Objective: To investigate the incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and the clinical characteristics in this family through a long-term follow-up, and to seek the hereditary factor of NPC. This research was also designed to provide some clinical data for etiological study.
Methods: A genealogical tree of Ye-Liang's family was drawn and reported in 1972 after a complete survey. Further follow-up from that time to 1997 was performed. Human leucocyte antigens (HLA) were investigated, and physical follow-up was done in domestic members of this family. For oversea members of this family, correspondence follow-up was performed.
Results: In the last 25 years, the incidence of malignancies in Ye-Liang's family increased from 10 cases to 18 cases, and incidence of NPC increased from 9 cases to 15 cases. In this family, not only multiple malignancies have been found in the second generation, but also NPC has been found in the third generation. HLA-[A2-B46] haplotype was correlated with occurrence of NPC.
Conclusions: Dominant racial predilection and family cluster in NPC implied that NPC is a heredity-related cancer which might involve multifactorial disorders in carcinogenesis. Further research on etiology of NPC should be focused on hereditary factor. Detection of inherited factors should be performed for forecast of carcinogenesis and reduction of NPC occurrence.