CYP1A1 is responsible for the metabolic activation of benzo(a)pyrene in cigarette smoke, and high susceptibility to smoking-related lung cancer has been associated with the MspI polymorphism of the CYP1A1 gene. Individuals with a susceptible CYP1A1 genotype have been found to be at remarkably high risk when the genotype is combined with a deficient Mu-class glutathione S-transferase (GSTM1) genotype. In this study, we investigated the relationship between germ line polymorphisms of these genes and clinical characteristics or survival rates in 232 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Statistical analysis revealed a significant association (P < 0.05) of the MspI polymorphism of the CYP1A1 gene with histological type, performance status (general conditions of patients), and the extent of the primary tumor (T-factor). On the other hand, the GSTM1 polymorphism was significantly associated with performance status, the extent of regional lymph node metastasis (N-factor), and the extent of distant metastasis (M-factor). NSCLC patients with at least one susceptible allele of the MspI polymorphism of the CYP1A1 gene [heterozygous genotype B or a rare homozygous genotype C; n = 131; median survival time (MST) = 24.2 months] were associated with a shortened survival compared with those with nonsusceptible homozygous alleles (genotype A; n = 101; MST = 65.2 months; P = 0.005 by log-rank test). Smokers with susceptible genotypes (n = 104; MST = 18.2 months) were markedly associated with a shortened survival compared with those with genotype A (n = 76; MST = 69.2 months; P = 0.024); such an association was not found among nonsmokers by genotypes. Genotype-dependent survival was also observed in patients at an advanced stage of disease (P = 0.010), but not in those at an early stage of disease (P = 0.382). Patients with the susceptible CYP1A1 genotype had remarkably shortened survivals when the genotype was combined with a deficient genotype GSTM1(—) (P = 0.017; degree of freedom = 3). Multivariate analysis by the Cox proportional hazards model also revealed that the CYP1A1 polymorphism was an independent prognostic factor in patients at a nonresectable advanced stage of NSCLC (P = 0.005; hazard ratio = 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.24–3.17).

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Supported in part by a special grant for advanced research on cancer from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan and a research grant from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan for 2nd-Term Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy for Cancer Control.

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