Background: Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas are associated with systemic inflammation (SI). We evaluated whether DNA methylation-derived SI (mdSI) indices are associated with oropharyngeal cancer risk and survival. Methods: Ninety-four oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) cases and 57 controls with DNA methylation data were included. Logistic regression analysis and survival analysis were performed to test the association of mdSI indices with OPSCC risk and survival. Results: Higher methylation-derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (mdNLR) was associated with increased risk of OPSCC (OR = 1.21, 95%CI: 1.11–1.40) while no association was found with methylation-derived lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (mdLMR). For 5-year overall survival, higher mdLMR was significantly associated with decreased risk of death (HR = 0.25, 95%CI: 0.10–0.64) while the converse was observed for mdNLR (HR = 2.48, 95%CI: 1.04–5.92). Conclusion: We observed an association between mdSI indices and OPSCC risk and 5-year overall survival. It is possible to use mdLMR as an independent prognostic factor for OPSCC.
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- DNA methylation
- head and neck cancer
- lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio
- neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio
- oropharyngeal cancer