Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 385–394 | Cite as

GSTM1 and GSTT1 Polymorphisms, Cigarette Smoking, and Risk of Colon Cancer: A Population-based Case-control Study in North Carolina (United States)

  • Kui Huang
  • Robert S. Sandler
  • Robert C. Millikan
  • Jane C. Schroeder
  • Kari E. North
  • Jennifer Hu
Original Paper


Cigarette smoke is a risk factor for colon cancer, but the importance of dose and interaction with genetic susceptibility remain poorly understood. We used data from a population-based case control study, to examine the association between cigarette smoking and colon cancer in African Americans and whites, and colon cancer and polymorphisms in GSTM1 and GSTT1. A total of 554 cases of primary colon cancer and 874 controls were included in this analysis. We found no association between cigarette smoking (ever versus never) and colon cancer in African Americans (odds ratio (OR)=0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.65–1.33). In contrast, there was an increased risk of cigarette smoking in whites (OR=1.43, CI=1.05–1.94). There was a small increased risk of colon cancer for individuals with GSTM1 null (African Americans, OR=1.43, CI, 0.98–2.09; whites, OR=1.19, CI, 0.90–1.58) and a decreased risk of colon cancer for individuals with GSTT1 null (African Americans, OR=0.59, CI: 0.40–0.86; whites, OR=0.72, CI: 0.53–1.00). There were weak interactions between GSTT1 null and cigarette smoking in whites, and GSTM1 null genotype and cigarette smoking in African Americans. GSTT1 and GSTM1 polymorphisms may be weakly related to colon cancer risk and there may be racial differences in gene-smoking interactions.


Colon cancer Cigarette smoking GSTT1 GSTM1 Polymorphisms 



This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 CA66635 and P30 DK34987). These analyses were conducted while Dr. Kui Huang was a National Institutes of Health predoctoral trainee (5-T32-ES07018) at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. We thank the study participants, physicians, interviewers, phlebotomists, and staff of North Carolina Colon Cancer Study. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Andy F. Olshan to data analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kui Huang
    • 1
  • Robert S. Sandler
    • 2
  • Robert C. Millikan
    • 2
  • Jane C. Schroeder
    • 2
  • Kari E. North
    • 2
  • Jennifer Hu
    • 3
  1. 1.Global EpidemiologyPfizer Inc.New York CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cancer BiologyWake Forest UniversityUSA

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