Alcohol consumption and mutations or promoter hypermethylation of the von Hippel-Lindau gene in renal cell carcinoma

L.J. Schouten*, B.A.C. van Dijk, E. Oosterwijk, M. van Engeland, C.A. Hulsbergen van Kaa, L.A. Kiemeney, R.A. Goldbohm, A.D.M. Kester, S. de Voge, J.A. Schalken, P.A. van den Brandt

*Corresponding author for this work

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Alcohol consumption has been associated with a decreased risk for renal cell cancer in several studies. We investigated whether alcohol is associated with (epi)genetic changes of the von Hippel-Lindau WHO gene in renal cell cancer. The Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS) on Diet and Cancer started in 1986 (n = 120,852) and uses the case-cohort method. After 11.3 years of follow-up, 314 renal cell cancer cases and 4,511 subcohort members were available for analysis. DNA was isolated from paraffin-embedded tumor tissue from 235 cases. VHL mutations were analyzed by sequencing, whereas VHL promoter methylation was analyzed using methylation-specific PCR. In multivariate analysis, hazard ratios of renal cell cancer for cohort members who consumed up to 5, 15, 30, and >= 30 g of alcohol per day were 0.72, 0.64, 0.81, and 0.69, respectively, compared with nondrinkers [95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the >= 30 category, 0.44-1.07; P for trend, 0.1.7]. Alcohol intake from beer, wine, and liquor was associated with decreased risks for renal cell cancer, although not statistically significant. Hazard ratios were not different for clear-cell renal cell cancer with and without VHL mutations, except for alcohol from beer, which was associated with an increased risk for clear-cell renal cell cancer without VHL mutations (hazard ratio for >= 5 g of alcohol from beer compared with nondrinkers, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.35-5.57). Alcohol was associated with a decreased risk for clear-cell renal cell cancer without VHL gene promoter methylation (hazard ratio for > 15 g compared with nondrinkers, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.34-0.99). In this study, a not statistically significant inverse association was observed between alcohol and renal cell cancer. There was no statistical significant heterogeneity by VHL mutation or methylation status. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(12):3543-50)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3543-3550
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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