Host-specific factors influence risk for lung cancer. A few case-control and family studies of lung cancer susceptibility allowed for known lung cancer carcinogens and showed strong familial clustering with some evidence for a codominantly acting major gene. Cytochrome P-450 enzymes (e.g., CYP1A1) activate many carcinogens in tobacco smoke but have shown inconsistent associations with risk for lung cancer. Case-control studies that assess the effects of CYPIID6 on lung cancer risk have consistently shown a mildly decreased risk for lung cancer among poor metabolizers. Cell surface markers have shown little relation to risk for lung cancer. Studies involving DNA or hemoglobin adducts, sister chromatid exchange, or oncogene activation only indirectly measure host-specific risk, and these assays have suffered from poor reproducibility and high cost. We describe epidemiological designs to assess specific genetic factors that may alter lung cancer risk.

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