DNA repair gene polymorphisms and risk of second primary neoplasms and mortality in oral cancer patients

Thomas J. Gal, Wen Yi Huang, Chu Chen, Richard B. Hayes, Stephen M. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: We tested the hypothesis that polymorphisms in genes involved in DNA repair pathways are associated with the development of second primary neoplasms of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT), as well as mortality, in patients previously diagnosed with oral squamous cell cancer (OSCC). METHODS: DNA specimens from 279 OSCC patients who had participated in two previous population-based case-control studies were assayed for the following polymorphisms: X-ray repair cross-complementing (XRCC) 1 Arg399Gln, XRCC3 Thr241Met, xeroderma pigmentosum complementing group D (XPD) Lys751Gln, and O-methylguanine- DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) Leu84Phe and Val143Ile. Baseline demographic information was obtained from personal interviews and tumor characteristics and treatment were obtained from cancer registry files. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazards ratio (HR) estimates for each polymorphism in relation to the risk of developing second primary neoplasms at any site, UADT, and head and neck. HRs were also determined for associations with all-cause mortality and oral cancer specific mortality. RESULTS: A significant increased risk of second neoplasms (all sites combined, as well as for UADT sites and for head and neck squamous cell cancers) was observed among XRCC3 241Met allele homozygotes (HR 2.65-3.44, P < .02). No significant association with the development of second neoplasms was observed for the XRCC1 399Gln, XPD 751Gln, or MGMT 84Phe or 143Ile alleles. Although no associations with oral cancer-specific mortality were observed, we found a significant inverse association between all-cause mortality and possessing at least one copy of the XRCC1 399Gln allele (HR 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.47-0.97, P = .03), as well as a suggestion of a direct association between all-cause mortality and having one copy of the XRCC3 241Met allele (HR 1.39, 95% CI 0.95-2.03, P = .09). CONCLUSIONS: Polymorphisms in the DNA repair enzyme gene XRCC3 241Met was associated with an increased risk of second neoplasms, and polymorphisms of the XRCC1 399Gln gene were associated with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality in patients with primary OSCC. These findings require confirmation in other populations before the clinical implications can be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2221-2231
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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