Gene-environment interactions of novel variants associated with head and neck cancer

Caihua Liang, Carmen J. Marsit, E. Andres Houseman, Rondi Butler, Heather H. Nelson, Michael D. McClean, Karl T. Kelsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background A genome-wide association study for upper aerodigestive tract cancers identified 19 candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We used these SNPs to investigate the potential gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) risk. Methods The 19 variants were genotyped using Taqman assays among 575 cases and 676 controls in our population-based case-control study. Results A restricted cubic spline model suggested both ADH1B and HEL308 modified the association between smoking pack-years and HNSCC. Classification and regression tree analysis demonstrated a higher-order interaction between smoking status, ADH1B, FLJ13089, and FLJ35784 in HNSCC risk. Compared with ever smokers carrying ADH1B T/C+T/T genotypes, smokers carrying ADH1B C/C genotype and FLJ13089 A/G+A/A genotypes had the highest risk of HNSCC (odds ratio = 1.84). Conclusions Our results suggest that the risk associated with these variants may be specifically important among specific exposure groups. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1118
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • gene and environment interaction
  • head and neck cancer
  • post-genome-wide association study


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