Journal Article

Polymorphisms of DNA repair gene <i>XRCC1</i> in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Erich M. Sturgis, Edward J. Castillo, Lei Li, Rong Zheng, Susan A. Eicher, Gary L. Clayman, Sara S. Strom, Margaret R. Spitz and Qingyi Wei

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 20, issue 11, pages 2125-2129
Published in print November 1999 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/20.11.2125
Polymorphisms of DNA repair gene XRCC1 in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

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Because reduced DNA repair capacity (phenotype) has been suggested as a risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), newly-identified DNA repair gene polymorphisms (genotype) may also be implicated in risk. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a case-control study of 203 SCCHN patients and 424 control subjects (matched for age, sex and ethnicity) to investigate the role of two XRCC1 polymorphisms (XRCC1 26304 T and XRCC1 28152 A, respectively) in SCCHN. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate the adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of 180 cases (88.7%) and 363 controls (85.6%) lacked the XRCC1 26304 T allele [adjusted OR = 1.34 (CI, 0.80–2.25)]. Lack of this polymorphism was a significant risk factor specifically for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx [adjusted OR = 2.46 (CI, 1.22–4.97)]. Thirty-two cases (15.8%) and 46 controls (10.8%) were homozygous for the XRCC1 28152 A allele [adjusted OR = 1.59 (CI, 0.97–2.61) for all cases, and 1.41 (CI, 0.80–2.48) for oral and pharyngeal cancer only]. Furthermore, when the two genotypes were combined into a three-level model of risk, a polymorphism–polymorphism interaction of increasing risk (trend test, P = 0.049) was evident: OR = 1.0 for those with neither risk genotype (referent group), adjusted OR = 1.51 (CI, 0.87–2.61) for those with either risk genotype, and 2.02 (CI, 1.00–4.05) for those with both risk genotypes. For oral and pharyngeal cancer, this trend was even more pronounced with the adjusted OR = 2.68 (CI, 1.28–5.61) for those with either risk genotype, and 3.22 (CI, 1.33–7.81) for those with both risk genotypes. The findings support the hypothesis that a polymorphic XRCC1 DNA repair gene contributes to risk of developing SCCHN.

Keywords: CI, 95% confidence interval; OR, odds ratio; PCR, polymerase chain reaction; SCCHN, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

Journal Article.  4800 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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