As the seventh leading cause of cancer death worldwide, the occurrence of esophageal cancer varies by geographic area, ethnic group and gender. Esophageal cancer is thought to be triggered by a variety of environmental factors which interact with the host genome. Researchers have long been seeking the etiology of esophageal cancer. Many studies have been conducted on gene-environment interaction and gene polymorphisms for esophageal cancer.
One research article was published on November 21 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology to clarify the impact of alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) polymorphisms on esophageal cancer risk. This research team led by Dr. Chun-Xia Yang collected a cohort of 191 patients and 198 controls in Yanting, a rural county of Sichuan Province in China. Each participant completed a questionnaire and provided 1 mL of blood, which gave the team enough information about environmental and genetic factors on esophageal cancer.
This research reported that the ALDH2*1/*2 and ADH2*1 allele potentiate the carcinogenic effects of alcohol on the esophagus, and the two genotypes could modulate individual differences in alcohol-oxidizing capacity and drinking behavior. The acetaldehyde concentrations in the blood of individuals with inactive ALDH2*1/*2 is much higher than in those with active ALDH2 after drinking. ADH2*1 allele carriers tend to have experienced binge-drinking and withdrawal symptoms earlier in life. Accordingly, alcohol drinkers carrying ALDH2*1/*2 or ADH2*1 allele had a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Furthermore, both the ADH2* 1 and ALDH2* 2 allele indicate a longer exposure to alcohol and highly-concentrated acetaldehyde, thus greatly increasing the individual¡¯s susceptibility to esophageal cancer.
The ALDH2*2 allele genotype studied by Dr. Chun-Xia Yang is prevalent in Asians. The results of this study suggest the need for further exploration on the relationship between genetics and esophageal cancer and will certainly be helpful in creating prevention strategies against esophageal cancer in China.
Reference: Yang SJ, Wang HY, Li XQ, Du HZ, Zheng CJ, Chen HG, MuXY, Yang CX. Genetic polymorphisms of ADH2 and ALDH2association with esophageal cancer risk in southwest China. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(43): 5760-5764
Correspondence to: Dr. Chun-Xia Yang, Department of Epidemiology, Huaxi Public Health School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China. firstname.lastname@example.org
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World Journal of Gastroenterology (World J Gastroenterol, WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has an established reputation for publishing fi rst class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection, providing a forum for both clinicians and scientists, and has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by The WJG Press. The publication date is 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No.30424812, which was founded with a name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed as WJG on January 25, 1998.
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