[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several epidemiological studies have shown a positive association between adult height and cancer incidence. The only study conducted among women on mouth and pharynx cancer risk, however, reported an inverse association. This study aims to investigate the association between height and the risk of head and neck cancer (HNC) within a large international consortium of HNC. We analyzed pooled individual-level data from 24 case-control studies participating in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated separately for men and women for associations between height and HNC risk. Educational level, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption were included in all regression models. Stratified analyses by HNC subsites were performed. This project included 17,666 cases and 28,198 controls. We found an inverse association between height and HNC (adjusted OR per 10 cm height = 0.91, 95 % CI 0.86-0.95 for men; adjusted OR = 0.86, 95 % CI 0.79-0.93 for women). In men, the estimated OR did vary by educational level, smoking status, geographic area, and control source. No differences by subsites were detected. Adult height is inversely associated with HNC risk. As height can be considered a marker of childhood illness and low energy intake, the inverse association is consistent with prior studies showing that HNC occur more frequently among deprived individuals. Further studies designed to elucidate the mechanism of such association would be warranted.
European Journal of Epidemiology 11/2013; · 5.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cigar and pipe smoking are considered risk factors for head and neck cancers, but the magnitude of effect estimates for these products has been imprecisely estimated. By using pooled data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium (comprising 13,935 cases and 18,691 controls in 19 studies from 1981 to 2007), we applied hierarchical logistic regression to more precisely estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking separately, compared with reference groups of those who had never smoked each single product. Odds ratios for cigar and pipe smoking were stratified by ever cigarette smoking. We also considered effect estimates of smoking a single product exclusively versus never having smoked any product (reference group). Among never cigarette smokers, the odds ratio for ever cigar smoking was 2.54 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.93, 3.34), and the odds ratio for ever pipe smoking was 2.08 (95% CI: 1.55, 2.81). These odds ratios increased with increasing frequency and duration of smoking (Ptrend ≤ 0.0001). Odds ratios for cigar and pipe smoking were not elevated among ever cigarette smokers. Head and neck cancer risk was elevated for those who reported exclusive cigar smoking (odds ratio = 3.49, 95% CI: 2.58, 4.73) or exclusive pipe smoking (odds ratio = 3.71, 95% CI: 2.59, 5.33). These results suggest that cigar and pipe smoking are independently associated with increased risk of head and neck cancers.
American journal of epidemiology 06/2013; · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Greater tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption and lower body mass index (BMI) increase odds ratios (OR) for oral cavity, oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal, and laryngeal cancers; however, there are no comprehensive sex-specific comparisons of ORs for these factors.
We analyzed 2,441 oral cavity (925 women and 1,516 men), 2,297 oropharynx (564 women and 1,733 men), 508 hypopharynx (96 women and 412 men), and 1,740 larynx (237 women and 1,503 men) cases from the INHANCE consortium of 15 head and neck cancer case-control studies. Controls numbered from 7,604 to 13,829 subjects, depending on analysis. Analyses fitted linear-exponential excess ORs models.
ORs were increased in underweight (< 18.5 BMI) relative to normal weight (18.5-24.9) and reduced in overweight and obese categories (≥ 25 BMI) for all sites and were homogeneous by sex. ORs by smoking and drinking in women compared with men were significantly greater for oropharyngeal cancer (p < 0.01 for both factors), suggestive for hypopharyngeal cancer (p = 0.05 and p = 0.06, respectively), but homogeneous for oral cavity (p = 0.56 and p = 0.64) and laryngeal (p = 0.18 and p = 0.72) cancers.
The extent that OR modifications of smoking and drinking by sex for oropharyngeal and, possibly, hypopharyngeal cancers represent true associations, or derive from unmeasured confounders or unobserved sex-related disease subtypes (e.g., human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer) remains to be clarified.
