Oltipraz chemoprevention trial in qidong, people’s republic of china: Results of urine genotoxicity assays as related to smoking habits

Anna Camoirano, Maria Bagnasco, Carlo Bennicelli, Cristina Cartiglia, Jin Bing Wang, Bao Chu Zhang, Yuan Rong Zhu, Geng Sun Qian, Patricia A. Egner, Lisa P. Jacobson, Thomas W. Kensler, Silvio De Flora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Phase II chemoprevention trial was carried out in Qidong, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China. The recruited subjects, all of whom were positive for serum aflatoxin-albumin adducts, were divided into three treatment arms: Placebo; oltipraz ([5-(2-pyrazinyl) -4-methyl-l, 2-dithiol-3-thione]) given daily at 125 mg p.o.; and oltipraz given once per week at 500 mg p.o. Besides biomarkers related to aflatoxin B1 exposure, the genotoxicity of blind-coded urine XAD-2 concentrates was evaluated in 201 subjects on the fifth and seventh week of intervention. Genotoxicity was assessed both in the Ames reversion test in strain YG1024 of Salmonella typhimurium, in the presence of an exogenous metabolic system (S9 mix), with or without β-glucuronidase, and in a DNA repair test in Escherichia coli. Heating of concentrated urine samples or of cigarette smoke condensates was discovered to result in a significant enhancement of their mutagenicity. It was also found that the mutagenicity of condensates from the most extensively used brands of cigarettes in Qidong was much lower than that of Western cigarette brands. Urine mutagenicity was unrelated to treatment with oltipraz, intervention time, gender, and supplement of S9 mix with β-glucuronidase. Mutagenicity was significantly but variably higher in cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers, which suggests that the urinary excretion of mutagens in the examined population was not exclusively attributable to smoking. Nevertheless, within smokers (28% of the recruited subjects; 67% of all males), the mutagenic potency was significantly correlated with the self-reported number of cigarettes smoked per day and, even more sharply, with the cotinine concentrations in urines. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the validity of urine mutagenicity assays as a biomarker of tobacco smoke exposure that can be investigated on a relatively large scale in chemoprevention trials and provided evidence that oltipraz treatment had no influence on this parameter in the examined population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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