Gene-environment interactions in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a statistical analysis

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An emerging focus of cancer epidemiology is the role of the environment together with genes in determining risk, often referred to as gene-environment interaction. For non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), environmental exposures such as organochlorines are important risk factors. On the other hand, familial clustering of NHL suggests that genetics also plays a role. In this project, we analyze data from a BC population-based case-control study of NHL, to evaluate gene-environment interactions between the organochlorine oxychlordane and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that tag genes involved in the elimination of foreign compounds from the body. A statistically significant interaction between oxychlordane and an intronic SNP within the ABCC4 gene was identified at false-discovery rate level 10%. The same intronic region of ABCC4 produced the four most significant interactions. These results may be viewed in the context of recent work connecting intronic SNPs to regulation of gene expression and the development of cancer.
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