Objectives were to investigate prospectively the ability of DNA adducts to predict cancer and to study the determinants of adducts, especially air pollutants. DNA adducts were measured in a case-control study nested in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) investigation. Cases included newly diagnosed lung cancer (n = 115), upper respiratory cancers (pharynx and larynx; n = 82), bladder cancer (n = 124), leukemia (n = 166), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema deaths (n = 77) accrued after a median follow-up of 7 years among the EPIC former smokers and never-smokers. Three controls per case were matched for questionnaire analyses and two controls per case for laboratory analyses. Matching criteria were gender, age, smoking status, country of recruitment, and follow-up time. Individual exposure to air pollution was assessed using concentration data from monitoring stations in routine air quality monitoring networks. Leukocyte DNA adducts were analyzed blindly using 32 P postlabeling technique. Adducts were associated with the subsequent risk of lung cancer, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.86 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.88-3.93] when comparing detectable versus nondetectable adducts. The association with lung cancer was stronger in never-smokers (OR, 4.04; 95% CI, 1.06-15.42) and among the younger age groups. After exclusion of the cancers occurring i n the first 36 months of follow-up, the OR was 4.16 (95% CI, 1.24-13.88). A positive association was found between DNA adducts and ozone (O 3 ) concentration. Our prospective study suggests that leukocyte DNA adducts may predict lung cancer risk of never-smokers. Besides, the association of DNA adduct levels with O 3 indicates a possible role for photochemical smog in determining DNA damage. ©2005 American Association for Cancer Research.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Research

Publication Date





8042 - 8048