Cytochrome P4502E1 (CYP2E1) is involved in metabolic activation of carcinogenic nitrosamines, benzene and low molecular weight halogenated hydrocarbons. In this study, we assessed the association between CYP2E1 RsaI and DraI genetic polymorphisms and lung cancer in a Taiwanese population. The RsaI genotype distribution was significantly different between 119 lung cancer patients and 231 non-cancer controls. The homozygote variants of RsaI genotypes were more common in controls (6.9%) than in lung cancer patients (0.8%). The estimated odds ratio (OR) was 0.11 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01-0.87). After adjusting for age, sex, and smoking status, the OR was 0.12 (95% CI, 0.02-0.95). This is the first observation of a positive association between this locus and lung cancer in an Asian population. No significant differences in CYP2E1 DraI genotype distributions were found between cases and controls. The results of this study indicate that CYP2E1 RsaI polymorphism, but not DraI polymorphism, may contribute to the development of lung cancer in Taiwan.
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