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Cancer Discov. 2012 Feb;2(2):131-9. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0246. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Inherited variation at chromosome 12p13.33, including RAD52, influences the risk of squamous cell lung carcinoma.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Although lung cancer is largely caused by tobacco smoking, inherited genetic factors play a role in its etiology. Genome-wide association studies in Europeans have only robustly demonstrated 3 polymorphic variations that influence the risk of lung cancer. Tumor heterogeneity may have hampered the detection of association signal when all lung cancer subtypes were analyzed together. In a genome-wide association study of 5,355 European ever-smoker lung cancer patients and 4,344 smoking control subjects, we conducted a pathway-based analysis in lung cancer histologic subtypes with 19,082 single-nucleotide polymorphisms mapping to 917 genes in the HuGE-defined "inflammation" pathway. We identified a susceptibility locus for squamous cell lung carcinoma at 12p13.33 (RAD52, rs6489769) and replicated the association in 3 independent studies totaling 3,359 squamous cell lung carcinoma cases and 9,100 controls (OR = 1.20, P(combined) = 2.3 × 10(-8)).


The combination of pathway-based approaches and information on disease-specific subtypes can improve the identification of cancer susceptibility loci in heterogeneous diseases.

©2011 AACR.

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