Repair of UV light-induced DNA damage and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: The mechanism underlying the role of UV light exposure from sunlight in the etiology of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is unclear. Patients with xeroderma pigmentosum, a disease characterized by severe sensitivity to UV radiation and a defect in nucleotide excision repair, have a high incidence of CMM, which suggests that DNA repair capacity (DRC) plays a role in sunlight-induced CMM in the general population as well. METHODS: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study of DRC and CMM among 312 non-Hispanic white CMM patients who had no prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and 324 cancer-free control subjects who were frequency-matched to case patients on age, sex, and ethnicity. Information on demographic variables, risk factors, and tumor characteristics was obtained from questionnaires and medical records. We used the host-cell reactivation assay to measure the DRC in study subjects' lymphocytes. All statistical tests were two sided. RESULTS: Case patients had a 19% lower mean (+/- standard deviation [SD]) DRC (8.5 +/- 3.4%) than control subjects (10.5 +/- 5.1%), a statistically significant difference (P<.001). DRC that was at or below the median value (i.e., 9.4%) in control subjects was associated with increased risk for CMM after adjustment for age, sex, and other covariates (odds ratio [OR] = 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.45 to 2.82). We observed a dose-response relationship between decreased DRC and increased risk of CMM (P(trend)<.001). Patients with tumors on sun-exposed skin had statistically significantly lower DRC than patients with tumors on unexposed skin (8.2 +/- 3.3% versus 9.5 +/- 3.5%; P =.004). CONCLUSIONS: Reduced DRC is an independent risk factor for CMM and may contribute to susceptibility to sunlight-induced CMM among the general population.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wei, Q; Lee, JE; Gershenwald, JE; Ross, MI; Mansfield, PF; Strom, SS; Wang, L-E; Guo, Z; Qiao, Y; Amos, CI; Spitz, MR; Duvic, M

Published Date

  • February 19, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 308 - 315

PubMed ID

  • 12591987

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12591987

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8874

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/jnci/95.4.308


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States