The p53 pathway plays a critical role in maintaining genomic stability and preventing tumor formation. Given the roles of both MDM4 and HPV16 E6 oncoproteins in inhibition of p53 activity, we tested the hypothesis that MDM4 polymorphisms are associated with the risk of HPV16-associated squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN).
Genotyping was conducted on three tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs11801299 G>A, rs10900598 G>T, and rs1380576 C>G) in MDM4, and serology was used to determine HPV 16 exposure in 380 cases and 335 cancer-free controls that were frequency-matched by age, sex, smoking, and drinking status.
None of three MDM4 polymorphisms alone was significantly associated with risk of overall SCCHN. With further analysis stratified by HPV16 serology and tumor site, we found that each polymorphism individually modified the risk of HPV16-associated squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP), and such effect modification was particularly pronounced in never smokers and never drinkers.
The risk of HPV16-associated SCCOP could be modified by MDM4 polymorphisms. Large and prospective studies are needed to validate our findings.
MDM4 polymorphisms; genetic susceptibility; human papillomavirus; molecular epidemiology; squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck cancer; squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx
Thyroid cancer incidence in the United States, particularly in women, has increased dramatically since 1980s. While the causes of thyroid cancer in most patients remain largely unknown, evidence suggests the existence of an inherited predisposition to development of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Therefore, we explored the association between sporadic DTC and family history of cancer.
In a retrospective hospital-based case-control study of prospectively recruited subjects who completed the study questionnaire upon enrollment, unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as estimates of the DTC risk associated with first-degree family history of cancer.
The study included 288 patients with sporadic DTC and 591 cancer-free controls. Family history of thyroid cancer in first-degree relatives was associated with increased DTC risk (adjusted OR = 4.1, 95% CI: 1.7–9.9). All DTC cases in patients with a first-degree family history of thyroid cancer were cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) (adjusted OR = 4.6, 95 CI%: 1.9–11.1). Notably, the risk of PTC was highest in subjects with a family history of thyroid cancer in siblings (OR = 7.4, 95% CI: 1.8–30.4). In addition, multifocal primary tumor was more common among PTC patients with first-degree family history of thyroid cancer than among PTC patients with no first-degree family history of thyroid cancer (68.8% vs. 35.5%, p = 0.01).
Our study suggests that family history of thyroid cancer in first-degree relatives, particularly in siblings, is associated with an increased risk of sporadic PTC.
Differentiated thyroid carcinoma; papillary thyroid carcinoma; benign thyroid disease; multifocal; family history of cancer
Hormonal differences are hypothesized to contribute to the approximately ≥2-fold higher thyroid cancer incidence rates among women compared with men worldwide. Although thyroid cancer cells express estrogen receptors and estrogen has a proliferative effect on papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) cells in vitro, epidemiologic studies have not found clear associations between thyroid cancer and female hormonal factors. We hypothesized that polymorphic variation in hormone pathway genes is associated with the risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer.
We evaluated the association between PTC and 1151 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 58 candidate gene regions involved in sex hormone synthesis and metabolism, gonadotropins, and prolactin in a case-control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 controls, frequency matched on age and sex. Odds ratios and p-values for the linear trend for the association between each SNP genotype and PTC risk were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. SNPs in the same gene region or pathway were aggregated using adaptive rank-truncated product methods to obtain gene region-specific or pathway-specific p-values. To account for multiple comparisons, we applied the false discovery rate method.
Seven SNPs had p-values for linear trend <0.01, including four in the CYP19A1 gene, but none of the SNPs remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons. Results were similar when restricting the dataset to women. p-values for examined gene regions and for all genes combined were ≥0.09.
Based on these results, SNPs in selected hormone pathway genes do not appear to be strongly related to PTC risk. This observation is in accord with the lack of consistent associations between hormonal factors and PTC risk in epidemiologic studies.
Due to the structural and biochemical similarities between the anti-tumor p53 and p73 proteins, we hypothesized that individuals who carry high risk genotypes of p53 codon 72 and p73 G4C14-to-A4T14 polymorphisms have a higher risk of developing second primary malignancy (SPM) in patients after an index squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN).
