In the December 2004 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, an editorial titled “Genetic Variation and Cancer: Improving the Environment for Association Studies” (1) suggested approaches that could be used to improve the chances of identifying reproducible, biologically plausible associations between genetic variants and cancer. The editorial's perspective was that high-quality research could accomplish this goal using a wide variety of methods, study designs, laboratory tools, and analytic techniques and that no single approach will address all of the relevant research issues. This editorial was intended to spark debate about appropriate approaches for association studies.

To continue the discussion, the editors of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention invited a number of prominent researchers to comment on the points raised in the original editorial. We encourage our readers to pick up the themes under discussion and challenge the original editorial, the positions espoused here, or both.

We look forward to your comments.

Rebbeck TR, Martinez ME, Sellers TA, Shields PG, Wild CP, Potter JD. Genetic variation and cancer: improving the environment for publication of association studies.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
–6. [Available online at]