The relative contribution of intrinsic genetic factors and extrinsic environmental ones to cancer etiology and natural etiology is a lengthy and debated issue. Gene-environment interactions (G x E Interactions) arise when the combined presence of both a germline genetic variant and a known environmental factor modulates the risk of disease more than either one alone. A panel of experts discussed our current understanding of cancer etiology, known examples of G x E interactions in cancer, and the expanded concept of G x E interactions to include somatic cancer mutations and iatrogenic environmental factors such as anti-cancer treatment. Specific genetic polymorphisms and genetic mutations increase susceptibility to certain carcinogens and may be targeted in the near future for prevention and treatment of cancer patients with novel molecularly based therapies. There was general consensus that a better understanding of the complexity and numerosity of G x E interactions, supported by adequate technological, epidemiological modelling and statistical resources, will further promote our understanding of cancer and lead to novel preventative and therapeutic approaches.
Authors: Michele Carbone, Ivano Amelio, El Bachir Affar, James Brugarolas, Lisa A Cannon-Albright, Lewis C. Cantley, Webster C. Cavanee, Zhijian Chen, Carlo M. Croce, Alan D'Andrea, David Gandara, Carlotta Giorgi, Wei Jia, Qing Lan, Tak Wah Mak, James L. Manley, Katshuhiko Mikoshiba, Jose N. Onuchic, Harvey I. Pass, Paolo Pinton, Carol Prives, Nathaniel Rothman, Said M. Sebti, James Turkson, Xifeng Wu, Haining Yang, Herbert Yu, Gerry Melino