Polymorphisms in the caspase genes and the risk of lung cancer

J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Aug;5(8):1152-8. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181e04543.


Introduction: Caspases (CASPs) are important regulators and executioners in apoptosis pathway and play a crucial role in the development and progression of cancer. On the basis of the interactions of CASPs in the apoptotic pathway, we evaluated the association between 11 polymorphisms of CASP3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 genes and the risk of lung cancer.

Methods: The genotypes were determined in 720 patients with lung cancer and 720 healthy controls frequency matched for age and gender.

Results: In individual polymorphism analysis, the CASP7 rs2227310C>G and CASP9 rs4645981C>T were associated with 1.40-fold and 1.28-fold increased risk of lung cancer under recessive and dominant models for the variant allele of each polymorphism, respectively. In the case of the CASP3 77G>A, subjects with the GG genotype were at a 1.19-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared with those with at least one variant allele. When the three polymorphisms were combined, the risk of lung cancer increased in a dose-dependent manner as the number of risk genotypes increased (ptrend <0.001). Subjects with two and three risk genotypes carried a significantly increased risk of lung cancer compared with those with zero risk genotype (adjusted odds ratio = 1.56, 95% confidence interval = 1.14-2.13, p = 0.005 and adjusted odds ratio = 2.54, 95% confidence interval = 1.28-5.02, p = 0.008, respectively).

Conclusions: These results suggest that a combined analysis of these three CASP gene polymorphisms might better predict the risk of lung cancer than analysis of a single polymorphism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Caspase 3 / genetics*
  • Caspase 7 / genetics*
  • Caspase 9 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / genetics
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / pathology
  • Survival Rate


  • CASP3 protein, human
  • CASP7 protein, human
  • CASP9 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 7
  • Caspase 9