89, 3367–3371 (1992).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Breslow, N.E. & Day, N.E. Statistical Methods in Cancer Research, Vol. II, The Design and Analysis of Cohort Studies (IARC Scientific Publications No. 82, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, 1987).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Monroe, K., Yu, M., Kolonel, L. et al. Evidence of an X-linked or recessive genetic component to prostate cancer risk. Nat Med 1, 827–829 (1995).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing