Linkage of a nasopharyngeal carcinoma susceptibility locus to the HLA region

Nature. 1990 Aug 2;346(6283):470-1. doi: 10.1038/346470a0.


The frequency of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is nearly 100-fold higher in southern Chinese than in most European populations. Earlier studies have suggested that an increased risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is associated with specific haplotypes in the HLA region: relative risks slightly over twofold were found for haplotypes A2, Bw46 and the antigen B17. We now report a linkage study based on affected sib pairs which suggests that a gene closely linked to the HLA locus confers a greatly increased risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The maximum likelihood estimate is of a relative risk of approximately 21. The relationship between this suspected disease susceptibility gene (or genes) and known viral and environmental aetiological factors remains to be elucidated.

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-A2 Antigen / genetics
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Lod Score
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / immunology
  • Risk Factors


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-B17 antigen
  • HLA-B46 antigen
  • HLA-DR Antigens