A cohort of 1,269 patients with index cases of SCCHN was recruited between May 1995 and January 2007 at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and followed for SPM development. Patients were genotyped for p53 codon 72 and p73 G4C14-to-A4T14 polymorphisms. A log-rank test and Cox proportional hazard models were used to compare SPM-free survival and SPM risk among different risk groups with the combined risk genotypes of the two polymorphisms.
Our data demonstrated that patients with p53 WP + PP and p73 GC/GC genotypes had a worse SPM-free survival and an increased SPM risk compared with the corresponding p53 WW and p73 GC/AT +AT/AT genotypes. After combining the two polymorphisms, a borderline significantly or significantly reduced SPM-free survival and increased SPM risk were observed in medium-risk group (p53 WW and p73 GC/GC or p53 P carrier and p73 AT carriers) and high-risk group (p53 P carriers and p73 GC/GC) compared with low-risk group (p53 WW and p73 AT carriers), respectively.
Our results suggest an increased risk of SPM after index SCCHN with both p53 and p73 polymorphisms individually and in combination.
p53; p73; Polymorphisms; Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; Second primary malignancy
Xeroderma pigmentosum group G (XPG) protein is essential for the nucleotide excision repair (NER) system, and genetic variations in XPG/ERCC5 that affect DNA repair capacity may contribute to the risk of tobacco-induced cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). We investigated the association between XPG/ERCC5 polymorphisms and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
We genotyped 12 tagging and potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of XPG/ERCC5 in a case-control study of 1,059 non-Hispanic white patients with SCCHN and 1,066 cancer-free age-and sex matched controls and evaluated their associations with SCCHN risk.
Multivariate logistic regression showed that only an intronic tagging SNP (rs4150351A/C) of XPG/ERCC5 was associated with a decreased risk of SCCHN (adjusted OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.62–0.92 for AC vs. AA; adjusted OR=0.81, 95% CI=0.67–0.98 for AC/CC vs. AA), but this association was nonsignificnant after corrections by the permutation test (empirical P=0.105). In the genotype-phenotype correlation analysis using peripheral lymphocytes from 44 SCCHN patients, we found that rs4150351 AC/CC was associated with a statistically significant increase in XPG/ERCC5 mRNA expression.
These findings suggest that genetic variation in XPG/ERCC5 may not affect the SCCHN risk, although rs4150351 C variant genotypes were associated with the increased expression of XPG/ERCC5 mRNA and nonsignificantly decreased risk of SCCHN. Larger population-based and additional functional studies are warranted to validate our findings.
ERCC5; polymorphism; SCCHN; risk
Breast cancer 1, early onset (BRCA1) is a vital DNA repair gene, and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of this gene have been studied in diverse cancer types. In this study, we investigated the association between eight common BRCA1 functional SNPs and the risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC).
This cancer center-based case–control study included 303 DTC cases and 511 controls. A polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism assay was performed for genotyping. Unconditional logistical regression analysis was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) in single-SNP analysis and haplotype analysis.
A decreased risk of DTC was found for the A1988G heterozygous AG genotype (adjusted OR=0.63, 95% CI: 0.45–0.87, Bonferroni-adjusted p-value=0.036). AATAATA and ATAA haplotypes that carry C33420T variant allele were associated with reduced papillary thyroid cancer risk (adjusted OR=0.52, 95% CI: 0.33–0.84; adjusted OR=0.62, 95% CI: 0.40–0.95, respectively). Also, having a combination of ≥3 favorable genotypes was associated with a DTC risk reduction (adjusted OR=0.69, 95% CI: 0.50–0.95). The A31875G AG/GG genotype was associated with a 69% reduced risk of multifocal primary tumor in DTC patients (adjusted OR=0.31, 95% CI: 0.12–0.81).
BRCA1 genetic polymorphisms may play a role in DTC risk, while the possible associations warrant confirmation in independent studies.
Human cell lines are useful for studying cancer biology and pre-clinically modeling cancer therapy, but can be misidentified and cross contamination is unfortunately common. The purpose of this study was to develop a panel of validated head and neck cell lines representing the spectrum of tissue sites and histologies that could be used for studying the molecular, genetic, and phenotypic diversity of head and neck cancer.
