In this issue of JAMA, Nan and colleagues1 report the results of a gene-environment interaction study examining an interaction between a genetic polymorphism and the regular use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and the association with risk of colorectal cancer. This case-control study is scientifically noteworthy for 4 distinct reasons. First, the study advances understanding of how to conduct research designed to detect gene-environment interactions. Second, the study illustrates that interventions can be genetically targeted not just to direct treatment but also to direct preventive interventions. Third, the study provides insight into the mechanistic understanding of how aspirin alters colon cancer risk. Fourth, the study highlights the need to conduct implementation research to ensure clinicians are prepared to apply gene-environment research in daily practice.
Wender RC. Aspirin and NSAID Chemoprevention, Gene-Environment Interactions, and Risk of Colorectal Cancer. JAMA. 2015;313(11):1111–1112. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1032
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