Cancer Causes and Control 09/2011; 22(9):1217-31. · 3.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful in identifying common genetic variation involved in susceptibility to etiologically complex disease. We conducted a GWAS to identify common genetic variation involved in susceptibility to upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) cancers. Genome-wide genotyping was carried out using the Illumina HumanHap300 beadchips in 2,091 UADT cancer cases and 3,513 controls from two large European multi-centre UADT cancer studies, as well as 4,821 generic controls. The 19 top-ranked variants were investigated further in an additional 6,514 UADT cancer cases and 7,892 controls of European descent from an additional 13 UADT cancer studies participating in the INHANCE consortium. Five common variants presented evidence for significant association in the combined analysis (p ≤ 5 × 10⁻⁷). Two novel variants were identified, a 4q21 variant (rs1494961, p = 1×10⁻⁸) located near DNA repair related genes HEL308 and FAM175A (or Abraxas) and a 12q24 variant (rs4767364, p =2 × 10⁻⁸) located in an extended linkage disequilibrium region that contains multiple genes including the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene. Three remaining variants are located in the ADH gene cluster and were identified previously in a candidate gene study involving some of these samples. The association between these three variants and UADT cancers was independently replicated in 5,092 UADT cancer cases and 6,794 controls non-overlapping samples presented here (rs1573496-ADH7, p = 5 × 10⁻⁸); rs1229984-ADH1B, p = 7 × 10⁻⁹; and rs698-ADH1C, p = 0.02). These results implicate two variants at 4q21 and 12q24 and further highlight three ADH variants in UADT cancer susceptibility.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in 3,772 affected individuals (cases) and 8,505 controls of European background from 11 studies and followed up 6 SNPs in 3 replication studies of 2,198 cases and 4,918 controls. Two loci on the regions of 2p21 and 11q13.3 were associated with RCC susceptibility below genome-wide significance. Two correlated variants (r² = 0.99 in controls), rs11894252 (P = 1.8 × 10⁻⁸) and rs7579899 (P = 2.3 × 10⁻⁹), map to EPAS1 on 2p21, which encodes hypoxia-inducible-factor-2 alpha, a transcription factor previously implicated in RCC. The second locus, rs7105934, at 11q13.3, contains no characterized genes (P = 7.8 × 10⁻¹⁴). In addition, we observed a promising association on 12q24.31 for rs4765623, which maps to SCARB1, the scavenger receptor class B, member 1 gene (P = 2.6 × 10⁻⁸). Our study reports previously unidentified genomic regions associated with RCC risk that may lead to new etiological insights.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies support an important role for human papillomavirus (HPV) in a subgroup of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). We have evaluated the HPV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) prevalence as well as the association between serological response to HPV infection and HNSCC in two distinct populations from Central Europe (CE) and Latin America (LA).
Cases (n = 2214) and controls (n = 3319) were recruited from 1998 to 2003, using a similar protocol including questionnaire and blood sample collection. Tumour DNA from 196 fresh tissue biopsies was analysed for multiple HPV types followed by an HPV type-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol towards the E7 gene from HPV 16. Using multiplex serology, serum samples were analysed for antibodies to 17 HPV types. Statistical analysis included the estimation of adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and the respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
HPV16 E7 DNA prevalence among cases was 3.1% (6/196), including 4.4% in the oropharynx (3/68), 3.8% in the hypopharynx/larynx (3/78) and 0% among 50 cases of oral cavity carcinomas. Positivity for both HPV16 E6 and E7 antibodies was associated with a very high risk of oropharyngeal cancer (OR = 179, 95% CI 35.8-899) and hypopharyngeal/laryngeal cancer (OR = 14.9, 95% CI 2.92-76.1).
A very low prevalence of HPV DNA and serum antibodies was observed among cases in both CE and LA. The proportion of head and neck cancer caused by HPV may vary substantially between different geographical regions and studies that are designed to evaluate the impact of HPV vaccination on HNSCC need to consider this heterogeneity.
