LUNG CANCER – FULL PROJECT2019-05-01T16:20:20-05:00

Nicotine Dependence and Lung Cancer Genetics in African Americans

Camille Ragin, PhD (TUFCCC), Joel Erblich, PhD (HC)

Despite substantial public health efforts to promote smoking cessation, a significant racial difference in the burden of lung cancer persists. African Americans (AA) consistently have a higher incidence of lung cancer compared to Whites. Notably, AA smokers are at increased risk of lung cancer despite the fact that they typically smoke fewer cigarettes per day than Whites. Research has demonstrated that both lung cancer and nicotine dependence have strong familial and genetic components, and numerous genetic polymorphisms have been identified as contributing to risk of developing these conditions.

Substantial racial differences in the association of genetic variants with nicotine metabolism have been reported and strong preliminary evidence exists that AAs are more likely to be poor metabolizers of tobacco smoke carcinogens, thus predisposed to greater risk of developing lung cancer. We will, for the first time, systematically explore whether ancestry informative markers (AIMs) in genes involved in tobacco metabolism and addiction predispose AA smokers to poor metabolic capacity and greater addiction to tobacco.

Leveraging an existing cohort of AA smokers, we will:

  1. Investigate the role of these AIMs in both tobacco metabolism and nicotine dependence
  2. Test the motivational effects of genetic feedback, in two clinical and community samples in two major urban areas: Philadelphia (n=180) and New York City (n=180).