Lung cancer is the most common malignancy in the Western world, and the main risk factor is tobacco smoking. Polymorphisms in metabolic genes may modulate the risk associated with environmental factors. The glutathione S-transferase theta 1 gene (GSTT1) is a particularly attractive candidate for lung cancer susceptibility because of its involvement in the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in tobacco smoke and of other chemicals, pesticides, and industrial solvents. The frequency of the GSTT1 null genotype is lower among Caucasians (10-20%) than among Asians (50-60%). The authors present a meta- and a pooled analysis of case-control, genotype-based studies that examined the association between GSTT1 and lung cancer (34 studies, 7,629 cases and 10,087 controls for the meta-analysis; 34 studies, 7,044 cases and 10,000 controls for the pooled analysis). No association was observed between GSTT1 deletion and lung cancer for Caucasians (odds ratio (OR) = 0.99, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.87, 1.12); for Asians, a positive association was found (OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.49). In the pooled analysis, the odds ratios were not significant for either Asians (OR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.83, 1.13) or Caucasians (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.21). No significant interaction was observed between GSTT1 and smoking on lung cancer, whereas GSTT1 appeared to modulate occupational-related lung cancer.
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