International Journal of Epidemiology 01/2011; 40(2):489-502. · 6.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Odds ratios for head and neck cancer increase with greater cigarette and alcohol use and lower body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height(2) (m(2))). Using data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium, the authors conducted a formal analysis of BMI as a modifier of smoking- and alcohol-related effects. Analysis of never and current smokers included 6,333 cases, while analysis of never drinkers and consumers of < or =10 drinks/day included 8,452 cases. There were 8,000 or more controls, depending on the analysis. Odds ratios for all sites increased with lower BMI, greater smoking, and greater drinking. In polytomous regression, odds ratios for BMI (P = 0.65), smoking (P = 0.52), and drinking (P = 0.73) were homogeneous for oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers. Odds ratios for BMI and drinking were greater for oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer (P < 0.01), while smoking odds ratios were greater for laryngeal cancer (P < 0.01). Lower BMI enhanced smoking- and drinking-related odds ratios for oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer (P < 0.01), while BMI did not modify smoking and drinking odds ratios for laryngeal cancer. The increased odds ratios for all sites with low BMI may suggest related carcinogenic mechanisms; however, BMI modification of smoking and drinking odds ratios for cancer of the oral cavity/pharynx but not larynx cancer suggests additional factors specific to oral cavity/pharynx cancer.
American journal of epidemiology 06/2010; 171(12):1250-61. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption increase risk for head and neck cancers, there have been few attempts to model risks quantitatively and to formally evaluate cancer site-specific risks. The authors pooled data from 15 case-control studies and modeled the excess odds ratio (EOR) to assess risk by total exposure (pack-years and drink-years) and its modification by exposure rate (cigarettes/day and drinks/day). The smoking analysis included 1,761 laryngeal, 2,453 pharyngeal, and 1,990 oral cavity cancers, and the alcohol analysis included 2,551 laryngeal, 3,693 pharyngeal, and 3,116 oval cavity cancers, with over 8,000 controls. Above 15 cigarettes/day, the EOR/pack-year decreased with increasing cigarettes/day, suggesting that greater cigarettes/day for a shorter duration was less deleterious than fewer cigarettes/day for a longer duration. Estimates of EOR/pack-year were homogeneous across sites, while the effects of cigarettes/day varied, indicating that the greater laryngeal cancer risk derived from differential cigarettes/day effects and not pack-years. EOR/drink-year estimates increased through 10 drinks/day, suggesting that greater drinks/day for a shorter duration was more deleterious than fewer drinks/day for a longer duration. Above 10 drinks/day, data were limited. EOR/drink-year estimates varied by site, while drinks/day effects were homogeneous, indicating that the greater pharyngeal/oral cavity cancer risk with alcohol consumption derived from the differential effects of drink-years and not drinks/day.
American journal of epidemiology 10/2009; 170(8):937-47. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The magnitude of risk conferred by the interaction between tobacco and alcohol use on the risk of head and neck cancers is not clear because studies have used various methods to quantify the excess head and neck cancer burden.
We analyzed individual-level pooled data from 17 European and American case-control studies (11,221 cases and 16,168 controls) participating in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium. We estimated the multiplicative interaction parameter (psi) and population attributable risks (PAR).
A greater than multiplicative joint effect between ever tobacco and alcohol use was observed for head and neck cancer risk (psi = 2.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.53-3.04). The PAR for tobacco or alcohol was 72% (95% confidence interval, 61-79%) for head and neck cancer, of which 4% was due to alcohol alone, 33% was due to tobacco alone, and 35% was due to tobacco and alcohol combined. The total PAR differed by subsite (64% for oral cavity cancer, 72% for pharyngeal cancer, 89% for laryngeal cancer), by sex (74% for men, 57% for women), by age (33% for cases <45 years, 73% for cases >60 years), and by region (84% in Europe, 51% in North America, 83% in Latin America).
