Lung cancer is a leading cause of mortality in Taiwan. We hypothesised that high susceptibility to DNA damage in the target organ acts as a risk biomarker for the development of lung cancer. To verify this hypothesis, the aromatic/hydrophobic DNA adduct levels of non-tumorous adjacent lung tissues from 73 primary lung cancer patients and 33 non-cancer controls were evaluated by 32P-postlabelling assay. Wilcoxon rank sum test showed that DNA adduct levels in lung cancer patients (49.58±33.39 adducts/108 nucleotides) were significantly higher than those in non-cancer controls (18.00±15.33 adducts/108 nucleotides, P48.66 adducts/108 nucleotides) had an approximately 25-fold risk of lung cancer compared with persons with low DNA adduct levels (≤48.66 adducts/108 nucleotides). In conclusion, DNA adduct levels in lung tissue may be a more reliable lung cancer susceptibility biomarker than DNA adduct levels in leucocytes. In addition, higher susceptibility to DNA damage in lung cancer patients may partly play a role in the development of lung cancer. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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