A panel of 122 clinically and phenotypically diverse head and neck cell lines from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), thyroid cancer, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, oral leukoplakia, immortalized primary keratinocytes, and normal epithelium, was assembled from the collections of several individuals and institutions. Authenticity was verified by performing short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. Human papillomavirus (HPV) status and cell morphology were also determined.
Eighty-five of the 122 cell lines had unique genetic profiles. HPV-16 DNA was detected in 2 cell lines. These 85 cell lines included cell lines from the major head and neck primary tumor sites, and close examination demonstrates a wide range of in vitro phenotypes.
This panel of 85 genomically validated head and neck cell lines represents a valuable resource for the head and neck cancer research community that can help advance understanding of the disease by providing a standard reference for cell lines that can be utilized for biological as well as preclinical studies.
head and neck cancer; short tandem repeat (STR) profiling; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; thyroid cancer; human papillomavirus
Recent studies reported associations of the relative telomere length (RTL) and TERT variants with risk of several cancers, which has not been comprehensively investigated in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
We detected RTL in peripheral blood lymphocytes and genotyped six selected functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TERT gene in 888 SCCHN cases and 885 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites.
Overall, we did not observe significant associations between RTL and SCCHN risk (adjusted OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.80–1.17 for below versus above the median; Ptrend = 0.618) nor between the six TERT SNPs and SCCHN risk. We also found no associations between RTL and TERT SNPs.
Our results suggest that RTL and TERT functional polymorphisms may not play a major role in the etiology of SCCHN. Large prospective studies are needed to validate our findings.
Although our results suggest no association among RTL, TERT functional polymorphisms, and SCCHN risk, this study may contribute to future meta-analysis.
genetic polymorphisms; Telomere length; TERT; head and neck cancer; molecular epidemiology
Although the role of TNFAIP2 is still unclear, it is an important gene involved in apoptosis, and there are single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at its microRNA (miRNA)-binding sites that could modulate miRNA target gene function. In this study, we evaluated associations of four selected SNPs (rs8126 T > C, rs710100 G > A, rs1052912 G > A and rs1052823 G > T) in the miRNA-binding sites of the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) risk in 1077 patients with SCCHN and 1073 cancer-free controls in a non-Hispanic White population. We found that, compared with the rs8126 TT genotype, the variant C allele were associated with increased SCCHN risk in an allele dose–response manner (adjusted odds ratio = 1.48 and 95% confidence interval = 1.06–2.05 for CC, respectively; Ptrend = 0.009). No significant associations were seen for the other three SNPs (rs710100 G > A, rs1052912 G > A and rs1052823 G > T). Additionally, we identified that the rs8126 T > C SNP is within the miR-184 seed binding region in the 3′ UTR of TNFAIP2. Further functional analyses showed that the rs8126 variant C allele led to significantly lower luciferase activity, compared with the T allele. In the genotype–phenotype correlation analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 64 SCCHN patients, the rs8126 CC genotype was associated with reduced expression of TNFAIP2 messenger RNA. Taken together, these findings indicate that the miR-184 binding site SNP (rs8126 T > C) in the 3′ UTR of TNFAIP2 is functional by modulating TNFAIP2 expression and contributes to SCCHN susceptibility. Larger replication studies are needed to confirm our findings.
The optimal roles for imaging-based biomarkers in the management of head and neck cancer remain undefined. Unresolved questions include whether functional or anatomic imaging biomarkers might improve mortality risk assessment for this disease. We addressed these issues in a prospective institutional trial.
Methods and Materials
Ninety-eight patients with locally advanced pharyngolaryngeal squamous cell cancer were enrolled. Each underwent pre-and post-chemoradiotherapy contrast-enhanced CT and FDG-PET/CT imaging. Imaging parameters were correlated with survival outcomes.
Low post-radiation primary tumor FDG avidity correlated with improved survival on multivariate analysis; so too did complete primary tumor response by CT alone. Although both imaging modalities lacked sensitivity, each had high specificity and negative predictive value for disease-specific mortality risk assessment. Kaplan-Meier estimates confirmed that both CT and FDG-PET/CT stratify patients into distinct high- and low-probability survivorship groups on the basis of primary tumor response to radiotherapy. Subset analyses demonstrated that the prognostic value for each biomarker was primarily derived from patients at high risk for local treatment failure (HPV-negative disease, non-oropharyngeal primary disease, or tobacco use).
