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Journal of Cancer Prevention


Cancer prevention research 2005; 10(3): 135-148

Published online September 30, 2005

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Individual Variations in Toxicity of Tobacco Smoking

Mihi Yang


Tobacco smoking is a well-known cause of cancers and has been emphasized not only to clarify the mechanism of carcinogenesis but also to prevent the smoking-related cancers. In addition, the Korean female passive smokers showed early onset of lung cancer and high incidence of adenocarcinoma compared to males. Therefore, several factors are suspected as etiology of female passive smokers, e.g. ETS (environmental tobacco smoking), and high sensitivity to carcinogens via genetic and hormonal factors. Traditional epidemiological data showed controversial results of sex or gender differences in lung cancer susceptibility. Therefore, many confounders were expected in those studies. Among them, one is due to self reported smoking, therefore, the effects of ETS were not thoughtfully considered. The consequence of this is that there may be an overestimation of baseline lung cancer incidence or underestimation of the ORs in female smoke. To obtain undistorted mechanisms of etiology in side stream females, proper exposure monitoring of ETS and considering of susceptibility markers are recommended. For the exposure monitoring, urinary cotinine or naphthols are recommendable, while individual variation in their metabolisms, such as genetic polymorphisms in CYP2E1 and 2A6 and GSTT1 and GSTM1 among Asians should be understood. For susceptibility factors of lung cancer in passive smoker females, genetic polymorphisms of the CYP1A1 exon 7 Ile462Val and the GSTP1 exon 5 Ile105 Val are recommended. Sensitive to tobacco carcinogenic PAHs or CYP1A1 and ER cross talk are possible mechanism of the susceptibility biomarkers in the passive smoker females. (Cancer Prevention Res 10, 135-148, 2005)

Keywords: Molecular epidemiology, Lung cancer, Environmental tobacco smoking, Nonsmoker, Female, Exposure biomarker, Biological monitoring

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