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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Dec;13(12):2242-6.

Association between the risk for lung adenocarcinoma and a (-4) G-to-A polymorphism in the XPA gene.

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Division of Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Polymorphisms of genes coding for DNA repair can affect lung cancer risk. A common single nucleotide (-4) G-to-A polymorphism was identified previously in the 5' untranslated region of the XPA gene. In a case-control study in European Caucasians, the influence of this polymorphism on primary lung cancer risk overall and according to histologic subtypes was investigated. Four hundred sixty-three lung cancer cases (including 204 adenocarcinoma and 212 squamous cell carcinoma) and 460 tumor-free hospital controls were investigated using PCR amplification and melting point analysis of sequence-specific hybridization probes. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated by multiple logistic regression analysis adjusting for age, gender, smoking habits, and occupational exposure and showed a slightly enhanced risk for all lung cancer cases as well as for squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma cases. Gene-environment interactions were analyzed with respect to smoking and occupational exposure. A nearly 3-fold increased risk for adenocarcinoma associated with the XPA AA genotype was observed for occupationally exposed individuals (OR, 2.95; 95% confidence interval, 1.42-6.14) and for heavy smokers (OR, 2.52; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-5.42). No genotype-dependent increase in OR was found for nonexposed individuals or those smoking <20 pack-years. The significant effect of the XPA polymorphism in heavy smokers and occupationally exposed individuals suggests an important gene-environment interaction for the XPA gene. The underlying mechanisms as to why AA homozygotes are predisposed to lung adenocarcinoma and which specific carcinogens are involved remains to be determined.

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