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Gastroenterology. 2003 May;124(5):1193-201.

Increased risk of noncardia gastric cancer associated with proinflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Aberdeen University, Foresterhill, Scotland.



Genetic variations in proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine genes influence individual response to carcinogenic exposures. Polymorphisms in interleukin (IL)-1 beta and its endogenous receptor antagonist are associated with risk of Helicobacter pylori-related gastric cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of proinflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms in gastric and esophageal cancers defined by anatomic subsite.


We assessed polymorphisms of the IL-1 gene cluster and 4 other cytokine genes in a population-based case-control study of upper gastrointestinal cancers, including gastric cardia (n = 126) and noncardia adenocarcinoma (n = 188), esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (n = 53), and adenocarcinoma (n = 108), and frequency-matched controls (n = 212). ORs for the different cancers were computed from logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounding factors.


Proinflammatory genotypes of tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-10 were each associated with more than doubling of the risk of noncardia gastric cancer. Carriage of multiple proinflammatory polymorphisms of IL-1B(o) IL-1 receptor antagonist, tumor necrosis factor A, and IL-10 conferred greater risk, with ORs (and 95% confidence intervals) of 2.8 (1.6-5.1) for one, 5.4 (2.7-10.6) for 2, and 27.3 (7.4-99.8) for 3 or 4 high-risk genotypes. In contrast, these polymorphisms were not consistently related to the risks of esophageal or gastric cardia cancers. Polymorphisms in IL-4 and IL-6 were not associated with any of the cancers studied.


A proinflammatory cytokine genetic profile increases the risk of noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma but not other upper gastrointestinal cancers, possibly by inducing a hypochlorhydric and atrophic response to gastric H. pylori infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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