Multiple recent genome-wide studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) reported associations between candidate chromosome loci and lung cancer susceptibility. We evaluated five of the top candidate SNPs (rs402710, rs2736100, rs4324798, rs16969968, and rs8034191) for their effects on lung cancer risk and overall survival.
Over 1,700 cases and 2,200 controls were included in this study. Seven independent, complementary case-control data sets were tested for risk assessment encompassing cigarette smokers and never smokers, using unrelated controls and unaffected full-sibling controls. Five patient groups were tested for survival prediction stratified by smoking status, histology subtype, and treatment.
After considering a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a risk factor altering lung cancer risk and comparing to sibling controls, none of the five SNPs remained significant. However, the variant rs4324798 was significant in predicting overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.73; P = 0.001) in small cell lung cancer.
None of the five candidate SNPs in lung cancer risk can be confirmed in our study. The previously reported association could be explained by disparity in tobacco smoke exposure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease history between cases and controls. Instead, we found rs4324798 to be an independent predictor in small cell lung cancer survival, warranting further elucidation of the underlying mechanisms.