Background: While cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption have been linked to laryngeal carcinoma, the role of genetic factors in determining individual susceptibility is unknown. We describe the role of allelism at glutathione-S-transferase GSTM1, GSTT1, and cytochrome P 450 CYP2D6 loci in determining individual susceptibility to laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
Methods: Enzyme genotypes were determined using the polymerase chain reaction in 169 patients suffering T1-T4 laryngeal carcinoma and in 145 controls.
Results: While the frequency of the heterozygote GSTM1 A/B genotype was statistically significantly lower in the cases than controls, the frequency of the GSTT1 null genotype was higher in cases than controls.
Conclusion: These initial data suggest that allelism at GST loci mediates susceptibility to squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx. Thus, GSTM1 A/B appears to be associated with a reduced risk while GSTT1 null confers increased risk. The findings are compatible with the view that genetic predisposition is important in determining risk of this cancer.