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Open Access Research article

Modeling the Aneuploidy Control of Cancer

Yao Li1, Arthur Berg23, Louie R Wu4, Zhong Wang23, Gang Chen3 and Rongling Wu23*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Statistics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

2 Center for Statistical Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA 17033, USA

3 Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA

4 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:346  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-346

Published: 1 July 2010



Aneuploidy has long been recognized to be associated with cancer. A growing body of evidence suggests that tumorigenesis, the formation of new tumors, can be attributed to some extent to errors occurring at the mitotic checkpoint, a major cell cycle control mechanism that acts to prevent chromosome missegregation. However, so far no statistical model has been available quantify the role aneuploidy plays in determining cancer.


We develop a statistical model for testing the association between aneuploidy loci and cancer risk in a genome-wide association study. The model incorporates quantitative genetic principles into a mixture-model framework in which various genetic effects, including additive, dominant, imprinting, and their interactions, are estimated by implementing the EM algorithm.


Under the new model, a series of hypotheses tests are formulated to explain the pattern of the genetic control of cancer through aneuploid loci. Simulation studies were performed to investigate the statistical behavior of the model.


The model will provide a tool for estimating the effects of genetic loci on aneuploidy abnormality in genome-wide studies of cancer cells.