Dietary intake of isothiocyanates: Evidence of a joint effect with glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms in lung cancer risk

M. R. Spitz, C. M. Duphorne, M. A. Detry, P. C. Pillow, C. I. Amos, L. Lei, M. De Andrade, X. Gu, W. K. Hong, X. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are nonnutrient compounds in cruciferous vegetables with anticarcinogenic properties. One proposed mechanism for their protective action is through down-regulation of cytochrome P-450 biotransformation enzyme levels and induction of phase II detoxifying enzymes. Because ITCs also serve as a substrate for GSTs, we evaluated dietary intake of ITCs and GSTM1 and GSTT1 genotype information in a lung cancer case-control study. There were 503 newly diagnosed lung cancer cases (264 men and 239 women) identified from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and 465 controls (252 men and 213 women) recruited from enrollees in a local managed care organization. Subjects had an in-person interview including a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, and blood samples were obtained for genotyping. Cases reported significantly lower ITC intake per day compared with controls (P = 0.009). There was no main effect associated with the GSTM1 null genotype [odds ratio (OR) = 1.09]. However, there was a statistically significant OR of 1.41 associated with the GSTT1 null genotype. On stratified analysis, low ITC intake and the GSTM1 null genotype were associated with increased lung cancer risk in current smokers, with an OR of 2.22 [confidence interval (CI) = 1.20-4.10). For current smokers with the GSTT1 null genotype, the OR with low ITC intake was 3.19 (CI = 1.54-6.62). The comparable OR in the presence of both null genotypes was 5.45 (CI = 1.72,-17.22). These effects were not demonstrable for former smokers by GSTM1 genotype, although the risk for low ITC intake and GSTT1 null genotype was 1.79 (CI = 0.95-3.37). Thus, current smokers who are homozygous null for the GST null genotype and who consume less carcinogenic blocking compounds are at higher lung cancer risk. Some of the inconsistencies reported in the role of GST genotypes in lung cancer risk could be due to unexpected confounding from dietary factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1020
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary intake of isothiocyanates: Evidence of a joint effect with glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms in lung cancer risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this