Polymorphisms of the glutathione S-transferase P1 gene and head and neck cancer susceptibility

Head Neck. 2003 Jan;25(1):37-43. doi: 10.1002/hed.10182.


Background: Factors determining the individual susceptibility to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are still largely unknown. An imbalance between enzymes involved in the toxification and detoxification of (pre)-carcinogens closely related to HNSCC, which may appear during smoking and alcohol consumption, may play a role. Genetic polymorphisms in glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) often result in altered detoxification, which may contribute to individual susceptibility to HNSCC.

Methods: We studied the frequencies of polymorphic variants in the GSTP1 gene in 235 patients with HNSCC and 285 healthy controls. In addition, data on exposure to alcohol and tobacco consumption were recorded. DNA was extracted from whole blood, and polymerase chain reaction-based methods were used to detect genetic polymorphisms.

Results: In patients with HNSCC and control groups, the homozygous GSTP1 BB genotype was observed in 12.3% and 13.6%, respectively. No statistical differences were found for the GSTP1 AA and GSTP1 AB/GSTP1BB genotypes.

Conclusions: Our study showed that genetic polymorphisms of GSTP1 are not associated with altered susceptibility to HNSCC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / blood
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / complications


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Glutathione Transferase