CT- and FDG-PET/CT-based biomarkers are useful clinical tools in head and neck cancer-specific mortality risk assessment following radiotherapy, particularly for high-risk HPV-unrelated disease. Focus should be placed on further refinement and corroboration of imaging-based biomarkers in future studies.
Radiotherapy; head and neck cancer; PET; CT; survival
Both p53 tumor suppressor and murine double minute 2 (MDM2) oncoprotein are crucial in carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that MDM2 promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)309, A2164G, and p53 codon 72 SNP are associated with risk and age at onset of squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN). We genotyped these SNPs in a study of 1,083 Caucasian SCCHN cases and 1,090 cancer-free controls. Although none of these SNPs individually had a significant effect on risk of SCCHN, nor did their combined putative risk genotypes (i.e. MDM2 SNP309 GT + GG, 2164 AA, and p53 codon 72 CC), we found that individuals with 2–3 risk genotypes had significantly increased risk of non-oropharyngeal cancer (OR = 1.42; 95% CI=1.07–1.88). This increased risk was more pronounced among young subjects, men, smokers, and drinkers. In addition, female patients carrying the MDM2 SNP309 GT and GG genotypes showed a 3-year (56.7 years) and 9-year (51.2 years) earlier age at onset of non-oropharyngeal cancer (Ptrend = 0.007), respectively, compared with those carrying the TT genotype (60.1 years). The youngest age (42.5 years) at onset of non-oropharyngeal cancer was observed in female patients with the combined MDM2 SNP309 GG and p53 codon 72 CC genotypes. The findings suggest that MDM2 SNP309, A2164G, and p53 codon 72 SNPs may collectively contribute to non-oropharyngeal cancer risk and that MDM2 SNP309 individually or in combination with p53 codon 72 may accelerate the development of non-oropharyngeal cancer in women. Further studies with large sample sizes are warranted to validate these results.
squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; MDM2; p53; polymorphism; risk; age at onset
Greater tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption and lower body mass index (BMI) increase odds ratios (OR) for oral cavity, oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers; however, there are no comprehensive sex-specific comparisons of ORs for these factors.
We analyzed 2,441 oral cavity (925 females and 1,516 males), 2,297 oropharynx (564 females and 1,733 males), 508 hypopharynx (96 females and 412 males) and 1,740 larynx (237 females and 1,503 males) cases from the INHANCE consortium of 15 head and neck cancer case-control studies. Controls numbered from 7,604 to 13,829 subjects, depending on analysis. Analyses fitted linear-exponential excess ORs models.
ORs were increased in underweight (<18.5 BMI) relative to overweight and obese categories (≥25 BMI) for all sites and were homogeneous by sex. ORs by smoking and drinking in females compared to males were significantly greater for oropharyngeal cancer (p<0.01 for both factors), suggestive for hypopharyngeal cancer (p=0.05 and p=0.06, respectively), but homogeneous for oral cavity (p=0.56 and p=0.64) and laryngeal (p=0.18 and p=0.72) cancers.
The extent that OR modifications of smoking and drinking by sex for oropharyngeal and, possibly, hypopharyngeal cancers represent true associations, or derive from unmeasured confounders or unobserved sex-related disease subtypes (e.g., human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal cancer) remains to be clarified.
Alcohol consumption; cigarette smoking; interactions; odds ratio models
DNA damage is an important mechanism in carcinogenesis, so genes related to maintaining genomic integrity may influence papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) risk. Candidate gene studies targeting some of these genes have identified only a few polymorphisms associated with risk of PTC. Here, we expanded the scope of previous candidate studies by increasing the number and coverage of genes related to maintenance of genomic integrity. We evaluated 5077 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 340 candidate gene regions hypothesized to be involved in DNA repair, epigenetics, tumor suppression, apoptosis, telomere function and cell cycle control and signaling pathways in a case–control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 matched controls. We estimated odds ratios for associations of single SNPs with PTC risk and combined P values for SNPs in the same gene region or pathway to obtain gene region-specific or pathway-specific P values using adaptive rank-truncated product methods. Nine SNPs had P values <0.0005, three of which were in HDAC4 and were inversely related to PTC risk. After multiple comparisons adjustment, no SNPs remained associated with PTC risk. Seven gene regions were associated with PTC risk at P < 0.01, including HUS1, ALKBH3, HDAC4, BAK1, FAF1_CDKN2C, DACT3 and FZD6. Our results suggest a possible role of genes involved in maintenance of genomic integrity in relation to risk of PTC.
