Folate status among patients with non-small cell lung cancer: A case-control study

Aminah Jatoi, Benedict D.T. Daly, Gertrude Kramer, Joel B. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective and Background: This case control study explored the purported inverse relationship between folate status and lung cancer development. Methods: Folate status of 46 postoperative non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients was compared to that of 44 non-cancer patients. Cancer patients had completed treatment > 3 months prior and had no evidence of cancer. Ineligibility criteria for all patients included (1) > 2 alcoholic drinks/day (2) ongoing tobacco use, or (3) folate supplementation > 400 μg/day. Results: No differences were found between groups in serum and RBC folate after adjustment for age and use of folate-interfering medications: geometric means (GM)×/geometric standard error (GSE): 7.9 ng/ml×/1.1 vs. 7.8 ng/ml×/1.1, respectively (P=0.91) for serum folate; 264 ng/ml×/1.1 vs. 263 ng/ml×/1.1, respectively (P=0.97) for RBC folate. Age- and creatinine-adjusted homocysteine was no different between groups: GM×/GSE: 9.4 μmol/L×/1.0 vs. 8.6 μmol/L×/1.0, respectively (P=0.17). No difference were seen in folate intake. Frequencies of the homozygous genotype for the MTHFR polymorphism, an enzyme important in folate metabolism and associated with a reduced risk of other cancers, were no different. Conclusions: This case control study does not support the hypothesis that low folate is an independent risk factor for NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Diet, risk factors
  • Folate
  • Homocysteine
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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