Aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) activity was measured in pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAMs) and peripheral blood lymphocytes from cigarette smokers with and without primary lung cancer. Frequency distribution analysis of AHH induction ratios for the two groups revealed an increased number of individuals in the lung cancer patient group with high lymphocyte induction values (P<0.05). A similar increase was not shown for high-PAM AHH values in lung cancer patients (P>0.2). When individual PAM and lymphocyte AHH values were compared between noncancer and lung cancer patients, a positive correlation was observed for noncancer patients (r=0.915, P<0.001), but no correlation of these values was noted for lung cancer patients. The lung cancer patients were divided into three subgroups of patients showing (I) high PAM and low lymphocyte AHH levels, (II) low PAM and low lymphocyte AHH levels, and (III) low PAM and high lymphocyte AHH levels. When the incidence of family history of cancer was compared for these subgroups, no family cancer history was recorded for persons in subgroup II; however, individuals in subgroups I and III presented family cancer history incidences of 9.5% and 39.3%, respectively. Patients in group III averaged 6 years younger than those in group I. These data suggest that familial factors may be identified among lung cancer patients and that these factors appear to associate as either a cause or an effect with the capacity of pulmonary alveolar macrophages and lymphocytes to be induced for AHH. The data support the hypothesis that high AHH values may be characteristic of lung cancer patients but show that enzyme values determined from a single tissue, either PAMs or lymphocytes, may not be appropriate for showing whether high AHH inducibility is correlated with lung cancer.
- lung cancer
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