Mouse double minute 4 (MDM4), a homolog of MDM2, is a key negative regulator of p53, and its amplification or over-expression contributes to carcinogenesis by inhibiting the p53 tumor suppressor activity. We investigated the association between MDM4 polymorphisms and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
We genotyped three MDM4 tagging polymorphisms, two in the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR: rs11801299G>A and rs10900598G>T) and one in intron 1 (rs1380576C>G), in a case-control study of 1,075 non-Hispanic white SCCHN patients and 1,084 cancer-free controls and evaluated their associations with SCCHN risk.
Although none of these three polymorphisms individually had a statistically significant effect on risk of SCCHN, nor did their combined number of putative risk genotypes (i.e., rs11801299GG, rs1380576CG+GG, and rs10900598GG) (OR = 1.16 and 95% CI=0.93–1.45), we found that individuals with 1–3 risk genotypes had statistically significantly increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer (OR = 1.32 and 95% CI = 1.00–1.73), particularly for those with T1–2 stage (OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.02–1.94), those with regional lymph node metastases (N1–3) (OR = 1.44; 95% CI = 1.07–1.95), and those with late stages (III and IV) (OR = 1.34; 95% CI = 1.01–1.77).
Our results suggest that the joint effect of MDM4 variants may contribute to the risk of oropharyngeal cancer in non-Hispanic whites. Additional studies are warranted to unravel whether the particular stage distribution of oropharyngeal cancer with the strongest association (T1–2, N1–3, and III–IV) is a possible link with human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal cancers.
MDM4 polymorphism; case-control; genetic susceptibility; molecular epidemiology; head and neck neoplasms; oropharyngeal cancer
An emerging epidemic of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancer has been proposed. We compared the sexual behaviors of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) and patients with squamous cell carcinoma of non-oropharyngeal head and neck sites (SCCNOP) to expand our understanding of sexual behavior as a risk factor for HPV-associated head and neck cancer.
The sexual history of 165 SCCOP patients and 87 SCCNOP patients was determined in a hospital-based case-case comparison study.
SCCOP patients were significantly more likely than SCCNOP patients to have had >9 lifetime sex partners (odds ratio [OR]=39.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]=8.2–187.3), to have engaged in oral-genital sex (OR=3.5; 95% CI=1.1–11.1), and to have had > 4 oral-genital sex partners (OR=8.6; 95% CI=2.2–33.4).
The findings of this study suggest that some risk factors are site specific and provide further evidence that certain sexual behaviors increase the risk of HPV-associated SCCOP.
head and neck neoplasms; human papillomavirus; sexual behavior; oropharynx; HPV16
No studies have evaluated roles of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP-5) polymorphisms in risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
A hospital-based study of 1082 SCCHN patients and 1120 cancer-free controls was performed to investigate associations between two functional polymorphisms -1195T>C and -709G>C in the IGFBP5 promoter region and SCCHN risk.
We demonstrated that the transcription factor AP-1 differentially bound to T or C variants at -1195 in the promoter to regulate the IGFBP5 promoter activity and that the C variant genotypes were associated with deferential risk of late-stage SCCHN, compared with the TT genotype, particularly for HPV-unrelated sites (adjusted OR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.19-4.11 for CC vs. TT).
The IGFBP5 -1195T>C polymorphism is functional and may potentially be a biomarker for susceptibility to late-stage SCCHN.
IGFBP5; head neck cancer; TNM stage; polymorphism; association
The cooperation between phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate induced protein 1 (NOXA) and myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL1) is critical in the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), by inducing p53 and pRb-E2F degradation, may play an essential role in development of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) through NOXA-MCL1 axis-mediated apoptosis. Therefore, genetic variants of NOXA and MCL1 may modify the SCCHN risk associated with HPV16 seropositivity.
