Dna repair and susceptibility to basal cell carcinoma: A case-control study

Qingyi Wei, Genevieve M. Matanoski, Evan R. Farmer, Mohammad A. Hedayati, Lawrence Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This study investigated the role of DNA repair in susceptibility to sunlight-induced basal cell carcinoma using a host cell reactivation assay in peripheral lymphocytes. The study included Maryland basal cell carcinoma patients and cancer-free derma tologic controls who had had noncancerous skin disorders diagnosed between 1987 and 1990. Logistic regression models were used to assess the independent effect of the selected variables stratified by DNA repair level, with adjustment for age and family history. Skin type, lifetime number of severe sunburns, and actinic elastosis were also selected as risk factors for basal cell carcinoma. Cryopreserved lymphocytes from 88 cases and 135 controls were used for the DNA repair assay. When data were stratified by DNA repair level and adjusted for age and family history of skin cancer, significantly increased odds ratios associated with lighter skin (odds ratio (OR) = 3.2, 95% confidence interval (Cl) 1.5-7.3), six or more severe sunburns in a lifetime (OR = 4.2, 95% Cl 1.6-10.7), and moderate or severe actinic elastosis (OR = 4.4, 95% Cl 1.5-12.8) were observed in persons with low DNA repair but not in those with high DNA repair. These findings suggest that impaired DNA repair may be a susceptibility factor for sunlight-induced skin cancer in the general public, as it is in patients with xeroderma pigmentosum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-607
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Basal cell
  • Biological markers
  • Carcinoma
  • Case-control studies
  • DNA repair
  • Skinneoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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