Diets high in red meat have been consistently associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk and may result in exposure to carcinogens that cause DNA damage [i.e polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and N-nitroso compounds]. Using a family-based study, we investigated whether polymorphisms in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) (ERCC1 3′ untranslated region (UTR) G/T, XPD Asp312Asn and Lys751Gln, XPC intron 11 C/A, XPA 5′ UTR C/T, XPF Arg415Gln and XPG Asp1104His) and mismatch repair (MLH1 Ile219Val and MSH2 Gly322Asp) pathways modified the association with red meat and poultry intake. We tested for gene-environment interactions using case-only analyses (n = 577) and compared the results using case-unaffected sibling comparisons (n = 307 sibships). Increased risk of CRC was observed for intake of more than or equal to three servings per week of red meat [odds ratio (OR) = 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-2.5)] or high-temperature cooked red meat (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1-2.2). Intake of red meat heavily brown on the outside or inside increased CRC risk only among subjects who carried the XPD codon 751 Lys/Lys genotype (case-only interaction P = 0.006 and P = 0.001, respectively, for doneness outside or inside) or the XPD codon 312 Asp/Asp genotype (case-only interaction P = 0.090 and P = 0.001, respectively). These interactions were stronger for rectal cancer cases (heterogeneity test P = 0.002 for XPD Asp312Asn and P = 0.03 for XPD Lys751Gln) and remained statistically significant after accounting for multiple testing. Case-unaffected sibling analyses were generally supportive of the case-only results. These findings highlight the possible contribution of diets high in red meat to the formation of lesions that elicit the NER pathway, such as carcinogen-induced bulky adducts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research