Smoking and Colorectal Cancer in Lynch Syndrome: Results from the Colon Cancer Family Registry and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.72). 02/2010; 16(4):1331-9. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-1877
Source: PubMed


Lynch syndrome family members with inherited germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes have a high risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), and cases typically have tumors that exhibit a high level of microsatellite instability (MSI). There is some evidence that smoking is a risk factor for CRCs with high MSI; however, the association of smoking with CRC among those with Lynch syndrome is unknown.
A multicentered retrospective cohort of 752 carriers of pathogenic MMR gene mutations was analyzed, using a weighted Cox regression analysis, adjusting for sex, ascertainment source, the specific mutated gene, year of birth, and familial clustering.
Compared with never smokers, current smokers had a significantly increased CRC risk [adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 1.62; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.01-2.57] and former smokers who had quit smoking for 2 or more years were at decreased risk (HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35-0.82). CRC risk did not vary according to age at starting. However, light smoking (<10 cigarettes per day) and shorter duration of smoking (<10 years) were associated with decreased CRC risk (HR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.29-0.91 and HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.30-0.89, respectively). For former smokers, CRC risk decreased with years since quitting (P trend <0.01).
People with Lynch syndrome may be at increased risk of CRC if they smoke regularly. Although our data suggest that former smokers, short-term smokers, and light smokers are at decreased CRC risk, these findings need further confirmation, preferably using prospective designs.

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    • "Age-specific incidence rates of CRC for MMR gene mutation carriers were previously estimated as described in detail by Pande et al (2010). These age-specific incidence rates were used to calculate sampling fractions to weight the proportion of affected and unaffected carriers in each age stratum, so that the proportion of affected carriers in each age group equalled the population proportions (Supplementary Table S1). "
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