Our results confirm that the joint effect between tobacco and alcohol use is greater than multiplicative on head and neck cancer risk. However, a substantial proportion of head and neck cancers cannot be attributed to tobacco or alcohol use, particularly for oral cavity cancer and for head and neck cancer among women and among young-onset cases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol and tobacco consumption are well-recognized risk factors for head and neck cancer (HNC). Evidence suggests that genetic predisposition may also play a role. Only a few epidemiologic studies, however, have considered the relation between HNC risk and family history of HNC and other cancers. We pooled individual-level data across 12 case-control studies including 8,967 HNC cases and 13,627 controls. We obtained pooled odds ratios (OR) using fixed and random effect models and adjusting for potential confounding factors. All statistical tests were two-sided. A family history of HNC in first-degree relatives increased the risk of HNC (OR=1.7, 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.2-2.3). The risk was higher when the affected relative was a sibling (OR=2.2, 95% CI 1.6-3.1) rather than a parent (OR=1.5, 95% CI 1.1-1.8) and for more distal HNC anatomic sites (hypopharynx and larynx). The risk was also higher, or limited to, in subjects exposed to tobacco. The OR rose to 7.2 (95% CI 5.5-9.5) among subjects with family history, who were alcohol and tobacco users. A weak but significant association (OR=1.1, 95% CI 1.0-1.2) emerged for family history of other tobacco-related neoplasms, particularly with laryngeal cancer (OR=1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.5). No association was observed for family history of nontobacco-related neoplasms and the risk of HNC (OR=1.0, 95% CI 0.9-1.1). Familial factors play a role in the etiology of HNC. In both subjects with and without family history of HNC, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol exposure may be the best way to avoid HNC.
International Journal of Cancer 10/2008; 124(2):394-401. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol is an important risk factor for upper aerodigestive cancers and is principally metabolized by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes. We have investigated six ADH genetic variants in over 3,800 aerodigestive cancer cases and 5,200 controls from three individual studies. Gene variants rs1229984 (ADH1B) and rs1573496 (ADH7) were significantly protective against aerodigestive cancer in each individual study and overall (P = 10(-10) and 10(-9), respectively). These effects became more apparent with increasing alcohol consumption (P for trend = 0.0002 and 0.065, respectively). Both gene effects were independent of each other, implying that multiple ADH genes may be involved in upper aerodigestive cancer etiology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of upper aerodigestive tract (UADT: oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus) has been increasing in central and eastern European countries. We investigated the relationship between diet and UADT cancers in these high risk areas.
We used data from hospital-based case-control study of 948 UADT cancer cases and 1,228 controls conducted in Romania, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. Standardized questionnaire were used to collect information on 23 different food items, along with alcohol and tobacco consumptions. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the UADT cancers after adjusting for center, age, sex, tobacco & alcohol intake, and other food groups.
Consumption of dairy product was negatively associated with selected UADT cancers: larynx (OR: 0.38, CI: 0.23-0.62) and esophagus (OR: 0.55, CI: 0.33-0.93). While consumption of yellow/orange vegetables were inversely associated with oral/pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer (OR: 0.53, CI: 0.35-0.81 and OR: 0.62, CI: 0.38-1.00, respectively), preserved vegetable was positively associated with oral/pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer risk (p (trend) < 0.01 for both).
Specific dietary components may play a role in the development of UADT cancers in the high-risk region of central and eastern Europe.
Cancer Causes and Control 06/2008; 19(10):1161-70. · 3.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poor oral health has been reported as a risk factor in the etiology of head and neck cancer. Data on oral health were ascertained as part of two multicenter case-control studies comprising 924 cases and 928 controls in central Europe and 2,286 cases and 1,824 controls in Latin America. Incident cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (oral cavity, pharynx, larynx) and esophagus, as well as age (in quinquennia)- and sex frequency-matched controls, were enrolled from 1998 to 2003. Poor condition of the mouth (central Europe: odds ratio (OR) = 2.89, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.74, 4.81; Latin America: OR = 1.89, 95% CI: 1.47, 2.42), lack of toothbrush use (Latin America: OR = 2.36, 95% CI: 1.28, 4.36), and daily mouthwash use (Latin America: OR = 3.40, 95% CI: 1.96, 5.89) emerged as risk factors for head and neck cancer, independent of tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Missing between six and 15 teeth was an independent risk factor for esophageal cancer (central Europe: OR = 2.84, 95% CI: 1.26, 6.41; Latin America: OR = 2.18, 95% CI: 1.04, 4.59). These results indicate that periodontal disease (as indicated by poor condition of the mouth and missing teeth) and daily mouthwash use may be independent causes of cancers of the head, neck, and esophagus.
