Linking the generation of DNA adducts to lung cancer

Marcello Ceppi, Armelle Munnia, Filippo Cellai, Marco Bruzzone, Marco E.M. Peluso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Worldwide, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. DNA adducts are considered a reliable biomarker that reflects carcinogen exposure to tobacco smoke, but the central question is what is the relationship of DNA adducts and cancer? Therefore, we investigated this relationship by a meta-analysis of twenty-two studies with bronchial adducts for a total of 1091 subjects, 887 lung cancer cases and 204 apparently healthy individuals with no evidence of lung cancer. Our study shows that these adducts are significantly associated to increase lung cancer risk. The value of Mean Ratiolung-cancer (MR) of bronchial adducts resulting from the random effects model was 2.64, 95% C.I. 2.00–3.50, in overall lung cancer cases as compared to controls. The significant difference, with lung cancer patients having significant higher levels of bronchial adducts than controls, persisted after stratification for smoking habits. The MRlung-cancer value between lung cancer patients and controls for smokers was 2.03, 95% C.I. 1.42–2.91, for ex-smokers 3.27, 95% C.I. 1.49–7.18, and for non-smokers was 3.81, 95% C.I. 1.85–7.85. Next, we found that the generation of bronchial adducts is significantly related to inhalation exposure to tobacco smoke carcinogens confirming its association with volatile carcinogens. The MRsmoking estimate of bronchial adducts resulting from meta-regression was 2.28, 95% Confidence Interval (C.I.) 1.10–4.73, in overall smokers in respect to non-smokers. The present work provides strengthening of the hypothesis that bronchial adducts are not simply relate to exposure, but are a cause of chemical-induced lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-166
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Bronchial cells
  • DNA adducts
  • Lung cancer
  • Tobacco smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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