Study identifies potential biomarkers for lung cancer screening and intervention strategies

Written by Georgi Makin, Future Science Group

A Dartmouth research team has identified three novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whilst investigating gene-smoking interactions and the importance of their roles in the etiology of lung cancer.

Results published in Carcinogenesis isolate two SNPs for non-small cell lung cancer risk and one SNP for squamous cell lung cancer risk, all of which could be viable biomarker candidates for lung cancer risk screening and intervention strategies.

Yafang Li, Dartmouth College (NH, USA) commented: “Genome-wide interaction scanning remains a challenge as most genome-wide association studies are designed for main effect association analysis and have limited power for interaction analysis.  This study is by far the largest genome-wide SNP-smoking interaction analysis reported for lung cancer. We also adopted a two-step strategy in the analysis to reduce the power loss from ordinary gene-environment interaction analysis.”

The genotype and phenotype data was obtained from OncoArray Consortium and was restricted to a Caucasian population. The three SNPs stratify lung cancer risk by smoking behavior and could be utilized to increase the precision of predicting an individual’s risk of lung cancer progression by smoking behavior, thus improving a clinician’s capability to design personalized monitoring and treatment plans.

The team hope to further test the interaction effect in other ethnicities and genetic backgrounds. Li concluded: “The limited overlap between discovery genotype and replication genotype may have reduced the power in our validation study. We believe as more genotype data becomes available in the future we can discover more important gene-smoking interaction in lung cancer disease.”

Sources: Li Y, Xiao X, Han Y et al. Genome-wide interaction study of smoking behavior and non-small cell lung cancer risk in Caucasian population. Carcinogenesis doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgx113 (Epub ahead of print);