Benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide-induced 3p21.3 aberrations and genetic predisposition to lung cancer

Xifeng Wu, Ying Zhao, Susan E. Honn, Gail E. Tomlinson, John D. Minna, Waun Ki Hong, Margaret R. Spitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


3p deletion, a common chromosome defect in lung cancer, occurs more frequently in the lung tumor tissues of smoking patients than it does in those of nonsmoking patients. This pilot study evaluated whether 3p aberrations induced by benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE), the metabolic product of benzo[a]pyrene, a constituent of tobacco smoke, were more common in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 40 lung cancer patients than they were in those of 54 matched controls. Our hypothesis was that 3p sensitivity to BPDE reflects the susceptibility of a specific locus to damage from carcinogens in tobacco smoke. BPDE-induced chromosome 3p21.3 aberrations were significantly more frequent in cases (34.1 per 1000) than they were in controls (22.1 per 1000; P < 0.0001). However, no such difference was observed for 6q27, a control locus. Using the median value in the controls (20 per 1000) as a cutoff point to classify BPDE-induced sensitivity at 3p21.3 and after adjustment by age, sex, ethnicity, and smoking status, 3p BPDE sensitivity was associated with an elevated risk of 14.1 (95% confidence interval: 3.5, 56.2) for lung cancer. There was also a dose-response relationship between the degree of BPDE sensitivity at 3p21.3 and increased risk for lung cancer. Therefore, 3p may be a molecular target for BPDE damage in lung cancer cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1608
Number of pages4
JournalCancer research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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