DNA repair and nonmelanoma skin cancer in Puerto Rican populations

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Sep;49(3):433-9. doi: 10.1067/s0190-9622(03)00918-6.


Background: UV radiation is a risk factor for nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The relation between DNA damage and oncogenesis suggests that diminished DNA repair capacity (DRC) is involved in tumorigenesis.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a low DRC is a susceptibility factor for the development of NMSC in Puerto Rico.

Methods: A case-control retrospective clinical study was done to compare the age-adjusted DRC in participants with and without NMSC. DRC was measured using a host cell reactivation assay with a luciferase reporter gene irradiated with UV light and transfected into human peripheral lymphocytes. An epidemiologic questionnaire was used to solicit risk factors.

Results: The mean (+/-2 SE) DRC of 177 control patients without skin cancer was 8.6% +/- 0.7. Participants (280) with NMSC had a 42% lower DRC (5.0% +/- 0.3).

Conclusion: A low DRC is a susceptibility factor for NMSC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / ethnology
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / ethnology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Damage / genetics*
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / ethnology
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / genetics
  • Odds Ratio
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution
  • Skin Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • White People / genetics*