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Genetic Factors, Alcohol Use Linked to Colorectal Tumors

ADH1C homozygosity may serve as marker for alcohol-related colorectal cancer in heavier users

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy users of alcohol who are homozygous for the alcohol dehydrogenase 1C (ADH1C*1) allele appear to be more likely to develop high-risk adenomas and colorectal cancer, according to research published in the January issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Nils Homann, M.D., of the University of Lubeck, Germany, and colleagues analyzed data from 173 patients with colorectal carcinoma or adenoma with high-grade intraepithelial dysplasia, and 788 controls without history of colorectal polyps or carcinoma. All reported on their alcohol intake, and provided blood samples for genotyping.

The genotype ADH1C*1/1 was more common in patients with alcohol-related colorectal growths than controls (odds ratio, 1.674), the researchers report. In patients with greater alcohol use, ADH1C*1 homozygosity was more common in those with tumors than in controls, they note.

"In conclusion, this study shows that subjects with a high alcohol intake, homozygous for ADH1C*1⁄1, are at higher risk to develop high-risk adenomas and colorectal cancer. Thus, our data provide further evidence on the carcinogenic role of acetaldehyde in colorectal cancer development," the authors write.

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