Base excision repair (BER) corrects DNA damage caused by oxidative stress and low folate intake, which are putative risk factors for colorectal neoplasia. To examine the relationship between genetic variation in BER genes and colorectal adenoma risk, we conducted a case-control study of 767 cases of advanced colorectal adenoma and 773 controls from the baseline screening exam of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Cases included participants diagnosed with advanced left-sided adenoma, and controls were subjects without evidence of a left-sided polyp by sigmoidoscopy, frequency-matched to cases on race and gender. Twenty single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in four BER genes (APEX1, PARP1, POLB, and XRCC1), and conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association with colorectal adenoma. Two variants with possible functional significance were associated with risk. The APEX1 51H variant was associated with a borderline significant decreased risk of colorectal adenoma (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.44-1.00), and the XRCC1 399Q variant was inversely associated with risk among Caucasians (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.64-0.99). Homozygotes at two PARP1 loci (A284A and IVS13+118G>A) were also associated with a decreased risk of colorectal adenoma compared with wild-type carriers (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.49-0.98 for both), which was restricted to advanced adenomas displaying histologically aggressive characteristics (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.33-0.78, P = 0.002 for PARP1 A284A), This study suggests that polymorphisms in APEX1, XRCC1, and PARP1 may be associated with advanced colorectal adenoma.