Importance: Use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Objective: To identify common genetic markers that may confer differential benefit from aspirin or NSAID chemoprevention, we tested gene × environment interactions between regular use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in relation to risk of colorectal cancer.
Design, setting, and participants: Case-control study using data from 5 case-control and 5 cohort studies initiated between 1976 and 2003 across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany and including colorectal cancer cases (n=8634) and matched controls (n=8553) ascertained between 1976 and 2011. Participants were all of European descent.
Exposures: Genome-wide SNP data and information on regular use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs and other risk factors.
Main outcomes and measures: Colorectal cancer.
Results: Regular use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs was associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer (prevalence, 28% vs 38%; odds ratio [OR], 0.69 [95% CI, 0.64-0.74]; P = 6.2 × 10(-28)) compared with nonregular use. In the conventional logistic regression analysis, the SNP rs2965667 at chromosome 12p12.3 near the MGST1 gene showed a genome-wide significant interaction with aspirin and/or NSAID use (P = 4.6 × 10(-9) for interaction). Aspirin and/or NSAID use was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer among individuals with rs2965667-TT genotype (prevalence, 28% vs 38%; OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.61-0.70]; P = 7.7 × 10(-33)) but with a higher risk among those with rare (4%) TA or AA genotypes (prevalence, 35% vs 29%; OR, 1.89 [95% CI, 1.27-2.81]; P = .002). In case-only interaction analysis, the SNP rs16973225 at chromosome 15q25.2 near the IL16 gene showed a genome-wide significant interaction with use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs (P = 8.2 × 10(-9) for interaction). Regular use was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer among individuals with rs16973225-AA genotype (prevalence, 28% vs 38%; OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.62-0.71]; P = 1.9 × 10(-30)) but was not associated with risk of colorectal cancer among those with less common (9%) AC or CC genotypes (prevalence, 36% vs 39%; OR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.78-1.20]; P = .76).
Conclusions and relevance: In this genome-wide investigation of gene × environment interactions, use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs was associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer, and this association differed according to genetic variation at 2 SNPs at chromosomes 12 and 15. Validation of these findings in additional populations may facilitate targeted colorectal cancer prevention strategies.