HPV16 serology was obtained by immunoadsorption assay. Four functional SNPs in the promoter of NOXA (rs9957673, rs4558496) and MCL1 (rs9803935, rs3738485) were genotyped for 380 cases and 335 frequency-matched cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites.
Associations between the four polymorphisms and SCCHN risk were not significant, while we observed a significantly joint effect on SCCHN risk between the polymorphisms and HPV16 seropositivity. Notably, this effect modification was particularly pronounced for oropharyngeal cancer in subgroups including never smokers, never drinkers and younger subjects.
Our results suggested that polymorphisms of NOXA and MCL1 may modify the risk of HPV16-associated oropharyngeal cancer. The further identification of population subgroups at higher risk provides evidence that HPV-targeting treatment may help benefit SCCHN. However, larger studies are needed to validate our findings.
NOXA; MCL1; HPV16; Genetic susceptibility; Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
Radiotherapy plays an integral role in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Although proteins involved in DNA repair may predict HNSCC response to radiotherapy, none has been validated in this context. We examined whether differential expression of double-strand DNA break (DSB) repair proteins in HNSCC, the chief mediators of DNA repair following irradiation, predict for treatment outcomes.
Archival HNSCC tumor specimens (n = 89) were assembled onto a tissue microarray and stained with antibodies raised against 38 biomarkers. The biomarker set was enriched for proteins involved in DSB repair, in addition to established mechanistic markers of radioresistance. Staining was correlated with treatment response and survival alongside established clinical and pathologic covariates. Results were validated in an independent intramural cohort (n = 34).
Ku80, a key mediator of DSB repair, correlated most closely with clinical outcomes. Ku80 was overexpressed in half of all tumors, and its expression was independent of all other covariates examined. Ku80 overexpression was an independent predictor for both locoregional failure and mortality following radiotherapy (P < 0.01). The predictive power of Ku80 overexpression was confined largely to HPV-negative HNSCC, where it conferred a 9-fold greater risk of death at 2 years.
Ku80 overexpression is a common feature of HNSCC, and is a candidate DNA repair-related biomarker for radiation treatment failure and death, particularly in patients with high-risk HPV-negative disease. It is a promising, mechanistically rational biomarker to select individual HPV-negative HNSCC patients for strategies to intensify treatment.
Cell cycle deregulation is common in human cancer, and alterations of p27 and p21, two critical cell cycle regulators, have been implicated in the development of many human malignancies. Therefore, we hypothesize that p27 T109G polymorphism individually or in combination with p21 (C98A and C70T) polymorphisms modifies risk of second primary malignancy (SPM) in patients with index squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN).
A cohort of 1,292 patients with index SCCHN was recruited between May 1995 and January 2007 at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and followed for SPM occurrence. Patients were genotyped for the three polymorphisms. A log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare SPM-free survival and SPM risk.
We found that patients with p27 109 TG/GG, p21 98 CA/AA and p21 70 CT/TT variant genotypes had a worse SPM-free survival and an increased SPM risk than those with the corresponding p27109 TT, p21 98 CC, and p21 70 CC common genotypes, respectively. After combining the three polymorphisms, there was a trend for significantly increased SPM risk with increasing number of the variant genotypes (Ptrend = 0.0002). Moreover, patients with the variant genotypes had an approximately 2.4-fold significantly increased risk for SPM compared with those with no variant genotypes (HR, 2.4, 95% CI, 1.6-3.6).
These results suggest that p27 T109G polymorphism individually or in combination with p21 (C98A and C70T) polymorphisms increases risk of SPM in patients with index SCCHN.
p21; p27; Squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck; Second primary malignancy; Genetic susceptibility; Polymorphism
p14ARF plays a critical role in crosstalk between p53 and Rb pathways and in cellular anticancer mechanisms. We, therefore, investigated the association between the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of p14ARF and risk of second primary Malignancy (SPM) after index squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
We used Log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards models to assess the association of the two p14ARF SNPs (rs3731217 and rs3088440) with the SPM-free survival and SPM risk among 1,287 incident SCCHN patients.
