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Volume 10, Number 1, 2005

Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in young adults – a preliminary assessment of genetic factor

Wojciech Gawęcki, Magdalena Kostrzewska-Poczekaj, Marzena Gajęcka, Elżbieta Waśniewska, Krzysztof Szyfter, Witold Szyfter


Aim Patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) aged less than 45 years are classed as young adults and in opinion of many authors compared to older (typical) patients appear more serious forms of the disease and often lack the classical risk factors associated with the illness. There is a need of an exact clinical analysis and a search for additional causative factors.
The purpose of this study was to estimate the role of genetic factors in the aetiology of HNSCC in young adults.
Materials/Methods Studies carried out on 44 patients estimated: 1) the degree of chromosomal instability (bleomycin test), 2) the degree of spontaneous and induced DNA damage and potential of DNA repair (comet assay) and 3) polymorphisms of selected genes of carcinogens metabolism and DNA repair (genotyping).
Results The degree of chromosomal instability was a little lower in young adults group than in typical patients group, but the differences were not statistically signifi cant. The level of spontaneous and induced DNA damage and it’s removal by DNA repair were comparable in the groups of young adults and typical patients. Concerning genotyping we showed in the group of young adults a statistically significant more often co-occurrence of GSTM1(-) and NAT2*4/6A genotypes (p<0.05) and statistically significant lower frequency of allele CYP1A1*4 (p<0.02). Differences between the other risk genotypes and alleles (CYP1A1*4/*4, NAT2*4/*6A, XPD35931AA, NAT2*4) were not shown to be statistically significant.
Conclusions The studies parameter revealed only a weak prevelancve of genetic predisposition to HNSCC in young adults.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2005; 10(1) : 17-21


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