American journal of epidemiology 12/2007; 166(10):1159-73. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Incidence rates for laryngeal cancer in Central Europe are among the highest in the world. The authors recruited cases and controls between 2000 and 2002 for the Central and Eastern Europe Multicenter Study to investigate the role of tobacco and alcohol as causes of laryngeal cancer in this region. A total of 384 incident squamous cell cases were included, comprising 254 glottic and 108 supraglottic cancers. Hospital controls were chosen from within the same catchment area, from diseases unrelated to tobacco or alcohol (n = 918). Significant dose-response trends for frequency and duration of tobacco use were observed for both supraglottic and glottic cancers, with potentially a more important effect for supraglottic cancer. Quitting smoking was protective against laryngeal cancers after 5 years. Any increases in risk for alcohol drinking were generally moderate and nonsignificant. A greater than multiplicative interaction was observed between tobacco and alcohol on the risk of laryngeal cancer (p = 0.04). Approximately 87% of laryngeal cancer cases in Central Europe are attributable to tobacco use, of which 75% and 12% are due to current and past smoking, respectively. Approximately 39% are attributable to the interaction between alcohol and tobacco. Preventive efforts to encourage current smokers to quit are likely to be the most effective way to reduce the incidence of laryngeal cancer in this region.
American Journal of Epidemiology 05/2007; 165(7):814-20. · 4.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Esophageal cancer mortality rates in Central and Eastern Europe have been increasing steadily and are expected to increase further in the future. To evaluate the role of risk factors for esophageal cancer in this population, a multicenter study was conducted, with investigation of tobacco and alcohol as one of the principal aims. We have included 192 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and 35 adenocarcinoma cases of the esophagus diagnosed at designated hospitals in 5 centers from Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland. Controls were frequency matched from patients in the same hospital as the cases (n=1,114). Our results showed that the risk of esophageal SCC may be increased by approximately 7-fold for current smokers (OR=7.41, 95% CI 3.98-13.79) and by 3-fold for ever alcohol drinkers (OR=2.86, 95% CI 1.06-7.74). Dose-response relations were evident for both the frequency and duration of tobacco and of alcohol on the risk of esophageal SCC. Risk estimates for tobacco smoking were highest for lower esophageal SCCs, while risk estimates for alcohol drinking were highest for upper esophageal SCCs; though differences were not statistically significant. For adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, our results suggested a more modest increase in risk because of tobacco smoking than that for SCC of the esophagus and no association with alcohol consumption, although our sample size was small. A synergistic interaction between tobacco and alcohol was observed for the risk of esophageal SCC, highlighting the importance of both factors for esophageal cancers in Central and Eastern Europe.