We found that patients with either p14ARF variant genotypes of the two polymorphisms had a significantly reduced SPM-free survival, compared with patients with no variant genotypes (Log-rank test, P = 0.006). Compared with p14ARF TT and GG genotypes, the variant genotypes of p14ARF TG/GG and GA/AA were associated with significantly moderately increased risk of developing SPM [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.00–2.19 for p14ARF-rs3731217 and aHR, 1.61, 95% CI, 1.07–2.43 for p14ARF-rs3088440), respectively]. Moreover, after combining the variant genotypes of the two SNPs, patients with variant genotypes had a significantly greater risk for SPM compared to patients with no variant genotypes (aHR, 3.07, 95% CI, 1.54–6.12), and the risk was particularly pronounced in several subgroups.
Our results suggest a modestly increased risk of SPM after index SCCHN with each p14ARF polymorphism and an even greater risk of SPM with combined variant genotypes of the two SNPs. Therefore, p14ARF polymorphisms may be a susceptible marker to SPM risk for SCCHN patients.
p14ARF; Squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck; Second primary malignancy; Genetic susceptibility; Polymorphism
Human DEC1 (deleted in esophageal cancer 1) gene is located on chromosome 9q, a region frequently deleted in various types of human cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). However, only one epidemiological study has evaluated the association between DEC1 polymorphisms and cancer risk. In this hospital-based case–control study, four potentially functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms −1628 G>A (rs1591420), −606 T>C [rs4978620, in complete linkage disequilibrium with −249T>C (rs2012775) and −122 G>A(rs2012566)], c.179 C>T p.Ala60Val (rs2269700) and 3′ untranslated region-rs3750505 as well as the TP53 tumor suppressor gene codon 72 (Arg72Pro, rs1042522) polymorphism were genotyped in 1111 non-Hispanic Whites SCCHN patients and 1130 age-and sex-matched cancer-free controls. After adjustment for age, sex and smoking and drinking status, the variant −606CC (i.e. −249CC) homozygotes had a significantly reduced SCCHN risk (adjusted odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.52–0.99) compared with the −606TT homozygotes. Stratification analyses showed that a reduced risk associated with the −606CC genotype was more pronounced in subgroups of non-smokers, non-drinkers, younger subjects (defined as ≤57 years), carriers of the TP53 Arg/Arg (rs1042522) genotype, patients with oropharyngeal cancer or late-stage SCCHN. Further in silico analysis revealed that the −249 T-to-C change led to a gain of a transcription factor-binding site. Additional functional analysis showed that the −249T-to-C change significantly enhanced transcriptional activity of the DEC1 promoter and the DNA–protein-binding activity. We conclude that the DEC1 promoter −249 T>C (rs2012775) polymorphism is functional, modulating susceptibility to SCCHN among non-Hispanic Whites.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TERT-rs2736098 (C > T) and CLPTM1L-rs401681(C > T) at the 5p15.33 locus are significantly associated with cancer risk as reported in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but there are no reported studies for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). In a case–control study of 1079 SCCHN cases and 1115 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites who were frequency matched by age and sex, we genotyped for these two SNPs and assessed their associations with SCCHN risk. Compared with the CC genotypes of each polymorphism, the associations of a slightly reduced risk of SCCHN with the variant genotypes of CT + TT of both polymorphisms were approaching statistical significance [Odds ratio (OR) = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.76–1.08 for TERT-rs2736098 and OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.71–1.04 for CLPTM1L-rs401681, respectively]. When the two SNPs were combined, the variant genotypes of the two SNPs were significantly associated a moderately reduced risk of SCCHN (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67–0.99), and the number of variant genotypes was associated with a significantly reduced risk in a dose–response manner (P = 0.028). Furthermore, the reduced risk was more pronounced in ever smokers, ever drinkers and patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Our results suggested that these two SNPs at the 5p15.33 locus may be associated with a reduced risk of SCCHN, particularly for their combined effect. Although we added additional evidence for the association of the two SNPs with cancer risk as reported in GWAS, additional studies are needed to replicate our findings.
It is unknown whether there are survival disparities between men and women with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), though some data suggest that men have worse outcomes. We conducted a matched-pair study that controlled for several potentially confounding prognostic variables to assess whether a survival advantage exists for female compared with male SCCHN patients receiving similar care.
