GSTM1 gene polymorphism as a possible marker for susceptibility to head and neck cancers among Japanese smokers

Cancer Lett. 1997 Jan 30;112(2):257-62. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(96)04584-3.


Increased risk of lung cancer has been reported in individuals with glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) gene deletion, with limited evidence for head and neck (HN) cancer. Here, we report the results of a case-control study in Japanese HN cancer patients (n = 158) and community controls (n = 174). GSTM1 null genotype (GSTM1(-)) was distributed more in smoker patients than in control subjects (56.7% vs. 48.5%) but not in non-smoker patients (48.3%). In smokers, GSTM1(-) was detected at increased frequency in non-larynx cancer (62.7%, odds ratio 1.77, 95% CI 1.04-3.01) but not in larynx cancer (48.1%). In larynx cancer GSTM1(-) was presented at higher frequency in patients < 60 years old than in those > or = 60 years old (78.6% vs. 36.8%). These findings suggest that the GSTM1 gene polymorphism potentially modifies the risk for HN cancer depending on smoking history, the region of cancer and age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / genetics


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Markers
  • Isoenzymes
  • Glutathione Transferase