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AACR: Beer and Gene Variant Tied to Gastric Cancer Risk

Heavy beer drinking and rs1230025 variant found to increase risk of gastric cancer

TUESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who consume large amounts of beer and have a specific genetic variant in a gene cluster involved in breaking down alcohol appear to be at a higher risk of developing non-cardia gastric cancer, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held April 2 to 6 in Orlando, Fla.

Eric J. Duell, Ph.D., of the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive analysis of alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), involving more than 521,000 individuals aged 35 to 70 years. The investigators evaluated alcoholic beverage type (wine, beer, or liquor), and associations by tumor location (cardia, non-cardia), histology (diffuse, intestinal), and smoking status. In an additional analysis, using the EurGast study nested within EPIC, they analyzed the effects of known single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene cluster (ADH1) that produces an enzyme that breaks down alcohol among 365 gastric cancer cases and 1,284 controls.

The investigators found that drinking 30 g of pure ethanol/alcohol or more a day from beer was statistically significantly associated with a 75 percent increased risk of developing gastric cancer. Wine and liquor were not associated with gastric cancer risk. The investigators also found that two variants in the ADH1 locus were statistically significantly associated with gastric cancer risk, with only the rs1230025 variant interacting with beer consumption to increase gastric cancer risk.

"Our results suggest that individuals who are heavy consumers of alcohol (specifically beer) and those with certain alleles in the ADH1 locus, and their combination, are at a greater risk for non-cardia gastric adenocarcinoma," the authors write.

Abstract No. 3748
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