Role of NQO1 polymorphisms as risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Asher Begleiter, Alia Norman, Darren Leitao, Teresa Cabral, Donna Hewitt, Sushu Pan, Jennifer R. Grandis, Jill M. Siegfried, Samy El-Sayed, Donna Sutherland, David A. Ross, Paul D. Kerr

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14 Scopus citations


A case:control study was carried out to determine if inactivating polymorphisms of the NQO1 gene at bases 609 and 465 are associated with altered risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Genotyping was carried out by PCR RFLP analysis on whole blood samples. The frequency of the inactive 609T and active 609C forms, and the inactive 465T and active 465C forms, of NQO1 were compared in patient and control groups by a logistic regression analysis and odds ratios (ORs) were calculated. Participants were stratified by tobacco and alcohol use, and genotype distributions in these sub-groups were compared. There were no significant differences in genotype distribution between SCCHN patients and the control population for the base 609 or 465 polymorphisms. There were also no significant differences in genotype distributions between patient and control groups for tobacco and/or alcohol users and non-users. Genotype distributions were similar for SCCHN patients at all disease sites with the exception of the nasopharynx where there was a higher incidence of the 609C:609T and 609T:609T genotypes. These results suggest that individuals having either 609T or 465T alleles generally do not have an altered risk of developing SCCHN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-933
Number of pages7
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, Manitoba Medical Services Foundation, USPHS NIH (CA61862) and NCI EDRN (U01CA84968). The authors wish to thank Beatrice McDonald for excellent technical assistance and Mary Cheang for statistical analysis.


  • Cancer risk
  • NQO1
  • Polymorphisms
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck


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