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Single nucleotide polymorphisms as susceptibility, prognostic, and therapeutic markers of nonsmall cell lung cancer

Authors Zienolddiny S, Skaug V

Published 30 December 2011 Volume 2012:3 Pages 1—14


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

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Shanbeh Zienolddiny, Vidar Skaug
Section for Toxicology and Biological Work Environment, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway

Abstract: Lung cancer is a major public health problem throughout the world. Among the most frequent cancer types (prostate, breast, colorectal, stomach, lung), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Among the two major subtypes of small cell lung cancer and nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 85% of tumors belong to the NSCLC histological types. Small cell lung cancer is associated with the shortest survival time. Although tobacco smoking has been recognized as the major risk factor for lung cancer, there is a great interindividual and interethnic difference in risk of developing lung cancer given exposure to similar environmental and lifestyle factors. This may indicate that in addition to chemical and environmental factors, genetic variations in the genome may contribute to risk modification. A common type of genetic variation in the genome, known as single nucleotide polymorphism, has been found to be associated with susceptibility to lung cancer. Interestingly, many of these polymorphisms are found in the genes that regulate major pathways of carcinogen metabolism (cytochrome P450 genes), detoxification (glutathione S-transferases), adduct removal (DNA repair genes), cell growth/apoptosis (TP53/MDM2), the immune system (cytokines/chemokines), and membrane receptors (nicotinic acetylcholine and dopaminergic receptors). Some of these polymorphisms have been shown to alter the level of mRNA, and protein structure and function. In addition to being susceptibility markers, several of these polymorphisms are emerging to be important for response to chemotherapy/radiotherapy and survival of patients. Therefore, it is hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms will be valuable genetic markers in individual-based prognosis and therapy in future. Here we will review some of the most important single nucleotide polymorphisms in the metabolic pathways that may modulate susceptibility, prognosis, and therapy in NSCLC.

Keywords: lung cancer, susceptibility, polymorphism, single nucleotide polymorphism, non-small cell lung cancer

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