In the December 2004 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, an editorial titled “Genetic variation and cancer: improving the environment for association studies” (Rebbeck et al., Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004;13:1985–6) suggested approaches that could be used to improve the chances of identifying reproducible, biologically plausible associations between genetic variants and cancer. Our perspective was that high-quality research could accomplish this goal using a wide variety of methods and that no single approach would address all of the relevant research issues. The editorial was intended to spark debate about appropriate approaches for association studies.

The discussion continued with invited commentaries from a number of researchers (see Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2005;14:1359–65) and we encouraged our readers to join the conversation.

Here are two more letters on the topics raised.