Journal Article

Associations between both genetic and environmental biomarkers and lung cancer: evidence of a greater risk of lung cancer in women smokers.

D L Tang, A Rundle, D Warburton, R M Santella, W Y Tsai, S Chiamprasert, Y Z Hsu and F P Perera

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 11, pages 1949-1953
Published in print November 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Associations between both genetic and environmental biomarkers and lung cancer: evidence of a greater risk of lung cancer in women smokers.

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This molecular epidemiologic case-control study of lung cancer incorporated three complementary biomarkers: the glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) null genotype, a potential marker of susceptibility, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts (PAH-DNA) and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE), both indicators of environmentally induced genetic damage. Associations between biomarkers and lung cancer were investigated, as were possible gene-environment interactions between the GSTM1 null genotype and tobacco smoke exposure. Subjects included 136 primary non-small cell lung cancer surgical patients and 115 controls at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Questionnaire and Tumor Registry data, pre-treatment blood samples and biomarker measurements on blood were obtained. Overall, GSTM1 null genotype was significantly associated with lung cancer [odds ratio (OR) = 2.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13-3.68]. ORs for GSTM1 and lung cancer were significant in females (2.50, 1.09-5.72) and smokers (2.25, 1.11-4.54) and not significant in males (1.4, 0.58-3.38) and non-smokers (0.88, 0.18-4.33). However, ORs for males versus females and smokers versus non-smokers did not differ significantly. The OR for GSTM1 and lung cancer in female smokers was 3.03 (1.09-8.40), compared with 1.42 (0.53-4.06) in male smokers. In contrast to PAH-DNA adducts in leukocytes, SCE did not differ between cases and controls. Neither biomarker differed significantly between the two GSTM1 genotypes. The combined effect of elevated PAH-DNA adducts and GSTM1 genotype on case-control status (16.19, 1.2-115) appeared multiplicative. Results suggest that the effect of the GSTM1 null genotype is greatest in female smokers, which is consistent with other evidence that indicates that women are at higher risk of lung cancer than males, given equal smoking. Persons with both the GSTM1 deletion and elevated PAH-DNA adducts may represent a sensitive subpopulation with respect to carcinogens in tobacco smoke and other environmental media.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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