DNA repair variants may play a potentially important role in an individual's susceptibility to developing cancer. Numerous studies have reported the association between genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA repair genes and different types of hematologic cancers. However, to date, the effects of such SNPs on modulating Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) risk have not yet been investigated. We hypothesized that gene-gene interaction between candidate genes in direct reversal, nucleotide excision repair (NER), base excision repair (BER) and double strand break (DSB) pathways may contribute to susceptibility to HL. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a study on 200 HL cases and 220 controls to assess associations between HL risk and 21 functional SNPs in DNA repair genes. We evaluated potential gene-gene interactions and the association of multiple polymorphisms in a chromosome region using a multi-analytic strategy combining logistic regression, multi-factor dimensionality reduction and classification and regression tree approaches. We observed that, in combination, allelic variants in the XPC Ala499Val, NBN Glu185Gln, XRCC3 Thr241Me, XRCC1 Arg194Trp, and XRCC1 399Gln polymorphisms modify the risk for developing HL. Moreover, the cumulative genetic risk score revealed a significant trend where the risk for developing HL increases as the number of adverse alleles in BER and DSB genes increase. These findings suggest that DNA repair variants in BER and DSB pathways may play an important role in the development of HL.
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