Nasopharyngeal carcinoma in an Alaskan Eskimo family: report of three cases

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1979 May;62(5):1121-4.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has been reported to occur in Alsaka Natives (Eskimos, Indians, and Aleuts) at a rate greater than 15 times the rate for U.S. whites. At least 3 cases of NPC have occurred in close relatives of a Northern Alaskan Eskimo family. All 3 patients had poorly differentiated tumors and have died. Blood groups, HLA antigens, and antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) were studied in the family members. EBV titers were elevated in the 1 NPC patient tested and in 1 of 15 other family members tested. All family members studied except 1 were of blood group A, Rh-positive, and HLA types AW24, CW3, CW40/A2, CW2 and B27. This was the first report of more than 2 cases of NPC in a single family in the United States.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alaska
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Blood Group Antigens
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inuits
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pedigree


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Blood Group Antigens
  • HLA Antigens