A Decade of GWAS Results in Lung Cancer | Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention


The first GWAS on lung cancer were reported in 2008. Three independent studies identified a susceptibility locus on chromosome 15q. Hung and colleagues (14) found two SNPs strongly associated with lung cancer on chromosome 15q25. Further genotyping in this region revealed many SNPs in tight linkage disequilibrium (LD) showing evidence of association. Six genes are located in this region including three nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits (CHRNA5, CHRNA3, and CHRNB4). Interestingly, no appreciable variation in the risk was found across smoking categories or histologic subtypes of lung cancer. In a second GWAS, a SNP within the CHRNA3gene was strongly associated with smoking quantity and nicotine dependence (15). The same SNP was also strongly associated with lung cancer. The results suggest that the variant on chromosome 15q25 confers risk of lung cancer through its effect on tobacco addiction.

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