High levels of oxidative DNA damage in lymphocyte DNA of premenopausal breast cancer patients from Egypt

Amr S. Soliman, Suryanarayana V. Vulimiri, Heather E. Kleiner, Jianjun Shen, Saad Eissa, Magda Morad, Hala Taha, Farzana Lukmanji, Donghui Li, Dennis A. Johnston, Herng Hsang Lo, Serrine Lau, John Digiovanni, Melissa L. Bondy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Egypt shows a parallel increase in premenopausal breast cancer and environmental pollution. The purpose of this study is to explore a possible relationship between oxidative DNA damage, urinary estrogen metabolites and breast cancer in Egyptian premenopausal women. We conducted a pilot study of Egyptian breast cancer involving 29 cases and 32 controls and analysed lymphocyte DNA levels of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanine (8-oxo-dG), a measure of oxidative DNA damage using high performance liquid chromatography with electro-chemical detection (HPLC-ECD) method. We analysed levels of urinary estrogen metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE) and 16α-hydroxyestrone (16α-OHE) by an enzyme immuno assay. We also collected residential, occupational, and reproductive histories of all study subjects. We detected, in all subjects, exceptionally high levels of 8-oxo-dG and thus oxidative DNA damage, the levels (mean 8-oxo-dG/105 dG ± SD) were significantly (P < 0.01) higher in breast cancer cases (139.4 ± 78.4) than in controls (60.9 ± 51.5). Urinary 2-OHE and 16α-OHE or their ratio was not significantly different between cases and controls. However, 8-oxo-dG levels were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with 2-OHE and 16α-OHE from cases while controls showed a negative correlation (P < 0.05). Urban residence (Odds Ratio [OR] 3.1; Confidence interval [CI], 1.1-9.3), infertility (OR [9.8]; CI [1.1-89.7]), age (OR [2.6]; CI [1.4-4.6]) and 8-oxo-dG (OR 5.8; CI 1.9-17.5) levels were found to be significant predictors of breast cancer. Our finding of exceptionally high levels of 8-oxo-dG, a common result of oxidative DNA damage, warrant future studies on a larger population of premenopausal women in Egypt with consideration of other susceptibility markers and dietary characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • 8-oxo-dG
  • Breast cancer
  • Egypt
  • Environmental exposure
  • Estrogen metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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