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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Aug;16(8):1595-600.

Risk of bladder cancer associated with family history of cancer: do low-penetrance polymorphisms account for the increase in risk?

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  • 1Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Carrer del Dr. Aiguader 88, E-08003, Barcelona, Spain.


The relationship between family history of cancer in first-degree relatives and risk of bladder cancer was examined in the Spanish Bladder Cancer Study. Information on family history of cancer was obtained for 1,158 newly diagnosed bladder cancer cases and 1,244 controls included in 18 hospitals between 1998 and 2001. A total of 464 (40.1%) cases and 436 (35.1%) controls reported a family history of cancer in >/=1 relative [odds ratio (OR), 1.32; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.11-1.59]; the OR was 1.23 (95% CI, 1.01-1.50) among those with only one relative affected and 1.67 (95% CI, 1.23-2.29) among those with >/=2 affected relatives (P(trend) = 0.0004). A greater risk of bladder cancer was observed among those diagnosed at age </=45 years (OR, 2.67; 95% CI, 1.10-6.50) compared with those diagnosed over age 45 years (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.06-1.52). The OR of bladder cancer among subjects reporting a family history of cancer of the bladder was 2.34 (95% CI, 0.95-5.77). Statistically significant associations emerged between bladder cancer risk and family history of cancer of the esophagus, lung, prostate, and brain. The OR of bladder cancer for those reporting family history of bladder cancer was 4.76 (95% CI, 1.25-18.09) among NAT2-slow acetylators and 1.17 (95% CI, 0.17-7.86) among NAT2-rapid/intermediate acetylators (P(interaction) = 0.609). Among individuals with GSTM1 null and present genotypes, the corresponding ORs were 2.91 (95% CI, 0.44-19.09) and 4.21 (95% CI, 1.26-14.14), respectively (P(interaction) = 0.712). Limitations of our study are small sample size in subgroup analyses, reliability of family history data, and possible residual confounding by shared environmental exposures. Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that genetic factors play a role in bladder cancer etiology. Whether these correspond to low-penetrance cancer-predisposing polymorphisms acting together and/or interacting with environmental factors warrants further research.

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