Nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Alaskan Eskimos Indians, and Aleuts: a review of cases and study of Epstein-Barr virus, HLA, and environmental risk factors

Cancer. 1980 Nov 1;46(9):2100-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19801101)46:9<2100::aid-cncr2820460932>;2-g.


The records of thirty-one patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) diagnosed from 1966 through 1976 among the Alaskan native population (Eskimo, Aleut, Indian) were reviewed. There were 25 males and six females, which results in relatively high incidence rates per 100,000 of 13.5 for males and 3.7 for females. Clinical and pathologic features were similar to those found among southern Chinese NPC patients. Five-year survival rate was 48%. Antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus were higher in NPC patients than in patients with other tumors or matched controls. On histocompatibility testing Sin-2 was not detected, nor was there significantly increased frequency of A2. Instead, BW40 and a second locus blank occurred more often among NPC patients than among other groups. In response to a questionnaire, NPC patients more often reported use of salt fish in the childhood diet, smoking of cigarettes, and exposure to noxious inhalants than did controls, but the differences were not statistically significant.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alaska
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Carcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma / immunology
  • Diet
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / analysis
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Inuits
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / immunology
  • Risk
  • Smoking


  • Antigens, Viral
  • HLA Antigens