Cell cycle checkpoints play critical roles in the maintenance of genomic integrity. The inactivation of checkpoint genes by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms is frequent in all cancer types, as a less-efficient cell cycle control can lead to genetic instability and tumorigenesis. In an on-going case-control study consisting of 216 patients with non-small cell lung cancer, 226 population-based controls, and 114 hospital-based controls, we investigated the relationship of γ-radiation-induced G 2-M arrest and lung cancer risk. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were cultured for 90 hours, exposed to 1.0 Gy γ-radiation, and harvested at 3 hours after γ-radiation treatment. γ-Radiation-induced G 2-M arrest was measured as the percentage of mitotic cells in untreated cultures minus the percentage of mitotic cells in γ-radiation-treated cultures from the same subject. The mean percentage of γ-radiation-induced G 2-M arrest was significantly lower in cases than in population controls (1.18 versus 1.44, P <0.01) and hospital controls (1.18 versus 1.40, P = 0.01). When dichotomized at the 50th percentile value in combined controls (population and hospital controls), a lower level of γ-radiation-induced G 2-M arrest was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among African Americans after adjusting for baseline mitotic index, age, gender, and pack-years of smoking [adjusted odd ratio (OR), 2.25; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.97-5.20]. A significant trend of an increased risk of lung cancer with a decreased level of G 2-M arrest was observed (P trend = 0.02) among African Americans, with a lowest-versus-highest quartile adjusted OR of 3.74 (95% CI, 0.98-14.3). This trend was most apparent among African American females (P trend <0.01), with a lowest-versus-highest quartile adjusted OR of 11.75 (95% CI, 1.47-94.04). The results suggest that a less-efficient DNA damage-induced G 2-M checkpoint is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among African Americans. Interestingly, we observed a stronger association of DNA damage-induced G 2-M arrest and lung cancer among African Americans when compared with Caucasians. If replicated, these results may provide clues to the exceedingly high lung cancer incidence experienced by African Americans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research