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Mayo-led study finds smoking related to subset of colorectal cancers
Date:4/13/2008

therapy, as tumors that lack MMR proteins might respond differently to standard treatment regimens, Dr. Limburg says.

The research team examined data from the 41,836-participant Iowa Womens Health Study and selected those 1,421 women who developed colorectal cancer since the study began in 1986. They then worked with the Iowa Cancer Registry and pathology laboratories around the state to collect tumor specimens from these patients. To date, they have retrieved about 50 percent of the samples. This study, a first analysis, includes 432 samples, or about 30 percent of the group.

They analyzed the tumors for presence of four DNA mismatch repair proteins known to be active in cells lining the colon and rectum. Samples that had all four were labeled MMR-positive. Tumors with less than four were tagged as MMR-negative.

The researchers then correlated information reported by the patients on whether they had ever smoked and how many cigarettes they used daily with MMR protein patterns in their tumors.

They found that smoking status was not significantly associated with development of colorectal cancer in the 432 patients in general. However, when the scientists examined colorectal cancers in women smokers with the perspective of MMR-deficient gene involvement, there was a strong association between smoking and MMR-negative status. For example, former smokers had a 61 percent increase in relative risk for MMR-negative colorectal cancer compared to never smokers, and current smokers were more than twice as likely to develop colorectal tumors with absent mismatch repair proteins.

The association between smoking and MMR-negative colorectal cancer also steadily increased with the number of cigarettes a woman smoked per day, Dr. Limburg says. The relative risk for MMR-negative cancer increased 54 percent if a patient smoked 119 cigarettes daily, more than twofold for 20 cigarettes a day, and more than threefold for a woman who smoke
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Contact: Russell Vanderboom
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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