Open Access Research article

Inflammatory gene variants and the risk of biliary tract cancers and stones: a population-based study in China

Felipe A Castro1*, Jill Koshiol1, Ann W Hsing1, Yu-Tang Gao2, Asif Rashid3, Lisa W Chu1, Ming-Chang Shen4, Bing-Shen Wang5, Tian-Qua Han6, Bai-He Zhang7, Shelley Niwa8, Kai Yu1, Hong Zhang9, Stephen Chanock110 and Gabriella Andreotti1

Author affiliations

1 Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Blvd., EPS 7063, Rockville, MD, 20892, USA

2 Shanghai Cancer Institute, Shanghai, China

3 Department of Pathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

4 Shanghai Tumor Hospital, Shanghai, China

5 Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

6 Department of Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, China

7 Institute of Oriental Hepatobiliary Surgery, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China

8 Westat, Rockville, MD, USA

9 Institute of Biostatistics, School of Life Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

10 Laboratory of Translational Genomics, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Advanced Technology Center, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892-4605, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2012, 12:468  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-468

Published: 11 October 2012



Genetic variants in inflammation-related genes have been associated with biliary stones and biliary tract cancers in previous studies.


To follow-up on these findings, we examined 35 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in 5 genes related to inflammation (IL8, NFKBIL, RNASEL, TNF, and VEGFA) in 456 participants with incident biliary tract cancer cases (262 gallbladder, 141 extrahepatic bile duct, 53 ampulla of Vater), 982 participants with biliary stones, and 860 healthy controls in a population–based case–control study in Shanghai, China.


Suggestive associations were observed for SNPs in VEGFA with biliary stones, IL8 with gallbladder and ampulla of Vater cancers, and RNASEL with ampulla of Vater cancer (false discovery rate≤0.2).


These findings provide additional support for the role of inflammation in biliary stones and biliary tract cancer risk and need further validation.

Biliary tract cancer; Biliary stones; Inflammation; Genetic susceptibility