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1.  Association of smoking with tumor size at diagnosis in non-small cell lung cancer 
Tumor size at diagnosis (TSD) indirectly reflects tumor growth rate. The relationship between TSD and smoking is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between smoking and TSD. We reviewed 1712 newly diagnosed and previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients’ electronic medical records and collected tumor characteristics. Demographic and epidemiologic characteristics were derived from questionnaires administered during personal interviews. Univariate and multivariate linear regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between TSD and smoking controlling for demographic and clinical factors. We also investigated the relationship between the rs1051730 SNP in an intron of the CHRNA3 gene (the polymorphism most significantly associated with lung cancer risk and smoking behavior) and TSD. We found a strong dose dependent relationship between TSD and smoking. Current smokers had largest and never smokers smallest TSD with former smokers having intermediate TSD. In the multivariate linear regression model, smoking status (never, former, and current), histological type (adenocarcinoma vs SqCC), and gender were significant predictors of TSD. Smoking duration and intensity may explain the gender effect in predicting TSD. We found that the variant allele of rs1051730 in CHRNA3 gene was associated with larger TSD of squamous cell carcinoma. In the multivariate linear regression model, both rs1051730 and smoking were significant predictors for the size of squamous carcinomas. We conclude that smoking is positively associated with lung tumor size at the moment of diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3197014  PMID: 21645942
Lung cancer; tumor size; epidemiologic characteristics; risk factors; CHRNA3
2.  PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR Pathway Genetic Variation Predicts Toxicity and Distant Progression in Lung Cancer Patients Receiving Platinum-based Chemotherapy 
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The effect of the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway on cancer treatment, including NSCLC, has been well documented. In this study, we analyzed associations between genetic variations within this pathway and clinical outcomes following platinum-based chemotherapy in 168 patients with stage IIIB (wet) or stage IV NSCLC. Sixteen tagging SNPs in five core genes (PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT1, AKT2, and FRAP1) of this pathway and identified SNPs associated with development of toxicity and disease progression. We observed significantly increased toxicity for patients with PIK3CA:rs2699887 (OR: 3.86, 95% CI: 1.08 – 13.82). In contrast, a SNP in PTEN was associated with significantly reduced risk for chemotherapeutic toxicity (OR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.20 - 0.95). We identified three SNPs in AKT1 resulting in significantly decreased risks of distant progression in patients carrying at least one variant allele with HRs of 0.66 (95% CI: 0.45 - 0.97), 0.52 (95% CI: 0.35 - 0.77), and 0.62 (95% CI: 0.42 - 0.91) for rs3803304, rs2498804, and rs1130214, respectively. Furthermore, these same variants conferred nearly two-fold increased progression-free survival times. The current study provides evidence that genetic variations within the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway are associated with variation in clinical outcomes of NSCLC patients. With further validation, our findings may provide additional biomarkers for customized treatment of platinum-based chemotherapy for NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC2952281  PMID: 20447721
lung cancer; chemotherapy; platinum-agents; AKT; clinical outcomes
3.  Polymorphisms of cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase and risk of lung cancer: a case–control analysis 
The suboptimal DNA repair capacity is a risk factor for cancer that may be modulated by dietary nutrient intake, and the serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) participates in folate metabolism and synthesis of purine and pyrimidine needed for DNA repair. Therefore, we tested our hypothesis that genetic variants of the cytosolic SHMT (SHMT1) gene are associated with lung cancer risk. In a hospital-based case-control study of 1032 non-Hispanic white lung cancer patients and 1145 matched cancer-free controls, we genotyped five common SHMT1 polymorphisms either in the promoter, exons, or 3′-untranslated regions. Although the genotype and allele frequency distribution of each SNP did not differ between cases and controls statistically significantly in the single-locus analysis, the rs638416 polymorphism in the promoter alone and the combined putative risk variant genotypes containing rs643333C, rs638416G, rs1979277T, rs3738G, and rs1979276C were associated with altered risk. Those carrying the combined 3+ risk variant genotypes had an increased risk of lung cancer (adjusted OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.05–2.57, compared with those having 0–1 risk genotypes; and OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.01–1.45, compared with those having 0–2 risk genotypes). The risk was more pronounced among older individuals (>61 years) or those having a low total folate intake or a high methionine intake. No evidence of interactions between the putative SHMT risk variant genotypes and the selected variables was found. These results suggest that SHMT1 variants may play a role in the etiology of lung cancer, and our findings need to be verified in larger prospective studies.
PMCID: PMC2693017  PMID: 17420066
DNA repair; genetic susceptibility; lung cancer; serine hydroxymethyltransferase; tetrahydrofolate metabolism

Results 1-3 (3)