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Circulating Biomarkers of Tryptophan and the Kynurenine Pathway and Lung Cancer Risk
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2014 (English)In: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, ISSN 1055-9965, E-ISSN 1538-7755, Vol. 23, no 3, 461-468 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Imbalances in tryptophan metabolism have been linked to cancer-related immune escape and implicated in several cancers, including lung cancer. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer andNutrition (EPIC) that included 893 incident lung cancer cases and 1,748matched controls. Circulating levels of tryptophan and six of its metabolites were measured and evaluated in relation to lung cancer risk. Results: Tryptophan (P-trend = 2 Chi 10(-5)) and the kynurenine/ tryptophan ratio (KTR; P-trend 4 Chi 10(-5)) were associated with lung cancer risk overall after adjusting for established risk factors. The ORs comparing the fifth and first quintiles (OR5th (vs. 1st)) were 0.52 [ 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.37-0.74] for tryptophan and 1.74 (95% CI, 1.24-2.45) for KTR. After adjusting for plasma methionine (available fromprevious work, which was strongly correlated with tryptophan), the associations of tryptophan (adjusted P-trend 0.13) and KTR (P-trend = 0.009) were substantially attenuated. KTR was positively associated with squamous cell carcinoma, the OR5th vs. 1st being 2.83 (95% CI, 1.62-4.94, P-trend -3 Chi 10(-5)) that was only marginally affected by adjusting for methionine. Conclusions: This study indicates that biomarkers of tryptophan metabolism are associated with subsequent lung cancer risk. Although this result would seem consistent with the immune system having a role in lung cancer development, the overall associations were dependent on methionine, and further studies are warranted to further elucidate the importance of these metabolites in lung cancer etiology. Impact: This is the first prospective study investigating the tryptophan pathway in relation to lung cancer risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 23, no 3, 461-468 p.
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Cancer and Oncology Environmental Health and Occupational Health
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89499DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0770ISI: 000335144700012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-89499DiVA: diva2:725926
Available from: 2014-06-17 Created: 2014-06-03 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, MikaelGrankvist, Kjell

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OncologyDepartment of Medical Biosciences
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