Sibling risks in cancer: Clues to recessive or X-linked genes?

K. Hemminki, P. Vaittinen, C. Dong, D. Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


A systematic analysis of cancer risks to offspring and to siblings of cancer cases was carried out based on the nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database. For all 13 cancer sites examined, risks to both offspring and siblings of cases of cancer at the same site were significantly elevated. The relative risk to siblings was approximately 2 fold more than the offspring risk for cancers of the prostate, testis, kidney and bladder, suggesting that recessive or X-linked susceptibility genes may be important for these cancers. Risks to siblings of cases where a parent was also affected were increased >20 fold over population rates for colorectal, ovarian, prostate and renal cancer, and for leukaemia, consistent with the effects of rare high-risk susceptibility alleles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-391
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer modelling
  • Familial cancer
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Heredity
  • Liability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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