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Gene-environment interactions in renal cell carcinoma.


The majority of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) are sporadic, and increasing incidence rates suggest that such environmental risk factors as smoking play a role in the etiology of the disease. Cases with RCC were selected from the population-based cancer registry of Orange County, California, between 1994 and 1997; controls were recruited by telephone using random digit dialing. A total of 115 case and 259 control subjects were genotyped for N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2), which codes for a polymorphic enzyme involved in tobacco-carcinogen metabolism. Subjects with slow acetylator genotypes were found to be at twofold increased risk (odds ratio (OR) = 1.8; 95 percent confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 2.9) of RCC. Although cancer risk doubled among smokers (OR = 2.2; 95 percent CI: 1.3, 3.7), stratified analysis revealed gene-environment interaction among slow acetylators that smoked (OR = 3.2; 95 percent CI: 1.7, 6.1) compared with rapid acetylators that smoked (OR = 1.4; 95 percent CI: 0.7, 2.9). A dose response was found for pack-years among slow acetylators (p < 0.01) but not among rapid acetylators (p = 0.06). Although smoking is a well-established risk factor of RCC, our data suggest that the risk is pronounced among slow rather than rapid acetylators.

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