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1.  Genetic analysis of lung tumours of non-smoking subjects: p53 gene mutations are constantly associated with loss of heterozygosity at the FHIT locus. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(1):73-78.
Lung cancer is strictly associated with tobacco smoking. Tumours developed in non-smoking subjects account for less than 10% of all lung cancers and show peculiar histopathological features, being prevalently adenocarcinomas. A number of genetic data suggest that their biological behaviour may be different from that of lung tumours caused by smoking, however the number of cases investigated to date is too low to draw definitive conclusions. We have examined the status of p53 and K-ras genes and the presence of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the FHIT locus in a series of 35 lung adenocarcinomas that developed in subjects who had never smoked. Results were compared with those obtained in a series of 35 lung adenocarcinomas from heavy-smoking subjects. In the group of non-smoking subjects p53 mutations and LOH at the FHIT locus were present in seven (20%) cases, and the two alterations were constantly associated (P < 0.0001), whereas they were not related in the series of carcinomas caused by smoking. In tumours developed in heavy-smoking subjects, the frequency of LOH at the FHIT locus was significantly higher (P = 0.006) than in tumours from non-smoking subjects. The frequency of p53 mutations in adenocarcinomas caused by smoking was not different from that seen in non-smoking subjects. However, in the group of smoking subjects we observed mostly G:C --> T:A transversions, whereas frameshift mutations and G:C --> A:T transitions were more frequently found in tumours from non-smoking subjects. No point mutations of the K-ras gene at codon 12 were seen in subjects who had never smoked, whereas they were present (mostly G:C --> T:A transversions) in 34% of tumours caused by smoking (P = 0.002). Our data suggest that lung adenocarcinomas developed in subjects who had never smoked represent a distinct biological entity involving a co-alteration of the p53 gene and the FHIT locus in 20% of cases.
PMCID: PMC2062949  PMID: 9662254
2.  Evaluation of FHIT gene alterations in ovarian cancer. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(7):1048-1051.
The FHIT gene, recently cloned and mapped on chromosome 3p14.2, has frequently been found to be abnormal in several established cancer cell lines and primary tumours. As alterations of chromosome 3p are common events in ovarian cancers with breakpoint sites at 3p14.2, we decided to investigate the role of FHIT in human ovarian tumorigenesis. Fifty-four primary ovarian carcinomas were studied by reverse transcription of FHIT mRNA followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of products. The same tumours and matched normal tissues were also investigated for loss of heterozygosity using three microsatellite markers located inside the gene. We found an abnormal transcript of the FHIT gene in two cases (4%) and allelic losses in eight cases (15%). Twelve (22%) of the 54 tumours investigated belonged to young patients with a family history of breast/ovarian cancer. In none of these cases was the FHITgene found to be altered. Our results indicate that FHITplays a role in a small proportion of ovarian carcinomas.
PMCID: PMC2150139  PMID: 9569038

Results 1-2 (2)