Glutathione S-transferase GSTM1 and GSTT1 null genotypes as potential risk factors for urothelial cancer of the bladder

Arch Toxicol. 1996;71(1-2):123-6. doi: 10.1007/s002040050366.


One-hundred-and-thirteen patients with cancer of the urinary bladder (cases) were examined with respect to the frequency of null genotypes of the polymorphic glutathione S-transferases GSTM1 and GSTT1. The allelic background in the German population of the area was evaluated by analysing 170 newborns (controls). The frequency of GSTM1 and GSTT1 null genotypes in this population, using methods based upon internal standard controlled polymerase chain reaction (PCR), was 0.54 and 0.18 respectively. An elevated relative bladder cancer risk of GSTM1 null genotype carriers was indicated by comparison of this background with the data of the bladder cancer cases (OR = 1.81; 95% CI [1.10, 2.98]; p = 0.019). The frequencies of the GSTT1 null genotype in the total group of bladder cancer cases versus controls did not differ statistically. However, a significantly higher relative risk of bladder cancer for the GSTT1 null genotype was detected in the cases-subgroup of non-smokers (OR = 3.84; 95% CI [1.21, 12.23]; p = 0.023). Thus, the GSTT1 null genotype might represent a minor risk factor for human bladder cancer which should be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Glutathione Transferase