BACKGROUND. Angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II antagonists, and the ACE insertion/deletion (I/D) gene polymorphism all influence serum angiotensin II action. Because angiotensin II levels have been associated with cancer, the objective of the current epidemiologic study was to investigate whether renin-angiotensin system inhibitors and/or ACE genotypes were associated with an altered risk of colorectal, lung, breast, and prostate cancer. METHODS. Data were obtained from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based, prospective cohort study with 7983 participants. Participants who had a history of 1 of the cancers of interest (n = 216) or who had a medication history <6 months (n = 88) were excluded, leaving 7679 participants, of whom the ACE genotypes could be assessed in 6670 individuals. The mean follow-up was 9.6 years, during which 730 incident cancers occurred. The effect of medication, ACE I/D genotypes, and their interaction on cancer risk and progression was studied by using Cox proportional hazard models. RESULTS. Carriers of the high-activity genotype DD had an increased risk of breast cancer compared with low-activity II/ID genotype carriers (hazard ratio [HR], 1.47; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.05-2.04), but no association was demonstrated for other cancers. DD carriers who were exposed to long-term and high-dose medication were at lower risk for cancer (HR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.10-0.79). Short-term, high-dose users were at risk for colorectal cancer progression in the II/ID stratum (HR, 3.83; 95% CI, 1.67-8.79). CONCLUSIONS. Renin-angiotensin system-inhibiting drugs seemed to protect against cancer in individuals with the DD genotype, which was associated with high levels of ACE.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Knaap, R, Siemes, C, Coebergh, J.W.W, Tikka-Kleemola, P, Hofman, A, & Stricker, B.H.Ch. (2008). Renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, angiotensin I-converting enzyme gene insertion/deletion polymorphism, and cancer: The Rotterdam study. Cancer, 112(4), 748–757. doi:10.1002/cncr.23215