Isothiocyanates, glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 polymorphisms and gastric cancer risk: a prospective study of men in Shanghai, China

Int J Cancer. 2009 Dec 1;125(11):2652-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24583.


Isothiocyanates (ITC) in cruciferous vegetables may be chemopreventive against gastric cancer development. Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) may modify the chemopreventive effect of ITC. The relationship between urinary total ITC and risk of gastric cancer was prospectively examined. Between 1986 and 1989, 18,244 middle-aged men in Shanghai, China were enrolled in a prospective study of diet and cancer and donated baseline urine and blood samples. Urinary ITC was quantified for 307 incident cases of gastric cancer that occurred during the first 16 years of follow-up, and 911 matched control subjects. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression methods. Seropositivity for antibodies to Helicobacter pylori and homozygous deletions of GSTM1 and GSTT1 were determined. Compared to the first tertile, ORs (95% CIs) of gastric cancer for the second and third tertiles of urinary total ITC were 0.83 (0.61-1.15) and 0.66 (0.47-0.94) (p(trend) = 0.02). A stronger protective effect of ITC against gastric cancer development was seen among men with homozygous deletion of GSTM1 (third tertile versus first tertile, OR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.27-0.93) or GSTT1 (third tertile vs. first tertile, OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.25-0.88), and particularly with deletions of both GSTM1 and GSTT1 (second and third tertiles vs. first tertile, OR = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.21-0.93). In this cohort of Chinese men at high risk for gastric cancer, isothiocyanates may protect against the development of gastric cancer. The protection may be stronger for individuals genetically deficient in enzymes that metabolize these chemopreventive compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates / urine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / urine
  • Survival Rate


  • Isothiocyanates
  • glutathione S-transferase T1
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • glutathione S-transferase M1