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No association between global DNA methylation in peripheral blood and lung cancer risk in nonsmoking women: results from a multicenter study in Eastern and Central Europe

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Abstract

Alterations in global DNA methylation have been suggested to play an important role in cancer development. We evaluated the association of global DNA methylation in peripheral blood with the risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking women from six countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This multicenter case–control study included primary, incident lung cancer cases diagnosed from 1998 to 2001 and controls frequency-matched for geographic area, sex, and age. Global methylation was assessed in peripheral blood DNA from 83 nonsmoking female cases and 181 nonsmoking female controls using the luminometric methylation assay (LUMA). Unconditional logistic regression models were used to estimate associations between DNA methylation in the blood and the risk of lung cancer. LUMA methylation level was not associated with the risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking women. Associations were not significantly different according to different strata of age, BMI, alcohol drinking, or second-hand tobacco smoke exposure status. In our study of nonsmoking women, the LUMA methylation level in peripheral blood was not associated with the risk of lung cancer. Our findings do not support an association of global blood DNA methylation with the risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking women.

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