Background: It has been hypothesized that genomic instability related to telomere dysfunction may contribute to carcinogenesis. There is some evidence from case-control studies suggesting that short leukocyte telomere length may be associated with an increased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC); however, this association has not been investigated prospectively. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study (209 cases, 410 controls) of RCC risk in relation to prediagnostic leukocyte telomere length in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using conditional logistic regression. Results: Leukocyte telomere length was not significantly associated with future risk ofRCC(highest quartile vs. lowest: OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.5-1.5; Ptrend = 0.6). Analyses stratified by sex, age, and time from blood collection to RCC diagnosis were similarly null. Conclusions: The results of this study, to our knowledge the first prospective investigation of its kind, do not support an association between prediagnostic leukocyte telomere length and risk of RCC. Impact: In contrast to some earlier reports, our findings add to the evidence that leukocyte telomere length is not a biomarker of risk related to the etiology of RCC. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 22(5); 997-1000.
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