Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), which is relatively prevalent in Korea, is believed to be induced by environmental carcinogens and host genetic factors. Accumulating evidence has shown that genetic differences in DNA repair capacity resulting from genetic polymorphism influence the risk of environmental carcinogenesis. We therefore examined the associations of genetic polymorphisms in the DNA repair genes XRCC1 with the risk of SCCHN in a Korean population (hospital-based, case-control study; 147 cases and 168 controls). Three known polymorphisms in the XRCC1 gene were genotyped: R194W(C>T) in exon 6, R280H(G>A) in exon 9 and R399G(G>A) in exon 10. Although no significant associations were apparent with R280H(G>A) and R399G(G>A), a highly significant association (p = 0.0005) of R194W(C>T) with the increased risk (OR = 2.61; 95% CI 1.53-4.46) of SCCHN was detected among patients and normal controls under dominant model. The frequency of minor allele-containing genotypes (TT and CT) was much higher in SCCHN patients (51.8%) compared to that in normal controls (30.3%) (p = 0. 0005). When considering a relatively small number of cases (n = 147) and controls (n = 168) in our study, larger studies are needed to validate the genetic effects of XRCC1 polymorphisms in Asian populations. In conclusion, the result from our study provides additional evidence of an association of the XRCC1 polymorphism (Arg194Trp) with SCCHN as markers of genetic susceptibility in the Korean population.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.