Cancer Information

genome-wide association study

(JEE-nome ... uh-SOH-see-AY-shun STUH-dee)

A study that compares DNA markers across the genome (the complete genetic material in a person) in people with a disease or trait to people without the disease or trait. These studies may uncover clues to help prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Also called GWAS.

A genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a way for scientists to identify inherited genetic variants associated with risk of disease or a particular trait. This method surveys the entire genome for genetic polymorphisms, typically single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (pronounced “snips”), that occur more frequently in cases (people with the disease or trait being assessed) than in controls (people without the disease or trait). Also called GWAS.