Roswell Park ovarian cancer registry data links ovarian and testicular cancer

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Using data from a large ovarian cancer registry, a research team from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center uncovered a link between testicular cancer and familial ovarian cancer that may be attributable to genetic factors on the X chromosome.

The Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry at Roswell Park was established in 1981 and contains clinical and epidemiological information from 2,636 families with multiple cases of ovarian cancer. The overall goal of this registry is to identify all of the genes responsible for ovarian cancer development so that women who are genetically predisposed to the disease can be identified and monitored carefully.

Using Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry data, the Roswell Park investigators took a closer look at the family histories of 34 men with testicular cancer who were in the registry. These men with testicular cancer were more likely than men with other cancers to have a mother or sister with ovarian cancer.

None of the men with testicular cancer who were included in the registry had a paternal grandmother with ovarian cancer, lending support to the theory that the genes driving testicular cancer development may be X-linked.

Based on the results of this study, the Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry will now include all patients with at least one case of testicular cancer and re-contact existing families to update their information.

Although more studies are needed to further explore the link between testicular and ovarian cancers, this registry may provide new insight into the etiology and transmission of both cancers and identify gene targets for prevention and therapy.

The study, “Hereditary association between testicular cancer and familial ovarian cancer: A Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry study,” was published in Cancer Epidemiology and is available at


President Joe Biden’s proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health would be a welcome partner to NCI—particularly in conducting large, collaborative clinical investigations, NCI Director Ned Sharpless said.“I think having ARPA-H as part of the NIH is good for the NCI,” Sharpless said April 11 in his remarks at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. “How this would fit with the ongoing efforts in cancer at the NCI is still something to work out.”