Measuring DNA and protein oxidation in populations at risk for lung cancer

Grants and Contracts Details


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in Appalachian Kentucky. Exposure to tobacco smoke is an established risk factor for the majority of lung cancers, but additional risk factors including exposure to certain environmental trace metals (including arsenic, chromium, and nickel) are thought to contribute, in some cases, to lung cancer development. Recent evidence indicates that residing in Appalachian Kentucky carries the risk of elevated exposure to arsenic, chromium, and nickel that would hypothetically contribute to the high lung cancer incidence in that region. Tobacco smoke and trace metal exposure each cause elevated oxidative stress in the lung and elsewhere in the body; this mechanism is widely believed to play a role in the carcinogenic effects of these agents. Oxidative stress causes damage to biological molecules including proteins and DNA. An increased burden of oxidative DNA damage would accelerate the pace of genetic change that drives cancer development. This proposal is directed at establishing methods to measure DNA and protein oxidation in human blood samples. Subsequently, those methods would be implemented to compare oxidative stress levels in current smokers versus non-smokers and in an at risk population from Appalachian Kentucky in which certain individuals may be subject to exposure to certain carcinogenic trace metals (including arsenic, chromium, and nickel) alone or in combination with tobacco smoke. In parallel with our studies, trace metal and tobacco exposure are being measured in the same individuals from Appalachian Kentucky. Thus, this research will investigate possible correlations between our oxidative stress measurements and exposure to tobacco smoke and/or environmental trace metals. If such correlations are confirmed, our methods to measure oxidative stress can potentially be employed to predict susceptibility to lung cancer and possibly other malignancies in these and many other at risk populations.
Effective start/end date7/1/126/30/14


  • KY Lung Cancer Research Fund: $100,000.00


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