Cancers are a worldwide concern; oral, esophageal and gastrointestinal cancers represent important causes of cancer-related mortality and contribute to a significant burden of human health. The DNA repair systems are the genome caretakers, playing a critical role in the initiation and progression of cancers. However, the association between the genomic variations of DNA repair genes and cancer susceptibility is not well understood. This review focuses on the polymorphic genotypes of the non-homologous end-joining DNA repair system, highlighting the role of two genes of this pathway, XRCC5 and XRCC6, in the susceptibility to digestive system cancers and discussing their potential contributions to personalized medicine.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Esophageal cancer; Gastrointestinal cancer; Oral cancer; Polymorphism; XRCC5; XRCC6.