International Journal of Cancer 05/2007; 120(7):1518-22. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT), comprising the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus, account for 5.2% of all cancers cases worldwide. The major risk factors, tobacco and alcohol can directly or indirectly generate DNA damage, which if unrepaired can give rise to mutations, unregulated cell growth and apoptosis induction. To clarify the role of DNA repair and cell cycle control proteins in UADT cancer susceptibility, we studied the risk in relation to 28 SNPs in 18 DNA repair enzymes and 9 SNPs in 7 cell cycle control genes. A case-control study was conducted from 2000 to 2002 in six centers from Romania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Patients diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the UADT (n=811) and controls with a recent diagnosis of diseases unrelated to tobacco and alcohol (n=1083) were recruited. For UADT cancer risk, associations were observed for the homozygous carriers of the variant alleles of MGMT L84F [odds ratio (OR) 2.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32-4.20], MGMT 171C > T (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.20-4.17) and OGG1 S326C (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.15-3.73) whilst three variants were associated with a protective effect (XPA 23G > A, P for trend 0.022, APEX Q51H, P for trend 0.036, CHEK2 intron 9-200T > C, P for trend 0.009). Several other sequence variants showed associations with specific cancers without an overall association with UADT cancer. While some of these associations are consistent with previous studies, we cannot rule out the possibility of false-positive associations. The positive findings should be explored in another large-scale study on UADT cancers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A multicenter case-control study was conducted during 1999-2002 in four European countries (Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovakia) to evaluate the role of occupational exposures in risk of laryngeal/hypopharyngeal cancer. Male cancer cases (34 hypopharyngeal, 316 laryngeal) with full data on occupational history and nonoccupational factors were compared with 728 hospital controls for occupational exposure to 73 suspected carcinogens. Occupational history was evaluated by industrial hygienists blinded to case/control status. Elevated risks for ever exposure to coal dust were found for both hypopharyngeal (odds ratio (OR) = 4.19, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.18, 14.89) and laryngeal (OR = 1.81, 95% CI: 0.94, 3.47) cancer, with clear dose-response patterns. Inclusion of a 20-year lag in the analysis strengthened these associations. Hypopharyngeal cancer risk was also significantly associated with exposure to mild steel dust (OR = 3.04, 95% CI: 1.39, 6.64) and iron compounds and fumes (OR = 2.74, 95% CI: 1.29, 5.84), without clear dose-response relations. Laryngeal cancer was significantly associated with exposure to hard-alloys dust (OR = 2.23, 95% CI: 1.08, 4.57) and chlorinated solvents (OR = 2.18, 95% CI: 1.03, 4.61), without dose-response relations. A possible link between high formaldehyde exposure and laryngeal cancer was suggested. No association was found for exposure to asbestos or inorganic acid mists. These data indicate that occupational exposure to coal dust may play a role in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer. Other possible relations need further evaluation.
American Journal of Epidemiology 09/2006; 164(4):367-75. · 4.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Incidence and mortality rates of upper aerodigestive tract cancers in Central Europe are among the highest in the world and have increased substantially in recent years. This increase is likely to be due to patterns of alcohol and tobacco consumption. Genetic susceptibility to upper aerodigestive tract cancer in relation to such exposures is an important aspect that should be investigated among populations in this region.
A multicenter case-control study comprising 811 upper aerodigestive tract cancer cases and 1,083 controls was conducted in: Bucharest (Romania), Lodz (Poland), Moscow (Russia), Banska Bystrika (Slovakia), and Olomouc and Prague (Czech Republic). We analyzed six SNPs in three genes related to ethanol metabolism: alcohol dehydrogenase 1B and 1C (ADH1B, ADH1C) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2).
The ADH1B histidine allele at codon 48 was associated with a decreased risk of upper aerodigestive tract cancer; odds ratios (OR) were 0.36 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.17-0.77] for medium/heavy drinkers and 0.57 (95% CI, 0.36-0.91) for never/light drinkers. Moderately increased risks were observed for the ADH1C (350)Val allele (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.98-1.55) and ADH1C (272)Gln allele (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.98-1.55). Medium/heavy drinkers who were heterozygous or homozygous at ALDH2 nucleotide position 248 were at a significantly increased risk of upper aerodigestive tract cancer (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.13-2.75; OR, 5.79; 95% CI, 1.49-22.5, respectively), with a significant dose response for carrying variant alleles (P = 0.0007). Similar results were observed for the ALDH2 +82A>G and ALDH2 -261C>T polymorphisms. When results were analyzed by subsite, strong main effects were observed for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus for all six variants. Among the 30% of the population who were carriers of at least one ALDH2 variant, the attributable fraction among carriers (AF(c)) was 24.2% (5.7-38.3%) for all upper aerodigestive tract cancers, increasing to 58.7% (41.2-71.0%) for esophageal cancer. Among carriers who drank alcohol at least thrice to four times a week, the AF(c) for having at least one ALDH2 variant was 49% (21.3-66.8%) for all upper aerodigestive tract cancers, increasing to 68.9% (42.9-83.1%) for esophageal cancer.
Polymorphisms in the ADH1B and ALDH2 genes are associated with upper aerodigestive tract cancer in Central European populations and interact substantially with alcohol consumption.