Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), which is prevalent in China, is believed to be induced by environmental carcinogens. Accumulating evidence has shown that individual variation in DNA repair capacity resulting from genetic polymorphism influences risk of environmental carcinogenesis. We therefore investigated the associations between genetic polymorphisms in the DNA repair genes XRCC1 (Arg194Trp and Arg399Gln) and XPD (Asp312Asn and Lys751Gln) and risk of ESCC in an at-risk Chinese population. Genotypes were determined by a PCR-based approach in 433 patients with ESCC and 524 frequency-matched normal controls. We found that individuals with Trp/Trp genotype at XRCC1 Arg194Trp site had a 2-fold increased risk of this disease compared to Arg/Arg genotype (adjusted OR = 1.98; 95% CI 1.26-3.12). Furthermore, when compared to Arg/Arg and Arg/Trp genotype combined, homozygote for Trp/Trp genotype significantly increased the risk of developing ESCC, with the adjusted OR being 2.07 (95% CI 1.34-3.20). However, the XRCC1 Arg399Gln polymorphism was not significantly associated with risk of ESCC, with the adjusted OR being 0.87 (95% CI 0.55-1.37). Neither Asp312Asn nor Lys751Gln polymorphisms in the XPD gene influenced risk of ESCC in our study. These findings suggest that DNA repair gene XRCC1 but not XPD might play a role in esophageal carcinogenesis and might represent a genetic determinant in the development of the cancer.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.