We selected 286 female patients and 286 matched male patients from within a prospective epidemiologic study of 1654 patients with incident SCCHN evaluated and treated at a single large multidisciplinary cancer center. Matching variables included age (± 10 years), race/ethnicity, smoking status (never versus ever), tumor site (oral cavity versus oropharynx versus larynx versus hypopharynx), tumor classification (T1–2 versus T3–4), nodal status (negative versus positive), and treatment (surgery, radiation therapy, surgery and radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, or surgery and chemoradiotherapy).
Matched-pair and log-rank analyses showed no significant differences between women and men in recurrence-free, disease-specific, or overall survival. When the analysis was restricted to individual sites (oral cavity, oropharynx, or larynx/hypopharynx), there was also no evidence of a disparity in survival associated with sex.
We conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that a survival advantage exists for women as compared to men with SCCHN receiving similar multidisciplinary directed care at a tertiary cancer center.
Survival disparity; Head and neck cancer; Gender-related disparity; Matched pair study; Gender-related prognosis
Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) functions mostly independent of the IGF signaling pathway and acts as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers, but roles of IGFBP7 genetic variants in cancer remains unknown. In a hospital-based study of 1,065 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN) and 1,112 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites, we investigated associations between two putatively functional IGFBP7 promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (−702G>C, rs11573014 and −418G>A, rs4075349) and SCCHN risk. A significantly lower SCCHN risk was observed in those subjects carrying −418AG (adjusted OR=0.82, 95% CI=0.67–0.99) and −418AG+AA (adjusted OR=0.82, 95% CI=0.69–0.99) genotypes than those carrying the −418GG genotype, but not for the −702G>C SNP. However, those subjects carrying two common homozygous genotypes of these two SNPs (−418GG and −702GG) had an increased risk (adjusted OR=1.21, 95% CI=1.00-0.1.46) than did those carrying variant genotypes (−418AG+AA and −702CG+CC). This increased risk was more evident in subgroups of never smokers and subjects with oral cancer. Further functional analysis showed that the IGFBP7 −418A allele had significantly higher promoter and DNA-protein binding activities than did the G allele, suggesting a tumor suppressor role of this allelic change in the SCCHN etiology. We conclude that the functional variant −418 G>C in the IGFBP7 promoter is associated with reduced risk of SCCHN, likely by enhancing the IGFBP7 promoter and DNA-protein binding activities. Larger studies are needed to validate our findings.
IGFBP7; case-control study; tumor suppressor gene; head and neck cancer; promoter polymorphism
The increasing incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in young adults has been associated with sexually transmitted infections of human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly HPV16. Given the roles of p53 in tumor suppression and of HPV E6 and MDM2 oncoproteins in p53 degradation, we evaluated HPV16 L1 seropositivity and MDM2 promoter variants to examine their possible associations with OSCC risk in a case-control study of 325 patients and 335 cancer-free matched controls. Compared with individuals having MDM2-rs2279744 GT or GG genotypes and HPV16 L1 seronegativity, the TT genotype and HPV16 L1 seronegativity were found to be associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.25 (95% confidence interval [CI],1.06–2.19) for OSCC risk, and GT/GG and HPV16 L1 seropositivity were associated with an OR of 2.81 (95% CI,1.67–4.74). For those with both the TT genotype and HPV16 L1 seropositivity, the associated OR was 5.57 (95% CI, 2.93–10.6). Similar results were observed for the MDM2-rs937283 polymorphism. Moreover, there was a borderline significant or significant interaction between the individual or combined MDM2 genotypes of the two polymorphisms and HPV16 L1 seropositivity (Pint = 0.060 for MDM2-rs2279744, Pint = 0.009 for MDM2-rs937283, and Pint = 0.005 for the combined MDM2 genotypes) on risk of OSCC. Notably, that effect modification was particularly pronounced in never smokers and never drinkers, and for oropharyngeal as opposed to oral cavity cancer. Taken together, our results indicate that the risk of OSCC associated with HPV16 L1 seropositivity is modified by MDM2 promoter polymorphisms.
MDM2 polymorphism; genetic susceptibility; HPV; molecular epidemiology; oral cancer