Background: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays an important role in the development of lung cancer. DNA sequence variations in the COX-2 gene may lead to altered COX-2 production and/or activity, and so they cause inter-individual differences in the susceptibility to lung cancer. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the association between the 8473T>C polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region of the COX-2 gene and the risk of lung cancer in a Korean population.
Methods: The COX-2 genotypes were determined using PCR-based primer-introduced restriction analysis in 582 lung cancer patients and in 582 healthy controls that were frequency-matched for age and gender.
Results: The distribution of the COX-2 8473T>C genotypes was not significantly different between the overall lung cancer cases and the controls. However, when the cases were categorized by the tumor histology, the combined 8473 TC + CC genotype was associated with a significantly decreased risk of adenocarcinoma as compared with the 8473 TT genotype (adjusted OR = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.46-0.90, P = 0.01). On the stratification analysis, the protective effect of the combined 8473 TC + CC genotype against adenocarcinoma was statistically significant in the males, older individuals and ever-smokers (adjusted OR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.39-0.91, P = 0.02; adjusted OR = 0.55; 95% CI = 0.33-0.93, P = 0.03; and adjusted OR = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.37-0.87, P = 0.01, respectively).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the COX-2 8473T>C polymorphism could be used as a marker for the genetic susceptibility to adenocarcinoma of the lung.