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Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 21;99(8):1340-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604683.

Case-control study and meta-analysis of SULT1A1 Arg213His polymorphism for gene, ethnicity and environment interaction for cancer risk.

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  • 1Genetic Engineering Unit, Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer, Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, India.


Cytosolic sulphotransferase SULT1A1 plays a dual role in the activation of some carcinogens and inactivation of others. A functional polymorphism leading to Arg(213)His substitution (SULT1A1*2) affects its catalytic activity and thermostability. To study the association of SULT1A1*2 polymorphism with tobacco-related cancers (TRCs), a case-control study comprising 132 patients with multiple primary neoplasm (MPN) involving TRC and 198 cancer-free controls was carried out. One hundred and thirteen MPN patients had at least one cancer in upper aerodigestive tract including lung (UADT-MPN). SULT1A1*2 showed significant risk association with UADT-MPN (odds ratio (OR)=5.50, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09, 27.7). Meta-analysis was conducted combining the data with 34 published studies that included 11 962 cancer cases and 14 673 controls in diverse cancers. The SULT1A1*2 revealed contrasting risk association for UADT cancers (OR=1.62, 95% CI: 1.12, 2.34) and genitourinary cancers (OR=0.73, 95% CI: 0.58, 0.92). Furthermore, although SULT1A1*2 conferred significant increased risk of breast cancer to Asian women (OR=1.91, 95% CI: 1.08, 3.40), it did not confer increased risk to Caucasian women (OR=0.92, 95% CI: 0.71, 1.18). Thus risk for different cancers in distinct ethnic groups could be modulated by interaction between genetic variants and different endogenous and exogenous carcinogens.

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