ESTxENDS Trial: MN Substudy - Micronuclei in Buccal Epithelium, a Surrogate Measure of Future Cancer Risk, Induced by Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/Vaporizer/E-cig) (ESTxENDS)

    Not Recruiting
  • End date
    Jun 25, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Bern
Updated on 5 March 2022
tobacco smoke
nicotine replacement
cigarette smoke
Accepts healthy volunteers


Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Switzerland and still more than a quarter of the Swiss population smokes cigarettes. Recently, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; also called vaporizer, e-cigarette or electronic cigarette) have become popular with smokers who want to stop smoking or reduce their exposure to inhaled chemicals since ENDS use appears to be safer than tobacco smoking.

The micronucleus cytologic assay test was originally developed to screen for drug toxicity in bone marrow samples from mammals. The technique identifies micronuclei on smears obtained by oral cavity exfoliation and indicate genomic instability. Buccal MNs may predict cancer risk for the upper aerodigestive tract. The HUman MicroNucleus project on eXfoLiated buccal cells (HUMNXL) found MN counts gradually increased during the progression from normal mucosal to precancerous lesions to carcinoma. MN assessment discriminates between exposure to tobacco smoke in smokers and in non-smokers, and has been tested on a small number of ENDS users.

For this trial, cigarette smokers motivated to quit smoking cigarettes will be included. Participants in the intervention group will receive an ENDS and nicotine-containing e-liquids, which they will be allowed to use ad libitum. Additionally, they will receive smoking cessation counseling. Participants in the control group will receive smoking cessation counseling only. All participants will be followed over a 24-month period. Measures of MN frequency will test the potential effect of ENDS use on cancer-related outcomes, in particular incident of mouth-, lung- and kidney- cancers.

Condition Smoking Cessation, Micronuclei
Treatment Smoking Cessation Counseling, ENDS (vaporizer/e-cig) and smoking cessation counseling
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04244773
SponsorUniversity of Bern
Last Modified on5 March 2022

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