Association of secondhand smoke exposures with DNA methylation in bladder carcinomas

Cancer Causes and Control, 06/16/2011

Wilhelm-Benartzi CS et al. – Exposures to SHS in adulthood, childhood, occupationally, and in total are each significantly associated with changes in DNA methylation of several CpG loci in bladder tumors, adding biological plausibility to SHS as a risk factor for bladder cancer.


  • Using an array-based approach, we profiled DNA methylation from never smoking cases of incident bladder cancer
  • Analyses examined associations between individual loci’s methylation with SHS variables (exposure in adulthood, childhood, occupationally, and total exposure)
  • Canonical pathway analysis used to find pathways significantly associated with each SHS exposure type


  • Trend toward increased methylation of numerous CpG loci with increasing exposure to adulthood, occupational, and total SHS
  • Discrete associations between methylation extent of several CpG loci and SHS exposures demonstrated significantly increased methylation of these loci across all types of SHS exposure
  • CpGs with SHS-related methylation alterations associated with genes in pathways involved in carcinogenesis, immune modulation, and immune signaling

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